Nearly at the point of giving up - BBA and green algae

newscaper

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I’m nearly at the point of giving up on my aquascape

Sadly no matter what I do I seem to be suffering constant crippling algae.

BBA has now crept in and joined the green algae infestation.

I have a 130L open tank with twinstar 600 led. Injected co2 and marina cf80 filter plus additional in tank power head for improving circulation.

I run co2 an hour and a half before lights on and off an hour before lights out.

Lights on at 4.30pm and off 10.30pm daily.

Co2 indicator in tank shows light green so co2 looks good.

I dose daily with evolution aqua complete.

Prodibio substrate.

Fish are fed sparingly once a day.

Quite heavily planted with a range of species. I don’t have a huge amount of space left to add more plants although what I have aren’t exactly thriving. Pruned to remove algae and hopefully promote growth.

1 - 2 weekly water changes of between 30 - 50 %.

Not sure where I’m going wrong as I’ve had everything running for over 4 months now so levels aren’t up and down.

Can anyone advise if I’m missing something obvious that may be causing my algae issues?


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Jayefc1

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Do you have any pics? what levels are your co2 Is the drop checker green at lights on have you moved it around to check the levels all around the tank. What flow is the filter how high are your lights these are all questions that will be asked
 

newscaper

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Do you have any pics? what levels are your co2 Is the drop checker green at lights on have you moved it around to check the levels all around the tank. What flow is the filter how high are your lights these are all questions that will be asked

Thanks for the reply,

Here’s a pic as of this morning. I carried out some quite heavy maintenance yesterday but the algae is still fairly substantial.

I’m not sure of the specific co2 levels but the drop checker is green when lights come on and fish seem happy and not sluggish suggesting co2 is acceptable?

The drop checker has been in various places and seems ok. It’s currently opposite corner to the co2 diffuser.

The filter (marina cf80) is rated for 230 - 300 litres although the flow rate per hour is not specified anywhere. My tanks 130 litre so in theory it should be fine. Inlet and outlets are kept clear. Plus I have a power head to help flow and surface agitation.

The light is suspended about 6 inches above the water. I can raise it easily although where it’s located that does loose a lot of light in to the room.


4ff6250d6aff5fbe02ba9622e1124447.jpg



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dw1305

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Hi all,
Don't give up.
I don’t have a huge amount of space left to add more plants
You do. I think you just need a lot more plants, and then to let them grow in for a while.

If you are really meticulous in trying to remove every scrap of algae, you tend to remove/damage the leaves that it is growing on, and the plants never really get going. Have a look at the "Tropica Easy" range for some good growers.

If you can find it Horn-wort (Ceratophyllum demersum) is a great subsurface floater, and it likes hard water. I've got plenty , but it doesn't travel very well. If you don't have too much surface flow a floating plant might also work.

Also take the Anubias barteri plants (from the front right), out of the substrate and tie/glue them onto some wood. The roots can be in the substrate, but not the rhizome, the stem that the leaves are growing from.

cheers Darrel
 

hogan53

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As Darrel stated!:thumbup:
Purchase some stem plants that can be used as floaters.
Ceratopteris thalictroides/Water Sprite...is a fast growing stem plant that fits the bill..
You can use Ludwigia or Rotala's also!

Looks as though the majority of plants you have, are slow growers!
Evolution Aqua Complete dosing....how much per day?
hoggie
 
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It doesn't look that bad.

It is just that your tank is full of slow growers, e.i. anubias, java fern, etc...And this result is expected with this type of setup. As Darrel points out, you do need a lot more fast growers to balance out the tank, and a lot more plants. Anubias should be in shaded area, rhizome above the substrate. Best place is at the base of the driftwood or it will attract algae.

The ludwiga out the back looks suffering. When I grow it in a low tech tank, it prefers to be well lit and even grows best when it gets some light from out the window. I know that the regular advise when one has algae is to reduce the light but often enough the opposite is true. I think your plant to the right is also light deficient, seeing the browning on it. And you may have a bit too many fish, and incorrect type fish for that size tank. Heavy bioload contributes to algae and sometimes the only solution is to reduce the stock.
 

newscaper

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I will get some more plants and see if I can start to get them to take over.

I dose about 15ml of aquascaper complete per day.

Considering using liquid co2 for controlling the BBA but unsure of the dose?

Will invest in some fast growers today.


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Conort2

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As the others have already said, get some fast growing stems. Limnophilia sessiflora is great, grows extremely fast and will boost up your plant mass.

I had the same issue as your recently with a newly set up tank, bba popping up everywhere. And like the same as you only had slow growers like crypts, anubias etc. I've now put in some fast growing stems and the bba has pretty much disappeared. I haven't removed any, the plants have now just out competed the stuff.

Also does your light have a dimmer? Maybe worth purchasing one and toning the light down until everything is settled.

Cheers

Conor
 

Tim Harrison

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Aside from the above mentioned fast growing plants, which will give you some biological stability and reduce algae...
You don't say what intensity your light is on, I'd have it no higher than 60%, you'd probably be better off with it at around 50% for a while. Stick to your 6hr photoperiod.
And your drop checker should be lime green at lights on and all the way till lights off.
 

newscaper

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Aside from the above mentioned fast growing plants, which will give you some biological stability and reduce algae...
You don't say what intensity your light is on, I'd have it no higher than 60%, you'd probably be better off with it at around 50% for a while. Stick to your 6hr photoperiod.
And your drop checker should be lime green at lights on and all the way till lights off.

