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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Hey everyone I’m new here but been lurking a while. For the past two weeks I’ve been battling this outbreak. My tank is going in it’s second month now so it’s still relatively new. This is a 10g high tech tank with Co2 injection and a twinstar S light. Both are on a timer, light is only 6hrs a day. For the past two weeks I’ve tried several things to help combat this issue: first I’ve been doing daily/ every other day 50% water changes. I’ve cut nitrogen / phosphate fertilizers almost completely (1 dose of Thrive + every 3 waterchanges or so) and been using lean dosing (ADA). I do not have exact measurements on these however I do know my nitrates and phosphates are relatively low. I’ve also doubled up in excel and ramped Co2 up. However I haven’t been having any luck. Within48 hours or so this algae spreads like wildfire. I’m kind of at my wits end here. Also I’m using a canister filter with seachem matrix and purigen which I’ve recleaned once in the last week
 

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This looks like Rhizoclonium to me. In my experience it occurs in new tanks with too much light and low plant density. I see that you have already decreased the photoperiod, but can you decrease the intensity, as well? Also, can you add more plants?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This looks like Rhizoclonium to me. In my experience it occurs in new tanks with too much light and low plant density. I see that you have already decreased the photoperiod, but can you decrease the intensity, as well? Also, can you add more plants?
Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately with this twinstar light I can only cut down the photoperiod. And the tank is quite heavily stocked. I probably have about $250 worth of plants in this 10 gallon. However there are some slow growers like buce and anubias. Just added some more rotala in the background a few days ago so hoping that will help. One of my main concerns is fertilizing. Should I just stop dosing? Dose only lean? I’m new with fertilizing so I’m not quite sure when it comes to this algae species what to do
 

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Plants need fertilizer to grow, so stopping your dose will only make things worse. A nitrate test will help you gauge how much to add.

You have more light than the plants need, at least for now. Can you add something fast-growing in the interim? Hornwort is a fast-growing floating plant (cheap, too) and is easy to manage. It will also shade out the algae.
 

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Don’t stop dosing your fertilizers. DO decrease your light intensity. No offense but your tank from those photos does not look heavily stocked with plants at all. Post a full tank shot when you get the chance. 100% your main issue is your light... so if you dont address that than it’s going to be more of the same. There are plenty of aftermarket dimmers out there for your twinstar light all you need to do is do a google search. They start at like $10. Buy one and cut the intensity in half...do some water changes each week and things will start to turn around. These algae require light to grow...and people often think that because brown algae isn't green that it doesn't photosynthesize, but they are wrong. Now, if your tank water is high in silicates you may be more susceptible to diatom blooms further down the line, but if you reduce your lighting you will be able to control it.

It’s funny, in this hobby when people get algae or poor plant growth, especially in the beginning, they scramble to analyze their fert regime and start testing and over analyzing their water...adding a ppm of nitrate here or there or some extra mg on top of what they are dosing...or stop dosing ferts all together because they saw some video on youtube or some crackpot with no experience is pouring out advice on forums like these...and then sometimes hobbyists often say that they have adequate co2 when it’s clear that they do not etc...but a lot of hobbyists (myself included) never want to examine their lighting in the beginning...and I think this must have something to do with the amount of money we shell out for these products....but the majority of the time the problem IS the light AND the CO2. Be aware that the majority of plants that are available for mass purchase in this hobby are low light to begin with in the wild...so if we are blasting these plants with 100% intensity with our super duper LEDs we will immediately start to see problems in the form of algae or chlorosis. Dialing in your lighting is always a task, but it is essential. A lot of the Amano tanks that you see are run with low light but they have been setup for a long period of time in the photos that you see of them. But a lot of hobbyists want results instantly and lose patience when their slow growing plants don't flourish or flower or turn red or behave the way they want them to on their schedule. I'm rambling here. But this is the fun part of the hobby but also the frustrating part...it takes time and patience for our little glass cubes of water to thrive.

So, IMHO- buy an aftermarket dimmer. Cut you light intensity in half. Keep fertilizing, but just dose the recommended amount and don't overdose or limit any macros or micros. Find out how much co2 your plants are actually getting (what's your method of injection btw? diffuser? atomizer? reactor? chopstick :p) and dial in your co2. You can also remove the algae that is on the plants and do a larger water change and then do a three day blackout of your tank if you want to really get at it. In my 60p tank I run my lights at less than 50% intensity with a 1 hour ramp up and down and a 6 hour photoperiod with my co2 coming on 2 hours before peak and shutting off one hour before ramp down and am happy with the growth and am on top of the algae blooms. It’s only when I start limiting ferts or increasing light intensity do I start to see plant health issues arise. Good luck. Here’s my tank with the above lighting schedule and have no problem growing anything in there. My H’RA stays red and my foreground stays low and carpets the way it’s expected to...and this is my Chihiros WRGB2 at 40% intensity.

