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scoobiemandan

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29 Apr 2015
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53
I seem to be having a problem with unhealthy plants and stag horn algae in my aquarium which I can't seem to eradicate!

First off;

Tank specifications - Fluval Roma 240
Lighting - T8 40w x2 (Power Glo and Aqua Glow)
Daily photoperiod - Currently 6 hours split 50/50 (3 hour gap)
CO2 - Liquid Carbon (Floursih Excel)
Filtration - Fluval 306 and Fluval U2 (1550lph in total)
Fertilisation routine - Flourish 5ml per day TNC Complete 20ml weekly

pH - 7.6
KH - 6.4 (IIRC)

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 20ppm

I have attached photo's at the end.

Wanted a low tech tank for ease of looking after but I don't seem to be getting something right. The biggest problem I have is stag horn algae on around 80% of my plants and the plants themselves aren't looking in the best of health. As far as I'm aware, they are all easy care plants which should be fine in lower light aquariums. I purchased them as a pack from Aquarium Gardens for a low tech aquarium.

I change 60 litres of water every week and dose TNC Complete after the change. I also dose 5ml lourish Excel daily. I clean my filters every month and also clean the gravel every week. Bulbs are around 6 months old so shouldn't have lost too much of their output yet. I have a good flow rate in and around the tank (included is also an Eheim powerhead).

What is it that I'm doing incorrectly. I'm dosing the recommended amounts of TNC and Flourish and have dropped my lighting to try and cure this problem. I split the lighting as recommended elsewhere but have heard varying remarks on whether this will help or hinder, either way has never seemed to make much difference.

Here's some photo's for your perusal;

DSC_0642_zpsm2yamndv.jpg

DSC_0641_zpshfgnr5pa.jpg

DSC_0640_zpssxk5taib.jpg

DSC_0639_zps0gral1f0.jpg

DSC_0638_zpsrmbtheem.jpg

Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

ian_m

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Wanted a low tech tank for ease of looking after
Use of liquid carbon makes it a high tech tank, with resultant high tech requirements, high carbon source and high fertiliser levels and frequent large water changes.

Dosing 20ml TNC complete is not enough, the plants are clearly dying, releasing organics which is feeding the algae very successfully.

Try reducing light period (to just one on time, a light break doesn't help) say 3-4 hours initially , and increasing the TNC dose to 25ml three times week.

Also 50% weekly water changes will help.

You will have to trim away algae'd plants.
 

scoobiemandan

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29 Apr 2015
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Thanks for the replies!

The reason I started dosing the LC is because of the issues I was having with algae. I was advised it may help with the algae and also beneficial for the plants too.

The higher amount of TNC you are advising, is this because of the addition of the LC? Wondering as the recommended dose is only 20ml per week!

As for trimming the algae'd plants, yup........been doing that for ever already :banghead:

I'll take on board the advice and see where we get.
 

EnderUK

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26 Jan 2014
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The only way of of making the tank low tech would be to lower the lighting even more. You can remove reflectors and wrap sections of the tubes in electrical tape. Personally as your goal is to remove the algae but you're happy to do the water changes and the dosage would be to just increase the dosage of ferts as Ian recommends.
 

Jamie McGrath

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3 Apr 2014
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Looks like a reflection of a window in the tank, this could help the algae grow if its allowing sunlight onto your tank when the lights are supposed too be off. I had an issue with Algae in a newish tank ive just got and the bloke in the LFS suggested I remove the carbon pad from the filter as they are only in there to mop up excess chemicals from any medicine you may use and after about six weeks in the filter they become useless and actually start feeding the Algae.
 

ajm83

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20ml per week for low tech and 1ml per 10 litres 3 times a week for high tech.

According to TNC, that triple dose is roughly equivalent to EI levels of nutrients. Is that necessary for Excel at their recommended dosage?
I presume it also would necessitate a 50% water change each week?
 

ian_m

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Is that necessary for Excel at their recommended dosage?
I presume it also would necessitate a 50% water change each week?
Yes. Dosing Excel makes it a "high tech" tank, requiring EI levels of ferts and weekly 50% water changes.

Obviously if you lower the light level, it becomes less "high tech", requiring less Excel, less ferts and less frequent water changes.

My mate has a tank (120l) with single partially covered T5 tube so definitely low light and doses Excel once every so often (weekly), ferts once a week odd, feeds fish daily and water changes when ever can be bothered. Plants grow slowly and algae free, but needs very little maintenance. Too dark in my eyes, being used to a Klingon vaping twin T5 HO tubes in my tank...
 

