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Brown (green) algae problems. :(

Discussion in 'Algae' started by sidel80, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. sidel80

    sidel80 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I was hoping someone/anyone can give me some advice/feedback on how to control this particular algae. I started my tank about 1.5 weeks ago. During the 1st week, I think had way too much light going on (T5 4x54W for a 55g) and no C02. However, after the 1st week, I finally got my C02 canister and have a pressurized system up and running. I also read that I should reduce my lighting so I cut in half, now just T5 2x54W, 8 hours a day.

    As for the inhabitants in the tank, I only have 2 guppies, and recently introduced 3 red shrimps, 2 amano’s and an oto to help control the algae problem. I want to keep the bioload fairly small while I try and deal with this algae problem so I thought I’d start with those.

    Anyway, I’m having major issues with a brown algae (I think) that appears to be growing on my plants. Well, I have a bunch of other algae (mainly hair algae), but those are not as ugly as the brown algae. I’m beginning to worry that the brown algae is negatively affect my plants. Some people here recommended taking the plant outs and cleaning it. I just can’t imagine doing that for the whole tank! Is there any other alternative to cleaning each and every plant or using chemicals? A few people here suggested that it’s due to the fact that the tank is not yet established. Is that the case? Does the algae go away on its own? I must admit that my tank is not as planted as I would like it to be, but due to budget constraints, I have to wait a bit. Also, this past weekend I tested my water and all seems good, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites/nitrates. I also started EI dosing this weekend as well.

    Hope anyone can suggest solutions to this. Thanks so much!
     
  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you do not want 0 nitrates in a planted tank especially one enriched with pressurized CO2.

    Your tank is more than likely still cycling and stabilizing. Try to increase CO2 and give things time. Continue EI dosing. Improvements are not instant and usually take a week or more to notice.

    5 shrimp and 1 oto will not be of much help in that large of a tank. I would suggest 5 ottos and 20 amanos, if not more. You have lots of room! Give the tank more time before adding more, IMO.

    I'm pretty sure Tom Barr gave you an open invitation to the next SFBAA meeting in your water change thread. I would HIGHLY recommend checking it out since you are in the area and there are a lot of knowledgeable people to learn from in person. I am jealous of that opportunity.
     
  3. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Brown algae will go away on it's own, but to expedite the process you can increase water flow and do frequent (small) water changes.

    EI generally requires a good load of plants in an aquarium. Otherwise you are just putting excess nutrients in the tank. So you may want to cut back on the dosing, (but still continue it), until you get more plants or until the tank gets established.

    -John N.
     
  4. niko

    niko New Member

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    Yes you do not want zero nitrates in your tank but that does not mean that if your (cheap) store bought test shows zero you do not have any. Keep that in mind and do not go down the road of overfertilizing.

    Also notice that you don't say anything about your filter. I personally believe that a filter takes care of a lot of issues behind the scenes. So you never even suspect something happened. Find out what ADA does to their filters to get an idea if it makes sense to you and if you want to do something like that.

    In any case - don't just consider CO2/Light/Fertilizers.

    --Nikolay
     
  5. sidel80

    sidel80 New Member

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    Thanks so much for the suggestions. Lately I've been seeing how much light really does affect the amount of algae. I've up the lighting a bit, to 3x54w (2-6700's; 1-10000) since now I have CO2. Is that too much?

    Oh and as for filter, I only have an Eheim 2217. Not sure if that's sufficient, but it was slated for larger tanks so I thought it was fine. I also have just a regular bubble/airstone wand on the other side of the tank to keep the flow going to aerate at nights.

    And yes, I think my tank is (was) cycling? I don't know if it still is.

    Yes, my test kit is not the best.

    So far I've lost only ones shrimp and I think that was due more to transport (died the day I got it). But I still and I'm sure for a long while, still struggle with algae. :(
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    what type of CO2 do you have? The filter should be adequate, but it will not produce the flow you need for the tank. You should supplement with a pump or two, like a koralia.

    3x54w T5HO's is too much light on that tank. You should do just fine with only 2 of those bulbs. You will continue to struggle with algae if you don't back off the light. To give you a comparison, I use 2x24w T5's on my 37 gallon supplemented with a little bit of LED light. This is plenty and everything grows fine.

    I like to use an airstone at night, others don't. It isn't necessary but it also doesn't hurt.

    Going to 2x54 watts and increasing your flow should help. You will hear the Watt Per Gallon rule, but that was developed with older bulbs in mind. These newer T5's put out more PAR and so the WPG rule gets fuzzy. It can be a good guidance, but you really don't need more that 2WPG of t5 light. I have seen tanks grow HC and other "high light" plants with less than 2 WPG of t5. For LED's its even less, 1 wpg can suffice.

    Another option is to raise the light up above the tank to improve the spread and allow some of the light to dissipate before entering the tank.
     
  7. Flo

    Flo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    hi,

    you could try JBL SilicatEx, it s filter granulate to reliably remove silicate from fresh and saltwater. it thereby eliminating the basic nutrients of undesirable diatom algae (brown coating), which often occurs when freshwater is added. dont know your filter, should have a container for filter material. i use it allways if i start a new tank. it works pretty well.
     
  8. cbessler

    cbessler New Member

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    Hey ShadowMac, I have a couple of questions for you on here but don't want to hijack this thread, theyre similar though. Is there a way to send emails on this site?
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you can use the PM function by selecting my name in the thread.
     

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