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Silent cycling query!

Cromid

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Hey guys, so im silent cycling my 60l heavily planted tank. Only been about 10 days that it's been set up, but the plants are already growing nicely with my bacopa pretty much doubling in size already! Crazy quick growing plant! I've some floating plants, hair grass, java fern, java moss and a few other quick growing plants too and all are looking super healthy.
Lighting has been on for about 10hours a day. But have just changed this to a light than runs on a cycle to give it more of a routine of low light, bright light and night time

My question is, should I be receiving so much of what I believe is long hair algea at this stage? I'm alittle worried I shouldn't, but I've read alot of conflicting things saying that this is normal, and I should leave it, and also not to do any water changes. I've been topping up the tank for evaporation and have done one water change of about 50% before I read that I perhaps shouldn't be.
The algea is basically long thin green strands pretty much flowing off everything. Driftwood, plants etc. So I'm assuming it's hair algea.

Guidance on this issue would be awesome guys. I don't want to do frequent water changes if I shouldn't, but i don't want to leave it if I should. Same with the algea, I don't want to remove it if I shouldn't.
 

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I have done two silent cycles on a 55 gallon and a 30 gallon a did not have an algae problem so something is out of wack . Too much light or too much plant food are likely suspects.
 

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I agree. I've been using the planted tank method for years. If you have algae problems (a photo would help us pin it down) it means too strong a light intensity, or on for too long, or too many nutrients (fertilizers), all of which must balance. Too little light or insufficient fertilizers could be other causes of problem algae but not likely here given your description of the plants and their growth. So it is more likely an excess of one of them.
 
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Cromid

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I agree. I've been using the planted tank method for years. If you have algae problems (a photo would help us pin it down) it means too strong a light intensity, or on for too long, or too many nutrients (fertilizers), all of which must balance. Too little light or insufficient fertilizers could be other causes of problem algae but not likely here given your description of the plants and their growth. So it is more likely an excess of one of them.
Ah well that answers that pretty definitively for me. It shouldn't be there haha. The new lighting isn't as bright, or as intense for so long so this should hopefully help. Il refrain from adding a much fertilizer in the hope it eventually goes away.

In the mean time, with regards to the cycling, water changes and algae. Should I remove the algae? And should I be doing weekly large water changes too while the tank continues to cycle
 

Byron

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Ah well that answers that pretty definitively for me. It shouldn't be there haha. The new lighting isn't as bright, or as intense for so long so this should hopefully help. Il refrain from adding a much fertilizer in the hope it eventually goes away.

In the mean time, with regards to the cycling, water changes and algae. Should I remove the algae? And should I be doing weekly large water changes too while the tank continues to cycle
On the cycling...you do not need to "cycle" a tank with live plants that are showing signs of growth. The plants will assimilate the ammonia/ammonium faster than the nitrifying bacteria, and nitrite and nitrate is not produced as a result. Fish can go in at any time once you have plants obviously growing, as appears to be the case here. Water changes will help plants as well as fish so I would get into the regular routine of once a week doing a 50-70% water change. If you use liquid fertilizer, add this the day after the water change. Use it minimall, and go by the plant response. If plants are clearly growing well, that means they are getting what they need and any excess fertilizer is only going to feed algae.

As for the algae, again a photo would help us. The aim is to resolve the cause so it does not increase/continue. What is already there, you could remove. I have never had a hair algae problem, but I have had problems with blackbeard/brush algae, a few times. I worked to reset the light/nutrient balance and it stopped increasing. I have not had it now for three or four years in any of my tanks.

You also have to understand the lighting when you have these different levels as you mention in post #1. Plants willonly photosynthesize if the light is of minimum intensity for that plant species, and if all needed nutrients are available. As soon as one of these is insufficient, photosynthesis will slow and may stop, depending, and algae takes advantage. The lower lighting settings should be minimal in duration because they are certainly not going to allow plants to photosynthesize, which means algae. Treat the lighting as being three steps: the brightest is the "daylight" period which can be six hours or more, the darkest is the "night" period which must be several continuous hours of total darkness (no room light of any sort), and in between you can have the "dawn/dusk" period of less light but these periods should not be more than an hour or maybe two with one between the "night" and "daylight" and the other between the "daylight" and "night".
 

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@Byron is spot on, I had both low light plants like ferns and floating fast growing plants like anacharis and hornwort when I started my silent/planted cycle. I had my tank running two weeks with plants before adding my first group of fish a shoal of 5 red eyed tetras. I did not use fertilizer because the fish provide it. After about two weeks and testing the water I added my 2nd shoal of 5 ember tetras. About 10 days later I added my 3 shoal of neon tetras. I did water test weekly and I did a weekly water change of 50%. I never had an ammonia reading above 0. I used T8 plant lights and only add flourish for the plants at 1/2 dosage after 3 months.
 
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Cromid

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On the cycling...you do not need to "cycle" a tank with live plants that are showing signs of growth. The plants will assimilate the ammonia/ammonium faster than the nitrifying bacteria, and nitrite and nitrate is not produced as a result. Fish can go in at any time once you have plants obviously growing, as appears to be the case here. Water changes will help plants as well as fish so I would get into the regular routine of once a week doing a 50-70% water change. If you use liquid fertilizer, add this the day after the water change. Use it minimall, and go by the plant response. If plants are clearly growing well, that means they are getting what they need and any excess fertilizer is only going to feed algae.

As for the algae, again a photo would help us. The aim is to resolve the cause so it does not increase/continue. What is already there, you could remove. I have never had a hair algae problem, but I have had problems with blackbeard/brush algae, a few times. I worked to reset the light/nutrient balance and it stopped increasing. I have not had it now for three or four years in any of my tanks.

