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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have bga, green hair and staghorn, I don't know what's going on so I'm going to ask a few questions as I've exhausted everything else that's been recommended for me to try, increasing ferts, lowing ferts, lowering light, adding more plants, heavy gravel Vacs, light gravel Vacs etc etc.

1.) could me running my light so low on intensity for a short photo period be causing this? Or maybe color spectrum In the light itself? Reason I ask about spectrum is on the preset for planted in my fluval 3.0, blue is at 20% I have my custom running 35% blue, all other values in planted are almost maxed mine is all 55% with blue and cool white at 35 all. Other color spectrums are 45-55.
2.) I know i don't have a good flow pattern and I know i still have gravel dust in the tank from my gravel not rinsing all the way, would adding a powerhead help I have 2 aquaclear hob's so a powerhead would cause a cross flow? As far as the dust there's no way to get it out unless I remove everything, add a binder)/ clarifier and let it run unless you all. Know a trick to it?
3.) am I dosing to much ferts for to low of light, 6 ml a week with my light running at approx 45% for 4.5 hours. If so would I lower ferts or increase light?
My plants are filling in and I'm getting more but I don't want to add more atm due to the algae issues I'm having, it's not extremely bad it's just frustrating me, mostly the bga as I know that will kill my plants so I'm wondering if there's a product like chemiclean (for bga) that will help with all the algae.

I have a theory that running my light at 45% with a high blue spectrum for 4.5 hours dosing 6 ml of thrive could be the cause as im not pushing the plants with light so they consume the nutrients I'm. Adding giving algae free reign... Could this be the issue?

I can't seem to balance this tank out for the life of me to the point in pulling my hair out.

Here's pics of the planted preset


Here's a Pic of what I was running for my custom

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Honestly algae only takes in very little types of nutrients.
Its not ferts.
as for lighting, not sure about that sounds fine to me but I know staghorn is caused by excess organics in the water and ammonia.
few basic questions:
what are your current params?
how long lights on for (sorry if I missed this)?
how old is the tank?
what ferts are you dosing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Honestly algae only takes in very little types of nutrients.
Its not ferts.
as for lighting, not sure about that sounds fine to me but I know staghorn is caused by excess organics in the water and ammonia.
few basic questions:
what are your current params?
how long lights on for (sorry if I missed this)?
how old is the tank?
what ferts are you dosing?
Water parameters are as follows
Ph 7.4
Kh (in tank) is 4 (tap) is 6
gh(in tank) in 6 (tap) is 6
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Temp (it's summer with no ac) so 81
Nitrate is 25-35 hard to tell on the api kit
Phosphate is 1.1
TDS (in tank is 148), (tap is 52)

I dose thrive @ 6 ml 1x weekly
Light is on 4.5 hours at 45%

I just switched my light to the planted preset but lowered a few values by 10-15% thinking of my plants aren't getting enough light they won't grow healthy which leads to algae so I'm told,

From what I've read Staghorn grows in areas with low flow and high light not sure though as I'm still new, here's is my light cycle with values now, just testing to see if it gets worse or better as before light wasn't reaching the bottom well so I was losing leaves in the lower part of my stem Plants.

I know I need more plants in just not sure what ones to get and where to put them


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If im understanding properly, your lights only on for 4 1/2 hours?
thats most likely the issue. With such a short photo period- your plants dont get to use all the nutrients your dosing, and dont get to use the light as much as the algae. So the algae gets the upper hand. I would raise the lighting to 8 hours, and keep it at that for a long time and see what happens.
I find algae rarely grows when a tank has reached an equilibrium. Equilibrium is when the tank reaches a "balance" so to speak. to do this it requires getting everything dialed in properly- then letting it sit for a long period of time (few months). And in that time your tank reaches a balance, everything has a purpose. Reducing algae and other things. :)

Btw if u have further questions on lighting, hoppycalif is the light expert currently on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If im understanding properly, your lights only on for 4 1/2 hours?
thats most likely the issue. With such a short photo period- your plants dont get to use all the nutrients your dosing, and dont get to use the light as much as the algae. So the algae gets the upper hand. I would raise the lighting to 8 hours, and keep it at that for a long time and see what happens.
I find algae rarely grows when a tank has reached an equilibrium. Equilibrium is when the tank reaches a "balance" so to speak. to do this it requires getting everything dialed in properly- then letting it sit for a long period of time (few months). And in that time your tank reaches a balance, everything has a purpose. Reducing algae and other things. :)

Btw if u have further questions on lighting, hoppycalif is the light expert currently on here.
I definitely need lighting advice, this light is new to me and is pretty strong, I need to get a lot more plants but I'm scared I will just waste money I don't really have to waste with the algae that's going on in the tank.

