The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I know diatom and green algae are normal blooms during the cycling phase. My question is, how much algae is normal?

Full specs and info:

It's a 30 gallon tank
I'm currently 11 days into my cycle.
Using 4 liters of dry fertilizer and 12 liters of soil
Micro, macro and potassium liquid ferts.

48 watt full spectrum lights
Canister filter from a fully cycled tank with a 7 time turnover
CO2 at 4 bubbles per second, not sure about the mg/l but my drop checker is also bright green during lighting hours

Filter media used:

Seachem matrix
Bio balls
Active carbon
Fine and coarse sponges

Water change regime:
1st week 50% daily
2nd week 50% every 2 days
3rd week 50% every 3 days
4th weeks 50% every 4 days

I use RO water and use Seachem Equilibrium to bring the TDS back to 120 mg/l after every water change.

Stock:

I currently have about 15 cherry shrimp in the tank with 5 cardinals

1027948


I still have quite a bit of aponogeton crispus behind the wood to help soak up the ammonia.

The algae is mostly in my repens and moss, as well as hanging off the wood. This picture is taken the day after a water change where I tried to siphon out as much algae from the substrate as possible. Is it too much algae? Is it even diatom algae? Should I add more shrimp? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

If I left out any info let me know and I'll update it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Are you still in the cycling phase? What are your parameters currently (gh, ph, ammo, nitrite, nitrate)? Also- how old is the tank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's a brand new tank, at the 11th day of the nitrogen cycle. So the tank itself it also 11 days old.

For parameters:

NH3 between 0 and 0,25 mg/l
NO2 0
NO3 between 12,5 and 25 mg/l
KH 3
GH 5

I am not entirely sure about this though, the tank is only 11 days old but the readings seem to indicate that the tank already fully cycled... My tests are already pretty old so they might just be inaccurate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
I'd definitely invest in a new test kit if yours is old- usually there's an expiration date on them. If your tank is only 11 days old you're just beginning the cycling process. Hopefully the bb from the mature filter will feed the tank itself pretty quickly and you can move beyond the start up algae. I'd say go with your set water change and fert schedule until you're completely done. When I've used mature filters to cycle a tank I find it tends to take about 3 weeks or so to settle before I can really work on fine tuning ferts and lights. Every experience is different, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yeah the tests are probably expired, I'll ask if my LFS can test the water for now. If at all possible I want to avoid buying new tests, they are incredibly expensive here, about 35 to 40 dollars per test kit, and often hard to find. I know, it is weird but everyone in Bali seems to be of the opinion that you only need to test for TDS.

Hopefully the filter will help speed along the cycle but should I be worried about the amount of algae for now? I can always add a shrimp army with a few algae eating fish but if it's not because of the cycle I doubt that will help long term..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
That's rough. I believe you can order an electronic tester for only a little bit more and then you don't really have to think about it, I'm not sure how you feel about that. If you have an lfs that does testing then, yea, in your position I don't blame you. It'll be a little tougher to get a handle on things, but not impossible. Once your cycling process is done it will be much easier to work on tweaking ferts and lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
There's an electronic tester for Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates? Do you know what's it's called? I would be okay with that if it's a purchase that'll last me for years.

Well I keep reading that everywhere that you can just bring a sample to your LFS and they'll test it. I haven't tried it before so I hope they really do test it.

I'm running another 10 and 20 gallon that are both on the estimated index fert regime with (probably) overdosed ferts but both are algae free with strong healthy plants. So I should be fine after the cycle ends as long as I keep up with weekly 50% changes. I just need to get rid of the current algae.

You mentioned fine tuning lights, how do you mean that? Intensity, distance from the water surfaces or lighting periods? I calculated that my lights give about 40 lumen per liter with full spectrum lights. I see people talking about PAR as well but I don't understand that too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
If there is still a lot of algae in the substrate, cory catfish or odo catfish are very efficient and fas algae eaters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If there is still a lot of algae in the substrate, cory catfish or odo catfish are very efficient and fas algae eaters.
I thought corydoras weren't algae eaters? Oto I already have but they are quite sensitive to water parameters so I don't really want to put it in just yet.

