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I feel like giving up...

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Laurystevens, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    I have algae issues... I'm starting to give up hope for planted tanks + me. I just don't know enouhg about them to fix the issue. I have it growing semi-quickly everywhere and it's stressing me out :( I'm trying all these dosing things, plants are LOVING it, but I fear the algae might be too...don't know what else to do? Maybe just cut out all dosing and over dose for a few days on Excel? I need guidence!

    Algae growing is:
    *Common fluffy algae that appears 3-4mm in stranded (not hair algae)
    *Spot algae (also some that looks almost black (only on rocks)
    *Some toughty brown/black algae on wood (never got rid of but isn;t spreading)
    *purple/black smear algae near the top of tank (not bacteria)

    I have x3 grobeams (aquarays) + x2 54w sylviana plant tubes (T5) for 8 hours a day
     

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    sorry to hear about your struggles laurystevens.

    don't give up!

    It can be frustrating. I still struggle with algae in higher light tanks. I'm actually going to rewire my lighting to a new ballast that won't overdrive the bulbs to help with this problem.

    How large is your tank? It sounds like a lot of light. What type of CO2 are you running? without CO2 I can guarantee you have way too much light.

    To avoid frustration, slow things down by lowering the light. Increase Co2. Improve flow, all plants should be gently moving in the current. You can add a pump to get good circulation of water. My tank is 37 gallons and I am running an eheim 2217 on it. This filter is rated on the box for tanks up to 160 gallons. Still doesn't give the 10x turnover people recommend, so I have a small nano pump to circulate water through denser planted areas.

    What is your dosing routine? If you are dosing ample ferts it shouldn't be the cause of algae. Algae is not limited by nutrients. It can survive at smaller concentrations than plants.

    What plants are you growing?

    I would suggest reducing your light by dropping the 3 grobeams. Then remove as much algae as you can manually. Pick it, pull it, use a toothbrush for the filamentous algae, a good magnetic glass scraper for the glass (watch the silicone seams with this). Then after doing that do a large water change. When the water is down, try to pick out more algae if you can. Sometimes I will take a paper towel to the silicone seams to wipe them clean if there is algae there.

    DON'T GIVE UP! this is the process of getting to one of those great looking tanks that brought you here.

    We will tackle our algae problems together. I am reducing my light and doing a big clean up of algae. I have it all right now, too. Co2 got funny on me when my water level dropped. So poor CO2 induced my algae bloom. Improved Co2, improved flow, and reduced lighting as well as aggressive removal will knock it out. It will take a few weeks to notice the improvements.

    You can consider a 3 day blackout after the big water change and algae removal. This is a war you can win.
     
  3. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Excellent post ShadowMac. I echo all the advice above. Hang in there. You're stronger than algae. ;)

    Do you have a picture of this so called "tank from hell" (my interpretation).

    Try this (in order):

    - Scrape out the algae (black, and green spot algae) and do a large water change (80%).
    - It sounds like the driftwood is rotting slightly, and with it there Is the typical slime/mucky growth-decay on it. This is normal. You can leave it as it or take it out and scrub it.
    - Double dose the daily recommendation for Seachem Excel directly on the string algae. This should kill it within a three or for days.
    - Reduce fertilizing dosing
    - Reduce the Lighting

    Alternatively, you can do the 3-day blackout to "reset" (sort of) the tank. Do the first and second step, and then cover your tank with a black trashbag. No lights on for 3-days . Then do a large water change. Reduce the lighting and fertilizer dosing.

    -John N.
     
  4. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    My tank is a 5ft tank which holds (up to) 400 litres. I dose Excel as I personally can not put up with a canister in the house (I just feel uncomfortable with one sitting in my home). The dosage is as Seachem suggest (50ml after water change and 10 ml every day after that).

    I have a power head but it was too fearce so I removed it, I may try find one today on my lunch break as we have a Dobbies near my work so that should have a smallish power head.

