Love my new plants.... hate the algae
I have 55 gal tank that I started to plant a few weeks ago. This is what I have in the tank so far...
6 Wild celery (Vallisneria americana)
Small bunch Mayaca (Mayaca Fluviatilis)
3 Banana plants (Nymphoides aquatica)
3 Amazon Swards (Echinodorus Bleheri)
and some Aponogeton bulbs from wal mart.
I have 2 18" 8000k all glass bulbs
I have been adding Kent pro-plant and Kent iron & manganese 2-3 times a week.
I have 4 snails and just added a clown pleco to help gobble the algae... but they are not keeping up.
The plants are lookin pretty good, but I have algae on the glass and now on the gravel. Should I cut back on the fert???
Start by scraping it off the glass. I like the Magnetic scrapers, they are easy to use and work great. That way your snails can focus on the algae on the gravel. It might help them catch up.
I have never used fertalizers so I cannot comment on that.
EDIT: Also you might want to check if the snails you have eat the algea you have...
and I find plecos to be rather lazy in the algae eating department
could also start by getting 6700k bulbs, 8000k has spectrum plants wont use but algae will
Also the clown plecos arnt that great for algea bn pleco are better...
personally i dont think any algae eater should be kept to "keep up" with algae growth since algae will grow because of high nitrates and phosphorus in your water which means a) you dont change your water enough, B) your overstocked and your water conditions are bad, c) this idea promotes the concept that algae eaters dont need to be fed. Keeping up with water changes and balancing live plant growth with your light and minerals in the water is key.
Some points taht could cause your algae to bloom with the introduction of plants could be taht some of your plants melted a little before they got established and the rotting plant material is injecting extra nitrates, carbon, etc into your water
Good responses from other members; a couple of things stand out at me in your original post, so I'll tie all this together if I can.
First, the light. These tubes I know, they are in my view not the best for planted tanks, being high in the blue which as someone mentioned promotes algae at the expense of better plant growth. Changing to full spectrum (with a kelvin around 6500K) will help in several ways.
Second, the Kent ferts. Pro-Plant includes nitrates, and I have read elsewhere that this can encourage algae. I tried to find the ingredients online and couldn't, but going from memory when I looked at this in the fish store it is missing a few nutrients. It also takes a lot, so you go through it fast.
As for the iron and manganese, this could be causing trouble too, at 2-3 times a week. Iron and manganese are micro-nutrients, along with copper, zinc and some others. If these are not balanced, plants will not improve and again when that happens algae uses the light and increases. Iron and manganese are also heavy metals, which is too great a supply can be toxic to fish, plants and bacteria. These mineral nutrients need some control.
My suggestion would be to consider getting Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. All essential nutrients are included (save oxygen, carbon and hydrogen which obviously occur naturally in the aquarium) so you only need the one product. And you use very little of it, 1/2 teaspoon treats 30 gallons and only once or possibly twice a week. Long-term it is less costly.
Normally, reducing ferts (nutrients) is not a solution to solving algae problems because algae uses the light when the plants can't due to insufficient nutrients in balance. But in this case I would reduce the ferts, esp the iron and manganese. And replace the tubes which will make a big difference. If you change the lights, you can continue the Plant-Gro and iron/manganese but less of it. This sentence comes from Kent's website on this product: Healthy plants also require proper spectrum lighting and intensity to maintain color and for growth. They are correct.
I believe this will help you control the algae.
Once again... you guys are awsome!!!! I did a water test tonight... Nitrate is 10 ppm Ph 7 Nitrite 0 Amonia 0.
The Pro plant is
Iron & Manganese
Soluble Potash 3%
Byron.... I had asked about bulbs in another thread a while ago and you had suggested the 6500 bulbs....I don't want to seem like a spoiled brat, but when I tried those bulbs the tank look dim. I know I want to have my cake and eat it too, but I would realy like to make this work with the bulbs I have, if possible.
The tank is not crazy planted and I am not looking to grow a jungle :-D
Thanks again for the advice.... I am off to change some water
On the light, I am puzzled. Can you send a link to those tubes, so I see exactly what they are? The only tube I know that is "brighter" than a 6500K full spectrum daylight (which is the noon-day sun) is the Hagen Power-Glo, also not the best plant light. I'll check them out if you can find them.
Your initial issue was algae; the light is what is causing it.
I know I am being difficult and I realy appreciate your help, and pacience. I did not see any algae in the first month and a half that I had the tank, but as soon as I started with the plants and fert.... boom.
Here is a link to some info on my bulbs
Petsr4u - All-Glass 18in Flourescent Bulb 15 watt, Aquarium Bulbs
Again.... thanks for the help
That's peculiar that 8000k is brighter than 6500k... 6500k are pretty much the brightest you can buy.
The 8000k may be "color enhancing" bulbs, which could make the colors appear brighter... Perhaps this is what you mean?
How many bulbs do you have? You mentioned they were 15W.
If you only have two, then you desperately need 6500k so the plants can get the proper spectrum... 30W isn't much light.
Perhaps you can compromise and have half and half if you run more than 2 bulbs?
The mayaca will not do well in your setup unless you improve the light.
My favorite solution for algae is to include some hardy floating fast growers (anarchis and hornwort) work well...
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