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Algae on sand

Libbyd

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Hi I have a bit of an issue in my tank : there is no livestock in the tank as yet but it is cycled and Awaiting its first inhabitants when lockdown is a thing of the past. so I know that sometimes you get problems with algae at first when setting up a tank, but i thought that was normally brown stuff. I have some browny goopy stuff but also this weird green stuff on the tank glass and now on the sand. It’s easy to wipe off e the tank glass but impossible to get off sand. it makes the sand clump together and I you just have to pick up the little clump and remove.
im beginning to seriously regret the sand because it looks awful now and am considering changing over to gravel, I feel like now is a good time as there’s no fish in it!
anyway so my questions are, what is this weird algae and how do I get rid of it!! Or should I just change to gravel, the algae might still appear but it won’t be looking so bad.
here are some pics.
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the tank lights are on for about 7 hours per day on a timer :)
 

PheonixKingZ

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This is how my 10g tank looked when I first set it up. Try to remove the algae by hand, if you can. Don't add more sand on top of the algae, or it will decay and get all nasty.

What are your water parameters? What kind of live plants do you have in there now?
 
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Libbyd

Libbyd

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I can’t tell you the names of the plants apart from Vallis and moss balls Sorry but they are all easy ones. There’s not loads but I’ve ordered more. They are growing but very slowly and I am putting liquid seachem fertiliser in there every other day.
the water is very hard. About 15 degrees and ph of 8.5. Ammonia nil nitrite nil and nitrate of about 10ppm. Though i am adding 1ppm ammonia everyfew days to keep the bacteria alive.
some of the plants are not doing so great but some seem ok, I wondered if it’s because they don’t like the ammonia I’m putting in? The frogbit goes all yellow and the leaves keep dying.
its a nightmare trying to get the algae off the bottom, I wonder will it dissipate once the tank is mature and has stuff living in it? I’m planning on shrimp and a betta. Or maybe endlers And shrimp
Thanks
 
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Libbyd

Libbyd

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7 hours lights on I was wondering if I should reduce it by a couple hours but I don’t want to make it Harder for plants to grow
 

PheonixKingZ

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7 hours lights on I was wondering if I should reduce it by a couple hours but I don’t want to make it Harder for plants to grow
I keep mine on for 14 hours a day. I also have a lot of Anacharis. Take my 10g for example:
image.jpg

It has a lot of Anacharis in it. They suck up so much nutrition from the water, there is no room for algae to grow. (Sorry for the terrible picture)

Bettas can be compatible with shrimp but it depends on the type and temperament of the betta. :)
 

Guppy10

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Easy, get some snails, perhaps nerites. Iv got 2 tanks and every plant, rock ,log, sand gravel etc is pristine, in fact iv joked that I could not keep algae if I bought it ! I feed lots and don't limit lights, but that's up to you.
 

NCaquatics

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It looks a bit more like cyanobacteria rather than an algae. Increasing flow can help, but its actually a bacteria rather than a real algae.
 

Byron

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There is a lot going on here that needs sorting out.

First, can you let us know exactly what plant fertilizer(s) you are adding, and how much/often? Seachem make several different products, some are good but some are deadly.

Second, what is the light? Be as specific as you can with the type, wattage, spectrum, etc.

Third, a photo of the entire tank in opne photo would help identify the plant species/numbers in total. This is important because adding too little or adding too much fertilizer can both cause issues with algae.

Fourth, do not add artificial ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to all plants if it is overdosed, and if you are adding balanced plant fertilizer(s) this is certainly not needed. If/when the plants are growing, that is all that matters regarding the bacteria cycling aspect.

Algae is natural and normal, and in new tanks can be problematic because the biological system is not yet stable. But with live plants, we can work out the balance of light and nutrients so the plants benefit and algae is disadvantaged.

As for the substrate, white sand is not a good material because it is not only bright but it reflects light. This can really affect fish, that are expecting a darker substrate below them. If Endlers and shrimp are all you intend for this tank, then it is up to you whether you changee out the white sand for a darker sand or for a fine gravel (fine meaning the grain size, the smaller the better).

I agrtee there seems to be cyanobacteria as well as algae. We can get to the bottom of all this with the above data.
 
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Libbyd

Libbyd

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Well I’ve got one piece of that stuff in there so maybe I need some more. I expect I can get some off eBay. Snails will have to wait of course until the shops are back open.
 
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Libbyd

Libbyd

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Hey thanks for the reply.
so I was adding ammonia on the advice of someone else on here because there is nothing in the tank yet and i guess there needs to be some to keep the bacteria going? If not dr tims what should I do? I can’t buy any livestock right now :(
the plant fert is flourish advance and I’m dosing 2.5 ml every other day (the bottle said to do it every day). I’m hoping this is a good one rather than A deadly one!
I’m not sure of the lights apart from they are white and blue led. i bought the tank off amazon but there are no details of the lights apart from that.
I think the white sand is pretty rubbish.It shows up all the dirt so I’m going to get rid I think, especially now I know that.
as for the plants, I just ordered a mish mash of plants off eBay and plonked them in to see how they grew as a bit of an experiment and then will try and make it look pretty later !
thanks for the help all
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theres frogbit on the surface I forgot to say !
 

