Jump to content

What I am doing wrong??! - Please help!


Recommended Posts

Heyo guys! So, I have a planted community tank that has been struggling with algae. I scrub the algae off and the algae eaters keep it at bay but I can tell something is off. I want to get rid of algae but I just can't. @Irene made a video on balancing your tank but I still don't get what I am doing wrong. Can you guys help "balance" my tank? Here is some info on my tank. Can you guys help identify the issue? What am I doing wrong? How do I fix it?

Stocking:

1 male betta

7 harlequin rasboras

6 sterbai cory

2 nerite snails

6 otocinclus

(It's a 20 gallon long planted tank)

Fertilizer and Water Changes:

Thrive regular. 3 pumps every week and water changes once a week.

 

Lighting:

Nicrew Classic light on for 8 hours every day.

 

Co2 and oxygen:

I don't know my exact levels but i have a sponge filter and airstone in their so I can tell you there's a good amount of gas exchange. Also, NO C02 injection. 

 

Low-tech or high-tech? :

I have a low-tech tank.

 

Please help! Thanks in advance! Also, LMK if you need any more info.

Edited by BettasAreSuperior
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, BettasAreSuperior said:

Heyo guys! So, I have a planted community tank that has been struggling with algae. I scrub the algae off and the algae eaters keep it at bay but I can tell something is off. I want to get rid of algae but I just can't. @Irene made a video on balancing your tank but I still don't get what I am doing wrong. Can you guys help "balance" my tank? Here is some info on my tank. Can you guys help identify the issue? What am I doing wrong? How do I fix it?

Stocking:

1 male betta

7 harlequin rasboras

6 sterbai cory

2 nerite snails

6 otocinclus

(It's a 20 gallon long planted tank)

Fertilizer and Water Changes:

Thrive regular. 3 pumps every week and water changes once a week.

 

Lighting:

Nicrew Classic light on for 8 hours every day.

 

Co2 and oxygen:

I don't know my exact levels but i have a sponge filter and airstone in their so I can tell you there's a good amount of gas exchange. Also, NO C02 injection. 

 

Low-tech or high-tech? :

I have a low-tech tank.

 

Please help! Thanks in advance! Also, LMK if you need any more info.

HI @BettasAreSuperior,

What size tank are we talking about?
Do you know any of your water parameters?
pH =
dKH =
dGH =
Nitrates (ppm) =

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Seattle_Aquarist said:

HI @BettasAreSuperior,

What size tank are we talking about?
Do you know any of your water parameters?
pH =
dKH =
dGH =
Nitrates (ppm) =

This is a 20 gallon long tank. For my parameters, I have a test kit but I am at my dad's house and the tank is at my mom's house so I will have to give the parameters to you later. (In about a week, sorry) I know my ph is 8.0 and my dGH is below 8 degrees. For my kh I don't have a test kit for that -__ - sorry. Though I will give my nitrates, ammonia, and nitrite in about a week because of the reason I listed a few sentences previously. 

 

3 minutes ago, lefty o said:

i would try it with 1 less pump of fertilizer for a while, and see what happens. if you dont see any improvement, cut back light a half hour at a time. you will get there and find what grows minimal algae in your tank, it will just take time and patience.

Okay I will cut back on my lights ferts, thank you. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) because you have co2 I would consider you having a low-tech tank

2) It sounds like it may be excess nutrients in the tank. Doing a big waterchange can really help with this. To fix this long term you will wan to test your water and decrease the amount of times you dose your fertilizer, or the amount per dosing. I have this same problem with my betta tank, I have stopped dosing all together and I am doing waterchanges regularly. 

Here is a video i found SUPER helpful made by Cory and Joel:

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Ken said:

How long has the tank been up and running?

The tank took a long time to cycle about 3 months, plants were added November and that's when algae problem started arising. Fish were added in December. So, the tank has been running, in total for about 4 and a half months. 

