Algae issues

gcodrutv

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Joined
2 May 2019
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39
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Hi,

I'm new registered on this forum, but I'm following for a long time.

I recently upgraded my planted tank to a bigger one and I have a nightmare fighting with green hair algae, GSA, BBA and staghorn algae. Can't get rid of.

The current setup is custom made long tank, 156cm long, 36cm wide and 60cm height. JBL volcano mineral (18l), topped with 30kg of black sand. Hardscape about 40kg of Dragon stone and 3 redmoor wood medium/large pieces.

Filtration is done by one JBL 1902 (744l/h real flow) with 2 long spay bar, each side (DIY) and one Oase Biomaster Thermo 600 (509l/h real flow), setup as surface skimmer and return via 2 nozzles with T pointing to the front glass and UV light.

Between the 2 filters I have 1kg of ceramic rings, 4L of Seachem Matrix and 4L of JBL Micromec.

I'm injecting CO2 via pressurised bottle with 2-way splitter and 2 JBL inline diffusers. On the JBL 1902 i have 4-5 bubbles/second and on the Oase 2-3 bubbles/second.

Fertilizers, EI daily method with about 70l water change every 3-4 days.

Lights 2 Mitras Slim line 150cm Sky White (67W each), running from 7am (5%) till 11pm (5%) with 100% only form 1pm till 4pm, rest of the day, slowly increase and decrease (on dimmer).

The water is from mains run via 2 chloramine carbon blocks (1 micron) and one additional carbon block (0.5micron). TDS on water supply 77-80 IN and 65-70 going to tank.

Tank temperature is 23-24 Celsius.

pH - 7.1 - 7.2 before CO2 (starts at 5am)

pH - 6.4 after CO2 (stops at 10pm)

Water conductivity about 550uS (after water change), 610uS (time to do water change)


Plants - heavy planted (I'll make a list)

Stock - 9 yellow long fin danios, 30 cardinal tetra (small), one black moly (Black Beauty), 10 otto, 2 red phantom tetra, 30-40 assassin snails and 40-60 Red Chery Shrimps (too many to count).


Is the tank overstocked, underfiltred, too much light, not enough flow?

Any help would be much appreciated
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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10,968
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Welcome.
I have a nightmare fighting with green hair algae, GSA, BBA and staghorn algae. Can't get rid of.
A "warts and all" picture would really help, however bad you think it looks I'd be pretty sure that some of us will have had much worse issues.
Plants - heavy planted
Between the 2 filters I have 1kg of ceramic rings, 4L of Seachem Matrix and 4L of JBL Micromec.
You don't need all that filter material, there is nothing wrong with any of them, but you just don't need anything like that amount of media. Anaerobic denitrification will occur naturally in the substrate, and we have plants that actively deplete NO3, so we can keep all the filter material aerobic, and the flow of water through the filter nice and quick. Microbial biological filtration (in the filter) is of lesser importance to us than it is to people without plants, because we plant/microbe bio-filtration, which is a lot more effective.

Do you have a pre-filter on the intakes? I know they are ugly, but I like to have all the mechanical filtration out-side of the filter bodies. We don't know what causes outbreaks of any of the algae types, but Staghorn often appears when we have more "gungy" organic material than we should, often this is in the filter where "out of sight is out of mind".
Is the tank overstocked, underfiltred, too much light, not enough flow?
Stock - 9 yellow long fin danios, 30 cardinal tetra (small), one black moly (Black Beauty), 10 otto, 2 red phantom tetra, 30-40 assassin snails and 40-60 Red Chery Shrimps (too many to count).
Well it definitely isn't over-stocked.

I'm not a CO2 user, so some-one else will have to tell you whether you need more flow.

cheers Darrel
 

gcodrutv

Member
Joined
2 May 2019
Messages
39
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Hi Darrel,
Thank you very much for your reply.
I will upload some pictures later on this evening with my beatifull algae.

Regarding the prefilters, only the Oase has a built in prefilter that is been cleaned every week, the JBL had a DIY job with 2 All Pond Solution booster filters in parralell on the filter intake, due the size of piping on the JBL (19/25). One prefilter was retricting the flow tto much. But they have been removed after one week due massive leaks.
The tank is bottom drilled and is on hardwood floor. ( I can't risk a flood... that actualy happend :geek:).

Thanks
Gabriel
 

gcodrutv

Member
Joined
2 May 2019
Messages
39
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Apologies for delay. I took some pictures with the algae.
This is after one week of dosing 15ml of Easy Carbo and 20ml of 6% hydrogen peroxide. Not in the same day with filters turned off for 1 hour and a big clean up. Now is much bettern then it used to be.

Also i noticed if the water conductivity goes above 600uS, the danios become static and they are not active at all. That's the notification that I need to do a WC.
 

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Edvet

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It looks like you need to do a lot more maintenance at the moment, do large waterchanges 2/3 times a week (50%) combined with extensive scrubbing and aglae removal.
You coud even remove more water (having the leaves "dry" for a bit will give big CO2 uptake) make sure you rub algae of the leaves as much as possible.
As Darrel said remove a lot of the filtermaterial. Add ferts after waterchange. Repeat this for about 6 weeks. Then the problems should be better and you can gradually start to decrease waterchanges to once a weel
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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10,968
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I took some pictures with the algae.
Plant health and growth looks pretty good.

