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Hey all,

My 10 gallon CPD breeder tank (with some Cherry Shrimp) has in the last couple of weeks experienced an algae bloom. Water parameters seem normal and I didn't see any spikes in these last 2 weeks.

Water parameters:
Am - 0
NO2 - 0
N03 - ~10 (maybe <5)
Ph - 8.2/8.4
Gh - 7
Kh - 2/3
TDS - 147
Temp - 24C (With spring and summer the temp has been increasing from 23 to 25 during the day, I dont have the heater running anymore)

Photoperiod - 12 hours (9am - 9pm with 3 hour ramp up, so peaking from 12pm-6pm). This tank is almost 2 years old and until recently, I've this photoperiod with no issues.

No CO2

I used Amazonia Aquasoil.

Here is what I've done in the lead up to the algae bloom:

1. I removed all of the seiryu stones that used to be in the tank, in an attempt to reduce the water hardness and thus the pH as 8.2/8.4 was on the high end and I was losing cherry shrimp at a steady rate and the high pH was the only thing that was unideal for the shrimp.

2. Probably unrelated but I noticed after taking out the stones, algae was building up on the glass quite quickly after a cleaning sesh. So after cleaning the tank, in 2-3 days I would notice algae back on the glass rather than the 7-10 days it usually took.

3. I switched from tap water to RO water, as the pH was still not dropping and I figured it might be something to do with my tap water. This was also done after my original group of shrimp had all died. after the switch I got another batch of shrimp.

4. Long story but tl:Dr I randomly recieved a bunch of phoenix moss on mesh in the mail, with nowhere else to keep them, I had to put some in this tank and in turn cover a section of my Monte Carlo carpet. They were there for about 3-4 weeks and ofcourse in turn some of these areas of monte carlo died. Maybe this die-off contributed to the algae bloom?

5. I noticed that the algae growing on the glass would get quite long like hair algae quite quickly. I decided to reduce my photoperiod from 12 hours down to 6. So from 12pm to 6pm. For reasons I'm unsure of, doing so seemed to have made the problem much worse. It was the week after doing this that I noticed a full blown algae bloom all over the tank. The plants were all covered in this algae. As you see in the pictures below.

6. I also reduced my feeding frequency from once a day to once every 3-4 days. Which hasnt made a difference.

6. Shrimp are still dying but not as frequently, maybe 1 every 2 weeks. I have 4 left out of the 13 new ones I got. I'm thinking because the Ph has not decreased even with the change to RO/DI water. Note, I've had these last 4 for a few weeks now with none dying...

7. CPDs are all doing fine, except for 1 unique case which I've posted about here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/...clear-circle-stomach-bubble.html#post11389945

8. Something else I've noticed is that, this tank used to have a pond snail infestation, I even had a few grow to be quite big but I just noticed that I can barely see any and there a few empty white shells including a couple of big ones. Maybe a mass-snail die-off contributed to the algae bloom?


I'm planning on doing a re-scape anyways but I want to try and get rid of the algae first so that I can re-use the plants in the tank.
Anyone got any ideas of what I need to do? 2 days ago I reduced the photoperiod down even further from 6 hours to 4 hours, as I thought maybe that 6 hours wasnt enough to kill the algae but might harm the plants which in turn would feed the algae. No difference yet. Im considering implementing a blackout day.
 

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Have you recently made a change in your tank? Have you had algae before recently? Is it a sudden outbreak of algae? If so it’s probably some inbalance in your tank. Let me know what changes you’ve made recently.
 

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Have you recently made a change in your tank? Have you had algae before recently? Is it a sudden outbreak of algae? If so it’s probably some inbalance in your tank. Let me know what changes you’ve made recently.
I havent had this much before no. Only the normal appearance on glass after a week or so which I wipe away. Only recent changes are the ones Ive listed in the post, the most recent being the reduction in photoperiod.

Are you adding fertilizers for your plants? You should be. How has their grown been?
Nope I don't. Plants have been doing fine and growing quite well, only thing now is that algae is growing too well :p and there's algae all over the plants.
 

