Brand new and growing algae. Help please. - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

Go Back   Aquatic Plant Central > General Interest Forums > El Natural

El Natural Diana Walstad's low-maintenance, soil-based 'El Natural' method for keeping plants and fish.

Like Tree4Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-02-2019, 09:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tasmania
Posts: 29
iTrader Ratings: 0
MistyPhi is a regular member
Default Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Hi to all

This is my first post, my first ever fish tank and, obviously therefore, my first ever NPT. It pains me that my first post happens to be a problem so before I get to that let me first say thank you to everyone here. This forum, the information and advice within it have been invaluable in my making it this far and inspirational for me to continue despite the many hiccups and errors I've encountered already.

I am growing some fine algae and I'm not certain how to proceed. To begin with I'm having trouble identifying it precisely with Silk/Thread/Hair/Filament and I'm sure there were a few others all seeming like possibilities.

My tank is four days old, 45.5cm x 25 x 25 (odd size I know I made it myself), water is currently clear and my tests so far are as follows:

Code:
    
    Date          pH[pH]    TEMP[C]     NO2[mg/l]   NO3[mg/l]   NH4[mg/l]
    30/10/2019      7.000       25.000      0.000       3.000       0.000   
    31/10/2019      8.200       27.000      0.000       3.000       0.250   
    1/11/2019       7.400       26.000          -           -       0.250     
    2/11/2019       7.800       25.000          -           -       0.250
The first reading on the 30/10 is actually water straight from my tap prior to starting. I have "very" soft water in that it is rainwater. It is supplemented by town water and stored in a tank the town water has a much higher PH. I don't have the equipment to test KH/GH yet (waiting on the postman) I did take it to the local pet store who had trouble with thier own equipment so gave me an inconclusive conclusion of "very soft". To that end I added ground up "Shell grit" (basically just small clean white shells) in with the gravel.

On the first day the water was cloudy and the PH had shot up. By the second it had cleared and the PH dropped a little, I did a 25% water change anyway.

Light is a Phillips CFL 15w 6500k Cool Daylight. 9.5Hrs On (9:00am - 18:30) 5hrs OFF, 4Hrs On. The tank itself is in a well lit room but not in direct sunlight and the 9.5Hrs with the lamp on mostly cover the time when the room it lit by daylight.

I have no livestock, apart from three bladder snails courtesy of the LFS (A lesson learned) which I have currently removed to a small jar although they were in there for two days before I noticed them so I am expecting their heirs to show up eventually. Which raises another question I was trying to decide on, do I keep them or try to eradicate them? I should say that I live in Tasmania and many things are prohibited here including all but Mystery snails so perhaps Bladder snails are an optional alternative to your usual Nerites etc? The tank will eventually have a Betta in it if that makes a difference.

Anyway. Now I have algae.
I've read many things ranging from, leave it and it'll sort itself out to run around shouting and yelling until you go blue and pass out.
The algae has only formed on the one plant so far which is (I think) a Rotala Wallichii, possibly a bad choice to start with from what I have read but it was "sold" to me. All the other plants seem fine, in fact the Rotala seems fine otherwise. Water is clear and besides worrying about this new intruder I was quite happy with it.

Not certain what other information you might need, hope you can help put my mind at ease.

Misty

I hope the post looks okay I did preview it but being my first on the boards who knows.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0270.JPG
Views:	117
Size:	95.6 KB
ID:	62531   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0275.JPG
Views:	75
Size:	43.9 KB
ID:	62533   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0282.JPG
Views:	81
Size:	86.4 KB
ID:	62535  

Last edited by MistyPhi; 11-02-2019 at 09:14 PM.. Reason: Amended NO2/NO3 in table.
MistyPhi is offline   Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]
Old 11-03-2019, 12:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 61
iTrader Ratings: 0
zahtar is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Hello there! Welcome to the forum and I wish you good luck with the NPT!

I can't give advice on algae since I am a beginner in the game just like you, but I can see your NO2 and NO3 readings look really good so far! Did you measure with a liquid test? I have the impression that they are more accurate (but more of a hassle too?).

