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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been battling with algae for a looooooong time, I've manage to keep the threaded algae under control with otocinclus, siamese alga eater and mollies but I'm still struggling with those algae that appear and sticks to old leaves, new leaves are flawless but old ones look horrendous totally covered by algae. The water (green water algae) is not that bad, was better when I had a chihiros but it died so I don't have it anymore, same from my UV filter.



Here is the videos and images of my tank


  • Size of tank 75 Gallons.
  • Runing for about 2 or 3 years.
  • Filtration: Fluval FX4 Canister (24 hours) + MarineLand Magnum (12 hours daily as polisher).
  • Lighting and duration.

2 Radion G4 for Planted tank
7:00 AM to 8:00 AM - Ramp from 0% to [(40% Blue + 10% Cool White) at 50%]
9:00 AM to 4:30 PM - (40% Blue + 24% Cool White + 24% Warm White +24% Green + 24% Red) at 60%
4:30 PM to 6:45 PM - Ramp down from (44% blue + 12% Cool White) at 50% to 28% blue at 30%
6:45 PM to 8:30 PM - 28% blue at 30%
8:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Ramp down from 28% blue at 30% to 0%

- Substrate.
Fluval Stratum at top + Black Volcanic Sand at bottom with Seachem Flourish Tabs

- Co2 dosing or Non-dosing.
Injected Co2 From 7 AM to 7:30 PM about 3 bps
Metricide 28 about 5ml (4 times a day)

- Fertilizers used + Ratios.
PPS Pro 2 ml macros daily
CSM+B 0.7 ml micros daily

- Water change regime and type.
5% to 15% about 5 times a week
40% 3 times a month

- Plant list + When planted.
3 years ago when initiated
1 Anubia Nana
4 Java Fern
3 or 4 Vallisneria Spirallis
Few CRYPTOCORYNE WILLISSII
1 ANUBIAS BARTERI
Some Rotalas and some other red plants, see pictures/video

10. Inhabitants.

About 30 little fishes including 3 siamese alga eater, 5 otocinclus
 

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Algae normally grows on the older leaves first, so that's what you would expect to see when there is an imbalance in the tank. There are 4 main things that are needed to be in balance in order to grow healthy plants, which in turn prevents algae growth. They are light (too much or too little), nutrients (too much or too little), co2 (too little), and tank maintenance. I don't know enough about your lights or fertilizers to know whether they are too much or too little.

The thing that jumps out to me based on the information you gave above is the co2. Bubbles per second is never a good way to measure co2. On very small tanks you might be able to get away with it, but on a big tank like yours, to get enough co2 it would be a constant stream of bubbles that would be impossible to count. You also don't know how much of that co2 is actually getting dissolved into the water to be used by the plants. So instead you should be measuring ph drop. When co2 is injected, it drops the ph of your water. By measuring the difference in ph between degassed water and the water a peak co2 injection, you can accurately determine how much co2 your plants are getting.

This is best done with a calibrated ph pen/probe, which I would highly recommend using. It can be done with a ph test kit, but it will not be as accurate. You want to first test the ph of your degassed tank water. So take a cup of water from your tank and then let it sit for 24-48 hours. This will allow all dissolved gasses (including co2) to exit the water. Measure the ph of this water. Then measure the ph of your tank water during the middle of your lighting period. You want at least a full point drop in ph, if not more. Most go into the 1.2-1.4 drop range. If you are under that, you need to tweak your co2. This will obviously involve turning up the co2. Often you will also find that you need to turn your co2 on an hour or two before your lights, and try to get to the full 1 point drop as the lights are coming on. It will take some time to get it right. Only make small changes each day, and then measure the ph several times throughout the lighting period to see how much drop you get. And pay close attention to your fish. If you see them all up at the top of the tank, then you know you've gone too far. You will also want to make sure you have good surface agitation using a powerhead or a good spray bar from your filter. Point them up to the top of the tank until you see a good ripple across the top. This will help get good gas exchange, which will allow more oxygen into the tank to help your fish.

I would also recommend reading through the information on this website: https://www.2hraquarist.com/ Dennis has a compiled a very good and comprehensive guide to planted tanks that everyone can learn something from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your explanation, specially regarding CO2, I'm gonna explain what I use to "measure" the CO2 in my tank.

I use one of those glasses that have liquid that when no CO2 turn blue and when have lots of CO2 turn yellow, visually they look almost yellow (lime green).

About the bps it it about 3 or 4 bubbles per second but I don't fill the bubble counter with water, I use glycerin instead so 1 bubble in glycerin is probably 3 or more bubles in water.

Now about water circulation, the Fluval FX4 is indented for tanks up to 200 gallons, mine is 75 so is way way overkill at least to my knowledge and also I have a Magnum polisher that runs in a contrary position so I think the water circulation is fine, at least in the GPH.

About putting the water stream pointing to the top, I tried it for increasing the gas exchange but if I do then the color of the pH reader gets greener (dark green) instead of getting (light green).

Thanks for the link you gave me, I'll read it for sure.
 

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Those are called drop checkers. And while they are essentially doing the same thing by measuring the ph drop, they are not very accurate. It also takes an hour or two for the co2 level inside the bubble to be what it was in the tank. So you are actually seeing the co2 levels of several hours before. I started out using a drop checker to measure co2 and could never seem to get my levels right. It always seemed to be lime green for me, but my plants struggled. When I started to measure ph directly, I found I was actually only getting a .6 drop or so. And then I was finally able to get my co2 dialed in and get the good plant growth and health I wanted. So I will always recommend measuring co2 this way.

As far as flow goes, do you have a spray bar? I would recommend it if you don't. It allows for slower flows spread out over a larger area. It mixes the water better, which spreads the co2 around better. It will also allow you get that ripple on the top of the water without agitating it so much that you lose co2, which I'm guessing is what is happening in your case. You don't want the water to break, just undulate. And your filter is not overkill. You generally want 10x your tank size in gph, so at 700 gph, that is about right. My 2 filters give me about 650gph, but I also run two small powerheads pointed at the surface to help with gas exchange.
 

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Ambient widow light is horrible for stability..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those are called drop checkers. And while they are essentially doing the same thing by measuring the ph drop, they are not very accurate. It also takes an hour or two for the co2 level inside the bubble to be what it was in the tank. So you are actually seeing the co2 levels of several hours before. I started out using a drop checker to measure co2 and could never seem to get my levels right. It always seemed to be lime green for me, but my plants struggled. When I started to measure ph directly, I found I was actually only getting a .6 drop or so. And then I was finally able to get my co2 dialed in and get the good plant growth and health I wanted. So I will always recommend measuring co2 this way.

As far as flow goes, do you have a spray bar? I would recommend it if you don't. It allows for slower flows spread out over a larger area. It mixes the water better, which spreads the co2 around better. It will also allow you get that ripple on the top of the water without agitating it so much that you lose co2, which I'm guessing is what is happening in your case. You don't want the water to break, just undulate. And your filter is not overkill. You generally want 10x your tank size in gph, so at 700 gph, that is about right. My 2 filters give me about 650gph, but I also run two small powerheads pointed at the surface to help with gas exchange.
Interesting advice about CO2, just one question, do you used the blue regent that need to be filled with your tank water or do you used the one that was already mixed?

About the spray bar, I think my canister does a good job circulating water, my FX4 is an upgrade from Fluval 306, the FX4 has dual output so you can manually choose 2 independent water flows.

I also just bought an skimmer so maybe that will help too.

When I said the FX4 was overkill I was trying to say was that the capacity for filtration media is a huge upgrade than my previous Fluval 306.

About my ferts this is what I'm using with the exception of micros, because they don't sell CSM+B anymore, new ones comes with EDTA or EDTA+DTPA, so I'm not sure if I should try to use EDTA or EDTA+DTPA instead of CSM+B.





Ambient widow light is horrible for stability..
It just receives light from the right, a little bit, but what I don't know if I'm doing good or bad is to try to get the same "illumination", in other words I'm not sure if when I'm trying to illuminate the tank to not look pale, I'm over illuminating it.
 

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Interesting advice about CO2, just one question, do you used the blue regent that need to be filled with your tank water or do you used the one that was already mixed?
I've used both types of reagents. I've also made my own based on information from this site. None of them worked effectively for me.
About my ferts this is what I'm using with the exception of micros, because they don't sell CSM+B anymore, new ones comes with EDTA or EDTA+DTPA, so I'm not sure if I should try to use EDTA or EDTA+DTPA instead of CSM+B.
As far as ferts go, unless your ph is consistely below 6.0 you will want to use DTPA. This is mainly for Iron as it is the one that needs a chelate the most. EDTA and DTPA are both types of chelates. They envelop the Iron and prevent it from interacting with other Ions in the water, like calcium. The reason this is necessary is that once iron comes into contact with calcium, it precipitates out of the solution making it unavailable to the plants. Plants are able to use it in it's chelated form though. EDTA starts to break down at a ph of 6.0, and by 6.5 half of the iron has precipitated out. DTPA is better at higher ph. It holds well until 7.0, but by 8.0 60% of the iron will have precipitated out. There is another chelate called EDDHA which holds until up to 9.0 ph, but it is not easy to come by. So if you have the choice, choose DTPA.

