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Major Issues with Tank - Algae Take over

Discussion in 'Algae' started by craig20102010, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Craig

    Looks like you are finally on the right track to working out your concerns now.

    Shadow is spot on here.

    Many try to fix a concern and forget about what caused it in the first place and in many cases it is often multiple causes

    Keith:):)
     

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  2. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Still having issues but i was due to start the black out today. Still trying to get my Co2 stable though its a pain in the bum.

    Iv opted for the willow tree idea. Sticking willow branches in the tank and once they grow routes they are meant to absorb the excess nutrients faster then any algae. This is a last resort now. After this i will cut my lighting down to one 24w PL lamp and hope this is sufficient to grow my Rotala wallichii.
     
  3. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    right iv given up with the green water.

    i cant get rid of it..

    Iv reduced the lighting to one single 24w PL lamp now.

    What is the best colour to put in it? the tropical Aqua bulbs or the Sunlight for the plants?

    cheers Craig
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Craig

    You cannot give up if you do it will never fix its self

    What I would like you to do is think of this as a fresh start.

    Tell us every thing about your tank plus every detail of what you are doing including photos.

    Dont forget all the water parameters its a must

    The concern is there its just a matter of locating it.

    Keith:):)
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    If the blackouts aren't working you could try using a UV filter temporarily. I have done this in the past. It is a "sure fire" way to rid yourself of green water.
     
    greenfinger 2 and keithgh like this.
  6. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    ok thanks Keithgh,

    All these were taken 1 hour before lights out so just as the Co2 turned off. Co2 turns on 1 hour before the lights and off 1 hour before lights go out.

    48 litre tank
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 5-10 mg/l
    KH: 16
    GH: 21
    PH: 7.0 - 7.2
    PO4: 2-5 mg/l
    Temperature: 26c

    Fish:
    10x neon tetra, 1x female guppy, 1x Ram, 3x flying fox

    This is the first time after changing the lights to one single 24w bulb iv had a Po4 reading. Normally it would be around 0 to 0.2mg/l

    I have a light green drop checker although on the photos it looks dark green. Im running two filters at the minute one running at 200L/H and one running at 380L/H (internal).

    I have now reduced the lights to one single 24w PL lamp running the Sunlight lamp at the minute. It used to be two 24w PL lamps.

    Every single time i had the lights on longer then 4 hours i noticed the green water increased very fast. I had done two blackouts each time the green water reduced. I done one for 2 days and one for 3 days and every time i put the lights back on for 4 hours the green water came rushing back.

    Im pretty sure iv got the Co2 to be stable now. 1.5 bubbles per second. Dosing with EI ferts. Micro 3x and Macro 3x

    Macro was last dosed this morning after a 20% water change and will be dosed again every other day same as Micro (first day Monday)

    Rest day on saturday (no dosing)

    The damage:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Drop checker:
    With flash
    [​IMG]

    Without Flash
    [​IMG]

    Cheers in advanced
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    That is some stubborn green water. If we use the kh pH chart to find CO2 levels you are between 27 mg/l and 18 mg/l. 27 is good but near the bottom. 18 is not enough. You should again try to increase CO2.

    The drop checker in my 30c is yellow and I've found they give a false high reading with atomizers/ceramic diffusers. I could have already mentioned this...Are you using a 4 dkh solution in the drop checker? What test are you using to measure your kH. That is really high. Since it is a small tank, you could reduce the kH by cutting half tap half RO water. Your local grocery store should sell small jugs of RO water for drinking. It shouldn't be too costly for this option.

    I think a small UV filter is your best bet to rid yourself of this stuff. Small ones usually aren't too expensive. Connected to a small pump and hook it up. You want maximum dwell time in the UV, so you don't want a strong pump running on it. This is what I would do.

    Hopefully the single bulb will help too. The plants are probably struggling and need to settle in before trying the second bulb.
     
  8. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    o right i thought using the KH PH chart my Co2 is closer to 28mg/l and 44mg/l going off whats on the previous page?

    I am indeed using 4dKH water in the drop checker.

    Im using API liquid test kits to test all the water parameters. I dont think any of the shops sell RO water, the LFS do though.

    The external pump i have at the minute is the one with out the U.V filter option, They do make the same filter with a U.V light but i dont really want to spend any more money on that. Surely i can get this under control now without having to buy a second filter with a U.V lamp?

    I thought all these issues were down to too much light intensity?

    I cant really go back to a second bulb now unless i was to rewire the whole thing back in again. Iv literally ripped the old lighting system out and rewired in a smaller one. It looks alot tidier with a single PL light. The best thing i could do now to increase it again is buy a second ballast to wire in a second 24w PL or 2 x 18w PL lamps. If everything grows fine under the single 24watt PL i will stick with that.
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the one bulb is best considering all the challenges you've had.

    Our differences are rounding up or down. I went down considering the challenges. Green water shows up because of too much light for too long, you are right. People commonly culture it to grow various small critters which feed on it in order to feed them to their fish. They culture it by throwing a ton of light at the tank water.

    I suggested the UV because the blackouts aren't working. I've gotten green water a time or two and used UV to clear it up.

    Something like this would work: http://www.marinedepot.com/JBJ_Nano...rilizers-JBJ_Lighting-JB4171-FIUVUUOS-vi.html
    You would only have to run it until you've cleared it up. Maybe borrow one from a hobbyist friend if you have any that have equipment?

    You could try daily water changes for a week or so. If things are progressing in a positive direction you may be able to remove most of the free floating algae without it blooming to green water again.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. Eventually you will get it down. Experience is invaluable and only one way to get it.
     
