just can't get that algae under control

ydono

New Member
Jan 24, 2022
12
2
3
ohio
well, it isn't running rampant - but there is a alot and I have tried everything (it feels like). I have a 55 gallon tank. I have both black and green algae (see pics).
I run FluvalSmart Aquasky 1200 mm lights. Please see settings in photo as well. I fertilize with Thrive low tech (recently changed from their shrimp version), add stress coat, stress zyme with water changes. I change water every other week (1/3 of tank). I put in root tabs every couple months. I take ornamental decorations, fan, heater, filter hardware out and spritz with peroxide to kill off the black algae once every couple months. (rinse off before putting back in.) As you can see from the photos, there aren't many plants left. Started out with triple of what you see. Please ask if I forgot some info. Also, plants do good for a while then just slowly start to die. I use my well water.

Recent readings:
Phosphate: 0
PH 8.0
ammonia 0
kh 6 (107.4)
gh 7 (125.3)
Nitrate 5
nitrite 0

algae 1.jpg
algae 2.jpg
algae 3.jpg
fluval settings 2.jpg
fluval settings.jpg
 
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Stigigemla

New Member
Jan 30, 2022
23
3
3
Gemla Sweden
I think You have way to little light. First of all the armature is only 28 or 35 w.
Then You have to short time with full light. Normal is 8 hours but with such a weak light i would run it full for 12 or 14 hours.
Better for the plants is 2 lights and about 8 hours.
I have 72 watts over 250 liters and 12 hours. No algae on the plants but I have to clean the glass as I change the water every second week.
I did get black spot like that when the fertilizer was out but it stopped to grow when the plants did better with nutrition.
 

Jarden Sk

Member
Oct 31, 2022
31
0
6
Slovakia
jardenakvaristika.sk
Hi Ydono, well water can always be a problem and its values can change, so it would be good to find out the level of organic pollution and the values of metals and iron in it. Hardness and nitrate values should be ok. If the values are OK, then there is bad maintenance of the aquarium and incorrect fertilization. If the values are higher, you will have to mix water from another source or from reverse osmosis. It is not good for the filter to absorb heat from the heater, I would cancel the heater, a temperature of 20-24 degrees Celsius should be enough. To keep the aquarium free of algae , I would sacrifice the decoration and leave the aquarium only with plants, which should be undemanding and definitely more!!! /smaller in front and larger in back/. Use Kryptocoryne, Echinodorus, Hygrophila, Ceratophylum dem., Ceratopteris thalictr. and others, however, I would change the fertilization so that you could add individual components of the fertilizer separately and try fertilizing PMDD/ KNO3, KH2PO4 and microelements also from EI, for example, but if they are microelements in the bottom, I would not fertilize them at all in the water / the essence of fertilization, however he will only add small amounts so that you don't have a lot of nutrients in the water and this needs to be checked with tests for example JBL and therefore NO3 and PO4, you will definitely have enough potassium if there are not many fish, but if the NO3 values rise, you will also have to test potassium and also fertilize with K2SO4. According to the tests, set the water values to: NO3 5-10mg/l, PO4 0.5-1.5mg/l, K 10-15mg/l If you want to avoid a more complicated fertilization system, you can fertilize the bottom with NPK+ micro tablets and fertilize the water minimally. I would try Tropica Specialized Nutrition or Tropica Premium Nutrition and combine according to the amount of NO3 in the water /little green-more orange/. However, the most important thing for your aquarium is maintenance, which is insufficient. Every week, change 1/2 or 2/3 of the aquarium, desilt the bottom, fertilize, clean the filter / I think you have a hanging one and it cleans every 3 days, it is excellent for frequent cleaning - rinse everything with water - cotton wool, foam media/. Why did you remove the red spectrum? I would put it at 100 and blue at 70.Good luck...
It also occurred to me that if you are going to have your water from the well analyzed, in addition to organic substances and iron, also have the amount of magnesium and calcium determined. I suspect that there is little Mg in the water and it is quickly depleted with small water changes. Commercial fertilizers use magnesium in smaller doses, because it precipitates, and therefore your problem in the aquarium may also be a lack of magnesium. Therefore, even the larger water changes are necessary, or to fertilize with a little MgSO4 from PMDD after each water change.
 
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SDdave

New Member
May 24, 2022
22
2
3
South Dakota
You don't have enough plants nor its necessary to fertilize so much.

What you have going on is your substrate getting over fertilized, then it releases some of it in the water column where the algae feeds on it instead of the plants.

So I would suggest that you add 5 times more plants you have in the tank, and get some Otocinclus (Otot cats), and some nitrite snails so you have something that will help maintain the tank and you don't have to really worry about feeding them because algea is a constant in the universe. But, in your case, its because you been feeding the water column extra nutrients, and nothing is sucking it up but algae. I would get a dozen or so jungle vals and plant them across the back and sides. That will complement your Anubis plants because they are full shade bog plants. But under any cercumstances, don't use those lead weights. Take them off the plant and super glue the plant to a rock and gently bury the stems a little.

Btw, I don't even jack with tap water anymore. I bought a $70 water distiller and been using that. I don't clean the tank either, nor vaccum any gravel. I have a natural tank that is low tech and going fine for the past 3 years. The only thing I have is a uv sterilizer and a small over the side filter (about a 1/3 of the size of yours). The only thing I do, is feed the fish and top it off with distilled water. From time to time, I will trim my jungle vals, as mine grew everywhere which now and then, I mow my jungle vals in the front so my neon teteras and raspboras have more swimming room.

I don't know of anyone's tap water to be decent to be directly used even filtering and adding treatment chemicals, I never got the correct results, so I went to distilled water and never had issues.