You also have to understand the lighting when you have these different levels as you mention in post #1. Plants willonly photosynthesize if the light is of minimum intensity for that plant species, and if all needed nutrients are available. As soon as one of these is insufficient, photosynthesis will slow and may stop, depending, and algae takes advantage. The lower lighting settings should be minimal in duration because they are certainly not going to allow plants to photosynthesize, which means algae. Treat the lighting as being three steps: the brightest is the "daylight" period which can be six hours or more, the darkest is the "night" period which must be several continuous hours of total darkness (no room light of any sort), and in between you can have the "dawn/dusk" period of less light but these periods should not be more than an hour or maybe two with one between the "night" and "daylight" and the other between the "daylight" and "night".
Thanks so much for your advice and help, I appreciate it. From what I read about the silent cycle was that I should be able to add fish as soon as I've started seen healthy growth so that's good to know that's the case. And I will start doing the water changes as you advise.
I will try get a photo tomorrow to see what I'm dealing with. I like to think that simply changing the lighting and amount of fert I'm giving the plants should help elimate the cause of what's currently there. I guess I've let it get alittle worse because of reading some comments that "it's totally normal, algae is good for a new tank, leave it because it's promoting growth etc etc" where I should have removed or acted in it straight away.
Yeh the lighting I've now got allows me to completely customise the timer and light levels for each hour of the day so I can now easily set it to as you've recommended. The one I previously had didn't, and i couldn't use a timer with it. So I had to manually change between daylight and night which was never going to work properly!
 
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Cromid

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@Byron is spot on, I had both low light plants like ferns and floating fast growing plants like anacharis and hornwort when I started my silent/planted cycle. I had my tank running two weeks with plants before adding my first group of fish a shoal of 5 red eyed tetras. I did not use fertilizer because the fish provide it. After about two weeks and testing the water I added my 2nd shoal of 5 ember tetras. About 10 days later I added my 3 shoal of neon tetras. I did water test weekly and I did a weekly water change of 50%. I never had an ammonia reading above 0. I used T8 plant lights and only add flourish for the plants at 1/2 dosage after 3 months.
Ah perfect! That's great to know! And as you say too, once I get the cause of the current algae under control, any little amounts I have from then on, my critters and fish should take care of.
 
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Cromid

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On the cycling...you do not need to "cycle" a tank with live plants that are showing signs of growth. The plants will assimilate the ammonia/ammonium faster than the nitrifying bacteria, and nitrite and nitrate is not produced as a result. Fish can go in at any time once you have plants obviously growing, as appears to be the case here. Water changes will help plants as well as fish so I would get into the regular routine of once a week doing a 50-70% water change. If you use liquid fertilizer, add this the day after the water change. Use it minimall, and go by the plant response. If plants are clearly growing well, that means they are getting what they need and any excess fertilizer is only going to feed algae.

As for the algae, again a photo would help us. The aim is to resolve the cause so it does not increase/continue. What is already there, you could remove. I have never had a hair algae problem, but I have had problems with blackbeard/brush algae, a few times. I worked to reset the light/nutrient balance and it stopped increasing. I have not had it now for three or four years in any of my tanks.

You also have to understand the lighting when you have these different levels as you mention in post #1. Plants willonly photosynthesize if the light is of minimum intensity for that plant species, and if all needed nutrients are available. As soon as one of these is insufficient, photosynthesis will slow and may stop, depending, and algae takes advantage. The lower lighting settings should be minimal in duration because they are certainly not going to allow plants to photosynthesize, which means algae. Treat the lighting as being three steps: the brightest is the "daylight" period which can be six hours or more, the darkest is the "night" period which must be several continuous hours of total darkness (no room light of any sort), and in between you can have the "dawn/dusk" period of less light but these periods should not be more than an hour or maybe two with one between the "night" and "daylight" and the other between the "daylight" and "night".
IMG_20200225_102225.jpg
IMG_20200225_102616.jpg
ava
Here's a picture of the type of algae I'm getting. Since changing the lighting and cutting back on the nutrients it's stopped reproducing as quickly but I can see it still returning. But that might just be because the changes are needing longer to take effect.

Also, in the 2nd picture. There are strands of either java moss/willow moss growing through my hairgrass. I never purchased it so it's hitchhiked its way into the tank, but will it damage the hairgrass and should I remove it from between the grass?
 

Byron

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From the photos I cannot tell if that is moss or algae. But if you can remove it, no harm. Either will in time become thick enough to prevent sufficient light reaching the individual leaves which will slowly kill them.

Any problem algae can only be successfully deal with by restoring the balance of light/nutrients. If you are seeing improvement, you are on the right track. And yes, it takes time for any change to be noticeable, usuallky anyway. I tend to deal with one factor and give it a couple weeks before dealing with another if things have not improved. Also keep in mind that algae is natural--a tank with no algae is not healthy--but we want to be in control of the algae, not the reverse.
 
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Cromid

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From the photos I cannot tell if that is moss or algae. But if you can remove it, no harm. Either will in time become thick enough to prevent sufficient light reaching the individual leaves which will slowly kill them.

Any problem algae can only be successfully deal with by restoring the balance of light/nutrients. If you are seeing improvement, you are on the right track. And yes, it takes time for any change to be noticeable, usuallky anyway. I tend to deal with one factor and give it a couple weeks before dealing with another if things have not improved. Also keep in mind that algae is natural--a tank with no algae is not healthy--but we want to be in control of the algae, not the reverse.
This might be a better image.
 

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Cromid

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That does look like moss, I have some Java Moss like this. Wrap the strands around wood or rock or some decor.
Perfect thanks for letting me know. Il keep removing it from the grass and hopefully it'll eventually stop sprouting but it's an easy fix now I know,

free bonus plant haha
 

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