First Time Planted Tank Cycling: Algae(?) issue!

Derigriff

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Hello and apologies if this is the wrong section!

I have been cycling my 125l planted tank for about 12 days now (going for a silent cycle). Everything has seemed to go well so far, with an early biofilm bloom which has mostly dissipated. However, one of my pieces of driftwood on the left began to develop a fuzzy algae at the same time. While the biofilm has dissipated, this brown fuzz has completely overtaken that piece of driftwood (but only that piece, it seems). today however, i've noticed a slight 'dusting' of brown fuzz across the leaves of some of the plants (java fern, anubias, in particular). I'm completely inexperienced when it comes to this, so any suggestion as to the threat level or possible solutions would be greatly appreciated! I've included several images, but i apologise if they are not the best quality, as it is difficult to get a clear photo!
IMG_20200927_152654_resized_20200927_034947616.jpg

{wide shot of the tank for context)

IMG_20200927_152856_resized_20200927_034948249.jpg
IMG_20200927_152912_resized_20200927_034946692.jpg
IMG_20200927_152902_resized_20200927_034948557.jpg

(the algae taking over the driftwood i mentioned)

IMG_20200927_152642_resized_20200927_034947055.jpg
IMG_20200927_152639_resized_20200927_034949422.jpg

(the 'biofilm' i mentioned (very little left))

IMG_20200927_152726_resized_20200927_034947965.jpg
IMG_20200927_152841_resized_20200927_034947343.jpg

(the dots of algae 'dust' on the plants i mentioned. Very hard to get a good photo of these, i apologise.)

Any advice would be greatly apprecaited.
 

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LordHappy

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First off, that looks like the beginnings of a gorgeous tank that will bring you years of enjoyment and fun. The driftwood resembles either a fuzzy cat paw or newbrown chick of some preadatory bird. Kinda cool. :) The tank is just 2 weeks old. A lot of biological parts have come together and a whole ecosystem has to form. Regardless what you see on YT, tanks just don't stay pristine. My advice is to do nothing. I've had the same java fern for 35 years. It grows like mad, and out of the smallest piece of torn leaf a whole new plant will grow. Also, I think you have ohko (dragon) stone in there. Usually it has clay deep down inside the holes, and stuff could have been there that's come free to roam. But no worries. You can stress yourself out and spend lots of money on chemicals and meds and try to force a situation, or let nature do its thing. I found it helpful to envision that aquariums are a small slice of life brought inside, and just as lakes and rivers experience biological change, so too shall our tanks.
 
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Derigriff

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Thank you both for the compliments on the tank, it really means a lot!! And i don't mind the look of the algae, i was just worried it was something more pervasive is all :)
 
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Derigriff

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Great to hear :D I guess i've just seen too many stories online of things like black beard algae taking over, and I just wanted to make sure :)

On another note: I ran a few tests today as per usual, and ammonia came up as about 0.25ppm, with nitrites and nitrates around 0. This is down from about 0.5 ish ammonia a few days ago. Is this a good sign for a planted cycle? i guess it's 'stable' when ammonia reaches zero, and remains there for some time. Then i think the next step is to slowly add fish a few at a time over several months to give the plants/etc. time to adjust, is that correct? If that is the case, when it comes to shoaling fish such as rasboras, do you need to add the whole shoal at once for them to mix properly comfortable, or would you have to space it out to 3/4 at a time to allow for the tank to adjust?
 

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Your tank does look good, algae can be controlled by reducing the intensity of the light or the duration and by reducing the amount of fertilizer for the plants or food you feed your fish. I have nerites snails in all my tanks which helps. Usually fast growing plants take care of most nutrients in the water reducing the chances of algae. I am currently dealing with black beard algae on some anubias plants I just bought using hydrogen peroxide spray. If the algae starts seriously spreading to your plants you may want to consider it. AS long as it stays on the wood and you can live with it I would say it looks alright. As far as a silent cycle, are you adding ammonia to the tank if so stop,. Look for growth in you fast growing plants if you see some which you should by 2 weeks you can start adding fish once your ammonia reading is 0. IF you are not adding ammonia then you need to add more fast growing plants like hornwort, moneywort, anacharis or frog bite.
 
