Algae fight method? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 03-29-2013, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
MoneyMitch's Avatar
Post Algae fight method?

As most of us know the light is the main driving force in our tank as far as plant growth goes the gas pedal if you will. The more light period/intencity the more nutrients and carbon the plant will require in order to grow. Plants can draw sources of carbon from ammonium or use caco3 or from injection of the gas form which is then dissolved in the water. Which leads me to think a high tech tank would be one with high light and co2 or just high light seeing how plants have many ways of gatering carbon. co2 injection is just faster and shows 10x more growth rate with a faster rate of nutrient uptake.

now im going to use my situation here as a example, high intenceity lighting 55 watt T5 x2 over a 55 gallon. 10-12 hrs of phot period this is liek having your foot on the gaspedal almost to the floor. now the plants will grow at a fast pace as long as they have adequate nutrients. but with the foot on the pedal they require more nutrients (gas) and also a source of carbon. as i previously stated there are many ways for a plant to pull in a source of carbon other then injection. lets say my plants are using the light and caco3 as long as i have adequate nutrietns the plants will use the nutrients before the algae right?

but lets say i have the same lsetup and only offer a limited amount of nutrients to the plants with the same photo period. the plants will then slowdown or stop growing durring photo period which will elave unused macros or/and trace in the colum that they cannont use without balance. so then algae will comeinto play and use the leftovers that the plants cannot use. so the best defence vs algae while keeping your plants going is to add more fert to the water in a balance and keep lighting at a desriable amount (duration which your happy with). now finding this balabce can be hard as im not sure of any exact way to find out how much to dose a tank as far as a liquid comp fert goes so i is a trial and error and a process that will span out over a few weeks.

im thinking im on the right track here and pretty sure this is how it all plays out. if you see algae either reduce your light or feed more basically. but how much more to feed is the tricky part feed too much where the light cant push the plants enough to use the avilable nutrient and a algae outbreak will occur, feed to less and the light will push the plants to use majority of nutrient in coloum quickly while leaveing traces and macros in the water that the plant cannont use due to nutrient imbalance in the water from using it so rapidly, this will also cause algae. safe to say the brighter/inticity of the light the mroe delicate the balance must be.

i woudl consider my tank to be a ":high tech" tank due to jsut the lighting factor as if my theroy is correct above it will require several dosings of balanced nutrients to keep the plants growing faster then the algae.

a low tech in my eyes is one that has very low light and requires no to very little fert. the plants grow slowly but so does the algae so in my eyes this would be a easyier setup for a new hobbiest. a lower light tank seems to be more forgiving.

co2 is nothing more then a accelerant which requires just as many dosings as a high light tank but more. the co2 injection is taken up faster by the plants as Rubisco the carbon fixing enzyhime prefers the pure form and thus can abob it easyier.
MoneyMitch is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 11 Old 03-29-2013, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
MoneyMitch's Avatar
if im wrong in any of this let me know but let me know with a explination so i can learn from it, im thinking anyone can get away with no co2 injection and high light with whatever duration they want as long as they keep a suitable amount of avilable nutrients in there for the plants to use.
MoneyMitch is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 03-29-2013, 09:04 PM
I think that's a pretty good experiment to try. makes sense to me!

djembekah is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 03-30-2013, 03:05 AM
ao's Avatar
Sounds good!

From the information I gathered from algae problems that arise in the local aquatic community, BBA is a stubborn one and may or may not adhere to certain "rules". If you do indeed have BBA, it can survive under very low light situations and is a PITA to kill~

CO2 IS required to grow certain rarer and fussier plants. I have a non CO2 highlight tank (well I do dose metricide but the effects are no where near diffusing actual CO2 in the water column) and it remains "algae free" as the algae grows in the brightly lit hob filter and leaves the tank alone. my photo period is timed to be 14 hours a day but sometimes I leave it on for 18 hours as I like to see my tank while doing some late night work. I also do EI (over)dosing, but don't perform anywhere near the recommended water changes. The lit HOB method works very well for me.

I believe the technical definition of high tech is to have CO2 injection, regardless of lighting XD I have algae free "no tech" tanks (no filter, light or CO2) next to the window. the plants actually grow quite well, haha.

CO2 doesn't necessarily promote an algae free environment. My friend's high tech tank was overrun with algae until he managed to regulate the CO2 to be constant.

again, I HIGHLY recommend manual removal of the infected plants (or quarantine entire plants if you really like those plants)~
ao is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 03-30-2013, 01:34 PM
fish monger's Avatar
Just a quick question, Mitch. Is your tank receiving any more direct or indirect sunlight as the season changes ? That can make a big difference.

fish monger is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 03-30-2013, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
MoneyMitch's Avatar
nope, sunlight has been consistant with little to none direct or indirect
MoneyMitch is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 07:58 AM
JDM's Avatar
Originally Posted by MoneyMitch View Post
co2 is nothing more then a accelerant which requires just as many dosings as a high light tank but more. the co2 injection is taken up faster by the plants as Rubisco the carbon fixing enzyhime prefers the pure form and thus can abob it easyier.
The issue becomes that the algae, using the same basic mechanism, do it more efficiently.

Like the extended name, Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase, the whole process is far more complicated than it might seem but increasing CO2 doesn't appear to help the plants stay ahead of the algae as both rates of CO2 uptake will rise.

