Jump to content

Reaching for light or too much? Has some algae forming?

Recommended Posts

This setup is a 125 with a 40 gallon sump with CO2 injection.  my water parameters for the last 2 weeks or so the tank runs at 82 f° pH has been an average of 6.6 zero ammonia zero nitrates nitrates went from 80 to 40 g h was 9 and 10 and now it's seven the cage has been 2° of hardness or 35.8 PPM I guess I haven't doed fertilizers at all since my substrate change the fertilizer I would be using is aquarium co-op easy green the tank is a little on the heavy side with stock but again only 40 parts per million nitrate and falling and I believe I am in the neighborhood of about 600 to 700 gallons per hour water turnover 

Currently doing a 30g water change which I do daily for the most part. I'm human and miss a day here or there. The water goes through a water softener and then my 4 stage RO. 

Perhaps I don't have enough flow down in the tank? Want to nip this before it's a real thing. 

Oh and lighting is from 12pm-10pm 

I have a 6ft white/beige led light from Dustin's fish tanks it was the only one I saw to make it one light for the whole tank. I am considering cutting that back to 8hours total. 


Sorry this is so long winded! 







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @Joexemm

I see you are trying discus, good for you!  Keep up with those water changes because the Seiryu stone is a type of limestone and will increase your pH and hardness otherwise.

You mentioned you had a 'substrate change', what was the change?

I downloaded one of your pictures and this is what I saw, yellowish new leaves with darker leaf veins where the arrows are pointing.  This is called interveinal chlorosis and when it occurs on new leaves it is typically caused by insufficient available iron.  I also notice that there seems to be a premature loss of older leaves, is this currently occurring was it happening in the past?  -Roy

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok so there is a lot going on.  So, first not an expert I can only tell you about my experience.  
Are you wanting to keep plants or young discus?  In my experience young small discus will do so much better at 86 - 88 degrees and a constant water parameter.  You don’t need to be a chemist.  Yes, frequent water changes.  I raised mine at 7.4 - 7.8 bare bottom tanks and after two months I would only change water every 3 days.  Mine even spawned at that PH.   My GH was maybe 90-100 and KH was maybe 130-140.   They did fine.  I only lowered all parameters for spawning, well really egg hatching.  PH 6.8-6.9 GH 50-75 KH 60-70. 
Now for the plants.  I know less about plants.  But what I found out a lot of plants like to be a little cooler than discus.  Also they like things in there water.  I’m not a chemist.   If the things we remove because we think that is best for one living object  might be needed by another.  What do we do?

I guess what I’m saying if enjoy all the work and guess-work have fun.  If not maybe raise the discus in a 40 or 55 and right around the time plants settle in and the display tank is dialed in, the discus will be old enough to slowly transition into that tank.  Are they maybe 2-1/2 to 31/2 now?  I would think maybe another 3 or 4 months.

Good Luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you been using the same light and photo period, or was there a change there also?

Cutting the light back to 8 hours is probably a good place to start.  My project tank has run an undersized LED, 14 hrs. and was almost algae free. The stem plants were doing fine. I am temporarily running an older and larger florescent fixture and the tank is an algae farm.  The Elodea is happier, but the stem plant are not bouncing back as they should. My suggestion for both of us is to dial back the lighting.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Seattle_Aquarist The substrate change was the addition of the aqua soil. I kept all of the substrate that i had before you can see it under the cap of soil on the right. that stuff was a trap for detritus and a failed experiment. I figured it had a bunch of beneficial bacteria however and used it to re-scape the tank. Is there a test for iron that I don't know about? I hate adding things that I cant test for. Something worth note is these plants are all new to the setup as of 3 weeks ago ( I think its been that long since the overhaul)   The plants all are showing signs of Growing.  

The discus have been with me for 3 years now so they are doing well. Growing far slower then I had hoped but I'm not home to feed them constantly. I do feed them every single day but it takes some time. There are several other species that are far faster then they are and I have to feed them before the Discus get anything. So i give them Vibra Bites first to fill up the dither fish then I come in with blood worms and a cube or two of dried black worms I believe they are. I feed everything with the pumps off and skim out the leftovers after I'm done with their daily water change before I turn the tank back on. I also clean out my filter socks every day during this time. 

Really I think the bulk of my question is how do I keep the growth and minus the algae. UHH there are rams horn snails, amano shrimp, ottocinclus, hillstream loaches, and now a bristle nose pleco baby. I am rather hesitant to add anymore livestock to the tank unless its more Discus. 

Ill give a dose of Iron and see how we fair this week. I have not dosed any fertilizer since the overhaul since I read that the substrate will likely release a lot into the water column. Also I didn't add the fish in right away. they spent 2 weeks in a 100gallon tub while I did huge daily water changes to combat the initial ammonia release. I only got rather high nitrates.. 80+ off the kit high, though I'm assuming from the already cycled filter being able to handle it.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @Joexemm

OK, there are several substrates that look like ADA Amazonia and I wanted to verify which one you used.  ADA Amazonia does contain some iron but apparently it is not sufficient.  I would add Seachem Flourish Iron to your dosing - dose per the instructions once a week.  Do this for four (4) weeks and watch the new leaves as they emerge.  Do they look greener? Healthier? If so you are on the right path.  DO NOT WATCH EXISTING LEAVES, THEY WILL NOT CHANGE.

As for lighting, I agree with @Tankedthat you can cut back on the photoperiod to reduce algae.  I would do 7-8 hours maximum.

I also have discus, come F1  Red Spot Green Discus (Symphysodon aequifasciatus) from Rio Nanay.  When they were small I had them in a 30 gallon at 86 degrees and decided to try some different plant species and see how they would do.  I was surprised how many different species did fine at 86 degrees.

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Seattle_AquaristThat's absolutely gorgeous! is that a Corner tank? 

I used some amazon cheap stuff. couldn't tell the difference from my fluval substrate to this as far as ingredients go. 

Ill give the iron a shot for sure and report back here on what happens.  

The old setup had the water parameters wayyy  out of whack for discus and their colors were terrible. My blue guy was basically matte black. He has really come around in a big way with this change. the old setup was a 12gh and like 140ppm kh. 

I got into a salt tank and doing the chemistry. I got interested in what the freshwater parameters were so I broke out the old test kit and that's what started the changes in motion. I am really glad that I did this. just want to keep it pretty at this point


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...