It just receives light from the right, a little bit, but what I don't know if I'm doing good or bad is to try to get the same "illumination", in other words I'm not sure if when I'm trying to illuminate the tank to not look pale, I'm over illuminating it.
Really, any natural light that directly hits the tank is not good. I would avoid any if at all possible. Even if it doesn't seem like a lot, natural light is much more powerful than artificial. You want to be able to control how much light the plants are getting, because when there is too much you start to see algae.
 

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+1 on everything @elusive77 said above.

Based on the pictures I would also focus on maintenance. I would get on a regular water change schedule. Those small water changes are not doing much, and that can lead to excess accumulation of organics. Better to perform large water changes at regular intervals. Also helps with keeping parameters stable.

Also focus on gravel vacs, filter cleanings, and removal of any dead/decaying plant matter. An uber clean tank is your friend.

Saying your dose PPS Pro 2 ml macros and CSM+B 0.7 ml micros daily means nothing to most people. Try to start thinking in terms of ppm of each fert you are dosing.

You have a mix of slow growing low light plants that need little in nutrients and a few faster growing stems that would prefer higher light and more nutrients. They can be difficult to keep together. You want to figure out what you want out of this tank. Do you want to grow more fast growing flowery stems? Or do you want to keep it simple with low light plants?

And like mentioned above 3 bps is almost nothing in a tank that size. It should be a steady stream too many bubbles to possibly count.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've used both types of reagents. I've also made my own based on information from this site. None of them worked effectively for me.
Good to know, so I followed your advice, I started to add more CO2, I don't have a pH system to measure it but I'll try to get one to test the real CO2 in my tank.

As far as ferts go, unless your ph is consistely below 6.0 you will want to use DTPA. This is mainly for Iron as it is the one that needs a chelate the most. EDTA and DTPA are both types of chelates. They envelop the Iron and prevent it from interacting with other Ions in the water, like calcium. The reason this is necessary is that once iron comes into contact with calcium, it precipitates out of the solution making it unavailable to the plants. Plants are able to use it in it's chelated form though. EDTA starts to break down at a ph of 6.0, and by 6.5 half of the iron has precipitated out. DTPA is better at higher ph. It holds well until 7.0, but by 8.0 60% of the iron will have precipitated out. There is another chelate called EDDHA which holds until up to 9.0 ph, but it is not easy to come by. So if you have the choice, choose DTPA.
GreenLeafAquariums only sells EDTA+DTPA so I guess that's the one I need to use.


Really, any natural light that directly hits the tank is not good. I would avoid any if at all possible. Even if it doesn't seem like a lot, natural light is much more powerful than artificial. You want to be able to control how much light the plants are getting, because when there is too much you start to see algae.
Is under control (mostly), it only receives a tiny little bit (20 minutes a day tops) and only does on sunny mornings and also only on a tiny little part at the bottom right side of the tank.


+1 on everything @elusive77 said above.

Based on the pictures I would also focus on maintenance. I would get on a regular water change schedule. Those small water changes are not doing much, and that can lead to excess accumulation of organics. Better to perform large water changes at regular intervals. Also helps with keeping parameters stable.

Also focus on gravel vacs, filter cleanings, and removal of any dead/decaying plant matter. An uber clean tank is your friend.
I know, that's why I do a 30% - 50% water change with substrate cleanup on Sundays beside the 5% - 15% that I do on almost every day.

The small water change that I do daily is to keep the same water volume and to remove top layer of oil and also to keep the same water level instead of adding RODI to keep the same water levels.

Saying your dose PPS Pro 2 ml macros and CSM+B 0.7 ml micros daily means nothing to most people. Try to start thinking in terms of ppm of each fert you are dosing.
According to GreenLeafAquariums website I'm adding this with 2ml:

0.20ppm NO3
0.020ppm P04
0.266ppm K
0.020ppm Mg

Duno about the trace elements because they don't sell CSM+B anymore.


