Help with algae

Bruben

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Hi all,

Back with a long winded question!

I’ve got quite a big problem with algae now and looking to make a plan to reduce/remove the problem.

I’ll go through my parameters, what I’ve done so far to try and help (after advice from the great people on here) and then ask you to help me (again) come up with a plan.

Tank:
125L Juwel Rio
Bioflow M Filter
2x 6500k Juwel Nature Led bulbs

Fish:
6x Zebra Danio
10x Neon Tetra
2x Dwarf Gourami (male & female)
4x Peppered Cory
4x Albino Cory
7x Amano Shrimp
Some bladder snails

Plants:
Hygrophylla siamensis 53b
Spiky moss
Echinodorus rose
Sagittaria subulata
Rotala Rotundifolia
Salvinia auriculata
Crypto wendtii green
Limnophila heterophylla
Hygrophila rosae australis
Lilaeopsis novea-zealandia
Echindorus ozelot red
Eleocharis acicularis
Various Anubias, Microsorum & Java Fern

Parameters (from today):
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5
PH 7.5
KH 4
GH 10

Changes made:
Lights are on 10 hours a day (down from 12).
I’ve changed one of the 9000k bulbs that came with the tank to another 6500k.
Started to add plant fertiliser (Tropica Premium) once a week.

I’ve attached some pics of the different types of algae in my tank, can anyone identify what types these are?

Any ideas on more things I can do to get the amount of algae down and how long it’ll take?

Cheers for reading and thanks in advance for any help!
 

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JennySolano

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I’m a newbie, but seems like a lot of fish & plants. I recently had a less severe algae problem. Google & everyone else says too much light & nutrients. It was in a 40 G with 3 small goldfish & 5 male guppies. I changed the water, ~75%, and reduced the lighting. Also got rid of all tank decorations like fake skulls etc. Situation better. I discard or put unhealthy appearing plants in another tank or large glass jar. Wouldn’t want them decaying & creating more problems.
 
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Bruben

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I’m a newbie, but seems like a lot of fish & plants. I recently had a less severe algae problem. Google & everyone else says too much light & nutrients. It was in a 40 G with 3 small goldfish & 5 male guppies. I changed the water, ~75%, and reduced the lighting. Also got rid of all tank decorations like fake skulls etc. Situation better. I discard or put unhealthy appearing plants in another tank or large glass jar. Wouldn’t want them decaying & creating more problems.
Thanks @JennySolano :)

Yeah I’ve been told the same re light and nutrients - hence why I’ve changed bulbs and reduced the time the lights are on and also tried adding fertiliser to help the plants beat the algae 😂

How long did your problem take to clear up?
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Hi all,

Back with a long winded question!

I’ve got quite a big problem with algae now and looking to make a plan to reduce/remove the problem.

I’ll go through my parameters, what I’ve done so far to try and help (after advice from the great people on here) and then ask you to help me (again) come up with a plan.

Tank:
125L Jewel Rio
Bioflow M Filter
2x 6500k Juwel Nature Led bulbs

Fish:
6x Zebra Danio
10x Neon Tetra
2x Dwarf Gourami (male & female)
4x Peppered Cory
4x Albino Cory
7x Amano Shrimp
Some bladder snails

Plants:
Hygrophylla siamensis 53b
Spiky moss
Echinodorus rose
Sagittaria subulata
Rotala Rotundifolia
Salvinia auriculata
Crypto wendtii green
Limnophila heterophylla
Hygrophila rosae australis
Lilaeopsis novea-zealandia
Echindorus ozelot red
Eleocharis acicularis
Various Anubias, Microsorum & Java Fern

Parameters (from today):
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5
PH 7.5
KH 4
GH 10

Changes made:
Lights are on 10 hours a day (down from 12).
I’ve changed one of the 9000k bulbs that came with the tank to another 6500k.
Started to add plant fertiliser (Tropica Premium) once a week.

I’ve attached some pics of the different types of algae in my tank, can anyone identify what types these are?

Any ideas on more things I can do to get the amount of algae down and how long it’ll take?

Cheers for reading and thanks in advance for any help!
Mainly green hair algae.
To address this;
  • Get a new toothbrush or, even better, a bottle brush, and manually remove as much as you can.
  • Where you have a leaf going dark with algae, as in that first pic, cut it off and dispose of. Do the same for any similarly affected leaves.
  • It's harder to treat the feathery-type leaves, but again, you can cut off the top three or four layers of leaves and dispose of these. Don't worry, the plant will recover.
  • The stuff on the glass needs scraping off and sucking out of the tank.
  • Seriously review your feeding, because I suspect you may be overfeeding.
  • Reduce your lighting to 8 hours for a week.
  • Check that sunlight isn't landing on the tank.
The good news is that you have a good selection of faster-growing plants, although I'd stop with the fertilisers for a while. If plants are 'spoiled' by being fed nice fertilisers, they'll have less need to utilise the available nutrients from waste.
 
