Where's all this algae coming from?

Arturosito

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11 Sep 2020
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30
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Mexico
So I'm about to give up, but before I do this will be my last attempt. I have no idea where all the algae is coming from. My setup: 25 gal with a 50w WRGB HIRO AQUATICS lamp, co2 regulator and diffuser by co2art.com at 3-4 bps. 6.5 hours light/day currently. The tank is almost 4 months old, heavy planted. No brand fertilizers (NPK separately dosed after a 50% WC and biweekly seachem iron additions) Soil: H.E.L.P. for planted tank.

Filter: attached on back chamber 1/2 gallon capacity that includes the circulation pump, 1/2 filled with lava rock as biomedia, and 100ml seachem purigen bag, plus sponges to remove solids.

Water: brand new Evans RO filter.

fish: 14 ember tetras fed every other day, and very little making sure the particles are tiny and don't make it to the soil. And I mean very small amounts.

Cleaning crew: 4 amanos, 2 cherries (Yes I know, not enough). But I just don't find anything justifiable for the algae production which starts booming 3-4 days after WC, especially cyano, green hair algae, and cyano.

During cycling, the soil was full of brown algae, and it didn't go away after 4 weeks until I added the fertilizer and then it became crystal clear clean, and then the algae started to appear a little before the fish addition. On a side note. I have a 3.5gal nano that uses the same water, DIY CO2, a brand new 30w led light that has just finished cycling and it is full of dead brown algae which I will remove today by syphoning it out, but now has also green hair algae. This nano is fishless.

So, what can I do? What can I test? What could be the problem?
 

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PARAGUAY

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13 Nov 2013
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Lancashire
Firstly try not be to disheartened everybody has algae issues at some time or other. 50% wc is good but when algae issues are in play you could WC every day or so after physically removing what you can. Your filtration (10×is recommended hr) for high tech may need looking at and the flow .Is it getting all around the aquarium. Your lighting maybe too strong?Not sure about your fertiliser regime. Green Aqua have a good YT video on fertilisers. Take a look at the tutorials . My go to algae eaters juvenile SAEs Somebody else will come and advise
 

Arturosito

Member
Joined
11 Sep 2020
Messages
30
Location
Mexico
I'm currently trying the 4 day blackout method. I will be posting how it goes. One thing I have noticed is that my co2 regime was not perfect: I'm turning the co2 90 minutes before lights on but it seems I should turn it on before that, as when lights are on co2 levels are a bit low (according to the co2 checker) so I'm gonna fix that. That could be a factor.

Question: I'm turning my lights for 6 hours starting at 11 am, is that OK? this is what is convenient to me in terms of my work schedule, my tank does not receive direct sunlight but does receive natural light during the day, starting at 9 am or so. To me this natural light seems to week, and not direct, but I don't know if it could be a contributing factor for algae and you guys would advice to turn the lights at that time. Thanks
 

Wolf6

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Joined
18 Dec 2014
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279
Location
Netherlands
Are your lights on at full intensity? What type of sand have you used? I've only had this once myself, and that time I threw away all plants, bleach solution cleaned all my hardscape and tank, filter etc. New filter media and I just started over completely. I did discover my lights were on too bright, so I dimmed them down to 60%, on for 6 hours, and that helped. But I'm sure there are people here that have beaten this, so hopefully they can advise. As for the sand: I've read somewhere some sands contain more silicates which can cause imbalance. But I cant find the source of what I read so I'm sure I'm misremembering parts. Can anyone provide some insights here? Afaik diatoms also bloom because of silicates, and from what you tell us, you had a severe bloom of those too. Then again I might just be remembering stuff all wrong.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
As for the sand: I've read somewhere some sands contain more silicates which can cause imbalance. But I cant find the source of what I read so I'm sure I'm misremembering parts.
Diatoms are incredibly efficient at extracting silica from water, they are pretty much universal wherever you have liquid water and light. They can only take up silica as <"orthosilic acids">, so the amount of silicon dioxide (SiO2) isn't really relevant. There is more discussion in <"Long term...."> and some figures at the <"end of the thread">.
Yes, basically you have to get down to vanishingly small levels of orthosilic acid before you exclude diatom growth. The level given to exclude <"planktonic Diatom dominance"> in sea water is 2 microMol silicic acid (Si(OH)4) . The RAM of Si is 28.1, and the RMM of Si(OH)4 is 28 + 64 + 4 = 96. So 96 g/L is a molar solution, 0.096 g is a millimol and 0.000096g is micromol. So you need to get below ~0.0002g/L of silicic acid before diatoms are impacted.
plus sponges to remove solids.
Seeing the cyanobacteria makes me ask how fine are sponges (PPI30?) and how often <"do you clean them?"> and last <"how do you feel about floating plants?"> and can you get any?

cheers Darrel
 
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