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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I cant remove brown algae from my Anubias. I tried for two weeks by dosing seachem excel, lower photo period .. nothing works.Plants in general doing good, and you can see a lot of new leafs on Anubias or plantlets on java fern.

The problem is with a dark algae. I can only manually remove it with soft sponge leaf by leaf, but shortly after that, maybe a day or two it comes back.

Tank - 710l + 170l sump
Ph - 6.8
KH - 2.5
GH - 8 (tap is 4, bump by seachem equilibrium more for fish than plants)
CO2 - one hour before light go on/off - 12ppm
PO4 - 0.01
K - 20ppm
NO3 - 5ppm
temp - 28C
lights - 9hours per day. 2x Dymax spacex freshwater. Set to 40% power. 2 x 48W x 40% = 38W
UV filter - 9W
fertilizers: Seachem flourish twice a week
fish - 15 discus, 30 black neon tetra, 3 sae, 3 Apisto, 5 Cory, Amano and RCS


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Detailed information about my tap water :
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I used Maracyn..and it killed all the brown,blue-green and black brush algae in my aquarium. Cleaned it for weeks...then I must have reintroduced it and Bolbitis is again getting brown algae on the top of the leaf but not the bottom. No brown algae on any other plant or rock. Just Bolbitis. So,try Maracyn...and later water changes more often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are you referring to Mardel Marycyn 2? It’s antibiotic! I was thinking that my water parameters are not good, or nutritions level too low, but antibiotic?

I also checked K level and it’s on the 20ppm level, which is as expected as I dose Equlibrium to address my soft water.
 

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Yes,antibiotic. There are brown algaes caused by silica and cool spectrum bulbs and there's the brown algae that is a cyanobacteria. Maracyn will kill that.
If you notice,nobody on the internet mentions that certain brown algaes and BBA are cyano. I never knew until treating the tank for blue green algae and it was like a tonic to what ails everything in the aquarium.
If Maracyn does that kind of wonders..why only use it on 25 cent fish to avoid "using antibiotics! horrors!" guilt trips?
Algae like that is a sickness and Maracyn cures it...very well.I see it as "Its ok to use antibiotics to cure a danio of fungus, but not Ok to cure plants worth hundreds of dollars and the 3 years it took to get there?". I'm a rebel I guess.

Also..even though it sounds like the tank was in terrible shape..its was only the Bolbitis and other spots where cyano got a toe hold. Even well run tanks can get it. Look at the amazon spheres 600 gallon tank of Angels and Geophagus..looks crystal clear,strongly filtered...and what did I spot covering their Bolbitis near the surface? BGA!
So,it can happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the sharing your successful story about fighting cyano bacteria. i have some concern... I had BGA once in a different tank, but it was very bright green coat. This one is dark, almost black and doesn’t create dense coat. The previous BGA didn’t bother where to sit, and started from one place and expanded from its center. This one is completely different you might see it mainly on Anubia, some java fern. It‘s also presented on top layer of stones (parts toward to light).

regarding Maracyn. Are you dosing are per label, or BGA requires different quantities?
 

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I should have said Erythromycin. Cheaper than name brand. There is more than one algae that is brown. The one on Bolbitis is not the one you see in newly set up tanks or wipe off the glass in shade. The slimy brown on Bolbitis cant be rubbed or scrubbed off. Only water changes and then the coup de grace antibiotic will do. Will the cure last forever? Depends..how high the water quality is kept. We all slip every now and then.
 

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I would stick to old adage of take care of the plants and the plants will take care of the algae. I never go further than h202 for spot treatment (only for the occasional bba) as I feel that even that is just a bandaid. I don’t know what the problem in your setup is as I’ve only been able to make anubias and other rhizome plants thrive with co2. Something I did notice in your nutrients in the first post is you stated 20ppm k and if you did raise your gh by 4 degrees then that would be 47.5ppm of k.


Not saying that the issue but it may give you cause to double check your nutrients. .01 phosphates seems low as well. Any stems or fast growers in there? I would recommend at least 1 group too serve as a nutrient sponge to starve algae as well as a canary in the coal mine to help you with nutrient issue identification.

Best of luck!


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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I don't doubt that antibiotics / Erythromycin would help, but I prefer to find a culprit of algae first. If I won't be able to mitigate it with a possible nutrients deficiency, then medication is the way.

Something I did notice in your nutrients in the first post is you stated 20ppm k and if you did raise your gh by 4 degrees then that would be 47.5ppm of k.

