View Full Version : Learn Me

03-02-2008, 02:19 PM
Several weeks back I added some live plants to my tank. Some java ferns and some hornwort and some sorta lilly type plant that I can't recall what it is exactly.
Of course the hornwort is growing, the lilly thing is doing very well and the java is alive but eh.

Other then that, my tank looks like crap. I have a brown surface algae growing over the rock and gravel that gets direct light. Is this the second wave of imbalance in a fairly new tank ( ~6 months old now)?

My question is this. How does someone (yes you Jess) have such a beautiful tank when I have 0.5 wpg @ 8 hrs/day and mine looks like it does. What were to happen if I go to 2wpg? What am I missing in the equation needed to nurture such a beautiful tank? I'm not asking for a scientific treatise, just some basic knowledge and a point in the right direction if I can make some sense of it all.

Thanks peeps,

03-02-2008, 02:28 PM
I am also learning about the planted aquarium and am combatting similar problems with algae. The one thing I would suggest is not allowing natural sunlight to shine directly onto or into your tank. Most algae benifits from more light just as plants do....

Sorry, had a dislexic moment....Thought you said direct sunlight, not direct light. I have been having the same problems with black beard algae.....was told CO2 would help, but I'm running about 2 wpg on my lights...

03-02-2008, 02:34 PM
I too am finding a big learning curve with a planted tank. I am going to upgrade my lighting from the standard lights that came with my hood to a T5 lighting system. I have started with just some easy swords etc and a few flourish tabs. I hope it will make a difference.

03-02-2008, 02:48 PM
Brown algae means there is not enough light. Upgrade your lights to 1.5 watts per gallon. 2 is a lot better, but you will need CO2.

03-02-2008, 03:35 PM
If you only have .5 watts/gallon therein lies the problem.

As far as CO2 is concerned, you can also use Seachem Excel as a carbon source. I am using it now to great effect.

03-02-2008, 07:04 PM
Increasing you wattage will really help the plants. Adding CO2 is always a plus. There are alot of DIY websites that will show you how to do it. I had one on a 75 gallon (3-2liters with an air pump pushing through it) and that made a great difference in my plants. It's a good alternative to help the plants while saving for an injection system.

Water changes will help keep the algae away too. You can also research plants that take high levels of nutrients, so that those plants basically starve the algae and it will die off. I know aquabotanic.com has some good plants to look at, and they categorize them by aglae busting groups.

You can also get yourself a couple of siamese algae eaters, or a nice size plecostomus. Be careful how big though, I had to give one away that was about 7-8inches because it kept mowing my plants down.

Goodluck with the algae issue!

03-03-2008, 08:14 PM
I think you need stronger light. Lighting is a rather complicated issue, because someone may have problems at 1 wpg, and one person's plants may thrive at 1 wpg.

03-03-2008, 09:34 PM
Algae is a rare event in a tank that is well planted and well lit.It is rare in a well cared for planted tank because the plants are far more active at pulling nutrients then algae.As has been stated you need more light,how much more depends on how many plants and what kind of plants.For what you have now ,just under 2wpg of quality 6700k compact fluorecent will do greatly.At that level co2 is a wasted commodity as the plants you have are not that co2 hungry.Of cource it will help,very little,but it would help.GM72 has recomended flourish excel and he is correct.It works very well as a co2 supplement and it also has an algae killing effect.I use it in my tank and I am thickly planted with med high light.The brown algae you have is fairly common in newer tanks and you state that yours is 6 months old,that is still fairly new so you can expect the brown algae to diminish soon,especially with better light.Your plants will also benefit from a fertilizer such as fluora pride which is a cheleated iron and pottasium liquid that works very well with the type plants you have as well as many others.How about your tank temp?75-80deg is a good range for most planted tanks ,mine does well at 78deg.For the substrate rooted plants you may want later with higher light,you will want a fine gravel[under 1/8th inch] with a fertilizing agent incorporated into it,such as fluorite or laterite.Good luck with your plants,when it finally does come all together they are well worth the xtra work.

03-04-2008, 12:05 AM
Thanks everyone.

I did a water change today and it sure looks nicer as I stirred up the stones pretty good. I was overdo. I am going to look into lights and I really like the idea of the liquid supplements over the injection system.

03-04-2008, 05:24 AM
I tend to run at least 3WPG in my tanks. Sometimes up to 4 or 5. In my experience, there is almost always going to be SOME algae somewhere. However I have managed to keep it mostly under control with varying methods, from cleaning it to my self, to having a few algae eaters, and better lighting. I try to stay away from chemicals to kill it off though. Just my .02