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Looking at your photos, I don't see any algae, other than a bit on the "white" rocks. So, I'm not sure what the problem is. The type of lighting you have makes it very hard to guess how intense the light is. Running your light through a cycle, sunrise, noon, sunset, etc. is something to appeal to your eyes, not something that benefits the plants. That also makes it hard to guess how much light intensity you have. And, a 4.5 hour photoperiod is less than optional for plant growth.

Plant growth rates are driven by the light intensity more than anything. When you have high light intensity the plants are being driven to grow fast, which means they need adequate concentrations of all of the nutrients needed for growth, and carbon is one of the nutrients they need the most of. They get carbon almost entirely from carbon dioxide. So, high growth rates require that you supply carbon dioxide (CO2) to the plants.

When the plants are not supplied with adequate nutrients for the growth rate they are being driven to by the light, they are not healthy plants. Unhealthy plants attract algae.

Obviously you don't have a PAR meter, a light meter that is calibrated to show how much of the spectrum of light that plants need to grow is available. It would help a lot of you borrowed a PAR meter so you could find out how much light you have. One alternative to using a PAR meter is to buy a cheap digital lux meter (on Ebay or other internet stores). Lux meters measure the light intensity as seen by human eyes, not as needed by the plants, but you can get a crude estimate of the light in PAR units using a lux meter. Unfortunately, lux meters are not at all water proof, so you have to drain the water before you can measure the light in the tank, using a lux meter. Those lux meters cost about $20 on Amazon.

Are you in the USA??
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Looking at your photos, I don't see any algae, other than a bit on the "white" rocks. So, I'm not sure what the problem is. The type of lighting you have makes it very hard to guess how intense the light is. Running your light through a cycle, sunrise, noon, sunset, etc. is something to appeal to your eyes, not something that benefits the plants. That also makes it hard to guess how much light intensity you have. And, a 4.5 hour photoperiod is less than optional for plant growth.

Plant growth rates are driven by the light intensity more than anything. When you have high light intensity the plants are being driven to grow fast, which means they need adequate concentrations of all of the nutrients needed for growth, and carbon is one of the nutrients they need the most of. They get carbon almost entirely from carbon dioxide. So, high growth rates require that you supply carbon dioxide (CO2) to the plants.

When the plants are not supplied with adequate nutrients for the growth rate they are being driven to by the light, they are not healthy plants. Unhealthy plants attract algae.

Obviously you don't have a PAR meter, a light meter that is calibrated to show how much of the spectrum of light that plants need to grow is available. It would help a lot of you borrowed a PAR meter so you could find out how much light you have. One alternative to using a PAR meter is to buy a cheap digital lux meter (on Ebay or other internet stores). Lux meters measure the light intensity as seen by human eyes, not as needed by the plants, but you can get a crude estimate of the light in PAR units using a lux meter. Unfortunately, lux meters are not at all water proof, so you have to drain the water before you can measure the light in the tank, using a lux meter. Those lux meters cost about $20 on Amazon.

Are you in the USA??
I've had my light tested by a friend with her model which is the 36" Mines the 48" with lower values than what I have at the moment, it was 55 par at 18" for her 36" model (tested with a li-cor) which would put me approx 75 par at 18" with her settings which were as follows, 100 pink, 35 blue, 40 cold white, 65 pure white, 75 warm white , I'm running what's in the picture so I don't have the par for that setting, I cannot afford co2 and I honestly don't want to go high tech (even though it's a nutrient) due to I'm a beginner, and I do not want to risk gassing my fish, I have all Low tech plants that don't require pressurized co2, however every plant does better with it, that is if you balance it right.

I am in the United States, maybe if I go lidless I will get more co2 from atmospheric pressure, there is no algae in the pictures because that was taken right after i cleaned the plants and vacuumed it out, here are some before pics, the blue in the rock is actually dye from rid ich + I have staghorn Also but hard to get a Pic of it


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I just switched from a 65 gallon tank to one half that size. I used DIY CO2 with the 65 gallon tank, with very good results. See http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/general-aquarium-plants-discussions/133058-diy-co2.html If your light is adjusted so it is providing only about 40 PAR light intensity at the substrate, you don't need much CO2 to make a big difference. And, DIY CO2 is far from "high tech".

If most of your algae are involved with the anubias you have, that isn't a surprise. Anubias grow very slowly, and are always at risk of algae problems, which is why I gave up using them. Fast growing plants are the most immune to algae. You might try adding a small area of fast growing stem plants to your aquascape to see if that helps too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just switched from a 65 gallon tank to one half that size. I used DIY CO2 with the 65 gallon tank, with very good results. See http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/general-aquarium-plants-discussions/133058-diy-co2.html If your light is adjusted so it is providing only about 40 PAR light intensity at the substrate, you don't need much CO2 to make a big difference. And, DIY CO2 is far from "high tech".

If most of your algae are involved with the anubias you have, that isn't a surprise. Anubias grow very slowly, and are always at risk of algae problems, which is why I gave up using them. Fast growing plants are the most immune to algae. You might try adding a small area of fast growing stem plants to your aquascape to see if that helps too.
I have rotala rotundifolia, bacopa caroliniana, Ludwigia repens, (slow growing money wart) for stems, cryptocoryne spiralis, cryptocoryne Wendtii reds and an Amazon sword, plus all the anubias avd a couple Buce, the Ludwigia is doing horrible, it has bga all Over even after spot treating with excel, I even rub the leaves off a couple times a week, thinking about removing it and getting wisteria /pearl weed, I need more ground cover also as algae grows from what I've been told in open areas with low flow that are not shaded (substrate is a prime example), that's just what I've been told not saying it's true.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In your place I would add Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides):
https://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Ceratopteristhalictroides(005A)/4405

It is cheap, undemanding, gorgeous, grows fast and (in my experience) it is one of the best plants to help to establish a healthy ecosystem. From you photos it looks like you do not have enough plants or the established ecosystem.
Yeah I do need to get some just have no idea where I can put it, I Also want to get some pearl weed as it's also very fast growing and a good nutrient consumer, wisteria is really tall and bushy right?

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I have been thinking about this for some time now, and it caused me to recall that blue green algae (cyanobacteria) can be a sign of too little nitrates in the water. So, I went to our "Algae Finder", at the top of the page, and found that the description there also says that low nitrates can lead to BGA. Then I re-read your first post here, and noted that BGA was the first algae you mentioned having a problem with. That led me to Thrive: which I think is low on nitrates, as an all-in-one fertilizer. (People tend to be afraid of nitrates, believing they are harmful, but at the levels we use for fertilizing, it is not harmful.) Now, I recall increasing my nitrate dosage a couple of times and getting rid of BGA. Conclusion: I suggest increasing your Thrive dosage. The dosage levels that lead to problems are almost always far above anyones dosage recommendations, so doubling those recommendations will rarely cause a problem.

In this hobby we swing back and forth about "proper" dosing of fertilizers. First we are afraid to do harm so we underdose, and have problems. Then we double those dosages, and have much better results. Then someone convinces us that overdosages are poisoning our tanks, so we underdose, etc. I guess this is part of the fun of this hobby?
 

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in this hobby we swing back and forth about "proper" dosing of fertilizers. First we are afraid to do harm so we underdose, and have problems. Then we double those dosages, and have much better results. Then someone convinces us that overdosages are poisoning our tanks, so we underdose, etc. I guess this is part of the fun of this hobby?
10/10
 

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I am just talking about establishing a healthy community, which is the best (if not only) way to control algae.
In my experience a recipe for a new tank:
1. After nitrites drop to zero, add at least two Otocinclus, the brown diatom always appear first and it is Otocinclus favorite food. They are always present and if subdued by Oto are not harmful.
2. Next day add A LOT of Water Sprite and a fast growing ground-cover.
3. After a few days and if your tank is 40 gallons or more add three Siamese algae eaters (they are school fish and only one will me miserable, feed them with frozen blood warms, there is not enough algae for them yet, and probably will never be.
4. Once the Water Sprite and ground-cover are well established, look happy, and the tank feels fully planted, slowly begin adding other plants you want, remove parts of already growing plants. At the same time add a few Amano shrimps and … aquarium "garden snails", they work very well for me. To control snail number simply increase pH (more CO2) if you see too much. Make sure Otos are happy, their stomachs must be slightly bulging. Do not feed them specifically.

