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Running Into Algae In New Tank! Help!

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by hector, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. hector

    hector New Member

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    so i started a 75 gallon high tech tank about a month ago and i am now starting to have problems with algae and growing some plants.
    this is the current setup:
    pool filter sand
    sunsun canister filter
    ehiem heater
    powerhead
    5lb co2 tank
    gla regulator
    finnex ray 2
    big piece of driftwood
    and couple dragon stones
    plants:
    s. repens (some stems are doing terrible)
    some crypts that are growing fine
    mini christmas moss (growing great)
    rotala rotundifolia
    java fern (not doing so hot)
    one little stem nana petite
    ludwigia ovalis (just got couple days ago)
    ludwigia dark red (just got couple days ago)

    i am currently dosing ei gla dry ferts
    plantex 1/4 tsp 3x week
    kno3 3/4 tsp 3x week
    kh2po4 1/4 3x week
    when i first set this tank up i was using one finnex fugeray planted plus, i recently switched over to the ray 2. everything was good for the first couple weeks plants were growing and looking good, right before i switched over to the ray 2 i started to notice some brown fuzzy stringy stuff growing on the wood and around the xmass moss probably brown hair algae. and my s. repens stopped growing and looking rough about half of them have been losing their leaves everyday and i dont know what could be going on. i got my ray 2 couple days ago and is raised it a good bit above the tank and removed the glass tops since they were obstructing light into tank. as of now there is no fish in tank i dose 1 ppm ammonia to keep bacteria alive and dose excel everyday drop checker is yellowish at the end of day and light period is 5 hours any input/help is appreciated!
     
  2. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    Decent growth, diatoms is pretty normal in new tanks. Since you upped your lighting, you definitely want to feed more of everything. And add way more biomass. You cannot blast light without extra biomass. To upkeep with the higher light means higher co2, higher nutrients. But definitely focus on more water changes as well. Do not even dose ammonia in this situation, it'll only make things worse. Go with the safe nutrients. Everything from your wood to moss is bubbling up, that is a bad sign of way too much light. But people choose this route for iono what reasons and it worsens conditions and fast might i say. Bio mass or algae mass...
     
  3. hector

    hector New Member

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    I have raised this light about 21” from the substrate in hopes of reducing intensity and light period is still 5hrs. I have also tried throwing in stem plants to uptake the nutrients. When you say not to dose ammonia how will I keep bacteria alive? The only reason I have not added fish was to try an balance the tank out first since it is the first time going high tech and was afraid of gassing fish.
     
  4. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
    Staff Member Moderator

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    All that brown stuff is diatoms which is normal during the first month or two. It will run its course and go away on its own as the bio cycle matures.

    In these early stages 2x weekly water changes is good, 40-50% 2x per week

    Keep feeding the plants and dont worry too much about the light. The primary focus should be to get the plants growing well, so dont starve them for anything, this includes light.

    It is also normal for other algaes to come and go during the early stages, green dust, etc. Just focus on clean conditions and healthy plants.

    Fwiw the bio cycle will establish on its own, with or without ammonia. Faster with it obviously but then it'll adjust again after you stop. And if not done right adding ammonia will compound the algae issues.

    Id lose the ammonia, add a few fish and do the extra water changes for 4-5 weeks. Dose a full range of ferts and dial in the co2 to have as much as the fish are comfortable with. Start with a moderate level, something 4-5 bubbles per second, watch the livestock to make sure they are comfortable, the first day especially. Increase the co2, watch them again, and so on until you (hopefully) have a nice yellow or light green drop checker and happy fish.

    Its important to get co2 dialed in early on. The last thing you want to do is get the plants used to super high levels for a month or two, then have a big decrease for a couple of weeks while you re-adjust for new fish. Having steady consistent co2 from one day to the next is just as important as how much. So get that over with now.
     
    Greggz likes this.
  5. hector

    hector New Member

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    Thank you guys! I’ll do big water change and add some neons and watch them. I’ll also keep cleaning the tank and doing 50% water changes 2x a week hopefully things work out thanks so much for the help!
     
  6. hector

    hector New Member

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    So its been a couple months now and i have had some good growth in plants. And the tank now has fish which are 15 neons, 20 ember tetra, 10 ottos and 10 amanos. I also added some new stem plants that have really taken off in my tank. But im still having trouble with this algae that seems to grow on the leaves of my plants and looks like hair. My s.repens seem to be coming back to life now but the older leaves have a good bit of this algae on them. I dont know what can be causing this i have since started dosing nilocg micro and macro liquid ferts 7 pumps 3x week alternating days and been keeping up with water changes wed. & Sunday. At the end of the day when co2 goes off my drop checker looks lime green to me and light is still raised 22" from highest point of substrate no lids. So i dont know what could be going on if anyone could give some advise that would be awesome.
     
