Algae affecting plants

kellyboy47

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Joined
9 Mar 2008
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219
Location
Essex
Hi,

I am hoping somebody can help me with this problem {Please see photos) I have struggled to grow plants for quite a long time now
and have never got them to look like you see in 'show' tanks either on here or in retailers shops. I am not quite sure what type of algae
this is or what I am doing wrong. My tank is a Juwel Vision 180 and I use EI Dry Salts Micro /Macro on alternating days with a 40l water
change each week. I also use Easycarbo 7ml per day. My lighting system is a Juwel Helialux LED 920 (I can supply lighting times if required)

The Alternanthera Cardinalis and the Lagenandra Meeboldii Red have been in my tank for about 2 weeks and looked fine when first planted
but the former is already showing signs of algae growth.

I must admit I am getting a bit disheartened trying to grown 'live' plants and may have to accept defeat.

Any help would be greatly appreciated




P1010812.JPG

P1010813.JPG
P1010814.JPG
 

REDSTEVEO

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31 Mar 2008
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Planet Earth
Hi, we have all been there at sometime. My tank has been established for a long time but up to now, without plants. Only recently have I reintroduced plants and am having similar problems. So even though I have had success in the past I am re-learning all over again.

Trial and error and experimenting with lighting, nutrients, and CO2 is the way forward. If the algae is out growing your plants, then you have to do something or change something, increase or decrease something to see what results you get.

So, try increasing the CO2 and fertiliser, increase the light intensity if possible, but decrease the lighting period to around 5 hours.

You need to be changing 50% of your tank volume water on the seventh day.

Also instead of adding the E.I. Dry powders, mix up a liquid solution instead, and add the required amount of Macro and Micro solutions each day.

Finally, get hold of some Flourish Excel. Mix a weak solution of this in a small spray bottle, when your plants are exposed during a water change, spray the leaves with the weak mixture. Be careful not to make too strong a mixture or you will nuke the plants as well as the algae.
 

kellyboy47

Member
Joined
9 Mar 2008
Messages
219
Location
Essex
Hi, we have all been there at sometime. My tank has been established for a long time but up to now, without plants. Only recently have I reintroduced plants and am having similar problems. So even though I have had success in the past I am re-learning all over again.

Trial and error and experimenting with lighting, nutrients, and CO2 is the way forward. If the algae is out growing your plants, then you have to do something or change something, increase or decrease something to see what results you get.

So, try increasing the CO2 and fertiliser, increase the light intensity if possible, but decrease the lighting period to around 5 hours.

You need to be changing 50% of your tank volume water on the seventh day.

Also instead of adding the E.I. Dry powders, mix up a liquid solution instead, and add the required amount of Macro and Micro solutions each day.

Finally, get hold of some Flourish Excel. Mix a weak solution of this in a small spray bottle, when your plants are exposed during a water change, spray the leaves with the weak mixture. Be careful not to make too strong a mixture or you will nuke the plants as well as the algae.

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I was beginning to think I had broken the forum rules !

With regards to CO2 I am not all that comfortable with the injected CO2 route...tried it before so thats why I use Easycarbo at the stated level

Changing 50% of the water weekly is a non-starter really especially as the missus complains I use too much water anyway

I use EI dry ferts from aquariumplantfood.co.uk and have been using this method for at least 8 years Micro (Chelated trace) Macro (Potassium Nitrate / Phosphate / Magnesium Sulphate)
alternate days. What product would you suggest foer an alternative liquid solution

I originally used Excel so I might have a little bit left....trouble is 40l water change does leave the plants immersed still

I am not sure whether you are familiar with the Juwel Helialux system but here goes:

4 x Lighting periods

Dawn 9 am - 12 pm Luminosity 5% White 60% Blue
Sunrise 2 pm - 7 pm Luminosity 100% White 100% Blue
Sunset 8.30 pm - 9.30 pm Luminosity 10% White 60% Blue
Dusk 9.30 pm -22.30 pm Luminosity 0% White 5% Blue

Two filters in tank JBL Crystalprofi E1501 1400LPH (External) Juwel 1000 1000LPH (internal)

Hope this helps
P1010816.JPG
 
Last edited:

Fiske

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5 Oct 2016
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323
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Denmark
That's an awfully long lightning period for not a lot of plants and no CO2. If large waterchanges are out of the question, I'd look at reducing light (amount and period), upping plantmass and consider a much more low tech approach.

