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Brown Algae For Many Months

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Stix, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Stix

    Stix New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I've been having issues with BBA and brown algae ever since I started my 180L Rio aquarium in May 2018.
    It hasn't been gone yet =/.

    I came across this quote of an article here:

    How to calculate the light level:


    Divide the total aquarium light wattage with the aquarium volume (gallons or litres) to get the light level per gallon/litre.


    e.g. Lets say the aquarium is 48 gallons (180 litres) and has 2 x 30 watt fluorescent tubes.

    2x30 watt = 60 watts in total over the aquarium

    60 watts divided by 48 galls = 1.25 w/g, or

    60 watts divided by 180 litres = 0.33 w/l

    meaning this is a low-light set-up.

    Now I am using a light that has 44 Watts. This is a LED light of course so I don't know if those calculations apply. My tank is netto about 150 liter. Following this calculation this means I have 44:150 = 0.29 Watts per liter.
    This looks like a very low light.

    The intensity is set to 100% at the moment and the tank is not yet heavily planted. Or well it is but it's just been redone so they are growing roots etc. At least most of the plants.

    Another quote from this article reads:

    1. Lets say you have a very busy life; long working hours, studying, kids, etc... and don't have much time left for often aquarium water changes.

    In this case, it is best to choose the Low-light Low-techplanted method, which needs only 5-6 water changes per year. For Low-tech tanks I dose nutrients once a week e.g. Tropica Plant Nutrition+ (read

    plus) which contains NPK and traces 5ml per 50 litres. Even though plants can get most of the nutrients via soils we have to bear in mind that soils will become exhausted after approximately 6-12 month. To prevent this from happening it is beneficial to dose macro and micro nutrients via dry or liquid fertilisers once a week.

    Now my lights are on for 9 hours. From 12:00 to 21:00. I run my co2 at about 108 bubbles per minute. I have two dropcheckers. One just above the sand front right and one high up back right. Both are lime green. And I have mild surface agitation.

    I do a 25% water change weekly and add ferts after this change. I have a all-in-one fert that has all the nutrients in a good mix. Right now I'm dosing the small dosis because of my plants not having settled enough again yet. The bottle advises to use 10ML per 100L per week for little amount of plants/light and no co2 or 30ML per 100L per week for many plants/with high light and co2.

    I also cut away any dying or melting leaves and remove dirt. I also test my water parameters regularly.

    To summarize my equipment and plants etc:

    Filtration:
    I have an Eheim eXperience 350 which pumps 1050L/h and a SICCE Voyager Nano powerhead which works at 1000L/h.

    Plants:
    - Vallisneria Gigantea
    - Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
    - Cryptocoryne Wendtii Brown
    - Staurogyne Repens
    - Rotala Rotundfolia
    - Crinum Calamistratum
    - Dwarf Aquarium Lilly (Nymphea Lotus?)
    - Bucephalandra Wavy Green (glued to dragonstones)

    Fish:
    I have only 1 fish in the tank. A Tetraodon Leiurus aka Red-Eye Puffer.

    Aquarium:
    The aquarium is a Juwel Rio 180. I took out the internal filter and light system. Netto about 150 liter.
    The measurements are 101cm wide, 41cm deep and 50cm high.

    Substrate:
    I use filtersand with a thickness ranging between 5cm to 2cm. It varies throughout the tank due to the way I wanted it to look.

    Co2:
    I use pressurized co2 at about 108 bubbles per min. diffused through a Dupla in-tank atomizer. I am currently waiting for my package to replace that with a in-line atomizer from co2art.
    Both the dropcheckers, the one above the sand and the one above a few cm below the waterline, are both lime green.

    Lighting:
    The light I use is the Aquatlantis Easy LED Universal Freshwater 2.0 of 895mm. It has 44 Watts, 6800K, 3824 Lummen. The LED color distribution I think its called is: 66,5% Cool White, 16,8% Warm White, 8,4% Blue, 8,4% Red. CRI is 80.
    It's hanging in the middle above the aquarium leaning on the rims with the metal extenders. Aproximately 8cm above the waterline with a reach of 120 degrees.

