Algae: What wrong in my tank?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by zigur, 13 Oct 2009.

  1. zigur

    zigur Newly Registered

    Dear UKAPs Members!

    I would like to ask your help: what can i do to banish the algae in my tank?
    I followed the topics here and i know the algae problems cause is the low co2,or the co2 fluctuation, or the poor circulation, or the wrong filtration,or i dont dose enough nutrients and my plant is unhealthy!
    I mean, but but what is thereason of my algae issues?Please help me with the diagnosis! :arghh:

    Tank details:

    Volume:330 l (110x50x60)
    Lightning: 2x30w T8, 2x55w PC
    Substrate: Akadama
    Filtration: Jbl e1500 and Tetratec in1000 plus
    Co2: perssurized co2,Aqumedc glass diffusor 3-4 b\s


    I have BBa on the Pogostemon and The Hemianthus (not brushy, just the older leaves border it black), and i have GSA on the glass and on the Cryptocorynes.


    I use a Jbl e1500 (1500l\h) for filtration and a Tetretech in1000 (1000l,h) to disperse the co2 bubbles in the tank.
    Is it enough filtration?Is it enough flow rate?
    Or should i use stronger or more filtration and\or bigger flow rate?

    i use a glass diffusor for co2. 3-4 bebbles\s.
    I cant use more because my discusses wont feel good themselves.
    So should i use more co2 and forget the discus (i wont?) or i back to the low tech?

    I use for the daily dosing routine the following mixtures:
    To 500mls of DI water i add:
    17g KNO3
    4g KH2PO4
    60g MGSO4
    20g K2SO4
    i add 20mls of this solution daily.
    Micro nutrients: 15 ml GreenAqua micro daily.(This is te Haacks Micro+ in ten times diluted)
    (Fe) - 2 g/l
    (Mn) - 1 g/l
    (Cu) - 0,052 g/l
    (Zn) - 0,29 g/l
    (B) - 0,4 g/l
    (Mo) - 0,075 g/l
    Methyl Paraben (E218) - 1 g/l

    Is it proper, or should i change?

    So far 170w light was on for 10 hours a day. But i tought it might be useful to lower the light in orde to avoid problem caused by the low(er) level of the co2.
    IS it?
    No i have 60w from 10 am-12 and than 170w from 12 to 18 pm and 60w again from 18-20pm.
    Do you think it helps?

    I dont use use magnetic valve, and because i work in 3 shifts i dont start or finish co2 in same time.Sometimes i switch it on at 4am,sometimes 6am or 8am.
    Could it cause any oroblem?
    Or should i use lower co2 bubbles\ sec. 24\7 like the CAU-guys?

    Welcome any advice!
    Im counting on you guys and your experience!

    the newby
  2. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    stroud, glos
    recommended flow on this forum is 10 times tank volume, so you are under on that, this in itself can cause bad CO2 levels in places and deficiencies/algae. its not just about flow rates tho, its also about distribution and this becomes more difficult in a larger tank.

    starting the co2 at different times will cause issues also, so either get a solenoid or leave on 24/7.

    not sure on the exact fert amounts but your N and P do seem to be low according to standard EI method.

    lowering light the should be the first thing you do, until you get the other things sorted.
  3. zigur

    zigur Newly Registered

    Thanks! I see!
    But i ask some modification!
    Buy a new filter or just a Hydor coralia?
    How many Kno3 and KH2Po4 need my mix? 10g?20g?
  4. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    stroud, glos
    see what others suggest about korolia v's new filter, obviously new filter equals more cash but less junk in tank.

    just noticed yer ferts are added daily not every other day.
    i was originally using another calculator, having GSA problems, switched to calc below and found i was not dosing enough phosphate, GSA all pretty much gone now.
    Nutricalc ... riCalc.exe
  5. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member



    Lets sort your lighting out first: 8 hours lighting periodicity @ 2 x30 watts and within those 8 hours a 1 - 1.5 hour burst with the 2 x 55 watt - exccesive lighting or long lighting periodicity will promote the growth of algae.


    You need to buy a solenoid valve and a 12 hrs timer - set the timer to switch on the Co2 - 2 hours prior to the lights coming on and go off 1 hour prior to the lights going off. I assume you have DC within the tank if so adjust the bps until you obtain a lime green colour - to observe the colour remove DC from the water column and hold them against a white background as observing them in the tank will give you a different colour - what looks like lime green within the tank will be yellow against the white paper.