Right now you are adding more ferts than your plants can use, being CO2 limited, and lots of light. Algae are waiting for an opportunity like this.
EI kind of depends on having to 'reset' the amount of ferts in the watercolumn by changing out a large-ish part of your water, lest you get a build up of nutrients. Combine with lots of lights, no CO2 and few plants = algae heaven.
 

sparkyweasel

Member
Joined
30 Jun 2011
Messages
1,500
I think Fiske is right, that's a long photoperiod. Also, the dawn and sunset may be giving four hours when the light is enough for algae to grow but too dim for your plants to benefit.
I would;
Reduce those times to 30mins, or 15 if your controller can do that.
Remove as much algae as you can during the biggest water change you can manage.
Add some fast-growing stem plants and/or floating plants to outcompete the algae.
Dose less than EI levels if you can't do the big water changes that go with EI dosing.
 

REDSTEVEO

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31 Mar 2008
Messages
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Location
Planet Earth
Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I was beginning to think I had broken the forum rules !

With regards to CO2 I am not all that comfortable with the injected CO2 route...tried it before so thats why I use Easycarbo at the stated level

Changing 50% of the water weekly is a non-starter really especially as the missus complains I use too much water anyway

I use EI dry ferts from aquariumplantfood.co.uk and have been using this method for at least 8 years Micro (Chelated trace) Macro (Potassium Nitrate / Phosphate / Magnesium Sulphate)
alternate days. What product would you suggest foer an alternative liquid solution

I originally used Excel so I might have a little bit left....trouble is 40l water change does leave the plants immersed still

I am not sure whether you are familiar with the Juwel Helialux system but here goes:

4 x Lighting periods

Dawn 9 am - 12 pm Luminosity 5% White 60% Blue
Sunrise 2 pm - 7 pm Luminosity 100% White 100% Blue
Sunset 8.30 pm - 9.30 pm Luminosity 10% White 60% Blue
Dusk 9.30 pm -22.30 pm Luminosity 0% White 5% Blue

Two filters in tank JBL Crystalprofi E1501 1400LPH (External) Juwel 1000 1000LPH (internal)

Hope this helpsView attachment 151862

You Sir, I am afraid to say are up s#¥t Street without a paddle if you'll excuse my French. A 14.5 hour lighting period, full E.I. Dosing, no injected CO2, and only 40 litre water change from a 180 litre tank once a week.

You have answered your own question with the information you have provided, you just couldn't see it. Fiske is 100% right, you have created a 'Perfect Storm' an algae heaven.

So here is the deal, you need to either:-
a) Man Up and do the 50% water changes as per the recommended guidelines for E.I. Dosing; or
b) Stop dosing the Fertilisers, or at least reduce by two thirds, and reduce your lighting period to 5 hours, period, no ifs or buts, or,
c) Forget completely about any thoughts of keeping a planted tank.
Simple as that.

Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but I dont believe in bullshitting, you need to hear the truth. And the truth is, you are putting a lot of time and effort in, but all in the wrong direction.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Location
Cambridgeshire
You Sir, I am afraid to say are up s#¥t Street without a paddle if you'll excuse my French. A 14.5 hour lighting period, full E.I. Dosing, no injected CO2, and only 40 litre water change from a 180 litre tank once a week.

You have answered your own question with the information you have provided, you just couldn't see it. Fiske is 100% right, you have created a 'Perfect Storm' an algae heaven.

So here is the deal, you need to either:-
a) Man Up and do the 50% water changes as per the recommended guidelines for E.I. Dosing; or
b) Stop dosing the Fertilisers, or at least reduce by two thirds, and reduce your lighting period to 5 hours, period, no ifs or buts, or,
c) Forget completely about any thoughts of keeping a planted tank.
Simple as that.

Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but I dont believe in bullshitting, you need to hear the truth. And the truth is, you are putting a lot of time and effort in, but all in the wrong direction.

