Overnight Algae

vlvtrope

Junior Poster
Jun 12, 2008
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Miami, FL
Hello everyone. Between Friday night and Monday morning this algae sprung up. I have attached pictures. It looks like long filaments arrising from a central stalk. It almost has a vein-like phenotype but very cottony. It arrose very fast and grew very large in a number of spots all over the aquarium. Stats:

55 gal
light 4w/gal
CO2 injection
fertilize with the complete schedule suggested by Flourish except Excel (I do not use Excel).
Magnum 350 and Corallia for water movement.
No carbon
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
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Sep 23, 2007
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Hi,

My bet is the 4 wpg... You need to reduce that by 50% or so IMO.

High light = high demand for nutrients and C02.

Go to 2 wpg and see what happens.........

You can twirl a pencil or twig around the algae to help remove it.......
 

vlvtrope

Junior Poster
Jun 12, 2008
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Miami, FL
Lower light

OK, I have lowered my light to 2w/gal. However, I am very apprehensive because I'm affraid for my high-light loving plants like dwarf swords, Hemianthus callitrichoides, and Rotalia sp. will not grow as well. We'll see. Im wondering if there are any other suggestions?
 

aquabillpers

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It might be that the high level of light increased the demands of the plants for nutrients. When the nutrients got too low and the plants slowed down or stopped, the algae took over.

It would be interesting to know the level of nitrates.

Bill
 

Tom Barr

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vlvtrope;28888 said:
OK, I have lowered my light to 2w/gal. However, I am very apprehensive because I'm affraid for my high-light loving plants like dwarf swords, Hemianthus callitrichoides, and Rotalia sp. will not grow as well. We'll see. Im wondering if there are any other suggestions?

I've never seen a real case where these plants do not grow due to light.
I know it can occur, but it's really unlikely. 2 w/gal in a typical tank is plenty.

More is not better, it's harder to manage and to deal with algae.
Tom Barr;28895 said:
I've never seen a real case where these plants do not grow due to light.
I know it can occur, but it's really unlikely. 2 w/gal in a typical tank is plenty.

More is not better, it's harder to manage and to deal with algae.

2w/gal is fine, if the light is spread out well, vs a single linear strip along the back, vs say 2-3 bulbs over the entire top of the tank.

Orientation and angle makes a difference as well.

Even at 24" depths, this should not matter.
Plants will grow slower at less light, but they will easily meet their CO2/nutrient demands and not require nearly as much pruning and dosing nutrients/CO2 as a result.

Which is why there is algae and other related issues, not because you have too little light.

Regards,
tom Barr

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Chiya

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Jun 23, 2008
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vlvtrope;28874 said:
Hello everyone. Between Friday night and Monday morning this algae sprung up. I have attached pictures. It looks like long filaments arrising from a central stalk. It almost has a vein-like phenotype but very cottony. It arrose very fast and grew very large in a number of spots all over the aquarium. Stats:

55 gal
light 4w/gal
CO2 injection
fertilize with the complete schedule suggested by Flourish except Excel (I do not use Excel).
Magnum 350 and Corallia for water movement.
No carbon

Hi vlvtrope,
Mind posting the dosing amounts and types of ferts used?
I'm using Flourish products too.

I did my own calculations and found that I needed 2 x the recommended dosage.

Plant growth using recommended dosage was not as good as EI (or 2xEI).

I have a 50G tank so I'd like to hear from your experiences also..

Regards,
Ryan
 

rich815

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Jun 26, 2008
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vlvtrope;28888 said:
OK, I have lowered my light to 2w/gal. However, I am very apprehensive because I'm affraid for my high-light loving plants like dwarf swords, Hemianthus callitrichoides, and Rotalia sp. will not grow as well. We'll see. Im wondering if there are any other suggestions?

How long are your lights on each day? What type of lights? What kind of reflectors?

I was going 4x54 T5 HO over my 72 gal for 10+ hours a day and was getting 4 types of algae (BBA, GSA, GDA, thread). Dropped my lighting to 8 hours a day and to 3x54W and it's under MUCH better control (the algae). Plants grow very well, just a tad slower (which is fine, I was getting sick of removing 60% of my plant biomass in trims every weekend!)
 

vlvtrope

Junior Poster
Jun 12, 2008
27
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Miami, FL
More about this problem

Thanks everyone for such excellent feedback. OK--just did chemistry +:

55gal, no carbon, magnum 350 and corallia, temp 77 F

Kh=3, GH=13,

pH=6.3

Ammonia=0, Nitrate=0, Nitrite=0

Lights=2x54W (was 4x54W) 6000K T5 HO; 12h/day

Attached is my Flourish dosing. Numbers represent capfulls.

flodose.JPG
 

VaughnH

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You noted that you use CO2, but didn't say how you inject it, what bubble rate you use, if you use a drop checker, etc. As Tom points out very often, CO2 is the most important of the nutrients, and problems with supplying it to the plants is behind a very large percentage of our plant problems.