    BBA is usually down to circulation issue - I bet you have BBA on the plants directly in front of the returning flow from the filter, if so alter the direction of flow or move you plants and remove the leafs with BBA.

    GSA is probably down to your light being to intense - that why I said to turn your lighting periodicity down.


    looking at your view topic i dont think you are far out with your fertz regime - we can attack this at a later date.

    Have a look at the attached short cut as it may help you. ... highlight=

  6. zigur

    zigur Newly Registered

    Thanks Baron and Paul!I'm very grateful!

    I will use the calculator, and i try Pauls lighting advice and i buy a selenoid valve ASAP.

    Another things!

    I was thinking yesterday (the truth is that i'm allways thinking :) , because it bothers me so much) about my algae issues.
    And there are some other questions.űmy local pet shop owner (who is the distributor of the Tropica here in hugary) adviced me no to follow my daily routine dosing (what i use now) because it is too agressive and more harmful than helpful.
    I've rread too in this forum( or an other) that if i use EI dosing, sometimes it just increases my co2 and algae problems.
    I see many tanks on the internet like this tank what is won the 2004 AGA contest: ... vol=3&id=8
    And Mr.Knott doses 1ml fertilezer daily, he uses just 1,5w/G and use 2X flow rate.
    How is it possible?How does the Balance remain,how the plants remain healthy?
    If its possible why should i dose tons of fertilisers in my 80G tank, if 1ml enogh for a 148G tank?
    What do you think?
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    Hi Robert,
    One of the reasons Oliver can get away with lower flow is specifically because of his lower lighting. Everyone else thinks they need high lighting to grow plants, but the more light you have the more of everything else you need - more CO2, more flow, more nutrients. Healthy plants do not require high light, but they do require lots of CO2. You can reduce the amount of flow and CO2 that is necessary in your tank by first reducing the light intensity. Your problems are also more complicated by the large tank size.

    As you have stated, BBA is strictly a CO2 related algae, so you must find a balance between the amount of light and the level of CO2. Shut down and forget the 55w PC lighting for the moment.

    Yes, this absolutely is a root cause. Unstable application of CO2 is directly responsible for BBA. An internal diffuser is not the best for a large tank but if you must use it then you need to turn the gas on a few hours before the lights come on and this must be consistent. You cannot change it just because it's convenient for you. The algae don't care about your work schedule. Whatever schedule you have for the lights the gas must always come on a few hours before so that the tank has good CO2 saturation by the time the lights come on. Do you have a dropchecker? It would be a good idea to get one and to fill it with 4 dkh water so that it will give you a better idea what the CO2 level is. When the light comes on the dropchecker should be lime green. If you can accomplish this then you will have an easier time.

    Since you seem to be adding good quantities of PO4 then the GSA, which is both PO4 and CO2 related, is confirming a CO2 issue.

    I don't know if Easycarbo or Excel is available to you in Hungary but if you can find any of these liquid carbon products it will be easier to remove the BBA.

    CO2 24 hours per day is also an option, but be careful because the discus might become uncomfortable.

  8. keymaker

    keymaker Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    Yes, he can get a DC (with 4dKH solution) and Easy Carbo. ;) And yes, he can get a solenoid. :) I think I already told him a while ago.

    Aggressive? Do not believe everything you hear in your local shop - with all respect to the owner (I know him, he is a wonderful guy and a pro in many areas). :) Nobody (!) confirmed that a daily dosing routine is in fact source of any algae outbreaks.

    A daily dosing routine is just what it says: a routine. Nothing more. It does not say anything about the quantity of the ferts introduced and it is in no way harmful to plants and it does not induce algae. It is used (I do it too) to make life simple. Easier to remember to dose every day than 3 times a week - as Tom Barr rightfully said. Check this thread out. (Also, it might help with the hard water P and Fe precipitation - a real issue in Hungary. Chelated Micro ferts might be unstable in hard-water environments.)

    EI does not cause algae. In fact having EI levels of nutrients in your tank is the most simple way to address plant deficiency issues. Nothing is more simple. You said you have CO2 problems - that is not because the nutrients. It is your CO2 injection and/or distribution to be blamed. Not your dosing. Once you addressed the CO2 issue the algae will gradually go away. Easy Carbo will help you with the CO2 and it will kill algae at the same time.

