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Apologies if this is a crosspost and not allowed - It's from my tank Journal (which I havent been able to link in my sig yet. Finally getting some algae issues (at least I think so?) Looking for any advice here, as it's become a bit of an eyesore and my LFS is a little perplexed by it.


Tank 90p
Filtration Oase biomaster 600
Lighting Chihiros WRGBII Slim 90 (7 hours/day at 85% intensity, hung about 11 inches off the water surface)
CO2 External reactor - Comes on 1 hour before lights and goes off with. I get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 0.75 to 1 point drop in pH after about 4 hours which I'm told should equate to around a 25-30ppm concentration of CO2. (Given my kH which is about 1-2)

Ferts APT3 Complete, 5ml per day as per instructions
Water Change Vaccuum substrate and plants, wipe down glass + 50% WC once weekly.
Water Parameters (Using API Test Kit)
PH: 7.5 which drops to around 6.5ish during photoperiod
Ammonia: none that I can tell
Nitrite: none that I cantell
Nitrate: ramps to around 5ish before water changes

Livestock
8x Penguin Tetra
1x yoyo loach
1x polka dot loach
6x otos
14x amano shrimp
3 x assasin snail

The Algae

The algae really seems to occur almost exclusively between the mosses' fronds It's appears like fluff and very tightly wound curly hairs. It's purely brown with no green to it whatsoever. I can't find anything common with respect to its location. It appears in areas with higher flow and relatively less flow and from the bottom of the tank to the top. It's not really present on anything other than the mosses.

Here you can see it near the waters surface, the filamentous look is pretty clear





This is how it appears on much of the moss on the bottom half of the tank, its less long than at the top of the tank, but you can still see the hairy appearence






This is when I pull it out of the tank, it basically immediately turns into a brown slimy mess however I can still make out some individual filaments.






This is back when it was much worse but much more localised to one area. You can really see the tightly wound coils.




Would love any advice anyone can give, this one has me stumped and I would love to get it looking better and to improve!
 

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It's algae... Water changes, check parameters, reduce lighting. Don't do everything all at once, try one thing at a time. Use a toothbrush to pull stuff out manually.
 

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CO2 External reactor - Comes on 1 hour before lights and goes off with. I get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 0.75 to 1 point drop in pH after about 4 hours which I'm told should equate to around a 25-30ppm concentration of CO2. (Given my kH which is about 1-2)
This could be why you are experiencing algae growth. You want a full 1ph drop before the lights turn on. Plants require the most amount of Co2 right when the lights turn on for the day. If there isn't enough Co2 for the plants to utilize when the photo period starts, the plants can struggle and this could lead to algae growth.

If it takes 4 hours for your ph to drop by 1 with your setup, you should have your Co2 turn on 4 hours before your lights turn on. This change in itself might be the key to prevent new algae growth. You will still have to manually remove the algae that's already present. After the removal of the algae that's already present, keep an eye out for new algae growth. This new change in the Co2 schedule will probably take 2-4 weeks to fully take effect. Keep pulling out algae in the meantime.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This could be why you are experiencing algae growth. You want a full 1ph drop before the lights turn on. Plants require the most amount of Co2 right when the lights turn on for the day. If there isn't enough Co2 for the plants to utilize when the photo period starts, the plants can struggle and this could lead to algae growth.

If it takes 4 hours for your ph to drop by 1 with your setup, you should have your Co2 turn on 4 hours before your lights turn on. This change in itself might be the key to prevent new algae growth. You will still have to manually remove the algae that's already present. After the removal of the algae that's already present, keep an eye out for new algae growth. This new change in the Co2 schedule will probably take 2-4 weeks to fully take effect. Keep pulling out algae in the meantime.

Hope this helps!
That's interesting. Yeah It does seem like it takes a long while. I'm wondering if there's a reason it may be too slow or if there is a way to improve it. The reactor appears to be working fine and all the connections are free of leaks. I'm running about 3bps, dont know if I would need more to get 25-30ppm in a tank this size but it does seem awfully slow.

The water outlet is a lillypipe that is maybe 70% submerged, I'm keeping it a little out of the water in order to create some surface agitation.It seems unlikely to me that having it half out of water would affect the CO2 injection but I suppose it's possible? Or maybe I have too much surface agitation for the rate of CO2 injection and it's just leaving too quickly?
 

