Algae

Swampman

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I keep reading that co2 keeps algae under control. My tanks do not have any injected co2.But, they to receive liquid co2 once when I do a water change and another 3-5 days before another change usually 7-10 days. All tanks are heavy planted and have floating plants. The plants are growing well. Lights are on 7 hours a day. I should do 2 intervals of on 3,off 4 than on 4. One tank has hair algae. the others have some on glass and scraped off when water changed. I read that liquid co2 isn't a substitute for injected co2 but it is good for keeping algae down. What is your opinion?
 

Guyb93

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All I “think “ I know about algae is there normally something not balanced either lighting or nutrients in the water , if the plants take all the nutrients the algae gets out competed , I have no idea if the Co2 will do the same thing , have you tried stop using it all together for a month or so and sees if it clears
 

Lynnzer

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I'm all ears.
Same thing here with hair algae in 1 of my tanks. Strangley this is one that actually has a CO2 feed. I'm cutting it off right now with aquascape scissors but next time I cut back the grass I'll drop the water level and trry to scrub it off the plants and hardscape.
I bought half a dozen oto's and they are active in chewing their way up and down the wood structures as well as the shrimp I have in there with them.
I also believe that it's down to an excess of nutrients but I'm really well planted. I got some water lettuce to float on the top as I think the floating roots will suck up excess nutrients. At least they are growing well and dividing frequently so they must be getting nourishment from somewhere.
 

Colin_T

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It's pointless adding carbon dioxide (CO2) unless you have really intense/ bright light and add lots of fertilisers. There is plenty of CO2 in the average aquarium and it's produced continuously by filter bacteria, fish, shrimp and snails. CO2 also gets into the aquarium from the air.

Liquid CO2 should be avoided because it contains hazardous substances ( glutaraldehyde) that can adversely affect the fish.

Try to have the light on for a continuous 7-12 hour period so the plants aren't going from dark to light to dark to light to dark, during one day. It's also better for the fish. We are trying to replicate nature and the sun comes up and stays up throughout the day, then goes down and it gets dark at night. Having lights come on and off throughout the day messes with the fish and plant's circadian rhythm.

Most algae problems are caused by an imbalance in light and nutrients. Too much or too little of either can encourage unwanted algae to grow.

If you can post pictures of the algae, we might be able to offer more information.
 

Byron

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First on the so-called "liquid CO2" additives...these are toxic and poisonous depending upon the amount. They are detrimental to fish at any level. They will kill some plants when dosed at the recommended amount. One of them, Seachem's Excel, is said to kill algae. Why anyone who cares about their fish would add a toxic disinfectant (the prime ingredient is glutaraldehyde (look it up to see just how deadly it is) is beyond me. Now you know, I hope you will stop using it. As Colin said, there is sufficient CO2 in most aquaria and it can enter the water from the atmosphere.

Normal CO2 (gas) is not going to kill algae, it will encourage it if anything. Carbon is a macro nutrient of plants, and if it is being diffused beyond the needs of the plants, it will then feed algae. The same as too much of any nutrient.

Algae is natural and normal and will be present in every healthy and balanced aquarium. "Problem algae" is something else. This is due to the imbalance of light/nutrients, and it is brought under control by establishing or re-establishing that balance. This is in planted tanks. In tanks with no live plants, algae will obviously be harder to control as nothing else is using the nutrients (from the fish being fed) and light.
 
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Swampman

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It's pointless adding carbon dioxide (CO2) unless you have really intense/ bright light and add lots of fertilisers. There is plenty of CO2 in the average aquarium and it's produced continuously by filter bacteria, fish, shrimp and snails. CO2 also gets into the aquarium from the air.

Liquid CO2 should be avoided because it contains hazardous substances ( glutaraldehyde) that can adversely affect the fish.

Try to have the light on for a continuous 7-12 hour period so the plants aren't going from dark to light to dark to light to dark, during one day. It's also better for the fish. We are trying to replicate nature and the sun comes up and stays up throughout the day, then goes down and it gets dark at night. Having lights come on and off throughout the day messes with the fish and plant's circadian rhythm.

Most algae problems are caused by an imbalance in light and nutrients. Too much or too little of either can encourage unwanted algae to grow.

