Algae affecting plants

REDSTEVEO

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Hi Kelly!

As I read through the thread, I started to think that if we change our goals it may align with everything you want: long lighting period (I deduced this), low maintenance. I am thinking we go low tech?

I have a tank upstairs that is right beside a window. I use no light (only take advantage of sunlight) and have several floating plants, in particular duckweed, to help with nutrient uptake. It has no plants (but I have ran low tech in the past) as my wife wanted the plastic ones with blue rocks 🤣.

Diana Walstad's < Ecology of the planted tank > could be an approach that you take.

The issue I think is that the strategy that people take to achieve 'show' tanks is:
1) expensive (there is no denying that the upfront cost of CO2 etc is not cheap - even with DIY everything).
2) requires meticulous cleaning, especially on start up - which means changing water.
3) requires CO2 injection.

Dennis Wong achieves a < nice low tech tank > but I bet he doesn't fertilize the water column and has nutrient rich and appropriate substrate.

In every case, it requires a restart - as the low-tech approach with minimal water changes will need a substrate to keep it balanced.

Except the case below:

Or, you find a way to lean out you fertilization to match the 3ppm of CO2 that you have. This will require intensive water changing and cleaning up front - so you will have to remove most of the waste from your tank, clean it intensely, remove dying plants, remove algae, rub all of the leaves, clean your filter, THEN dose minimal amounts. This will work by forcing a different nutrient (not CO2) to stop the assembly line of Liebig's law of the minimum - without running it out of course so riding a nice line - (the easiest one to use here is phosphate as it is more mobile within the plant vs. the water column, so the plant can stock up on phosphates from the WC while algae ... at least this is what I have gathered from reading - no formal link here). The goal becomes SLOW, healthy growth. You shouldn't have to trim for months.

These are simply my thoughts :).

Josh
Excellent advice for everyone, and probably the best route for @kellyboy47 to go down.
 

kellyboy47

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3 and a bit weeks in and I have made some changes. I've been doing a 33% water change over past 3 weeks....I stopped the nutrients as suggested for about the same amount of time and have reduced the lighting period to 5 hours but I have now restarted the macro / micro ferts. I have trimmed the plants that had the worst algae but unfortunately the algae isnt getting markedly better and I have a lot of green algae on the substrate although I have 'hoovered' the gravel twice in the past 2 weeks. I have introduced some frogbit although think I need to buy some more.
Did a water test today and the readings were NO2 =0, NO3=100, CL2=0.8, KH 6d, GH 8d and PH 7.2 so I assume this has improved.
Do you think I am going the right way and should I replace the substrate in your opinion ? Any other recommendations would be gratefully received

Thanks
Trev
 

hypnogogia

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Your chlorine is high. Do you use a water conditioner such as Prime when you do your water changes? Also, your frog it should increase by itself, so you shouldn’t need to buy any more. It it doesn’t increase, your doing something wrong - insufficient light or lack of nutrients.
 

kellyboy47

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Yes always have used Tetra Aquasafe at water change. I have taken advice from what other members have said on here and have a 5 hour lighting period as has been suggested as I was apparently using too much light. I have resumed adding same levels of Micro / Macro ferts
 

PARAGUAY

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Well worth a look on George Farmers YT channel George visits to Scaped Nature to see the low tech shop tank and Ray's low tech sets ups at home
 

nigel bentley

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3 and a bit weeks in and I have made some changes. I've been doing a 33% water change over past 3 weeks....I stopped the nutrients as suggested for about the same amount of time and have reduced the lighting period to 5 hours but I have now restarted the macro / micro ferts. I have trimmed the plants that had the worst algae but unfortunately the algae isnt getting markedly better and I have a lot of green algae on the substrate although I have 'hoovered' the gravel twice in the past 2 weeks. I have introduced some frogbit although think I need to buy some more.
Did a water test today and the readings were NO2 =0, NO3=100, CL2=0.8, KH 6d, GH 8d and PH 7.2 so I assume this has improved.
Do you think I am going the right way and should I replace the substrate in your opinion ? Any other recommendations would be gratefully received

Thanks
Trev
Hi Kelly boy, Nitrate still pretty high but better. I too have had similar problems with the BBA, although my lighting period is much shorter than yours. I dose EI but due to having fish and quite a lot of nitrate in my tap water, I have started reducing potassium nitrate I add to macro solution. I'm reducing from 4 to 3 tsp. Maybe worth a go mate along with big water changes on every 7 th day. Good luck and don't give up 🤞
 
Last edited:

kellyboy47

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Hi Kelly boy, Nitrate still pretty high but better. I too have had similar problems with the BBA, although my lighting period is much shorter than yours. I dose EI but due to having fish and quite a lot of nitrate in my tap water, I have started reducing potassium nitrate I add to macro solution. I'm reducing from 4 to 3 tsp. Maybe worth a go mate along with big water changes on every 7 th day. Good luck and don't give up 🤞
Did a water test yesterday after a water change and the readings were NO2 =0, NO3=100, CL2=0, KH 6d, GH 8d and PH 7.2 so not getting any worse but only slightly better with the CL2. We live in a 'Hard water' area so that probably doesnt help. I have reduced from 4 to 3tsp as you have and am still doing 33% water change every week but might have to alter the lighting period to a 3 and a 2 hour period instead of 5 in all one go
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
but might have to alter the lighting period to a 3 and a 2 hour period instead of 5 in all one go
I wouldn't go any shorter than five hours in the main block. You need to make sure that your plants <"have sufficient light"> (above light compensation point (LCP)). I've never kept a high tech. tank and I understand about carbon limitation, but I don't understand how 19 hours below LCP can improve plant growth.

Low tech I have all my tanks on an "~12 hour day", the ones at home have a couple of hours off around midday so that I can see them both morning and evening in the winter.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

kellyboy47

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Update on recent issue. Please see photos on sorry state of plants :(

Currently doing a larger water change 33%.
Have changed all filter media in internal Juwel filter with new
Lighting period 5 hours in one block - 100% Blue 100% White on Juwel Helialux lighting
EI dosing back to normal quantities
Current readings after water change today:
NO3= 25
NO2 =0
GH= 16d
KH=15d
PH=7.6
CL2=0

I was going to buy some substrate like ECO Complete or Tropica and top with sand or gravel but in hindsight I think I am losing the
battle with my tank conditions so what I propose to do is cut my losses on the following:

Remove all substrate and discard plants
Thoroughly clean tank
Replace plants with hardy species such as Anubias, Buce, Java on wood / rock instead of stem plants with which I have had no luck whatsoever !
Have smaller grain gravel / sand as I am keen on adding more Corydoras.

In respect of the gravel which make would anybody suggest and what grain size or indeed as another option just have a pure a sand base or is that not advisable 😕

Any help gratefully received ;)
 

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