  7. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Looks like Black Brush Algae in the 5th pic, I think your CO2 is suspect. I wouldn't trust your drop checker. It takes a long time for it to respond to changes in CO2, you probably don't have enough, even though it's showing green. You're dosing a premixed fertilizer? Is this it?
    DSC_0027__32130.1483985891.1280.1280.jpg
    Going by this your weekly totals are:
    NO3: 22.5ppm
    PO4: 3.9ppm
    K: 15.81ppm

    At $23 bucks for macros and micros you're going to be hurting in the wallet, you should buy yourself some dry fertilizers and use https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php to match your dosing. You can buy dry ferts from here http://aquariumfertilizer.com/, there are other places as well, but you're going to save a lot in the long run, and it looks like NILOCG sells dry fertilizer as well.

    You're dosing doesn't look bad. I would say you need to bump up your CO2, but watch your fish, do it on a weekend so you can be around to watch them.
     
    #7 Kyalgae, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  8. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Yeah the drop checker is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Its telling you the co2 is (probably) pretty good by the end of the day. But whats happening the first part of the day? A drop checker cant tell you that.

    Its important to have adequate co2 all day. If a drop checker is all you have to go by, shoot for green a couple hours after the lights come on.

    You should really invest 20 bucks in a digital PH pen and calibration solution(s) for it.

    Sit a bowl of tank water out for 24 hours and test the PH. This is tank water without any co2, aka degassed PH.

    Then compare to the PH of the tank when the lights come on, and then a couple hours later and a couple hours after that.

    Ideally you want close to a 1 point drop around the time the lights come on. Then peaking a couple hours later 1.2 or so. This is generally speaking, some tanks need a little more or a little less. The point is to have an adequate level almost from the get go, it doesnt need to take 4-5 hours to get there.

    And of course stick around a watch the livestock whenever making co2 adjustments to make sure they stay comfortable.

    CO2 has to be ruled out before going any further.
     
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  9. hector

    hector New Member

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    Yeah i was thinking it could be co2 so i really do need to dial that in. Is there a specific ph pen you would recommend? And i do have green leaf dry ferts i just really though i was dosing wrong amounts at the begining since my plants all stopped growing at one point. Ever since i started using nilocg ferts my plants have taken off but they are pretty pricey. I will try to go back to dry ferts after these run out its just a little confusing for me and i always think im dosing wrong amounts. But you guys are right it more than likely has to do with co2 since i do have a lot of surface agitation so i may be injecting good amounts of co2, but i also am probably gassing off a bunch of it as well. So at this point i should be trying to inject as much co2 as possible to where my fish are also comfortable?
     
  10. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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  11. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    To help with your dosing of dry fertilizers, you’ll just need some measuring spoons.

    Since you have sand substrate I would just look at @burr740 for the dosing amounts. From his journal here: https://barrreport.com/threads/120-gal-dutchy-freestyle-now-with-50-more-dutch.14072/page-39#post-151942

    I’m thinking because you have less plant mass, something like this could work for a weekly target macros

    KNO3: 1/2 tsp + 1/32tsp
    KH2PO4: 1/16 tsp + 1/64 tsp
    K2SO4: 1/2 tsp + 1/32 tsp
    (Single dose)

    I would add a single dose to three small bottles, then add water to each, shake it up well, and pour into your tank throughout the week. Prep all three weekly doses in advance.

    Dose that 3 times per week to get your weekly macros to reach:

    24ppm Nitrates
    3.5ppm Phosphates
    31ppm Potassium

    One more thing, make sure you keep your substrate clean, if you haven’t vacuumed anything since start up, I would advise next water change remove plants from a third of the tank, vacuum the substrate in that area, and then replant the plants. Repeat that each week until you get the whole substrate vacuumed. Dirty substrate leads to algae eventually.


    Get that CO2 corrected first.
     
    #11 Kyalgae, Mar 8, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  12. hector

    hector New Member

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    I ordered a pen this morning and should arrive sat. so ill test ph then, as of now i have been bumping up the c02 little by little it looks like a bunch of bubbles are going through the bubble counter like crazy but fish seem fine swimming around the bottom.

    when i first started the tank up and was dosing dry ferts i was doing as follows.

    CSM+B: 1/4 tsp
    mon,wed,fri

    KNO3: 3/4 tsp
    KH2PO4: 1/4 tsp
    t,th,sat.

    dont know if that was okay?? im just an idiot when it comes down to understanding all this dosing stuff but i try lol. I will have to shop around to get some 1/32, 1/16, 1/64 if i really need them. Every time i do water change i vacuum the substrate to keep it as clean as possible. I dont think i could pull my plants out and vacuum then replant for a week i would shoot myself.
     
  13. hector

    hector New Member

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    So I checked ph levels in my tank and this is what i got.
    before lights & co2 come on in the morning ph reads 7.8
    when lights are on in the afternoon ph is 6.3 so its like a 1.5 drop is that okay?
    i have also increased my co2 significantly and have noticed algea on new leaves is little to non
    dont know if i should keep bumping it up or leave it where its at now?
    drop checker is definitely yellow by the time co2 turns off.
     
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