  10. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    you are certainly been very helpful on the forum so im more then happy with that advise..

    I might try a blackout now with the single 24watt bulb and see if i can rid it this time once and for all. Since i wont have the intense light again going back in it shouldn't be able to take hold again after the black out.

    I will consider one of them U.V lights or some form of U.V bulb setup. Ill give it another week as i only fitted the single bulb yetsterday.

    cheers again
     
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  11. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    This might be of note, in my 30c tank that has high lighting I placed a drop checker out of curiosity. It has been neon yellow all day. This shows that a green drop checker is not quite always right as far as the level you may need. I use a drop checker to get in the ballpark for CO2 at start up (by now I know the rates my tanks need). I end up paying little attention to them later. My 90p also has a yellow drop checker and that has fully dissolved CO2 from a reactor.
     
  12. chiangstar

    chiangstar Aspiring Aquascaper

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    With my little experience, I have also found using a drop checker and counting 'bubbles per second' as unreliable ways of determining whether you are on the money with CO2. As Shawn noted, the drop checker has been useful in getting you 'in the ball park', but if your drop checker solution is not the right dkH, then it will mislead you. I originally tried to set my CO2 using bubbles per second based on other peoples experiences, however I found that other peoples experience had nothing to do with my individual tank and set up so even though I was pumping CO2 at a certain bps rate, my CO2 injection still was not sufficient. I have found a more reliable method is simply increasing your CO2 supply until your fish/inverts complain and then backing off a bit. I'm not sure whether this is good advice though. Maybe someone else can comment.

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  13. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    thanks,

    I had two Co2 systems running today, one ladder and one atomizer.

    I increased the atomizer so that it was producing just under 2bps this is the most its ever been but after it had been running for around 3 hours on the morning the drop checker was a neon yellow colour but one of the fish (RAM) was a bit distressed by all the co2 and was at the top of the tank breathing in the extra oxygen.

    With this i took a PH reading and it came back with 6.4. This shows a massive drop in PH compared to my other PH check in the previous few posts.

    I stopped the ladder at lunch time (this is the one i wish to remove anyway) and was just running from the atomizer. When i got back in from work at 5:00 the drop checker was still a healthy Yellow colour but the fish didnt look distressed.

    Tomorrow i will be leaving the ladder off and checking the PH again at dinner time and seeing where im at and also to see if the same fish is still distressed. Hopefully i will be around the correct level tomorrow and still with a Yellow drop checker.

    No luck as of yet though with the green water. Its still present. It does how ever clear up nicely after a 30% water change which makes a change.

    Cheers
     
  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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  15. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    yeh iv read that a few times. It seems like this green water is here to stay unless i can buy a U.V steriliser or a Diatom filter, which i have no idea what that looks like.

    I tried the willow tree idea and it didn't appear to work. I think i cut all the leaves off it so it didnt have anything to use to grow with. Maybe worth trying that again.

    Certainly getting the Co2 correct will help but may no clear it. I can honestly say iv never ever had this problem before in a tank but iv never really had a planted tank with high lights and Co2 injection.

    The best U.V steriliser that i could get would be one can just stick straight into the tank its self rather then into the flow of water as my pump isnt very big and might not be able to cope with excess room.
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you would just have to run it until it is cleared up, then could remove it.

    I didn't have half the challenges in an aquarium before I dove into plants, either.
     
  17. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    any recommendation into a decent cheap U.V steriliser?

    i cant help but feel its a bit of a waste of money but i guess if it solves it, it will be worth it.

    could a U.V light not just be directed at the tank? wouldnt this do the same job?
     
  18. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Craig, Have a look At LFS Pond bits and bobs they use Uv a lot to control green water :) Or some sort Straw In the filter?? Will have to look that up :whistle:(y) One last thing Never Never Directed UV light Into your tank:eek::eek: Or look at light:cry: Its really bad :(:( Others will know more
     
  19. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    All pond solutions are usually cheap and cheerful.

    I have to say that is a very very stubborn outbreak perhaps not helped by measuring, test kits are usually extremely inaccurate but can be a useful rule of thumb, I see Shadowmac has pointed you to james algae guide, this is something of a bible for a lot of scapers when it comes to algaes as it takes in all the best practices known.

    My suspicions are insufficient W/C slash cleaning and instability of dosing and co2 coupled to an extremely high level of light over a very small tank, perhaps nearly overstocked. Try bulking up the biomass in the tank with something extremely quick growing, hygro polysperma or similar and follow James Guide.

    I have to say though, you're a better man than I, I'd have stripped the tank and started again.
     
  20. craig20102010

    craig20102010 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I am very tempted to start again also. Im really struggling to keep my cool with it.

    So far iv been doing 20-30% water change per day since fitting the single 24w bulb. The twin 24w bulbs i think was over kill for an inexperienced aqua scaper lol.

    its pretty much impossible to clean the substrate with out it hoovering it up as well as its so light.

    Im still doing the regime dosing set by the EI dosing kit that i got, which i started again on Monday after doing loads of water changes.

    Co2 is now nearly stable. Iv got it up to the neon yellow colour that i need but its still too powerful and needs turning back a bit as one of the fish is very unhappy with the low PH drop.

    I think i have some fast growing stem plants in there as im constantly cutting them down. I just cant seem to ident them at the minute. Growth has dropped off a fair amount though after all the black outs and the reduction in light. Hopefully it will start to pick back up again after this week. :(

    Here you can see two that i have. This photo was taken when i first set it up. Both them plants that are in there now have duplicated like crazy.

    [​IMG]

    Is this Hygrophila polysperma?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

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