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Worsening algae after starting EI dosing

Animallover

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12 Mar 2021
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Hi guys,

I have been using EI dosing for 11 days now. I have followed all the instructions and made my macro and micro bottles and have been dosing according to the instructions.

I seem to be having a progressively worsening of this blue-green (my guess could be wrong) algae which is worst on my mosses but is also present on my aquarium glass. I've not had this type of algae before and it's starting to look unsightly as it's getting worse.

I have attached some pictures most of them are a week apart. The worst one if today and the others a week or 2 before.

The only other parameter I have changed apart from moving to EI dosing is that I increased my lighting duration from 6 hours to 6h 30 mins a day and that was 3 or 4 weeks ago now. When I did increase the lighting duration then I did notice some green film type algae on my crypts and red plants but these are going away now and have cleared off about 60% what they were before. The tank had such lush growth a few weeks ago it looks so different so fast.

I was just wondering what tweaking I should do next? I'm guessing there's more than enough nutrients if i'm using EI dosing and my CO2 checker is lime green throughout the photoperiod. Also not overfeeding the fishes. Just wondering if that only leaves tweaking with the light but i'm not sure.
 

Animallover

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Here are the pictures:
 

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Zeus.

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The only other parameter I have changed apart from moving to EI dosing is that I increased my lighting duration from 6 hours to 6h 30 mins a day

Which will be the cause, an abundance of ferts does not cause algae, but too much light does.

Before going to EI ferts what was you dosing?
 

Animallover

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Which will be the cause, an abundance of ferts does not cause algae, but too much light does.

Before going to EI ferts what was you dosing?
Hi, thanks for the reply. I was using Tropica SN 7 pumps a day. I did think it could be the light but the light change was much earlier (weeks) than starting the EI dosing hence why I was confused as i didn't have too bad algae when the light was increased it was only minimal.
 

Zeus.

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When was the last time you cleaned your filter? Plus when did you last do a WC (water change) and how much.

I would remove as much of the algae as possible and cut off the worse affected leaves, then turkey blast the substrate followed by a double WC of about 70-80% then clean filter and all hoses.

I did the first post without seeing the pics :oops: reduce lighting to less than pervious level as you had algae before anyway so 6hrs, weekly WCs of 50% or even midweek WC as well would do no harm for couple of weeks.

But cause is the same too much light ;) Does any natural light land on tank ? all it takes is a few hours of direct sunlight to get the results you have, if direct sunlight does land on tank seasonally it needs blocking with at least carboard.
 

Animallover

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When was the last time you cleaned your filter? Plus when did you last do a WC (water change) and how much.

I would remove as much of the algae as possible and cut off the worse affected leaves, then turkey blast the substrate followed by a double WC of about 70-80% then clean filter and all hoses.

I did the first post without seeing the pics :oops: reduce lighting to less than pervious level as you had algae before anyway so 6hrs, weekly WCs of 50% or even midweek WC as well would do no harm for couple of weeks.

But cause is the same too much light ;) Does any natural light land on tank ? all it takes is a few hours of direct sunlight to get the results you have, if direct sunlight does land on tank seasonally it needs blocking with at least carboard.
I last cleaned my filters around 6 weeks ago. My water change is due tomorrow hence why the tank glass is looking quite messy. So my last water change was 6 days ago and I do 50-75% it just depends on when I turn around to see the tank.

Okay that sounds like a good idea. What do you mean by a double water change? Change the water 80% and then fill up and immediately do another 80% water change?

Ok i'll reduce the light back down to 6 hours and do a mid week WC. I guess in the summer months there has been a bit go light hitting the tank in the evening so will block it off so it doesn't temporarily.

Thanks for the help!
 

Happi

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IMO it would be wrong to say that fertilizer don't cause algae and that high lights are the main issue. Because you can have high light or low light in both cases and have algae in both cases. After studying the light and fertilizer link for some years now, it is quite safe to say that fertilizer have a very strong link with the algae growth compared to the lights. Once the tank is established and the plant mass is increases, algae is less likely to become an issue.
 

