Help!! New Tank Algae Explosion (perhaps)

Sammiec0108

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21 Aug 2019
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Hi all,

Completely new to the hobby and just in the process of fishless cycling my first ever tank. I'm into day 10.

The tank is 125l
I'm using a Fluval 3.0 (photoperiod screenshot attached) - following the algae outbreak I've reduced the light intensity - it was at 100% as per the 'PlantedTank' preset on the light
I'm dosing Neutro Co2 in the morning 2.5ml daily
I'm also dosing 2ml per day of TNC Complete
I've got a Fluval 306 filter as well as a Nano Koralia 1600 circulation pump

Yesterday ammonia and nitrites were at 0 so i test nitrates and they were through the roof, my plants leaves were looking more 'wilty' and almost melting which i read can be as a result of excess nitrates and phosphate. I hadn't done a water change since set up (no fish just plants during cycle), so i did a 40% water change yesterday then re-dosed with ammonia to raise to 4ppm with a view to getting to a point where the tank is fully cycled to process that amount of ammonia and nitrite in 24hours.

There is some brown algae on specific plant leaves and what looks like brown algae (maybe small BBA) on one piece of driftwood, which i think i mistook for mould early on as it was only affecting one piece of driftwood.

Yesterday i started to see what i think is staghorn (again, i'm very new at this so not sure), and also green hair algae (perhaps), hence mild panic, waterchange and reduction of light.

I've attached some pictures, in a way i'm glad (is that weird), as i think this will be a great learning experience, but of course I really need some advice about how to tackle this. I'm not running Co2, i'm hoping the cycle is pretty much done and i can recruit some help in the form of snails and shrimps but would of course like to understand and address the route cause.

any help would be great (as well as positive ID of the algae so i can read up about how to go to battle) :)

Thanks again, loving the hobby so far :)

Cheers

Sam

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Sammiec0108

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Joined
21 Aug 2019
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Thanks for the reply Edvet, that IS an algae explosion! So less lighting, and increase the fertiliser, is the increase trial and error and still daily or should i follow the TNC guidelines on the bottle and dose weekly? Also, should I be dosing liquid carbon or should i stop that if i am going to reduce the photoperiod, perhaps reduce to 6 hours (as i have read for newly planted tanks) or even less given the algae growth?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to learn as much as possible for you knowledgeable good people!
 

sparkyweasel

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30 Jun 2011
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Plants melting is probably because they were grown in air, not underwater. They lose leaves as they adapt, and the new leaves will be underwater leaves. The dying leaves pollute the water, one of the reasons for doing plenty of big water changes on a newly set-up tank.
 

Sammiec0108

New Member
Joined
21 Aug 2019
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12
Location
UK
Thanks Weasel! OK so new plan (moving on from the previous, get the tank cycled asap plan).

Lower the light intensity and photoperiod, i've reduced the intensity to about half of what it was with a lighting period of 5 hours.
Double the dose of TNC complete continuing to dose daily. Hold off on the liquid Co2 for now.
I'll keep an eye on the algae and now that the tank appears to be cycled up the water changes to twice a week.
I'll hold off on stocking any fish/invertebrates until the plants are more established
Add more easy care species - I've got a shopping list of Bacopo, Anubias, Crypts, more Rotala, Helanthium and Vallis to increase the plant load but also replace some of the more needy species if they die off.

Any suggestions on suppliers for the above plants? Also is stopping the liquid Co2 the right thing to do?

Thanks again guys, i really appreciate the help!
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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5,988
then re-dosed with ammonia to raise to 4ppm with a view to getting to a point where the tank is fully cycled to process that amount of ammonia and nitrite in 24hours.
Except that’s not anything like how livestock produces ammonia

A lot has changed in terms of identifying the microorganisms involved in aquaria N-cycle
Darrel dw1305 has provided some excellent links (sorry no links - there ought to be a Sticky ;))

When setting up a planted tank, you can’t do too many water changes :D
Though I’m compelled to add that fish also rather like daily water changes ;)
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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Hi all,
there ought to be a Sticky
I still haven't done it, but I will.
A lot has changed in terms of identifying the microorganisms involved in aquaria N-cycle
That is the one, you don't need to add ammonia to a planted tank and it almost certainly does more harm than good.

@Sammiec0108 , the references you want should be on page 4. of <"Bedside Aquarium"> and links.

I'd definitely recommend a floating plant for the establishment stage of the tank, they aren't CO2 (or light) limited so can make use of all of the available nutrients. Also have a look at the <"Duckweed index">, it is a simple technique where you monitor the leaf size, and leaf colour, of a floating plant as an estimation of the nutrient status of your tank.

cheers Darrel
 

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