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Staghorn Algae

peter50blue

Seedling
Joined
7 Jan 2012
Messages
9
I'm experiencing Staghorn algae in my Juwel Rio 125 LED.
I can just control this through constant spot dosing and high maintenance etc but as we know this isn't a long term solution.

Tank Parameters:
40% weekly water changes
Lights on 7 hrs per day
Co2 around 30ppm on 1hr before light on (Ph drops to 6.3, drop checker yellow)
6ml Tropica Specialised fert daily
2.5 ml Excel carbon daily
AlgExit weekly dose
Nitrate reading 0
Tank flow just increased to 1400 l/h (waiting to see outcome)

Looking at the Tropica web site people seem to be adding more fertiliser than myself, should I increase it?
I'm frightened to increase the Co2 and can't think what else to do.
However, with all this said the tank looks good and plant growth is excellent.
Any other advice or comments would be appreciated.

Kindest Regards: Peter

20180616_162805.jpg
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
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1 Oct 2016
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4,352
Location
Yorkshire,UK
Plants look pretty healthy to me! so your spot dosing seems to be keeping it under control ATM. You have increased your flow so that is good and that is all that may be needed. You dont seem to have any holes on leaves or melting leaves so CO2 doesnt seem to be an issue, however CO2 on an hour before lights on isnt ideal as the full pH drop should be got before lights on not later in the photo period (unless you have a specialized CO2 injection system I doubt an hour before lights on is enough) doing a pH profile ( take pH reading every 30mins from before CO2 on till lights off) should give a better idea of [CO2] throughout the photoperiod, steady pH from lights on for first 4-5hours is the goal. 6.3pH is meaningless unless we have the pre CO2 pH, however seeing the DC turns yellow is good, but the DC is always about 2hrs behind the actual [CO2].

Increasing the ferts is not going to cause an issue but unlikely to solve the issue as plants look good as does the tank :thumbup:
 

peter50blue

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
7 Jan 2012
Messages
9
Zeus, thanks for the comments, I'm aware of fluctuating Co2 levels causing issues but never considered mine would be increasing overtime during the photo period.
I will change the timer so I have max Co2 when the lights come on and measure it as you say initially.
Great advice very much appreciated.

Peter
 

alto

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
6,228
Looking at the individual Tropica tanks (focusing on those maintained by Tropica staff), fertilization seems tailored to the specific tank/plants - balance of Tropica Premium/Specialised varies, CO2 mostly runs 20-25mg/l

You might try using the combination of fertilizers

Time required to obtain suitable CO2 level depends upon various factors
for example, if I run CO2 3-4 bubbles/s (Tropica 3in1 diffuser), fish/shrimp will display distress within 30min (if there's minimal surface disturbance from filter) ... my water is extremely soft


Your plants look excellent (except the Lindernia rotundifolia - which looks much just like mine ;) for an "Easy" plant I can never get it "thriving" :( ) - where are you finding the staghorm algae?

How long has your tank been running? algaes can be transitional, I don't think there is ever a non-algae tank, just minimal visible algae
 

peter50blue

Seedling
Thread starter
Joined
7 Jan 2012
Messages
9
Alto,
The tank has been running for 3 months now. You know what it is like though when algae appears and you see your carpet slowly being taken over.
The Staghorn is appearing all over the tank but mainly on the slower growing plants as you would expect, also a little BBA algae on the Eleocharis SP Mini.

Likewise we have very soft water GH3.0 KH4.0 Ph 7.

The tank came fitted with the new Juwel Multilux LED lights. I wasn't sure about buying it at first as I couldn't find any reviews on them and had only experienced T5s before. Looking at the spec the spectrum is slightly different to T5s. However, the growth rate is good to date and I have nothing to complain about.

I have tried a combination 50/50 Specialised and Premium fertiliser but moved away when the algae wasn't improving and increased the NPK.

I'm aware its all about getting the balance right, the ferts were the first thing I experimented with, now I've added the wave maker and my flow has gone from 500l/h with the internal filter to 1400l/h with the wave maker and the plants are all now dancing. Hopefully I have eliminated all the dead spots and now have good nutrient flow, fingers crossed.

As you said this might be a transitional thing and will go away on its own, just need to be able to cut down my maintenance and enjoy the tank.
I'm sure you know what its's like when you have an algae battle on your hands.

Kindest Regards: Peter (Scotland)
 
Last edited:

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
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11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,563
Location
Chicago, USA
I'm experiencing Staghorn algae in my Juwel Rio 125 LED.
I can just control this through constant spot dosing and high maintenance etc but as we know this isn't a long term solution.
Hi,
Staghorn is a CO2 related algae and has nothing to do with nutrients.
As mentioned by Zeus, it's a good idea to measure the pH at intervals and to ensure that the minimum pH occurs more or less at lights on. It's easy to drive the the pH low and to get a yellow DC but it's more important to ensure that the low pH value occurs at the right time.

You mention that the pH is 6.3 but this doesn't really tell us anything as we need to know what the original pH of the water is.

Also make sure the filter is cleaned regularly.

Cheers,
 

peter50blue

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7 Jan 2012
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Gents,
Since my initial post I've been making the adjustments to my Co2 as recommended.
Initially my Co2 levels were two hrs late for optimal Co2/PH drop at lights on, after adding the wave maker it reduced to an hour behind..
I will adjust the timing tomorrow.

The aquarium water is Ph7 before the addition of Co2 and stabilises at PH6.25

Now you have my water parameters please can you advise me what Ph I should be aiming for at lights on?
My assumption is a yellow drop checker with a PH off 6.3 is correct but this is just a shot in the dark.