    Parameters:
    The parameters before the lights go on and the co2 goes on, so pretty much after night, are:
    - Gh: 8°dH
    - Kh: 9°dH
    - Ph: 7.5
    - NO2: 0
    - NH3: 0
    - PO4: 0.5 mg/l
    - NO3: 20 mg/l
    - Temp: 25.3°C
    The parameters after a couple hours of lights on and co2 on is about the same except the Ph will be about 7 or 6.9. Not great to see with the Colombo test kit.

    Waterchange:
    I do a 25% waterchange every week.

    Now theres a couple things I've been unable to get answers to on almost every forum I asked.

    - Is this light low, medium or high?

    - Depending on the previous question, what % intensity should it be on?

    - Depending on the same question and previous information, how long should the lights be on?
    And should it be broken up in say 4 hrs on - 4hrs off - 4hrs on etc? And does the ramp on and ramp off time affect this, so should say 30 min ramp on, 30 min ramp off be included in those hours or added?

    - Should I keep using the low dosis of ferts untill the plants start to settle and grow and slowly use more or should I start with the high dosis?

    - Anything else I should change?


    It's a big wall of text but I want to be as complete as possible with my information as I don't want to give up the hobby but at this rate I will quit soon as I've been starting to get pretty sad about the whole thing. It's been 9 months now and still haven't had a brown algae free tank at all. And I've been unable to get help anywhere so I'm hoping that you guys here are able to.

    I'd be forever grateful to anyone able to help.
     
    #1 Stix, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  2. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I've seen this post elsewhere too.

    So this was my second time searching for PAR data regarding this light.
    No hard data from the manufacturer's website.
    UK website someone got a reply with PAR of 13 @ a 16" depth, someone else says 50 PAR at same depth.

    Brown/diatom algae is usually a short lived cycle but sometimes not.
    BBA can have many causes.

    Wish I could have found better data on the light.
    Low light demanding plants are pretty much what you have.
     
  3. Stix

    Stix New Member

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    Yea very possible. Ive asked the same question elsewhere too to increase my chance of finding an answer hopefully =/
    The lights ive not been able to find anything either myself except for the info I put in the post..

    But the low light comment I got more now. So lowering the intensity from a 100% to 70% is what I did right now. Maybe needs to be even lower?
     
    #3 Stix, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  4. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    I think lowering light intensity would be a good idea. I'd be inclined to go even lower, say around 60%. Also, increase your water changes to 50% a week and keep your filter very clean. And, if you haven't already, max out the filter media as well, I'd also keep the temp of your water to around 22/24 °C, All this should help reduce organics that maybe causing the issue.
     
  5. Stix

    Stix New Member

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    Yea I've set it to 50% yesterday. The water change I'm going to increase to 50% then. The filter I'm trying to clean not as often for the bacteria colony in it. It seems to stay pretty clean anyway. I have Purigen in it too and one basket full of ceramic stone chips. One basket full of course blue sponges and filterwoolmat.

    The temperature is prob gonna be at 24 degrees celcius at the lowest otherwhise my Red-Eye puffer will be very unhappy :p. So gonna make it around 24,5 I think.
     
  6. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    What is your filtration material in your Eheim filter ?
    I have a feeling that your Eheim ex 350 is not enough for your tank , maybe you need one more filter . With your canister (5 liter media material) you only have around 3 % of filtration , calculating that your tank has 150 liters
    You need more , between 5 to 10 %
    That's why I believe you have a filtration problem so the beneficial bacteria cannot "grow"
     
  7. Stix

    Stix New Member

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    Hey hey,

    Well I have 2 baskets. From bottom to top I have a basket full with course blue sponges then a basket full with those ceramic chips of stone, on top of that I have white filter wool. On top of that is a bag of Purigen. I thought that was pretty oke or?

    I do notice a decline of brown algae now tho. My plants aren't covered in it at the moment after lowering the intensity to 50% last weekend and hours of light on to 8 down from 9. I only have a bit on the back wall. Gonna do a 50% water change end of the week.
     
  8. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    That would also explain a lot, I forgot to mention that a 6hr photoperiod is recommended to start with until the tank has matured, it will help eradicate the brown algae.
     
  9. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    You need to fill both baskets with eheim substrat , or substrat pro or Seachem matrix .

    Take off the sponges and replace them with what I said .

    Even after doing this you are still low on filtration media , as I said , you need a second filter to have around 10 liters of filtration material for that tank
     
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