The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi

So my new 200 litre tank was going fine these last 4-5 months, but these last couple of weeks I'm getting terrible growth, all types of algae. I feel like giving up with the plants :( Please read on and I hope someone can assist me.

I'm not a professional or anything but from what I have learnt they say CO2 CO2 CO2 to almost any algae crisis, and algae shouldn't be a issue to much. Its been a struggle to grow my carpeting plants as it is, and now there all ruined thanks to some brown dust, could be diatoms.

So here are some descriptions of the new algae I have been facing, brown dust, green dust, it was already annoying doing a w/c every week scrubbing green spot algae of the glass, I try to keep it real clean, and now not only is there more of that, I'm getting green dusty smudgy stuff, brown smudgy stuff, I had an outbreak of BBA on mostly my bog wood, I boiled and bleached my wood so that's that fixed for now. I also have green spot algae on old leafs, and some of my plants seemed to be yellowing, and getting large holes in the leafs.

The only thing I changed recently was I upped my co2 to try and get even more faster growth rates, but now it seems its all gone down hill, so not sure if its fluctuating, I don't think it is, but its so hard to count the bubbles, its at about 2.6bps.

Next I looked up plant deficiencies, straight away Phosphate deficiency stood out, and for the pin holes I upped the potassium. I have not seen any improvement, and on all diagrams on the internet, it does not mention green dust and brown dust, or diatoms, so I'm not sure what to change or add to fix this to help recover my plants, so I presume this is another problem rather than a deficiency.

I have upped my dosing on all nutrients, but now all my plants are effected with brown leafs, its taking over :(

The main algae is the brown leafs ^^, so how can I fix this? I'm thinking of taking all my carpeting plants out, as I got low light anyway and growth was never amazing, so its always been a struggle to get them thriving. I'm thinking of going down my lfs and purchase lots of fast growing stem plants instead. I don't know what to do no more, its so hard, especially when you have to choose low light plants =\

What's happening to my tank :O ? ? !

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hey isu712,

Here are my water parameters, I also just realized this question might of been better in the algae thread, but hopefully you or someone can find the problem.

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 40ppm
PH 7.4
TDS 476
KH 12
GH 21

So everything there from my personal experience is fine, Nitrate for me has always been a issue, that's why I leave potassium nitrate out of my dosing, and use potassium sulphate for my potassium.

PH is about 8 from tap, so 7.4 from CO2.

KH and GH, is off the charts lol, can only presume from research I did when I got my new tank that its from my Eco Complete, + I live in a hard water area already, which is annoying as I would like to breed fish.... but this algae issue has only occurred recently so I don't think its due to that, but I'm no expert.

I have also took some pictures of the bad growth, so hope that helps someone diagnose the problem / algae:

close up 1.jpg
Close up 1.1.jpg
Close up 2.jpg
close up 3.jpg
Close up 4.jpg
Close up 5.jpg
Close up 6.jpg


It looks so bad :O all these plants where green and healthy about a month ago, I was trimming weekly, and now the whole tank seems to off crashed.

Hope this info helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
Have you checked to see if CO2 tank is near empty? any leak's?
I am not at all expierienced with CO2 injection but..I might dial back the lighting for now, which would place less demand from plant's for CO2/nutrient supply until you can figure out the problem.
Is the light that drives demand for everything else in planted tank.
Might send PM to Plant Brain who is member here and well versed on CO2 and it's application.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hey roadmaster thanks for the reply,

My lighting unit cant be raised, and if anything, I think my lighting is on the low scale which is annoying as I have to gamble with most plants and just see which one's work well... , It's took me months just to get my stauro repens to grow and spread, and now there all nearly destroyed, I don't think many people would even tempt carpeting plants in a Fluval roma tank and from I've read they soon upgraded there lights, I have 2x t8 bulbs, 30 watt each If I remember correctly.

Thanks hopefully Tom can help, as he has helped me in the past with some of my issues and questions... It's strange everything has been fine, and funny enough I purchased a new co2 fire extinguisher as the last one was running low, this time I said to my self, I'm going to crank my co2 up even more to see if it speeds up my growth rates, as like mentioned the carpeting plants were going slow, but doing well.

