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Algae Fight Vector Check

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Dabrits, Mar 15, 2011.

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Algae Fight Vector Check

  1. No way dude, you're way off

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  2. You're close, just tweek a few more things

    0 vote(s)
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  3. Yes my son, but you need patience

    0 vote(s)
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  1. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

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    So here goes with what will most like be a rather long-winded post.

    Tank stats:
    29G (18"x12"x36" I think)
    2x 24 watt T5 bulbs (on for 5 hours daily)
    CO2 is 2 liters of DIY dispersed by an airstone (temporary fix after breaking my second disk)
    Substrate is some Caribsea stuff
    Ferts are Flourish (although I just got some TB GH Booster, KNO3, MKP and CSM+B that I will start using once my last bottle of Flourish is gone)
    Filter is just some HOB (a Marineland canister with an inline heater should be delivered tomorrow)
    Plants:
    ~15x Java ferns of various sizes
    2x Amazon Swords
    5x Anubias
    5x Water Wisteria (I don't know how they are doing in such low light)
    ~8x corkscrew vallis (however these are on their last leg, more to come about that)
    Fish:
    1x Golden Algae Eater
    1x Oto

    Situation:
    Almost as soon as I switched to my new light (the 2x 24 watt T5) I had a gnarly hair algae outbreak. I kept the light on for about 10 hours a day. This being my first planted tank, I've taken the difficult road and learned by experience. I posted in a local forum (this is where it gets funny) and was told to stop dosing. So I did, for about a week, until things got really bad. So I figured that the ferts probably weren't the reason, so I started dosing again.

    Here are some pictures of the tank when the algae outbreak was very fresh. This was about a week after it started (about 7 months ago-ish). My tank hardly looks like this now (different stock, more plants, more CO2, different scape, and a lot less algae). In the pictures you will see some anacharis, and I think that is what brought in the algae to begin with. The vallis tips also look a little brown. Before the algae, they were super vibrant green and were growing like crazy. They would easily reach the top of the tank. However, after being attacked by the algae, I only have a few little vallis plants that are barely hanging on. I might end up trashing them soon since they just don't repair themselves and aren't growing much at all. They are usually pretty cheap to procure, and I loved having those healthy ones in my tank.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I tried the whole toothbrush method, but really just ended up very nicely groomed hair algae. The algae would adhere extremely well to whatever it grew from. Other attempts with the toothbrush ended up uprooting the plants the algae was on. I even used some plant chemotherapy (bleach) and it killed the algae and hurt the plants, but the plants all recovered, algae didn't. But the chemo was no long term solution. The algae eventually took over the entire tank. I wish I had pictures of it. But I now think it was because too much light, and not nearly enough CO2. Ferts were probably a little off as well.

    Being in the military, I get the opportunity to leave home for months at a time. And I did. So I entrusted some local kids to help maintain the tank for me while I was gone. I turned done the lights to three hours a day, and gave them instructions.

    When I got back, the fish and plants were alive, but the algae was still there. A lot of it had apparently died (I think from reduced lighting). But there is still a small amount growing on some pieces of the substrate.

    EDIT: I found a picture that was taken of how the tank looked after two months of decreased light, CO2, ferts, water changes, and love. In other words, this is how it looked when I got back. You can see that it looks like that majority of the hair algae was dead and decaying. Sorry for the cheap cell phone picture.

    [​IMG]

    I recently (yesterday) bumped the lights from three hours a day to five hours a day. I'm trying to see if I can maintain the tank with having the lights on just a little bit longer without another outbreak. Since being back home, I've done numerous overhauls and actually doubled the amount of plants (to my current levels) and CO2 (I went from 1 liter to 2 liters). The algae is currently under control. But I want to know if there is a reliable way to eradicate the problem without going pressurized. For example, is there too much light, lights on too long, use just one bulb etc. Or should I start using my new ferts in conjunction with the Flourish until it runs out? Or should I just hurry and invest in some shrimp since I have been scheming to get some for a while anyway?

    Should I try a blackout for a few days, or go for peroxide?

    So really, am I on somewhat of the right track, or am I completely off the target?

    This is how the tank looks right now.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks! (and thanks to TUG for also helping me out many months ago when it was a new tank)
     
    #1 Dabrits, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2011
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

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    Hi,

    I'd cut down to just one T5, slowly increase the photoperiod to 8 hours, and start using full EI dosing of KNO3 and KH2PO4. If you give more specific water parameters like pH, KH and GH there's a little bit more to tell.
    Also use more plants.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  3. Dabrits

    Dabrits Fraud Reported

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    Thanks for the reply. I'll go down to just one bulb and slowly increase how long it's on. I don't have any KH2PO4, so I guess I need that. I also don't have HK and GH numbers, furthermore the pH numbers I have are from a non calibrated test, so I don't know how much I trust them. I'll see about getting that information.

    In my research I haven't been able to find an answer to a question. I know pretty much all plants (and fish), like humans, have a range of tolerable conditions, including temperature. Is there are temperature that algae tends to "prefer" or grow better in? For example. I need to keep my tank anywhere from 68-82* F, would I be better off keeping it at the higher end or the lower end? Or is it negligible? Thanks.
     
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