Not saying that the issue but it may give you cause to double check your nutrients. .01 phosphates seems low as well. Any stems or fast growers in there? I would recommend at least 1 group too serve as a nutrient sponge to starve algae as well as a canary in the coal mine to help you with nutrient issue identification.
Good observation. Based on the calculator and Seachem Equilibrium ingredients I added 47.5ppm of K than measured (after 5 days) ~20ppm only. Is it possible that potassium uptake by plants is so high?

Could it be the case that both N and P are too low?
PO4 - 0.01
NO3 - 5ppm

I have ordered potassium sulfate & potassium nitrate, and I will try to target NO3 on 20ppm level and PO4 on 3ppm. It should address deficiency, correct?

I’ve only been able to make anubias and other rhizome plants thrive with co2
Ph - 6.8 & KH - 2.5 makes CO2 = 12ppm. Should it be enough for those plants?

I would recommend at least 1 group too serve as a nutrient sponge to starve algae as well as a canary in the coal mine to help you with nutrient issue identification.
What would you recommend as 'canary plant'?

Currently I have quite a few slow growing plants: Anubias (Nana, barteri var nana, barteri var barteri barteri var. coffeefolia), Java Fern, Bruce

Apart of slow growers I have small crypto with root tabs.
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Nymphaea Lotus (with root tabs)
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One big Echinodorus Bleherae (with root tabs as well), which has already shoot a long stem and I have planted them. Today apart of initial one, I have 3 small 10-15cm seedlings.
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Based on Diana's W. approach about plants’ aerial advantages, I have also few monsteras with submerged roots - there doing great there.

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Co2; measure this by the amount of ph drop not by the relationship of ph to kh. Many variables can throw off the kh/ph relationship whereas the ph drop is a straight forward measurement. Regardless of how low the lights are I have always aimed for about a 1.0 ph drop.

Dosing: are you dosing nutrients as a part of a regimen or just remineralizing your water change water? Be sure that you are providing a complete mix of nutrients regularly; NPK+micro nutrients. 3.0 phosphates is what I dose in a high energy tank so maybe you won’t need as much. Try maybe 1ppm and evaluate. 20ppm nitrate is a great place to work from. Potassium has had many debates over how much is too little or too much or too toxic or throws of ratios. I would aim for 20-30ppm in conjunction with appropriate levels of the other nutrients. You’ll need an iron source and micro mix dosed in conjunction with the macro nutrients as well.

Temperature: I have never kept Discus so I haven’t run temps that high. I know high temp can effect many things so I would follow up with someone with experience with it. Maybe reach out to @discuslove or someone else with that experience.

Get your co2/nutrients into the ranges discussed and if you still are experiencing issues change just one thing at a time and evaluate the change. I have found if you make CO2 and nutrients non-limiting light will be your limiter it makes things very easy. Almost any stem plant can act as the canary. Try a Ludwigia Repens or any other that grows like that.

Aim to keep lighting on the lower side so the plants can take the time to grow well and out compete algae.

Best of luck!


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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Co2; measure this by the amount of ph drop not by the relationship of ph to kh. Many variables can throw off the kh/ph relationship whereas the ph drop is a straight forward measurement. Regardless of how low the lights are I have always aimed for about a 1.0 ph drop.
I would need to double check numbers by doing hour by hour measurement, but what I see it drops from 7.2 (morning time before light / co2 on) to 6.6 (before switching off co2).

Regarding macros. I'm dosing Flourish every alternative day - 10ml. Apparently from the reading is not enough as every single ppm is utilized by plants.

As I have received dry KNO3 and KH2PO4, I will target P - 1ppm and N - 20 ppm.
 

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I would need to double check numbers by doing hour by hour measurement, but what I see it drops from 7.2 (morning time before light / co2 on) to 6.6 (before switching off co2).
Take a glass and scoop some tank water and let this sit on the counter for 24hours and test the ph. This will give you your “degassed” ph. This is the ph# your dropping 1.0ph from. This needs to happen by the time the lights come on. Be sure that it’s not so high it continues to drop during the photo period.

QUOTE="pablos, post: 11402494, member: 409657"]Regarding macros. I'm dosing Flourish every alternative day - 10ml. Apparently from the reading is not enough as every single ppm is utilized by plants.[/QUOTE]

aim for .1 fe per dose x3 per week



QUOTE="pablos, post: 11402494, member: 409657"]As I have received dry KNO3 and KH2PO4, I will target P - 1ppm and N - 20 ppm.[/QUOTE]

Make a solution of these and dose it 3xweek on opposite days of comprehensive as dry scoop dosing is highly inaccurate (each dose about 7ppm N and .33ppm P). Also if doing large water changes weekly, continue to dose equilibrium for CA/MG and K but maybe half of what you have been (20ppm~ K)


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the hints. I will update in a few days .. or whatever it takes to adjust nutrients.

