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Plants trouble again-what is wrong?

900 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  chad320
My water parameters are perfect. They were looking great....Now this brownish/reddish algae on everything and look at the leaves!

70g w/ 2 Emp 400 HOBs
50% water changes weekly
Temp at 79-80
lights on for 7 hrs/day ( 1-1.2 wpg) (have tried 6 hrs and splitting hrs)
Ferts daily, macro, micro, CMB and Excel

Guidance please.....and thank you


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Try CO2, might help a good deal, i didnt see you say you had CO2. Also what is your substrate? And when did you purchase the plants?
No C02 and should not need it with these plants and light. Substrate is eco-complete and planst have been in there about 5-6 months.
Your Plants

Hello SUN...

I'm far from a plant biologist, but I can tell you aquarium plants are tropical and used to long hours of daylight. I have my low to moderate light tank lights on timers, set for 12 hours on and 12 off. Feed sparingly, so you don't have algae problems.

Aquatic plants take weeks to get used to specific tank conditions, so they'll look poorly and even die back before you see new growth.

I have heavily stocked tanks, so the fish provide the macro nutrients and I just dose a liquid version of the trace elements weekly when I do my water changes.

I would review the lighting requirements of the plants you have and ensure you're providing enough. Low to moderate light plants naturally grow slowly and due to the level of light they need, you don't need to dose much in the way of ferts or CO2.

Large weekly water changes will provide a source for phosphastes, nitrates and sulfates and will maintain stable water conditions for the fish too.

If your plants haven't been in the water long, then you need to look into the information above and give the plants time.

Just a couple of thoughts from an old waterkeeper.

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Thank you.....I knocked the light hours back trying to get rid of the brown algae. Won't it get worse with more light?... or should I try additional water changes to fight it? I've never had algae like this before.
Algae Problem

Thank you.....I knocked the light hours back trying to get rid of the brown algae. Won't it get worse with more light?... or should I try additional water changes to fight it? I've never had algae like this before.
Hello again SUN...

Algae isn't a bad thing. It's a sign of a healthy tank and it's a good supplement to your fishes' diet. Until you get it under control, simply scrape it off the front of the tank, so you can see your fish.

Algae grows best in water with high phosphates dissolved in the water. Your plant food is high in phosphates and if you overfeed, then there's plenty for the algae.

Unless you have fry in the tank, your fish don't need to be fed more than a couple of times a week and just what they'll eat in a minute or two. If any food gets to the bottom of the tank, you've overfed. Start cutting back the amount you feed and the algae will start to grow slowly and you'll notice it shrinking.

I would suggest getting some Ramshorn snails from the pet store. They're the best algae eaters I've ever had and they'll clean up the tank in a few weeks. They're fast breeders, but they'll die back once the food runs out.

Large, weekly water changes of at least half the tank volume will remove extra nutrients and floating stem plants like Anacharis, Pennywort, Water sprite and Water wisteria will use up the dissolved food in the water.

Eventually, the algae will be eaten and shrink due to lack of food.

Keep pluggin', the algae will soon be under control.

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The crypt and lotus are heavy root feeders . Are you using root tabs? If not try some it might help you. Eco complete is a good substrate but everything ive read about it is its inert and will hold ferts well.
The tank is crystal clear. It's a brown algae on the plant leaves, stems and driftwood. Second picture background and last picture foreground plant. Yes I use Justins root tabs.
Try cutting back on your macro micro dosing just try your root tabs. The plants you have mainly feed by roots. Keep dosing the excell to clear up the algae.
I had a similar set up plant wise 14 g here's what I did.
1 ml macro once a week Monday
1 ml micro once a week Wednesday
Top off with fresh Sunday
50% wc every second week.
5 ml excell everyday only on algae out breaks till cleared up.
Root tabs all over adding new every 2 months.
1 ml per 10g correct? Also - I think the plants need more light but I've been afraid to extend the period due to the algae. Should I extend to 8 hours?
If its a new tank its diatoms. You could either wait it out or get some Ottos to eat it. The suggestions so far look good but yes, I would up your lightings photoperiod to normal.
It used to be a cichlid tank then I tore it down for a planted tank several years ago. Changed out substrate about 4-5 months ago and added all new plants. I've never had this brownish red hairy looking algae before. It's is new to me.
The Brown algae is diatoms and is common when you dispupt something big like the substrate. The red hairy algae is the results of your Excel dosing killing algae already present. Its usually BBA and is caused by fluctuations in your waters Co2 content. I would continue what your doing, have some patience, and add a few Ottos to help you to consume the diatoms and dead algae.
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