Algae Cause: Lighting Or Flourish Comprehensive?
I'm having a hard time with Hair algae and some dark green algae that is trying to cover some Java Moss. I've been working on the algae for at least four weeks now. Today I pulled down shades at the other end of the room, about 15 or 20 feet away, just in case - it's a south-facing window.
I put 13w Compact Fluorescents in, not too long ago, and replaced them with 10s when it was apparent the algae wasn't going away.
Many weeks ago I accidentally started dosiing Flourish Comp at something like 150%. I was doing 25% water changes, but I don't know if it was enough to keep the Flourish Comp from building up. I've done six 50% water changes since I figured out I was overdosing about three weeks ago. I'm also dosing Flourish Comprehensive at the correct dose according to my bottle, and some of the plants are showing some growth now. Is that enough?
Anyway, the Hair algae seems a little less voracious but still hanging in there. Any ideas about which or both things are causing the Hair algae and suggestions about what I can do?
Thanks for the help.
What size tank is this? How many bulbs do you have? How long are they on for?
The algea problem could be a combination of both lights and too much fertilizer.
Plants will only photosynthesis when ALL nutrients are there. When one or of the nutrients are gone they will slow down or stop altogether. In natural planted tanks C02 is usually the limiting factor. After that algae usually will take over. The trick is finding the balance where plants thrive and algae can barely survive. There is always going to some algae in tanks that's just part of it. You just want to make sure it doesn't take over then the plants will die. Its usually best to do 50% water changes weekly. This will pull out excess nutrients plus the unwanted stuff in the water.
Tank started April 18, 2012
Lighting: 2x 10w CFL in dome reflectors - Nine hour photoperiod
Substrate: (sorry) medium-large gravel 1-1/2 inches deep
Filter: AquaClear 30 on minimum but no biological filtration
Ferts: Seachem Flourish Comprehensive: about 2.5 ml/30g (4 drops eyedropper), Equalibrium (not a fert)
1 unidentified Sword
3 planted Water Sprite
a few Cabomba
1 Water Wisteria
12x Pygmy Chain Sword
Some Java Moss
3 unidentified rooted plants
7x Pristella Tetra
I would try cutting back on the photoperiod to 8hrs (plants can thrive with as little as 6hrs a day). See how things progress over a week or so. If algae is till thriving (spreading) try cutting another hour.
Do you have any floating plants? My Java moss always did better in shaded areas. When it was in direct light I would get bba on it.
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Boredomb accurately described things, so my comments are just agreeing from my personal experience with this same light over my 10g.
I have not had brush algae in the 10g, but I did have some very beautiful algae that I think might be Spirogyra, or Silk Algae, but not sure. It appeared at the surface among the floating plants.
Brush algae on Java Ferns is due to the ferns being in direct light. I have this problem in my 33g, if I thin out the floating plants over the JF. Beyond this, if any green or red algae is increasing, reduce the duration. My tank lights are on for 8 hours, and this has proven to be the longest I can go without brush algae increasing in the other tanks. And all get twice weekly dose of Flourish Comp, at slightly more than the label amount. In the 10g for example, it is just slightly less than 1/2 a teaspoon twice weekly.
Just something I forgot to ask and just assumed you had but your bulbs what is the Kelvin rating?? If your bulbs are somewhere being between 5000-7000k your good but if not you need something in this range 6500k being preferable.
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I am wondering if dosing Flourish Comp and not dosing NPK is the reason that none of my plants have been growing? They're starting to grow again since the six 50% water changes in the last three weeks lowered the overdose I had been doing. I really want to start NPK but only if it's advised by someone who knows natural planted aquariums. I am not using injected CO2. Thanks. BTW, in the six months that the tank has been running, it was only after I started overdosing Flourish Comp that the plants stopped growing. Thought I'd supply all the information I have.
From the MWRA:
Nitrate: .058 MG/Liter
Orthophosphate: .010 MG/Liter
Potassium: 944.0 uG/Liter
In the average low tech aquariums, npk is produced by fish waste (assuming you don't keep your tank too clean)
Test your water, check your nitrates. You want some nitrates, just more than 0 (but not much!)
If you have someone with a marine test kit, have them test your tank for phosphorus. Again, you want a trace.
Potassium, you can dose. It doesn't cause algae, and can't be overdosed- its tptally fish safe. (and the main ingredient in root tabs)
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