Another note, the phosphates should be 0.12-0.13 times the amount of nitrates, so for you 30 ppm Nitrates in the tank now you need 30*0.13 = 3 - 4 ppm of phosphates. If thise amounts are not balanced, algae will flourish for me.
Hoppycalif: in my experience 30 ppm nitrates is usually enough to control BGA, if all the rest is well.
 

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I am just talking about establishing a healthy community, which is the best (if not only) way to control algae.
In my experience a recipe for a new tank:
1. After nitrites drop to zero, add at least two Otocinclus, the brown diatom always appear first and it is Otocinclus favorite food. They are always present and if subdued by Oto are not harmful.
2. Next day add A LOT of Water Sprite and a fast growing ground-cover.
3. After a few days and if your tank is 40 gallons or more add three Siamese algae eaters (they are school fish and only one will me miserable, feed them with frozen blood warms, there is not enough algae for them yet, and probably will never be.
4. Once the Water Sprite and ground-cover are well established, look happy, and the tank feels fully planted, slowly begin adding other plants you want, remove parts of already growing plants. At the same time add a few Amano shrimps and … aquarium "garden snails", they work very well for me. To control snail number simply increase pH (more CO2) if you see too much. Make sure Otos are happy, their stomachs must be slightly bulging. Do not feed them specifically.
This is one way to start a new tank, but not the only good way. (In my opinion)
Another note, the phosphates should be 0.12-0.13 times the amount of nitrates, so for you 30 ppm Nitrates in the tank now you need 30*0.13 = 3 - 4 ppm of phosphates. If thise amounts are not balanced, algae will flourish for me.
Hoppycalif: in my experience 30 ppm nitrates is usually enough to control BGA, if all the rest is well.
I agree that 30 ppm of nitrates is probably enough to avoid BGA being started by low nitrates. I also think 50 ppm of nitrate is not harmful to fish or plants, so there is no good reason to put any effort into keeping the nitrates below 50 ppm. Generalizations are often wrong, in general:D There are almost certainly some people who have had bad experiences with 50 ppm of nitrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have been thinking about this for some time now, and it caused me to recall that blue green algae (cyanobacteria) can be a sign of too little nitrates in the water. So, I went to our "Algae Finder", at the top of the page, and found that the description there also says that low nitrates can lead to BGA. Then I re-read your first post here, and noted that BGA was the first algae you mentioned having a problem with. That led me to Thrive: which I think is low on nitrates, as an all-in-one fertilizer. (People tend to be afraid of nitrates, believing they are harmful, but at the levels we use for fertilizing, it is not harmful.) Now, I recall increasing my nitrate dosage a couple of times and getting rid of BGA. Conclusion: I suggest increasing your Thrive dosage. The dosage levels that lead to problems are almost always far above anyones dosage recommendations, so doubling those recommendations will rarely cause a problem.

In this hobby we swing back and forth about "proper" dosing of fertilizers. First we are afraid to do harm so we underdose, and have problems. Then we double those dosages, and have much better results. Then someone convinces us that overdosages are poisoning our tanks, so we underdose, etc. I guess this is part of the fun of this hobby?
My nitrate is "from what I can tell" 30-40 ppm, I do have the api kit which is very innacurate and hard to read, I've read p04 causes algae but I have others telling me I need to be 3-4ppm I have to find my phosphate test kit again, it's very hard to read "a little dish with little cups and a pipette" but I will test that tonight, I know my tap p04 is 1.1

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is one way to start a new tank, but not the only good way. (In my opinion)
I agree that 30 ppm of nitrates is probably enough to avoid BGA being started by low nitrates. I also think 50 ppm of nitrate is not harmful to fish or plants, so there is no good reason to put any effort into keeping the nitrates below 50 ppm. Generalizations are often wrong, in general:D There are almost certainly some people who have had bad experiences with 50 ppm of nitrates.
I don't run co2 my tank is low tech, I do need to add wisteria, think I'll remove the Ludwigia, grow it out immersed in a container outside of the tank and add it back In after I get everything in order, I have a p04 test kit but I have to find it, I know i tested my tap when I first got it and tap was 1.1, I'll have to find it and test the tank I was told p04 (phosphate if I'm correct) causes algae but I'm reading a lot of different things saying it doesn't. What is a good fast growing ground cover plant? as that's what I need, I have a lot of open spaces in the substrate which is a recipe for algae

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