Looking at the online Co2/KH charts I'm already into the danger zone for the livestock, this I don't understand !
However, no stress is being exhibited and with the slow PH drop I suspect all will be well.


Thanks again for all the good advice.

Kindest Regards Peter
 
Last edited:

ceg4048

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Looking at the online Co2/KH charts I'm already into the danger zone for the livestock, this I don't understand !
It's best if you stop interpreting the charts in the manner that many people do.
The chart is a theoretical exercise and it does not necessarily indicate the level of CO2 in your water.

There are many sources and substances in the world that affect the pH of water. CO2 is only one of the plethora of substances in your tap that affects the pH.

This chart therefore assumes that the ONLY substance in your water that has an effect on pH is CO2.

This theory therefore is only valid in a dropchecker filled with distilled (or RO) water.
The water in the DC is isolated from the tank water by the air bubble and so the only source of acid that can enter this isolated water is dissolved CO2.
The chart works perfectly in the DC.

In order to use the chart for your aquarium water it is necessary to subtract out the influences of all the other substances that have an effect on pH.

Generally we will find that if you drop the pH by about 0.5-1 unit then this will provide a good CO2 dissolution level.

So it is the DIFFERENCE in pH that is important, not the actual value. If you look at the chart, read the CO2 value for 7.0, then read the CO2 value at about 6.5, you will see that the difference between the CO2 value at 6.5 differs from the CO2 level at 7.0 by about 30 ppm. It's inexact and you can drive to a lower value. Again, this all assumes that your pH readings are accurate. If you drove the pH to 6.3 without the fish suffering then this is OK, but you need to be at 6.3 by lights on. If the 6.3 occurs later in the photoperiod then this is problematic.

Cheers,
 

peter50blue

Seedling
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7 Jan 2012
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Ceg,

As aforementioned I hadn't considered the change in PH with my lights on that had been the case since tank set up, three months ago.
My interpretation of stable CO2 was the period on/off and flow rate, clearly wrong on my behalf.

Yes, I'm pleased to say my Harlequin Rasbora, Red Cherry Shrimp and Ottos aren't showing any signs of stress with a yellow DC.
I had pretty much given up looking at the CO2 charts as nothing would have been achievable following them.

I'll also keep on top of the filter cleaning now you have mentioned it, I renew the floss pad weekly and clean the fine filters every month but have only cleaned the corse filters once in the three month period since setting up the tank.

Thanks again, will keep you posted

Peter
 

rusticdr

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15 Aug 2016
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114
Location
India
Think everyone here has already covered most of the areas. Just one thought.. ur plants seem to be growing beautifully. If u turn on co2 2 to 3 hrs before lights on and u still get staghorn algae it may help if u could increase the height of ur lights a bit. From the looks of it.. most of what u r doing is correct. But there s something very minor that's causing the algae. It's like driving a car at high speed.. the car is doing well and then u feel a small niggle.. what's the first thing we do.. we slow down. So take the foot off the pedal (light) a bit. Then see how the growth is. U may still get good growth with a slightly reduced light.. u can also introduce a few floaters. They reduce lighting intensity a bit and may help. Hope this made sense. Good luck.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

Peter50

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13 Jan 2018
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Location
Aberdeenshire
Further to my previous post I have now implemented all the recommendations above.
I'm pleased to say the Staghorn algae has completely gone but I'm still experiencing BBA.
The only option I seem to have left is to reduce my lighting period as the Co2 level is now stable, yellow from lights on ph 6.4 from 7, filters all clean and flow increased
I have been running the lights 7hrs per day should I reduce this to 6 hrs ?
You'll see I have reduced the bio load slightly as the Amazon Swords were getting out of control and I have had a prune.

I have attached a photo but I don't think the BBA is that visible.

Kindest Regards: Peter

L1010928.jpg
 

Peter50

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13 Jan 2018
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Aberdeenshire
Zeus, Thanks for the kind comments, I am still spot dosing most days but I think I'm getting algae paranoia.
Is it worth trying to reduce the lighting period in your opinion?

Regards Peter
 

Tim Harrison

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I agree with Ed, I personally never get Staghorn algae or BBA...but my photoperiod is only 6hrs long and the intensity moderate.
It's a trade off. For instance, my stems probably never reach their full potential in terms of colour, but they're healthy, and algae non-existent.
 

Nubias

Member
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2 Jul 2018
Messages
145
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Off topic slightly but nice tank and layout. I just started a Rio 180 and hope I can get it looking that good.

Do you have any dramas with your shrimp and the juwel filter? How many fish/shrimp do you have stocked?
 

Peter50

Seedling
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13 Jan 2018
Messages
4
Location
Aberdeenshire
Nubias,

I haven't experienced any real issues with my Red Cherry shrimp and the filter.
They do go in the filter and sit on the top filter pad and work their way down into the heater compartment but always seem to find their way out again.
I was concerned at first they would get trapped but its never happened.

I stocked with 10 Harlequin Rasbora and one Oto at first and then added another 10 Harlequins and 2 Otos when the tank had established itself.
As soon as the tank had cycled I added 20 Red Cherry shrimp.

Hope this is of help: Peter
 

Nubias

Member
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Messages
145
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks Peter,

Much appreciated, would be good to see a journal of your tank or any progress shots if you have one, if not make one lol

Is that the Eheim skimmer in the back left? I’m thinking the same for my tank as the filter outflow seems to push all the surface scum down that end and just make it swirl.

Where have you located your power head?
 

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