If you can post pictures of the algae, we might be able to offer more information.
I never heard of liquid co2 being hazardous to fish. You have a point on lights. Sun comes up and then goes down 8-12 hours later. I use fertilizer recommoned by the manufacture. I bet I dose too much. The floating plants are growing like weeds.
 

Lynnzer

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I never heard of liquid co2 being hazardous to fish. You have a point on lights. Sun comes up and then goes down 8-12 hours later. I use fertilizer recommoned by the manufacture. I bet I dose too much. The floating plants are growing like weeds.
I had a large kill one night that I can only put down to the use of Easylife Easycarbo.
This was in a decently planted 120ltr tank that I thought may just get the plants growing better. As a precaution I used half dose. The next morning I found upwards of over 60 dead Yellow Sakuri Shrimp and lots of fish struggling to breathe at the top edges of the tank.
My intention was exactly what you are trying to do. The tank was seething with algae, not hair algae but ordinary stuff that grew long just like hair algae.
I eventually cleaned out the tank and replanted.
 
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Swampman

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Thanks I never had a problem with the liquid co2 I use. But I wonder if using the liquid co2 was the reason my dwarf rams keep dieing. I buy them and within a month or two die. All the other fish are fine. Tomorrow I clean tanks. So I'll get rid of the algae and see what happens. This tank has been up for three years.
 

Byron

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Dwarf rams are especially sensitive to water conditions (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, additives) and water parameters (GH, pH and temperature). And being cichlids, they are very sensitive to nitrate. Any of these issues may weaken the fish, and cumulatively cause it to die.
 

AbbeysDad

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As @Colin_T and @Byron pointed out there is no such thing as 'liquid CO2'. Glutaraldehyde is a chemical used to sterilize heat sensitive medical and dental equipment! - no wonder that it's tough on algae AND FISH! since anything and everything in the water gets into fish through osmosis. I wouldn't use it EVER!
See Mulm, and Algae, and Snails, Oh My
 

StevenF

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I keep reading that co2 keeps algae under control. My tanks do not have any injected co2.But, they to receive liquid co2 once when I do a water change and another 3-5 days before another change usually 7-10 days.

Same thing here with hair algae in 1 of my tanks. Strangley this is one that actually has a CO2 feed. I'm cutting it off right now with aquascape scissors but next time I cut back the grass I'll drop the water level and trry to scrub it off the plants and hardscape.
In my experience CO2 does not prevent algae. i use passive CO2 and have had algae issues and traced the issue to the fertilizer. Algae (Especially Hair and hard green spot algae) is typically an indication of a nutreint problem in the water.

Once a week, after a 50%water change (RO water TDS1ppm), I dose micro nutrients to the following levels:
Iron 0.1ppm (FeDTPA)
Manganese 0.05ppm (MoEDTA)
Boron 0.02ppm (Boric acid)
Zinc 0.02pppm (ZnEDTA)
Copper 0.01ppm (Cu EDTA)
Molybdenum 0.005ppm (NaMO3)
nickel 0.005ppm (NISO4) only nutrient that must be dosed daily.

I increase GH to a minimum of 1 degree GH (3parts Ca and 1 part Mg
And other macros to:
Phosphate 1ppm (KHPH4)
nitrate5ppm (currently experimenting with 15ppm (KNO3).

Potassium, Sulfur, and Chlorine (yes it is a plant nutrient) are not tightly controlled but are well above needed. Sulfur and Chlorine typically come from my GH booster.I use a decorative snail shell for pH control PH. PHis typically between 6.5 and 7.2.

The only algae I have in my tank right now is green slim on the glass (I use snails s to control it. For my 5 gallon one or two Nerite snails are enough to keep the glass clear I use RO water with a TDS of 1ppm). i also have passive CO2 to insure I have enough (it cannot be detected PH or drop checker). It is a shrimp tank and I have not had any problems with shrimp even at Copper levels 3 times higher than listed above. Tank is currently being reset.

Note Most fertilizers on the market depend on your water supplying some nutrients. I tried 4 commercial different fertilizers without success in this tank with no consistent plant growth due to my water and inert substrate. So after years of trying I made my own fertilizer. Just using a fertilizer is no guarantee that you will have all nutrients at a sufficient level to avoid problem algae. And Even if you dose to my levels PH, KH, interactions may neutralize some of the ingredients in the fertilizer resulting in Algae.

I have experiemented with different light setups over the years and found it had no effect on algae.