Animallover

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IMO it would be wrong to say that fertilizer don't cause algae and that high lights are the main issue. Because you can have high light or low light in both cases and have algae in both cases. After studying the light and fertilizer link for some years now, it is quite safe to say that fertilizer have a very strong link with the algae growth compared to the lights. Once the tank is established and the plant mass is increases, algae is less likely to become an issue.
But surely EI dosing has been tested enough times to say it is not too much fertiliser to cause algae? And you can have low light and deficient nutrients that may cause algae or high light and deficient/ adequate nutrients causing algae. I agree in a tank that’s not established high nutrients can cause algae but this tanks been running for about 5 months now. I’m still very new to this but everything was going okay until I increased the light and then starting the EI dosing - but as Zeus said before I can see similar algae from my pics from before I increased the light so maybe the clean up crew were just about able to keep the algae minimal and then when I increased the lights the algae growth just increased steadily from there
 

MichaelJ

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Which will be the cause, an abundance of ferts does not cause algae, but too much light does.
Right on! There is no way fertilization causes algae (quite the contrary in my experience). Lack of NPK ferts will, and so will excess light vs. CO2, and so will organic waste. Dial down your lights intensity, increase your WC and possibly better your flow/circulation and have patience!
Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

Zeus.

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What do you mean by a double water change? Change the water 80% and then fill up and immediately do another 80% water change?
Yes.
I last cleaned my filters around 6 weeks ago
I do mine weekly, after a big clean of tank a clean of the filter is always a good idea.
IMO it would be wrong to say that fertilizer don't cause algae and that high lights are the main issue.
Well algae can thrive in a bucket of water with no ferts but plants cant, algae needs ferts in the ppb (parts per billion) but plants need ferts in ppm (parts per million), so in our tanks there is always ferts in abundance for Algae, so from my reading and my peers the ferts cause algae has been ditch.

I think the OP tank was no the edge of an algae outbreak and the extra light tipped the balance.

Other things that need checking are
1, CO2/flow/turnover
2, Detritus in substrate

Have you done a pH profile? what time does your CO2 come on before light on and how did you determine this time? what colour does your DC change.

Flow/tank turnover is King in the high tech tank, You have a Fluval FX? (I have an FX6) they are great filters IMO but better suited for fish only tanks, the duck billed outputs don't generate enough flow for the output of the filter and you would be better off with a bespoke spraybar which would generate more/better flow in tank, however the 25mm piping is a PITA to get piping for- but still doable.

Tank is 5 months old, when was the last blasting of the substrate to remove the detritus, I got away doing this for about 6-9months then had to do it regularly to keep my carpet looking good, for a short time I did it weekly. If not blasted yet time to start.
 

Happi

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not here to argue but you cannot say that fertilizer doesn't cause algae if algae only require the fertilizer in ppb to grow, imagine how much algae you can grow if the fertilizer is present in ppm amount. so, IMO the statement like "fertilizer doesn't cause algae" would be false. but we can certainly agree that algae will be minimum when plant growth is good and plant mass is very high even under high fertilizations.

some people add NH4/Urea and get algae and I use to tell them that they shouldn't be getting algae because fertilizer don't cause algae remember. they said but NH4/urea does, I use to tell them so you don't think NH4/Urea is a fertilizer? I also told them that I use both in my tank with minimum to very little algae, but the main reason I don't see much issue in my tank is because my plant grow very fast and I have a huge plant mass to begin with even while using very high lights. I told them if I cut the plant mass more than in half, I start to see algae appear. it would be true to say "plant can out compete algae" but it would be false to say "that fertilizer doesn't cause algae"

far as the OP question goes, you might want to cut the dosing in half and start from there, with that plant mass you might not need to dose the full EI doses.
 

jaypeecee

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IMO it would be wrong to say that fertilizer don't cause algae and that high lights are the main issue.
Hi @Happi

I have a slight problem with the word 'cause'. Otherwise, I agree with the point you are making. There appears to be several factors that contribute to the growth/lack of algae and cyanobacteria. Lighting, nutrients, allelopathy, water flow velocity, pH and so on.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

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I seem to be having a progressively worsening of this blue-green (my guess could be wrong) algae which is worst on my mosses but is also present on my aquarium glass. I've not had this type of algae before and it's starting to look unsightly as it's getting worse.
Hi @Animalover

Blue-green 'algae' is not actually an algae. It is a form of bacteria known as Cyanobacteria. And it does look as though that's what your photos are showing. It's not easy to eliminate but you may find something of use here:


JPC
 

Animallover

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Yes.

I do mine weekly, after a big clean of tank a clean of the filter is always a good idea.

Well algae can thrive in a bucket of water with no ferts but plants cant, algae needs ferts in the ppb (parts per billion) but plants need ferts in ppm (parts per million), so in our tanks there is always ferts in abundance for Algae, so from my reading and my peers the ferts cause algae has been ditch.

I think the OP tank was no the edge of an algae outbreak and the extra light tipped the balance.

