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Algae problems


27 Mar 2008
tank stats
juwel rio 180
2 x 45w t5 on for 8 hours
standard 600lph & tetra tech ext 1200
eco complete
60 - 65 % planted
dosing 5ml easy carbo & 5ml tropica standard daily
feed fish once a day
pressurised co2 set to 30ppm (drop check on green)
ph = 7.2
gh= 8
kh = 10

i am having algae issses, i think i have serval types of algae, the stuff at the fron glass is bright green in colour & could be mistaken for a new type of moss. then i have bba on my wood

i have added a hydor pump but to me this seems like over kill (2800lph turnover allegadly) my plants are bent over with no change in algae levels, c02 distribution is good from what i can see, a mist of bubbles all over front of tank
i change 50ltr every week without fail.

i am seriously thinking of striping tank & going back to low-tech due to problems i have had since setting this tank up, im on a water meter so r/o is out of the question,

any ideas?


Ed Seeley

3 Jul 2007
If you're using Tropica Plant Nutrition, rather than Plant Nutrition Plus then your plants are starving!

Despite what you think, BBA is a clear indication that your CO2 is not up enough! Do you replace the drop checker liquid when doing water changes and do you use 4dKH water in the drop checker? How are you diffusing the CO2 in the tank? You could also dose a bit more EasyCarbo - I dose 7ml in my 180l tank (2ml per 50l) - but I don't think that's your problem.

When you do your water changes do you clean the filters and try and remove any dirt/detritus when you do and remove as much algae as possible? The more you remove then the less there is to grow (though some will grow back).

Don't give up though as new tanks (or older tanks after changes) will often get a bit of algae as the plants get used to the changes in conditions - algae adapt far more quickly.


Expert/Global Moderator
11 Jul 2007
Chicago, USA
I agree with Ed that poor CO2 is the most likely culprit. You probably need 3 or 4 times the saturation level that you have presently, so that means higher injection rates.

When do you turn on the gas relative to the lights? You'll need to turn it on an hour or two before the lights turn on - unless you are running the CO2 24/7.

Depending on your water characteristics you may or may not need to add macronutrients, but you should be adding them by default. TPN by itself is inadequate unless your tap water is high in Nitrates and Phosphates. You should use TPN+ instead, which includes NPK. The front glass issue could be Green Dust Algae. In any case the nutrient levels are suspect so you may have multiple issues.

If you can identify what type of algae you have other than BBA we'll be able to pinpoint. Kindly review JamesC's Algae Guide in order to compare your algae types to what he has listed there and then advise us which types you have.

Also, RO cannot solve any algae problems, so it would be a fruitless endeavor to use it for that purpose.

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