Out of control Algae

pudclarke

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Have had my LIDO 120 running for about 9 months but in the past month or so it has developed an Algae problem that is getting worse. In addition to that, my plants are deteriorating and appear to be dying off.
I have attached some photos showing the different types of Algae plus what some of the plants are looking like.
I use a liquid fertiliser and liquid carbon once a week and the lights (the ones that came with the tank) are on 6 hours a day. I change about 30% of the water once a week.
Can anyone advise what is causing the Algae growth - could it be too much nutrients / not enough nutrients / too much or too little light etc?
I'm getting down and frustrated with it as I clear the Algae as much as possible each morning but it's grown back again the following day.
Any advice greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance
 

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nik_n

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I would cut back on both CO2 and fertilisers. Don't put any for a week as see what effect it has on the algae. What fish do you keep in that tank and how much do you feed them. Fish poop is also a fertiliser for plants and algae, and if you feed to often or too much this can promote algae growth.

These look like hair algae, so if you put a siamese algae eater, he should take care of them. This depends on the type of fish you keep in the tank, but generally there shouldn't be any problems
 
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pudclarke

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I would cut back on both CO2 and fertilisers. Don't put any for a week as see what effect it has on the algae. What fish do you keep in that tank and how much do you feed them. Fish poop is also a fertiliser for plants and algae, and if you feed to often or too much this can promote algae growth.

These look like hair algae, so if you put a siamese algae eater, he should take care of them. This depends on the type of fish you keep in the tank, but generally there shouldn't be any problems
Thanks for the quick response.
I'll won't fertilise this week and see if it makes any difference.
I have these fish in the tank:
6 neons
6 glow lights
6 copper harlequins
4 small grouramis
1 Ram
1 Male Siamese fighter
2 Hong Kong Loaches that suck on the plants and glass but don't appear to be huge Algae eaters
I feed them twice a day with aquarian flake food and the occasional frozen bloodworm block.
I vacumn up the dirt and poop when doing the water change each week but I notice that some of the larger leafed plants catch the poop. Maybe I am over feeding them?
Does the Siamese Algae eater come under a different name because I don't think I've ever seen one in my local shops and would it be compatible with my existing fish?
 

seangee

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None of the plants in your pics need CO2. Liquid carbon is actually poisonous (to fish) so please don't use it. Reduce your ferts to 50% of the recommended dosage once a week. If your lights are dimmable turn them down a bit, otherwse add floating plants like frogbit.

The algae is BBA (black beard algae). All algae is caused by an imbalance between light and nutrients and plants. It may take a bit of trial and error but if you fix the source you fix the problem. Buying an SAE will just give you new problems as it gets older and you will still have algae.
 

Slaphppy7

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Agree with stopping the ferts and the carbon.

Lights out on the tank for 3 days, see if it makes a dent in the algae...fish don't need aquarium lights, the ambient room light is enough
 

StevenF

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could it be too much nutrients / not enough nutrients / too much or too little light etc?
It is all of those. There are 14 nutrients plant need to grow. If you are short just one your plants will either grow very slowly or die. When plant growth slows Algae growth will often accelerate.

You are also assuming your fertilizer is supplying all 14 nutrients your plants need. I have searched extensively for such a fertilizer. It doesn't exist. most tap water has a lot of calcium and magnesium and copper (Ca, Mg, Cu. Most fertilizer manufactures either put any Ca Mg or Cu in the fertilizer. or only provide a very small amount in the fertilizer. Manufactures also often put little to no zinc and nitrogen in the fertilizer.

End result is that if your tap and fertilizer is missing just one nutrient. That one nutrient will not be present in the water. While all of the others nutrients will be in excess of plant needs. Algae thrives in this type of environment.

The first thing you need to do is identify to us the fertilizer you are using and look at the label ave verify it has the following in it:

Nitrogen (N), potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), phosphate (P), sulfur (S), chloride, iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), boron (B), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and molybdenum (Mo).

Note: Chloride is a chlorine containing salt. Plant need Chlorine but not in its toxic gas form. potassium chloride and sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride are all used in fertilizers and are safe in an aquarium.

Then get your test kit out and Measure your PH, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, GH and KH of your tap water and your tank water. Plants need nitrogen so you want to see some nitrate (5ppm is enough) but you don't want the toxic nitrite, or toxic levels of ammonia. GH is a measure of Ca and Mg in the water. You don't want zero (possible if using RO water). But even if you have a positive reading you could have all calcium with no magnesium or the opposite. Some fertilizers will not work in high PH water while others do. If your tap water is very different than the tap water, change out more water during your water change.

It is often difficult to identify a specific nutrient using pictures but I see a lot of twisted or distorted leaves which could indicate Ca and Mg problems. If so suing a small amount of a GH booster could help.
 

Colin_T

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The green and yellow striped plant looks like it belongs in the garden. If that is dying off, then it's a terrestrial plant and should not be kept underwater.

The algae growing on the small leaf plant is filamentous algae that grows from lots of nutrients.

The short black stuff on the leaf is black beard algae that spreads via spores in the water and is a pain in the butt to deal with.
 

Stan510

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The striped plant is not an aquatic,Thats Dracaena sanderiana. It's on the edge of rotting and just polluting the aquarium. I don't know why some people buy them twisted as Lucky Bamboo and think "This will make a great water plant"..they then plant them 50% underwater,tops out of water. Lethal is what that is to the plant. Now,with just the root system in water hydroponic like? that's fine...but not half submerged- ever.
 

Colin_T

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I don't know why some people buy them twisted as Lucky Bamboo and think "This will make a great water plant
It's the shops that sell garden plants as aquarium plants. They irritate me on a huge scale. When I first started in the pet industry, the shop I worked at sold "aquarium plants" and 3/4 of them were garden plants that died within a couple of weeks of being put underwater. I spat the dummy and told the boss to stop ordering the pretty purple, yellow and blue plants because they belong in the garden. We still got them in but some were put in shallow containers of water with wet roots and dry leaves. They did a lot better that way and people bought them to go around their ponds.

An easy way to identify a true aquatic plant from a terrestrial/ garden plant is to lift it out of water. If the plant can stand up out of water, it's a marsh/ garden plant. If the plant collapses when removed from water, it's a true aquatic plant.
 

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