Can an older tank recover from algae? - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 06-16-2020, 06:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can an older tank recover from algae?

My 20g is around 10 years old. Up until two years ago, my tank was doing very well. The Crypts took over and turned the tank into a jungle and aside from diatoms at startup and some green slime on the glass top, I never had any problems with algae.

Some info about the tank before and after the algae. I used fluorescent tube lighting(one 6,500 and one 8,000 kelvin 17 watt bulbs) and the filter was a HOB called Marina by Hagen. The filter was just for circulation and the flow could be adjusted to a strong current to a trickle.

Ammonia and nitrite were/are at zero
Nitrate has always been 5-10ppm
Phosphates stay fixed at 2ppm
My water is hard and the pH is between 7-8
I always feed my fish twice a day with a bit extra for snails and plants
Lights are on for 11 hours a day

Two years ago, that started to change when I switched the noisy, messy HOB that produced a very mild current with a powerhead and my last 8,000K bulb blew. I can't seem to find any 24" T8's in 8,000K so I got a 10,000K instead. That's when I started to notice a green dusting on some of the gravel(I'm assuming it's GDA) and my crypts started to move away from the powerhead and thinned out a lot.

There was just a tiny bit of algae so I wasn't too concerned. Early this year is when I started to get diatoms again and the light green dust is on the glass now but not as much as the gravel. My crypts also started showing what looked like an iron and potassium deficiency and they weren't growing very well in general and I can't remember the last time I had a new runner from it. I have since treated the deficiencies and there is a lot more new, dark green growth on my crypts but the algae remains. Over a month ago, I removed the powerhead and am now using an air decoration for circulation. I also now have a bit of frogbit from when I bought a few RCS a few weeks ago.

Is it possible for my tank to recover from this? I don't know why I would be getting diatoms now and I haven't come across any actual causes for GDA. Could it have been from the change in the lighting? Aside from all of this, everyone in the tank seems to be happy. I wouldn't really care so much if it was just diatoms I was dealing with but the GDA is something I want gone.

Last edited by Red_Rose; 06-16-2020 at 06:26 PM.. Reason: Corrections
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Old 06-16-2020, 06:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can an older tank recover from algae?

I would cut down the light duration since you got new lights. New lights tends to stronger intensity. Also, your dirt probably is running out of nutrients and fish food isn't enough. You could always start over with new substrate or you can start dosing nutrients.
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Old 06-17-2020, 03:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can an older tank recover from algae?

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Originally Posted by Red_Rose View Post
My 20g is around 10 years old. Up until two years ago, my tank was doing very well. The Crypts took over and turned the tank into a jungle and aside from diatoms at startup and some green slime on the glass top, I never had any problems with algae.

Is it possible for my tank to recover from this? I don't know why I would be getting diatoms now and I haven't come across any actual causes for GDA. Could it have been from the change in the lighting? Aside from all of this, everyone in the tank seems to be happy. I wouldn't really care so much if it was just diatoms I was dealing with but the GDA is something I want gone.
Could recover. I wouldn't tear down a good tank that might be experiencing only a temporary setback due to lighting changes. Lighting always makes a difference. Try the Siesta regimen with a midday lights off for 2-3 hours. Do manual removal of algae so that plants don't lose their competitive advantage.

A picture of your tank would help.
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Old 06-17-2020, 05:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can an older tank recover from algae?

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Originally Posted by dwalstad View Post
Could recover. I wouldn't tear down a good tank that might be experiencing only a temporary setback due to lighting changes. Lighting always makes a difference. Try the Siesta regimen with a midday lights off for 2-3 hours. Do manual removal of algae so that plants don't lose their competitive advantage.

A picture of your tank would help.
The thing is, my bulbs aren't new. In the past, I've never had algae when I put in new bulbs which made me wonder if it has something to do with the kelvin rating.

I remember that. Wouldn't turning the lights off for a couple of hours during the day negatively affect the fish, etc.? I'll give it a try. My lights come on at 8am and turn off at 7pm. Should I leave it as that but with a 3 hour siesta from 12pm to 3pm or should I increase the amount of time between 8 to 12 and 3 to 7? I've read that it's not a good idea to disturb green dust algae because it can make it worse. What are your thoughts on this?

Last edited by Red_Rose; 06-17-2020 at 05:23 PM.. Reason: Left out something
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Old 06-19-2020, 06:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can an older tank recover from algae?

I think you just need to tinker with your setup and discover for yourself what works best. I've given you some general ideas to start with.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can an older tank recover from algae?

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I think you just need to tinker with your setup and discover for yourself what works best. I've given you some general ideas to start with.
I started using the siesta method yesterday. I was originally going to do 5-4-5 but since I do have some algae, not to mention all of my plants are low light plants, I'm going to try 4-3-4 to see how it works out for me.
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