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Stubborn brown algae, what more can I do?

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Stubborn brown algae, what more can I do?
Old 05-17-2011, 02:00 AM   #21
 
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I am far from being an expert on plant 's but consider myself well versed on nearly all forms of algae which in the past ,I was very good at growing.
Some things I might try were it me, would be to clean the glass,decor,substrate,filter, and reduce lighting period to eight hours if you are lighting the tank longer than this.(do you still have 60 watts over the tank?)
I might also consider storing change water in five gallon bucket's or tub for 24 hours before using.(dechlorinate) This will help prevent CO2 fluctuations between perhaps low levels in the aquarium, and much higher amount normally found in tapwater. Plant's can adapt to low levels of CO2 but struggle under fluctuating CO2 levels, and algae and perhaps diatoms as well, are much more able to flourish with unstable CO2 .
Letting the water set will allow CO2 present to offgas and help prevent CO2 fluctuations.
I might try this for three or four weeks while continuing to clean the glass,and removing leaves covered with diatoms or algae.In low light tanks, things happen slowly and I would not expect a rapid response.
I might consider this as an easy ,inexpensive, attempt to reduce ,eliminate problem.
Might also consider either aquarium fertilizers in dry form that provide more in the way of macronutrient's,or some of the other liquid macronutrient's offered by Seachem in addition to the largely micronutrient's found in root tabs and some liquid fertilizer's.
If plant's receive ALL nutrient's in sufficient amount's,,then algae will have a tougher time.
works for me.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:29 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I have to go out momentarily, so no time to pursue this now. But if you could give me some data, I'll review it later. A link to your watger supply people would help, i want to see what's in it. Also, tank size, light specs, plants and fish. You know the drill; without the data we can't diagnose.
Sorry for the late response, I have a newborn stuck on me and need to type one-handed x_x

I tried to google the water plant but nothing worth reading came through...and it's all in french anyway.

Straight from the tap my water has a gh of 10 and kh of 10-20 (I use Nutrafin tests) and a ph of 7,5. I use peat moss to lower it to 6 but it really doesn't take much peat and it lasts a looong time. Nitrites 0 nitrates usually at 10 before weeklty water change.

tank is 33g with 10 Emperor Tetras, 6 Corydoras Melanistius and an old fart of a Bolivian Ram. I have 2 fluorescent Life-glo bulbs (6700k each) lighting 8 hours per day (used to be 10).20% water change weekly with vaccuuming of the bottom and I usually clean up one filter every 2 weeks.

Plants are Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Java fern, Java Moss, Anubia Barteri, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Amazon Sword and Round Leaf Rotala. All in various states of 'Not doing well at all'
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:32 PM   #23
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
I am far from being an expert on plant 's but consider myself well versed on nearly all forms of algae which in the past ,I was very good at growing.
Some things I might try were it me, would be to clean the glass,decor,substrate,filter, and reduce lighting period to eight hours if you are lighting the tank longer than this.(do you still have 60 watts over the tank?)
I might also consider storing change water in five gallon bucket's or tub for 24 hours before using.(dechlorinate) This will help prevent CO2 fluctuations between perhaps low levels in the aquarium, and much higher amount normally found in tapwater. Plant's can adapt to low levels of CO2 but struggle under fluctuating CO2 levels, and algae and perhaps diatoms as well, are much more able to flourish with unstable CO2 .
Letting the water set will allow CO2 present to offgas and help prevent CO2 fluctuations.
I might try this for three or four weeks while continuing to clean the glass,and removing leaves covered with diatoms or algae.In low light tanks, things happen slowly and I would not expect a rapid response.
I might consider this as an easy ,inexpensive, attempt to reduce ,eliminate problem.
Might also consider either aquarium fertilizers in dry form that provide more in the way of macronutrient's,or some of the other liquid macronutrient's offered by Seachem in addition to the largely micronutrient's found in root tabs and some liquid fertilizer's.
If plant's receive ALL nutrient's in sufficient amount's,,then algae will have a tougher time.
works for me.
The CO2 fluctuation is interesting, I never knew that. However due to space restraints it's hard for me to store water for 24 hours, but do you think adding a airstone in the bucket for maybe an hour would let the CO2 out?

