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Diagnosing Algae Issue (Part 2)


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3 weeks ago I posted about my newer planted aquarium and how to diagnose algae issues.

The feedback was to raise kH, pH, CO2 and reduce light.  After those changes, 3 weeks later the algae situation has changed for the better, but I still am waging a battle.  Looking for advice on next steps.

My new stats are:

Stats [Before] > After:

  • [kH 6] > kH 8.5
  • [pH 6.8-7.4] > pH 7.0-7.4
  • [75-76 F] > 74-75
  • [CO2 3.5bps on with lights] > 4bps
  • [Lighting 5000k, 27W, 10 hours] > 1500K, 18W, 10 hours
  • [Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0 - .1] > Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5-10
  • [Fertilizer: 2x/week Flourish, 2x/week Pottasium, 1x/week Iron (all Seechem products)] > removed Iron, added Phosphate

Algae: What's Improved.

I have some floating plants that have rapidly reproduced stick the the left and right sides of the tank.  That light shading, along with reduced lighting, seems to have improved the plants towards the sides.  The picture below shows how the Java ferns there are now basically free of algae (the brown hairs you see are roots).

 

 

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Algae: What's Still A Fight

As you can see below about 60% of the tank in the center has an algae problem.  It's either brown or staghorn, and despite manually ripping it off every other day it keeps coming back.  The Buce is growing, faster than I expected, with some good color and a few flowers, but if I do not rubbed the leaves free of algae ever other day they would be totally consumed by it.   You can also see the same algae growing on the Java ferns (again, remarkably different from the ones towards the sides).

 

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Conclusion

The obvious answer is to further reduce light.  Which I would have to figure out how to reduce wattage while still keeping enough light for viewing (through choosing various spectrums).  But, I really want to keep the growth I am seeing with the Buce.  So wondering if there is another tactic to try with the fertilizer or CO2.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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On 4/21/2021 at 2:58 AM, Munkyaquatix said:

It looks like staghorn to me.

habe you tried adding fish that will eat algae? If your not a fan of Siamese algae eaters Molly do a really good job also. I’m battling algae my self. But I found if I hold back feeding a bit they’ll just go to town on the algae. 

I have 20 Pygmy Corys, 10 Panda Corys and 2 Plecos.  They are constantly active but do not touch the staghorn.

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On 4/21/2021 at 8:29 AM, Irene said:

If you want to keep your 10 hours of light, you could also raise the light. Your java fern is looking great by the way!

Good idea.  I will look into another attachment to raise the lights - currently they are at the maximum height for the brackets I have.

I did take the lighting down in wattage a bit more to 16W.  I did this by reducing Warm and Green light spectrum.  The tank is still lit well enough to see things well, but with the lower wattage I believe that should translate to less light for plants/algae.

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13 minutes ago, d6veteran said:

7.4, then 7.0 at peak CO².  kH consistently at 8-9.

Increase your CO². You are looking for a pH of 6.4 to 6.1. Once you reach 6.4, if you decide to push more, watch your fish for signs of stress.

You don't have enough CO² with your current numbers and is the main contributing factor with your algae problem.

I'm not sure why people told you to raise your KH? Did they say why?

You want a 1 pH drop from your degassed pH. If you want to be more accurate, take some tank water and set it out, open to the air. Wait 48 hours and pH it. That is the number you will use to adjust a 1 pH drop. 

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23 minutes ago, Mmiller2001 said:

Increase your CO². You are looking for a pH of 6.4 to 6.1. Once you reach 6.4, if you decide to push more, watch your fish for signs of stress.

You don't have enough CO² with your current numbers and is the main contributing factor with your algae problem.

I'm not sure why people told you to raise your KH? Did they say why?

You want a 1 pH drop from your degassed pH. If you want to be more accurate, take some tank water and set it out, open to the air. Wait 48 hours and pH it. That is the number you will use to adjust a 1 pH drop. 

OK, so I need some more education on Co2 levels.  Because, going by the chart, at a kH of 8-9, I don't want to dip below 7, right?

I was told to raise my kH in order to stabilize the pH.  That was the feedback.

Going to grab some tank water and set out to measure and then will reply with my degassed pH.

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44 minutes ago, d6veteran said:

OK, so I need some more education on Co2 levels.  Because, going by the chart, at a kH of 8-9, I don't want to dip below 7, right?

I was told to raise my kH in order to stabilize the pH.  That was the feedback.

Going to grab some tank water and set out to measure and then will reply with my degassed pH.

Here's a great source for you to read through. A .5KH is as stable as 5KH. And fluctuating pH does not harm fish. It's an old wives tale from yesteryear when people didn't have the multitude of tests and understanding we have today. 

https://www.2hraquarist.com/blogs/choosing-co2-why

Hope this helps. Helped me tremendously.

 

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4 minutes ago, Mmiller2001 said:

Here's a great source for you to read through. A .5KH is as stable as 5KH. And fluctuating pH does not harm fish. It's an old wives tale from yesteryear when people didn't have the multitude of tests and understanding we have today. 

https://www.2hraquarist.com/blogs/choosing-co2-why

Hope this helps. Helped me tremendously.

 

Oh interesting!  I wish I had known!  Everything other persons advice has been to raise kH "to stabilize pH", which led me to believe I needed to limit changes in pH.

 

Thanks, will read through the article.

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9 minutes ago, Mmiller2001 said:

Here's a great source for you to read through. A .5KH is as stable as 5KH. And fluctuating pH does not harm fish. It's an old wives tale from yesteryear when people didn't have the multitude of tests and understanding we have today. 

https://www.2hraquarist.com/blogs/choosing-co2-why

Hope this helps. Helped me tremendously.

 

Oh interesting.  I just read that you cannot go by the chart without getting a baseline since there are other factors contributing to pH.  So to your point, I need to get a pH reading when my water is without injection, and that should be 2-3ppm.  Then I want to target a ~1 pH drop from that reading.

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3 minutes ago, d6veteran said:

Oh interesting.  I just read that you cannot go by the chart without getting a baseline since there are other factors contributing to pH.  So to your point, I need to get a pH reading when my water is without injection, and that should be 2-3ppm.  Then I want to target a ~1 pH drop from that reading.

Correct.

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@Mmiller2001 Update.  

As of today:

  • Pre-CO² pH: 7.4
  • Peek CO² pH: 6.6
  • Reduced light duration by 1 hour
  • Reduced light intensity from 18w to 16w
  • Pearling happening on all plants

Going to see how this pans our for 7-10 days before any adjustments.  More pics of algae on Buce (getting the most light, and full of staghorn) and the Java Ferns, getting the least light and young leaves growing well (not the dark green growth on tips).  

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1 hour ago, d6veteran said:

@Mmiller2001 Update.  

As of today:

  • Pre-CO² pH: 7.4
  • Peek CO² pH: 6.6
  • Reduced light duration by 1 hour
  • Reduced light intensity from 18w to 16w
  • Pearling happening on all plants

Going to see how this pans our for 7-10 days before any adjustments.  More pics of algae on Buce (getting the most light, and full of staghorn) and the Java Ferns, getting the least light and young leaves growing well (not the dark green growth on tips).  

image_50415617.JPG

image_50418689.JPG

image_72192707.JPG

I had one heck of a staghorn breakout, Seachem Excel saved the day. It never came back after the shrimp eat it.

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