Lots of Algae Problems

amy4342

Member
Joined
22 May 2008
Messages
338
Hi all

As a previous member, I've not been on here for some time because I had to give up all of my tanks while I moved house a few times. I'm now back on my feet and I purchased this 6' x 2' x 2' tank in January 2017. I planted it and ran it without fish for around 6 months whilst the plants grew in and the tank was reasonably successful for around 24 months. Around 6 months after that, I let the maintenance go a little and some algae started creeping in, so I decided to rescape the tank in August 2019. I decided to go with lower maintenance plants so went with Crypts and Amazon Swords. Unfortunately, as you can see, things haven't gone to plan and things didn't improve after the rescape. All plants remained green after the rescape, but nothing grew, but I put that down to a low lighting period. Then the algae started creeping in and has slowly got worse. I've played around with the CO2 but my Clown Loaches already respire heavily towards the end of the lighting period so I don't feel I can put this up. There is enough flow to make the Crpyts at the front sway a little so I feel this is ok. I have been wondering whether too little light or too short a lighting period has had some hand in this but I know this is rarely the problem so I haven't messed with it. I'm now to the point where I'm thinking of getting rid of the tank so would really appreciate some help please!

Stats:
Tank: 6' x 2' x 2'
Water: Tapwater run through a HMA filter
Temperature: 29 degrees celcius (for the Discus)
Substrate: Oliver Knott Aqua Soil
Co2: 2 x 2kg FE's run through 2 Aqua Medic 1000's. Bubble rate too high to count.
Filter: 1 x Eheim 350T (rated 1050 lph) and which runs the right hand spray bar and 1 x Eheim 2028 (rated 1050 lph) which runs the left hand spray bar.
Lights: 2 x 55W 4 pin double bulb T5
Timer: Lights on at 4pm, off at 8:30. Co2 turns on and off one hour before these times.
Ferts - Dry macro ferts (7.5g KNO3, 1g KH2PO4, 5g K2SO4, 23g MgSO4 and 3g CaSO4) dosed Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Ferts - Dry trace ferts (3g) dosed Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Maintenance: 1 x 25% water change Saturday morning, 1 x 25% water change Sunday morning, before the Co2 switches on. Filters are cleaned around once a month.



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howanic

Member
Joined
28 Jul 2008
Messages
145
Location
London
Hi Amy,
I'm sorry I won't be much help in diagnosing a cause of your algae problems, but I'm sure someone else on here will be able to help you out on that.

But if it were me, I'd probably remove it manually. I'd start with a really good clean of the tank and some large water changes. I'd clean the glass, remove any old leaves from the plants and give your filter and pipework a clean. I think having a lot more plants would help. You don't need to spend a lot of money.. even if you just threw in some duckweed for now. I have a small amount of anubias spare if that'll help.
 

Fisher2007

Member
Joined
19 Feb 2018
Messages
432
Location
Warrington
So I'm no expert, having only really got into planted tanks properly a few months ago but things that jump out at me;

You're running CO2 at high tech levels but the light isn't. I'd up the lighting hours to 6-7, slowly at say half an hour per week

Water changes. Increase them alot for a period of time. At least one 50% per week, in one go, ideally two. Your discus alone will definitely welcome this. I used to keep discus in a 1000 litre non planted system and did hug changes (80% twice a week)

CO2, I would probably throttle back a bit as your plants aren't that demanding. Also at 29 degrees with high CO2 it's not a surprise the loaches are struggling

Give the tank a good clean. Looking at the algae I'm guessing the stuff on the glass has been there a while. Basically get rid of as much as you can as often as you can

Filters, clean more frequently for a while. Basically I think overall there is waste build uo in your tank from sub optimal maintenance and limited water changes (25% twice a week isn't much)

I'm sure others will jump in but that's what I'd be doing to start off
 

Kezzab

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2016
Messages
1,203
Location
Carlisle
Hi, no expert but a few thoughts.

Flow/turnover - even if your filter outputs were exactly as claimed youve only got just over 3 times turnover. That's pretty low for a planted tank given the usual rule of thumb is 10 times turnover. Your turnover is probably even lower than 3 times. You coud add some circulation pumps.

You aren't using a drop checker it seems. So while you may have very high bubble rate have you checked with a drop checker around the tank to see if co2 is actually hitting desired level?

Plant mass - the tank looks fairly empty. A lot more plants might help. Maybe echinodorus tennellum or sagittaria sabulata grows fast and might help to increase mass. See of anyone has any in for sale section.

Temperature - right for discus but quite high for plants, are the plants all suitable for high temps?(https://www.aquariumgardens.co.uk/48-discus-collection-250-p.asp)

Also agree re water changes. 50% in one go at least once a week.

I'm sure other will have some thoughts too.

K
 

amy4342

Member
Joined
22 May 2008
Messages
338
Hi all

Thanks very much for all the helpful replies.

So I've done some maintenance on the tank this last week - cleaned both filters, vacuumed the gravel and done a 25% water change every day.
I've also figured out how to hook up my HMA filter to the shower so I can do larger water changes in one go.
I've increased the lighting period to 5.5 hours and I'm looking into better lights at the moment to match the co2 levels aswell as increasing the flow. I'm a little stuck on the last point at the moment - I've got the above filters but I can't fit anything taller into the cabinet. I really don't want to introduce any equipment into the tank either. Any suggestions?
I'll also be increasing the plant mass when the above happens and hopefully that'll sort a lot of my problems.

I'm open to any other suggestions if anyone has any ideas?
Thanks!
 

Kezzab

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2016
Messages
1,203
Location
Carlisle
Hi, good start. I hadnt realised how short your light period was. Your plants are more likely to struggle with such a short period. I'd consider increasing to 6hrs then steadily increasing up to 8hrs.

Regarfing flow... you are a bit stuck if you dont want anything in the tank. Some in tank circulation pumps arent that obtrusive tjough. A MaxSpect Gyre would be good for a tank your size but £££.

Check out @Zeus and his Olympus Calling journal for a tank of a similar size to yours.
K
 

jolt100

Member
Joined
13 Jan 2008
Messages
114
Location
bury,lancs
Hi, there's a lot of conflicting views about algae and light but(in my opinion) if you are providing nutrients and CO2 then you need to provide the appropriate amount of light. It's all about balance. I followed the mantra that if you have algae you should reduce your light but spiraled downhill until I decided to increase the lights so the plants have optimum growth conditions and problems with staghorn dissapeared (I don't think I should have said that :))
I do think your water turnover is low but would increase your photoperiod initially and look at increasing intensity if possible. At least another 2 full length t5's with reflectors.
Keep cleaning the filters weekly or put some prefilter foam on the inlets which makes a weekly clean a lot easier.

Cheers
John
 

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