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I havent had this much before no. Only the normal appearance on glass after a week or so which I wipe away. Only recent changes are the ones Ive listed in the post, the most recent being the reduction in photoperiod.



Nope I don't. Plants have been doing fine and growing quite well, only thing now is that algae is growing too well :p and there's algae all over the plants.

The same thing is currently happening to me! There’s algae in every inch of my tank, it’s filmataneous hair algae. What I’m going to do is reduce my lighting to 6 hours a day. Then I’m going to order a new fertilizer (since I was using flourish ferts before) and then I’m going to do manual cleaning with a tooth brush
 

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Cutting down the time for light was a good idea, but how intense is it? Maybe raising it up off the top, or dimming it would help. Algae usually explodes if there's extra nutrients or light. If the plants aren't using it up, then the algae will take advantage.

I have a pothos hanging out of the back of my tank as well as duckweed and jungle val.. those three pretty much starve out any algae. Downside is I have jungle val and duckweed lol...

Shrimp are pretty toleran,t but don't like sudden changes in water parameters. There could be something in your water that is killing the shrimp, besides fluctuating PH.. like copper, heavy metals? The water here in Idaho is super hard and I'm on a well. The TDS out of my well is around 500+. I had a real hard time with shrimp until I dropped it down to under 400. Running around high 200s now and have shrimp multiplying like crazy.
 

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Cutting down the time for light was a good idea, but how intense is it? Maybe raising it up off the top, or dimming it would help. Algae usually explodes if there's extra nutrients or light. If the plants aren't using it up, then the algae will take advantage.

I have a pothos hanging out of the back of my tank as well as duckweed and jungle val.. those three pretty much starve out any algae. Downside is I have jungle val and duckweed lol...

Shrimp are pretty toleran,t but don't like sudden changes in water parameters. There could be something in your water that is killing the shrimp, besides fluctuating PH.. like copper, heavy metals? The water here in Idaho is super hard and I'm on a well. The TDS out of my well is around 500+. I had a real hard time with shrimp until I dropped it down to under 400. Running around high 200s now and have shrimp multiplying like crazy.

Can you help me with my algae issues too?

I’ve recently gotten an outbreak of hair algae. Tank specifications:

10 gallon tank
Diy citric acid co2
High lighting (Chihiros rgb light and a white led light)
Substrate is eco complete
Nitrate is 5
Ammonia and nitrite is 0
I’m using flourish fertilizer
Light is on for 8 hours a day
50% water changes a week

Any more specifications you need please ask me

Here’s a picture of the algae:




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cutting down the time for light was a good idea, but how intense is it? Maybe raising it up off the top, or dimming it would help. Algae usually explodes if there's extra nutrients or light. If the plants aren't using it up, then the algae will take advantage.

I have a pothos hanging out of the back of my tank as well as duckweed and jungle val.. those three pretty much starve out any algae. Downside is I have jungle val and duckweed lol...

Shrimp are pretty toleran,t but don't like sudden changes in water parameters. There could be something in your water that is killing the shrimp, besides fluctuating PH.. like copper, heavy metals? The water here in Idaho is super hard and I'm on a well. The TDS out of my well is around 500+. I had a real hard time with shrimp until I dropped it down to under 400. Running around high 200s now and have shrimp multiplying like crazy.
Thanks @Griznatch,

Ill attach a pic of my light settings, its currently using 31W, this used to be higher at around 51W but I turned it down. ALso I use RO/DI water so I doubt its something there,but who knows.
 

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Hi
Your plants are melting and dropping leaves because the water parameters changed, specifically from lowering pH from 8.4 to down to whatever the RO water is. Lowering KH is good for both, the fish and plants, but the changes are the reason your plants are going South and of course algae takes advantage. It is only temporary.

To make it even worse for the plants you cut photoperiod in half. Return the light back as it was before so plants can continue growing again. The 12 hours with 3 hour ramp up, so really 12:00 to 18:00 sounds good.