Byron

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OK, we can improve things a lot here with that information. Though I would still want to try and track down data on the light. Light is critical, especially with LED which tends to be high in the blue but low in the red wavelengths. Aquatic plants require red and blue light to drive photosynthesis, and red is the more important of these; adding green to the mix does improvee plant growth notwithstanding the fore-going. Blue light without sufficient red to balance will encourage algae, so I'd like to get as much as we can on the light. Is the unit one where you can turn off/disconnect the blue and have just the white? And can you give me a link to the Amazon page? I may be able to trace down the manufacturer and find something.

the plant fert is flourish advance and I’m dosing 2.5 ml every other day (the bottle said to do it every day). I’m hoping this is a good one rather than A deadly one!
Here I can help you. I have seen this "new" product in the Flourish line but have not used it as I didn't really see a beenefit, and I still think that. It is all very well for this product to "stimulate the growth of roots and leaves" and "enhance mineral absorption" but it does not provide nutrients...except for four, namely magnesim, calcium, potash and phosphate. Adding the first two is no problem, nor the third, but the fourth is an issue. Once you have fish in the tank, there will be more than sufficient phosphate from fish food to supply the needs of the plants.

I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. I will say without reservation this is one of the best products for supplementing plant nutrients because it contains all the required nutrients (except hydrogen, oxygen and carbon which occur naturally in the aquarium) and the nutrients are in proportion to each other according to botanical evidence of plants' requirements. The "hard" minerals (calcium and magnesium) are minimal, true, because most people have these in their source water. On this, what is the GH (general hardness) of your tap water? [The Flourish Advance has these two nutrients which is OK.]

I recommend you get a small bottle of the Flourish Comprehensive Supplement; you use very little, and a small bottle will last months. If you can't get to the store presently, check online sources. My pet stores aree still open so people can help their pets, and only last week I got another bottle of this as I was running low. Once the Flourish Advance is gone, I personally would not get more, the Comprehensive is what you need.

I think the white sand is pretty rubbish.It shows up all the dirt so I’m going to get rid I think, especially now I know that.
A good idea. Play Sand is ideal, I have this in all my tanks. Other members in the UK use play sand, so they will know more and can advise if you can get it now or have to wait. But it is ideal substrate.

so I was adding ammonia on the advice of someone else on here because there is nothing in the tank yet and i guess there needs to be some to keep the bacteria going? If not dr tims what should I do? I can’t buy any livestock right now
When you have live plants, you do not worry about the nitrifying bacteria. Plants need nitrogen, and aquatic species prefer it in the form of ammonium (ammonia). There is some ammonium nitrogen in the Flourish Comprehensive, and I have used this in tanks with no fish for several months to keep the plants growing [my quarantine tank for new fish acquisitions is planted, but it can sit for months without fish]. Ammonia kills fish and plants, and some bacteria species, so I prefer to be safe and never add it if you have plants. While waiting for fish acquisition opportunities, the plants can get growing and then you are home free.

Even aside from the plant aspect, nitrifying bacteria will not die off for lack of ammonia, at least not for a few weeks, and depending upon other factors. The Nitrosomonas bacteria has the ability to go into a sort of hibernation. This is limited, and other factors play into it, but it is not really worth the risk of harming plants.

So, once the plants are growing well, fish can be added [we can discuss species and numbers later] without any fuss over "cycling" because it occurs in the background.
 
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Libbyd

Libbyd

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Thanks so much this is super helpful! So I tried Copying the link but as it’s no longer an available product, the link didn’t work. I’ve taken a screen shot but i don’t think tank is a good make! I think I fancy getting super fine gravel to try so I might look online. Anything but what I currently have! It’s a bit like buying cream carpets in a house! :lol:
Do plants grow just as well in gravel? I really want to have a nice looking bunch of plants. they don’t look great atm But some have grown ok. I can give them a good clean when I swap over gravel and I am rubbing the algae off the leaves a bit too. The gh is really hard about 15 degrees on the German hardness scale ! Kh was 11.
i feel bad for the poor frogbit it is definitely looking the worse for wear so I will stop the ammonia. The seachem has definitely stimulated roots but not leaves in some cases, so I will defo switch products. Thankfully I only bought the smallest bottle to give it a try. What would you recommend disease wise on the comprehensive supplement?
The lights cannot be switched between different settings I don’t think, just on or off and my lights looked different as to what is shown in the amazon listing too! I will try and find out more info about it.
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Libbyd

Libbyd

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Here it is but my lights are just blue and white no other colours Here
a pic of it on and off, two lights are blue and the rest are white
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essjay

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Play sand in the UK - B&Q (I think they're still open) and Argos - those branches inside a Sainsbury are open, but you have to buy on-line and collect in store or pay for delivery. (Stand alone Argos branches are not open)


It was me that mentioned feeding the bacteria but I did not realise how many plants you have.
Looking at the photo of the plants, the one with dark green oval leaves at the front left - is it an anubias? If it is, it should not be planed in the sand. The thick root like thing that the stems grow out of is a rhizome and it will rot if buried. It needs to be grown attached to decor.
 
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