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Looking for some advice on algae! New scaper

Ash J

New Member
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
3
Location
Nottinghamshire
Good evening all,

Firstly Hi, I'm Ash! :)

I'm new to the forums and to the aquascaping hobby and just looking for abit of advice on the algae issues I'm currently experiencing.

To give abit of background, this is my first ever aquascape which I set up about 6 weeks ago. My setup/maint routine is as follows:

Tank: Fluval Roma 125
Lighting: Fluval Plant 3.0 (Using Bentley Pascoes Shallow Day Sim so lights are running at about 60%)
Filter: Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 (1 compartment medium sponge, 3 compartments seachem matrix, final compartment seachem purigan and filter floss)
Fertiliser: Tropica Aquarium soil using with Tropica Specialised Nutrition (Dosing has been erratic as I've read different opinions online though for the last couple of weeks I've been dosing 1-2 pumps a day).
CO2: None
Water changes: Weeks 1-2 25% every 2 days, weeks 3-4 30% every 3-4 days though did a 50% midway through as had an ammonia spike, weeks 5-6 30-40% every 5 days.
Algae fighting force: 3 Octo's, 3 SAE's, 3 shrimp (Zebra/Sakura - was 6 however lost 3 after water changes)

This is a picture of the tank about 3 weeks in, algae was pretty much none existent (diatom outbreak happened around week 2 and was quickly cleared up by shrimp and Octo's).
Tank pic1.jpg



This is the tank as of today - week 6 (grass at front is mixture of Lilaeopsis brasiliensis and Echinodorus tenellus. I cut back the brasiliensis on the right side as it started to look a bit off and read cutting it back could encourage growth, however I'm likely just going to plant more tenellus as this is doing really well on the left side).
Tank pic 2.jpg


Tank pic3.jpg
Tank pic4.jpg
Tank pic5.jpg
Tank pic6.jpg


Just after week 3 I began to get green algae (I believe it's GDA with maybe some GSA) and since then it's been a constant battle trying to keep in at bay. I've attempted to remove it from the hardscape each time I do a water change but it grows back within a couple of days. However, within the last 2 weeks I've also had the appearance of the brown algae (not sure if it's diatoms again!) all over my hardscape and can't get rid of it.
For me it's very unsightly given at week 3 my hardscape was still pristine and now it looks abit of a mess!

I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong at this stage to restore that pristine look of the hardscape. Am I just being too impatient and should allow more time for the tank to settle (I'm not sure if the tank is still subject to the "new tank syndrome"). Am I overdosing/underdosing the ferts or is my lighting too powerful (I did run it at 50% during weeks 3-5 but didn't really make much difference on the algae and seems the brown algae appeared due to the lower lighting) or does the lighting intensity need to be higher given the amount of ferts?

I was trying to keep the tank lowtech however would consider introducing Co2 if my setup would benefit from it. I did also question if there was enough flow, but surface agitation seems more than adequate.

Any advice on any of the above would be much appreciated!

Many thanks

Ash
 

CaptainBarnicles

New Member
Joined
6 Nov 2021
Messages
16
Location
Lincolnshire
Hi there, someone more knowledgeable will come along to help but just wanted to say I have the roma 240 with the fluval 3.0 and I was doing the same as what Bentley had advised...its way too strong. Mine are now running at 40% and the algae growth has definitely decreased...
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
574
Location
Norway
Im also running no CO2 and Fluval 3.0, although I have two Fluvals for better spread. Im running 15% on the front light and 10% on the back, distance from substrate is 40 and 35 cm respectively. If your tank is around 40 cm high I would advise you to lower it to around 30%. Feed your plants well, you can starve plants but its not easy to starve algae. I get very little algae this way.

PS: Your tank looks very nice!
 

Ash J

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Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
3
Location
Nottinghamshire
Thank you for all your replies. I've reduced the lighting to 40% and I'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks. My only concern with running the light at a lower intensity would give way for diatoms as I read they tend to thrive in lower light conditions? But by lower light conditions are we talking next to no light? Will I also slowly start to be able to ramp the lighting back up once the algae is under control or will this only be necessary if I introduce Co2?

Many thanks :)
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
574
Location
Norway
You should give your light change at least 4 weeks to work.
Dont be tempted to turn the light up again before things have a chance to adjust, two weeks will not be enough in my opinion.

Dont worry about diatoms, they will not be a problem in a tank that is stable :)

The reason for lowering your light intensity is to find a level of lighting that matches your tanks available CO2.
You dont inject CO2, so you wont have very much CO2 available. Therefore you should not have very much light, simply put.
Its a bit like a car, the light is the gas pedal that makes everything go faster and the CO2 is the fuel in the tank.
If you step on the gas pedal but you dont have enough fuel your engine will not run very well.
So no, I would not ramp the light back up once algae is under control.
The addition of injected CO2 will allow you to increase the light, but this is optional and depends on your goals for your aquarium 😊
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,016
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Am I just being too impatient and should allow more time for the tank to settle
Yes, just let the plants grow in. Plant health looks pretty good.
I've reduced the lighting to 40%
You can do. I like plants <"as a "net curtain">. Floating plants <"aren't CO2 limited"> and can make use of <"higher light intensities"> because of this.
But by lower light conditions are we talking next to no light?
The issue for me is that we are really bad at judging light intensity and <"Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)">. To make sure that we haven't lowered light intensity below Light Compensation Point (LCP), I always use a relatively bright light and then just <"use the plant mass to adjust it">.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Ash J

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Nov 2021
Messages
3
Location
Nottinghamshire
Just want to say a big thank you for all the advice received. It definitely appears the lights were the issue. I've been running them at 40% for 1 1/2 weeks now, still dosing the Tropica SN daily and GDA growth has been minimal, haven't had to do any scrubbing/scraping at all.

Updated pic of the tank. Did a tiny reorganisation of some of the plants but all is doing well so far :D
Tank pic 031221.jpg
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
13,016
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
It definitely appears the lights were the issue. I've been running them at 40% for 1 1/2 weeks now, still dosing the Tropica SN daily and GDA growth has been minimal, haven't had to do any scrubbing/scraping at all.
Brilliant, it still looks really healthy.

cheers Darrel
 

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