I'm not sure if my regulator cant handle the faster bps, and if its become unstable, but it seems to be stable around the 2.6bps.... I'm starting to think maybe its just the nano diffusers, sometimes they get blocked, then I bleach it clean, it works wonders, but its never a fine mist so maybe that's where it fluctuates. I've also changed the flow around the tank to try and help.

Some of the plants are still putting out healthy growth, it seems to be the old growth that's getting overwhelmed. I've also upped my EI dosing, which I premix to a 500ml bottle, I was dosing 28ml fine on my tank, I've now put it right back up to 40ml, and dosing 3/4 of potassium where it was 2/4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Very quick question, in the past months, did you happen to crank up the temperature of the tank by any chance? I had the same problem before but i figured that because i once had the temp at 84-86 to cure an angel fish. The sudden change in temp made my plants look bad immediately but back to that day, my system was not that stable anyway so one change effected the whole thing. It went down hill since then, i did not try to fix it but rescaped the entire tank. By the way, have you tried to remove the bad leaves/ tip off the new growth and replant those, as well as removing the old weaks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,934 Posts
Tell me exactly which bulbs and how far are they from the sub.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
OP say's bulb's are two 30 watt T8's (maybe 32 watt's).?
I doubt the lighting is the problem unless light's are on longer than ten hour's per day.
Nor do I believe spectrum has much to do with anything.
I have 10,000 K,6700 K,8000K,6000K, bulb's over my tank's and plant's all perform well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hey

I have not changed the temperature at all, and regarding removing the infected growth I have not, this algae outbreak has took over my tank in just a few weeks. My normal routine is to do a 50% wc each Sunday, I clean filters, glass the best I can, and maybe take some cuttings and replant. I also then examine as many leafs as I can and remove any with algae or that don't look as healthy, the only algae I ever use to have was green spot algae on glass, and some leafs occasionally got green spot as-well, so I would remove these, and sometimes a green algae would grow on tips of leafs, a bit like BBA, but a green version.

But now my whole tank is infected, and its spreading more each day, I get all weird green and brown types of algae on my glass, which are quite smudgy, and now my plants are dusted in this brown diatom stuff.

Bulbs:
One Power-Glo Fluorescent Aquarium Tube 30W 91.44cm (36in) T8
One Aqua-Glo Fluorescent Aquarium Tube 30W 91.44cm (36in) T8

15 inches from substrate give or take.

I'm around the lowest mark on lighting so surely my tank shouldn't be in high demand for c02/nutrients? If anything more room for error?

Lights are on at 11 till 8, CO2 9 till 8.

Filters are 2x Fluval U4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
Hey roadmaster thanks for the reply,

My lighting unit cant be raised, and if anything, I think my lighting is on the low scale which is annoying as I have to gamble with most plants and just see which one's work well... , It's took me months just to get my stauro repens to grow and spread, and now there all nearly destroyed, I don't think many people would even tempt carpeting plants in a Fluval roma tank and from I've read they soon upgraded there lights, I have 2x t8 bulbs, 30 watt each If I remember correctly.

Thanks hopefully Tom can help, as he has helped me in the past with some of my issues and questions... It's strange everything has been fine, and funny enough I purchased a new co2 fire extinguisher as the last one was running low, this time I said to my self, I'm going to crank my co2 up even more to see if it speeds up my growth rates, as like mentioned the carpeting plants were going slow, but doing well.

I'm not sure if my regulator cant handle the faster bps, and if its become unstable, but it seems to be stable around the 2.6bps.... I'm starting to think maybe its just the nano diffusers, sometimes they get blocked, then I bleach it clean, it works wonders, but its never a fine mist so maybe that's where it fluctuates. I've also changed the flow around the tank to try and help.