I'm sure someone experienced will jump in and give you good advice. In the meantime, it would help describing how densely you have planted, or maybe post a full tank pic.The plant density will effect the rate excessive nutrients are absorbed, so this will lead to algae control as far as I understand.
zahtar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 01:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tasmania
Posts: 29
iTrader Ratings: 0
MistyPhi is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Thanks for the welcome. I should have thought to post a tank image, I knew there would be something.

Todays tests were:

PH: 7.6 Temp: 25 Ammonia: 0.25

I didn't post them earlier as I like to do them at the same time every day in case light/temperature etc have a bearing.

Currently I have (The name may have been changed to protect the ignorant, or by the ignorant, that being me of course):

Broad-leaf Amazon Sword / Cryptocoryne willisii Crypt / Dwarf Hairgrass / Mayaca / Rotala wallichii / Water Wisteria / Duckweed ( The lady at the shop was very happy to get rid of that and couldn't understand my happiness to take it)

The amazon sword is looking a little tired but not yet worryingly so. The Crypt is again a little wan in colour but looks strong enough. The Dwarf Hair Grass seems unchanged since purchase. The Mayaca and Wisteria are going nuts growing out of the water at the top of the tank.

I apologize for the disarray I am awaiting a new heater, heater guard and thermometer, for now I used what I have. The photo was taken today.

Oh I almost forgot. I added a sweet potato (Cliche I know but Foo the Flowerhorn was whom brought me to this path) it has been in water in my window sill for a week. I added it to the tank yesterday and it began to throw down roots immediately. I was hoping it may help with the initial burden of getting things started while I figure out which plants work and which don't.


The two rocks are sandstone from the garden, washed, rubbed with vinegar (and a drop of nitrite solution from my test kit, or nitrate, I cannot remember which it was now) and alcohol then doused several times with boiling water. I also have several of the same rocks still sitting in water and for four days ahead of the initial tank set up, I have been checking the PH and seen no change whatsoever.

The soil and gravel look deep in the image but they measure in at exactly 1" each.

My algae isn't rampaging or anything yet as you can see but I didn't want to leave it until too late.

EDIT: Whoops I forgot to answer your question. I am testing with liquid, API Freshwater test kit.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0261.jpg
Views:	89
Size:	104.1 KB
ID:	62537   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0260.jpg
Views:	71
Size:	100.4 KB
ID:	62539  

Last edited by MistyPhi; 11-03-2019 at 02:14 AM.. Reason: Forgot the duckweed
MistyPhi is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 11-03-2019, 04:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,162
iTrader Ratings: 0
dwalstad is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Your tank shows a very nice start for a beginner. Smart that you counteracted the very soft water.

Adding the sweet potato is ingenious. But keep an eye on it to see that it is actually growing, not rotting. (I might try this myself with an avocado nut.)

Main thing that I would address as soon as possible. Tank photo shows that you've got the stem plants all bunched up together. I would spread them out a little so that they have "their own space" for soil nutrients, water nutrients, and light. With stems all bunched up like that, the stem bottoms could easily start rotting. Before planting, make sure to cut off any rotten bottom parts.

As to algae, you might have to accept just a little. That hair algae can be removed manually with an old toothbrush. (I have to remove a bit every week or so from a couple of my tanks.)

Snails are good.

Last edited by dwalstad; 11-03-2019 at 04:41 AM.. Reason: emphasize problem of bunched stem plants
dwalstad is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tasmania
Posts: 29
iTrader Ratings: 0
MistyPhi is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Thank you Diana although I wouldn't use the word "smart" to describe my journey thus far. The learning curve has been so steep I've suffered altitude sickness a few times and I always feel like I'm learning what I should have known just after I should have known it.

I was worried I may have put too many of the shells in but couldn't find anything to indicate measures so moved on from that concern.

I can't take credit for the sweet potato the idea belongs to Foo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-ZWMGdKxJo), but I did read (in your book I think) that surface plants are important and I had a redundant feeding hole in my tank lid so...

I will get onto those bunches as soon as I can. Unfortunately my planting tweezers haven't arrived yet so it's an awkward job but it'll be done by this evening.

My one remaining snail has been reintroduced to his empire, s/he didn't look happy but I'm sure the LFS would be glad to give me a couple more.