12 hours ago, James Black said:

1) because you have co2 I would consider you having a low-tech tank

2) It sounds like it may be excess nutrients in the tank. Doing a big waterchange can really help with this. To fix this long term you will wan to test your water and decrease the amount of times you dose your fertilizer, or the amount per dosing. I have this same problem with my betta tank, I have stopped dosing all together and I am doing waterchanges regularly. 

Here is a video i found SUPER helpful made by Cory and Joel:

 

I don't add Co2 and it's not high light, etc. So, yes, it's a low-tech tank. I will cut back on the nutrients and lighting but I have one problem.....My plants have a potassium deficiency so I need I add more potassium fertilizer.....😬

More nutrients = More algae. (I wil also watch that video you gave)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you try Easy Carbon from the Coop? I am using that as a spot treatment for some black beard algae in my 20L and it seems to be working, but it does take time. The "balance" needed for plants is the most difficult part of fishkeeping for me. I let my 45 go absolutely wild with algae, and have had 6 otocats in there for 2+ months and still have a ton of it. They won't touch ANYTHING I put in, except once I found two of them on top of an algae wafer (I though they chowed down on the whole thing, but found it had mostly just dissolve into the substrate). I'm actually worried about my otocats surviving if they ever do manage to clean it all out. I sprinkle in a little spirulina powder now as it sort of ends up sticking to surfaces, just in case. Someone in there is eating it (100s of snails, probably).

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, BettasAreSuperior said:

More nutrients = More algae. (I wil also watch that video you gave)

Not necessarily. If you do truly have a potassium deficiency, you may find that by just dosing potassium your plants start growing like crazy and the algae backs off. My one caution is change one thing at a time, and do it for at least 2 weeks--this is a slow process. Plants respond slowly, so there is a delay.

In the mean time just remove the algae by hand as much as you can. 

10 minutes ago, Maggie said:

 I let my 45 go absolutely wild with algae, and have had 6 otocats in there for 2+ months and still have a ton of it. They won't touch ANYTHING I put in, except once I found two of them on top of an algae wafer (I though they chowed down on the whole thing, but found it had mostly just dissolve into the substrate). I'm actually worried about my otocats surviving if they ever do manage to clean it all out. 

As you have found otocinclus are picky and only like certian KINDS of algae. They eat a lot of that kind, but they ignore the rest. Mine like cucumber slices and so when I get nervous that they aren't eating enough I add a chunk and they work on it for a while. If you stick a fork in it it will sink.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Maggie said:

Did you try Easy Carbon from the Coop? I am using that as a spot treatment for some black beard algae in my 20L and it seems to be working, but it does take time. The "balance" needed for plants is the most difficult part of fishkeeping for me. I let my 45 go absolutely wild with algae, and have had 6 otocats in there for 2+ months and still have a ton of it. They won't touch ANYTHING I put in, except once I found two of them on top of an algae wafer (I though they chowed down on the whole thing, but found it had mostly just dissolve into the substrate). I'm actually worried about my otocats surviving if they ever do manage to clean it all out. I sprinkle in a little spirulina powder now as it sort of ends up sticking to surfaces, just in case. Someone in there is eating it (100s of snails, probably).

No, I haven't. Would it work for cyanobacteria, brown diatom algae, and green spot algae as well? I am also  feeding my otos well with food as well such as blanched veggies and repashy soilent green. Repashy is made out of aufuchws which is what otos eat in the wild. I also have a cholla wood log that also is a food source for my snails and otos. That cholla wood grows SO MUCH and such thick biofilm. It is a like a repleshing food source for them. My otos are well-fed and their bellies are full, I can tell when they are on the glass. I agree, the "balance" part is time-consuming and frustrating. But! It's important! 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Brandy said:

Not necessarily. If you do truly have a potassium deficiency, you may find that by just dosing potassium your plants start growing like crazy and the algae backs off. My one caution is change one thing at a time, and do it for at least 2 weeks--this is a slow process. Plants respond slowly, so there is a delay.

In the mean time just remove the algae by hand as much as you can. 

As you have found otocinclus are picky and only like certian KINDS of algae. They eat a lot of that kind, but they ignore the rest. Mine like cucumber slices and so when I get nervous that they aren't eating enough I add a chunk and they work on it for a while. If you stick a fork in it it will sink.

