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Oedogonium and diatoms?

Nautilus143

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30 Mar 2021
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54
Location
South East
Hi all,

I am currently struggling with what I believe is Oedogonium algae and diatoms. Please see below:
20210731_160241.jpg


The diatoms are tricky to capture with my phone camera but you can see some badly affected leaves on the left of the photo.

My dragon stone has also turned pale green. I assume this is also algae but I haven't been able to get any of it off with a toothbrush.
20210731_160512.jpg


And yes, I'm aware that my S. repens looks absolutely pitiful :( my Amano shrimp just started eating it one day and never stopped. They eat all my plants tbh and I'm not quite sure what to do about it, but I think it's a story for a separate thread!

Tank info
Size: 75L
Filter: Oase Bioplus Thermo 100
Lights: Oase Highline Daylight LED
Photoperiod: 6h, only one of the two bulbs on at a time as I have no other means of controlling intensity
Ferts: Tropica premium nutrition - used to add it once every other day, reduced to twice a week about a month ago. However, I've been on holiday for a week so no ferts in the last 7 days
Stocking: 3 honey gourami, 6 Endlers, 6 Amanos (I think, I never see all 6 out)
WC: once weekly without fail. I usually do 25% to 33% of the volume of water in the tank

Can anyone confirm the algae types and let me know if there is anything I can do to potentially improve the situation? I am considering replacing my S. repens and my water sprite as both have been absolutely destroyed by my shrimp, but I want to leave the other plants alone really.
 

Oldguy

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27 Aug 2018
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Gloucestershire, UK
Too much light, not enough CO2. 50% weekly water change. Use EI ferts, mix your own and you will know what you are adding (much cheaper than over the counter stuff.) Reduce light intensity by raising your lights (if possible). Add floating plants as these will reduce light intensity on your submerged plants & decor.

See threads on Estimated Index (EI) and on the 'duckweed index'

Hang on with your tank. Bottom line is to remove plants, clean rocks etc and start again with lots and lots of cheap fast growing submerged plants and as your tank start's to settle down slowly remove the cheap and cheerful with plants that you like.

You will get there. Good luck.
 

ceg4048

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I agree with Oldguy. When you see algae growing over so much of the hardscape then it is a sure sign that there is too much light.
If this is a CO2 injected tank then flow and distribution are also suspect but I cannot see the filter outlet orientation and it is unclear whether this is a CO2 tank or a low tech tank as it was not stated in the original post.

Cheers,
 

Nautilus143

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Thread starter
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30 Mar 2021
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54
Location
South East
Too much light, not enough CO2. 50% weekly water change. Use EI ferts, mix your own and you will know what you are adding (much cheaper than over the counter stuff.) Reduce light intensity by raising your lights (if possible). Add floating plants as these will reduce light intensity on your submerged plants & decor.

See threads on Estimated Index (EI) and on the 'duckweed index'

Hang on with your tank. Bottom line is to remove plants, clean rocks etc and start again with lots and lots of cheap fast growing submerged plants and as your tank start's to settle down slowly remove the cheap and cheerful with plants that you like.

You will get there. Good luck.

I agree with Oldguy. When you see algae growing over so much of the hardscape then it is a sure sign that there is too much light.
If this is a CO2 injected tank then flow and distribution are also suspect but I cannot see the filter outlet orientation and it is unclear whether this is a CO2 tank or a low tech tank as it was not stated in the original post.

Cheers,

Thank you both very much. I should have mentioned that this is a non-CO2 tank but I think you guessed it anyway :)

Unfortunately my lights are already in the highest position possible in the tank - it's lidded and has a holder for the bulbs. I'm surprised that only having one bulb on at a time (of the two bulbs) is too much light, but I will definitely try adding floating plants. And will look into EI too!

When it comes to removing plants, I am very happy to take out the water sprite and S. repens but would really like to leave the others, including the Bacopa caroliniana shown in the photo, alone. The lower leaves of the Bacopa are unaffected - could a good trim help it recover? I also have Monte Carlo in the tank which is looking sorry for itself, but it has taken me 5 months to achieve good coverage with it so I'm reluctant to take it out :(
 

MrClockOff

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20 Aug 2020
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Location
Bournemouth
Unfortunately my lights are already in the highest position possible in the tank - it's lidded and has a holder for the bulbs. I'm surprised that only having one bulb on at a time (of the two bulbs) is too much light, but I will definitely try adding floating plants.
In case if there is no way to raise the lights or dim them and they are LED then one of those could be very helpful Fish Tank Aquarium Light LED Dimmer Aquarium Light Modulator Lighting Controller Intelligent Timing Dimming System Amazon product or NICREW Single Channel LED Ramp Timer PRO for Aquarium Light, LED Digital Dimmer ClassicLED with Standard 2.5mm/2.1mm Power Connectors Amazon product
Personally using NICREW and very happy with results
 