You have a mix of slow growing low light plants that need little in nutrients and a few faster growing stems that would prefer higher light and more nutrients. They can be difficult to keep together. You want to figure out what you want out of this tank. Do you want to grow more fast growing flowery stems? Or do you want to keep it simple with low light plants?
Well, actually I really want something like from the tank at the left side that this guy has on the video

And like mentioned above 3 bps is almost nothing in a tank that size. It should be a steady stream too many bubbles to possibly count.
Yes I know, that's why I'm using glycerin instead of water, but as elusive77 suggestion, I'm starting to add more CO2 gradually.



I forgott to say that I also dose at midnight glutaraldehyde, micros and macros because I can't do it before the lights turns on, so I don't know if this precipitates some elements before the plants can use it, I was doing this at midday before but a few weeks ago I started doing this at midnight (that's the only time I can do it before the lights are on).

About CO2 injection, yes, I start the injection 1 our before the lights go little dim, with the ramp up so the lights start to ramp up at 7 AM with the CO2, so I have 1 our of slow ramp up, then a more pronounced ramp up after 8 AM.

Here's the schedule of my radions.

Rectangle Slope Parallel Font Symmetry
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After almost a week of increasing the CO2, the Anubias and Cryptocorine are finally getting off the algae, the red plants and the Moneyworth still have algae on old leaves, so do you think I should still add more CO2 or those plants are lacking of something else?

By the way I added more glutaraldehyde as well and also more micros and macros.
 

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years ago, i went on vacation for 7 days. had lots of algae all over my tank , walls, plants, ornaments, etc. when i came back it was SO perfect, no algae. I asked my roommate what he did to it? did he add algaecide? he said "i know NOTHING about caring for fish, but you were SO adamant that i feed a tiny amount or only every other day, & so ADAMENT that i turn the lights off each night, well I barely fed them & only maybe twice, and I might have turned the light on once for a few hours" ....... all i had to do was leave, problems solved. I must have used too much light & too much food!
 

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After almost a week of increasing the CO2, the Anubias and Cryptocorine are finally getting off the algae, the red plants and the Moneyworth still have algae on old leaves, so do you think I should still add more CO2 or those plants are lacking of something else?

By the way I added more glutaraldehyde as well and also more micros and macros.
It sounds like turning it up helped but you probably still need more. You really need to test for it, or you'll never know for sure how much you're getting. Even if you just use the API ph test kit, that will give you a general idea.

And I wouldnt go adding more ferts just yet. Get the CO2 nailed down first. It's always a good idea to only change one thing at a time. Otherwise if the tank starts looking better (or worse) you won't know which thing you changed caused it.

Take some time while you're dialing in the CO2 to come up with a good plan for ferts. Again I suggest using the site I linked above to learn as much about fertilizers and the different methods for using them. Then pick one and go with it. If you have questions, ask and we'll help as much as we can.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
years ago, i went on vacation for 7 days. had lots of algae all over my tank , walls, plants, ornaments, etc. when i came back it was SO perfect, no algae. I asked my roommate what he did to it? did he add algaecide? he said "i know NOTHING about caring for fish, but you were SO adamant that i feed a tiny amount or only every other day, & so ADAMENT that i turn the lights off each night, well I barely fed them & only maybe twice, and I might have turned the light on once for a few hours" ....... all i had to do was leave, problems solved. I must have used too much light & too much food!
Yes, after all this years I have done lots of crazy things, for example a few months ago, one of my Radions died so I only had 1 light for about 1 month, yes from that side of the tank the plants were not getting much algae but the red plants were struggling to get good colors.

I also stopped dosing for months which had a pretty much low algae and clear water but the red plants looked so crap.

So maybe it worked for your tank but I don't think that's gonna work on tank.

It sounds like turning it up helped but you probably still need more. You really need to test for it, or you'll never know for sure how much you're getting. Even if you just use the API ph test kit, that will give you a general idea.

And I wouldnt go adding more ferts just yet. Get the CO2 nailed down first. It's always a good idea to only change one thing at a time. Otherwise if the tank starts looking better (or worse) you won't know which thing you changed caused it.

Take some time while you're dialing in the CO2 to come up with a good plan for ferts. Again I suggest using the site I linked above to learn as much about fertilizers and the different methods for using them. Then pick one and go with it. If you have questions, ask and we'll help as much as we can.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
Yes I've been reading the like you gave me, I'm still reading it, first I got into the algae section, but I'll start reading the ferts section as your suggestion.

What pH should I measure/have?
 

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Yes I've been reading the like you gave me, I'm still reading it, first I got into the algae section, but I'll start reading the ferts section as your suggestion.

