Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

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

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Old 06-12-2020, 02:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Hi there,

Hope you're doing well.

I have a 5 gallon El natural planted tank which is 28 days old. During the 2-3rd week mark, I've noticed algae growth on the bottom far right corner of my tank and back glass panel but since it was little growth I ignored it. Fast forward today, the algae has started spreading quite rapidly across the back glass panel, right glass panel and most noticeably the surface of the heater. I've been noticing reduced pearling on my HC and increased pearling of the algae on the heater. Plant growth has also been reduced with the growth increase of algae. Any advice regarding what should I do next? Should I do a 70% water change and scrub off/remove as much algae as possible?

Substrate is John Innes No. 3 potting mix (1 inch), gravel is 1-2mm in diameter (1 inch).

Pictures attached for reference. Many thanks for help.

Gary
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Old 06-13-2020, 03:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Since you see algae form rapidly, I'd say a water change would be a good idea. You could clean the glass before the water change. Are those nerites you have there? Good choice, mine helps with tough parts like glass corners, glass to gravel corners etc.

You could also consider adding floating plants or hornwort (ceratophyllum demersum) as they'll absorb the extra nutrients that the fresh soil leeches. Once you see the floating plants weaken, you'll know you won't be needing them any more. I believe their development to be an indicator of excess nutrients in the water column, meaning that there are more nutriens than other plants can absorb. Therefore I think they are a good choice to prevent algae (to some extend) and they are no commitment if you don't like them.
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Old 06-13-2020, 05:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Hi Zahtar,

Thanks for the suggestion, I've since scrubbed the algae off as much as I can and sucked them out of the water. Yes, those are nerites but they haven't been doing well in the tank so I've decided to move them out for the time being. Yes, I'll add some floating plants from my other tank.

Many thanks,

Gary

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Old 06-13-2020, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Glad I could be of help I like the way you arranged the plants, especially the carpet plant! If I can visualize correctly, it will grow in a beautiful ecosystem! It just takes time...
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Old 06-14-2020, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Hi Zahtar,

The tank looks much better now after a thorough scrubbing to remove as much algae and also water change. I should've done more water changes throughout the initial weeks as the excess nutrients were just encouraging algae growth which subsequently competed with plants for co2.

The carpet plants are HC, hopefully with time they properly creep on the substrate and form a carpet and yes, now its the waiting time. I'd probably wait until the 6 week mark and test the water parameters before adding shrimps. Cheers again
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Old 06-14-2020, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Nice tank and planting.

Yes, a water change and manual removal of algae was just the right thing to do.

Since HC is small and not that good a grower, you might want to be careful about adding other plants. They might outcompete it.

You may be able to keep the HC happy with manual algae removal, shrimp grazing and more frequent water changes.
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Thanks for the reply Diana, I'll keep up the algae maintenance. Most likely going to add some livestock during week 6 or week 7.
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Old 06-15-2020, 03:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice on algae issue for 4 week old tank

Your water parameters may allow you to add the livestock even sooner!
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