algae please help

Discussion in 'Algae' started by hixy, 6 Mar 2008.

  1. hixy

    hixy Member

    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    stourbridge west midlands
    Hello folks my first post i think.im having problems with algae in my planted discus tank.my aquariumis a juwel 300.It has 4 54 watt nature bulbs on it.it also has pressurised c02 at 2 bubbles a second,i change 25% twice every week with hma water.I have only recently started adding ferts which consist of flourish excel,flourish, pottasium and iron as per instructions.The tank has been set up as a planted tank for about 3-4 months any ideas please.

    algae002.jpg
    algae001.jpg
    thanks hixy
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    What kind of filtration and fish load have you got in the tank? Also what substrate is that as I don't recognise it?

    To start with when you dose the Excel, if you squirt it onto the algae using a pipette it will help kill off the algae.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi and welcome to the forum. :D

    I'm having trouble identifying the algae in the first picture. It looks like there is some GSA on the crypts and some BGA on the gravel. I guess if you haven't been dosing for 3-4 months whatever nutrients come in your tap are insufficient. I would cut off the leaves that are affected and continue dosing. In three weeks or so you should see good results. I don't really know what HMA water is, I'll have to confess (Her Majesty's Aquifer perhaps?) :oops:

    Also, I can't see any reason to add Seachem Iron if you are also adding Flourish, which is mostly Iron.

    Cheers,
     
  4. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    HMA is Heavy Metal Axe I believe which is water that's gone through a heavy metal filter. I can see BGA, GSA and Diatoms in your pictures. Take a look at this guide which helps ID your algae more - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

    In short your problems lie with not enough fast growing plant mass, very little fertilisation, fairly high light levels and unknown CO2 amounts. Sounds quite a bit but shouldn't be too hard to sort out.

    What type of substrate do you have? From the photo's it looks fairly inert. If it is you are going to have to provide all the plant's nutrients via the water column. Estimative Index (EI) is a very good fertilisation method.

    Next thing to look at is your CO2. This article is fab and should explain everything for you - http://www.ukaps.org/drop-checker.htm. Just going by bubble rate is very inaccurate and in all honesty doesn't tell you much. On my 200 litre tank I have used two bubble counters. One makes very large bubbles and I add about 2-3 bubbles per second. The other makes smaller bubbles and they are so fast I couldn't even possibly try to count them.

    Without seeing a whole tank shot it's hard to tell but it looks like you have a small plant mass and little in the way of fast growing stem plants. It is almost impossible to have a tank with high light a few scattered plants around and not run into problems. If you look at every tank that does well with no algae they are nearly always highly stocked with plants from day one.

    Seachem Flourish is good and contains plenty of iron so you don't really need to add more iron. Potassium is good but dosing it this way is expensive. Potassium sulphate is many times cheaper. Excel is an alternative carbon additive, but if you've got CO2 then you don't really need it. Expensive to use on a large tank, but it does have some anti algae properties. On top of these you need to and Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the forms of nitrate and phosphate.

    Is it possible to see a full tank shot?

    James
     
  5. hixy

    hixy Member

    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    stourbridge west midlands
    Hello again thanks for replys.the substrate is made up of 50 mm flourite 50 mm aquagrit and about an inch of sand.The filter consists of an ehiem 2080 external filled with alfagrog and k1 which is a pond filter medium.also it has the internal juwel jumbo filter filled with sponges.the fish are 6 discus ranging from 3 inches to 5inches in size,3 corys and three small rams.i have a temporary drop checker which i made which is showing a nice green colour and am using 4dkh di-oionized water in it.also i have a homemade in line c02 reactor .

    here is a pic

    tank002.jpg
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    I don't see anything in that list that contains Nitrogen? If you are not dosing Nitrogen that could be the root of the problem...
     
  7. hixy

    hixy Member

    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    stourbridge west midlands
    Hello Ray,Where do i get nitrogen from.
     
  8. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Personally, as someone who likes to dose as little as possible, I don't think Nitrogen will be a problem looking at the size of your fish (although you are changing a fair bit of water which will be helping remove the fish waste as soon as possible). You could dose some without problem, either from a proprietary formula such as Seachem's or Tropica Plant Nutrition plus, or by dosing with Potassium Nitrate.

    I would start by upping the amount of fast growing stem plants as has been suggested by others here. As they get going and start growing well you will then need to look at adding more in the way of macro fertilisers such as Nitrate and Phosphate.

    BTW, don't you find the K1 a pain in the filter with it's buoyant characteristics? Maybe not the best choice for a relatively small volume such as a canister filter. I use sintered glass media in the externals and keep the K1 in the pond filters!
     
  9. hixy

    hixy Member

    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    stourbridge west midlands
    hello Eds.when i cleaned my filter for the first time the k1 was everywhere inside places it shouldnt have been but now have managed to keep it fairly still.my filter is huge and took 6 litre of k1 to fill it so sintered glass was out the question because of price.

    can you recomend plants please and does anyone think my tank is overstoked.

    thanks hixy
     
  10. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Compared to a lot of planted tanks then it probably is 'more highly stocked' and there will be higher amounts of ammonia from your fish and that can be a real algae trigger, even though the amounts will be way too small to worry your fish. Maybe you could slowly switch over to a higher surface area media, 1 litre at a time, to help with this?

    For easy quick growing plants try Hygrophila, especially polysperma, Cabomba, Ludwigia and Bacopa among many, many others. Hygrophilas are a good start IMHO, they are bomb proof and very quick growing under various light levels.
     

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