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Algae Algae Control - Get some advice for your algae problems. Control algae in your aquarium with the solutions given here.

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Old 05-28-2014, 02:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Algae has struck... Big Time

Unfortunately for the past month or so I have become quite caught up in school and sports and ended up neglecting my aquarium.

I appear to have at least 2 possibly 3 kinds of algae in my tank at the moment. 1.) The algae in the pictures. 2.) Green spot algae 3.) A thin black edge on the outside of the leaves, may not be algae.

Specs
46 gallon bowfront
Finnex Ray II
Emperor 280 and 400
Mineralized Top soil

Flora and Fauna
8 red serape tetras (used to have 10 but 2 disappeared)
2 bristlenose plecos
A lot of MTS

lots of Ludwig repens
a few crypt lueta
one small anubias
one small sword
a handful of unknown bulb plants
java moss covered in algae

Dosing:
CSM+B 3 times a week for Iron (when I remember)

Parameters:
ammonia:0
Nitrate: about 30ish
I can get do tests if needed but didn't have time to do them tonight.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.





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Old 05-29-2014, 05:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

Was the tank stable and algae free before life got in the way?

You will get differing opinions on how to treat algae, here is what I suggest. Stop fertilizing, do several large water changes, and spot treat the algae on the moss with hydrogen peroxide or Excel. You could also reduce the photo-period, or add some floating plants.

Since you have soil substrate and your nitrates are high, I think there are plenty of nutrients stored in the soil. You want to get the nutrients out of the water and let the plants get nutrients from the substrate. Floating plants will reduce light and reduce nutrients in the water.

This not a quick fix, but does address the underlying problem.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

imo i can never get rid of green spot algae regardless of my phosphate levels so it must be something else. others say that you don't ever really get rid of gsa ymmv

the black stuff is black beard algae

first pict is hair algae i believe. look around for info on how to fix these problems. mostly you just need to get your tank stable again.
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

If your tank was stable before life got in the way you could do whatever you were doing that worked initially, and then just let things correct themselves. Just know before hand that it could take a few months.

Michael gave some good advice, too IMO.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions

This is my first ever planted tank so I'm not quite sure what stabilizing it entails. Its been planted for maybe 4 months or so but has been up and running for over a year.

I did a hydrogen peroxide treatment and a 50% water change so hopefully that helps. I also plan to leave the light off for two days while I am out of town this weekend.

I like the idea of floating plants but I don't know how well they will do due to the surface agitation caused by the HOB filters. Is there a certain kind that would work?

Also I suspect that I may have some sort of deficiency in my tank. The stem plants aren't growing nearly as well as they used to. The Ludwigia bottoms leaves seem to not last very long and are kinda falling apart. The stems on some are also turning black and falling apart. The Hygro in the tank has never done well from the start. It was a big and healthy emersed plant but now that it has been submerged it don't think it has grown at all. All of the leaves fell off and some of the stems also seem to be dyeing maybe rotting.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

If you have soil substrate then your nutrients should be fine once the tank has stabilized after its initial set-up. As others have noted, frequent water changes with the new tank are probably a necessity you can't get around, until everything has "found its own level," and, again, stabilized.

For the algae, and for the overall health of your water, a UV sterilizer is probably your best bet for a no-worry tank water management solution. BUT, be sure that whatever wattage you get, that your water flow through it does not exceed its maximum ratings, not just for algae control, but for pathogen control. Many 8, 10, and 16 watt units are of no value for pathogen control if flow-rate exceeds 200 gph or so.

For my 29g I ended up buying a 36-watt unit simply because most smaller units would not be effective at the outflow rate of my filter, roughly 300 gph, and I feed my UV from my filter outflow. Yes, it's a monster, 20" long or so, but I plumbed it in using fittings from Ace Hardware with junctions so that it can be removed, if necessary. Another very important factor: what do replacement bulbs cost? Aqua UV is very good, but replacement bulbs run about $50, not so good. My 36 watt bulbs are $14. Much more economical in the long run.

The downside of that decision is that running 24/7 it raised my water temperature up to 82 degrees F, so I put it on the timer outlets with my night lights, and it only runs 10 hours a day. The upside is that the bulb will last two years rather than one, and my pathogen levels are exceedingly low, plus, of course, my free-floating algae growth is eliminated. I have very small amounts of algae (established before buying the UV) on some "lumber" in the tank, and a bit on the glass which the snails and pleco manage very well. I am very happy with my decision to go UV, and personally, consider it a necessity in any tank, but that's just MVHO.

Last edited by Phoenix1307; 06-01-2014 at 09:00 AM.. Reason: confusing statement
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

I think the biggest "deficiency" in your tank is likely to be CO2. Do the water changes suggested, if you want, you can spot-treat some of the algae, but get CO2 on the tank and I think you will see the plants outgrowing the algae pretty quickly.
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Old 06-02-2014, 01:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

One day I hope to have a tank with a UV sterilizer and injected Co2 but unfortunately thats not practical for me right now. If I could find a good deal on a used UV sterilizer that may be an option.

The hydrogen peroxide treatment seems to have helped some and I may try it again before my next water change. I will continue doing weekly large water changes in hopes of getting it to balance.

As far as excel goes I am willing to try it. I know a guy who sells the DIY version of excel thats made from metracide. Does is still affect algae?

I also have some amano shrimp available to me at a pretty good deal. Should I consider them?

Thanks for all the help so far!
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

Quick update:

Algae is still going strong. Stem plants are looking worse and worse. Going to do a partial water change and anotherHydrogen Peroxide treatment.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Algae has struck... Big Time

Algae looks like it my doing a little better now. Don't know why I didn't think of it earlier but could my light be too strong and thus causing all the algae?
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