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Newbie starting first tank and seeking advice

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by BuckDitkus, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Buck

    This should help you to identify and remove the Algae, Let us know how the treatment goes.
    http://www.aquaticscape.com/articles/algae.htm

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    it looks like there may be two things going on there. One picture looks a bit fuzzy or hairy like a beard algae, the other photo it looks like a slimy film.

    So the fuzzy hair algae may be staghorn or BBA, since you do not inject CO2 light is your only point of control. You could reduce your light, how long is it on? Could also increase the height from the surface. Another option would be to start dosing Seachem Excel daily. This will provide a carbon source and it inhibits/kills this type of algae.

    The slimy stuff is most likely BGA, blue green algae, a cyanobacteria that is very stubborn. I would cut the whole leaf off and try to remove it wherever you see it. You can spot treat with Hydrogen peroxide if its in the substrate. If that doesn't work after a couple weeks you can use the "nuclear option", which is API erythromycin. Dose it as directed and then dose a biostarter like Seachem stability for a week afterwards.
     
  3. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    Right now my lights are on 7 hours a day. I have two Fluval Eco nanos and by design they attach to the side of the aquarium. This means I cannot raise them.

    I dose Seachem Excel daily and have since the tank started. I use the amount directed on the bottle. I also dose Flourish twice weekly.

    The management solutions are what I've read elsewhere (except the nuclear option) and to be honest they seem tough for me to manage and don't strike me as likely to be effective. But maybe I'm just being negative. I'm tempted to try drawing back the light to 5 hours a day or maybe just trying a different light altogether. Maybe something dimmable that would give me more control than just changing the hours they are on each day.

    Have you guys had experience erradicating algae like this using the methods suggested? My gut makes me want to chase the balance point in the tank where there is little to no algae because light, ferts, plant growth limit it to be that way. But not running CO2 might make that impossible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Are parts of the algae fuzzy or is it all slimey?
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Did this show up after adding the second light? You may have crossed into a light level where CO2 would be advised. Places where the LEDs light overlaps would have more light
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, these solutions work provided we have correctly identified your algae. For non-CO2 tanks, light is the point of control for most algae. I would not drop photoperiod to less than 6 hours, you do not want to start to compromise the health of the plants.

    You had healthy growth before, then added the second light, now have algae. I suspect you have more light than the tank can take without CO2. But if this is BGA, there could be other issues that need resolving. We need to identify the algae correctly first. BGA is slimy and has a distinct earthy smell.

    Tanks with no algae are a myth. Little algae...yes that is possible.
     
  7. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    I don't really recall if this showed up after the 2nd light was added. I think that it may have. Now I feel like I should have been paying closer attention to the impacts of the second light as this possibility should have been obvious.

    I don't understand what you mean by LEDs overlapping producing more light. I'm not sure what you're trying to say with that point.

    Fuzzy vs. Slimey I will take a look at later when possible and update.
     
  8. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    Here is another image. After cleaning it off leaves two days ago there are very long black hairs swaying from leaves. In some places it actually forms like a spider web mass of algae. Not sure if this qualifies as fuzzy or slimey.

    Let me know if there is something else I can do to help ID this stuff.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay that helps. It is a type of black brush algae. It would probably feel coarse or rough, not slimy. This is most certainly from the increased light. What I mean is the overlap of the light spread. As I recall, you had nice growth under the one light, but the stems that were not directly under it were not getting enough light. The light had poor spread, it might have been better to center it by mounting it in the back and not the side. Now that you have two there are parts where the light from one overlaps with the light from the other, this region will have double the light which I would bet is where this algae is showing up...not on the edges where there is no overlap.

    We can try one of two things. First, I would cut back all effected leaves. Cut the stem right at the substrate. Remove as much of the algae as you can, do a big water change >50%. After that do a double water change dose of excel, the do a double standard dose for the next week. It should kill the brush algae. The other thing you could do is to remove the second light and rescape so that your plants are centered under the single light. Make a scape with an island design planting under the light. Leave the portions where there is little to no light bare or use anubias in those locations.
     
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    also consider putting some root tabs under your plants in the substrate.
     
  11. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    I have been doing root tabs since the start of the tank. I should be at about three months since the tank started so it is time to put in more.

    I'll try your first suggestion and try to attack it. Could you please clarify this part as I don't exactly follow what directions you're giving.

     
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  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    After you remove as much of the algae as you can manually, ie clipping effected leaves, brushing and siphoning from hardscape and general tank cleaning change the water. Then upon adding the new water do a double water change dose from the back instructions. It will give a dosage for after water changes, double that and dose it. Then do a double the standard dose for the next 5-7 days. I hope that makes it more clear.

    Lets just say this the instructions " For every 10 gallons dose one cap (10 ml) after a water change. Then dose 1/2 cap (5 ml) for every 10 gallons daily."

    You would then dose two caps after the water change, then one cap for the next 5-7 days, perform another water change and resume standard dosing per instructions.
     
  13. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I appreciate it. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    Shawn has certainly given you some excellent help considering you had more than one concern.

    Re Fert tabs I only ever used Seachem fert tabs once every 3 months, to remember when I added the tabs the first week of the seasonal change.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  15. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    So from looking back through this thread it looks like I ordered the 2nd light right as the brown algae was beginning to appear. So yes, the 2nd light almost certainly contributed to the BBA explosion.

    I plan on starting the removal of leaves with algae, water change and 2x Excel dosing in the next couple days. I thought I would share a picture before I do. In every one of them you can see lots of bubbles on the leaves which, again, is where the BBA will be coming on strong in the next couple days. The Cryptocoryne are just absolutely covered in this stuff. I'll probably cut the Crypt's back really, really hard. The bacopa are the next most affected and the BBA seems to like growing on it a lot. With the addition of the second light they seem to be growing at least "OK" and I've been pleased to them producing some side shoots that are coming out of the substrate level of each of the stems. I'm really rooting for the bacopa while being tempted to just replace it with more rotala to add more biomass. I'll probably trim down the bacopa pretty close to substrate level as it can be seen in the pictures that, like the Crypts, they are very affected by bubbles and soon-to-come BBA once again. The rotala is the least affected with most of the BBA being restricted to the very top portions. I trimmed the rotala back pretty hard several weeks ago and will probably just trim back the tops with BBA present.
     

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  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Buck

    Is there any special reason the water level is so low? Crypts are a very tough plant as soon as you trim them I would suggest you add the fert tabs to kick start the new growth.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  17. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    No, there is no reason. It is due for a water change and the level right now is due to evaporation over the last week.

    I plan to add more fert tabs with the upcoming trimming and cleaning.
     
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Buck

    If you are loosing a lot of water through evaporation just top it up at feeding time every day.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  19. BuckDitkus

    BuckDitkus New Member

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    That's a good suggestion. Thanks, Keith.

    Here's a picture after trimming everything hard and focusing on any leaves with BBA present (there is a before trim picture just a few posts up from here). Did the big water change and double dose of Excel two days ago and have been doing double dose a normal daily doses since. There's still some algae persisting but I'm trying to remove it from where ever it is present at least once a day. Typically though what algae is removed from whatever surface it is on usually just flows around the tank in the current until probably coming to rest somewhere else. I may start removing the sponge filter cover for a period of time after cleaning to try to suck up as much of it as possible.

    I'll keep it up for a week and see where it ends up. Any suggestions are welcome.
     

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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Buck

    Turn off the water movement while you are removing any of the Algae and lift it out with a net also syphon it out when you do the water change.

    Can you get a full water parameters done and post all the results please.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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