Some of the plants are still putting out healthy growth, it seems to be the old growth that's getting overwhelmed. I've also upped my EI dosing, which I premix to a 500ml bottle, I was dosing 28ml fine on my tank, I've now put it right back up to 40ml, and dosing 3/4 of potassium where it was 2/4.
Yes,,regulator issues,diffuser's,could be or (likely),, contributing to poor CO2 dispersion.Flow too can become an issue, so I might take to cleaning filter at more frequent interval's. (diffuser's too).
Would remove old growth leaves that are looking bad so nutrient's are not wasted on trying to repair them.
I would give this dosing a try for a while(few week's) for 200litre tank.
1/2 tsp KNO3
1/4 tspKH2PO4
1tsp MGSO4 or epsom salt Three times a week, With trace mineral's CSM+B on the alternate day's.
You would still be getting pottasium from the first two macro's and at rate more than plant's will need = no deficiencies.
This will also eliminate everything but the CO2 from contributing to problem with current lighting taken into consideration.
Would perform weekly water changes of 50% and redose as above.
Am thinking that sudden downturn that you mention is largely CO2 related given that plant's were performing well until just recent. As mentioned,check for leaks at all fitting's with dishsoap solution in small squirt bottle.
clean diffuser's,filter more regular.
May need to upgrade to better regulator??
Just running what I would do up the flagpole for your consideration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,609 Posts
CO2 and add more water changes(2x a week or more even) till things clear up, get all the organic fluff and such, clean the filters more often etc.

Focus on CO2, adjust SLOWLY up. Watch carefully, the fish, the behavior etc and also the new growth tips of the plants. Till you get new growth occurring, you will never beat the algae.

This is more about the plants, less about the algae.
If you focus on the plants and grow them well, then you do not get or have algae issues.

EI rules out Ferts, so that leaves light and CO2. Light does not seem that strong. So CO2..........just adjust slow and watch, do not adjust a lot and then leave for work all day etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hey thanks for the replies everyone,

Yesterday I removed all the infected leafs, I've got my 50% w/c day tomorrow, so will do all my normal routine, I will also most likely clean filters again around mid week, and maybe do a 25% w/c as-well, if that will help things as mentioned by plantbrain, I presume this it to remove even more organic waste from the aquarium?

I will also keep a close eye on things and make sure to keep up on removing any debris etc, and most importantly concentrate on getting my plants growing rather then focusing on the algae issues, its annoying as I'm pretty sure everyone wants there plants to grow but when algae starts to appear, you can forgot about that, and then you focus on the algae lol. I know its always repeated on here that people say focus on the plant growth and co2 etc, but sometimes its quite hard, especially when your not very knowledgeable and experienced, but everything I have learnt has come from this site and Google, sometimes you need to be reminded lol :D so thank you.

Like I said all I have done recently was to adjust the CO2, so this has kind of taken over my tank all of a sudden which I didn't expect, there are also a couple of things I'm considering on trying which might help that bit more and that's to buy some some root tabs just to give my substrate some extra nutrients and to give a extra boost to some of my root feeders.

I also remove lots of water lettuce weekly, but I think I will let them multiple even more like I use to, the more healthy plants I can get growing hopefully the algae won't grow as quick and hopefully I can beat it, which also makes me think It might be a good idea if I go out and buy some more fast growing stem plants.

I'm not sure what I can do to save my stauro repens, most of the plants are covered in the brown stuff, I did rub quite a lot of with my thumb yesterday but I cant cut the leafs, as there would be hardly any plant, I will try and get some more flow around them, and see what happens?

I also remember doing a large trim on both of my echinodorus plants which were the largest plants in the tank, so maybe this has made room for the algae to start appearing? as they were two of my fast growers compared to some of my other plants.

Another question as-well to people who use nano diffusers, or anyone with experience, surely if the diffuser is releasing loads of tiny bubbles and some as tiny as a stream of mist, surely the co2 must fluctuate a little bit? as when I watch my diffuser its obvious each bubble is not the same size, surely there sizes vary through the day?

Some bubbles from the diffuser are so tiny, you can hardly see them, it literally is a fine mist, where as other bubbles are quite large, and other small etc....

