Help with identifying algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Kevina, 1 Oct 2009.

  1. Kevina

    Kevina Member

    Messages:
    26
    Hi all I have a problem with algae in my tank, I'm a new guy here so may need some help with uploading pics for identification. I have taken the pics and have them in my pics on my comp, but do not know how to insert them onto the topic sheet! Anyway the algae seems to be a brownish, hard calciumish sort of thing on the leaves of plants and the back of the tank. The tank is 5ft x 18" x 18" actual water volume, I have a fluval 304 and a 104 running at about half flow. I clean the media of both filters once a month in the aquarium water and place the recommended amount of fluval clearmax in one filter and rowaphos in the other filter once a month with the filter clean down. I change 30% of the water twice a week using 100% HMA triple canister filtered water as this is good for my discus. The discus breed regularly by the way.
    nitrite is 0 mg/l, Nitrate is 10 mg/l, ph is 7.0, GH is about 15 d and kh is about 4 d.
    I dont use CO2, But I did start dosing with Flourish Excel a few months back but had an outbreak of brown diatoms so stopped using it.
    If somebody can let me know how to upload the pics I have some good ones taken with my digital SLR and macro lens.
    Kind regards Kev.
    I have 100% Seachem Eco complete substrate about 3.5"front - 4"rear
    Just worked out the pics i hope

    Forgot to mention I have 4 x 55w T5's running 10 hours a day

    It would be really helpfull if anyone reading this could let me know if they can see my images as I'm not sure if they can or not.
    algae1.jpg
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. andyh

    andyh Member

    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Derby
    Welcome!

    A good start with Algae problems is by checking the following threads, They have helped me no end:
    http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm
    http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=905

    With ref to posting pics:

    You need to post the pics to an online gallery like photobucket.com and then copying the link into your post. There is a guide in one the sections on here. :thumbup:

    edit*** i can now see your pics! :thumbup:
    Firtsly, Nice Discus!!

    Now I aint a guru, but i would suggest that:

    But putting over 200w/10hrs per day of lighting into a tank with no C02, or daily ferts will be one of the causes of the Algae.

    Also can i ask why you run your filtration at half power, quite often in planted tanks we try to achieve a turnover of at least x10 the tanks volume per hour. This is somewhat harder on large tanks of your size, and also once a tank become full of plants it becomes more of a challenge.

    Some of the gurus on here will offer some more detailed answers however as a start i would get your filter working at full capacity and look at running your lights less. Also some thought needs to be given to what Ferts/Nutrients/co2 you should be putting into your tank as i would suggest that the plants need it. Are you using any sort of Plant fertilizer?

    It will be definitely suggested that you get pressurised Co2! As this is a vital part of the plant growing process

    I hope some of this helps
     
  3. Kevina

    Kevina Member

    Messages:
    26
    Yes, I would be very interested in setting up a C02 system and could afford £100-150 to spend on it, however I have no idea on what a good system for my setup would be or how much to add so any help would be really appreciated as I do like to try to get the best from my tank.
     
  4. andyh

    andyh Member

    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Derby
    Well for £100/£150 you could get an ideal set up.

    If you look in the thread for CO2 and how to set up a system. This will give you a good idea of where to start. For a tank your size I would suggest a 2kg Fire Extinguisher (FE) type set-up as a minimum. If you post in there somebody will give you a point in the right direction.
     
  5. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    yeah, thats a lot of light, even if you had co2 it'd still be a lot.
    try running 2 of the lights for 8 hours would be a good start.
    also ditch the rowaphos! running out of any nutrient is not a good thing in a planted tank!

    viewtopic.php?f=37&t=7776
    seems like a good place to start researching your co2 system.

    i would definitely advise going down the fire extinguisher (FE) route as the disposable co2 bottles would run out in a couple of weeks in a large tank like yours!
     
  6. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
     
  7. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi all
    I believe Rowaphos removes Phosphate from the water column.
    Those of us who are feeding their plants regularly (which is most of us), are putting Phosphate in the tank rather than removing it :wideyed:.

