New Tank Algae Issue

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
Hi all,

I have recently set up a new scape. Loving it so far apart from some nuisance algae that I have never encountered in an aquarium before.

So here are the details..


1. EA 600 - 4 Weeks Old.
2. Filtration Oase Biomaster 600 (Thermo)
3. Twinstar 600S - 6hours @ 80%
4. Substrate - Tropica Soil & Powder
5. Co2 is dosed.
6. Fertilizers used + Ratios - None currently - Have both Tropica types ready to go though.
7. Water change regime - Following the George Farmer method of 70-80% every other day for first week etc
Now am changing 60% every couple of days. However, on testing my nitrates are always up in the 30ppm range. See test result pic. This is 2 days after a big water change. Minimal feeding.
8. Plant list - Rotalas along the back, hair grass carpet, various Crypts, Java Fern and Bolbitis plus various epiphytes
9. Inhabitants - 6 Super Red Serpae Tetra, 8 Amano Shrimp & 4 Nerite Snails
10. Full tank shot.

Please see pictures of the tank, algae and test results.
I think it's a hair algae.
I am picking up the Ottos for the tank this weekend with the hope these have an impact.
 

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X3NiTH

Member
Joined
13 Apr 2014
Messages
997
Hi there

Nitrate titration test kits can be a bit hit or miss, I could never get a sensible reading from the API test kit even when I was adding an exact amount of Nitrate to a specific ppm, 10ppm kept reading above 60ppm (unknown compounds in the water sample can throw the readings off). I find test strips to be a little less problematical for ppm of Nitrate in the water although it usually over reads (around double the actual ppm) even when tested with a known ppm for calibration (not really important for me how much Nitrate is present just that it is present). How much Nitrate do you expect out of the Tap as per your local supply water report when you are changing water, your tank is Cycled for the current level of inhabitants by the test results for no Nitrite and Ammonia (these test with better accuracy).

You needed to be adding fertiliser to the water on the day you added the plants, not feeding them has provided algae an advantage over the plants. You also have Diatom growth but that’s usual for an immature tank. Start feeding the plants and remove as much hair algae as you can manually from any plant leaves as this will restrict light reaching the leaf, the Amanos should hopefully keep it under control (keep them hungry by not letting them eat too much uneaten fish food if you’re generously feeding the tank, they are opportunists and will gladly take an easy meal).

For the fertiliser follow the instructions on when and how much to dose, don’t skimp the dose because you may think it will encourage algae growth, I would rather choose to overdose than under dose because your focus is on keeping the plants well fed and healthy regardless of what the algae is doing. When the plants are happy and the tank matures a little further hopefully the algae will recede.

:)
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
Thanks alot, this makes sense.

I have Tropica Specialised and Premium.
Any clues on which is better at this stage?

Also, both say 5 Pumps per week for 100ltr

Does this mean one every day and leave at the weekend? Or. 5 pumps on a Monday.

Thanks,

Spam
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
822
Location
Nottingham
Thanks alot, this makes sense.

I have Tropica Specialised and Premium.
Any clues on which is better at this stage?

Also, both say 5 Pumps per week for 100ltr

Does this mean one every day and leave at the weekend? Or. 5 pumps on a Monday.

Thanks,

Spam

The Premium lacks Nitrate and Phosphate, so you really need to be using the Specialised. You could use them on alternate days for a quasi-EI dosing regime.

@Zeus. will be able to use his nutrient dosing calculator and advise how much you would need to use for a 100 litre high tech tank to be EI equivalent, but I’d wager it’s in the region of at least 3-4 pumps a day+ (Specialised and Premium on alternate days, with Sunday as a rest day/water change day).
 

X3NiTH

Member
Joined
13 Apr 2014
Messages
997
Tropica make it complicated by having you work out how to fit five doses into seven days, that’s nice of them to let you have the weekend off but the unchanging daily bright light above your tank is going to make the plants work hard on Tropicas days off and to ensure they do not go short on something stuff the rules/guidelines on the bottle and just dose 1 pump every day!

Here are the two fertilisers side by side comparison.

15235B1D-D31C-4A31-AE22-6A95B0792D02.jpeg


As you can see they have identical micronutrient contents but the macronutrients differ in that the Specialised contains added Nitrogen and Phosphorus and has a little bump in the Potassium content (likely from Potassium Chloride because Chloride is slightly elevated in the Specialised blend).

