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Guess what!? Algae issues! Help needed please!

Lauris

Member
Joined
9 Sep 2013
Messages
508
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Hello!
I'm newbie here!
This forum was suggested for me to try to understand the cause of my
issue with algae in my fish tank. I will try to find a time to introduce myself
here but first of all I'm desperate to resolve my algae problems or at least to
start to head in the right direction.. Let me describe the situation first...

Dear fish\plant Friends!
I'm in this hobby a bit over a year and I'm just trying to get things right and learn
from my own mistakes...

Really it's nothing new - I have Algae in my tank. I tried to get some advice from ppl on
different forums but the real thing what confuses me is - some of the people are saying
it is PO4 (phosphate) problem, some of them - DIY Co2 + Lighting issue
So I really don't know from where to start. I would like to take a good advice and more
opinions from here so I might be able to put this all together and finally start to do
something about it in the right way. As we all do know if you have an Algae issue in the
tank you need to locate the CAUSE! And this part for me is quite tricky. Few suggestions
out of one Facebook post for a start:

Advice No1 :
" Your lights are fine, they are not the problem, in any case brown algae indicates low light, green algae indicates too much light. The Kelvin rating of your tubes are fine as is the method for switching. As I have mentioned already, it's most like to be phosphate, and more than likely out of ratio with the nitrate. You NEED to know the exact level so you must test it for yourself. In a heavily planted tank there is always some degree of decay due to plant leaves dropping and mulching. Whilst this is good from a nutrient point of view it's the number one reason for increased phosphate. One way of dealing with the mulch and recycling is by having a good head of snails, essential in a planted tank, but it wont lower your phosphate - thats where your problems are. As well as the nutrients building up in your tank you also adding more in the way of ferts, you are fuelling algae. Stop dosing ferts, easycarbo and Co2 is good, do a number of large water changes and clean the filter to help reduce phosphate, but test it!"

Advice No2:
"you might want to try a phosphate remover. My phosphates were as high as yours at one point, I was doing major water changes twice a week and the levels weren't getting any lower. The problem with phosphates is that they are absorbed by everything in the tank; substrate, rocks and even the fish. For example if you put some of your fish into some clean, phosphate-less water, within a few hours you'll see phosphates start to rise"
Advice No3:
"High phosphates have absolutely nothing to do with algae, If your plants are unhealthy or have algae problems then you should be adding more phosphate (in fact more of everything, macro and micro) NOT reducing.
As you are doing ei, just continue dosing as you are or dose more, x2 x3 if u want because excess nurtriants do not cause algae in a planted co2 enriched high tech tank! To much light and poor co2 distribution/flow does cause algae! Ei dosing takes away all the guess work around ferts so you can concentrate on getting you flow, co2 and light spot on! As for test kits, it would do you good to throw them away, they are never ever ever correct, the best test kit you have to hand is your eyes seeing how healthy your plants are!"

So.. they all sound like experts to me *grin*
BUT this is freakin CONFUSING ! (sorry for my French)
Ok - so what I have:

Size: 125L
Age: 10 months
Filtration: 2 externals 440L\h each.
Light: 10.5 a day. description:
Bulbs: 1 x 28w JBL Color 10k, 1 x 28w JBL Nature 9k
1 x 35w JBL Tropical 4k, 1 x 28w Juwel Nature 6k
(Higher K bulbs turns ON 1hr before the other adds on
and lower K bulbs stays 1hr at evening after the 1st 2 turns off)
Total W on 125L = 105w
Plants: Heavy planted
Co2: DIY, managing to keep around 20-25mg/l +
Easy carbo - 6ml daily
Ferts: Dry Salts Kit, EI. dosage - as recommended by supplier
+ a wee bit extra potassium sulphate.
Water changes: 45-50% weekly
Live stock: around 35 fishy-friends (not overfeeding)
Gravel: Dennerle black
Substrate: JBL Aquabasis plus (just under selected areas)
Nitrates: around 30ppm

...so - it is not a "fresh" set-up, the light is fair enough, water changed every week, hovering only the ground plants but it's not too necessary (a very small amount of mes comes out) so I presume my filtration does the job. easy carbo and Co2 in use. best possible ferts in use... but...

so far I did a changes since last week -
changing my water in addition +50% during the week
Reduced my macro and micro mix to dose it every second day 5ml per dose
Reduced my light to 9.5hrs
PO4 test done every 2nd day - says about 2ppm
Scraping my glass every 2nd day like a mad (this stuff is green but not GSA)
And now it looks dreadful see pics attached if they are any good to determinate