If you want to head towards more satisfactory results then the above is very difficult to argue with.
 

kellyboy47

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Joined
9 Mar 2008
Messages
219
Location
Essex
Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions although REDSTEVEO you were a bit near the mark by telling me to 'man up' if you know what I mean :rolleyes: but I'll let you off just this once and by the way the lighting period is 10 hours not 14.5 but I know still way too much.

I will make some adjustments as from today by decreasing the lighting period to 5 hours and decreasing the amount of ferts I put in. Will also did a bigger water change.

One point I would like to make is that my fish tank is all about the 'fish' hence the name and having a good looking planted tank is a bonus. I 've noticed that a lot of these incredible aquascapes that I see contain small species like Cardinal Tetras whereas mine for instance contain Blue Acaras, Kribs, Rainbows, Corydoras, Bolivian Rams and the like in a real community tank setup and it probably doesnt help the flora by the amount of waste these fish produce but there you go the fish come first
 

kellyboy47

Member
Joined
9 Mar 2008
Messages
219
Location
Essex
I think Fiske is right, that's a long photoperiod. Also, the dawn and sunset may be giving four hours when the light is enough for algae to grow but too dim for your plants to benefit.
I would;
Reduce those times to 30mins, or 15 if your controller can do that.
Remove as much algae as you can during the biggest water change you can manage.
Add some fast-growing stem plants and/or floating plants to outcompete the algae.
Dose less than EI levels if you can't do the big water changes that go with EI dosing.

Thanks for your advice. I'm sure my controller is catered for that but in your opinion how should I distribute the 5 hour lighting period over the 4 settings
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
Messages
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Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
but in your opinion how should I distribute the 5 hour lighting period over the 4 settings
Sunrise 2 pm - 7 pm Luminosity 100% White 100% Blue
If you go to a shorter light period you probably need just the full intensity in one block.
and having a good looking planted tank is a bonus
I'd try some floating plants, any (or all) of a <"sub-surface floater and a floating floater">.

cheers Darrel
 

REDSTEVEO

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Thanks for your advice. I'm sure my controller is catered for that but in your opinion how should I distribute the 5 hour lighting period over the 4 settings
On and then off. Five hours, you pick the period.
Tell your concerned other half that you will be using the 50% E.I. Enriched water to water her plants in the house and garden.

Job done.
 

hypnogogia

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Location
Oxfordshire
You could do this, for example
Dawn 9 am - 12 pm Luminosity 0%White 0% Blue
Sunrise 2 pm - 3pm Luminosity 100% White 100% Blue
Sunset 8.00pm - 9.00pm Luminosity 10% White 10% Blue
Dusk 9.30 pm -22.30 pm Luminosity 0% White 0% Blue

Effectively, lights on at 2pm with a slow build over an hour to 100%
Kept at 100% from 3-8. Then from 8-9 decrease to 10%. Stay at 10% until 9.30, then off at 10.30. Play around and experimemt. Key is to have a decent photo period with short sunrise and sunsets either side.
 

kellyboy47

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9 Mar 2008
Messages
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Location
Essex
On and then off. Five hours, you pick the period.
Tell your concerned other half that you will be using the 50% E.I. Enriched water to water her plants in the house and garden.

Job done.

Already do this goes straight into garden water butt
 

REDSTEVEO

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Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions although REDSTEVEO you were a bit near the mark by telling me to 'man up' if you know what I mean :rolleyes: but I'll let you off just this once and by the way the lighting period is 10 hours not 14.5 but I know still way too much.

I will make some adjustments as from today by decreasing the lighting period to 5 hours and decreasing the amount of ferts I put in. Will also did a bigger water change.

One point I would like to make is that my fish tank is all about the 'fish' hence the name and having a good looking planted tank is a bonus. I 've noticed that a lot of these incredible aquascapes that I see contain small species like Cardinal Tetras whereas mine for instance contain Blue Acaras, Kribs, Rainbows, Corydoras, Bolivian Rams and the like in a real community tank setup and it probably doesnt help the flora by the amount of waste these fish produce but there you go the fish come first

Hi @kellyboy47 yes I was near the mark, if you took offence to that I apologise. But it was you that mentioned your misses complaining not me. 😬😉 Your lighting period is actually 13.5 hours, from 9am in the morning till 10.30pm at night. You have got lights on regardless of the intensity. Low Blue Light at 5% is still light, and with the fertilisers the algae will take advantage during those low light periods.