I will stop worrying about my algae and enjoy it a little instead, it does actually look quite pretty. It doesn't seem any worse and perhaps even a little less this morning, that's probably more an indication of my own state of mind though. While I have the plant out of the tank for separating is there anything I could/should do to reduce the algae or is it best just to enjoy it as part of the whole process.
To be honest the one aspect of all this which amazes me most is just how quickly things change, one minute there is no algae the next the plant is covered in it. That sweet potato for example, I awoke this morning and the roots are over an inch long compared with the photo above taken yesterday evening (just 12 hours prior). I swear if you stare closely enough you can actually see things growing. I don't know what I'll be like when I have fish but even now I just can't stop watching all the activity.

At first I - being technical minded - was focused on the tests as a measure of health but I am quickly learning to listen to what the activity is telling me and just enjoy it all. The sudden appearance of the algae did panic me a little though and I wondered if I needed to get it out before it reached a point where it was no longer possible. Your reply helps enormously, I shall my buy myself a new toothbrush today.

There is a gel like substance around the base of the potato but the roots look healthy and the part above water is still very firm so I don't think it's rotting but I shall monitor it. I have mint and oregano in my window sill just now, if they root they may well replace the potato since the tank is adjacent to my kitchen, although I haven't researched as far as the possibility of eating plants grown in an aquarium yet.

Thank you again and especially for the book. It's sometimes like trying to decode some alien language for a non-chemist like myself but you've done such a great job of layering the information that even a beginner like myself can take something away from it immediately and then return again to learn the next layer of complexity as my understanding grows.
dwalstad and Michael like this.
MistyPhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 02:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 61
iTrader Ratings: 0
zahtar is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

MistyPhi, your approach to the tank setup looks really diligent, I am sure you will learn a lot and get great results! Good luck and have fun!
zahtar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2019, 04:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tasmania
Posts: 29
iTrader Ratings: 0
MistyPhi is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

I managed to separate out the stem plants, I was simply demonstrating my ignorance by assuming that the little bits of lead wire twisted around the bases were meant to stay in place. I must say they look much better now though.

The job also mean a 15% water change too since I don't have tweezers and the displacement threatened to flood the kitchen. I wasn't going to do any water change this week since everything seems to be going quite well but I'm guessing it won't do any harm, especially such a small one.

The sweet potato has 2" roots now although it still doesn't show any signs of putting out growth above the water line. My wisteria is also throwing down roots (see image) from part way up the actual stem. I was surprised by this but it's good to see.

Neither of the two plants I de-bunched showed any signs of rot, in fact most of the stems seemed to have healthy roots, or root. I still have a lot to learn about the difference between stem plants and normal rooting ones, I had assumed that it meant they drew their nutrients from the water directly through their leaves and stems but since they are all putting down roots that's obviously not the case. I shall have to read some more.

About half an hour after putting my snail back in I was looking for him and found two others. I had read they breed quickly but WOW! I guess I didn't get them all after all, I thought it was unlikely but can't believe how well they hide, or how fast they move.

My algae is certainly no worse than it was and although I say this with caution it does actually seem to be a little thinner if anything. I didn't remove any during the de-bunching operation nor did I rinse the plant since I wasted the minimum disruption possible and I figured wrenching them from their homes again was more then enough.

Thanks again for the help.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Day 5.jpg
Views:	66
Size:	97.0 KB
ID:	62545   Click image for larger version

Name:	Day 5 Wisteria.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	79.9 KB
ID:	62547  
MistyPhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 03:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,162
iTrader Ratings: 0
dwalstad is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Looks much better. The burden of the stem plants must have been relieved by the removal of those lead weights.

I would not worry about the snails. They do more good than harm.
dwalstad is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 05:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
Moderator
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 5,411
iTrader Ratings: 0
Michael is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

First, welcome to APC! I missed your thread earlier. The tank looks very good for being so new, and you are getting the best advice possible from Diana.

What does spring look like in Tasmania?
dwalstad likes this.
Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tasmania
Posts: 29
iTrader Ratings: 0
MistyPhi is a regular member
Default Re: Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Thanks Michael.

Spring is undecided but welcome none-the-less. Some very hot days hence my tank temperature reaching 27deg but mostly the heater is still working a little to keep things at 25.
MistyPhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Aquatic Plant Central > General Interest Forums > El Natural > Brand new and growing algae. Help please.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:03 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1