I use both seachem liquid and stick fertilizer, but I received conflicting infos on their efficacity against algae. On another forum someone told me they CAUSED algae, not prevented them, and to stop adding them in my tank.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:46 PM   #24
 
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I would appreciate a photo so I can judge your comment that the plants are "not doing well at all." I just don't know what you might mean, but seeing the plants I should have a better idea.

Nutrients have minimal impact on algae so I wouldn't fuss with any of that. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say that in a balanced planted tank algae simply does not cause an issue. It is only when the balance is out that it does, and then always due to light. [I'm talking green algae here, the brown diatoms is quite another matter.]

Light has to be the limiting factor to plant growth. Nutrients have to be sufficient for the light or plants can't use it, then algae will. Plants "use" the light by photosynthesizing which means they are using all those nutrients and growing sufficiently that algae simply cannot compete. Algae will occur in a jar of water with no nutrients at all, as it will get sufficient from the air. It is the light that controls it, but the nutrients have to be available.

I have one 30-inch 25w Life-Glo tube over my 3-foot 33g tank. You mention two tubes...what sizes are they?

Byron.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:33 PM   #25
 
They're 36 inches. I bought the kit second-hand and he top of the tank is 'homemade' with a ballast for 2 tubes, so I used both from the beginning and it never caused any problems...until 6 months ago.

Here are the pics:

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Old 05-18-2011, 05:28 AM   #26
 
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In my limited expierience Diatoms and algae will appear where light and possible ammonia exists, such as overfeeding fish, or cleaning too deep into substrate where ammonia(decayed organics) could be released into the aquarium,or from removal of large amount of plant mass without large water change afterwards.
More plant's,Resuming with the fertilizer's, along with that previously mentioned would be what I would try.
I do not know what wattage of light's you began with was but 60 watts over 33 gallon Non CO2 or excell tank seems a bit much to me and I would either raise light fixture off the aquarium,cut a piece of window screen to place between the light and glass top? or lower the number of watts.
The 6700 K is suitable spectrum but in my opinion too many watts.
As Byron has said,,Light drives the planted tank. Increase in lighting result's in increased demand for CO2 which in turn drives demand for more nutrient's.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:45 AM   #27
 
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There is too much light over that tank. You have two options. The best would be to remove one tube if you can, since one tube would be easier to balance with nutrients. The second option is to keep both and reduce the photoperiod, even down to 6 hours which is about the minimum. If this is done, make sure there are sufficient nutrients. Aside from CO2, this is easily handled with a complete fert like Flourish Comprehensive twice a week. I honestly would think CO2 would be sufficient to handle this shorter period; in most planted tanks, CO2 increases enough during darkness that it is usually available for several hours once the light is on, so cutting off the light at 6 hours would probably work out just about right. You might even try the siesta approach; lights on for 5 hours, off for 2-3, on for 5, off the remainder. This siesta works because of the CO2 depletion/rebuilding.

For that brown algae, some fish are possible (from your tank size and stocking, you do). A trio of otos would go to town in there. The twig catfish (it needs soft water though) also loves diatoms. Whiptail Catfish too, and they can manage better with medium hard water. A Bristle Nose Pleco is another.

Byron.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #28
 
Thank you, I will remove one bulb and reduce the lighting to 8 hours. And hope my plants are still salvagable!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:11 PM   #29
 
Just a little update, OMG it seems to be working! There is significantly less algae on my surface plants. It's a slow process but it seems to work.

Also, I've recently got a 50 gallons tank to replace this one, will using only one Life-Glo work or should I use both for a bigger tank?
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:19 PM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddiesbuns View Post
Just a little update, OMG it seems to be working! There is significantly less algae on my surface plants. It's a slow process but it seems to work.

Also, I've recently got a 50 gallons tank to replace this one, will using only one Life-Glo work or should I use both for a bigger tank?
What are the tank dimensions? And is there an existing fixture, and if yes, what length is the tube?
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