Algae Issues (About to give up...)
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Algae Issues (About to give up...)

This is a discussion on Algae Issues (About to give up...) within the Planted Tank Specific forums, part of the Aquarium Related Chat category; Hey guys. I started a planted tank back in March. It was great for a week or two, but suddenly ...

  1. #1
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    Default Algae Issues (About to give up...)

    Hey guys.

    I started a planted tank back in March. It was great for a week or two, but suddenly (what I think is) brown hair algae appeared. At first I thought it was no big deal, as I had heard of brown algae blooms in new aquariums.

    However, it quickly took over my 10 gallon tank. I now clean it almost every day and do about a 20-30% water change almost every day, using a toothbrush and siphon to try to rid my tank of the algae. As I am hoping to put crystal red shrimp in eventually, when I change water I add some seachem equilibrium and alkaline buffer, as my tap water is extremely soft and was lacking in both of those.

    I even did a full tank breakdown, cleaned everything, put it back together buying new plants in the process as the algae had destroyed most of mine originally. Again, it was fine for less than a week before the algae hit again. Now I'm stuck and I don't know what to do. I'm am so tired of cleaning the tank every day just to see the algae come back even worse the next day. thumbnail_image2.jpgthumbnail_image0.jpg

    additional info: I decided to add some amano shrimp to my tank to try to combat the algae. I acclimated them last night, and woke up this morning to see two of three of them dead.

    info:
    Lighting: NICREW LED light - 8 hr per day
    Substrate: Tropica aquarium soil + some eco complete
    PH: 7.5
    KH: 120
    GH: 30
    nitrates: somewhere between 0-20
    nitrites: somewhere between 0 and 0.5

    Looking for any reccomendations. Desperate and seriously willing to try anything to fix this! thanks
    Last edited by ranchu; 07-04-2020 at 11:39 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Hello Ranchu,
    Usually when you have algae issues it means lighting, nutrients, and plants are out of balance.
    Lighting:
    1. a. The light looks pretty bright - are you able to adjust the intensity? I would suggest lowering the intensity or raising the lights - If you have a PAR meter than there's specific recommendations but don't think that's absolutely necessary. What's your LED wattage and tank dimensions?
    1. b. I have had good results with 4 hrs on in morning, break till afternoon, then 4 more hours late afternoon till night. I have about 4 planted tanks at this point and algae was never an issue.

    Ferts:
    2. Are you dosing ferts at all? I'm not an expert in this so hopefully someone else can chime in, but my suggestion is to be very sparing with ferts until things get established.

    Plants:
    3. a. I would recommend loading up the tanks with fast growing stem plants - you want to starve the algae. If it's not the look you want, slowly switch out the stem plants later on, but I think they are key to being algae free on initial stages.
    3. b. Are you using cultured plants (sold dry in store ala tropica) or immersed from fellow aquarists? I would suggest starting with enough immersed plants so you don't get that transition period when the plant is busy switching forms rather than growing.

    Other methods:
    4. Now one thing that worked pretty well for my small tank when hair algae was coming in was Flourish Excel - the so called liquid carbon. Do some spot dosing (filter off, and use a syringe to get the excel right on to the affected areas, using enough for maybe 1.5 to 2x recommended dose, and switch the filter on after half an hour.

    Not sure why your Amano is dying - they are generally pretty hardy. One decided to take a walk on my floors and I picked her up expecting a dead shrimp, felt it jump and put back into the tank, and she's back getting busy, being berried and all. How did you acclimate? Via drip?

    Definitely in your case, I would do 1, 3 and 4 concurrently.

  4. #3
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    Looks like your soil is leaching ferts and they are not balanced by plants uptake. I would say reduce light intensity if possible or exposure time. Put more fast growing plants. Be very careful with pH buffers. You probably don't need them at all if you do water changes more often than weekly. I don't think you need them unless you are aiming for something special like African cichlids or want to breed Altums . After you see plants start growing begin fertilizing - start from half dose and increase slowly (month or two) till the full dose. At that time you can start with neocaridina shrimps. Remember all changes have to be slow otherwise algae outbreak is guaranteed...

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

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    Hi Kivyee. Thanks so much for the suggestions.

    1. the light is this one: NICREW BrightLED Aquarium Light, High Output Fish Tank Light for Freshwater Tanks, 18 to 24-inch, 18-Watt, 1200 LM, 7500K. The tank is a standard 10 gallon. I can't raise it up unfortunately as the tank is under my cupboards. However I picked up some frogbit today to try to reduce the brightness for tank and I'm going to reduce the duration of light to 6 hours and see if that help.

    2. No ferts. I started dosing at the beginning when I first set my tank up but realized that was probably causing some algae so I stopped.

    3. Thanks for this suggestion! I bought some limnophilia sessiflora for this exact purpose. It's grown exponentially since I got it about 2 weeks ago. I picked up another Nymphilia Taiwan plant today as its supposed to be very fast growing as well.

    Lastly, for the amanos - I drip acclimated so not sure what the issue was there. Thanks for all of your suggestions, hopefully this improves my situation!

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    Hi girafee. Good to know about the soil. I'm curious about the buffers though - I've been trying to build up my ph slowly since I want shrimp and snails, and I've read that they need a higher ph and hardness to thrive. However, I have also seen people keeping snails and shrimp together that require different water hardness levels (such as crystal reds and snails) so maybe its not as important as I think it is?

    Thanks for your help!

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    Is that a window behind the tank? If so, try putting something opaque behind the tank to block out the daylight.

  9. #7
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    For neocaridina shrimps pH is not that important. Of course you need a good general hardness level, especially Ca. And your kh level is way too high for my liking - dkh of 7 would be too much for most plants and fishes. It's more like brackish water. For caridinas it should be close to 0.

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranchu View Post
    Hi Kivyee. Thanks so much for the suggestions.

    1. the light is this one: NICREW BrightLED Aquarium Light, High Output Fish Tank Light for Freshwater Tanks, 18 to 24-inch, 18-Watt, 1200 LM, 7500K. The tank is a standard 10 gallon. I can't raise it up unfortunately as the tank is under my cupboards. However I picked up some frogbit today to try to reduce the brightness for tank and I'm going to reduce the duration of light to 6 hours and see if that help.

    2. No ferts. I started dosing at the beginning when I first set my tank up but realized that was probably causing some algae so I stopped.

    3. Thanks for this suggestion! I bought some limnophilia sessiflora for this exact purpose. It's grown exponentially since I got it about 2 weeks ago. I picked up another Nymphilia Taiwan plant today as its supposed to be very fast growing as well.

    Lastly, for the amanos - I drip acclimated so not sure what the issue was there. Thanks for all of your suggestions, hopefully this improves my situation!
    I have some water sprite you can have if you want to block out light. Their roots are great at sucking up any excess nutrients too

  11. #9
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    Lots of great answers. Sometimes when I get an algae boom, I try turn off the lights for a few days.
    Your regular plants shouldn’t suffer too much from this black out.

 

 


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