I tried liquid CO2 in the past but saw no evidence it helped my plants and in fact it harmed some of them. And too much is definitely potentially harmful to the fish. In my opinion it is not worth it.
 
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StevenF

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It's pointless adding carbon dioxide (CO2) unless you have really intense/ bright light and add lots of fertilisers. There is plenty of CO2 in the average aquarium and it's produced continuously by filter bacteria, fish, shrimp and snails. CO2 also gets into the aquarium from the air.
This is speculation. There is no way available to the Hobbiest to measure CO2. I only use it to eliminate it as a possible problem. And I use the minimum possible. That means passive CO2. And it is not possible to to kill your fish with passive CO2.
 
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Lynnzer

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I believe my problem relates to the aqua soil I used when setting the tank up a few weeks ago. Initially I got slime, ie biofilm on the glass, plants.etc. Then when that cleared, the hair algae took hold. At first I thought it was still biofilm and let it go so it got a hold and bloomed.
Now I cut it off as it can't be pulled off. It has rooted on the wood and plants and when twisting it round and pulling it, it pulls the plants up as well.
My CO2 feed, ie proper CO2 from a bottle, is meant to make the plants grow so they use as much nutrient as possible. The plants look great, the fish are fine but the algae still persists.
At present I'm leaving the light off all day long. The tank next to it is well lit but I have a towel between the tanks so no light is passed across. The room is in darkness apart from that with only dim lighting through the curtains. I open the curtains around 2 hours before nightfall so some natural light gets to the tank, then close them about an hour after sunrise. That gives sufficient time for the fish to feed.
I'll be doing this for a week and see how that goes. Right now though it appears to have slowed things down a bit.
 

StevenF

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I believe my problem relates to the aqua soil I used when setting the tank up a few weeks ago. Initially I got slime, ie biofilm on the glass, plants.etc. Then when that cleared, the hair algae took hold. At first I thought it was still biofilm and let it go so it got a hold and bloomed.
Now I cut it off as it can't be pulled off. It has rooted on the wood and plants and when twisting it round and pulling it, it pulls the plants up as well.
My CO2 feed, ie proper CO2 from a bottle, is meant to make the plants grow so they use as much nutrient as possible. The plants look great, the fish are fine but the algae still persists.
At present I'm leaving the light off all day long. The tank next to it is well lit but I have a towel between the tanks so no light is passed across. The room is in darkness apart from that with only dim lighting through the curtains. I open the curtains around 2 hours before nightfall so some natural light gets to the tank, then close them about an hour after sunrise. That gives sufficient time for the fish to feed.
I'll be doing this for a week and see how that goes. Right now though it appears to have slowed things down a bit.
Aqua soil has nutrients but over time it will deplete. And eventually algae will start to take over. When it starts to runout of nutrients the plants will still look fine but eventually they will stop growing. Surprisingly it can sometimes take months pass from the first appearance of the deficiency to the point when your plants actually actually show symptoms of a deficiency. And It only takes one of the 14 nutrients to be deficieent to cause plant growth to slow and Algae to take over.

When I verify my water is at a TDS of 1ppm I put it in a sealed container for storage until I need it. All of those containers have a small amount of film algae on them. I also put floating plants in TDS 1pppm water without fertilizer and they did not grow at all. Plant need a lot more nutrients than Algae. So you really don't have an Excess nutrient problem. In my experience you have a deficiency issue. Every time I had hair algae issue I had a nutrient deficiency. over time I identified 8 different nutrient deficiencies Using Flourish comprehensive fertilizer and at that point I decided to make my own.

My first attempt gave me almost a year of algae free aquarium before a problem showed up and then is took me about 6 months to identify that molybdenum wasdeficient. Many fertilizers Use sodium molybdate and sulfates for other nutrients and I did to. I found it was reacting with the sulfates in my fertilizer bottle. I started dosing it separately and that worked.

Somehow you need to find a way to identify the deficiency ro you have to replace your aqua soil. The easiest symptom of deficiency is to look at the oldest leaves on your plants I they look watered with holes and eventually fall off while new growth looks ok. That is an indication of a mobil nutrient deficiency. Mobil nutrients are Nitrogen, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphate, Chlorine, and Molybdenum. If the time of a leaf hooks down you might have a calcium deficiency. If the new leaves are smaller than the old ones you might have a zinc deficiency. yellow leaves could indicate nitrogen.
 

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