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Can you people help me identify the type of algae on my plants?

demetrisag

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IMG_20210913_155109.jpg
IMG_20210913_155421.jpg

It's been there over a month. :(
 

MichaelJ

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@demetrisag Looks like Diatoms to me. If you need advice on the situation, please post a full tank picture and additional details about your tank such as size, age, maintenance routine, light, filtration, fertilizer, if your injecting CO2 etc.

Cheers,
Michael
 

demetrisag

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@demetrisag Looks like Diatoms to me. If you need advice on the situation, please post a full tank picture and additional details about your tank such as size, age, maintenance routine, light, filtration, fertilizer, if your injecting CO2 etc.

Cheers,
Michael
ok, guys prepare for loooong post since I want to be as much thorough as I can.

First the picture,

IMG_20210914_091947.jpg


My Aquarium is 60 litres, 60x30x35. As you can see I have monte carlo, stayrogyne repens, java fern narrow, java moss, anubia. bucefalandra, pogostomenon helferi and at the back not very visible pogostemon erectus & bacopa caroliana.

I have an:
1. external filter JBL e702 greenline ( 700l/h)
2. Fluval Plant light v.3.0
3. Co2 bottle with PRO-SE Series - Aquarium CO2 Dual Stage Regulator with Integrated Solenoid at 3 BPS. (Co2 drop checker was deep green at first hour and became lighter green after 3 hours and stayed there, never became lime green or near yellow)
4. azoo surface skimmer

Even though I have been reading that silicates wont really matter at the form of diatoms I will go ahead and explain all.

Before I set up my aquarium I put all the driftwood underwater for about 3 weeks changing the water periodically in order to saturate and can be sunk, The water that I used was tap water, my tap water is way of charts with silicates, test becomes deep blue at the very first second!

After that, I setup all the hardscape but I didnt plant yet. I connected the filter (I used seachem matrix for biological filtration and the sponges that came with it) and filled it with tap water and started dosing ammonia and started bacteria to create biology. That process took me about a month until I am absolutely satisfied. When I finally was sure I had strong bacteria colony I decided to plant.

I decided I would go with RO water when I was ready to officially start the aquarium. Because I didnt have an RO system at the time I bought some RO water from a local petshop which I tested before using it and it was nevertheless very low TDS, 20 or something but it was filled with silicates, But since I didn't have an RO system I used it anyway.

Two days later I bought one, made my own water which I tested and it was completely silicates free and made 50% water change and then again in another two days and then the weekly change which basically was in 3 days. What I noticed was that the silicates never went away. A month later after at least six 50% water changes with completely silicate free water, the silicated are as strong as ever! But fortunately I had no problems with algae just yet.

Now on to my schechule:

Lighting is on 8 hours a day
The Co2 starts 2 hours before Light and finishes 1 hour before lights go off.

At the first week I started with 20% light intensity (but kept the blue light always at 1-2%) and dosed 2hour APT estimative index a 2ml 3x times a week (recommended was 5ml for 100 litre)
Second week lighting went 30% and dosing stayed the same
Third half week lighting went 40% and next half 50% dosing stayed the same
Forth week 60% and dosing still the same

Live stock in aquarium is about 12-13 fishes (Tetras and Danios) 3x amano shrimps, 2x neocardinia shrimps and 2x zebra snails) During the first month I was feeding two times a day but was carefull with feeding so I wouldnt have excess waste food, of course I had some but very little.

Everything up to this point was absolutely amazing!

Then next month I went on vacation for 8 days and told my mom to come to my appartment to dose the aquarium and feed the fishes, She kept the same dosage routine and feed the fishes only one time a day since I didnt want to make it very difficult for her. Now of course I wasn't there so I trust she did it like I told her.

When I came back for vacation it was a disaster, algae all over the glass, the plants everywhere! I didn't know what to do. So I started experimenting.

Before I started experimenting I made the first trimmin. So I cut a loooot monte carlo and moss mostly and some bacoba caroliana.