I would do a 50% water change with distilled water, then add the fish and plants a month later and until then, don't run the lights at all until after the plants are in, a week later, add fish and snails.
That would be my suggestion.
 

Jarden Sk

Member
Oct 31, 2022
31
0
6
Slovakia
jardenakvaristika.sk
You don't have enough plants nor its necessary to fertilize so much.

What you have going on is your substrate getting over fertilized, then it releases some of it in the water column where the algae feeds on it instead of the plants.

So I would suggest that you add 5 times more plants you have in the tank, and get some Otocinclus (Otot cats), and some nitrite snails so you have something that will help maintain the tank and you don't have to really worry about feeding them because algea is a constant in the universe. But, in your case, its because you been feeding the water column extra nutrients, and nothing is sucking it up but algae. I would get a dozen or so jungle vals and plant them across the back and sides. That will complement your Anubis plants because they are full shade bog plants. But under any cercumstances, don't use those lead weights. Take them off the plant and super glue the plant to a rock and gently bury the stems a little.

Btw, I don't even jack with tap water anymore. I bought a $70 water distiller and been using that. I don't clean the tank either, nor vaccum any gravel. I have a natural tank that is low tech and going fine for the past 3 years. The only thing I have is a uv sterilizer and a small over the side filter (about a 1/3 of the size of yours). The only thing I do, is feed the fish and top it off with distilled water. From time to time, I will trim my jungle vals, as mine grew everywhere which now and then, I mow my jungle vals in the front so my neon teteras and raspboras have more swimming room.

I don't know of anyone's tap water to be decent to be directly used even filtering and adding treatment chemicals, I never got the correct results, so I went to distilled water and never had issues.

I would do a 50% water change with distilled water, then add the fish and plants a month later and until then, don't run the lights at all until after the plants are in, a week later, add fish and snails.
That would be my suggestion.
Hi SDdave, I find your solution very interesting and have a few questions. I'm assuming you don't fertilize your tanks at all and the only source of nutrients is waste and fish feed, since distilled water contains no nutrients. My question is what source of minerals do you have in your aquariums when you cut the plants and throw them away from the aquarium and you don't supply any minerals just by feeding and that probably won't be enough for the plants and their lush growth. Do you have rocks in your aquarium as a source of Ca and Mg? What are the values of your Ph in the aquarium when topping up only distilled water - you probably don't test the water at all I assume? I assume that it will be acidic and enough, nitrification, CO2 and humic acids from the waste will do their job and therefore reduce the Ph. Your aquarium lighting must also be symbolic if you are not using only daylight. I think your approach is good and I agree, but I don't know how you will maintain enough minerals in the aquarium long term for the plants without supplying them at least occasionally. By trimming and removing plants from the aquarium, minerals are also removed.
Ydono has long-term problems and uses treated water from a well, I only found that out in another thread. I'm sure that it can be managed without fertilizing, you just need to solve the water from the source and the light treatment, then it is possible to completely rule out fertilizing the water.
 
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SDdave

New Member
May 24, 2022
22
2
3
South Dakota
Its been a year or so since I used a test strip.
Here is the API test strip
GH: 120 KH: 40 Ph:7 NO2: 0 NO3: 0
ammonia test strip:
0 ppm

I took a different approach to this tank after talking to a friend of mine that told me something that clicked: If you have to do something to the tank then you are missing something that nature still has to provide. So when in doubt add plants. If you have to do something to the tank, add more plants and add different plants.

My substrate does have a story behind it. 1/2 of it was in that tank, I bought eco complete back then, I had a few swords and some jungle vals, until I was gifted an oscar fish.
Well my dreams of a planted tank went by by in that tank. I don't have to say very much about how oscars like to dig and rearrage the tank. But anyways, after Frank the oscar passed away 8 years later, I started back this tank.
When I had the oscar in the tank, I was using tap water. nominal parameters: PH:7.5 Kh:200 Gh:3500. I drained all of this water down to the substrate, added another bag of eco complete, added some driftwood I got from the pet store and some river rock samples/tailings (4 water bottles full) I collected over the years out of prehistoric river beds I was gold mining up on top of mountains ( ~6500ft) I do have a small gold placer deposit I found 3500 ft down that mountain that looked cool, so I tossed that in as well.
I also have a piece of peacock slate in it. But I have noticed over time it has dissolved a little. I tried shrimp 9 months ago, now and then I see one every once in a while, but discontinued putting in a teaspoon of "sungrow white mineral powder" with top off water.
Since my die off happened when winter hit, It makes me wonder if I need a better temperature controlled environment. The ten year old heater in that tank keeps it at around 74F, but I have baseboard heat that spikes it at 82F at time and when the lights are on full (mid day) the tank heats up to 76. So, I'm thinking that its more temperature related with not being able to keep the small shrimp happy. I have had vampire shrimp in that tank, for about 9 months. I started with three and I'm down to one. One dies a week after getting them, and one died by an accident (I didn't notice it was there when I started trimming the jungle vals.oops!).

I know I was adding minerals to the tank with the powder, but I don't think its necessary, but if the GH parameter drops significantly, then I might have to do something else than add plants.

There is a few things you have to check with well water, especially if the metal in the host rock is leaching into the water. Phosphite and phosphates come into play when dealing with underground water sources that can be toxic to fish, but safe to drink. So I don't know if Ydono ever had a thorough water test done to that well or just never been able to apply with the test results. Those test are not cheap either. Even the ones they sell at the hardware store are pricey.
 

Jarden Sk

Member
Oct 31, 2022
31
0
6
Slovakia
jardenakvaristika.sk
SDdave,
An interesting story. These words of yours: "There is a few things you have to check with well water, especially if the metal in the host rock is leaching into the water." we should set in stone for aquarists.