As you have both which to use would depend on how much N and P ends up in the tank from fish food/waste, if you’re fastidious about keeping uneaten food out of the tank and it is lightly stocked with fish but rammed with plants then the tank may run low on N and run out of P so in this instance I would opt to dose the Specialised. If the tank was heavily stocked with fish and/or overfed with possibly intermittent water changes then I would opt to use the Premium.

If you require any elevated micronutrient levels because you see problems in the plant ie Iron with white new growth and you are using Specialised then you can add some Premium to elevate micronutrient levels without adding more N or P. If you are using Premium and don’t want elevated N or P but want more micro then just dose more Premium.

:)
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
The Premium lacks Nitrate and Phosphate, so you really need to be using the Specialised. You could use them on alternate days for a quasi-EI dosing regime.

@Zeus. will be able to use his nutrient dosing calculator and advise how much you would need to use for a 100 litre high tech tank to be EI equivalent, but I’d wager it’s in the region of at least 3-4 pumps a day+ (Specialised and Premium on alternate days, with Sunday as a rest day/water change day).

I am sure there is probably a thread on this but.. What is El Equivalent?

Thanks!
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
Tropica make it complicated by having you work out how to fit five doses into seven days, that’s nice of them to let you have the weekend off but the unchanging daily bright light above your tank is going to make the plants work hard on Tropicas days off and to ensure they do not go short on something stuff the rules/guidelines on the bottle and just dose 1 pump every day!

Here are the two fertilisers side by side comparison.

View attachment 155303

As you can see they have identical micronutrient contents but the macronutrients differ in that the Specialised contains added Nitrogen and Phosphorus and has a little bump in the Potassium content (likely from Potassium Chloride because Chloride is slightly elevated in the Specialised blend).

As you have both which to use would depend on how much N and P ends up in the tank from fish food/waste, if you’re fastidious about keeping uneaten food out of the tank and it is lightly stocked with fish but rammed with plants then the tank may run low on N and run out of P so in this instance I would opt to dose the Specialised. If the tank was heavily stocked with fish and/or overfed with possibly intermittent water changes then I would opt to use the Premium.

If you require any elevated micronutrient levels because you see problems in the plant ie Iron with white new growth and you are using Specialised then you can add some Premium to elevate micronutrient levels without adding more N or P. If you are using Premium and don’t want elevated N or P but want more micro then just dose more Premium.

:)

So Helpful!

So stocking plan long term is below.

16 Serpae Tetra
1 Pair Apistogramma Bitaeniata
4-5 Ottos
5-6 Corys

I would say just about right on stocking and i usually feed lightly and have a very simple water change set up so do this regularly. My tank is next to the ensuite and so use the shower into a bucket to change water!

Will go with Specialised for now and add one pump a day after water change tomorrow.

Unless this Zeus chap comes along with a better option!?

Thanks alot!
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
822
Location
Nottingham
I am sure there is probably a thread on this but.. What is El Equivalent?

Thanks!

EI stands for the ‘Estimative Index’. Long story short it about ensuring an excess supply of all the nutrients that plants might need, all the time.

When your aquarium runs out of a nutrient (a deficiency) it limits plant growth, and give algae a window of opportunity.

There is lots of info in this thread:

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/the-estimative-index.13/
 

Atters

New Member
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
9
Location
Seaford
Hi Spamamos,

you will benefit also from dimming your light down to say 40% for now. Then over time edging it up 5% at a time when you aren’t evaluating other changes until you find your sweet spot.

A good analogy is to see lighting as the accelerator that regulates nutrient and co2/carbon uptake.

I have a 56 litre 60 cm tank with a Twinstar 600 SP which is suspended at 30 cm above the water surface. I dose 2 squirts of Seachem Excel and one squirt of an all in one fertiliser daily. So quite similar set ups, except my light is dimmed at 20%, at a year in.

Leave time to evaluate your changes, keep motivated your goals are achievable.

I look forward to seeing your future pics, good luck
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
Hi Spamamos,

you will benefit also from dimming your light down to say 40% for now. Then over time edging it up 5% at a time when you aren’t evaluating other changes until you find your sweet spot.