What pH should I measure/have?
That's good. You can learn a lot of from there. The ph measurement I'm talking about is the one to help determine co2 levels. It's the testing process I explained in my first post........ test your degassed water, and then test your tank water at the peak of your lighting period. We don't care so much what the ph itself is, but he difference between those two measurements. It's the most accurate way to determine how much co2 is getting into your tank. And that's a critical thing to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi, a little update, I don't have a pH probe yet but I've been adding more CO2 and glutaraldehyde, so the weird thing is that at first (a few weeks ago) the GSA on anubias were receding, but now they are getting covered again with GSA, I haven't change pretty much nothing, I just added seachem purigen to my canister and changed the activated carbon, the lights are about the same (just a tiny little bit more red), the only thing that changed was that the Micros and the Glutaraldehyde are now dosed with dosing pumps so instead of dumping 4 ml at midnight or macros, now I dump them from 5 AM to 6 PM in small amounts every 30 minutes, same for glutaraldehyde, 14 ml dumped from 5AM to 6PM every 30 minutes.

The rest is the same, same lights (a tiny bit more red) and micro doses instead of one or two big dosing for macros and glutaraldehyde.

I've been increasing the CO2, now the color is almost yellow, I'm not sure if I still have to add more co2.

So my only suspect is the seachem purigen but what else do you think is bringing back the GSA?
 

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It could be the way you changed the application of the glutaraldehyde, since it is degraded by light. I'm assuming it is being added during your light cycle. The amounts that you are adding every 30 minutes could be broken down almost as rapidly as it enters that tank. If so, you would never reach a usefull level of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It could be the way you changed the application of the glutaraldehyde, since it is degraded by light. I'm assuming it is being added during your light cycle. The amounts that you are adding every 30 minutes could be broken down almost as rapidly as it enters that tank. If so, you would never reach a usefull level of it.
Before I automated the dosing, I was adding the glutaraldehyde twice a day about 7 ml (each dose) from a closed container that doesn't receives sun light and I got basically the same results.

Do you suggest using less doses but with more glutaraldehyde, for example instead of dosing 0.40 ml every 30 minutes, should I dose 4 or 5 ml 3 times a day?
 

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Before I automated the dosing, I was adding the glutaraldehyde twice a day about 7 ml (each dose) from a closed container that doesn't receives sun light and I got basically the same results.
I don't mean to imply your source had degraded, but that the light in the tank is breaking it down. The exact rate of it happening I couldn't guess, but if the same amount previously worked and now it doesn't, it may indicate that it is breaking down at a rate nearly that which you are adding it.

Do you suggest using less doses but with more glutaraldehyde, for example instead of dosing 0.40 ml every 30 minutes, should I dose 4 or 5 ml 3 times a day?
My experience with it was adding it all at once. I usually added it late in the afternoon when I got home from work, so it was only exposed to light during the last couple of hours of the light cycle. I can't remember exactly the ratio I was adding it, but according to others here on the forum it was a very high dosage. I gradually over the course of weeks increased the daily dosage until I had it "dialed in" for my situation. I had no issues with any of my plants or fish at the levels I was dosing, but you may have different results at higher dosages. I'd have to go back and look at some of my old posts, but I want to say I was using it at 1ml/gallon in my 75g planted tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't mean to imply your source had degraded, but that the light in the tank is breaking it down. The exact rate of it happening I couldn't guess, but if the same amount previously worked and now it doesn't, it may indicate that it is breaking down at a rate nearly that which you are adding it.


My experience with it was adding it all at once. I usually added it late in the afternoon when I got home from work, so it was only exposed to light during the last couple of hours of the light cycle. I can't remember exactly the ratio I was adding it, but according to others here on the forum it was a very high dosage. I gradually over the course of weeks increased the daily dosage until I had it "dialed in" for my situation. I had no issues with any of my plants or fish at the levels I was dosing, but you may have different results at higher dosages. I'd have to go back and look at some of my old posts, but I want to say I was using it at 1ml/gallon in my 75g planted tank.
Maybe I'm not adding too much, according to my calculations I'm dosing 14ml of Metricide 28 daily for my 75g tank.

Maybe that's the problem, probably I'm dosing just too low?
 

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Maybe I'm not adding too much, according to my calculations I'm dosing 14ml of Metricide 28 daily for my 75g tank.

Maybe that's the problem, probably I'm dosing just too low?
It's possible that increasing the dosage could help, but you may want to research the Metricide 28 vs 14 before you do any additional dosing. I don't have personal experience with the 28, but it's been cautioned against using in our tanks because of the added surfactants.
 
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