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Algae!

This is a discussion on Algae! within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> They are HOT5, the stock bulbs from Aquatraders. They look white to me. Also, oddly, Wisteria/Watersprite dies in this tank - quickly. I can't ...

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Old 02-16-2012, 06:55 PM   #21
 
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They are HOT5, the stock bulbs from Aquatraders. They look white to me. Also, oddly, Wisteria/Watersprite dies in this tank - quickly. I can't even get it to the planting stage. Figure that one out, Lol. Also, my Hornwort is free floating, it's just....on the bottom. Why, I don't know.

Last edited by CowgirlFishKeeper; 02-16-2012 at 07:01 PM..
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #22
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowgirlFishKeeper View Post
They are HOT5, the stock bulbs from Aquatraders. They look white to me. Also, oddly, Wisteria/Watersprite dies in this tank - quickly. I can't even get it to the planting stage. Figure that one out, Lol. Also, my Hornwort is free floating, it's just....on the bottom. Why, I don't know.
You'll have to find the data before I can comment on their quality. Whatever is printed at one end of the tube may help. I need something to look up.

Stem plants being fast growing require good nutrition as well as light. What fertilizers are being used in the Wisteria and Hornwort tank?
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:11 PM   #23
 
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Nutrafin Plant Gro.

Here is exactly what I bought:
Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting

As for what's on the bulbs, it says 6500k daylight.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:05 PM   #24
 
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Nutrafin Plant Gro.

Here is exactly what I bought:
Odyssea T5 Aquarium Lighting

As for what's on the bulbs, it says 6500k daylight.
This is going to sound like one of those broken records... If that is the fixture over your 33g, it is 3 if not 4 times too much light. Now i see why the Wisteria and Hornwort are not doing well. The nutrients are probably no where near that level. And I assume there is no CO2 diffusion on the 33? The spectrum is fine.

With that much light, you need CO2, and daily dosing of nutrients. Nutrafin Plant-Gro is not really intended for this high a level. I do not have any high-tech tanks so I'm not the best to recommend things for this, but if you retain that light I would consider this.

Plants can only grow when everything they need is available in balance. Light of the required intensity and spectrum, plus all 17 nutrients. As soon as any one of these is no longer available, plants will slow their photosynthesis and if the nutrient is a major one may stop altogether. What we term the limiting factor to growth. And then when light continues past that point, algae takes advantage. Nutrients need to be somewhat balanced, since plants need varying amounts of each, and some in excess can cause plants to alter their uptake of others. As ust one example, a shortage of calcium will cause an increase of iron to the point that it kills the leaves. And an excess of potassium can cause the plant to stop assimilating iron, so it then has an iron deficiency.

Last edited by Byron; 02-16-2012 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:18 PM   #25
 
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Okay...The 33 has two bulbs, not 4...It's not got any problems algae wise.

The 15g has the 24" light on it like that, and the Hornwort just won't float. It grows fine, but the goldfish eats it, lol. It breaks even. It's just wisteria that doesn't grow - everything else grows fine.

In terms of plant food, then, what should I be using? I just grabbed it because of the price, lol.


And no, I have no CO2 injection of any kind going on - I can't afford it at all. I have a bubbler, plant food, water conditioner/heavy metal remover, and food. I might be able to get a UV sterilyser from Aquatraders, since that's fairly inexpensive.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:53 AM   #26
 
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Okay...The 33 has two bulbs, not 4...It's not got any problems algae wise.

The 15g has the 24" light on it like that, and the Hornwort just won't float. It grows fine, but the goldfish eats it, lol. It breaks even. It's just wisteria that doesn't grow - everything else grows fine.

In terms of plant food, then, what should I be using? I just grabbed it because of the price, lol.


And no, I have no CO2 injection of any kind going on - I can't afford it at all. I have a bubbler, plant food, water conditioner/heavy metal remover, and food. I might be able to get a UV sterilyser from Aquatraders, since that's fairly inexpensive.
First, you don't need CO2 to have lush plant growth. Just look at the photos of my tanks under "Aquariums" below my name on the left. If that isn't proof, then none exists. You also don't need a UV sterilizer; you want the aquarium to be naturally balanced, so let nature do the work.

But you do need that all-important balance. Nutrients occur naturally from water changes (depending how hard your tap water is, this is an important source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, and perhaps others--more on this later) and fish foods. Waste from the fish contain all the minerals plants need, and as the waste organics break down in the substrate it feeds the plants. But sometimes we need to add missing nutrients, or increase some of them. In a natural or low-tech system--meaning one that does not have CO2 added, and has minimal light--the best way is with a complete balanced fertilizer. There are two I am personally aware of, Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement and Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti. According to the list of nutrients, they are near-identical. There may be other products I am not aware of, but these two are worth it. If you buy either, make sure you get the named product, as both manufacturers make several different products under their respective names. You will actually find these less expensive long-term, because you use so little. Example, the Nutrafin Plant-Gro recommends 5ml (1 teaspoon) per 10g weekly; Flourish Comp is 5ml per 60g weekly--so you use 6 times more Nutrafin than Flourish.