A good analogy is to see lighting as the accelerator that regulates nutrient and co2/carbon uptake.

I have a 56 litre 60 cm tank with a Twinstar 600 SP which is suspended at 30 cm above the water surface. I dose 2 squirts of Seachem Excel and one squirt of an all in one fertiliser daily. So quite similar set ups, except my light is dimmed at 20%, at a year in.

Leave time to evaluate your changes, keep motivated your goals are achievable.

I look forward to seeing your future pics, good luck

Thanks Atters,

Will have a play with the light.

Don't want to change too much at once but I know it will help, have already dialed the photo-period right back and adjusted the Co2 to match.

I notice you're in Seaford! Not far from me :)

I hope so! Going to upload my journal over the weekend.
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
Did a huge water change yesterday, 80%, dosed Ferts and have just tested water.

40ppm Nitrates.
Tap is coming out with 5ppm

I have turned the light down to 50%

Already have algae on my rocks after an intense scrubbing session with a toothbrush.

Hopeing the Ottos in getting tomorrow will help with this battle.
 

Siege

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2017
Messages
1,098
Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
Hi,

a few thoughts and questions -

- your co2 looks dark green. Should be yellow for the 1st week. Normal is light green.
- what temp is your tank?
-co2 should be on 3 hours before the lights On a 600 I would suggest.
- 1st week is daily water changes as big as you can 80% no probs. Every other day is 2nd week.
- light at 80% is high if co2 is dark green. 50 or 60% is a good place to start.
- you are heavily planted but due to the sand it reduces plant mass. this puts the emphasis on everything else being spot on.
- Don’t worry about testing. It won’t help!
-Floating plants will help.

Hope that helps and gives you some idea.

cheers


S.
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
Hi,

a few thoughts and questions -

- your co2 looks dark green. Should be yellow for the 1st week. Normal is light green.

I have a mended this - it is lime now.

- what temp is your tank?

23C
-co2 should be on 3 hours before the lights On a 600 I would suggest.

Lights now on at 1600 and CO2 on at 1200
.
- 1st week is daily water changes as big as you can 80% no probs. Every other day is 2nd week.
Did this, now in week 3.

- light at 80% is high if co2 is dark green. 50 or 60% is a good place to start.

Just turned it down. 👌

- you are heavily planted but due to the sand it reduces plant mass. this puts the emphasis on everything else being spot on.

Makes sense!
- Don’t worry about testing. It won’t help!
-Floating plants will help.

Will have a look at getting some!

Hope that helps and gives you some idea.

cheers


S.

See replies above! 😇
 

Siege

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2017
Messages
1,098
Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
hi,

Thanks but your replies above donot answer any advice or question I asked though.

If its now all going swimmingly that is excellent but your last post suggests you still want help? 😃
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
hi,

Thanks but your replies above donot answer any advice or question I asked though.

If its now all going swimmingly that is excellent but your last post suggests you still want help? 😃

They don't?
Sorry mate - I just typed them out short and sharp, sorry if they came across as dismissive.

Most of what you suggested I've started doing by coincidence mainly but still fully appreciated.

I still am trying to figure out what's going on with my nitrates though. I wonder if this also has an impact?
Is there any science on Tropica soil letting out nitrates?

I'm a big believer in trying to only change one thing at a time so you can find what the cause was but also want it to look good 😅👌

Many thanks,

Spam[/QUOTE]
 

Zeus.

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Joined
1 Oct 2016
Messages
3,261
Location
Yorkshire,UK
1603045755449.png


as you can see from table above 'TSN' and 'TPN' compared the EI full dosing are lean dosing regimes, I would not be to worried about nitrates at 30ppm when you test ( just don't test and your wont worry about it). My tank water has at least 35ppm NO3 in it. Just look at local water report below

1603046028514.png


The upper limit in our tap water is 50ppm NO3 before the water company has to do something about, my local water company has a fancy blending/ion exchange system to keep it within european standards. if the nitrite was high then that's another story. If you livestock and doing fine its irrelevant what the test kits colour change is IMO.

If you have the TPN as well as the TSM I would go for the TPN in your case as it has no Nitrate.

