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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank: 125 gallon standard
Substrate: flourite black, pfs, pebble mixture
Flora: java fern, cabomba x2 types, cyperus helfiri, hygrophilla difformis, anubias x2 types (Nana, marble), marsilea spp. And x2 marimo moss balls.
Fauna: 1 pearl gourami, tons of guppies, mollies, and platties, x9 neon tetra, x4 corydoras, x1 whiptail catfish, and countless ramshorns and pond snails.
Filter: fluval fx5 with filter floss, lava rock, bio max, and brown bio balls(technically a hydroponics substrate).
Lights: x4 32w 4ft t8 bulbs and x2 40w 4ft t12 bulbs approx. 1 to 2 inches from top of water and approx. 20 to 24 inches from substrate (to lazy to get up and measure right now).
Photoperiod is about 10hrs per day.
Anubias and java fern is attached to a few pieces of driftwood. Two pieces of slate are propped on one end, and extra lava rock pieces are scattered about. No ferts, no co2.

Technical jargon over... Now for the issue.

I have two types of algae growing in my tank and cannot identify either. I have been fighting them for a while now, but have only managed to keep it at bay. Lately I have been unable to fight the good fight, but have noticed that the algae has stopped spreading. So today I take out my handy dandy bottle of h2o2 and start direct application to the algae, hoping maybe I can end this fight for good. So the stuff on the substrate reacts like crazy, bubbling and foaming and dying almost instantly. I jump for joy, then start application of h2o2 to the algae on the driftwood and lava rocks. This stuff reacts very little, if at all, and I hypothesize that the little bit that does react is because the other type of algae is mixed in. As I said, I can't seem to identify either type, and now I'm not sure how to get rid of the stuff on the driftwood. Pics are attached of the algae, any tips or identification is welcome.

Substrate algae


Lava rock algae


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I haven't done a low tank in a long while. But I think you got too much light and too long of photo period. With the much light and duration, you'll need co2 and fert.

With low tech, 4x t8 should be more than adequate and 8 hours of photo period. Even that, still think you got too much light for no fert. I would recommend looking into dry macro fert.

You might want to go over the low tech forum and ask how maintenance almost algae free tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What I have is considered low light because of the email amount of light that reaches the substrate. I don't think it's light causing the algae because the algae stopped growing, it just maintains itself at its current size. I think it's excess nutrients.

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What I have is considered low light because of the email amount of light that reaches the substrate. I don't think it's light causing the algae because the algae stopped growing, it just maintains itself at its current size. I think it's excess nutrients.

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I think your light is little high for low tech ( Co2). Also the light period is long.
 

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What I have is considered low light because of the email amount of light that reaches the substrate. I don't think it's light causing the algae because the algae stopped growing, it just maintains itself at its current size. I think it's excess nutrients.

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Excess nutrients doesn't cause algae. If it does then everyone using Estimate index (EI) dosing would have algae in their tanks. And a lot of us uses EI as our method of fert dosing.

The causes of algae come from light, co2, flow, low nutrients, and lack of maintenance but not excess in nutrients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Excess nutrients doesn't cause algae. If it does then everyone using Estimate index (EI) dosing would have algae in their tanks. And a lot of us uses EI as our method of fert dosing.

The causes of algae come from light, co2, flow, low nutrients, and lack of maintenance but not excess in nutrients.
I really don't think I have too much light. At approx. 2 wpg out of two four foot fixtures on a six foot tank with at least two feet between the lights and the substrate. My 4 t8 bulbs are 6500k and my 2 t12 bulbs are 4300k. I might just barely make the minimum for medium light.

There was a (large) diy co2 system in place that made no difference at all in plant or algae growth. It has since been removed.

I use a fluval fx5 with diy dual output. Both are approx 3 to 4 inches under the water line. One spray bar, one is just open to relieve pressure from the spray bar. I estimate around 350-400 gph through the system. Considering the fluval is sold as 600 gph, I'd say that's pretty good.

That leaves low nutrients and lack of maintenance. I do water changes when my nitrate test starts reading above a 10. Maybe once per month at about 30%. So I guess low nutrients is the problem? The algae only grows on the substrate, lava rocks, and driftwood... I get an occasional clump on my spray bar of the stuff that grows on the driftwood. All of my "nutrients" are in my substrate, which would explain the low growing algae. But that does not demonstrate a lack of nutrients, only a lack of nutrient uptake.

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I really don't think I have too much light. At approx. 2 wpg out of two four foot fixtures on a six foot tank with at least two feet between the lights and the substrate. My 4 t8 bulbs are 6500k and my 2 t12 bulbs are 4300k. I might just barely make the minimum for medium light.

Have you read these threads about the lighting?
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=184368&highlight=
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=105774&highlight=

IME, one of the cause for the green spot algae on your gravel is too much light. The WPG is outdated since we have much more efficient lights and reflectors. For example, my 180g tank I have only have 160watts of light which is less than 1 WPG but I actually have medium light.

There was a (large) diy co2 system in place that made no difference at all in plant or algae growth. It has since been removed.

Giving your tank co2 without dosing fert wouldn't help your plant growth at all. You're not giving them proper nutrients for plant growth.

Good thread to read about fert:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=21944

I use a fluval fx5 with diy dual output. Both are approx 3 to 4 inches under the water line. One spray bar, one is just open to relieve pressure from the spray bar. I estimate around 350-400 gph through the system. Considering the fluval is sold as 600 gph, I'd say that's pretty good.

Your flow is ok. Not that great. Flow is not necessarily mean filter. IME, I tried to target 10x + turnover for good co2 and nutrient distribution. Some people here have good luck with less. My experience more is better. You want ALL plants in your aquarium to sway.

That leaves low nutrients and lack of maintenance. I do water changes when my nitrate test starts reading above a 10. Maybe once per month at about 30%. So I guess low nutrients is the problem? The algae only grows on the substrate, lava rocks, and driftwood... I get an occasional clump on my spray bar of the stuff that grows on the driftwood. All of my "nutrients" are in my substrate, which would explain the low growing algae. But that does not demonstrate a lack of nutrients, only a lack of nutrient uptake.

Your substrate is gravel which is inert and doesn't carries any nutrients. I think you're talking about the mums that is building up in the your substrate. Your plants do use the mums as nutrients.

Honestly, you want to nitrate to be 5 or less. Ideally zero.

If algae only grow on your substrate, lava rocks, and driftwood, then you have low flow in these areas.
 
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