Goldfish eat soft plants, and they love hornwort, so you can't solve that. Consider it part of their healthy diet. As for the Wisteria, try something else. Not all plants will grow together, what we refer to as allelopathy; plants release chemicals into the water, and botanists believe some of these are to deter other species, and some are known to possibly deter some types of algae too. This is not a well-documented area so most recommend that if a particular plant is not doing well, remove it and try another. This is also the best advice if the issue is light or water parameters or nutrients or fish; stay with plants that do well under your conditions. The same applies with plants as with fish: those that work together will result in a more successful aquarium. I can't grow Wisteria, so I don't try any longer.

I mentioned minerals in your tap water. Don't use heavy metal detoxifiers unless you really need to or it can't be avoided. The level of heavy metals--and some of these are important plant nutrients such as copper, iron, zinc, manganese and nickel--in municipal water will be safe for humans. While these levels might not be "safe" for fish, in planted tanks the plants will readily take them up mainly as nutrients but also as toxins. Plants are remarkable in their ability to take up toxins. If the heavy metal detoxifier is just part of the water conditioner--and most (with a few exceptions) conditioners do detoxify heavy metals--dose the fertilizer the day following the water change. Water conditioners only work for 24-36 hours, and they will detoxify these minerals in a fertilizer too, so wait a day.

Back to the light; two T5 tubes over a 33g run as a natural system is too much light. My 33g (photo below) has one 30-inch T8 tube, which is about 1/3 the light intensity of two T5 tubes. Things are balanced.

Hope this is of some help, don't hesitate to question further.

Byron.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:31 PM   #27
 
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I don't use near that amount of plant fert either, because every time I do, I get brutal algae outbreak, so I only do a half dose at water change with the metal remover (which I just learned from elsewhere is NOT A GOOD IDEA...), so I will ditch the metal remover and see how it goes. I have no idea what my water is like here; I live by the coast in Victoria, BC, Canada - if anyone knows, the knowledge would be great. Lol.

So, comprehensive thoughts here:

1) Remove the slate (done, but the 33 still has flat rocks with no algae, they all came out of the garden)
2) Reduce Lighting (done)
3) Only use the bubbler at night (can't remember to turn it on, so it's perma-off)
4) Buy better Plant Food (will do when we get more money, probably not happening until march, and once this bottle is dead and gone, and I've had it over a year, lol)
5) Get a high nutrient requiring plant such as rotala or ludwiga (When I can FIND one in my LFS - being canadian means Dr Foster and Smith/liveaquaria doesn't SHIP TO ME. *Grumblebitch*)


Just leaving one question...SHOULD I pick up a molly, or zebra snail, or leave it be?
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:14 AM   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowgirlFishKeeper View Post
I don't use near that amount of plant fert either, because every time I do, I get brutal algae outbreak, so I only do a half dose at water change with the metal remover (which I just learned from elsewhere is NOT A GOOD IDEA...), so I will ditch the metal remover and see how it goes. I have no idea what my water is like here; I live by the coast in Victoria, BC, Canada - if anyone knows, the knowledge would be great. Lol.

So, comprehensive thoughts here:

1) Remove the slate (done, but the 33 still has flat rocks with no algae, they all came out of the garden)
2) Reduce Lighting (done)
3) Only use the bubbler at night (can't remember to turn it on, so it's perma-off)
4) Buy better Plant Food (will do when we get more money, probably not happening until march, and once this bottle is dead and gone, and I've had it over a year, lol)
5) Get a high nutrient requiring plant such as rotala or ludwiga (When I can FIND one in my LFS - being canadian means Dr Foster and Smith/liveaquaria doesn't SHIP TO ME. *Grumblebitch*)


Just leaving one question...SHOULD I pick up a molly, or zebra snail, or leave it be?
I used to live in Victoria, in the 1980's, and had several fish tanks. The water is very soft and slightly acidic, or was then. They may be doing something now, like they do here in Vancouver, to raise pH. You should find their website and get the GH, KH and pH numbers. This is crucial to working out what is needed.

Because, livebearers will not last long in soft water. I had a tank of molly and also some rift lake cichlids, both of which need hard water, and I used dolomite crushed gravel for the substrate. We can go more into this when you post the numbers, in case the water is being adjusted now.

Don't know what stores are around now, the one I used back then was one of the best I have ever come across but I remember it closed in the early 1990's. It was owned by a hobbyist. There is/was Specht's in the Hillside Mall, if it is still there.

You don't need bubblers, even at night. It will drive off valuable CO2 which builds up during the night.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:04 PM   #29
 
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It seems that Victoria does have soft water, but I have crushed coral to help this - I did have slate/flat rock pieces, but those got taken out... Is there anything else I can add to harden the water? http://www.crd.bc.ca/water/waterquality/faq.htm

Heavy Metal in drinking water Water for life Victoria BC British Columbia Canada Lead in water This just says we also have heavy metals in the water - which, a few months ago, prompted me to use the metal remover, not knowing this was unnecessary.

My son and I were out with my husband yesterday, and to kill time we went in to Petcetera. For being such a good boy, (he's six, and didn't complain once about walking and didn't ask for a thing), we bought his invert only 10 gallon a little feeder that he fell in love with, lol. Of course, they also had Mollies on sale, and because he'd heard I might need one, my lovely husband bought him for me.

So now we have Shadow, the male Black Molly - whom is making short work of everything, albeit a little stressed. Should I salt the tank (very slowly, since I have a baby Otto in there as well?)

Last edited by CowgirlFishKeeper; 02-18-2012 at 03:09 PM..
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #30
 
Dumb question, but is the algae by chance growing on the side of things that face a window? That accelerates algae growth.
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