Question about canary plant. I'm thinking what kind of stem plant would fit design of that tank. Do you think "Hygrophila corymbos" would be fine? How should it 'read' it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After almost 3 weeks of very rigorous dosing of EI ferts I see some improvement.
Algea are still there but they growing slower and weaker (easier to remove from leaves).
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Well,what do you know? No sooner than I recommend Erythromycin? I got tired of algae on Bolbitis and not wanting to spend $30 on meds for the big tank..I went with Hydrogen Peroxide. Worked so far. I used a turkey baster and 3% solution and it killed all the algae. I did use it in underwater..no drain down or plant removal as 2 years ago doing it that way killed the moss and some plants. So far,moss is fine. It was the previous melt down that caused to go with Erythromycin. Although the antibiotics did in all bad algae everywhere in the tank. HP,is just where you put it. I have yet to try pouring in a cup to do the whole aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It’s time for something more effective as additional nutrients help with limiting spreading of it, but definitely not with removing.

I don’t much care about 30$ cost of Erythromycin. I’m more concerned about dosing antibiotics for my lifestock which costs few grounds.

I will try with H2O2 fist. Are you suggesting spot treatment with syringe dosed in affected areas, or whole tank treatment?

what about H2O2 treatment followed by Excel? It sounds more effective


Regarding algea itself I think that Anubias are attacked by GSA.

however in different place of tank - edge of sand and glass I definitely have some Cyanobacteria
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on top of it both Java fern and Amazon swords are affected by kind of black dust algea. Slimy, black, easy to remove, not creating dens structure. I post picture later on.

I applied 50ml of 6% H2O2 (tank with sump has 900l water capacity) with syringe on mostly affected plants. Some places with heavy black algea reacted by creating a lot of oxygen (as expected). After that black algea changed to light brow, so hopefully it has been killed.

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Green dots on anubias berteri from the latest post didn’t bother about application and I see no change. I will observe it in next 24h to see if hydrogen peroxide eliminated some algea.
 

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Tips on Peroxide- if you look close as it leaves the baster? You will see the HP ripple as its colder or heavier than the aquarium water. Helps to aim it. Use as close as possible..less dilution. You will know right away its going at algae as it will start to fizz like Alka Seltzer. Also..I used it three days in a row. Some algaes looked dying on day one and thicker areas took a second or third try.
For sure,stir out the BGA you have in the gravel- or it will be a cause of new problems. I made sure with a wooden stick to remove that free floating bits you can net out.
One more fact I learned. When you do go over the whole tank and kill off the algaes? You notice that plants just seem to green up without the toxic chemicals algae give off. My Java Moss especially reacts well with dark green phyllids and growth spurt.
Also looking at your photos..you should dose Iron and as those veins are a sure sign of lack of iron. Most tap water is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For sure I will need to repeat a dose. Especially on sand. During initial try I have applied also into two places between glass and sand ... just to check how it works. guess where :))

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Actually I was about to ask about those light color of anubias and visible veins. Is it lack of iron or magnesium?

Im dosing:

Once after weekly 40% of water change
  • 1 tbsp of seachem equilibrium
  • 1 tbsp of Epsom salt

every other day
  • 2 tsp of KNO3
  • 0.5 tsp of KH2PO4

Every alternative day
  • seachem iron 4x5ml
  • seachem trace 3x5ml
 

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After years of aquariums? Iron is about plants ever need. I have yet to see another trace make a difference that I could tell. Tap water and feeding the fish seems to supply the rest Ok,Hygrophila aka Giant Hygro has a real need for lots of potassium. After that..iron seems to keep plants lush.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Iron is about plants ever need.
I don’t have Fe test, but based on the calculator I’m dosing 0.25ppm Fe every other day.
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it should be plenty of iron in water.

my pH is high. 24h aged water taken from a tank is 7.7. After co2 dosing before light turn on it goes down to 6.7. I know that some kind of iron uptake in high ph is not good.

should I change Fe dosing approach?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
every other day
  • 2 tsp of KNO3
  • 0.5 tsp of KH2PO4
I stopped dosing KH2PO4, as my test shows N03 = 20ppm and P somewhere on the 4-8ppm level.

I will be dosing 2tsp of KNO3 and no P whatsoever, hopefully it will stop expanding cyanobacteria (either those brown dust or slime on the edge glass/sand area).

On top of it I'm adding H202 and Excel even alternative days.

Regarding iron ... I added EDDH on 0.1ppm level, but it tint my water too much. Next time I reduce it to 0.05ppm or 0.025ppm, so water would be clear.
 
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