    Routine dosing is the Seachem chart (after giving up with this algae I decided to go by their books to see if it got worse or better) So I dose all of their Flourish products. Except for Iron as I ran out of that today.

    Plants are things like Crypt Wendetii, Echinodorus, Hornwort, Wisteria (I think), giant ambulia, small ambulia, ludwigia repens and Rotala Indica just to name a few.

    Thank you hugely, It's such a pain that I could really do without. I just want a stunning aquarium without so much cleaning! It's got to the stage where I actually pay my partner to do it for me! Thanks again, any more advice then please do help!
     
  5. Petr

    Petr New Member

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    Don´t give up! I had problems like you. Lots of algae (probably all kinds of it) and the maintenance of my tank was very time consuming. I started to be frustrating. Thanks to this forum and the great people here I managed to solve these problems. I´m not an expert but what I´ve learnt is:

    1. you need good filtration to ensure optimal flow (canister filter)
    2. start with less light intensity and gradually incease it
    2. you need to have enough CO2 and mainly stable amount of it. I would recommed Up Atomizer. I use the inline version and it´s very effective. Use drop checker to measure it. After 3-4 hours of running CO2 it should be lime green. I turn it on one hour before turning on lights.
    3. than it´s about nutrients. you need to stop thinking about "bad nutrients". Nutrients don´t cause algae. When the plants have what they need the algae has no chance. I use Tom Barr´s EI to ensure non limiting nutrients, it´s very cheap and it really works.

    I also use air stone after turning off the lights to provide enough O2. It also helps to prevent from surface scum.
     
  6. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is a photo from about a month ago. I had scrubbed the tank down the day before so everything appears clear and clean but you get an idea by looking at the rock, the smaller rock next to it I had turned upside down to reveal a clean side, but it was covered in green spot algae.

    I can do a big clean tomorrow (or get my partner too do it :eyeroll:). I've taken the GroBeams out today already which has left only the x2 T5 sylvania plant tubes at 54w each (no reflectors might I also add). What should I reduce my fertz to? I'll have to look at Tom Barr's fertz as they sound like I could do with that instead! Thanks :)

    Please keep the answers to my nightmare coming. I so don't want to fail my tank anymore.
     
  7. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    I would reduce the light to just 4 hours a day. Do it for two weeks and you will soon see the diference, then every week increase one hour.

    I have my tank with just 6 hours a day light.
     
  8. Petr

    Petr New Member

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    Do you use CO2 addition? If not, I would reduce the light. Probably too much of it and lack of CO2.
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Just an FYI, a CO2 cylinder is perfectly safe. CO2 is not a flammable gas, they will not explode.

    Pressurized will cost you less in the long run compared to excel dosing.
     
  10. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    I understand, but it's the cost of buying it all and then maintaining it. Having to turn it on/off at certain times of the day as you can't put an auto timer on it (I'm assuming anyway). So Excel just seems simpler and easier for me really. I buy the big bottles of it so it doesn't end up costing too much. Unless I need to, I personally want to try stay away from pressurized canisters. I looked into it and it was all adding up to well over £100 so I decided that Excel was easier and less stressful for me to deal with.
     
  11. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree, the cost of a Pressurized CO2 setup is an investment. It's around $175-200 for the Regulator, CO2 tank, and diffuser.

    In the end I'm a big fan of pressurized CO2, especially if the tank is larger the 30 gallons. It's easier, saves time, and it really is a set it and forget it situation. Once every 6-8 months I have to refill the CO2 cylinder, but the rest of the time, it runs without any maintenance.

    Many CO2 Regulators come as "all-in-one" with something called a Solenoid. The solenoid is a electronic magnet that opens and closes the flow of CO2 from the CO2 cylinder and regulator. Thus, by placing the the regulator/solenoid on a standard timer, you can program the CO2 to turn on during the day and off at night.