It’s 100% I’m afraid as the twinstar does not have adjustable levels. I’m looking in to a dimmer option but there seems to be differing opinions as to if they damage the leds or not? I’d rather not damage the light if I’m honest.

Drop checker is lime green for the whole photo period


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Conort2

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It’s 100% I’m afraid as the twinstar does not have adjustable levels. I’m looking in to a dimmer option but there seems to be differing opinions as to if they damage the leds or not? I’d rather not damage the light if I’m honest.

Drop checker is lime green for the whole photo period


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Twinstar supply dimmers as an extra so I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be issuing these if they damaged their lights. Check aquarium gardens out, I think they stock them.

Cheers
 

Tim Harrison

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Kalum

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For comparison I'm using the same light with only slow growing plants and it's at 20% with co2 maxed out and EI Ferts, tiny bit of BBA which seems to be under control thanks to reducing the lights (was 25%) and floating plants to offset the lack of fast growing plants
 
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The levels at which slow growers such as anubias thrive is way too low for fast growing plants to grow healthy. In the summer, when I got direct sunlight over one tank, the stem plants in it-ludwiga and bacopa went mad. Instead of tank covered in BBA or other algae, it was full of plants, some of which started growing emersed. BBA is very much related to organic load and when that happens, high light does not help at all but it is not the trigger in the first place. The trigger is the organic load.

In CO2 tank there are other factors, such as plants constantly needing to adapt to high/low nutrients, high/low CO2 and the constant fiddling with conditions by the owners. I have a hillstream tank subjected to high levels and long hours of light. It's got all types of green sort of algaes growing but never BBA. I've only had BBA in tanks in which my tank stocking is excessive, even in lower light conditions, as well as higher light. I've moved BBA infested anubias several times to non-infested tanks and within week the BBA disappeared from the plants completely, as it was never there in the first place. BBA doesn't seem to be transmittable. It just likes certain conditions.
 
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In simple terms, if you identify the algae you have, it can give an idea on the things you need to tweak in your tank.
If you've got BBA or diatoms, issue is organic load or excessive ammonia production/nitrification, leaching substrate, etc.. If its green type of algae, appearing very green visually, your light is on the high side, etc...
 

DjDamo

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Easy Life Blue Ex vs
Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover
I have an outbreak of cyanobacteria any steer?
 

newscaper

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Hi all,

So just an update on my ongoing fight with algae.

Its no better and is actually getting worse and more aggressive. Clean tank for 2 days max before signs of green creep back.

Action I took,

Clean what I can and water changes

Trim infected plants however now to the point little plant would be left

Carryon with sustained ea aquascaper complete daily (may have missed a couple of days though due to unforeseen illness rendering me refined to bed )

Light hight increased

Photo period reduced again, now 5 hours only per day.

Injected co2 remains the same 6 hours

Co2 indicator moved around and still showing lime green at start to finish of period.

The light (twinstar 600s) is a problem for me. My couch is right to the left side of the tank so I essentially sit under the light and view up into the tank. It’s too bloody bright . It’s like sitting in an operating theatre and the only way to resolve the issue is lower the light closer to the water to diffuse the glare.

I’ve now added a manual dial brightness switch which gives me control to dim the light. This however is probably no good for my plants or balance with co2 as I have no way to measure brightness without buying a light meter or something. I had assumed when researching the twinstar that the light brightness would be fixed at the perfect level but maybe it’s not and is just too bright?

The supporting legs raise the unit approx 10 cm from top of the tank so I’ve actually inverted the legs and suspended from 2 goosenecks. This gives any hight possibilities.

Final nail in the coffin tonight is my filters packed up

I’ve now purchased an oase biomaster 250 (tank capacity is 130L without substrate) so hoping this will be my saviour and get water flow to where it needs to be.

What to do about the algae covered contents now is another matter even my golden rams-horn snails have gone green.

Once the new filters in I’ll try and balance co2 - light - ferts again but fear I may need to gut the current lot to ensure success?

Honestly though I just can’t afford to remove everything and start again.

Apologies for the rant, very frustrating at the moment.



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Kalum

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You don't need to worry about knowing what % of light it's at so don't get caught up in the details

Just get it turned down under half (I'd personally go down to about 1/4 on your dial but up to you) and give it time to settle, it's a ridiculously strong light for a tank with slow growers or not heavily planted so you won't need much light to get good growth and along with co2 being set correctly, high co2 and low light is fine
 

newscaper

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You don't need to worry about knowing what % of light it's at so don't get caught up in the details

Just get it turned down under half (I'd personally go down to about 1/4 on your dial but up to you) and give it time to settle, it's a ridiculously strong light for a tank with slow growers or not heavily planted so you won't need much light to get good growth and along with co2 being set correctly, high co2 and low light is fine

Thanks so much for the continued encouragement!

I’ll keep persevering and planting in a hope of balancing out.

Slow growers were never my goal, it was just inexperience when starting out really. Lfs’s haven’t been a great help and with the best will in the world the ol’ internet machine easily takes you down many many different and often incorrect paths!

Most of the advice I received when buying my first batch of plants pointed toward easy slow growers which has sadly resulted in a tank full of them.

Going to pick up a bunch of Limnophilia sessiflora and vallisneria this week and see if I can tip the table on the algae back in the plants favour.

I never really wanted high maintenance but now the tank and equipment have evolved I would much rather be trimming back healthy growing plants twice a week than fighting never ending algae


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