Clive (@ceg4048 ) is one of our experts in nutrition and CO2 and he was doing his tank 3 to 4 times in excess of EI doing and all he said was the plants just looked a bit better.

Your hair algae problem is just the normal to expect from a new tank, check CO2 levels are stable from lights on till CO2 off and going for light yellow at fist isn't a bad idea IMO, but take care some livestock are more sensitive to high CO2 levels than others. having a stable CO2 is the most important not the level, flow is also very important so if your plants are not gently waving about in the flow I would try and improve the flow. What filter media do you have in your filter? Is it rammed with it?

Once the plant biomass has increased the algae will settle and the plants will be feasting on the NO3.

Excess nutrient Does NOT cause Algae, algae can glow in tanks with only trace amounts of NO3 etc

Big water changes will help also as it will dilute any toxins in the tank. Less than a 50% isn't worth getting the hose out IMO in my 50 litre I do between 50 and 80% WC a week.

TSN isnt cheap for what it contains IMO retailing at £18.00 per litre, I am using a clone of it ATM. Here's a cost breakdown for your your tank if your using TSN at manufacturer recommended dosing level. The cost of the clones is a saving but seeing a litre lasts you over a year is it worth the effort doing your own DIY fert!

1603047557387.png
 

Spamamos

New Member
Joined
4 Oct 2020
Messages
19
Location
Hassocks
View attachment 155388

as you can see from table above 'TSN' and 'TPN' compared the EI full dosing are lean dosing regimes, I would not be to worried about nitrates at 30ppm when you test ( just don't test and your wont worry about it). My tank water has at least 35ppm NO3 in it. Just look at local water report below

View attachment 155389

The upper limit in our tap water is 50ppm NO3 before the water company has to do something about, my local water company has a fancy blending/ion exchange system to keep it within european standards. if the nitrite was high then that's another story. If you livestock and doing fine its irrelevant what the test kits colour change is IMO.

If you have the TPN as well as the TSM I would go for the TPN in your case as it has no Nitrate.

Clive (@ceg4048 ) is one of our experts in nutrition and CO2 and he was doing his tank 3 to 4 times in excess of EI doing and all he said was the plants just looked a bit better.

Your hair algae problem is just the normal to expect from a new tank, check CO2 levels are stable from lights on till CO2 off and going for light yellow at fist isn't a bad idea IMO, but take care some livestock are more sensitive to high CO2 levels than others. having a stable CO2 is the most important not the level, flow is also very important so if your plants are not gently waving about in the flow I would try and improve the flow. What filter media do you have in your filter? Is it rammed with it?

Once the plant biomass has increased the algae will settle and the plants will be feasting on the NO3.

Excess nutrient Does NOT cause Algae, algae can glow in tanks with only trace amounts of NO3 etc

Big water changes will help also as it will dilute any toxins in the tank. Less than a 50% isn't worth getting the hose out IMO in my 50 litre I do between 50 and 80% WC a week.

TSN isnt cheap for what it contains IMO retailing at £18.00 per litre, I am using a clone of it ATM. Here's a cost breakdown for your your tank if your using TSN at manufacturer recommended dosing level. The cost of the clones is a saving but seeing a litre lasts you over a year is it worth the effort doing your own DIY fert!

View attachment 155390

This is great - thanks alot.

To answer your questions in the post.

I had some CO2 issues early on which i posted about elsewhere but hopefully this is now remedied. I put a new bottle on today, not sure how much this helps. Just need to test for leaks as m inline diffuser does hiss slightly, not sure if this is normal?

Flow is good I think, everything moves.

Mix of Matrix and Bio-home Ultimate and yes the filter is rammed, all trays minus the bottom one which is have a fine foam and the top tiny tray has a bag of Purigen it in.

What is your clone?

Thanks again,

Spam
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,662
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Mix of Matrix and Bio-home Ultimate and yes the filter is rammed, all trays minus the bottom one which is have a fine foam.
Strangely, that maybe one of your issues. You aren't reliant on the filter for biological filtration in a planted tank, and the fine foam, and <"volume of biological media">, may be inhibiting both flow, and <"potentially nitrification">.

Because you have a pre-filter, I wouldn't have any mechanical filtration within the canister (no fine foam or floss) and I'd clean the pre-filter every week.

cheers Darrel
 
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