I decided to lower the light intensity so I took it slowly in about two weeks I took it from 60% to 30% and increased the ferts dosing since I thought I have a loooot more plant mass than at first and made it 3ml (dosage still 3x times a week) for a week and then 4ml which is now. Also Now instead of starting Co2 2 hours before I start it 1 hour before.

But the algae is still there, New leafs seems to be brightly green and nice but after a while they get infested with algae. Everything I did up to this point just doesnt seem to help a lot. Plants are growing at a very nice rate nothing seems stalled but algae doesnt stop either.

Also, even now which is almost 3 months later, when I do a 50% water change with completely silicate free water (tested with silicate test and TDS meter which shows 001 TDS) my aquarium water once I do the change like half an hour later it still fully and completely saturated with silicates.

My water change routine, Before I change the water I reminilize the water with seachem equilibrium to about 100 TDS and then proceed with water change.

So here it is. I hope I covered it all. Any help will be very much appreciaed.
 

PARAGUAY

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Quite a lot to consider. I dont think do anything dramatic helps. I would add fast growers for now you could even float hornwort or egeria . Maybe add Purigen in filter. Floating plants Iike salvinia and keep up with tank maintenance . Try to do 3 water changes a week for now. I never tested for silicates .
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Also, even now which is almost 3 months later, when I do a 50% water change with completely silicate free water (tested with silicate test and TDS meter which shows 001 TDS) my aquarium water once I do the change like half an hour later it still fully and completely saturated with silicates.
Diatoms need silica (Si) to build their frustules, but after that it all unravels. Have a look at <"Any-one used the JBL SiO2"> and linked threads. Ramshorn snails or Nerites will eat the diatoms and there are also Otocinclus.

cheers Darrel
 
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demetrisag

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So the only real way to get rid of diatoms is snails and ottos? Cause those even though they are doing something, it still nothing at the overall sceme of things
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
So the only real way to get rid of diatoms is snails and ottos? Cause those even though they are doing something, it still nothing at the overall sceme of things
Normally Diatoms decline over time, I don't know why and I'm not sure any-one has a scientific answer for it. Cherry shrimps might be another diatom grazer?

I don't have much personal experience with Diatoms, mainly because I never break my tanks down and I use rain water for my water changes.

cheers Darrel
 

MichaelJ

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I've always associated diatoms with new, immature and not yet established tanks.

Again, as always, look into your maintenance routine, flow/circulation, CO2 application and light intensity (too much of it, which is usually the culprit...)- all the factors, if done improperly, that will impede plant health and allow algae and diatoms to get a foothold. While I do acknowledge the connection between diatoms and silicates I do not think high silicates necessarily equates diatom issues... plenty of people successfully uses sand as their substrate and don't have a diatom issue. So focusing too much on that may not solve your problem.

If this would be my tank, I would up the maintenance (up water changes % and cleanups), make sure filtration, flow and circulation is up to par (no stale areas etc.), dial the light intensity way down and wait it out! ... the diatoms will go away. I have zero experience with CO2, so I am not going to speak to that.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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demetrisag

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I've always associated diatoms with new, immature and not yet established tanks.

Again, as always, look into your maintenance routine, flow/circulation, CO2 application and light intensity (too much of it, which is usually the culprit...)- all the factors, if done improperly, that will impede plant health and allow algae and diatoms to get a foothold. While I do acknowledge the connection between diatoms and silicates I do not think high silicates necessarily equates diatom issues... plenty of people successfully uses sand as their substrate and don't have a diatom issue. So focusing too much on that may not solve your problem.

If this would be my tank, I would up the maintenance (up water changes % and cleanups), make sure flow and circulation is up to par (no stale areas etc.), dial the light intensity way down and wait it out! ... the diatoms will go away. I have zero experience with CO2, so I am not going to speak to that.

Cheers,
Michael
My lighting is currently at 30% if I make it even less do you think I should make the fert dose lower too? Currently I am dosing at 4ml 3 times a week and by the end of the week I barely have any nitrates in the tank, like 10-15 ppm.
 