Reducing feeding period is not going to change anything other than weakening the Galaxy fish. They need at least twice a day good feedings. BTW, your other pictures of the Galaxy boys look good.

You need a cleaning crew, Ramshorn snail would help. And also removing the dead leaves so new ones can grow back.

You are considering a black out? That’s a bad idea. It will hurt the plants and not fix anything.

You mentioned you switched to RO/DI. Well, nothing will grow in it unless it is re-mineralized, reconstituted. When you do a water change you need to add per changed water quantity

10 ppm Ca, CaSO4
4 ppm Mg, MgSO4 aka Epsom salt
20 ppm K, K2SO4
1 dKH, NaHCO3, aka baking soda

10 ppm NO3, KNO3
1 ppm PO4, KH2PO4

And then you need to supply trace elements, not much, but it needs to be there for the plants to grow. What trace elements can you get from your local fish store?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the response Edward!

Only thing is is that the tank's ph has not dropped from 8.4 even after switching to RO/DI water (sorry I realise I forgot to mention this in my orig post). I remineralise my ro/di water with Salty Shrimp GH+. I used to add KH as well however I found that as soon as I added kh to my ro water, its ph would jump upto 8+ (where as before adding kh and just using gh+ the ph would be ~7) I made a post about this a while back and I was told to ditch the kh since I was using active substrate. Anyways in the 2 months since I stopped adding kh I find that the tank still always has 2/3 kh as my parameters above shows. Additionally, since only using gh+ I do notice that my tank's ph does indeed drop overnight (to about 7.6) after a water change but after a few days it will go back upto ~8.4. Still unsure whats causing this, as theres no rock or wood in the tank. Just amazonia soil, ada power sand and plants...

As for cleaning crew, there are still a few pond snails in the tank and I have an algae eater shrimp in there but they aren't helping as much :/

Should I still return the photoperiod back to as it was? I actually did used to add ferts quite a while back but stopped when I first noticed shrimp dying.
 

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Hi WaldoDude
Take your pH kit and hide it, it is not needed.

Learn to use KH and TDS instead. You have RO with Salty Shrimp GH+ and ADA Aquasoil. If the Salty Shrimp GH+ website is correct then with 6 dGH comes 0.36 dKH, which is fine. Does anybody know what the Ca : Mg ratio in Salty Shrimp GH+ is? Plants need Mg to grow. So, if your aquarium water KH and TDS are higher than your re-mineralized RO then keep changing water until they go down. There is no other way, the substrate is leaking KH that was previously added. Once it is depleted it will no longer keep increasing the KH. But, until then, every time there is KH change, plants will deteriorate and new leaves will have to grow again.

If we want the plants to grow then they need to have

NO3, from KNO3
PO4, from KH2PO4
K, from K2SO4
Mg, from MgSO4 or, ? Salty Shrimp GH+ if it comes with Mg
Ca, from Salty Shrimp GH+
Trace Elements, from local fish store
Normal light as energy in order to grow

Little hint. If 1 drop per 5 ml with KH test kit indicates 1 degree, then 1 drop in 10 ml indicates 0.5 degree. This way the kit resolution can be doubled for fine tuning. And, PO4 test kit could help with plants.

It seems odd that your ph goes right back up to low 8 after a water change. Do you feel good about all your filter media?
WaldoDude had alkaline high KH seiryu stones in there and also was adding KH so the substrate absorbed some of it. Let’s hope there is nothing KH leaking in the filter too.
 

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Hi WaldoDude
Take your pH kit and hide it, it is not needed.

Learn to use KH and TDS instead. You have RO with Salty Shrimp GH+ and ADA Aquasoil. If the Salty Shrimp GH+ website is correct then with 6 dGH comes 0.36 dKH, which is fine. Does anybody know what the Ca : Mg ratio in Salty Shrimp GH+ is? Plants need Mg to grow. So, if your aquarium water KH and TDS are higher than your re-mineralized RO then keep changing water until they go down. There is no other way, the substrate is leaking KH that was previously added. Once it is depleted it will no longer keep increasing the KH. But, until then, every time there is KH change, plants will deteriorate and new leaves will have to grow again.

