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Inga 02-01-2012 06:07 PM

Algae on floating plants?
Algae on floating plants? In my recent algae outbreak (from the few days of constant lights) the floating plants (Pennywort) took the hardest hit. Those that reached closest to the lights were obviously, next in line for the "most algae on plant" award. So the question is... How do you keep the floating plants from getting algae on them. If the amount of hours the light is on is necessary to get enough light to the lower plants, the top plants are taking in more light.

My Old Pennywort was a huge bunch and I would periodically turn it over. I don't know if that is something one should do, but I did and it worked for me. I took a huge amount out because it was getting so thick, then the light issue and now I am down to very very little Pennywort. :-( I am hopeful it can come back but it isn't looking good. I have been fighting this for awhile. I would like some more Pennywort but of course, do not wish to run into the same issue.

1077 02-02-2012 12:29 AM

I had similar problem with Pennywort until I reduced the lighting period from ten hours to eight hours.
Took a couple months but the algae went away.
I also chose plant's that do well in low light rather than those that need more light.
I use T8 bulbs rather than T5 and this seems to help also.
I also have light's on cheap eight dollar timer so that they come on and go off each day at same time.
My tank's presently are all low tech,low light,with weekly addition of fertilizer.

Trying to increase light intensity or duration in planted tank's without benefit of CO2 injection or Excel (liquid carbon source), often result's in plant's not performing well, for with increase in lighting,,,there is also the need for more CO2 and Fertilizer.
When this type of inbalance occurs ,algae is quick to take advantage, for it needs much less of everything compared to plant's.
Some plant species are best suited I believe,,for CO2 enriched tanks and often do poorly, or grow much more slowly if at all, in low to moderate light with no CO2 enhancement.
Light is the driving force in planted aquariums. It dictates everything.

Inga 02-02-2012 05:48 AM

I can't help but wonder if the tying (wrapping around) the pennywort around the cords and such was part of the downfall. When it was floating loose, it sort of spun around so each area didn't sit there baking in the light as long. Once tied on, it was more stationary and sat there sucking in the light. I do only keep my lights on 8 hours, I do water changes ever 4-5 days, Flourish twice weekly. I suppose I could add the Excel but I have heard others complain about the use of that.

Little by little I am snipping out all the effected leaves. I am hoping in time, I can get my beautiful plants back their former glory. I WILL be getting timers though just in case I need to run out in a hurry again for a few days, they won't suffer like this again.

Byron 02-02-2012 12:29 PM

Interesting that 1077's scheme is near identical to mine, in terms of T8, duration, ferts.:-)

My floating Pennywort does get algae, but it grows so fast that every week I could (if wanted) trim it back to discard all the algae-covered growth. I do this periodically, depending how much floating plant cover I want in the tank. I'm happy seeing algae on the floating plants rather than having to fight brush algae on the lower.

You (Inga) didn't mention the lower plants and the present duration. But as this tank had some real issues recently, the "balance" is obviously upset and algae is very quick to take advantage of such situations. Just as algae is more prevalent in new tanks for the same reason. Once things are balanced this will likely not be problematic.

I would not resort to Excel. It is not needed to begin with, plus it does detrimentally affect some plants, and it will raise the "balance" higher which may well cause more algae. It is safer to reduce duration to achieve a better balance naturally.


Inga 02-03-2012 04:45 PM

I think in part, not having enough floating plants was an issue. I had just "cleaned house" by getting rid of a huge amount of the Pennywort as it was getting to be too much. I figured it would grow back quickly. I have never had algae on any of the lower plants before this episode. I have about 95% of the algae ridden leaves cut out. I am now waiting to have more healthy plant leaves to regrow before I cut more out. I am hopeful they will indeed grow back. Some I cut off almost entirely other then the base and roots. They were that bad. :(

Duration of lights before the episode was 9 hours a day and that actually seemed to be fine. I am currently at 8 just to try to help it bounce back. Once I get it back, I might try to extend the duration to 9 hours a day again, if I can. I do the Flourish 2 times a week + the root tabs around the substrate rooted plants.

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