MichaelJ

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My lighting is currently at 30% if I make it even less do you think I should make the fert dose lower too? Currently I am dosing at 4ml 3 times a week and by the end of the week I barely have any nitrates in the tank, like 10-15 ppm.
No, just keep up the fertilizer dosing. The fertilizer you add (including Nitrate / NO3) do not cause algae, lack of fertilizer just might if it causes the plants to struggle for nutrients and thus become algae magnets. I have 20-40 ppm of Nitrates, +20 ppm of Phosphate / PO4 fairly consistent with my macro (NPK) dosing and no algae to speak of (we all have algae btw, it's just that, if we get it right, we prevent them from gaining a stronghold and see them to the extent where they become a nuisance).

Cheers,
Michael
 
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demetrisag

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No, just keep up the fertilizer dosing. The fertilizer you add (including Nitrate / NO3) do not cause algae, lack of fertilizer just might if it causes the plants to struggle for nutrients and thus become algae magnets. I have 20-40 ppm of Nitrates, +20 ppm of Phosphate / PO4 fairly consistent with my macro (NPK) dosing and no algae to speak of (we all have algae btw, it's just that, if we get it right, we wont allow them to gain and stronghold and see them to the extent where they become a nuisance).

Cheers,
Michael
Michael do you think it's a good idea to increase my fert dosage since I have so little nitrates and phosphates too, when I test. It's just that in the packaging it says 5 ml 3x a week per 100 litres and I thought it's maybe so for lesser plant mass. My aquarium I have a lot of plants
 

MichaelJ

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Michael do you think it's a good idea to increase my fert dosage since I have so little nitrates and phosphates too, when I test. It's just that in the packaging it says 5 ml 3x a week per 100 litres and I thought it's maybe so for lesser plant mass. My aquarium I have a lot of plants
If your dosing "ATP Estimative Index" I would add in another day or two of dosing (or double the dose on the day you do maintenance, after the WC of course...), with the recommended dose of 5 ml. 3 x week for a 100 L tank with your plant mass/density and injected it seems a bit on the lean side (13.8ppm NO3, 4.5ppm PO4, 15ppm K weekly as far as I can tell)... so adding another dose gives you 18.4 ppm NO3, 6 ppm PO4 and 20 ppm K. The beauty of the Estimative Index is that you do not have to worry about ferts as long as you have enough! But more important to your situation is probably the maintenance, flow/circulation, CO2 application and light intensity aspects.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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dw1305

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demetrisag

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If your dosing "ATP Estimative Index" I would add in another day or two of dosing (or double the dose on the day you do maintenance, after the WC of course...), with the recommended dose of 5 ml. 3 x week for a 100 L tank with your plant mass/density and injected it seems a bit on the lean side (13.8ppm NO3, 4.5ppm PO4, 15ppm K weekly as far as I can tell)... so adding another dose gives you 18.4 ppm NO3, 6 ppm PO4 and 30 ppm K. The beauty of the Estimative Index is that you do not have to worry about ferts as long as you have enough! But more important to your situation is probably the maintenance, flow/circulation, CO2 application and light intensity aspects.

Cheers,
Michael
I will increase my dosage, lessen my lighting to 20%. I believe I have good flow circulation. I can see plants moving even to the lowests corners of aquarium and keep my co2 as it is. Usually I do 50% weekly but maybe I should do twice a week for a while?
 

Andy Pierce

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I think you're trying too hard on the water aspect by going with RO. While you're trying (unsuccessfully) to completely remove all the silicates, you may be removing other trace minerals you'd actually like to have back where your plants can't get the upper edge on the diatoms. You could try switching to tap water (dechlorinated) for a couple weeks and see if that helps. Otherwise what you're doing sounds ok to me. From your picture, it looks like the tank is in a very bright location where you might be getting too much light what with the dedicated aquarium lighting combined with room ambient lighting.
 

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