Nautilus143

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Thread starter
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30 Mar 2021
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Location
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In case if there is no way to raise the lights or dim them and they are LED then one of those could be very helpful Fish Tank Aquarium Light LED Dimmer Aquarium Light Modulator Lighting Controller Intelligent Timing Dimming System Amazon product or NICREW Single Channel LED Ramp Timer PRO for Aquarium Light, LED Digital Dimmer ClassicLED with Standard 2.5mm/2.1mm Power Connectors Amazon product
Personally using NICREW and very happy with results
Thank you so much for sharing this. Unfortunately my lights don't seem to be compatible with it - they are LEDs but have a hard-wired mains plug, there doesn't seem to be any way of me attaching a dimmer :(
 

MrClockOff

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Thank you so much for sharing this. Unfortunately my lights don't seem to be compatible with it - they are LEDs but have a hard-wired mains plug, there doesn't seem to be any way of me attaching a dimmer :(
I see they don’t have safe voltage.. which is quite uncommon. Well last resort is to use electrical tape and mask few LEDs along the lights. I’m not big fan of masking as it may leave sticking patches on the lights once removed. But it worked for me once before I’ve got the dimmer.
 

Wookii

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Nottingham
I’d personally just add a load of floating plants - I’d wager that’d cure most of your problems when they’ve covered the surface - they’ll cut the light significantly and also significantly increase plant mass.

Make sure your filter outlet is breaking the water surface as much as possible for the best possible gas exchange.

Finally switch to either EI salts as suggested, or something like APT Complete or TNC Complete if you want it premixed, or if you really want to stick with Tropica, you at least need to use Specialised as Premium is missing N and P.

I suspect it is the lack of nutrients and too much light that are causing the leaves to degrade which the Amanos are then eating as they decay, rather than the Amanos eating healthy leaves.
 

ceg4048

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Thank you both very much. I should have mentioned that this is a non-CO2 tank but I think you guessed it anyway :)
Hi,
Yes it was my suspicion. If you do not have the ability to dim the lights and cannot raise them then as wookii mentions, you can use floating plants to reduce light penetration, or any device can be use to obfuscate the light, such as dark perspex or even cheesecloth placed between the light and the water.

Cheers,
 

Nautilus143

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Hi all, haven't posted in this thread in a while but I do have an update. Unfortunately, it's not great. The oedogonium (?) seems to be gone but the brown algae is worse than ever. I recently replaced half my plants and the new plants are just getting choked by it. I added frogbit, which is getting pretty big now, and even their roots are covered in brown algae now. I don't think it's diatoms like I had when I first started my tank - I can't rub it off the leaves and my shrimp/fish don't eat it. Its also more orangey than brown really. My filter is also covered in it - I can scrub it thoroughly and it'll come back within days. Any advice? I do still need to switch my fertiliser strategy - I will probably switch to Tropica Specialised - but I'm not sure this will really resolve the current algae takeover. Should also mention that I've re-started adding EasyCarbo, which I had previously stopped as it seemed to stress my shrimp, but that is making no difference. Really getting frustrated with the state of my tank. Will post some photos later.
 

Wookii

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Do you have a current FTS?

You say you "still need to switch fertilizer strategy" - what is the current strategy?

What is your water change schedule, and how much surface agitation do you have?
 

Nautilus143

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Do you have a current FTS?

You say you "still need to switch fertilizer strategy" - what is the current strategy?

What is your water change schedule, and how much surface agitation do you have?
Here is an FTS:
20210908_145630.jpg

Annoyingly it doesn't look anywhere near as bad in the photos as it is in real life! I took a close up of a plant to show the weird way in which this algae seems to deposit:
20210908_145607.jpg

It seems to form distinct patches.

I currently put one pump of Tropica Premium Nutrition into the tank on Mon, Weds, Fri, and Sun. And I am also adding 1mL of EasyCarbo a day.

Surface agitation comes from my internal filter. I have it set so that the water comes out of the little holes at the top - I'm sure this has a technical name but I dont know it!

Lights are still only on for 6h, one bulb at a time.