I guess I need a diffuser like the GLA one:

But I think they cost a lot of money, + I'm from UK. I do use a Rhinox 5000 though which many people here do use:

Sorry for the essay, and also my substrate is Eco Complete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,934 Posts
Can you clarify something. Can you describe how you clean your filter(s)including how often ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Hey Raymond S.

I have 2x Fluval u4 filters, I just open the tops, remove the sponges, give them a soft rinse in a bucket of water I've already removed from the tank, I then put them back in, I leave all the biomax alone, as I don't want to kill all my beneficial bacteria. Maybe once a month I check on the biomax chamber and if its covered in dirt, I give the chamber a shake in the bucket.

I clean both my u4 sponges each week on Sunday, and tbh there not that bad.

I would prefer a external filter but I'm not the owner of the house, and leaks etc are a worry, even though its unheard off lol, it would help as I could then have inline co2.

Hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,934 Posts
Yes and from your answer I know that you know why I asked. That one wasn't about the algae. I was thinking about when you said your luck/w fish was not so good.
This time(the first was in the 60's) when I started back into tanks I had one ten G tank/w a cardboard box on top housing a CFL bulb for a light. Had broken shale for a sub/w tan detrius filling in between. Grew great native(guppy grass)plants. Had green spot algae on the rocks but not much other algae. Everything was fine untill I bought regular fine gravel and put two flourescent strip lights on it. It's taken me the following 2.5 years to learn how to control it but I only started using this forum for info for a year now. Learning to handle the causes of it works slower but in the long it works much better. I now (due to lease limits) have two ten G tanks...one/w two T8 bulbs on it and one/w two T5 bulbs on it and very little algae that I didn't grow intentionally.
The one/w the T5 has Excel daily/ferts weekly but the other has no Excel and very light ferts. Getting info from here will make that learning process much shorter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Raymond

I just want to give a update on my situation, and I'm hoping someone can help me out or advise me on what to do next.

So today I did a re-count on my CO2, and to my surprise my CO2 was running at 3bps :confused: so I now know its somehow changed from the 2.6 I had it at, therefor I now know my regulator needle valve can not handle the pressure around 2.6 +.....

Before I had algae problems my co2 was at 1.8bps and I know it stayed stable there, and like I said I upped it to try get faster growths, anyway as of now I've turned it all the way to 1.5 and it's staying nice and stable but will keep an eye on it.

So what should people look out for when they adjust CO2, whether it be up or down, should it be done slowly toward your goal? or can you turn it up or down as much as you want, obviously people want to achieve 30ppm but should this be done slowly or what?

Also as Raymond pointed out in one of his tanks he doses Excel which when I hear about Excel its normally for low tech tanks to provide the co2... or to treat BBA etc, and in his other small tank no CO2 but light ferts...... So when should you use CO2?

Which leads me to this if you didn't already notice lol....I've set my CO2 to 1.5bps and not back to 1.8bps, I said to my self.... my plants are low light/demanding? so why should I aim for 2.6bps and add all the extra CO2, I guess I can only put it up so much before the algae benefits all the excess as the plants can't grow as fast and why would they take up all the co2, if there low demanding? in my case.

I also do use a drop checker so will keep an eye out tomorrow to see if it stays lime green throughout, I would also guess my co2 will now be at around 20ppm.... which leads me to my main question....should all tanks aim for 30ppm? if so why?

If I was blessed with high lights and plants that require high lighting and more nutrient demand, surely this tank would benefit from the higher CO2 levels (30ppm) and the system overall will work much better (Tank1). but in my case I went to around 2.6bps, which I now know wasn't stable... but most of my plants are low light, slow growers, mainly crypts, echindorus, so surely if I was at 30ppm my tank would not benefit as much as tank 1 would? Hope that make's sense. I've probably got this all wrong but hey.....

