Any suggestions for my algae problem please

Elena82x

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Hello
I have had an algae issue for several weeks. I’ve tried to follow advice I can find online but not had much luck. I’ve refrained from adding any algae fighting chemicals and instead have just kept on top of water quality and reduced light time. Any other suggestions please?
Also what type of algae is it please? It doesn’t appear to be causing a problem other than being very unsightly and makes the water look dirty with dusty particles from it as the plants are moved by fish.
8 month old 240l tank.
LED lighting last few weeks only 6 hours a day (was 8 before) to reduce algae growth
Not in direct sunlight but does get a bit of bright sunlight across the room for an hour each morning.
Fish fed once a day.
Under stocked.
Mostly attaching to plants but also the castle ornament thing.
I have been trimming it off the plants but can’t keep up.
It seems to be encouraging a reproduction of pest snails on the plants.
GH 11
KH 8
PH 7.4
Ammonia/nitrite 0
Nitrates range from 5-20
I use Seachem Prime, Stability and Flourish Comprehensive

Pics to show it.
Thank you
 

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Hello
I have had an algae issue for several weeks. I’ve tried to follow advice I can find online but not had much luck. I’ve refrained from adding any algae fighting chemicals and instead have just kept on top of water quality and reduced light time. Any other suggestions please?
Also what type of algae is it please? It doesn’t appear to be causing a problem other than being very unsightly and makes the water look dirty with dusty particles from it as the plants are moved by fish.
8 month old 240l tank.
LED lighting last few weeks only 6 hours a day (was 8 before) to reduce algae growth
Not in direct sunlight but does get a bit of bright sunlight across the room for an hour each morning.
Fish fed once a day.
Under stocked.
Mostly attaching to plants but also the castle ornament thing.
I have been trimming it off the plants but can’t keep up.
It seems to be encouraging a reproduction of pest snails on the plants.
GH 11
KH 8
PH 7.4
Ammonia/nitrite 0
Nitrates range from 5-20
I use Seachem Prime, Stability and Flourish Comprehensive

Pics to show it.
Thank you
I got rid of green algae by limiting light and removing the plants and inanimate objects from tank and soaking them in 10% bleach solution for 1 minute. Then I placed the plants etc in clean water bath rinsing copiously before placing back in tank. I also scrubbed the inside glass of tank using tank water.
 
Can you lower the intensity of the lighting? I found that was an issue with my tank. Once I lowered that, I was able to run the lights longer in the day without getting algae.
 
you don't need stability...and as far as using a fertilizer when you have an algae problem is a no no....you're just feeding the algae...
what do you use for filtration?
 
Problem algae is caused by an imbalance of light and nutrients.

On the light, I would not go lower than six hours. Daylight that is bright is an algae provider, it doesn't take much. If you can eliminate that hour of daylight it may help. It is however only one factor, but it does factor in. I had algae increase during the summer months until I figured out it was the brighter and longer daylight; completely blocking the windows was the end of black brush algae.

The little snails do eat algae, but not usually what I term "problem" algae like this. But if they do, it will be minimal.

As asked in sharkweek's post, can you reduce the intensity of the light? And do you have the spectrum data, say the Kelvin number or CRI?

I would discontinue using Prime, this has a chemical in it which "detoxifies" heavy metals, but the plants cannot use the nutrients that are heavy metals, namely iron, copper, zinc, manganese. This means the fertilizer (Flourish Comprehensive) is nullified with respect to these nutrients. Seachem told me that this lasts up to 48 hours. A better conditioner is API's Tap Water Conditioner. It does detoxify heavy metals but not the same way; plants are able to take these up, detoxified or not.

Stability is not necessary, don't use it. It is just more chemicals that get inside the fish. Flourish Comprehensive is a good supplement, but use it minimally.

Nitrates--why are they fluctuating from 5 to 20ppm? Do you have nitrate in the tap water on its own? If you can get nitrates down to 5ppm, the aim is to keep it at 5ppm between water changes. Make sure the filter is cleaned.
 
you don't need stability...and as far as using a fertilizer when you have an algae problem is a no no....you're just feeding the algae...
what do you use for filtration?
Oh that’s interesting thank you cos I saw somewhere on a Google search that Seachem Flourish helps reduce algae (which did seem strange)
I have the Fluval 307 external filter. It’s been in for a couple of months having replaced the Juwel one that came with the tank
 
Problem algae is caused by an imbalance of light and nutrients.

