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Algae type?

Discussion in 'Algae Removal' started by ambush0908, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. ambush0908

    ambush0908 New Member

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    Hello all. I am trying to figure out what type of algae I have my tank. It is a 75 gal tank about a month old with live plants. I attached a picture. It is dark green to black and seems smooth. Water parameters are good and I have been doing partial water changes every 3 days. I have Aquaneat LED Lights that came with tank. I am not overly concerned and I just want to make sure it can't harm fish or plants. There are 11 bloodfin tetras, 5 emerald corys and some ghost shrimp. Also some bladder snails that hit hiked in.

     

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  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Normal algae will not harm fish directly (I'll come back to this), but if it increases on plant leaves it will suffocate the leaves and the plant will likely die. When I say "directly" harm fish, I mean the algae itself; increasing algae is sometimes a sign of increasing organics or nutrients, and that may mean trouble.

    The algae on the plants in the second photo is brush or black beard algae. I can't see the rocks as clearly, but it is likely the same. It can appear as tufts of fur in appearance, or as more of a short fuzz. It is a red algae scientifically, but in the aquarium may appear dark green, brown, or black. It is caused when there is an imbalance in the light/nutrients. Higher plants need a minimum light intensity to drive photosynthesis (the spectrum or colour of this light is also important, depending) and sufficient nutrients. Algae is much less fussy, and can take advantage of any imbalance.

    We will need to know more data to arrive at solutions. All data you can provide on the light, the GH of the water, and any plant additives. Also, a photo of the entire tank would help us determine the plant species and numbers. Different plants have different needs when it comes to light and nutrients.

    Byron.
     
  3. ambush0908

    ambush0908 New Member

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    Thanks, I will send pic and info after work.
     
  4. ambush0908

    ambush0908 New Member

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    Ok. Done work. Here are some stats. Hardness is 75, alkalinity is 120, nitrate, nitrite and chlorine are 0, PH 7.5.

    75 Gal with 2" of sand.
    I use Flourish additive
    Plants which I will send pics of. Not sure what they are tbh.
    11 Bloodfin Tetras
    6 Emerald Corys
    2 Mystery Snails
    Bladder snails that must have hitchhiker in
    15 ghost shrimp
    2 fluval hob 50 filters
    1 aquean quietflow 75 hob filter
    aquaneat LED. I don't know much about the lights. They came with tank. I will send a pic of what it says on lights though I don't know what it means.
     

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  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I am going to suggest this is probably a light issue. LED is something I have not myself had good luck with (tried 3-4 units, all went back) but other members may know more about this particular unit and be able to offer suggestions. IF the intensity is sufficient for the plants, then it would be a case of perhaps reducing the duration to arrive at the balance with nutrients. I've done this, and am down to 8 hours (7 for one tank) and brush algae was stopped in its tracks.

    However, nutrients also factor in. By Flourish do you mean the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium? Seachem make several products under the Flourish name, but this one is the complete/comprehensive nutrient supplement. However, too much of this and brush algae can explode, I've dealt with that.

    From the plants in the photos, I would suggest no more than one dose of Flourish Comp, on the day following the water change. At roughly the level recommended on the label. You can divide this in half and dose three days apart, sometimes that helps. Let me know if you are doing this level, or more, now. And how are the plants doing, since you acquired them, which I assume is a month?

    With more info on the light, as to its intensity and spectrum, I might be able to suggest more. LED light is often low in red, which is essential as it is the prime driver of photosynthesis. It looks bright enough in the photos, but that can be deceptive.

    The GH should be OK. It is soft water at 75 ppm (I am assuming this is in ppm, or the equivalent mg/l unit), which is roughly 4 dGH and will be sufficient for the "hard" minerals calcium and magnesium which are in Flourish Comp but minimally.

    Another suggestion is water changes I didn't ask about. These can help control algae by removing dissolved organics and nutrients if excess. I would do 50-60% weekly, at one go, then the Flourish Comp the following day as I mentioned.
     