    In the long run, the cost of dosing excel in a large aquarium over time will run you the same about as a pressurized setup. When I first started the hobby, I thought I could get away with using only Excel. But buying the 2 liter jugs every two months at $30 a pop pushed me into the pressurized side of planted aquariums.

    One of the best decisions I have every made in my hobby exploration. ;)

    -John N.
     
  12. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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  13. Steven Chong

    Steven Chong Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Yeah, pressurized CO2 set to turn on/turn off with the light is the way to go.

    I've never tried reducing my light to 4 hours a day Luis-- what algae types does that help with? I'm getting some BB right now :S

    I only have 2x 36 watt over a 25.4 gallon tank. oh wait... wow, that's actually quite a bit, I thought I had lower light for some reason... maybe I should RAISE the pendant...
     
  14. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    I also have no idea what I would/should be going for with presurized Co2. If some one said to me:

    you need this exact one, it costs "x" amount and this will attach to it, it costs "y" amount, in total you'll only need to spend "a" amount.

    Then I'd probably start saving up for one, as the thing with Excel that I do not like is that is causes a broken film at the top of the tank at times and you do have to add it every day. (it also makes my tank a little cloudy at times too)

    I buy off of eBay (UK) If someone has the time to search out what I need (On a budget but also that will work as needed) then I may start saving up for one. You'll have to convince me it's the best thing though lads ;)

    My aquarium is approx 400 litres / 90 UK Gallons / 105 US Gallons

    Thank you. You are all stars for helping me out!
     
  15. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    I can't sort the tank out this weekend as planned so I've just done a 30% water change, vac'd some of the gravel, squirted some excel onto one of the rocks to start killing the algae, scrubbed the worst of the algae off the back wall and pulled out a few dying plants (which has only happened since dosing more of the Seachem products)

    I've got some HR carbon next to the filter outlet too, to help draw out most of the nutrients and organics until I do the major change. Hope this is enough for now (fingers crossed until next weekend)
     
  16. Rhay80

    Rhay80 New Member

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    Hi you can buy a TMC v2 regulator with solenoid (for night time switch off) from h2o aquatics for £67 (there are a few cheaper on eBay just search for co2 regulator) you will also need a non return valves or check valves, a diffuser, a drop checker. Preferably some 4dkh with bromide blue for the drop checker, co2 air line and of course a co2 cylinder all of which you can purchase on eBay. I would budget for around £150-200 for all you need.

    I personally gave three tanks all of which have injected pressurised co2 systems.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Thanks that does help a little bit but :O at the £200 part, plus buying re-fills for my large tank...ooh dear, perhaps Excel will have to do for me. :/
     
  18. Rhay80

    Rhay80 New Member

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    A 2kg cylinder with the solenoid regulator will most likely last you at-least a year. Plus you can get a refill quite cheap from your local fire extinguisher shop. It's only the initial setup cost after that it's cheaper. And in the long run cheaper than liquid dosing
     
  19. Wwh2694

    Wwh2694 New Member

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    Dont give up. I had the same problem when i setup my 120h tank. Got green water, gda and gsa. What i did i lowered my lighting got me UV and change my dosing from pps pro to EI. The problem was my plants was not getting enough food to compete with algae. After about 4-5 weeks my water is clear took my uv out and only min algae in the tank and my plants BOOM!!! Now it needs treaming alot who needs plants? Lol just hang in there ur tank will find its equilibrium and u will be treaming and trowing alot of plants.
     
  20. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    I turned my LED's off like ShadowMac suggested and now my tank is quite dark and some of my plants are stretching for the surface...should I change one of the plant bulbs to a normal day-light bulb? should I buy some reflectors? Or should I do both?

    Or should I just turn my LED's back on? 108watts of lighting doesnt sound like enough lighting for a 90 gallon (UK) aquarium. I think I need my LED's back on? But perhaps still give my tank a major clean out. Start dosing Excel regularly to maintain good Co2 levels. Probably still get some reflectors for my light tubes anyway?
     

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