A drop checker is good because it lets you know if you are even close to having enough CO2 in the water, at least at the location where the drop checker is mounted. Once you use that, and see that it indicates that you have about 30 ppm of CO2 at that location, then you can confidently begin working on circulating the water well enough to get that CO2 to all parts of all of the plants. And, you can begin to edge the bubble rate up to see if you can supply even more without harming the fish.

Without a drop checker you can go for months with less than 10 ppm of CO2 in the tank and never be aware of it, but be too afraid to increase it much for fear of its effect on the fish.
 

vlvtrope

Junior Poster
Jun 12, 2008
27
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Miami, FL
Co2

Thanks for asking VaughnH. Just when i thought I had put every piece of apropos information, I realize I haven't. I need to make a txt file with every aquarium parameter and then just past it like a signature or something. Anyway---

CO2 is 3 bubbles/sec.

My system came with an indicator solution. You put a small amount in this clear tube that you then attach to the inside of the aquarium. The soluction is green at the proper CO2 levels--but doesn't say what that is. I guess I need to investigate the drop checker thing, thanks.

Just checked-out this drop checker and it turns out that's exactly what I do have. I just didn't realize it. Anyway, my indicator is green, so I guess I'm in a good range of CO2, right?

Oh and how do I inject it--I use a Reactor 500--"fully adjustable, power diven, super compact CO2 reactor".
 

SpeedEuphoria

Prolific Poster
Aug 16, 2008
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You are not dosing enough! Seachem dosing is from my understanding not setup for CO2/high light. You need to increase ferts when you have good CO2 and light.

You prob need to double the amounts at least
 

captain_bu

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Nov 7, 2007
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vlvtrope;28917 said:
CO2 is 3 bubbles/sec.

My system came with an indicator solution. You put a small amount in this clear tube that you then attach to the inside of the aquarium. The soluction is green at the proper CO2 levels--but doesn't say what that is. I guess I need to investigate the drop checker thing, thanks.

Just checked-out this drop checker and it turns out that's exactly what I do have. I just didn't realize it. Anyway, my indicator is green, so I guess I'm in a good range of CO2, right?

That depends on whether your drop checker is filled with a 4 dKH standard solution (plus the indicator solution). If you are using tank water in your drop checker (seems like a lot of the drop checkers come with bad instructions that tell you to use tank water) the reading will not be accurate, green will mean nothing. If you need 4 dKH solution here is a link to a good source.

KH Standard
 

vlvtrope

Junior Poster
Jun 12, 2008
27
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Miami, FL
CO2 indicator

OK, mine did reccommend using tank water. I just took it out, washed it and replaced with a solution of distilled water with baking soda to bring it to 4 KH. I hope this will work as a standard until I can buy some. Is this solution ok? Also, after 10 minutes, this solution is still very blue indicating that I was getting a false green reading using tank water + indicator.

Also, I now plan to double my Flourish dosing until used up and then switch to EI.
 

VaughnH

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Yes, a home mixed 4 dKH solution, made with distilled or deionized water works fine for a drop checker. It can be a royal pain to make that solution, but if that isn't too bothersome to you, making your own works fine. It doesn't have to be very accurate - anything between 3.5 and 4.5 dKH will work fine.
 

Chiya

Prolific Poster
Jun 23, 2008
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Hi vlvtrope,

Just sharing my dosing :

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

10ml Flourish Nitrogen
10ml Flourish Phosphorus

Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
5ml Iron
5ml Trace
5ml Potassium

Drop checker light green, Light 3wpg with T5 tubes.

Coupled with the advice given by the experts here, I've been relatively algae free.. (Green dust algae as food for my ottos/snails)

Your light and CO2 seems ok so maybe you'd like to re-calculate your dosage.
Remember, if your plants suffer, algae starts to appear.

P.S. It is ok to dose more as long as CO2 is sufficient.
*points at EI threads :)