You are correct in your assumption that the kind of fish you are keeping will add lots of waste to your tank, so I am betting that the Nitrate levels are way too high in your tank, then you are adding more with E.I. Which reinforces the point about the 50% water changes. Have you measured your Nitrate levels? Have you got a decent test kit? What is the GH, KH, TDS, NO2, NO3, Microsiemens levels in the tank. Do you measure these?

I also notice you have a black substrate with pretty coloured bits in amongst it. Is there any nutrients in the substrate? Look at the grain size of your substrate, it is too large, particles of fish waste, uneaten food, all sitting in amongst the substrate.

It is a recipe for disaster where plants are concerned. I think you need to either RIP the whole lot out and start again, or go for option c) in my original reply.

You are welcome.

Good luck in whichever route you go down.
 

Nick72

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.......

I also notice you have a black substrate with pretty coloured bits in amongst it. Is there any nutrients in the substrate? Look at the grain size of your substrate, it is too large, particles of fish waste, uneaten food, all sitting in amongst the substrate.

It is a recipe for disaster where plants are concerned. I think you need to either RIP the whole lot out and start again, or go for option c) in my original reply......



Not quite sure what your point is here @REDSTEVEO

Are you saying that the substrate grain size is too large and completely incompatible with a planted tank? Or simply that the large grain size will require more maintenance if he is to be successful at growing plants?
 

hypnogogia

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One point I would like to make is that my fish tank is all about the 'fish' hence the name and having a good looking planted tank is a bonus. I 've noticed that a lot of these incredible aquascapes that I see contain small species like Cardinal Tetras whereas mine for instance contain Blue Acaras, Kribs, Rainbows, Corydoras, Bolivian Rams and the like in a real community tank setup and it probably doesnt help the flora by the amount of waste these fish produce but there you go the fish come first
But you’re asking for advice about the algae, which several people have provided. It’s possible to keep the fish and plants in good harmony. With all that fish waste feeding the plants (and algae) you can reduce the EI dosing, increase water changes and reduce the lighting.
I don’t have an aquascape. I have a heavily planted community tank. I have the same lights as you. I change 50-70% water per week and have little to no algae.
 

kellyboy47

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Joined
9 Mar 2008
Messages
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Location
Essex
Hi @kellyboy47 yes I was near the mark, if you took offence to that I apologise. But it was you that mentioned your misses complaining not me. 😬😉 Your lighting period is actually 13.5 hours, from 9am in the morning till 10.30pm at night. You have got lights on regardless of the intensity. Low Blue Light at 5% is still light, and with the fertilisers the algae will take advantage during those low light periods.

You are correct in your assumption that the kind of fish you are keeping will add lots of waste to your tank, so I am betting that the Nitrate levels are way too high in your tank, then you are adding more with E.I. Which reinforces the point about the 50% water changes. Have you measured your Nitrate levels? Have you got a decent test kit? What is the GH, KH, TDS, NO2, NO3, Microsiemens levels in the tank. Do you measure these?

I also notice you have a black substrate with pretty coloured bits in amongst it. Is there any nutrients in the substrate? Look at the grain size of your substrate, it is too large, particles of fish waste, uneaten food, all sitting in amongst the substrate.

It is a recipe for disaster where plants are concerned. I think you need to either RIP the whole lot out and start again, or go for option c) in my original reply.

You are welcome.

Good luck in whichever route you go down.

Apology accepted although I do have a short fuse however it did make my other half laugh with your "man-up" comment. I appreciate you and everyone else that has replied in trying to help. I will make the interventions required. With regards to the gravel I hav'nt changed it in aeons although I would like to get some finer gravel especially for the corys. Trouble is at the moment the thought of rehoming the fish, removing the plants temporarily whilst I change the gravel is something I could do without but I'll see after I make the changes. Do you still think I should reduce the ferts and at the same time the Easycarbo ?
 

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