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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all, i have been battling an algae problem on my HC since my last re-scape in late May. so i was hoping if all the kind members on this forum can help suggest me any ideas!

so a little bit of background. I have started this hobby in mid April. my main problem is, i cant get my hc to carpet. seems like there is blackish/ greenish algae growing on some of the hc leaves and stems. it is also on my hair grass. i read this has to do with the dosage of fertalizers especially P but im not sure what im doing wrong. anyhow here is my setup:

tank: 25g
light: 4x T5 HO white lights 24w (10K) with individual reflectors
chiller: set to 26 degree C
filter: eheim 2217 (newly upgraded from 2213)
co2: 2 bubbles/ sec
photo period: 10hrs
plants: HC and hair grass
substrate: ADA amazon soil
inhabitants: 8x amanos, 9 ottos, and 20 other fishes
fertilizers: EI with tropica trace 10ml every other day, full seachem npk 10ml every other day. no dose on friday
water change: 50% every saturday
ammonia: 0
ph:6.8


here are how they look. sorry about the picture quality, but if u can see closely there are patches of light and dark green. seems like the older hc has been covered by black/green spot algae and the new hc is growing really slowly...
 

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I would suggest different bulbs. 10k isn't the best spectrum for plants, and blue/green algae seem to thrive under it. Swap the bulbs out for something in the 5-7K range (6500-6700 are the most common).
 

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shorten photoperiod to between 6 and 8 hours and increase co2. think about going down to 2 bulbs that's an awful lot of light for a 25g tank. i'm no lighting expert so i couldn't be sure about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you for all the kind responces!

prior to this 4 bulb set up. i was only running 2bulbs. from my observations, the algae persisted and there was very little growth. also, before i rasied my problem to the plantedtank forum community, i enquired a frd who works in a planted tank store. he too is keeping hc at his work place and in the past 2.5 months his tank was set, the HC had exploded, covering all open areas. he was using the same 10k bulbs. the only difference is my light fixture is DIY but his is from "active". it too was a 4x t5ho (24w). he told me he only puts 10ml of Tropica plus+ (with N & P) weekly.

as for photo period, i used to have it at 8 hrs, but the increased photoperiod showed pearling of the hc from the new and bright green leaves, and i did notice new leaves poping out

so having said tht, wouldnt this be a fert dosage/ deficently problem? am i not dosing enough?

I also want to change to dry ferts, but since im located in hk, im not sure where i can find them. I asked around but no one seems to know or doses with dried ferts.

your suggestions are greatly appreciated, Thank you very much!!
 

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I would suggest different bulbs. 10k isn't the best spectrum for plants, and blue/green algae seem to thrive under it. Swap the bulbs out for something in the 5-7K range (6500-6700 are the most common).
I disagree. 10,000 k works great for plants. Anything between 5000k and 10,000k is great the plants don't care it's the observer that cares. I was able to get an HC carpet with only a 10,000k bulb and nothing else. Co2 is a key with hc because it grows really well with lots of co2. If you have any excel i find hc loves the stuff and mine always grew better after i dosed the stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rockhoe and shrimpnewbie, thank you very much for your input. ive always read HC loves co2. so i will kick it up a notch, the only thing is i dunno what is enough since i dont have a drop checker.. as for excel, i only dose it when im out of co2. If i were to dose , what amount and how frequent do you guys think i should dose my tank with excel?

i forgot to mention that my light is currently sitting 2 inches above the water, is thta too low for my set up? i have another set of legs longer legs (4 inches) should i use those instead?

Thank you again. i really want to see a green lawn =]
 

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rockhoe and shrimpnewbie, thank you very much for your input. ive always read HC loves co2. so i will kick it up a notch, the only thing is i dunno what is enough since i dont have a drop checker.. as for excel, i only dose it when im out of co2. If i were to dose , what amount and how frequent do you guys think i should dose my tank with excel?

i forgot to mention that my light is currently sitting 2 inches above the water, is thta too low for my set up? i have another set of legs longer legs (4 inches) should i use those instead?