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AilyNC

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Your tank does look good, algae can be controlled by reducing the intensity of the light or the duration and by reducing the amount of fertilizer for the plants or food you feed your fish. I have nerites snails in all my tanks which helps. Usually fast growing plants take care of most nutrients in the water reducing the chances of algae. I am currently dealing with black beard algae on some anubias plants I just bought using hydrogen peroxide spray. If the algae starts seriously spreading to your plants you may want to consider it. AS long as it stays on the wood and you can live with it I would say it looks alright. As far a silent cycle, are you adding ammonia to the tank if so stop,. Look for growth in you fast growing plants if you see some which you should by 2 weeks you can start adding fish once your ammonia reading is 0. IF you are not adding ammonia then you need to add more fast growing plants like hornwort, moneywort, anacharis or frog bite.
Darn it. Maybe I shouldn't had added more food. I'm seeing growth in plants already and adding more fast growing ones tomorrow.
 

Retired Viking

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Darn it. Maybe I shouldn't had added more food. I'm seeing growth in plants already and adding more fast growing ones tomorrow.
You can always do a WC to flush the system, make sure when you do add your fish that you do not add too many at one time. I had small tetras so I added a shoal of 5-6 at a time and tested the water for a week before adding more. If you have a large tank and lots of plants you could add more each time.
 
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Derigriff

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Your tank does look good, algae can be controlled by reducing the intensity of the light or the duration and by reducing the amount of fertilizer for the plants or food you feed your fish. I have nerites snails in all my tanks which helps. Usually fast growing plants take care of most nutrients in the water reducing the chances of algae. I am currently dealing with black beard algae on some anubias plants I just bought using hydrogen peroxide spray. If the algae starts seriously spreading to your plants you may want to consider it. AS long as it stays on the wood and you can live with it I would say it looks alright. As far a silent cycle, are you adding ammonia to the tank if so stop,. Look for growth in you fast growing plants if you see some which you should by 2 weeks you can start adding fish once your ammonia reading is 0. IF you are not adding ammonia then you need to add more fast growing plants like hornwort, moneywort, anacharis or frog bite.
Thank you for the reply! I haven't added any additional ammonia, so does that mean that the plants I have already aren't enough? As I mentioned, I've seen a significant decrease in ammonia since several have started to grow in earnest, and I hope the trend will continue down to zero. Plants wise, I have 3 bunches of sessiflora, a big clump of water wysteria, 2 bunches of rotunda roundifloria, the amazon sword in the back, and several floating water lettuce alongside some water sprite (as well as other, slow growing species). If I still need more, which would you recommend expanding? I probably don't want to add any more species as i worry it would look too cluttered.
 

Retired Viking

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It sounds like you have some good plants, I would give it a little longer. You may also be detecting a different type of ammonia that comes from chloramine if it is in your tape water. When you add water conditioner to water with chloramine it releases an ammonia atom which is a different type of ammonia.
 

mbsqw1d

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How are you adding ammonia?

Algae are often found in a new setup, plants take a while to establish themselves - growing their roots and leaves, whereas algae don't have these requirements, they can feed from the get go.
Once plants are established, they're able to compete better for the available resources; co2, light and nutrients. From that point it's a case of keeping a balance. If there's more of one or more of those resources than the plants require, then algae will make the most of it. Usually it's light, because we like to see our wonderful aquariums and have a nice big light on but it can be much brighter than what most plants (and fish) require
 

AilyNC

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You can always do a WC to flush the system, make sure when you do add your fish that you do not add too many at one time. I had small tetras so I added a shoal of 5-6 at a time and tested the water for a week before adding more. If you have a large tank and lots of plants you could add more each time.
I've new plants tomorrow. Might keep it going until the addition of ammonia annoys me. I don't plan on big stock at once.
 
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Derigriff

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How are you adding ammonia?

Algae are often found in a new setup, plants take a while to establish themselves - growing their roots and leaves, whereas algae don't have these requirements, they can feed from the get go.
Once plants are established, they're able to compete better for the available resources; co2, light and nutrients. From that point it's a case of keeping a balance. If there's more of one or more of those resources than the plants require, then algae will make the most of it. Usually it's light, because we like to see our wonderful aquariums and have a nice big light on but it can be much brighter than what most plants (and fish) require
Sorry if i'm getting mixed up, but was the question about ammonia directed at me? if so, I haven't added any. As for light, they are on 8 hours a day at the moment, and i've been dosing liquid fertiliser at about half the recommended amount for now.
 

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