Informative! I will asap get potassium fert and see how it goes. I heard that as well with otos and mine actually aren't picky at all! They go for diatoms, cyanobacteria, green spot, you name it, mine go for it. Lol, IDK if that's normal. My snails also help out. Anyway, I will try to remove as much as I can. Every day I have to scrub off algae, I am desperate to balance my tank. Hopefully, with cutting back on lighting, nutrients, etc, I will finally balance my tank. Thanks. 

Edited by BettasAreSuperior
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, BettasAreSuperior said:

The tank took a long time to cycle about 3 months, plants were added November and that's when algae problem started arising. Fish were added in December. So, the tank has been running, in total for about 4 and a half months. 

That sounds a lot like my 40B. I'll tell you what I did and you can decide if you want to try it.

At first I tried the less light less ferts way, even more algae and some new kinds. I decided that wasn't the answer in this case.

Next I used some Flourish Excel following the package instructions. And as soon as the algae started dying I upped the light time by 1-1/2 hours, from 7-1/2 to 9 hours and upped the Easy Green and Easy Root Tabs by 1/2. The plants took off and the algae has (so far) not returned. The whole process took 3-4 weeks. It's been running that way for about 6 weeks. Even the Val is starting to grow like everyone says it will.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, I don't know much about different types of algae - only the black beard as it grows so long and is so unique in appearance. I don't want to get rid of all the algae in that tank as I have shrimp, so have only used it as a spot treatment on my java fern. I'm considering a hillstream loach for that aquarium, but also trying to breed more shrimp. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Maggie said:

I'm sorry, I don't know much about different types of algae - only the black beard as it grows so long and is so unique in appearance. I don't want to get rid of all the algae in that tank as I have shrimp, so have only used it as a spot treatment on my java fern. I'm considering a hillstream loach for that aquarium, but also trying to breed more shrimp. 

I agree that some algae is a good thing, My shrimp were breeding like crazy all while I was trying to make the tank "look" better. I'm hoping a little algae grows back for them. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@KenI've all but given up on trying to make the 20L really pretty. As long as everyone in there is thriving, then I'm happy. I want my betta tank to be pretty and really need to do some homework on how to make sure the algae doesn't get out of control. I don't want pest snails in there either and am going to do the alum dip on plants. I have quite enough snails in both of my other tanks! I know I feed too much and they're talking care of the extra, but feeding one betta will be much easier to control than a gang of hungry rasboras or danios.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ken said:

That sounds a lot like my 40B. I'll tell you what I did and you can decide if you want to try it.

At first I tried the less light less ferts way, even more algae and some new kinds. I decided that wasn't the answer in this case.

Next I used some Flourish Excel following the package instructions. And as soon as the algae started dying I upped the light time by 1-1/2 hours, from 7-1/2 to 9 hours and upped the Easy Green and Easy Root Tabs by 1/2. The plants took off and the algae has (so far) not returned. The whole process took 3-4 weeks. It's been running that way for about 6 weeks. Even the Val is starting to grow like everyone says it will.

I will try the schedule since I was actually looking for someone's light and fert scedule to follow. I will update and let you know how it went! Question: What light do you use on this tank and is this low-tech or high-tech tank? Thanks @Ken!

 

2 hours ago, Maggie said:

I'm sorry, I don't know much about different types of algae - only the black beard as it grows so long and is so unique in appearance. I don't want to get rid of all the algae in that tank as I have shrimp, so have only used it as a spot treatment on my java fern. I'm considering a hillstream loach for that aquarium, but also trying to breed more shrimp. 

No, no, it's fine!! No need to apolgize! I just want the cyanobacteria and the green spot to go away. I am fine with the diatoms sticking around though for my snails and otos. But atsm I would be fine with all the algae going away since I feed all my fish. 

Thanks a bunch guys!! I will update once I have got the algae under control, triied out new light and fert schedules, etc. Though it might be a while, lol.

Edited by BettasAreSuperior
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm low tech with medium lighting. The tank is 18" front to back so I have two lights to get full coverage to the bottom. A Finnex Stingray and a Aquaneat Full Spectrum. They come on at 10am, off at 1:45pm, back on at 7pm and back off at midnight. That fits my strange semi-retired schedule. I do a 20-25% water change Saturday or Sunday. I give it 4 squirts of EZ Green on water change day and 2 squirts about half way through the week. Root tabs happen when it looks like the plants want some, I doubt you can over do them unless to tried to.

40B.jpg.4754487fd1390efbb90e74221e74e324.jpgHere's the tank. Look at the lower left, a baby Panda made an appearance for the photo. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 fish, 2 snails, 3 pumps of fertilizer weekly, and some plants.   This sounds like my low tech setup.

The advice that I got here that worked for me, was to stop the liquid ferts for a few weeks, and in my case increase the light to 8 hours and add faster growing plants.  Later on I began adding one pump per week.

It is a slow process. As some of the others have said, make one change at a time or you may not be able to identify the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Ken said:

I'm low tech with medium lighting. The tank is 18" front to back so I have two lights to get full coverage to the bottom. A Finnex Stingray and a Aquaneat Full Spectrum. They come on at 10am, off at 1:45pm, back on at 7pm and back off at midnight. That fits my strange semi-retired schedule. I do a 20-25% water change Saturday or Sunday. I give it 4 squirts of EZ Green on water change day and 2 squirts about half way through the week. Root tabs happen when it looks like the plants want some, I doubt you can over do them unless to tried to.

40B.jpg.4754487fd1390efbb90e74221e74e324.jpgHere's the tank. Look at the lower left, a baby Panda made an appearance for the photo. 

Yeah, I see the little panda cory! Though I don't think my light timer can stagger lighting like yours. I guess I will have to compromise. BTW, your tank looks really nice! Lush, thriving, and algae-free. I think I put too many root tabs though, I'll cut back on those as well. Also, unrelated question, do your cardinal tetras attack your shrimp? (Sorry for so many questions) 

4 hours ago, Tanked said:

20 fish, 2 snails, 3 pumps of fertilizer weekly, and some plants.   This sounds like my low tech setup.

The advice that I got here that worked for me, was to stop the liquid ferts for a few weeks, and in my case increase the light to 8 hours and add faster growing plants.  Later on I began adding one pump per week.

It is a slow process. As some of the others have said, make one change at a time or you may not be able to identify the problem.

Thanks. I will halt the fertlizer and put it down to one pump per week. I will start my lights a 5 hours per day and go from there. I will make sure to do it one at a time, slowly. 

3 hours ago, team fishes and shrimps said:

try easy carbon

I will try it out and see if it has any effect on my algae, fingers crossed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BettasAreSuperior said:

Also, unrelated question, do your cardinal tetras attack your shrimp? (Sorry for so many questions) 

I'm sure the Cardinals and the Lemon Tetras and the Hengel's Rasboras that are joining the community next week will all get a baby shrimp when they can. I still take about 50 a month to the LFS.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have experience with otos, but my 10g betta tank with pygmy cories and nerites was covered in brown algae for what felt like months. This was before I started using easy green, too. Gravel vacuuming 1-2 times a week (in the spots where there weren't plants) and reducing the light to 8 hrs / day helped the nerites keep up on the hard surfaces, but that still left all the brown and green algae on my poor little plant leaves. No one was touching it. Finally broke down and got some ramshorns snails to breed and feed to my pea puffer, and they took care of everything. Not a spot of algae left. To the point that I'm trying to leave the lights on longer, feed heavier, and go a little longer between water changes to keep my poor nerites from starving.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, team fishes and shrimps said:

the tetras eat baby shrimp but not adults you should still be able to raise some adults as all the babies will not be eaten. easy carbon is build to kill algae. it should work in a couple weeks. keep us posted.

I will for sure keep you guys posted. 

 

Thanks a bunch guys, I really appreciated the help. I will update this thread once i have tinkered with the lights and ferts and see what is right for my tank. 🤞🙂 

  • Like 2
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...