Originally Posted by Cole mccallister
hmm i don`t know what to say to this but algae is not always light related . . .
You're right, Cole - algae issues are NOT
always light-related, and I've (unfortunately) experienced this first-hand! Algae is always
present in any aquarium, but it's when there is an imbalance in the system that it is able to get a foothold and really flourish. Finding the proper balance between lighting, nutrients, Co2 (both added and/or naturally-occurring), is tricky. Even cleaning routines (phosphates) and temperature can have a direct effect on algae growth. If any one element is off, then the dreaded green goblin is able to take over, as algae are quick to adapt and take advantage of anything that will help them to thrive. . . far quicker than the plants we want to keep pretty and algae-free. But since most of us have no real way to monitor and test such things, the process of finding the proper balance is more or less guesswork.
From what I have seen, algae seems to bloom more readily in a new tank, because it is not fully established yet, and everything is still very much in flux within the baby ecosystem that is being established. I've found that in many cases the tank owner is doing everything right, but when the plants new (this sometimes depends on the TYPE of plant), they go through an adjustment period, often called 'transplantation shock' in terrestrial plants, during which time they are adapting to the conditions in their new home. During this time, things can be especially tricky and algae is very often able to bloom, as plants tend to go dormant while they're adjusting - and so aren't taking in as many nutrients or growing as quickly as they can be. Because of this, I like to add plants like duckweed, and a lot of fast-growing stem plants to any new system. These can be removed later, but I have found that they are more readily able to uptake the excess nutrients, etc, while the other plants settle in and the tank begins to mature.
That said, I have found, through both personal experience, as well as in following the tanks of others, that more often than not, light does tend
to be the element that is out of balance (especially in low-tech tanks). . . and because of that, most people will advise to start by adjusting the photo-period/lighting to help eliminate, or at least slow the algae growth. . .and *usually,* it works!
. . . but what do I know
I'm new at this, too - I just read entirely too many books and web-pages!