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Help with algae purge

Discussion in 'General Freshwater' started by am3ience, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. am3ience

    am3ience Registered Member

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    Hi guys,

    So i recently redid my 55 gallon tank to hopefully a heavily planted tank. I upgraded my lights to 2xT5HO 54W bulbs, added a bunch of easy plants like amazon swords, anubias, java fern, saggitaria, etc. For a couple weeks I've had algae grow pretty rampantly and not just one kind, but it seems all kinds of algae. I started dosing Excel, and API algaefix, the past week and it seemed to have helped a bit.

    There currently is no inhabitants in the tank, save for 3 nerite snails.

    I was wondering if you guys had any ideas on how to eliminate the algae. Since I have no livestock, i'm open to large doses of Excel, or anything of that nature. I want the algae under control before adding any fish.

    Attached are various photos of my tank to give you guys a good idea of what's going on. Ignore the co2 tubing and the diffuser, i'm aiming for a co2 setup, but i blew the regulator i bought secondhand, i'm in contact with Milwaukee to hopefully get that fixed..

    In terms of filtration, just running an aquaclear 110 on it. IMG_2599.JPG IMG_2600.JPG IMG_2601.JPG IMG_2602.JPG IMG_2603.JPG IMG_2604.JPG IMG_2605.JPG IMG_2606.JPG IMG_2607.JPG
     
  2. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    Welcome to the planted tank world! Algae is always due to some imbalance between light, co2 and nutrients. My guess is too much light (especially for those easy low light plants) and not enough/proper nutrients. But let's dig deeper. How many hours do you run the lights? No ferts? What are your nitrate levels?

    My suggestion to start with...
    -Keep the lights on for 6 or less hrs for now, particularly with your light plant load. You will increase this to about 8 hrs as things get established and require more light. Small plant load needs less nutrients (including light), bigger plant load more nutrients required.
    -Pack the tank with fast growing plants asap. Go get a bunch of stem plants and load em in there, just floating them even is fine and will help block some light too.
    -Get some fish. Extra nutrients can actually help your situation believe it or not. Algae only needs a trace amount of one nutrient to thrive but plants need a decent amount of nearly every nutrient. So if all nutrients aren't present algae will win. May I suggest a bristlenose pleco as a first choice. They have big bio-loads for their size and they will help clean up the algae, win-win.
     
  3. am3ience

    am3ience Registered Member

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    Right now the lights are on every day for 6 hours, but i'm open to reducing that amount if needed. Also dosing Excel every day, and algae fix every other day, also looking into dosing flourish too, but i'm afraid that might just add more fuel for the algae. What kind of fast growing stem plants do you recommend? I thought Sag and ludwigia were pretty fast growing already.
     
  4. myswtsins

    myswtsins AC Members

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    Sag and ludwigia are fairly fast but you need more fast growers during start-up. I'd suggested things like water wisteria, hornwort, anacharis (if temps aren't too high), pennywort, giant duckweed, frogbit etc. Once the tans in balanced and established you can sell them ones you don't want to someone else who needs the workhorses.

    Until you get more plants I would suggest only using 1 bulb if possible. Or even running the lights for 4 hours on, 4 off, 4 on. The break in between will help fight the algae. You might even want to try a 3 day black-out (complete darkness, blanket taped around tank type darkness) to kick start the death of the algae. The ludwigia is te only plant that looks like it might suffer from the blackout because it is already in such rough shape. If any of the healthy new growth is more than a couple inches you might want to chop the tops and replant them and toss the old damaged stems (or wait and see if they will branch where trimmed and make more healthy new growth). They will not repair that damage so the plant wastes energy trying to keep them alive.
     
  5. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Some of your plants are adjusting to being grown immersed (underwater) from their nursery "emersed" roots underwater, leaves out. Swords are especially apt to be grown that way. The new leaves will likely be a bit smaller & maybe a different shape. Just pinch/cut off the older leaves as needed. Root tabs can help them too.

    Your stems (ludwegia & rotala) look like the new growth is clean & healthy, after a short while you can pinch out the good top parts & replant.

    Anubias on the other hand, grow slowly. Does the "algae" brush/rub off the leaves? It may be just detritus from dying leaves, dying algae....or too much light if it's stuck on algae. Gently rub your finger along the leaves...& loss of a couple leaves should not be unexpected.

    How often do you do water changes? If 6 hours seems to cause more algae, try 3 & 3 hours.

    Algae & brown detritus on the white sand is not unusual. The white reflects more light & you're at my max light intensity that I've ever tried in a low tech tank.
     
  6. David Riddell

    David Riddell AC Members

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    I think you should go on with what myswtsins has suggested.
     

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