    What you might have read is that if you apply EI dosing to a tank that did not have a proper fertilizing routine before and you do not address the CO2 issues too then you might see the already present algae grow in an accelerated rate - due to the fact that algae uses nutrients the same ways plants do... If you have non-limiting nutrients then the CO2 limitation might step into the picture - this is why you need to solve both at the same time in a previously low-tech tank.
  9. zigur

    zigur Newly Registered

    Thanks Ceg and Balazs!

    I see, i need a selenoid valve firstly, that i solved my co2 fluctuation.
    I have Dc, maybe i use wrong, but I wrote , I cant use more co2 because my discusses wont feel good themselves.
    That i use less light, my low flow and low co2 will be enough for the plants, just i solved the fluctuation?
    And now back to the beginning! :oops:

    Guys I'm an idiot!
    Yesterday the brown algae appeared ( full of the tank an the plants :arghh: ), and i realized that i have GSA on some leaves of Cryptocorynes, but on the glass isn't!
    I have GDA on the glass!
    An i just incresed a PO4 level and added more and more! I'm an idiot! :oops:
    To realize this i needed a brown algae and Pauls link.
    Thank you Paul i so grateful for you!
    I didn't realise this so far because i do water changes twice a week and i always clean the glass.( so the GDA is not brushy just green :D )

    Paul and Ceg!

    However i need some clarification, because i'm not sure i could understand your advice on lightning.Did you mean that i should have the lights on for eight hours and from this 8 hours the total 170w would go 1,5 hours.So not 8+1,5 hours?
    For example the lightning is from 10 to 6pm and whitin this period from 10 to 2pm 2X30w , from 2-3.30 pm 170w and from 3.30 to 6pm 2X30.
    So this is what you suggesed?
    Is 60w enogh for such a big tank?
    Wont it demage the plants that need high light?
    Because i observed , that i've been using less lights for a week and i realized that the plants are growing towards to the top of the water (mostly the Ehinodorus,Cryptocorynes and Pogostemon)
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    There are no plants that "need" high light, but there are many plants that need high CO2. Haven't you yourself mentioned that Oliver Knott has great success with low light? High light is an accelerator, not a requirement. It's difficult or impossible to say what your maximum or minimum lighting level should be. Each tank is different. What we do know is that 170W is too much for that particular tank right now, so you need to reduce it. I just picked a number (60W) which I thought might be easier for you to implement. This will slow everything down, growth rates especially. But it will also slow the algal blooms and will reduce the need for high flow and high injection rates.

    Lower your light, use a solenoid, review your flow distribution and you will have an easier time.

  11. Superman

    Superman Member

    I made the mistake of pimping up my tank thinking that the neon lighting max-power is the same as stupidly high light levels in a planted tank. Neither look good in the long run!

    Cut the light, then slowly work up. It's all about getting the balance of light, flow, ferts & co2. Lowering the light gives you more of a margin for error until you gain in confidence and knowledge of the balance in your particular tank.
  12. zigur

    zigur Newly Registered

    thanks for the advices.
    i reduced my light period and i use only 60W.the Dc is lime green, but I'm gonna put it everywhere in the tank to see what's going on the other parts too.

    you said that the inline diffusor isn't good for such a big tank. I asked in my journal, but now I'm gonna ask again: can i use my EHEIM CLASSIC 2213 filter as a reactor? could it harm or crap out if i turn off every night and start it every morning? it has got only a 440l/h capacity. as the flow is little, is it possible that the CO2 will be stored and the engine will be damaged?
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    Sorry Robert. I said no such thing. You must have either misinterpreted what I said or we are both mixed up over words.

    This is what I consider to be an inline diffuser. I use two of them and they are fantastic. The AquaMedic 500 or 1000 are other examples of diffusers inline because they are mounted "in the line".

    What I think I must have said is that an Internal diffuser doesn't work well in big tanks. That's what you have, something like a Rhinox.

    I've never used a filter as a reactor but there are some people who have done so with good success. Other people who have tried it report problems such as bubble build up, or filter leakage. All I can advise is that you try it and see for yourself if you do not have access to the inline diffuser type that I have shown above.


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