    CHris
     
  8. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    yeah thats correct.
    i believe its used primarily by marine aquarium keepers. it obviously "could" have a place in non planted tanks too.
    i guess its being used in this case as discuss are more "sensitive" altho i kinda thought nitrates not the phosphates would be the thing to be nervous about.
     
  9. Kevina

    Kevina Member

    Messages:
    26
    Hi all, thanks for your responses. I must point out that until now I have been mainly interested in keeping aquariums for the fish life aspect of the hobby, but recently am trying to understand better the cycles of plants in the aquaria. It is almost taking over from my interest in the fish side of the hobby and I only have 2 Discus and 4 Cory's in my large tank now. So if I am making mistakes it is because I am a beginner in this plant keeping game so please forgive my ignorance. I am only using the Rowaphos as about a year ago I had a bad case of BBA and read loads about it online and most people were saying it was an abudance of phosphates that was the culprit. However as I am now getting more understanding of the plant functioning of the tanks I realise the algae was probably because of imbalances in the tank and not just phosphates.
    I am removing the Rowaphos today, and have ordered the equipment for a 2kg FE Co2 System, I am also going to dose daily with Flousish Excel.
    Regards Kev.
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    The algae shown in these images appear to be GSA (Green Spot Algae). This is caused by phosphate and/or CO2 starvation under high lighting. There also appears to be some Rhizoclonium in photo #4 which occurs due to poor overall nutrient levels and poor CO2. To solve these problems you should first reduce your light intensity by at least 50%. Physically remove as much algae as you can by scrubbing. Remove the affected leaves. Dosing Excel is only part of the solution. You need to also provide regular nutrition in the form of Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK). You can start by using a simple all-in-one product like Tropica Plant Nutrition+

    A much cheaper solution is to use the raw materials (bulk powders) following the guidelines of the Tutorial article EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS There are a variety of dosing methods. Many of the most effective ones are described in complete detail on JamesC's Dosing Methods

    You should also review the Algae section of the forum. Lots of information there.

    Cheers,
     
  11. Kevina

    Kevina Member

    Messages:
    26
    I am running just two 55w t5's at 8hours now!
     
  12. Kevina

    Kevina Member

    Messages:
    26
    Hi, thanks for your reply's. Where can I get these raw materials (powders), and can anybody recommend a good online aquatic plant store where I can buy new plants, (looking for some kind of carpet plant). But dont worry I'm gonna sort out my nutrient problem before adding more plants.
    Regards Kev.
     
  13. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
  14. Kevina

    Kevina Member

    Messages:
    26
    Hi all, thanks for all your help with my tank. since your replys I have done the following.
    1) Reduced the lighting two 2 55w lamps on for 8 hours a day.
    2) Dosing 16ml Tropica plant pro + twice weekly after twice weekly water change of 33%
    3)Dosing daily with Flourish Excel
    4)Set up a 2kg FE pressurised Co2 system and the drop checker is consistently limeade green!

    Due to these changes I now have the algae beaten and the tank is starting to really look nice. The swords and lily's look really perked up, but for some reason now I am getting really bad Crypt melt on my 4 large Crypts.
    Could anyone throw any light on this?
    Could it be the change in PH?
    Does anyone think they will recover?
    Kind regards Kev.
     
  15. AphoticPhoenix

    AphoticPhoenix Newly Registered

    Messages:
    4
    I'm a bit new to plants, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but from what I understand Crypts have a tendency to melt after sudden changes in water parameters. The dead leaves should be removed, and the plants should send out new leaves soon.
     
  16. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi Kevina
    I have to agree with AphoticPhoenix about your Crypts.
    Happened to me when I moved one from one tank to another.
    All the leaves melted :( .
    At the time I wasn't sure if it was the right course of action, but I cut it right back to just above substrate level and it is now booming :D .

    Chris
     

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