I can see from your photos that you have Assassin Snails (Anentome helena), so I assume you aren't a fan of other snails, but a snail like a Nerite or Red Ramshorn snail would clean the green algal patina from the rocks. Red Ramshorns also graze leaves and over time they will reduce other (algae like BBA) by grazing off the sporelings.

I can also see the water intake for the drilled bottom, that really needs a clean and I would definitely put a sponge block on it, ideally quite large and with a ppi10 or ppi15 pore size.
Also i noticed if the water conductivity goes above 600uS, the danios become static and they are not active at all.
TDS on water supply 77-80 IN and 65-70 going to tank.
I'd agree with @Edvet, you probably need to change a bit more water.

Because you initial water is quite low in solutes (about 100microS going into the tank) you are talking about quite a big increase from the EI salts.

cheers Darrel
 

gcodrutv

Member
Joined
2 May 2019
Messages
39
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Hi all,

Thank yo very much for your reply and advise.
Regarding the snails, a good while ago I had a massive invasion of pond snails (from plants) and the asssins were the cleanest and safer solution to get rid of, not a big fan of chemicals. They did a briliant job and I kept them.

The filter intake is clean now, used to be much worst. On this intake, I never has any fish or shrimp sucked, on the top one I'm keep getting 10-15 shrimps and I got one cardinal.

The tank was built with auto water change (didn't happened yet, still work in progress) and that is the reason I change only about 70l. I did a water change yesterday and I measured 84l.
Usualy, I was doing one 50% every 2 weeks when I was using a siphon to clean the grass and carpet.

I will follow your advise to remove some media form the filters and add some sponges in the JBL (none at the moment). Water cahnges, will do 2-3 50% or more each week and start scrubbing more.

Should I continue with Easy Carbo and Hydrogen Peroxide ? I'm just worried about killing all the good bacteria.
 

Siege

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11 Aug 2017
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Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
Hi @gcodrutv

A few thoughts

- I agree with what others have said re water changes and maintenance. You need to seriously increase the maintenance, scrubbing, pruning and syphoning out waste organics. Use the turkey baster method for this.

- your lighting period is massive for a relatively new tank. I’d suggest cutting it back to 6-8 hours including a short ramp up/down.

- think about your co2. You want the drop checker a nice light green colour. In a 6’ tank you won’t be able to count the bubbles. CO2 on perhaps 6 hours before lights on and off 1 hour before lights, experiment with this.

A good video that will helps you.

Hope that helps.

 

gcodrutv

Member
Joined
2 May 2019
Messages
39
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Hi @Siege,
Thanks for your advice and video (i watch it before, very good).
Re. CO2, that would be the maximum that the fish supports. If I increase it, they start to gasp, almost kill them.
The drop checker is almost yellow. I'm using a ready made solution from Co2 art.
The tank is in a room with a glass wall, south east facing and the sun is not hitting the tank.
Lights are over 50% just for 5 hours. I will readjust the lights to be on just for the afternoon for few hours.

The tank has been setup since begining of February.

I'll increase the WC and vacuum the subtrate each time and hopfuly see an improvement.
It was much better since I start EI dosing. The red plant from right (forgot the name) made a significant recovery from changing the dosing regime.
Before i was dosing 10ml of Profito and 15ml of Potassium each day.

Thanks
Gabriel
 

gcodrutv

Member
Joined
2 May 2019
Messages
39
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Hi all,
Just a quick update.
Till now I did 2 50% water change, vacuum the substrate and removing most of the affected plants.
The Monte Carlo was badly affected and strated to yellow. I removed most of it and the green strands replanted.
I striped down the filters and give them a good clean (with declorinated water). After clean, the JBL flow increased to 800-850l/h and the Oase to 500-550l/h. Over all I recovered average 150l/h.
Advertised flow is JBL 1900l/h and Oase 1250l/h, that will result in 10x turnover per hour.
Real flow (have flow meters for each filter) would be 1400l/h that would be a 5.4x turnover per hour (net tank volume about 260l).
Co2 - I finished a 2kg bottle in about 3.5 weeks.
Dosing is 14g of K2HPO4, 65g KNO3, 30g K2SO4 in a 500ml demonized water dosing 15ml per day at 7am. Micro is Aquarium Plant Food UK Trace Elements 32g in 500ml deionized water with 5ml of Easy Carbo, dosing 10ml each day at 4am on the apposite side from where i dose macro.
I checked the photo period and I have the moon lights (RGB strip) running from 7am till 10am when the main lights are starting slowly from 5% to 100% till 2pm. Lights are running 100% (130w LED) till 5pm. After are start to go down to 5% at 9pm when the moon lights are starting. RGB strip is running till 11pm.
I'm running the RGB so late because the tank is in the kitchen and not to scare the fish. I tried witout and the tank is too dark and with the light in the room the fish are getting scared and jump all over.

Shall i add more flow ? The dosing regime is too much (I used Rotala calculator).
I got a second Co2 bottle (6kg)to be able to swap when needed.

The algae on the glass comeback next day.
 

Edvet

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Carefull, algae can grow on the tiniest amount of light. I would realy only run 6 hours of light till all is healthy and well. After that you can gradually start with all the moonlight and other lighting phases.
 

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