On the light, I would not go lower than six hours. Daylight that is bright is an algae provider, it doesn't take much. If you can eliminate that hour of daylight it may help. It is however only one factor, but it does factor in. I had algae increase during the summer months until I figured out it was the brighter and longer daylight; completely blocking the windows was the end of black brush algae.

The little snails do eat algae, but not usually what I term "problem" algae like this. But if they do, it will be minimal.

As asked in sharkweek's post, can you reduce the intensity of the light? And do you have the spectrum data, say the Kelvin number or CRI?

I would discontinue using Prime, this has a chemical in it which "detoxifies" heavy metals, but the plants cannot use the nutrients that are heavy metals, namely iron, copper, zinc, manganese. This means the fertilizer (Flourish Comprehensive) is nullified with respect to these nutrients. Seachem told me that this lasts up to 48 hours. A better conditioner is API's Tap Water Conditioner. It does detoxify heavy metals but not the same way; plants are able to take these up, detoxified or not.

Stability is not necessary, don't use it. It is just more chemicals that get inside the fish. Flourish Comprehensive is a good supplement, but use it minimally.

Nitrates--why are they fluctuating from 5 to 20ppm? Do you have nitrate in the tap water on its own? If you can get nitrates down to 5ppm, the aim is to keep it at 5ppm between water changes. Make sure the filter is cleaned.
Thank you for all this detail.
The nitrates go up to as far as 20 and reduce to 5 after a weekly water change.
I have looked for the spectrum data - not sure if this tells anything -
Brilliant luminosity and excellent plant growth are what you get with the state-of-the-art Multilux LED lighting technology from JUWEL. The replaceable 1047 mm DAY and NATURE LED tubes create an optimum light spectrum, while saving up to 50% of energy in comparison to T5 at the same time.
The MultiLux LED lighting system for the RIO 240 LED means that you can work on your aquarium in comfort, even when the lighting is switched on.
The ultrasound-sealed light unit is 100 percent waterproof and fulfils the stringent European safety standards.
 
Oh that’s interesting thank you cos I saw somewhere on a Google search that Seachem Flourish helps reduce algae (which did seem strange)
I have the Fluval 307 external filter. It’s been in for a couple of months having replaced the Juwel one that came with the tank
I asked because a common cause for algae is overflow...
the 307 runs at 303 Gal/h
your tank being 63gal that's 4.8times the size of the tank
many people have this belief that more flow = better flitration or this widespread notion that you have to have 5x the flow of the tank size
better media = better filtration...not the flow itself
cut the ferts....cut the flow to 100-150g/h do a little cleanup of the algae and your problem should fix itself
I run my tank at about 2x the flow with lights on daily for 10h with a regular white light ballast tube...0 algae...
when I do want algae I leave my lights on for 3/4days in a row
 
I saw somewhere on a Google search that Seachem Flourish helps reduce algae
That was probably a reference to Seachem Flourish Excel a 'liquid CO2' product rather than fertiliser. This can be used to spot treat algae, but it is not ideal for adding to a tank with fish because the active ingredient is a disinfectant.
 
I asked because a common cause for algae is overflow...
the 307 runs at 303 Gal/h
your tank being 63gal that's 4.8times the size of the tank
many people have this belief that more flow = better flitration or this widespread notion that you have to have 5x the flow of the tank size
better media = better filtration...not the flow itself
cut the ferts....cut the flow to 100-150g/h do a little cleanup of the algae and your problem should fix itself
I run my tank at about 2x the flow with lights on daily for 10h with a regular white light ballast tube...0 algae...
when I do want algae I leave my lights on for 3/4days in a row
That’s really interesting thank you for the help
 
Hello Elena. Put more plants in the tank. Plants are able to use excess nitrogen much faster than algae. You could also increase the amount of water you change. A more aggressive water change routine will remove added nutrients the fish and plants don't use. Reduce the amount you feed. Fish have a stomach the size of one of their eyes. Pretty small, isn't it. It doesn't take much to fill it. Fish really don't need to be fed every day. A little two or three times a week is plenty. If you feed daily, include a "fasting day" once a week. The fish will start to forage around the tank for those tiny bits of food they missed. They'll do their part to keep the tank clean and the algae will go hungry. These suggestions should take care of you algae problem.

10 Tanks (Now 11)
 
The nitrates go up to as far as 20 and reduce to 5 after a weekly water change.

This indicates there is a problem. Over stocking, over feeding, too infrequent water changes, inadequate cleaning of the substrate and filter--all of these cause nitrates to increase. The aim of regular substantial water changes is to keep the biological system stable, not have this great an increase in just one week. If you can get nitrate down to 5, it should stay close to that. One can expect a slight rise week to week, but not by three or four times.