Thank you again. i really want to see a green lawn =]
From my experience, I would go with the above suggestions of reducing lights to 2 24w HO and raising them to 4 inches above the tank. I have been having a similar problem with my 36 gallon ( I was running 2 24W and 2 39W over my tank). I dropped my lights to 24Wx2 about 4 inches above the water, reduced my photo period to 8 hours with a 3-4 hour afternoon break with the lights off, continued to fertilize as per EI and increased my co2. Within 2 weeks, not only have I seen a huge reduction in the amount of algae in my tank, I am noticing that 95% of my plants are really flourishing and growing. I am using the Hagen Lifeglo which is a 6700k bulb. I am by no means an expert at this, but I have flooded the forums with similar questions in the past...I took that advice and it has worked wonders. You have to remember the T5HO are really powerful lights....check the lightning subforum and look at one of the stickies at the top measuring PAR... you will probably see that you are in the high to too much light range
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you gafi, i till try the following things:

increase co2
decrease light to 2 bulbs and lifting it 4 inches off surface of water
decrease photo period to 8hrs
dose 10 mL Seachem NPK + 5 mL excel(sunday, tuesday, thursday)
dose 10 mL trace + 5 mL iron (saturday, monday, wednesday)
Friday rest day
Saturday 50% Water change

does this sounds like a good list of things to do? please feel free to chip in anymore ideas =]
 

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yep...another suggestion, now that I have a good look at your tank, would be to add more plants if possible. The more plants you have, the more nutrients they suck up and less is left for the algae to feed on. If you EI dose with a low planted tank, there is a lot of nutrients left in the water column that the algae can feed on, since there are so few plants...otherwise, I like the scape, lots of open water!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Gafi and Shrimpnewbie, Thanks again for your kind suggestions and complments.

since currently i do not have any plans of changing the layout soon with any fast growing plants, would u guys suggest i decrease the dosage instead? like to half of what i plan to do? or better yet, if you guys have any suggestions on what plants i should get and put, i will consider too!

thank you once again guys, you guys are alot of help! i will try to keep you guys updated!
 

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you can use giant hairgrass as your background and it won't be such a big deal a good fast grower would be any hygro tbh, they suck nutrients like crazy however i see no point in reducing your ferts, if you're strict ei dosing you're golden, you can keep a very nice looking ghg background very easily, just trim the tops in a way where it slopes with your substrate slope, looks great
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
shrimpnewbie, thanks for the suggestion! i looked ghg and i think it will look nice in the tank! so i will try to look for some later today.

i have changed the set up last night, rised the lights 4 inches and running 2 bulbes currently with relectors

updates later today with pictures!
 

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it's really important that you don't change anything after this for at least a month. It takes a while to see good results but this is a step in the right direction. Make sure you just have patients. I was also able to et my HC to carpet with a single T5HO bulb 4 inches over my tank which is a 29 gallon. So you can really use low light and still get a nice carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank rockhoe, i dont think i will try anything stupid. since clearly i am not very good at growing HC haha. I will leave it for a month before i make anymore changes.

however i have another question, would plants themselves compete for nutrients? like for instsance if i had fast growing plants, would out compete nutrients with slow growing plants, and resulting in stunt growth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
updates of the current tank

i bought some longer hair grass, not sure if they are giant ones, got 4 new smaller fish

water is a bit murky since the new filters had only been running the tank for 4 days and i took this pic after planting

as usual comments suggesetons and compliments are welcome!
 

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The light fixture you have (what is it?) is fantastic. If you look at the light level sticky in the lighting forum, for however many lights you run at however high off the tank, you'll be at or slightly above the level indicated. You're going to want a drop checker. There are tons of ways to make your own, and you can either make your own 4dKH solution or buy some from here or Evilbay.

In the meantime, inch up your CO2 daily, and watch your fish, especially during the later hours of the photoperiod. If they show no signs of distress, turn it up again the next day. If they do, then turn it back down a notch and don't touch it again.

Your fertilizer regimen is fine, assuming you're adding enough as indicated by the bottles.
 

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Thank rockhoe, i dont think i will try anything stupid. since clearly i am not very good at growing HC haha. I will leave it for a month before i make anymore changes.

however i have another question, would plants themselves compete for nutrients? like for instsance if i had fast growing plants, would out compete nutrients with slow growing plants, and resulting in stunt growth?
If I'm not mistaken, EI dosing over does it. It overdoses on purpose and with a lightly planted tank like yours, I think you have very little to worry about in terms of competition for nutrients. The overdosing drives the water changes with the EI dosing method. The reason you may have algae is because you have too many nutrients (due to your light plant load with only HC) in the water column which promotes algae growth with your high-lighting.
 
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