67EC43FD9D434C34B8C9F3056898183B-0000327410-0003364354-00800L-BEB978013BC14485A0F2FD9AF5641BCF.jpg


840A5431995945A6A164692E0BDDBD9E-0000327410-0003364355-00800L-D5FC03F6F8694CBBA4FC5D92A04A606B.jpg


0CE68B70267F46E78512F4CA937FA69C-0000327410-0003364356-00800L-2F4C022E7B0649DA9D130BA462CFC9C1.jpg


2AF750916A0E421EB2B9CE6DD3503D48-0000327410-0003364357-00800L-AF0DE6196D11468398B494D354920DE3.jpg


2260713E7F8446CAB9884B387AE21DBB-0000327410-0003364358-00800L-297EFCD1B3484578AB4F6B1146B09AB7.jpg


27E434BAB61B44438792DB424C35CBCF-0000327410-0003364360-00800L-9F9FA1C1F8094CAB8C51283799788B71.jpg


95D19739006841829605276C97BAA472-0000327410-0003364361-00768L-4011E9919F0B4D7B9D3F7B6C0FBC0757.jpg



If this is a fault of CO2 DIY - I will prepare myself to change it to a proper system
with gas and regulator (between what can say other CO2 DIY users about this??)
But I don't see a big issue with my DIY - morning time I gave around 19mg/l
and evening it adds up to around 25 mark. Or maybe this is an issue?
If that's a light issue I can try to reduce the light time during the day
If that's a PO4 issue I can try to get away with water changes and cleaning
In case I fail on previous one I can use the Po4 remover
LOL. I CAn Do EVERYTHING needed! I just need to know I'm doing it right :)

PLEASE! HELP! (I know, I know - nothing to panic! BUT I'm desperate!!)

p.s.
between - after one week of My holidays my tank looked like this -
there was some algae but MUCH less than now and less than before
I left on holidays (this means no ferts were used while I was away)
1BB99E7C8CC74F32805F3EA6F4C1C878-0000327410-0003344622-00800L-79EB109ABBCC4BF999315C6A18A63F13.jpg
 

Ady34

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
27 Jul 2011
Messages
4,890
Location
Co. Durham
Hi Lauris and welcome to the forum.
Advice number 3 sounds good :)
I'd halve your lighting intensity and reduce the photoperiod to say 6hrs whilst ridding the tank of algae, slowly increasing up to around an 8hr photoperiod when all is well. Also you need to dose the fertilisers as per instructions, by reducing the amount you are effectively possibly creating a nutrient shortfall....hungry plants are weak plants.
Planted tanks look for around 10x volume turnover per hour to try to promote correct distribution of co2 and fertilisers so you are falling slightly short with the filters you are running. You can supplement with a circulation pump, power head, extra filter or change your current filters for a one which produces a minimum 1250lph. This becomes even more important as the plants grow and create barriers to flow.
Once you have your lighting reduced, flow and distribution and fertilisation improved then you can manually remove effected leaves to encourage new healthy growth. Being as how your tank was at a good point previously, I think you can achieve that again with your current co2 system, however a pressurised system allows for much more efficient and stable gas provision so is something to look at for the future.
Your problems will be caused by too much light and too little fertilisation. Also keep the tank clean, good filter maintenance, agitating plants during water changes to remove detrius, and extra water changes all help in providing the best possible conditions :)
Good luck and keep us updated.
Cheerio
Ady
 

Lauris

Member
Thread starter
Joined
9 Sep 2013
Messages
508
Location
Dublin, Ireland
ohh. My wife will kill me if one day she will find out me replacing both filters :D. I have additional power head I forgot to mention it produces an extra rotation for another 750l/h (as said by manuals). Ok. So I'm going back to usual dose - 20ml macro and 20ml micro every day changing from macro to micro every next day. Is it alright I added a bit extra potassium phosphate to macro mix? Is it altight I'm adding my ferts early in the morning about 7hrs before light comes up? do I need to increase my water changes or I can stick with 50% weekly? also I'm using 25% or RO water, does it effect plants much? for how long you suggest I will need to stick with 6h lighting time? I'm thinking of to switch to proper co2 but for a first of all I need to educate my wife about it if I want to stay with my head on my shoulders after this :)). thank you Andy for your advice. much appreciated.
 

Ady34

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
27 Jul 2011
Messages
4,890
Location
Co. Durham
ohh. My wife will kill me if one day she will find out me replacing both filters :D. I have additional power head I forgot to mention it produces an extra rotation for another 750l/h (as said by manuals). Ok. So I'm going back to usual dose - 20ml macro and 20ml micro every day changing from macro to micro every next day. Is it alright I added a bit extra potassium phosphate to macro mix? Is it altight I'm adding my ferts early in the morning about 7hrs before light comes up? do I need to increase my water changes or I can stick with 50% weekly? also I'm using 25% or RO water, does it effect plants much? for how long you suggest I will need to stick with 6h lighting time? I'm thinking of to switch to proper co2 but for a first of all I need to educate my wife about it if I want to stay with my head on my shoulders after this :)). thank you Andy for your advice. much appreciated.
Ah good news about the extra powerhead, that's one issue removed, just ensure that the flow is reaching all areas without dead spots or conflicting circulation patterns.
Regards fertilisers, personally I'd stick with the standard EI dosing mixes. I'd guess your problem lies more with too much light for the co2 availability. Removing some of your bulbs, dosing fertilisers at the recommended dosage and ensuring good distribution will see a huge improvement I'm sure. It doesn't really matter when you dose the, so carry on adding them in the morning if that suits you best, remembering to do it is the most important thing ;)
I would do an extra 50% water change per week whilst the algae remains, so 2x 50% per week to remove organic waste from the unhealthy plants.
RO water is more beneficial in creating suitable environments for soft water fish/shrimp than to the plants, they aren't too fussy really except for a handful of species, so again it may be unnecessary to use it depending on your fish/invertebrate requirements.
I'd stick with the 6 hr photoperiod until the algae has gone and you are seeing good healthy growth from the plants again, then you can slowly increase it.
Cheerio,
Ady.
 