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That's interesting. Yeah It does seem like it takes a long while. I'm wondering if there's a reason it may be too slow or if there is a way to improve it. The reactor appears to be working fine and all the connections are free of leaks. I'm running about 3bps, dont know if I would need more to get 25-30ppm in a tank this size but it does seem awfully slow.

The water outlet is a lillypipe that is maybe 70% submerged, I'm keeping it a little out of the water in order to create some surface agitation.It seems unlikely to me that having it half out of water would affect the CO2 injection but I suppose it's possible? Or maybe I have too much surface agitation for the rate of CO2 injection and it's just leaving too quickly?
I'm not experienced with an external reactor so I can't help you in that regard. Getting the Co2 to turn on earlier will help, and maybe keeping the lily pipe fully submerged during the photo period. You can lift it up during lights off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not experienced with an external reactor so I can't help you in that regard. Getting the Co2 to turn on earlier will help, and maybe keeping the lily pipe fully submerged during the photo period. You can lift it up during lights off.
Yeah I've added another hour to it ahead of time to see if I cant get that in a more stable spot sooner. I wonder about the reactor + lily pipes. In my mind it shouldnt matter much if its out or not given that the water is going to be in contact with that same atmosphere almost instantly anyways but I'm not sure really
 

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Yeah I've added another hour to it ahead of time to see if I cant get that in a more stable spot sooner. I wonder about the reactor + lily pipes. In my mind it shouldnt matter much if its out or not given that the water is going to be in contact with that same atmosphere almost instantly anyways but I'm not sure really
Starting the Co2 sooner like you did is definetly a good start. I have my Co2 turn on about 3 hours before my photo period but I use an inline diffuser and run about 5 bps on my 11 gallon. I use lots of surface agitation though and keep it stable that way. Have you done a ph profile yet for the tank?

My advice would be to keep the surface agitation up and increase your bps to hit your target ph faster. A balance of surface agitation and rapid Co2 injection is an artform in itself. This article will help to explain the advantages of having lots of surface agitation with increased Co2 injection better than I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yup I've read basically everything from Denis!

That seems like a ton of bps for an 11 gallon. From what I can tell from my API test kits, I drop around 0.6-0.8 ph ,knowing I should be aiming for about a 1 point drop with my KH (5). It's kind of hard to tell on the API kits as the blue shades are pretty similar. The other issue is it really takes about 5-6 hours to get that drop.

My understanding is at this point the surface agitation will only increase the rate of CO2 offgassing and actually get me there slower. The way I understand it is that the idea is to blast up to the target 25-30ppm reaaly fast and than adequate surface agitation acts as a release valve so you dont gas everything out
 

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How heavily planted is your tank? What kind of plants do you have? How much/often do you feed? How long has your tank been set up? Starting the CO2 earlier and dropping the light sound good. Also consider adding some stem plants and/or adding some immersed house plants. Perhaps post a photo of the whole tank to help give us perspective.

It seems like it would be hard to get that much algae without having more nutrients than the existing plants can consume.
 

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Yup I've read basically everything from Denis!

That seems like a ton of bps for an 11 gallon. From what I can tell from my API test kits, I drop around 0.6-0.8 ph ,knowing I should be aiming for about a 1 point drop with my KH (5). It's kind of hard to tell on the API kits as the blue shades are pretty similar. The other issue is it really takes about 5-6 hours to get that drop.

My understanding is at this point the surface agitation will only increase the rate of CO2 offgassing and actually get me there slower. The way I understand it is that the idea is to blast up to the target 25-30ppm reaaly fast and than adequate surface agitation acts as a release valve so you dont gas everything out
It's definetly a lot of bps for an 11 gallon, but I have tons of surface agitation to balance it out. I'm also dropping my ph by 1.4 which is where algae stopped getting a foothold in my tank.

I would invest in a ph pen instead of the liquid ph test kits since it is unreliable for the purpose of measuring minute changes in pH. Also it'll be easier to create a ph profile for your tank with a pen, since you don't have to fiddle with a liquid test kit every 30min. This ph pen is cheap and is good enough to be able to monitor ph throughout the day.

The surface agitation increasing the rate of Co2 off gassing is exactly what you want. That way, you can massively increase your Co2 injection rate, which will get you to your 1ph drop faster and the surface agitation will keep the ph stable. I reckon you can double your Co2 injection rate with the right surface agitation and slowly go up from there
 
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