Best, el g


it
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Good luck.
 

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Great advice from @Fat Guy .

The popular aftermarket dimmer for the Twinstar is the S2 Pro. It dims in 100 steps and has a timer function, works great. I concur with the lack of plants, there is nothing out competing the diatoms for food so right now they are your strongest grower. I’d siphon and remove what you can and try to add more plants. Dim the lights to a minimum of 50%, even 40%. Most plants will do just fine under that intensity, provided the CO2 is adequate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Don’t stop dosing your fertilizers. DO decrease your light intensity. No offense but your tank from those photos does not look heavily stocked with plants at all. Post a full tank shot when you get the chance. 100% your main issue is your light... so if you dont address that than it’s going to be more of the same. There are plenty of aftermarket dimmers out there for your twinstar light all you need to do is do a google search. They start at like $10. Buy one and cut the intensity in half...do some water changes each week and things will start to turn around. These algae require light to grow...and people often think that because brown algae isn't green that it doesn't photosynthesize, but they are wrong. Now, if your tank water is high in silicates you may be more susceptible to diatom blooms further down the line, but if you reduce your lighting you will be able to control it.

It’s funny, in this hobby when people get algae or poor plant growth, especially in the beginning, they scramble to analyze their fert regime and start testing and over analyzing their water...adding a ppm of nitrate here or there or some extra mg on top of what they are dosing...or stop dosing ferts all together because they saw some video on youtube or some crackpot with no experience is pouring out advice on forums like these...and then sometimes hobbyists often say that they have adequate co2 when it’s clear that they do not etc...but a lot of hobbyists (myself included) never want to examine their lighting in the beginning...and I think this must have something to do with the amount of money we shell out for these products....but the majority of the time the problem IS the light AND the CO2. Be aware that the majority of plants that are available for mass purchase in this hobby are low light to begin with in the wild...so if we are blasting these plants with 100% intensity with our super duper LEDs we will immediately start to see problems in the form of algae or chlorosis. Dialing in your lighting is always a task, but it is essential. A lot of the Amano tanks that you see are run with low light but they have been setup for a long period of time in the photos that you see of them. But a lot of hobbyists want results instantly and lose patience when their slow growing plants don't flourish or flower or turn red or behave the way they want them to on their schedule. I'm rambling here. But this is the fun part of the hobby but also the frustrating part...it takes time and patience for our little glass cubes of water to thrive.

So, IMHO- buy an aftermarket dimmer. Cut you light intensity in half. Keep fertilizing, but just dose the recommended amount and don't overdose or limit any macros or micros. Find out how much co2 your plants are actually getting (what's your method of injection btw? diffuser? atomizer? reactor? chopstick :p) and dial in your co2. You can also remove the algae that is on the plants and do a larger water change and then do a three day blackout of your tank if you want to really get at it. In my 60p tank I run my lights at less than 50% intensity with a 1 hour ramp up and down and a 6 hour photoperiod with my co2 coming on 2 hours before peak and shutting off one hour before ramp down and am happy with the growth and am on top of the algae blooms. It’s only when I start limiting ferts or increasing light intensity do I start to see plant health issues arise. Good luck. Here’s my tank with the above lighting schedule and have no problem growing anything in there. My H’RA stays red and my foreground stays low and carpets the way it’s expected to...and this is my Chihiros WRGB2 at 40% intensity.

Best, el g


it View attachment 1026592

Good luck.
Thank you for the detailed reply! I didn’t really consider light intensity with this brown algae and thought the 6hr photoperiod would be good enough. I’ll take your recommendation and get a light dimmer. This is a quick pic I just grabbed of the tank. I spent around $200 in plants to start this boy up so definitely will try to add more when I can. One additional question is do you think I would need to increase flow? Currently using a canister rated for 150 g/hr on this 10 gallon.
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Thank you for the detailed reply! I didn’t really consider light intensity with this brown algae and thought the 6hr photoperiod would be good enough. I’ll take your recommendation and get a light dimmer. This is a quick pic I just grabbed of the tank. I spent around $200 in plants to start this boy up so definitely will try to add more when I can. One additional question is do you think I would need to increase flow? Currently using a canister rated for 150 g/hr on this 10 gallon.
I think your flow is sufficient. Best of luck and glad to help. Make sure you are providing sufficient co2 as well.
 
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