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Algae Nightmare :/

JPT81

Member
Joined
28 Nov 2020
Messages
84
Location
Manchester
Hey all,

So, as my title says, I’m having a nightmare with algae I’m so fed up with it...I just don’t know what to do!

First of all, I’m pretty sure it’s not Cyanobacteria as it isn’t stringy or slimey/gloopy looking and I can’t smell anything from the tank.
I don’t think it’s green spot algae as it’s not really in little spots.
I do have some dust algae on my glass which I clean off each time I do my water change. Can this go on to rocks and plants too??
I just don’t know which type it is even after trawling the internet and looking at all the various types.

I was thinking of doing a black out for a few days but the issue is, I don’t know what’s causing it so I know it’ll just come back.

My parameters are -
25-30% Weekly water change with Fluval Water Conditioner.
PH - 6.4
Nitrate - 5.0(ish)
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Temp - 23.3
I’m new to reading KH & GH so these may not be 100% accurate as the API kit isn’t the greatest at explaining what to do.
KH - 1 (17.9??)
GH - 2 (35.8??)
Fluval Clear X added to the filter.
Tank - 57L Fluval Flex

Nothing else is added to my tank and I’m scared of adding anything that may kill shrimp oNerite snail.

I’ve read so many posts on here but I’m getting a bit overwhelmed with all the info and I don’t know if it’s right for my tank and parameters. :(

Any help would be massively appreciated!

Here are a few pictures, they’re a bit poor!
For some reason my camera just won’t pick up the detail of the algae!
On some of the leaves, you can see where my Nerite snail has eaten some of the algae.

Thanks very much - J :)
 

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Tom72

Member
Joined
25 Mar 2021
Messages
50
Location
Leeds
The pictures don’t look to bad, but here are some things to consider. How long do you leave the lights on for, and how much indirect light does the tank get. I don’t know how long the set up but lighting should be a max of 8 hours. Also you might be giving to much light to soon so reduce the hours to 4 and build it up as the plants grow. Are you using CO2? This will encourage more growth in your plants and help reduce algae. You don’t show a picture of the tank, but you need at least 70% of the tank planted, if you don’t have enough plants you are more likely to get algae issues. Are you adding any or not enough fertilisers? The more growth you get etc. I would up your water changes to 50% and brush the rocks as well, always change the water after all the brushing and disturbance to ensure you get most of the crud out. You could also do 2 water changes per week for a month or two as well. Also remove any dead or weak leaves as less healthy growth attracts algae, and encourages stronger healthy growth. As a simple rule a healthy planted tank can be summarised by:
Good lighting no more than 8 hours
Lots of plants
Fertiliser
CO2 (not essential if low tech is you goal)
Regular water changes
Good maintenance
Remember you can never eradicate algae, so aim to manage, it is also a food for shrimp and snails so getting your clean up crew will also help.
You could also use a uv steriliser, it won’t cure established growth but it will zap out the free floating cells in the water column. Hope this helps and good luck
 

John q

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
423
Location
Lancashire
Hi,

I don't think any drastic action is needed here, certainly not a blackout and don't think reducing the photo period to 4hrs is going to help the plants. What might be needed is a reduction in light intensity, and possibly looking at duration, dependent on current duration running length.

The plants look like they could be lacking a few nutrients, I'm not qualified enough to say exactly which if any nutrients, but giving us a breakdown of your fertiliser usage and dosage would help.

Also worth mentioning I note you use fluval clear X, now I've no idea what its made of, but the advertising speel says it removes nitrate and phosphate, its important for the plants that they get both of these nutrients, its possible you may need to add these, not remove them.

So if you can add a full tank shot, list of fertiliser used and current lighting duration, and intensity it might help with the advice that's given.

Cheers.
 

Andy Pierce

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2020
Messages
126
Location
Cambridge, UK
I've seen a lot worse, including my own tank right now. ;) It would be nice to see a whole-tank picture, but from what you've shown it looks like a version of green spot algae (it doesn't wipe off easily right?) and this would be in my 'learn to love it' category. Fertiliser doesn't cause algae in a planted tank so I would drop the Fluval Clear X - this looks like stuff designed for tanks that don't have any live plants. P.S. @ScaperJoe LOVE the electric toothbrush idea - I'll have to try that!
 

JPT81

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Nov 2020
Messages
84
Location
Manchester
Thanks all, @Andy Pierce @ScaperJoe @John q @Tom72 I really appreciate all the info!
So my light period was down to 5 hours a day and I’ve got the stock Fluval Flex light which isn’t on full power.
I don’t dose with any fertilisers etc. I do have a bottle of Tropica Specialised but I haven’t used any of it since I added my shrimp back in January. The only thing I add to the water is when I do my water change and that’s Fluval Water Conditioner.
I’ve always been worried that I’ll kill my shrimp by adding stuff so I’ve tried to be as natural as possible. Yeah...maybe it’s a bit stupid!
The tank is covered up at night so that any direct sunlight doesn’t shine straight in to the tank in the morning. By the time I remover the cover, the sun has moved from directly shining on it.
I stopped Co2 purely because I don’t have a timer set up on it. It’s a cheap Fluval 90 Co2 kit so I have to manually turn it on and off. I couldn’t afford a proper set up at the time so I went with that. With being at work, I can’t always be there to turn it on and off so I’ve given up on Co2 for the time being.

I’ll give the 50% water changes a go twice a week and see how it goes! Also, the idea for a cheap electric toothbrush is genius!

Thanks again all, I’ve added a picture so you can see my set up.
 

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JPT81

Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Nov 2020
Messages
84
Location
Manchester
One other thing, I have 4 Red Cherry Shrimp and a Nerite snail.
I’ve been trying to get my algae issue sorted before adding around 8-9 Neon Tetras.
 

sparkyweasel

Member
Joined
30 Jun 2011
Messages
1,945
The plants look like they could be lacking a few nutrients, I'm not qualified enough to say exactly which if any nutrients, but giving us a breakdown of your fertiliser usage and dosage would help.

Also worth mentioning I note you use fluval clear X, now I've no idea what its made of, but the advertising speel says it removes nitrate and phosphate, its important for the plants that they get both of these nutrients, its possible you may need to add these, not remove them.
I think that's your biggest problem. Your Tropica Specialised fert won't hurt your shrimps.
If the ClearX does what is claimed for it, it's bad for plants and good for algae.
I would remove the ClearX and start dosing the fertiliser; I don't like to make too many changes at once, so I would leave the lighting alone for now as see how it goes with ferts.
 

PARAGUAY

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,115
Location
Lancashire
Mine newly set up just had outbreak of brown algae after daily waterchanges of 50% for the first week and every two days second week and continued third week. Most plants growing even so .It looked so good for the first 2 weeks.So agree with advice given its not unusual keep up with W/Cs and cleaning maintenance dont go changing rearranging
 

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