Other things that need checking are
1, CO2/flow/turnover
2, Detritus in substrate

Have you done a pH profile? what time does your CO2 come on before light on and how did you determine this time? what colour does your DC change.

Flow/tank turnover is King in the high tech tank, You have a Fluval FX? (I have an FX6) they are great filters IMO but better suited for fish only tanks, the duck billed outputs don't generate enough flow for the output of the filter and you would be better off with a bespoke spraybar which would generate more/better flow in tank, however the 25mm piping is a PITA to get piping for- but still doable.

Tank is 5 months old, when was the last blasting of the substrate to remove the detritus, I got away doing this for about 6-9months then had to do it regularly to keep my carpet looking good, for a short time I did it weekly. If not blasted yet time to start.
My CO2 comes about 4/5 hours before the photoperiod and the reason is any later and the DC is not a like green colour at the start of the photoperiod.
I have 1x Fluval fx6 (less disguised) which is great but I also have an Oase thermo bio master 850 (well disguised) on the same tank so that comes with a spray bar and I agree the spray bar gives a better flow from what I can see than the FX6.
I would like to think my flow, turnover and CO2 are okay.
I blasted the subtrate last week (first time) but will have to do again as looking messy again- and probably more regularly if anything.
 

Animallover

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Hi @Animalover

Blue-green 'algae' is not actually an algae. It is a form of bacteria known as Cyanobacteria. And it does look as though that's what your photos are showing. It's not easy to eliminate but you may find something of use here:


JPC
Thanks for this I had a read! I’m just not sure how easy it would be able to find a UV-C for my tank as it’s quite lengthy. Also the blue exit seems great but would it work if I don’t have the UV-C?
 

Animallover

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not here to argue but you cannot say that fertilizer doesn't cause algae if algae only require the fertilizer in ppb to grow, imagine how much algae you can grow if the fertilizer is present in ppm amount. so, IMO the statement like "fertilizer doesn't cause algae" would be false. but we can certainly agree that algae will be minimum when plant growth is good and plant mass is very high even under high fertilizations.

some people add NH4/Urea and get algae and I use to tell them that they shouldn't be getting algae because fertilizer don't cause algae remember. they said but NH4/urea does, I use to tell them so you don't think NH4/Urea is a fertilizer? I also told them that I use both in my tank with minimum to very little algae, but the main reason I don't see much issue in my tank is because my plant grow very fast and I have a huge plant mass to begin with even while using very high lights. I told them if I cut the plant mass more than in half, I start to see algae appear. it would be true to say "plant can out compete algae" but it would be false to say "that fertilizer doesn't cause algae"

far as the OP question goes, you might want to cut the dosing in half and start from there, with that plant mass you might not need to dose the full EI doses.
Thanks! If the light duration that I have dropped does not lead to any change in the algae then I will think about reducing the EI dosing.
 

Tim Harrison

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If the tank was stable before and algae free, try a total reset and take it from there. Dial back all the changes - the lighting duration and fertz regime. You might also consider reducing light intensity as well. Since you altered more than one parameter at once absolute cause and effect can not be determined with any degree of certainty. However, EI in a balanced system shouldn't cause algae issues.

Before you increase either again work on optimizing your CO2 flow and distribution. It's probably the weak link if it needs to come on 4/5 hours before lights on. If it's not on a timer, it needs to be.

Keep on top of water changes and filter maintenance. It will help to do several substantial water changes a week and to clean the filter once a week until the algae is under control. If it persists consider a blackout.
 

JoshP12

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Hi all,

This is the beauty of utilizing water column fertilization at EI levels.

Those EI targets provide a buffet in your water column. So yes, everything that needs that food grows - and it grows fast, provided the rest of the building blocks are there.

Dosing EI to reset the tank is a great way to use the tool - personally, I crank the lights and ramp the temp to min. 25celcius in conjunction with it: I am impatient and want the tank out of “unhappy” as soon as possible! And what I mean by this is get ready to work. Speed up that system, pedal to the metal, and take off your shirt: daily water change clean, clean, clean - all you care about is new growth … you will trim all that other stuff away … the plants will win but o don’t be fooled: WE are part of the system and if we drive the system with Ferts, we MUST drive ourselves.

Josh
 

JoshP12

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Hi all,

To be honest, my advice above is flawed: @Animallover , what are your goals?

1) how the tank looks?
2) on maintenance/frequency?

these goals will determine what advice
(Ferts etc etc) should be for you.

Josh
 

Zeus.

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25celcius

I personally aim for 22 degree Celsius after my visit to Green Aqua, obviously if you have livestock that needs it higher or in middle of a heatwave then that's another story.
 

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