I am just now wondering if changing lots of my plants contributed to the algae growth in some way. There was a LOT of muck that came up from the substrate when I removed the old ones. I did a massive (>75%) water change at the time and have done 50% weekly water changes since. Have had no loss of fish or shrimp but maybe there was a lot of ammonia knocking about? I've also cleaned the filter since changing the plants but maybe it is still dirty, given that the algae has really taken a hold on it...
 

MichaelJ

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@Nautilus143 To me this tank still look too bright for a non-injected tank (hard to judge from a photo obviously). If you dim it way down it will solve your algae problem. I run the lights in my two heavily planted non-injected tanks 12 hours a day but at very low intensity - and have zero algae to speak of. Also Tropica Premium will only give you Trace (Micros) minerals (and very small amounts if your doing 8ml/week (one pump 4 times/wk) and your not getting any Macros (NPK) with Premium. You need Macros and plenty of it! If you want to stick to Tropica, I would do Specialized instead, but it becomes really expensive in high doses. Ideally you should use a dedicated NPK fertilizer and dedicated Trace fertilizer which gives you more control - or find a complete/all-round fertilizer that gives you more bang for the bucks.

Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

Nautilus143

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@Nautilus143 This tank still look too bright for a non-injected tank. If you dim it way down it will solve your algae problem. I run the lights in my two heavily planted non-injected tanks 12 hours a day but at very low intensity - and have zero algae to speak of. Also Tropica Premium will only give you Trace (Micros) minerals and no Macros (NPK). You need Macros and plenty of it. If you want to stick to Tropica, I would do Specialized instead and double the dose. Ideally you should use a dedicated NPK fertilizer and dedicated Trace fertilizer which gives you more control.

Cheers,
Michael

Thanks so much Michael. I should have mentioned in the post that I put both bulbs on for the pic, doh! Normally it is only about half as bright as that. To remedy the light problem, I'm gradually letting more and more of the frogbit out of the ring so that it can start covering the whole surface. I decided to keep most of it in the ring at the beginning so that I can block out light directly above the most badly affected plant, but it isn't really helping 😅

Will look at changing my fertiliser ASAP.
 

MichaelJ

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Thanks so much Michael. I should have mentioned in the post that I put both bulbs on for the pic, doh! Normally it is only about half as bright as that.
@Nautilus143 Post a picture with the light as it is normally - with one bulb. Same angle and same lights in the room. I think it might still be too strong.
Will look at changing my fertiliser ASAP.
Yes, Your plants are struggling which makes them algae magnets.

How old is the tank btw?

Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

plantnoobdude

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uk
yes agree with michael. insufficient nutrients causing unhealthy deficient growth which attracts algae. look into EI dosing. aquariumplantfood.co.uk is a good website i've purchased from. they have an EI kit with everything you need. it is quite straightforward in that sense. and ofcourse changing dosing will not solve anything. keeping excess detritus in substrate low, manual removal of algae, regular fillter maintenance are all things you should be thinking about. cheers,
 

Nautilus143

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@Nautilus143 Post a picture with the light as it is normally - with one bulb. Same angle and same lights in the room. I think it might still be too strong.

Yes, Your plants are struggling which makes them algae magnets.

How old is the tank btw?

Cheers,
Michael
Apologies for the delayed reply. Here is a pic with only rear bulb on:
20210909_140553.jpg

The tank is 7 months old.
 

Nautilus143

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yes agree with michael. insufficient nutrients causing unhealthy deficient growth which attracts algae. look into EI dosing. aquariumplantfood.co.uk is a good website i've purchased from. they have an EI kit with everything you need. it is quite straightforward in that sense. and ofcourse changing dosing will not solve anything. keeping excess detritus in substrate low, manual removal of algae, regular fillter maintenance are all things you should be thinking about. cheers,
I'll definitely look into that - a kit would suit me really well. It's the thought of having to spend ages figuring out what I need and purchase it all separately that puts me off!

Regarding filter maintenance, I was wondering if I could clean my filter in dechlorinated tap water. I know that the usual recommendation is tank water, but I don't know if it really makes sense to rinse my sponges in the water that I know is full of algae.
 

Sergey

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Frankly, I disagree that you need EI in your tank, since it's non-CO2. What's the substrate? Looks like some kind of aqua soil to me.
What I'd do is the following (assuming you keep lights reduced):
1. More plants!!! You need more fast-growing easy plants. Personally, I like to use hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) as a startup plant. Just let it float in the water and grow wild.
2. More frogbit! Let it cover half of the surface or even more.
3. Stick to Tropica specialized with their recommended dosing routine.
4. Water changes 50% twice a week.
5. Amanos, snails, maybe otocinclus.

I'd keep in on this regimen for 2-3 weeks and see how it goes on.
 

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