So my tank a 200g is pretty to large to start dosing Excel, I've got low light, low demanding plants, should I even use CO2? I'm nearly overstocked with fish, so the CO2 could come from here?... I wish I had more demanding plants but I don't, Yes I have purchased some plants that require more lighting around 0.5wpg, and in my tank there growth is pretty poor and it takes months, example Lileopsis has done nothing since I planted it, my glosso has not done much.

Will my tank benefit just as much, if I keep the co2 around 20ppm? I can only presume its around there tomorrow, or will I see problems? Should I even use CO2???? for my plants? and just dose my ferts instead? my girlfriends fluval EBI, has no ferts, no co2, but yet her plants still grow, slow but they grow, and mostly stay algae free, before I knew about CO2, my plants grew in my 90g... but like everyone on this site, I want to grow plants!!! :biggrin: and give them the good stuff they need. :proud:

So maybe because of my lights, its best for me to keep it lower on the CO2? or stop it all together? I really want a tank that Tropica would be proud of, or even a tank Tom would be impressed with lol, but I just don't think my tank has the correct set-up, aka the heart, the light power to drive my plants.

So any advice on this would be great.... and most importantly what you would do with my tank?

Sorry If I've got it all totally wrong, and that the lowest light plant demanding tanks need the same CO2, as the high end tanks. I just am not sure and I've read many articles in the past and don't recall any of this being mentioned, sorry if it has.

Also one last question to throw in, how do I lower green spot algae on the glass? I pretty much guess everyone gets it??? it does my head in, and makes my arm ache! I do it every week, but it still gets there.

Think I've about covered it lol, and one day I will buy a rimless tank, and purchase the highest, most brightest lights out there, then get the distance correct as I don't want algae on that future tank and then purchase the fastest growing plants in the hobby :bounce:, but for now I cant :( I have to make do with my new 200gallon and Eco Complete, that didn't come cheap either lol.

Thanks to anyone if they can help or offer there advice, I'm also considering on removing my carpeting plants, I tried my best with what I had, but there never going to grow at the speed I want or give me the carpeting effect, so maybe I should try some more crypts, stems or find some plants I've yet to try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
You can use both Excel and CO2 at the same time. Many people use Excel as an algacide, though it's not advertised as such. Some plants other than algae may also be sensitive, so find out about your plants before trying Excel.

You can either treat the whole tank, I think some people double-dose, though I've never done that.

You can also turn off pumps, filters, bubblers -- anything that creates water flow, and use a syringe or pipette to spray directly on a problem spot, and wait a few minutes (I don't know how many... 10?) before turning everything back on, and the spot treated algae should be dead or dying within a day or so.

I'm not recommending you use excel, these are just bit and pieces I've picked up from reading the forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Ok I'm looking at your ph and KH it looks to me that you have to much co2 in your tank, t8 are not a best bulb for growing plant t5 work better so the demand on your plant is low it's all based on the lights focus on the kelvin of the bulb not the watts 6,500k is the best for growing plant it gives you the heights PAR her is a chart that will help you with your co2 levels
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for replies jrh & fishliyorker

Jrh what you said about Excel is pretty much what I've read as-well, so I guess I can say there is hardly no point in me going down that route.

To Fishliyorker thanks for the chart,

PH 7.4 - KH 12 would give me 15ppm co2 if I used that chart, I would say that my ph is prob around 7 and not 7.4, that would then give me 38ppm of co2, Its hard to be accurate on the api ph kit, the blue shades are quite similar.

Thanks for helping and the input, but I am still no more the wise if I should even use CO2 for my tank? what should I aim for? if 30ppm? then why? my plants would just benefit as much at 20ppm? since there low demanding, like mentioned in my past post, and with my stocking of fish, and low demanding plants, my fish may provide sufficient co2 for my low end tank?

I hope someone can help, also to add quick if my CO2 was at 3bps a day ago, which I didn't realize, that would of drove my CO2 down even more, not sure what effects it would have on my KH, but that means my CO2 could of been at around 96ppm lol, I did see some of my fish gasping, hence why I decided to count, and I realized it increased from the 2.6 I set it at, fish seem better today.

Thanks again.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top