A constant fight

SumoC

New Member
Joined
22 Oct 2016
Messages
12
Location
Shropshire
Hi folks,

Another cry for help I'm afraid. I've had this planted aquarium going for 18 months now but it's never really settled down, a couple of times I've thought it had but then it's just gone all wrong again a few weeks later. During it's time I've certainly had brown hair algae, BBA, cyanobacteria, green spot algae - right now I seem to be free of brown hair stuff and low on green spot but the others are having fun. I've messed about with just about everything (based on reading around the topic), but over the last couple of months I've gone back to 'the rules' and I'm still getting nowhere. So here I am laying it out before you for your help - please help me get my sanity back! I'm giving this one last shot before I go bogwood and blackwater....

Tank: 6ftx2ftx18" (appx 510 litres)
Filter: Eheim Pro 3 1200XL filter, two inlets at the same end of the aquarium, outlet through spray bar whole length of the aquarium, flow reaches front glass
Heater: Hydor inline heater, 28 degrees (this is nominally for discus, but they're all on holiday whilst I sort this lot out)
Substrate: ADA Amazonia (no other ADA additives)
Ferts: EI using aquariumplantfood.co.uk EI salts at their recommended doses (Macro - 4tsp nitrate, 1tsp phosphate, 6tsp sulphate per 500ml water, 100ml dosed every other day; Micro 1tsp chelated trace elements per 500ml water, 100ml dosed every other day). Dosed using a Jecod pump so no rest days
CO2: pressurised CO2 with in line atomiser from 1 hours before lights on to 1 hour before lights off, drop checker green
Lighting: 3x Kessil 160WE Tuna Sun, set at 13.00 5%; 14.00 100%; 20.00 100%; 21.00 5%; 21.10 off (so effective photoperiod 6 hours)
Stocking: 100 black neon tetra, 60(ish) amano shrimp, 40 nerite snails (previously 20 otos but they got a bit too nippy at the discus)
WCs: 50% weekly
Deep filter clean at first water change of the month
Photos: Taken this afternoon - sorry about the state of the glass! (enthusiasm has waned over the last few weeks but is ready to go again! (kept up WCs just not stringent algae removal, to be honest I was bored of that....))

I had a nice selection of plants in there a year or so back but with each algae I've removed the afflicted plants. I'm left with a good covering of sagittaria subulata (I let that go to try to outcompete the algae...no joy), a sprig of heteranthera zosterifolia, a few stems of hygrophila 53B in various stages of fight with algae, some java fern which is currently arguing with cyanobacteria and an occasional cryptocoryne leaf. I'd like to get back to a lower carpet (eleocharis acicularis mini or micranthemum monte carlo), and a nice variety of plants, just a nice aquascape really - this has eluded me completely since set up!

I'd really welcome your input, a step by step to get me on the straight and narrow would be brilliant. I'm happy to turn it into a weekly photo journal if you'd like to see it as we go.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Paul
 

Attachments

  • DSC_2157.JPG
    DSC_2157.JPG
    4.6 MB · Views: 69
  • DSC_2162.JPG
    DSC_2162.JPG
    1.9 MB · Views: 66
  • DSC_2163.JPG
    DSC_2163.JPG
    5.9 MB · Views: 61
  • DSC_2167.JPG
    DSC_2167.JPG
    5 MB · Views: 65
  • DSC_2168.JPG
    DSC_2168.JPG
    3.9 MB · Views: 64
Last edited:

Sammy Islam

Member
Joined
12 Mar 2019
Messages
459
Location
Hertfordshire
I'm no expert but i can probably help a little. From the info you have given i would think:
1) 1 filter is not enough to get proper circulation around a 500l tank, i would add a strong power head of some sorts, check out @Zeus. Journal for some ideas.
2) co2 needs to come on a lot earlier, probably 3 hours before lights come on. Getting co2 dissolved and distrubuted around a 500l tank is going to be difficult, especially at substrate level.
3) most algae will not go away, you have to battle it by removing effected plants/leaves, scrubbing hardscape and spot dosing excel/easy carbo.
 

SumoC

New Member
Joined
22 Oct 2016
Messages
12
Location
Shropshire
Thanks Sammy, really helpful. Thanks for the direction to Zeus' journal - what an incredible setup!

I'll have to think carefully about equipment and flow for discus....more reading to do I think! I'm well up for an ongoing 'algae maintenance' but it was definitely a losing battle until now...

Thanks again :)
 

Sammy Islam

Member
Joined
12 Mar 2019
Messages
459
Location
Hertfordshire
There's definitely a lot of continous reading to do, i spend a lot of time reading old threads everywhere i can.

Fighting algae is tough, especially BBA and staghorn. Both co2 and flow related algae. I would start by removing any wood and scrubbing the BBA off, i would also soak them in a storage container (if they fit) with some excel/easy carbo for an hour and that should kill off any remaining BBA.

I would hoover the substrate heavily and do bigger water changes, atleast 50% a week but i get that having discus in the tank (later on) will determine how much water you can remove - i do 80% water change on my tank every week. I would also trim off the worst effected leaves of the plants and spot dose the rest if it's manageable.
 

SumoC

New Member
Joined
22 Oct 2016
Messages
12
Location
Shropshire
Grand, so here is the plan....

1. Leave the mess for now....increase CO2 to 3 hours before lights on
2. Order 2 Hydor Koralia 5000 pumps (I can't quite stretch to the Gyre...)
3. When they arrive go for a fresh start, wood out, scrub, leave in bath with liquid carbon, heavy trim and gravel vac, restore wood, install pumps, one top left, one bottom right.
4. Watch the magic happen

Right? ;)
 

Sammy Islam

Member
Joined
12 Mar 2019
Messages
459
Location
Hertfordshire
Grand, so here is the plan....

1. Leave the mess for now....increase CO2 to 3 hours before lights on
2. Order 2 Hydor Koralia 5000 pumps (I can't quite stretch to the Gyre...)
3. When they arrive go for a fresh start, wood out, scrub, leave in bath with liquid carbon, heavy trim and gravel vac, restore wood, install pumps, one top left, one bottom right.
4. Watch the magic happen

Right? ;)

Yes and extra water changes if you can. I would lower lighting levels if they are on 100% for a month until you think things are better. Essentially you have too much light, not enough co2 + flow and maybe not enough ferts depending on your dosing. So to be able to use your lights at 100% for around 6-7 hours a day you need to meet the other demands that your lights are dictating.
 
Last edited:
Top