Plants and algae

Guppylover3x

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I’ve very recently had to replace all my plants because of what I am assuming to be a build up of algae.

The plants began to develop a black tint to the leaves. It’s a shame because the plants were all still alive and growing. They just didn’t look very appealing. I had them for around 3/4 months.

I’m wondering what caused it? Lack of light maybe?

Any help would be helpful, thanks!
 

Deanasue

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I think this is one for @Byron .
 

Colin_T

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Come on, you lot know the drill. If there's an issue, post pictures of the algae so we can identify it?

Algae is caused by too much light or too much nutrients and not enough plants to use the light or nutrients.

Blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria) grows on plants in a film and wipes off in sheets. It smells musty and feels slimy. This is caused by wrong light, poor water movement, low oxygen levels, too much dry food and high nutrient levels in the tank.
 
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Guppylover3x

Guppylover3x

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Come on, you lot know the drill. If there's an issue, post pictures of the algae so we can identify it?

Algae is caused by too much light or too much nutrients and not enough plants to use the light or nutrients.

Blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria) grows on plants in a film and wipes off in sheets. It smells musty and feels slimy. This is caused by wrong light, poor water movement, low oxygen levels, too much dry food and high nutrient levels in the tank.
You are correct. I should have posted pictures, I got so wound up I couldn’t help myself from just pulling them out straight away!

I have left my led light on a few times for longer period of times than others. Usually when Ive stayed out longer than expected, so I’ve not been home on time to turn it of.

I will try make sure I don’t do this again, and see if it helps.

Thank you.
 

Deanasue

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Be honest, you just wanted to buy new plants. :p
 

Deanasue

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Must have been fun and worth new plants!:-
 

Fishmanic

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They have this neat thing call a "timer" so you don't have to worry about being out late...I have timers on all my tanks connected also via "Alexa". It's very convenient and dependable. :) "Alexa--turn on fish tank"
 
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Guppylover3x

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They have this neat thing call a "timer" so you don't have to worry about being out late...I have timers on all my tanks connected also via "Alexa". It's very convenient and dependable. :) "Alexa--turn on fish tank"
I agree, I should probably get something sorted. #Alexa to the rescue!
 

Deanasue

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I hope you know that we’re just poking fun at you. I wish I was still young enough to stay up that late. Lol!
 

Byron

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I agree on the timer, and it is far more important than just controlling algae. The period during which the tank lighting is on/off each day is crucial to fish (and plants, though less of an issue) because it drives their circadian rhythm and this must be consistent every 24 hour period or the fish will be under stress and thus prone to problems.
 

Deanasue

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So, is it better to just shorten their day as opposed to leaving the lights off during the day?
 

Byron

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So, is it better to just shorten their day as opposed to leaving the lights off during the day?
Assuming this refers to the effect on fish...if you had no tank lighting at all and the room was relatively well lit with ambient light, the fish would be appreciative. But we like to see our fish in the tank, so we need to recognize the effects of light/dark and ensure we are replicating nature (in their habitat) as closely as possible.

With that in mind, fish need a period of "day" which is when the tank lighting is on, and they need a period of total and complete black darkness (the "night") when there are no tank lights, and no room light. A totally dark room. The length of the latter (the "night") is more crucial to fish than the former as this is the rest period that all animals/plants require during every 24-hour period if they are to function properly without additional stress. Aim for 6+ hours of total darkness--obviously this will depend upon the ambient room lighting including daylight so it will be important to schedule their "night" with the actual "night."

The period of "daylight" when the tank light is one can be anything you like, provided it is the same period each 24-hours and it is one continuous period. With live plants, six hours is about as minimal as you want this "day," and algae is often our guide beyond that. As I said, the fish do not really care about the "day" but it is more for our benefit. Light intensity and duration is crucial to fish health because their metabolism is driven by the light. Tests have shown that even totally blind fish react to the day/night cycle.
 

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