Algae Strategy!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by bugs, 11 Oct 2018.

  1. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    I'm trying to arrest the spread of algae in my four month old tank. I went through the diatoms back when the tank was first set up and things were looking mostly good before I took a three week holiday in August; during which there were no weekly water changes, fert dosing, etc.

    When I returned the plants had all grown but some were looking unhealthy with leaves looking weak. I also noticed the CO2 had dropped from 20 bpm to 12. Having restored the CO2 to 22 BPM and resumed fert dosing and water changes I allowed the plants time to produce new healthy growth before taking and planting cuttings; pruning and removing the older growth (quite a lot!). Since my holiday hair and green algae has started to make an appearance on older leaves, wood, and other decor.
    • 60 litre tank.
    • Juwel internal with 300 lph turnover.
    • Lights were are 50%, now at 30%
    • Photoperiod 4pm to 11pm.
    • CO2 indicator is green.
    • Dosing 1ml TMC liquid CO2 per day.
    • Dosing 50ml TMC ferts per week.
    • Weekly water changes (c. 40%).
    • I have Amano shrimp and three Ottos (altho I only ever seem to see one of them).
    In terms of strategy, to ensure the algae does not get out of hand:
    • Light intensity reduction mentioned above.
    • Filter output redirected to increase surface agitation (had a biofilm)
    • Put more plants in.
    • Add a Hydor Koralia circulation pump (anyone any experience / recommendation?)
    • Test Nitrate, Phosphate, and Potassium and dose (in addition to TMC) where necessary (or simply increase / decrease the TMC dosage).
    I'd be grateful for any thought and input!

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2018
  2. azawaza

    azawaza Member

    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Singapore
    Are you dosing according to EI? Also, how high tech are your lights?
     
  3. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,742
    Location:
    Lelystad, Netherlands
    Pictures will help.
     
  4. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    I'm not using EI - just 50ml per week of TMC liquid.

    I've popped some photos in a Google Album.

    Thank you.
     
  5. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,742
    Location:
    Lelystad, Netherlands
    I mean more a FTS (full tank shot) so we can see the layout , hardscape, plants, hardware etc.
     
  6. Siege

    Siege Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Huntingdon, UK
    TNC Complete?
     
  7. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Oh, I see. I've just added one to the album.
     
  8. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,742
    Location:
    Lelystad, Netherlands
    Looks like more plantmass will help stabilize things. ( just some easy cheap stuf, and maybe add some floaters)
    I would add plants, add some extra ferts, do waterchanges with good maintenance twice a week and indeed go lower light. Keep this up for 6 weeks and report back. Keep the rest the same.
     
  9. Siege

    Siege Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Huntingdon, UK
    Hi, just looked at the full tank pic. A couple of thoughts

    - you are incredibly lightly planted
    - substrate looks rather dirty. Could be swamped with waste organics.
    - you have a soil based substrate underneath the sand, can’t quite tell?

    A few good cleans all round and massive water changes, add a WHOLE bunch of plants and should be fine, fingers crossed!
     
  10. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Thank you both.

    I've ordered some more plants. The centre was a lot denser but the plant ended up in a poor state during my holiday and was also thick with aerial roots, making things look quite ugly. The remaining stem plants were heavily pruned.

    I'll increase the TNC Complete dosage too. Currently 5ml per week so I may try a second dose of 5ml later in the week.

    I think the picture is quite deceptive where the gravel is concerned. There are some patches of algae on the front glass below the gravel level but on the whole the top 1-2cm siphons clear each week. There is a substrate (Tropica).

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Siege

    Siege Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Huntingdon, UK
    Check out the fert dosing on ea aquascaper ferts. Dose as per that instructions but does assume high plant mass.
     
  12. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    If I'm reading the correct article then it suggests I should dose 5ml per day? TNC seem to endorse increasing dosage to 5ml 3 times per week to achieve levels similar to EI. Given my current plant mass I think I should err on the side of 3x per week?

    Becomes hard to dose without then doing a water change which removes the dose. Perhaps I should dose the total 15ml per week across two days (7.5ml each) preceded by a water change?
     
    Last edited: 12 Oct 2018
  13. Siege

    Siege Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Huntingdon, UK
    Yes the aquascaper instructions do assume high plant mass.

    Don’t dose before water change, dose after.
     
  14. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Thank you. It's my intention to dose after except, with 3x per week dosing and 2x per week water change you end up doing a water change the day after a dose. Hence why I'm thinking I'll dose 2x per week (after the water change).
     
  15. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    To me it seems like you aren't running enough CO2. What is your pH drop at full CO2 concentration?

    For reference, I run 90bpm on my 30L tank.
     
  16. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    That's quite a lot compared to mine, and on a smaller tank too. Do you run if 24hrs or only when lights are on?
    I'm not sure about the PH. I have some dip tests which probably are not a good enough measure but may give me something to go on. By PH drop I am assuming the difference between the PH after the lights go on vs the PH just before the lights go off?
     
  17. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Mine does run very high but I also have high surface agitation. I run the CO2 3hrs before lights on until 1hr before lights off.

    As you may know, dissolving CO2 in water will cause its pH to lower.

    pH drop is usually the fully degassed pH and fully saturated pH compared. If you measure pH at lights on, it may not have reached the full saturation yet so you could get inaccurate results.

    The best way to measure degassed pH is by measuring it just before the CO2 comes on. Then measure it at regular intervals for a few hours after the lights come on and you should get to a point where the pH no longer continues to drop.

    This value (the one which pH doesnt go below) is your saturated pH.

    Ideally the difference between these two values would be 1.0pH which is equivalent to 30ppm co2.

    You may want to do a pH profile to give a more accurate idea.

    Does your CO2 turn on before your lights?

    Oscar
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2018
  18. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Thanks for the explanation. My CO2 runs 24hrs per day. On a previous setup I used a solenoid but it was less successful than tanks I ran about 15 years ago which were on for 24hrs (hence why I reverted).

    In practise I guess that means my setup should peak just before the lights come and be lowest just after lights off. The only exception I can think of is the effect of the natural light in the room before the lights come on at 4pm. I guess I should just test PH at regular intervals throughout the day to see what is really happening.

    Is there a recommended test kit or device for accurate measurements? I'm fairly certain the quick dip tests I have will not be sufficiently accurate.
     
  19. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,742
    Location:
    Lelystad, Netherlands
    Low dose 24/7 CO2 is absolutely viable, just need to make sure your light levels are fitting the CO2 level. With 24/7 CO2 you will find pH will be lowest at night as the plants use O2 and produce CO2.
    Natural light in a room can hurt if the light levels are higher than your CO2 allow!
     
  20. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    I was going to invest in a PH pen but Practical Fishkeeping's recommendation does not appear to be available anywhere! Not sure whether to trust the reviews on Amazon - how can people really tell whether the device is accurate? Surprised Aqua Essentials are not selling a device too. Hmmm...
     

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