If we want the plants to grow then they need to have

NO3, from KNO3
PO4, from KH2PO4
K, from K2SO4
Mg, from MgSO4 or, ? Salty Shrimp GH+ if it comes with Mg
Ca, from Salty Shrimp GH+
Trace Elements, from local fish store
Normal light as energy in order to grow

Little hint. If 1 drop per 5 ml with KH test kit indicates 1 degree, then 1 drop in 10 ml indicates 0.5 degree. This way the kit resolution can be doubled for fine tuning. And, PO4 test kit could help with plants.

WaldoDude had alkaline high KH seiryu stones in there and also was adding KH so the substrate absorbed some of it. Let’s hope there is nothing KH leaking in the filter too.

Can you help me with my algae issues too sir


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Cool thanks @Edward!

From what Ive found the Ca-mg ratio is ~3/4:1. I will keep an eye on the kh with the next few water changes.
As for trace elements, I have Seachem Nitrogen (I used to add a small lamount because i though the low N03 in my tank was hurting the plants), Seachem Iron and Seachem Flourish. Will flourish be enough will I need Seachem Flourish Trace as well?

I will return the lighting to normal as well.

Oh and also I have a feeling the my amazonia substrate is or is close to being depleted as the tank is now more than 2 years old. Should I grab some root tabs?

Cheers!
 

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From what Ive found the Ca-mg ratio is ~3/4:1.
Degrees of Ca-GH : degrees Mg-GH or ppm Ca : ppm Mg?

Nitrogen is a macro element, not micro nor trace element.

Seachem Flourish is just iron Fe with almost nothing else. Seachem Iron is only iron Fe, don’t need more. What you need is Seachem Flourish with Seachem Trace to get complete trace element mix. Or scrap this craziness and get some other trace element product from somewhere else.

I wouldn’t use root tabs, once you discover they leak or cause havoc it is too late, can’t get rid of them. And the soil may no longer adsorb KH and minerals because it is saturated but it is still good.
 

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If someone mentions they have an algae problem and they are running their lighting at 12 hours / day, there is no question it should be reduced to less than 10 hours / day.
Other things that can cause this is overfeeding fish and / or in combination with over fertilizing live plants.

If someone mentions they have shrimp and are making several different changes at the same time and their shrimp are dying, I would suggest to make smaller incremental changes much slower over time. Shrimp (from experience) are very fragile when it comes to accepting changes. Even if parameters are not ideal, getting a parameter or two closer to ideal should be arrived at slowly so the shrimp have a better chance at acclimating.

Seek out "The Shimp Farm" online and you should be able to find some valuable information about shrimp there.

If you focus on keeping the plants and shrimp healthy in many cases, the shrimp may pay you back by taking care of the algae.
 

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Thanks Aquascaper1!

I only started altering tank parameters after shrimp started dying, namely, the Ph and TDS of tank. TDS was low (~97) and once I switched to RO/DI I was able to maintain it at ~140. Ph is high at ~8.4 and although I switched to RO/DI so that I can reduce ph, it hasnt really decreased at all. So overall tank parameters apart from TDS hasn't really changed at all while shrimp were dying :/ In the last 4-5 weeks however no shrimp have died from what I can tell.

Also with lighting, I've had the 12 hour schedule for over year without any issues (it was 12 hours with 3 hour ramp up though, so 6 hours of peak lighting and 6 hours of ramp up/down.) It was only very recently and coincidently when I lowered my lighting schedule that algae bloomed
 

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@Edward I picked up a Phosphate test kit, at the 3 minute mark the test tube indicated a phosphate level of between 5 to 10, but the longer I left the tube, the darker the solution got and it eventually became greyish and super cloudy which isnt anywhere on the indicator chart :/ I hope this isn't an indicator of super high phosphates.

Seachem Trace is on the way.
 
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