I was thinking of a Siamese Algae eater as they're a bit more hardy than the oto but I don't have any experience with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I thought corydoras weren't algae eaters? Oto I already have but they are quite sensitive to water parameters so I don't really want to put it in just yet.

I was thinking of a Siamese Algae eater as they're a bit more hardy than the oto but I don't have any experience with them.
Yes, corydoras are algae eaters. The siamese algae eaters are pretty easy to keep since they will eat just about anything, if you want them keep them in large groups (5 or more) or keep just one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
If there is still a lot of algae in the substrate, cory catfish or odo catfish are very efficient and fas algae eaters.
They are not likely to touch this type of algae, plus cories aren't algae eaters they are scavengers/ omnivores. They will eat algae, but only if it is dead, they will not actively graze on live algae. They're the part of your clean up crew that help you get rid of those pesky food particles that find their way to the the hard to vacuum spots in your tank. Oto are really more suited for a well established tank. SAE do a pretty good job but they do kind of get big. Snails are pretty decent but I'm not sure if this is just diatom algae or of there's cyano, they won't touch cyano. I have no personal experience with shrimp as I haven't had the time until now to do my research and experiment with them but I've heard great things about amano shrimp. Honestly at this stage just getting your routines set and waiting out the initial blooms before tweaking or adding clean up crew will be much more efficient and less stressful... IMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
That's what my cories did too, mostly scavenging whatever was in the tank. They are great though, I mostly feed my fish frozen worm and sometimes have more than the fish need. I could just dump the rest in there and the cories will go to work cleaning it all up. My shrimp have now taken over that role too.

I do have nerite snails in my 20 gallon but I kind of regretted buying them. When I first bought them I didn't know that they don't reproduce in water. The hardscape and often also the glass is just filled with tiny white eggs..

Since I first started out with aquariums I've been going to the same store, they're definitely not big enough to be able to test my water but he does allow me to trade fish and plants. Getting SAE for the duration of algae is definitely an option for me. This 30 gallon tanks will definitely be too small for the SAE when I start to stock my tank.

Amano shrimp would great too, but it's difficult to find "true" Amano shrimp here. The one found in Bali are a lot smaller and don't do as good a job as the real ones. That's not to say they won't get the job done, I'd just need to get more of them.

Just to be sure though, this really is diatom algae right? When I look at pictures it doesn't really resemble what is in my tank, mine look more like brown thread algae if that is even thing. The one fear I do have is that it will block out the repens, they're already having a hard time adjusting. I want to take it out manually but it's gripped the plants and substrate quite strongly. I already pulled a few repens out of the soil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
If you want someone to get the algea then get guppies.
Once my tank was cycled the guppies ate all the algea on the wood and now there is no visible algea even though they never really are said to be algea eaters.
And guppies would go perfect with shrimp and tetras.
They are very hardy too.
They also have similar water paramete preference.
But if you want algea eating shrimp then amanos are good, just a caution though, they are aggressive eaters and so make sure that if you get amanos then the shrimp are getting enough food too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
That probably wasn't algae but fungus
If you want someone to get the algea then get guppies.
Once my tank was cycled the guppies ate all the algea on the wood and now there is no visible algea even though they never really are said to be algea eaters.
And guppies would go perfect with shrimp and tetras.
They are very hardy too.
They also have similar water paramete preference.
But if you want algea eating shrimp then amanos are good, just a caution though, they are aggressive eaters and so make sure that if you get amanos then the shrimp are getting enough food too.
I actually already have planned out what fish I want in the tank so adding guppies after the cycle doesn't really work. There's also a pretty strong flow in tank, i think the guppies might end being incredibly uncomfortable.

