Algae will it ever go away

Callthewolfe

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I have a 155G bow front aquarium that is about 24 inches deep. I started out with a recommendation of a Current LED plant light. No plants ever survived, so I was told that the one strip wasn't enough. So I bought a second one. Bought more plants and the low light plants that grew in everyone's tank didn't survive. So then the store said the lights weren't strong enough to get down to the bottom of the tank. They then recommended another light -now there are 3. The third is a Fluval plant 3.0 led light. I have timers on the lights and have used them at full spectrum.
Now my plants look black and ideas?
IMG_2385.jpeg
 

utahfish

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155 gallon is a deep tank. As light travelsthrough water the deeper it goes the less intense it gets so adding multiple lights of the same low intensity isnt going to help. When measuring the effectiveness of lights one wants to measure lumens. Low light plants like ferns , anubius need about 20 lumens/liter in a 125 gallon tank thats 473 liters×20=9460 lumens. For medium plants 30-40 lumens/liter and for high light plants about 50 lumens/liter. The fluval 3.0 32 watt has 2350 lumens so to have enough light for low light plants in a 125 gallon one would need 4 fluval 3.0 lights. If one could get the 52 watt one that would be better. Not sure of lumens on that one guessing close to 3500. Plants need lights and nutrients to grow if either is out of balance algae takes hold. Algae in your tank is due to low light.
 

Byron

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The photos show black brush/beard algae. I agree with utahfish that the balance of light/nutrients is out. This can mean too much light, too little light, too long a duration (and if the intensity is not sufficient the duration will not solve it). Or insufficient nutrients to balance, or too many nutrients to balance.

Given the tank size, one solution to expensive lighting would be a tank where plants could be confined to surface floaters (which are more effective at water quality as well) and the lower area could be aquascaped with wood and branches, dried leaves, river rock to resemble a quite authentic "normal" tropical water course. Fish from tropical watercourses tend to prefer less light as well, so that's a bonus.
 

StevenF

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are you fertilizing the water? I suspect you now have enough light. In addtion to light, water, and CO2 plants need 14 elements to grow. If you are not fertilizing the water and do regular water changes most plants will die from a deficiency of one or more of the 14 elements. If you are fertilizing your water what fertilizer brand are you using and how often do you dose and what is the dose you add to the water? Also when you do a water change how much water do you change and how often do you do it.

Just looking at your picture I suspect you have a mobile nutrient issue. The older leaves are spotted and don't look heathy. newer leaves look healthy If so you might be deficient in a mobile nutrient. A mobile nutrients arenitrogen (N), Potassium (K), phosphorous P), magnesium (Mg), chlorine (Cl), and molybdenum (Mo). These nutrients are called mobile because if there isn't enough of these in the water the plant will remove them from the older leaves and use them to grow new leaves. The old leaves then die off. I the deficiency gets worse the plant will die.

The first thing to check is your nitrate levels. For tanks with plants you do not want zero nitrate. You want 5ppm of nitrate minimum.

The next thing to check if your GH level of your water. So if you don't have a GH test you probably need to get one. The GH test measures Calcium and magnesium. Plants need both Ca and Mg in the water. If your GH is 3 or less you probably need to use a GH booster to increase the GH to a level of 4 to 6. Almost no fertilizer have Calcium and those that do don't have enough. Most fertilizers have magnesium but again most do not have enough. Magnesium deficiency is very common and it is a mobile nutrient. Calcium deficiency is also common. A GH booster like Seachem Equilibrium will provide both as well as sulfur another nutrient.

Chlorine is generally not an issue when using chlorinated tap water. Plants only need 0.001ppm of Molybdenum in the water so a Molybdenum issue with tap water is generally not an issue. However if you are using RO or distilled water you should be using a GH booster and probably a fertilizer. Potassium and phosphate are harder to test for so for now I would check your nitrogen and GH levels.
 

Stan510

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Try Iron. Just try it..it can only help,never hurt.
 

Colin_T

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Try Iron. Just try it..it can only help,never hurt.
Actually too much iron can kill fish and inverts in the tank. But iron based fertilisers are fine and safe to use as long as you monitor the level and keep it at or below 1mg/L (1ppm).
 

StevenF

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A level of 0.1ppm Fe is enough form most tanks for about a week . A lot of people talk about Fe outmost of the time the problem is not enough iron. Often the problem is the type of iron used. Fe EDTA is frequently used in fertilizers but it degrades rapidly if the PH is above 6.5. Fe gulconate (used in Flourish comprehensive is not PH sensitive but is rapidly consumed by bacteria and only last a few days at most. A few years ago very few fertilizer used Fe DTPA. But it is often best source of iron. It is stable up to a PH of 7, to maybse 7.5. Fe EDDHA is another form of iron but it is rarely used. It is good up to a PH of 10 but it will color the water with a reddish tint even at a dose of 0.1.

I use Fe DTPA and a Dose of 0.1 will last over a week. My tank PH is 7.2.
 

Stan510

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I did mean,normal doses to double by mistake wont kill fish. People are usually conservative on adding things to the fish water afraid of poisoning fish. Start low,watch as plants get healthier,and that starts the fast decline of hair algae. You didn't poison it..you made your water plants strong enough to take and use the chemicals that it could not make use of before. But the algae could. Iron I think is waaaay underplayed for its value.
I can't prove this..but it seems as if the iron unlocks for the plant other basic nutrients like Nitrogen..and now as i said,your plants are now strong enough to make use of them.
Maybe that people deep into plants use Co2 and that just is the ultimate non fertilizer plant booster..iron then not as much needed?
 
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