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Bruben

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Mainly green hair algae.
To address this;
  • Get a new toothbrush or, even better, a bottle brush, and manually remove as much as you can.
  • Where you have a leaf going dark with algae, as in that first pic, cut it off and dispose of. Do the same for any similarly affected leaves.
  • It's harder to treat the feathery-type leaves, but again, you can cut off the top three or four layers of leaves and dispose of these. Don't worry, the plant will recover.
  • The stuff on the glass needs scraping off and sucking out of the tank.
  • Seriously review your feeding, because I suspect you may be overfeeding.
  • Reduce your lighting to 8 hours for a week.
  • Check that sunlight isn't landing on the tank.
The good news is that you have a good selection of faster-growing plants, although I'd stop with the fertilisers for a while. If plants are 'spoiled' by being fed nice fertilisers, they'll have less need to utilise the available nutrients from waste.
Thanks @Bruce Leyland-Jones!

I’ll get on to all of that tomorrow.
 

Byron

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I agree to reduce the light to 8 hours. You have good spectrum light now, but it still may be too intense and if the intensity is not too far off reducing the duration can usually help.

I would not stop the plant fertilizer. As I recall from previous thread, none was being added at all and the plants were struggling. If the light is relatively bright (as it seems to be), no fertilizer will only make algae worse. Don't overdo it though.

Algae on the glass should not occur once you have the balance, though having said that it is natural and still needs to be kept in check. Use a sponge-type scraper on the inside glass (front, maybe sides and back depending) at each water change even if you do not see algae; it is still there and can develop on any biofilm. Water changes need to be substantial, this can thwart algae. Once a week, 50-70%.

Ambient room light, whether ambient daylight or direct sunlight, can really upset the balance you are striving to establish, so be aware of that.
 
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Bruben

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I agree to reduce the light to 8 hours. You have good spectrum light now, but it still may be too intense and if the intensity is not too far off reducing the duration can usually help.

I would not stop the plant fertilizer. As I recall from previous thread, none was being added at all and the plants were struggling. If the light is relatively bright (as it seems to be), no fertilizer will only make algae worse. Don't overdo it though.

Algae on the glass should not occur once you have the balance, though having said that it is natural and still needs to be kept in check. Use a sponge-type scraper on the inside glass (front, maybe sides and back depending) at each water change even if you do not see algae; it is still there and can develop on any biofilm. Water changes need to be substantial, this can thwart algae. Once a week, 50-70%.

Ambient room light, whether ambient daylight or direct sunlight, can really upset the balance you are striving to establish, so be aware of that.
Thanks @Byron!

I keep the curtains closed in the fish tank room all day anyway to make sure that’s not contributing to the issue!
 

StandbySetting

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The intensity of light on the Juwel tanks is overkill in most situations unless you're running a hi-tech set up. Whilst wasteful you could clip a reflector upside down to one tube to halve the lighting and add floating plants to reduce the intensity. Alternately look to replace the lighting all together. All of your plants are relatively easy to grow, it's just that the lighting conditions are unfavourable for them hence why algae a simpler organism is able to thrive.

You could consider a total blackout for 3 days, this should make a decent impact as it will starve the algae, plants will be fine without light for three days where as algae tends to struggle, then reducing your photo period to somewhere around 8 hours as suggested previously. Large frequent water changes should help also. Also at risk of sounding like a broken record ensure no sun light reaches the tank if possible.

I find the standard pumps issued on juwel tanks to be somewhat lack lustre also, hair algaes in my experience always thrive in areas where water circulation is poor, I'd recommend improving the flow if possible.

Ensuring plants thrive and algae doesn't is always about striking the perfect balance, ensuring the conditions favour the growth of your plants. I'd expect changes to your lighting to reduce the intensity would address most of the issues you're encountering.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I would not stop the plant fertilizer. As I recall from previous thread, none was being added at all and the plants were struggling. If the light is relatively bright (as it seems to be), no fertilizer will only make algae worse. Don't overdo it though.
That was then and this is now.
The liquid fertiliser was appropriate when the plants were struggling and algae wasn't an issue.
Now, it'll be feeding both plants and algae.
Stopping it for a short while will force the higher plants to look for the nutrients available and should out-compete the algae for these. This detail and the reduced light will make it harder for the algae to compete.
When nutrients aren't an issue, then all plants, including the algae, will remain well fed and algae has a habit of growing faster than the higher plants...which brings us to where we are now.
 
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Bruben

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The intensity of light on the Juwel tanks is overkill in most situations unless you're running a hi-tech set up. Whilst wasteful you could clip a reflector upside down to one tube to halve the lighting and add floating plants to reduce the intensity. Alternately look to replace the lighting all together. All of your plants are relatively easy to grow, it's just that the lighting conditions are unfavourable for them hence why algae a simpler organism is able to thrive.

You could consider a total blackout for 3 days, this should make a decent impact as it will starve the algae, plants will be fine without light for three days where as algae tends to struggle, then reducing your photo period to somewhere around 8 hours as suggested previously. Large frequent water changes should help also. Also at risk of sounding like a broken record ensure no sun light reaches the tank if possible.

I find the standard pumps issued on juwel tanks to be somewhat lack lustre also, hair algaes in my experience always thrive in areas where water circulation is poor, I'd recommend improving the flow if possible.

Ensuring plants thrive and algae doesn't is always about striking the perfect balance, ensuring the conditions favour the growth of your plants. I'd expect changes to your lighting to reduce the intensity would address most of the issues you're encountering.
Thanks @StandbySetting!

I had thought about buying a more powerful pump for the filter but worried that the flow may then be too much for some of the fish?
 

Byron

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Thanks @StandbySetting!

I had thought about buying a more powerful pump for the filter but worried that the flow may then be too much for some of the fish?

I would not go down this road. Algae is often said to be caused by too little flow, or too much flow--depending who you read...neither is really the issue. The light/nutrient balance is the cause of problem algae and the method to rectify the problem.
 

StandbySetting

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Thanks @StandbySetting!

I had thought about buying a more powerful pump for the filter but worried that the flow may then be too much for some of the fish?
I have a lot of experience with Juwel tanks and whilst their filters are very good in how they work the factory supplied pumps are under whelming.

Ultimately the choice is yours, I have the exact same tank as yours and I upgraded to the 1000lph pump. Properly diffused the output is not too powerful and I no longer get dead zones that receive very little water circulation.

My advice is purely experience based, it is a common agreement amongst the planted community that good water circulation is beneficial for plant growth, more so in higher energy setups which this is given the lighting intensity. Better distribution of nutrients and quicker/more efficient removal of waste is a no brainer for me, there are limits to this of course, you wouldn't want your set up to be reminiscent of a blender for example...

Please let us know what steps you take and If there are any improvements
 

raylove

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I have a lot of experience with Juwel tanks and whilst their filters are very good in how they work the factory supplied pumps are under whelming.
Ultimately the choice is yours, I have the exact same tank as yours and I upgraded to the 1000lph pump. Properly diffused the output is not too powerful and I no longer get dead zones that receive very little water circulation.

My advice is purely experience based, it is a common agreement amongst the planted community that good water circulation is beneficial for plant growth, more so in higher energy setups which this is given the lighting intensity. Better distribution of nutrients and quicker/more efficient removal of waste is a no brainer for me, there are limits to this of course, you wouldn't want your set up to be reminiscent of a blender for example...

Please let us know what steps you take and If there are any improvements
However, Juwel filters are also designed to limit the flow through their lower level in order to promote conditions for nitrate removing anaerobic bacteria (subject to suitable media), so increasing the flow is likely to reduce that effect. Water comes out of my tap at 35ppm nitrate but my tank never gets above 10-15ppm and for some time now seems to have settled at 5ppm, so something is working well. Whether it's the filter or the plants is hard to say - probably a bit of both, though I read on this forum that plants keep nitrate down largely by absorbing ammonia before it gets converted into nitrate, rather than by absorbing nitrate directly, so perhaps it's more down to the filter than I previously thought.
Anyway, my rather long winded point here was to say that I increase flow by adding a separate circulation pump or wave maker to avoid too great a flow through the filter. A further advantage is that you can spread the flow around by altering the position of the pump until you find the best position for it.
 
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Bruben

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Really appreciate all of your advice, thank you.

So far today I have done another partial water change and cut off leaves/portions of plants that are overrun with algae as well as scraping the walls. Also going forward the lights will only be on 8 hours per day.

I’m still abit hesitant about adding more flow - purely because I’ve got dwarf gouramis and neon tetras in the tank that I don’t think would appreciate it. However, my tank came with a 500L/ph pump that I may change for the 600L/ph pump that comes with the Rio 180.

Again, thanks for all of your input, it’s interesting to hear differing views.
 

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