On the light, without actual data we are guessing. Can you find a link to the manufacturer's site for this, I will take a look. The issue with spectrum is that plant must have red and blue, and red is the more important of the two, in order to photosynthesize; adding green to these does improve plant growth. In the photos, two of them have a distinct blue hue, with little red, and this can cause problem or excessive algae because algae is not as demanding as higher plants when it comes to light.
 
Hello Elena. Put more plants in the tank. Plants are able to use excess nitrogen much faster than algae. You could also increase the amount of water you change. A more aggressive water change routine will remove added nutrients the fish and plants don't use. Reduce the amount you feed. Fish have a stomach the size of one of their eyes. Pretty small, isn't it. It doesn't take much to fill it. Fish really don't need to be fed every day. A little two or three times a week is plenty. If you feed daily, include a "fasting day" once a week. The fish will start to forage around the tank for those tiny bits of food they missed. They'll do their part to keep the tank clean and the algae will go hungry. These suggestions should take care of you algae problem.

10 Tanks (Now 11)
Thank you :)
 
This indicates there is a problem. Over stocking, over feeding, too infrequent water changes, inadequate cleaning of the substrate and filter--all of these cause nitrates to increase. The aim of regular substantial water changes is to keep the biological system stable, not have this great an increase in just one week. If you can get nitrate down to 5, it should stay close to that. One can expect a slight rise week to week, but not by three or four times.

On the light, without actual data we are guessing. Can you find a link to the manufacturer's site for this, I will take a look. The issue with spectrum is that plant must have red and blue, and red is the more important of the two, in order to photosynthesize; adding green to these does improve plant growth. In the photos, two of them have a distinct blue hue, with little red, and this can cause problem or excessive algae because algae is not as demanding as higher plants when it comes to light.
Thanks again for advising.
I am not sure what is causing the nitrate rise (only aware that it’s an issue to look into thanks to your mention of it - it certainly puts the pressure on me for water changes as I know to keep it low for my mollies) I wonder if it maybe due to some of the plant leaves rotting though I try to get to them first. I bought a lot of water lettuce in an attempt to reduce nitrates but they have nearly all turned brown (and I remove immediately) now so maybe that has hindered more than helped. I’m definitely not getting the balance right for the plants / limiting algae..
I will attempt feeding less (though feed just once a day I’ll reduce the amount and see what that does)
This is the link I can find for my light which came with the tank
 
Thanks again for advising.
I am not sure what is causing the nitrate rise (only aware that it’s an issue to look into thanks to your mention of it - it certainly puts the pressure on me for water changes as I know to keep it low for my mollies) I wonder if it maybe due to some of the plant leaves rotting though I try to get to them first. I bought a lot of water lettuce in an attempt to reduce nitrates but they have nearly all turned brown (and I remove immediately) now so maybe that has hindered more than helped. I’m definitely not getting the balance right for the plants / limiting algae..
I will attempt feeding less (though feed just once a day I’ll reduce the amount and see what that does)
This is the link I can find for my light which came with the tank

OK, things are becoming clearer with the information. First on the light, the Kelvin which is the "colour temperature" of light (nothing to do with heat/cold) is given as 9000K/6500K. The 6500K is perfect, the 9000K is not and probably your main issue with the problem algae. The Kelvin number indicates the spectrum wavelengths of light; "warm" light has more red and less blue, while "cool" light has more blue and less red. A 6500K is very close to the sun, so not surprising it is good light for aquatic plants. The 9000K is very "cool" and this much blue without much red to balance will feed algae. I had this play out several years ago when I was trying different tubes over tanks. When I got rid of the 10000K tube, problem algae decreased substantially.

So the first question is, can you reduce the 9000K light and leave just the 6500K? White light at 6500K is good. Any blue diodes will only add to the problem.

Second on the plants dying...are you using any fertilizers? And how long is the light on each day? Having good light is fine, but without food the plants will not thrive but again algae will.

Third, the nitrates. I assume there are no nitrates in the source (tap) water, in which case all are occurring from the biological system. I previously set out factors to correct. A more substantial (volume) water change and good vacuum of the substrate should help reduce these, and less food for the fish. Mollies are gluttons and will always seem hungry. Feed sparingly, each of them only needs one or two small flakes at a feeding, and fasting them (and the other fish obviously) one, two or even three days will not hurt.
 

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