Something I wasn't thinking about when I suggested the lattice light shield was that nasty scourge duckweed . If you put it on top it will propagate fast, cover the water to subdue the light, soak up lots of nutrients and, because it is a surface plant, will get the majority of the CO2 from the air, not the water, which will all help the plants... or at least MIGHT combat the algae.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
JDM is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 11:03 AM
1077's Avatar
One can easily control the lighting ,nutrient availability.
CO2 will alway's be the elephant in the room. Too much light ,, plenty of nutrient's,not enough CO2,, and algae will alway's have the upper hand cause it need's much less of everything to thrive.
Plenty of nutrient's ,will be used at the rate the lighting (intensity,duration) and CO2 avialability dictates.
Feeding the plant's,,plenty of lighting,and little CO2,,is recipe for algae in my expierience.
CO2 is in my view, the nutrient in most demand.
It is a gas that is alway's trying to leave the tank, and folk's spend considerable time/resources trying to add it at faster rate than it can escape and often at the expense of their fishes.
Can gain a little CO2 in low tech application by adding more fish (within reason),and by that produced naturally from bacterial break down of organic's in substrate but if you have too much light,,,then you'll alway's be fighting some type of algae withyout CO2 enhancement and proper distribution of same.
Is much easier to use less light,nutrient's in sufficient amount's,and observe how slowly increasing the light affect's the plant's, than trying to use too much light, for tank's with no CO2 ehancement (Excell,DIY,etc)
Wth higher lighting and not enough CO2,,then algae will take hold quickly, and you have no time to find the balance without also trying to fend off the algae.
Even those hard core CO2 addict's,are expierimenting with less light while still injecting ,or supplementing CO2 according to the three or four planted tank forum's I visit.
This gives them good growth,and still afford's time to observe plant's rather than training their effort's on fighting algae until they get their CO2 dialed in.
CO2 appear's to be the most difficult nutrient if you will,,to control. And few are those who get it right initially.
Is true that CO2 can cause plant growth ten to fifteen times faster than non CO2 tank's but it also can cause algae to grow at the same rate if not distributed properly.
I am sometimes in wonder at who might have the desire to trim,prune,at the 10 to 15X growth rate CO2 makes possible but I have seen many beautiful tank's by those who have the time,inclination.
In my view,,those who are trying to use high light with NON CO2 tank's,are going to much more quickly observe the different types of algae ,rather than being able to observe plant growth.(with few exception's)
Can alway's increase the lighting slowly,and watch for algae and or plant growth( and dial it back),but if your starting with too much light,no CO2,then it can be frustrating, especially given the quickness that algae can take over.
Byron likes this.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
1077 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 1077 For This Useful Post:
Byron (04-01-2013)
post #9 of 11 Old 04-01-2013, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
MoneyMitch's Avatar
idk how you did it but you made everything click for me 1077, with what you said and what i have been experienceing with my tank it all makes perfect sense. i am seeing plant growth apparent by the floaters that will bend towards the light in only a day and their new root development, but also true that i am seeing a algae explosion. Co2 is my limiting factor and the light i have is too intence pushing the plants to burn through the co2 and then stop growing during lights on. which then in turn is when the algae takes over since it doesnt really require co2 just light and nutrient. so my ferting is ok maybe a little to much and my light is defiantely too much.

so i either have to start with very very little light periods, or get some type of carbon supplement in there either diy injection or excel equivilent? also some plants seem to be doing better then others but then agaiin some plants are better compeitors for co2 then others thus will do better then others?

sounds like excel or equivelant is going to be what i try next (gunna have to wait untill later this week). now i know its not = to injection but it is still better then what the tank can provide natrually co2 wise since after a fert dose i see algae explode 1-2 days later. so for now i am going to do single doses x2 a week 3 days apart per bottle directions with the addition of excel and keep lights at 12/12 and see hwo things go. if i see a reduction in algae growth then carbon was the issue and not the nutrients.


i do like the floating idea too jdm but if i bring up the rest of my stems to float they are covered in the algae in just a day even though they are still gorwing there is just too much nutrient in the tank right now to risk losing the rest of my stems. cant find any duckweed locally and my wife has put a freeze on spending towards any livestock or plants untill i get this algae situation figured. so a 10-15$ of excel is my best option at this point.
MoneyMitch is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 04-02-2013, 08:08 AM
1077's Avatar
Were it me,,and I was financially stuck with the lighting I have ,,I would consider reducing the lighting periodto eight hour's, and or maybe buy some cheap window screen to place between the light and the water's surface assuming you have glass top's? Can use layer's of screen if needed,and slowly remove layer's as plant mass increases.
Can alway's use the light without reserve once you adopt CO2 if this is planned for later.
Plant's can adapt to low level's of CO2 and grow just fine albeit slowly, but with relatively high lighting,and little CO2,,it can be losing battle with algae. Growth will occur,,but so too will the algae.
Truly it is the light that drives everything (CO2,nutrient demand).
Can easily reduce the lighting and lessen the demand for CO2,nutrient's, and observe growth of plant's rather than algae, but some are fixated on increasing light with the thought that this will = more growth without considering the increase in everything needed due to the increase in light.
I chose NON CO2 method and so long as I don't go crazy with light,plant's have adapted,and growth is slow,steady.
Can't offer much more help with regard's to CO2 for I have not needed it yet to achieve the result's I desire.
I suggest choosing one method and following it and once mastered,,then try another such as CO2 injection but that's just me.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
1077 is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
loosing my fight with algae Unrulyevil Beginner Planted Aquarium 8 06-26-2009 01:48 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome