Algae

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05 Feb 2017 18:15 #1 by robert (robert carter)
Algae was created by robert (robert carter)
Hi , i have a bad out break of algae in my 350 litre tropical tank , it looks like a black algae that is covering the bogwood and plants in the tank ,it is not on the glass . Started a coarse of eSHa protalon 707 anti algae treat ment ,on Friday , this is a seven day treatment . This afternoon ran a full set of water test results are Ph 6.0 , nitrate zero , nitrate zero , ammonia zero ,KH 2, phospate 5 plus . So it would appear the phospate level is the problem . I was using the green tropica plant fertilizer , this i understand contains phospate . What i have done today is stop using the tropic plant food , still adding co2 plus daily liquid co2 , reduce the lighting by 80% for the next few days , and cut back on fish feeding . Reckon i will end up replacing all the plants and removing all hard scaping and cleaning it . Have i done the right thing ? And is there any more i can do ? Dont want to do a water change until the anti algae finishes in four days time .

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05 Feb 2017 19:14 #2 by anthonyd (Anthony Debesne)
Replied by anthonyd (Anthony Debesne) on topic Algae
Have a look at this article, worked for me in the past
www.plantedtank.net/forums/23-algae/2036...684?page=1&_k=0xuqj1

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05 Feb 2017 21:09 #3 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
Where can h202 be got ,the whole article seems very drastic.

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06 Feb 2017 10:37 #4 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
High Phosphates is down to basically 4 reasons...

(1) Overstocking
(2) Overfeeding
(3) Not gravel vaccing enough
(4) Not changing enough water often enough

The Protalon will work as regards killing the algae but if you dont get to the root cause of it its just gonna come right back...

Robert dont throw your plants etc out...If you are going to strip the tank and clean it put all the affected plants and decor into buckets of water double dosed with Protalon...Let them soak in there for a few days (3 or 4) Take them all out and rinse them thoroughly with fresh water...Mix the Protalon around well in the buckets of water first though...

Another thing to remember is that any liquid fertilizer the contains NitrAtes or Phosphates is generally to be avoided unless your tank is a super hi tech Aquascape with very low stocking levels...These hi tech, low stocked planted tanks use up Phosphates and NitrAtes rapidly and as a result need an extra dose to feed the vast amounts of plants...This is not the case in regular tanks with large amounts of fish....The fish waste in our regular tanks provides plenty of Phosphates and NitrAtes in the first place...

If it was me I would take everything out (plants, decor etc) and soak it all in buckets of Protalon treated water for 3 or 4 days....Then carry out a large water change (50 to 70%) Only then would I run the Protalon treatment through the tank...

While you are cleaning down the tank gravel vac thoroughly and feed the fish very lightly for the time being....

Also put a bunch of temporary decorations and caves etc into the tank to give the fish some security...They will become totally disorientated as a result of all the disturbance and a as result will become stressed...And as we all know stress is the number one cause of fish illness...Just make them feel secure whilst all this is going on...

The other alternative is to house them all temporarily in another tank...Just fill the temporary tank a third of the way with water taken from the established aquarium, move the fish over and then fill the rest of the way with fresh water...Then move your filter over...

The big advantage of this is you are left with a totally empty tank and can not only clean and rescape it but you are causing the fish no extra stress....

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06 Feb 2017 13:07 #5 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
Thanks for your reply , think the main problem was i was advised to use the green tropica fert which is high in phosphate . You are so right about stressing the fish , i have quite a number of fish that require hidding places and i dont have a spare tank . So i think its a matter of getting phosphates down and cleaning over a period of time

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06 Feb 2017 13:36 #6 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
I may be able to lend you a 280 litre tank for a couple of weeks Robert...Thats if you are considering a total rescape and clean out?

Let me know ASAP if ya want to take me up on the offer...

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06 Feb 2017 14:00 #7 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
Thanks for the offer of the tank , just dont have anyway to put it, so think i am going down tbe route of clean a bit of a time. Can i just use a think bleech to clean bogwood and rock very well rinsed off before going back into the tank . Thanks again for your kind offer

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06 Feb 2017 14:14 #8 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
I wouldnt use bleach on bogwood...Simply because the wood will absorb the bleach and you wont be able to rinse it away...It will then leech back into the tank..

For rocks absolutely yes...In fact your best bet is to fill a container with hot water and a small amount of bleach...Mix it round well and soak all your rocks in it for a few hours...After Rinse thoroughly under fresh water and let them dry...Then soak them again in a container of water triple dosed with dechlorinator for 24 hours...

For plants covered in algae I would use the method I described above with Protalon...Bleach is too risky on plants...It can kill them if overused...

The main problem I see with cleaning a bit at a time is that the algae is still being given an opportunity to keep growing...

Once excessive algae growth has established itself in any tank its extremely difficult to erradicate without a complete overhaul...Its much better to try wipe it all out in one go and then start again...

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06 Feb 2017 21:07 #9 by anthonyd (Anthony Debesne)
Replied by anthonyd (Anthony Debesne) on topic Algae

robert wrote: Where can h202 be got ,the whole article seems very drastic.

I got it from the chemist

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07 Feb 2017 06:52 #10 by joemc (joe mc)
Replied by joemc (joe mc) on topic Algae
hello Robert, if it were me I would not bother with any of the mirical cures in a bottle, but if that is the road you decide to go down my only advice would be to follow the instructions on the pack to the letter and make sure you check if there are notes regarding warnings about any fish shrimp or snail species listed as being sensitive beforehand.
my thoughts on algae problems are that different species thrive in particular conditions in aquariums, you need to change the conditions in the tank to deal with the algae long term, there is no mirical cure in a bottle. black beard algae can be dealt with short term by a bleach dip as mentioned above, just follow the instructions from one of the planted tank forums and it will work, another one that works is just using liquid carbon at double the standard dose and if you have the time and patience when adding it to the aquarium you can syringe it directly onto the worst affected plants or decor, you will see it instantly kill the bba, turning it pink , then it fadesover a few days. another method to deal with it, if it suits your setup is to add a few young siamese algae eaters, dont over feed the tank and they will demolish it and keep it totally under control.
just a few thoughts cheers joe

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07 Feb 2017 18:18 #11 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
Problem is now sorted , i removed all the bog wood and soaked it in some stuff i got from James in newlands for about 3 hrs then pressure washed off . The wood came up like new . I removed all the plants and did a very good gravel clean . 80% of the plants i dumped the remainder are in a large bucket of algea killer . I have replaced the plants with faster growing amazon sword varieties . The lighting will be reduced by about 30% and will just be using co2 and liquid co2 only no ferts ,plenty of fish poo to do that. Will add the plants that are in the treatment providing the algae goes . Thanks for your post as you can see i used a lot of your advise .

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07 Feb 2017 19:34 #12 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
If you are still injecting Co2 and still dosing liquid Co2 Liquid Fertilizers are still also essential...Otherwise the plants will dinimish over time...Fish waste provides some minerals (Phosphates and NitrAtes) but doesnt provide other minerals like Iron,Potassium, etc essential for proper plant growth...

The secret is to use liquid fertilizers that DONT contain NitrAtes and Phosphates....Liquid ferts that contain NitrAtes and Phosphates are for Hi Tech jungle type Aquascapes only with very low fish stocking levels...
By far the best Liquid Fert on the market is EasyLife Profito....

Maximum lighting period should be 8 hours average also by the way...

Amazon swords require root tabs in a sand substrate as they are root feeders as well as column feeders...This is the same for any Vals or Crypts...Now if you already have a specialised plant substrate you will be fine...Most stalk type plants feed mainly from the water column and generally dont require any special substrate or root tabs...

You will also need to carry out a very large water change before putting everything back in to your tank....The algae spores even though you cant see them are in their in their billions....You need to dilute them down.....Otherwise they will just take hold and start exploding again...

Honestly its all about keeping NitrAtes and Phosphates down with a big weekly water change regime (50% average) More for overstocked tanks...

The other things that help are a good VARIED Algae Eating critter team (remember certain animals focus on certain types of algae...No single animal eats all algae types) and also adding extra circulation around the bottom of the tank with additional small power heads...Algae thrives around tank dead spots as firstly the gravel isnt being naturally cleaned by water movement and secondly those areas arent receiving as much of the fresher water as other areas...

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07 Feb 2017 19:44 - 07 Feb 2017 19:48 #13 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
On a side note regarding lighting if you are using any kind of Flourescent tubes (T8s, T5s etc) and they are older than 9 months you may bin them...Their light output has vastly reduced...Even though they may look fine to the human eye the plants can notice it for sure...

You should maybe look into LED replacement tubes...They are double (sometimes treble) the initial cost but you will get about 5 years continuous use out of the good ones before they lose their efficacy...They also use a third of the power of Flourescents (A typical 10 watt LED tube gives out the exact same light as a 30 watt Flourescent on average) Big saving on power consumption over time...

The other added bonus of LEDs is the stunning shimmer effect they give to a tank...Just create small waves at the water surface and watch your water shine...

In an average planted tank look for lighting that gives off about an average of 6500 kelvin...This is the colour temperature of natural midday sunlight and is the most important factor when it comes to lighting and plant growth...All that watts per gallon and Lumens per square inch stuff is irrelevant...Colour temperature is the key (i.e. Kelvin)
Last edit: 07 Feb 2017 19:48 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered).

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07 Feb 2017 21:50 #14 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
This gets interesting, i was told not to use profito ferts when using co2 , but to use the green tropica which i now realise was probably the reason my phosphates were so very high .. i didnt move any of the fish while doing the clean they all appear ok . I actually gave away two bottles of profito to a forum member . My lighting is 4 x 35wat t5s plus a led light bar . My onward plan is to only use 2 of the t5s plus the light bar . (Tank is 24 inches deep ) on for 7hours daily , use co2 plus daily co2 liquid , and. going on what you say use profito fert at half dosage daily . Did put a picture up on my facebook page tonight . So do you reckon this plan will work .

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07 Feb 2017 23:09 #15 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
What I believe is that you where supplied with the wrong Tropica liquid Fert initially by mistake....

You should have used the one below (the orange one)...If you read the item description you will see the orange one contains no Nitrogen (NitrAtes) or Phosfor (Phosphates)

tropica.com/en/plant-care/liquid-fertili.../premium-fertiliser/

In the average planted aquariums we dont need additional NitrAtes or Phosphates...The fish provide enough of them in their waste...The more fish you have the more waste and hence the more NitrAtes and Phosphates....Algae LOVE these two in particular...The best way to keep them down is with larger water changes or to keep alot less fish...The more fish the larger the water change that is required to keep waste levels down

Its as simple as this...The more light and Co2 you provide the more photosynthesis takes place...This in turn makes the plants demand more Nutrients and when you supply more nutrients they grow faster and better and lusher and greener...The problem with using fish waste alone is that its not supplying ALL the nutrients plants need...Thats where Liquid Ferts come in to play...

The secret is finding the balance between Co2 levels, lighting levels and Nutrient (Fert) levels...

Liquid ferts are a must with strong light and when your injecting Co2...Whoever told you that you dont need additional ferts is simply misinformed....

Put it this way... If i put you on a desert island with lots of sun (LIGHT) to bask in and plenty of fresh clean air (CO2 in the case of plants) to breath in you would feel great for a while...But if I didnt give you food (LIQUID FERTS) after a few days you would soon start to feel unwell...Also if i gave you too much of the WRONG food (NitrAtes and PHospahtes in this case) you would also start to feel unwell...Its all about balance...

Now you also said originally that your NitrAtes where zero...This is hard to believe considering Dublin tap water usually has about 5ppm NitrAte in it anyway....BUT you may something thats going on in your tank known as De-Nitrification (due to the media you are using in your filter)...I still dont believe that your NitrAtes are zero though...Its actually practically impossible as far as i know to have zero NitrAtes in a freshwater aquarium (BUT! somebody correct me if im wrong) Now if your NItrAtes are zero you will have to add NitrAtes to the tank in the form of a liquid Nitrogen Fert...Plants do need NitrAtes but only small amounts (usually 10 to 20 ppm average is plenty) (anymore is algae growth territory)

You should get your tank water tested by someone else just to confirm your NitrAte levels...Your test kit may be lying....Also remember that with an API Master Test Kit the NitrAte test is notorious for being sketchy unless you shake the hell out of the reagent bottles before testing (Particularly number 2 bottle)

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07 Feb 2017 23:15 #16 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
You may have also mixed up Profito with Easy Carbo...The are both made by EASY LIFE....

They are two totally diferent things...

Easy Carbo is liquid Co2...You were maybe told Easy Carbo is not necessary when injecting Co2 (which it isnt because your already injecting a Co2 source) and possibly you mixed it up with Profito which is Liquid Ferts....

To be honest most planted tank people usually use Easy Carbo in conjunction with injected Co2 anyway because Easy Carbo also acts as an Algecide...

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08 Feb 2017 00:31 #17 by nomad (pat murphy)
Replied by nomad (pat murphy) on topic Algae
Very interesting and educational topic,gunnered72 you stated BUT you may something thats going on in your tank known as De-Nitrification (due to the media you are using in your filter) end quote...............some more info regarding that statement would be appreciated,cheers.

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08 Feb 2017 01:56 #18 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
The video below will explain it better than me...

But I know Robert has Bio Home Media in his filter and its been running for a good number of months that way...I remember him talking about it a good while back...

Bio Home media people claim to be able to grow Anaerobic bacteria inside their media which believe it or not will eat NitrAtes in the same way that Aerobic bacteria eats Ammonia and NitrItes....But it takes about 6 months for the De Nitrfying Anaerobic bacteria to establish itself inside the media...

De Nitrification is basically a process in which Anaerobic bacteria eats NitrAtes and turns them into a gas in the water.... The gas is then in turn expelled at the water surface...It was always thought that De Nitrification in an aquarium environment was impossible because oxygen levels have to be extremely low to allow Anerobic bacteria to develop and grow...Low oxygen levels are lethal to fish...

Now the people who make Bio Home media claim that their media is probably the first in the world to allow the development of Anerobic bacteria inside it when placed inside an aquarium filter.....

Does it work?...
I have absolutely no idea...
BUT Its possible Roberts zero NitrAte test readings are as a result of De Nitrification going on inside his filter media because his filter has been running for months with Bio Home media inside it....

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08 Feb 2017 02:13 - 08 Feb 2017 02:14 #19 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
So actually Robert you may be the first person In Ireland or at least the first fish keeper amongst all of us on here to have proof tested the De Nitrification ability of Bio Home media........

Does this eliminate the need for water changes?...

Not in my opinion....

Simply because water changes are not just to reduce NitrAte levels in an aquarium but to rid it of other crap as well like Phosphates...Also water changes replenish vital minerals essential for fish health that have been depleted over days...

My motto!...Fresh Water Fish Love Fresh Water....Thats what they get constantly in the wild after all....
Last edit: 08 Feb 2017 02:14 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered).

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08 Feb 2017 07:39 #20 by joemc (joe mc)
Replied by joemc (joe mc) on topic Algae
well Robert, at this stage your head is probably melted trying to take in and analyse all the advice! I don't know who has given you good or bad advice!
I think the best thing you can do now is nothing for a few days! take a step back and a deep breath and have a think only you can really figure out where the issue is.
start with the basics, a tank with low light plants, supplied with low light and no additional nutrients will do fine and the plants will grow, just slower than a supplemented tank. A tank where one of the three main elements is increased (carbon, light, nutrients) will go wrong in time. If you increase C by either CO2 injection of liquid Carbon, or both you will need to increase the lighting intensity and the supply of both macro and micro nutrients for the tank to work as a planted tank.otherwise the tank gos out of ballence. So back to me saying do nothing for a while, obserb your plants and how they are doing once they settle in, then adjust the elements necessary for plant growth based on how your plants are performing. as an example of tweeking your own tank here is the gist of how I grow the plants in my tank
my own tank is supplied with light by two old tubes, maybe 5-6 years old, the tank does not recieve additional ferts of any kind, only those supplied by the fish waste and water changes and the plants grow fine, I don't inject or add carbon as the plants mostly grow above the water and have an unlimite supply, not sure how to add a picturue of what it looks like at the moment, but it is very green!

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08 Feb 2017 18:57 #21 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
Just done a water test on the tropical tank i cleaned yesterday ,and confirm both nitrates and nitrites are zero , phosphate level has fallen to 4 , possibly due to yesterdays water change , tank and inmates are looking great this evening . Will continue to monitor the situation .

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14 Feb 2017 21:51 #22 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
Just an update phosphate level has dropped to 3 ammonia Zero , nitrite and nitrate both Zero , no signs of any algae , now using profito as plant fert on a daily basis , so reckon this one is now sorted , thanks for all the help lads

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15 Feb 2017 09:45 #23 by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered)
Replied by gunnered72 (Eddy Gunnered) on topic Algae
Phosphates are still a little high at 3... IMHO...

1 to 2 ppm max is ideal...

Also on a side note if your NitrAtes truly are zero you may start to see a Nitrogen deficiency in your plants....But only time will tell....If you do you can supplement the plants with a small Nitrogen dose...

Ive also noticed you are dosing Profito (Liquid Fertilizer) daily...This is not normally recommended unless your daily dose is much much smaller than the normal once a week recommended dose...It also depends on the quantity of plants...Personally I wouldnt dose more than double the weekly recommended dose and I would spread it out...Dose every second day maybe...

Easy Carbo (Liquid Co2) is what needs to be dosed daily before lights come on...DO NOT overdose Easy Carbo...You will suffocate the fish...

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15 Feb 2017 14:11 #24 by robert (robert carter)
Replied by robert (robert carter) on topic Algae
Hi , nitrates are zero just tested now , i am dividing the weekly dose of profito 35ml by seven and dosing 5ml per day , at present everything looks good . I have 25kg of biohome in the pond filters which is also showing a zero nitrate level , but no plants in the pond and koi look really well after a funny sort of winter temperature wise

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