  6. ambush0908

    ambush0908 New Member

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    I wish I could find out more about the lights. I have tried looking online but I can't confirm what I am looking at are my lights. I have had most of the plants for 3 weeks to a month. They seem to be doing fine. Some are growing quickly and some are slowly growing. None seem distressed. It is the flourish comprehensive supplement. I may be dosing a little more than what you are suggesting which could be a problem. I am very constistent with water changes. I do 40 to 50% once a week with 10-15% every other day or so. I was doing this because of how I cycled tank and because of how well all the fish and shrimp were doing. I didnt want to mess with success. You may be on to something with the light duration. I leave for work early and get home late so feeding times are far apart and I like to look at the tank at night. Lights can be on for 14 hours! I read some where that it is not good to turn lights on and off more than once a day. That is why I am doing it his way. I do have a timer so do you think it would be ok to turn light on in morning to feed? I could than turn light off and set timer to go on around noon until night. This would cut down lighting time by 5 or 6 hours. Or I could feed them in morning with no light or not at all. Any thoughts would be great!

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  7. StevenF

    StevenF Member

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  8. ambush0908

    ambush0908 New Member

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    Thanks for looking that up and the advice!
     
  9. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I agree with Steven that the duration is too long. I am accepting his opinion on the light, so will move on to the related questions in your post #6.

    First on feeding. This should preferably be during daylight, by which I mean the period during which the tank light is on. [I'll come back to the duration.] This allows you to observe the fish during feeding, which can be very important for spotting any issues before they become serious. Feeding is the only time when I see all of the fish in some of my tanks, thinking of the cories (some remain "hidden" during the day) and loaches as such. So knowing they will all be out and about, you can spend some time observing.

    It is also important to feed at approximately the same time each day, with reference to the "daylight" period. Fish will learn to "tell time," and I can enter my fish room at various times during the day, but only when I do so at roughly the time I feed them daily will they respond accordingly. There is also the circadian rhythm which I will come back to further on. Fish that are not nocturnal will feed during "daylight" so this should be when the tank light is on. Wait at least 30 minutes after the tank light comes on before feeding or doing anything in or near the tank; this is because it takes time for the fish's eyes to adjust or light or dark, and any activity that disturbs them during this adjustment will cause severe stress.

    As for the duration. In the tropics every day throughout the year is the same with respect to daylight and darkness, roughly half and half. Fish, like all animals, and indeed plants, need a period of complete darkness for several hours. This means no ambient room light or daylight from outside. The "daylight" of the tank lighting can be pretty much whenever you like, provided it is consistent and there is a period of several hours of total blackness. The reason is the circadian rhythm.

    The health of fish is closely connected to the intensity of the overhead light, various types of light, the duration of light, and sudden changes from dark to light or light to dark. The primary receptor of light is the eye, but other body cells are also sensitive to light. Most animals have an internal body clock, called a circadian rhythm, which is modified by the light/dark cycle every 24 hours. This is the explanation for jet-lag in humans when time zones are crossed—our circadian rhythm is unbalanced and has to reset itself, which it does according to periods of light and dark. Our eyes play a primary role in this, but many of our body cells have some reaction to light levels. In fish this light sensitivity in their cells is very high.

    The "daylight" period when the tank lights are on should be one continuous period, not sporadic, and it should be the same every 24 hours or it will impact the circadian rhythm causing more stress. This is why the so-called "siesta" approach to lighting in low tech planted tanks is bad. The plants can somewhat adjust to this, but fish do not, and it affects their metabolism.

    So in your situation, my suggestion would be to have the tank lighting come on sometime during the day and remain on until mid evening. This period should be primarily when you are home to enjoy the tank. Keep the "daylight" (again meaning the tank light) to around 8 hours max. The ambient room light or daylight is fine, provided there is a period of several hours of total darkness with no daylight or room light. As one example, the tank light could come on at 1 pm, and go off at 9 pm. You would feed them when you come home in the early evening. I followed this sort of schedule when I was working. The room light should go off no sooner than half an hour to an hour after the tank light goes off, to provide a period of less light before total dark. This corresponds to the dawn and dusk periods in nature.

    Byron.
     
  10. ambush0908

    ambush0908 New Member

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    That is great info and the answer I was looking for. My final question "for now" is this. In this situation I would be feeding once a day. I want to confirm that is what you are suggesting. Thanks again. I appreciate the time you are giving to me.
     
  11. Byron

    Byron Member

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    You're very welcome.

    For fish other than fry, once a day is sufficient. Many of us will skip one or even two days a week as well. Never feed prior to doing any work in the tank, like the water change. Fish that have eaten are more likely to be detrimentally affected by things.
     

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