I have never seen a guppy eat any kind of algae to be honest... If it was only on the wood then it was probably fungus from the wood adjusting to water instead of algae.

I do really want some true Amano shrimp if I can find them for a reasonable price. There won't be any algae eating fish in the tank so the shrimp will probably have more than enough to eat.

My plan was

15 emperor tetras

1 bolivian ram

5 kuhli loach

And a shrimp army then of course
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I can actually vouche for the guppies eating algae thing lol, they eat everything.
Well, learned something new there. I do plan on getting a 50 gallok somewhere in the future and I wanted to put some guppies in there. Maybe I can forgo algae eaters then!

Can you still give me some peace of mind on the algae though? It really is diatom algae right? Wasn't entirely sure because it's getting a bit hairy/thread like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
That probably wasn't algae but fungus
I actually already have planned out what fish I want in the tank so adding guppies after the cycle doesn't really work. There's also a pretty strong flow in tank, i think the guppies might end being incredibly uncomfortable.

I have never seen a guppy eat any kind of algae to be honest... If it was only on the wood then it was probably fungus from the wood adjusting to water instead of algae.

I do really want some true Amano shrimp if I can find them for a reasonable price. There won't be any algae eating fish in the tank so the shrimp will probably have more than enough to eat.

My plan was

15 emperor tetras

1 bolivian ram

5 kuhli loach

And a shrimp army then of course
No, not just the wood. They slurped the algea up as if it was spaghetti.
I know it was not fungus as they ate the algea on the rocks and plants, even the filter.
But if you want amanos then go for it.
You are right, guppies prefer lighter flow.👍🏽
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Well, learned something new there. I do plan on getting a 50 gallok somewhere in the future and I wanted to put some guppies in there. Maybe I can forgo algae eaters then!

Can you still give me some peace of mind on the algae though? It really is diatom algae right? Wasn't entirely sure because it's getting a bit hairy/thread like.
I wouldn't rely on them as an algae eater, but they will definitely pick at it. A for your algae. I don't think it's strictly diatom. Could be thread algae, but the good news is SAE will eat it, it's not like staghorn, bba or gba where you have to go to battle for the long haul. Primary contributors to this type of algae is nitrate and phosphate, I believe- I'm not 100% so if there's someone that knows I hope they can chime in. it'll be hard without water testing. Oh- I'm not sure exactly what it's called but JBL puts out a digital test kit, that's the one I was referring to. I'm sure someone here knows the model number and specs. I don't personally use one, though, so I can't vouche for accuracy or anything. Just seems like something that might be worth it considering the lack of available kit's in your area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Alright so I just got back the results from my LFS.

1027996


I blocked out the prices for the test and my phone number, I don't think those are relevant..

However I get basically the same results as my own tests. How likely is it that my precycled filter has cycled the tank fully in less than 2 weeks? It seems strange to me.. The iron in my water is apparently also at 0 mg/l but I added micro ferts about an hour before taking this water.

What's happening here..?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Alright so I just got back the results from my LFS.

View attachment 1027996

I blocked out the prices for the test and my phone number, I don't think those are relevant..

However I get basically the same results as my own tests. How likely is it that my precycled filter has cycled the tank fully in less than 2 weeks? It seems strange to me.. The iron in my water is apparently also at 0 mg/l but I added micro ferts about an hour before taking this water.

What's happening here..?
As far as the cycling goes- it hasn't happened often with me, but I've had similar experiences. I'd say it only happened about 3 or 4 times. Normally it takes about a month unless I also use hardscape, a small amount of substrate and a few plants from very mature tanks, then it takes about a week and a half. From your test results you're very well cycled and your plants are definitely eating up ferts quick. I'd say at this time it's most likely the lack of appropriate nutrients and abundance of light being a potential driver of your algae bloom. But, hey- you quick cycled your tank in record time- that must've been one very mature and well working filter!!
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top