EnderUK

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According to TNC, that triple dose is roughly equivalent to EI levels of nutrients. Is that necessary for Excel at their recommended dosage?
I presume it also would necessitate a 50% water change each week?
You will probably get away with less but the trouble is you don't know until you have gotten the tank sorted to begin with then try leaning the dosage over a period of time. You will probably be able to go with less water changes as well with that lighting but again until the algae is under control the more and bigger the water changes the better. If it's the price of the TNC complete that's the issue, you can pick up KNO3, KHPO4, Traces and MgSO4 salts from TNC pretty cheaply. An example is the start kit offered by aquarium plant food UK for less than 20 quid and you can check out their section of the forum for a 10% discount.

Here's the link I was meant to give you.
 

scoobiemandan

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I'll up the ferts to triple then(I'll dose 20ml x3 as I'm basing water volume to be around 200l), carry on dosing the Excel and lower the lighting time to 4 hours for the time being.

I really do appreciate the input ;)

Looks like a reflection of a window in the tank, this could help the algae grow if its allowing sunlight onto your tank when the lights are supposed too be off. I had an issue with Algae in a newish tank ive just got and the bloke in the LFS suggested I remove the carbon pad from the filter as they are only in there to mop up excess chemicals from any medicine you may use and after about six weeks in the filter they become useless and actually start feeding the Algae.

Indeed, the reflection is the french doors. Ideally I wouldn't have situated the tank where it is but it was the only available space for it to go. I have made sure the lighting period coincides with the time the sun shines through. So, although there is direct light into the tank it lasts for perhaps an hour and is only when the lighting is on.
 

ian_m

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So, although there is direct light into the tank it lasts for perhaps an hour and is only when the lighting is on.
This will be responsible for many of your issues. This light is far far stronger than your artificial lights. Blinds, shades, sheets of card stuck to tank these will all work, though some look better than others....

My mate kept a tank near his patio doors/windows and certain times of the year suffered a very "green tank" despite what ever he did as sun always got the tank during the day. Moving the tank across the room to where it never gets direct sunlight fixed that algae issue.
 

EnderUK

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This will be responsible for many of your issues. This light is far far stronger than your artificial lights. Blinds, shades, sheets of card stuck to tank these will all work, though some look better than others.....

Can also get various degrees of tint for glass in sheets that stick to glass, used on car and office windows. You could put this on the sides that are getting hit by the sun.
 

scoobiemandan

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This will be responsible for many of your issues. This light is far far stronger than your artificial lights. Blinds, shades, sheets of card stuck to tank these will all work, though some look better than others....

My mate kept a tank near his patio doors/windows and certain times of the year suffered a very "green tank" despite what ever he did as sun always got the tank during the day. Moving the tank across the room to where it never gets direct sunlight fixed that algae issue.

Indeed, I knew it would have an effect but I don't think it's wholly to blame. As mentioned though, nothing I can do about it unfortunately (with regards to positioning). I have covered one side with aquarium backing and drape a towel over the front portion that gets the sun so have done what I can to deal with that issue.

I would have thought though, if it were a major issue then I'd not only be dealing with the stag horn but all manner of green, which I'm not!?

Can also get various degrees of tint for glass in sheets that stick to glass, used on car and office windows. You could put this on the sides that are getting hit by the sun.

Would these tints actually do the job though? Obviously, the darker the tint then less light would be getting through but I'd not be able to see inside the tank very well one would have thought ;)
 

kirk

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24 Dec 2012
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Hi
You have too much aeration or water turbulence .......Stag Horn/BBA love this environment cut this down and you will see improvements!
hoggie
first thing I noticed too, far to much air going in I'd turn it off completely. Only time have ran an air pump in a planted tank is if there are crs cbs in the tank too.

Like you tank too by the way\plant choice, just cut the air and lighting down a bit will help..:)
 

scoobiemandan

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Hi Kirk, the photo was taken whilst I was medicating the tank hence the need for greater aeration to help with oxygen saturation as the heater had been turned up. I don't have it running otherwise ;)
 

scoobiemandan

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So I decided to redo the entire tank as I wasn't happy with the amount of algae on the leaves and also my substrate really needing changing to sand for the benefit of the Cory I have in there!

So I've changed the tank and reused most of the plants that I had in the tank but appear I have a different problem which I need to look into. I'll start another thread for that!
 

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