foxfish

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Joined
11 Oct 2009
Messages
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Location
Guernsey
Hi & welcome to the forum.
Ady's advice is sound although I would strongly suggest that 4 tubes (119w) is the main culprit.
We try to match the amount of C02 required to the lighting being used & I doubt if you could do that with your system.
Half your lighting as .5 of a watt per litre is fine.
If you can keep up the C02 at the required level to match two tubes & dose EI, things should improve but you might want to look at adding some liquid carbon as well.
 

roadmaster

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Joined
18 Oct 2009
Messages
1,451
Location
United States
Might also consider monthly cleaning of filter,reduce food amount's offered to maybe once a day till the algae is cleared up.
Light,, perhap's in excess,and organic's from fish food,fish waste,dirty filter,create ideal condition's for algae.
Some folks only clean filter's every six month's,feed fishes several times a day,but until i sorted out algae growth, I might step up maint a bit and or take measures to reduce organic waste .
Couldn't hurt anything I don't believe.
Not suggesting you are not running clean tank,,just some food for thought.
 

Lauris

Member
Thread starter
Joined
9 Sep 2013
Messages
508
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Thank you roadmaster.
My feeding is quite in norm if I can say so...
I'm not using flake food at all. 2x a week with
frozen stuff and rest of the days with tabs
(1 novo pleco tab + 1 novo tab (stick to the glass))
Usually nothing left over. My fish manage to eat it all.
+ Saturdays no feeding at all. as well as once in
six months 1 week no food :). I can reduce the
feeding times to every second day if this is a part of
the problem.

I'm cleaning my filters every 1,5 month. Not touching the
stuff in the bottom of canister - just washing sponges.
btw. what's the best way refill filters if I have so many plants?
eheim-classic-v1.jpg
?

I switched now to 6hrs photoperiod.
And starting to add ferts as per supplier recommendations
(maybe a wee bit extra:) ).
 

sa80mark

Member
Joined
2 Oct 2007
Messages
859
Location
Leicester
With your filters dont be to tempted to fill them up ive got an eheim 2217 and use a small layer of noodles like pic 3 and only 1 sponge using to much media and sponge will reduce the flow rate massively

Mark
 

Lauris

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Thread starter
Joined
9 Sep 2013
Messages
508
Location
Dublin, Ireland
I'm getting a feeling It was a BEST idea so far to join this forum!!!

omg. I thought I did learn a lot of the stuff how to keep heavy planted
fish tank butt appears I know a very little how to keep it right.. lol

So I can easy to remove half of the media I'm having in each of the filter?

At the present I have one layer with noodles then one sponge, than
small layer of those kind of biological (or whatsoever) balls (came
together with eheim media set with noodles and sponges) and then
2 layers of the same blue sponge and tiny layer of white sponge.
sounds not right, right?

so I can remove the balls and at least half of the sponges right?
 

sa80mark

Member
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Messages
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Location
Leicester
Yes definitely remove some of that, it sounds ram packed, in a planted tank especially a heavily planted tank loads of media is npt necessary most people on here have somewhere between very little and half full :)
 

Lauris

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Thread starter
Joined
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Location
Dublin, Ireland
good! this is what I'm doing now..
will remove the layer of tiny balls, will leave
1 layer of noodles as it is now and will leave
2 sponges. so I will reduce the load to half
EB7F57B2E7D046AEA629725DE78B7B79-0000327410-0003365402-00500L-8C15DC94F203475E8645DE391783184E.jpg
 

Lauris

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on one filter I have a spray bar and other is just on the hook
no spray bar

so the white sponge can be excluded to right?
I can get away just with the blue one?!
 

sa80mark

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Messages
859
Location
Leicester
Yes I hate the white it gets clogged to fast and can cause issues

Once youve done the filters you can see the increase of flow youve gained just lift the spray bar out of the water and see how much feature the jets go :)
 

roadmaster

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I use the eheim 2217 just as it is depicted in third photo.
Sound's as though your filter maint is good.
 

Lauris

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Location
Dublin, Ireland
ok. they are ready to go back. decided to leave 1 layer of sponge

won't it effect fish? or it will be even better?
0F624C4A405E461EAD0BA2DC10E62698-0000327410-0003365404-00500L-2499051F7D9B49C79061E168A0F337A6.jpg
 

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