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Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. Default Tons of algae in my company nano

    0 Not allowed!
    First of, let me say that I'm more of a saltwater aquarist than a freshwater. I did however want a tank at my job and didnt want to have to put the effort a saltwatertank would require so we got ourselves a 31 liter freshwater tank which I wanted the plants to be the main focus of.

    I'm using co2, using plant substrate and adding plant nutrition every week with my 50% water changes. The co2 is set to release one bubble every 2-3 seconds and think im being fairly restrictive with my feedings. I havn't checked the tap water perimeters but I live in Stockholm, Sweden and we have one of the worlds cleanest tap water so that shouldnt be a problem. Some people even use Stockholm's tapwater for reef aquariums.

    Last week we started to see some algae in the tank and this monday when i got back to work, the tank looked like this:

    What could cause this? What did I do wrong? How should i solve it? Stop dosing plant nutrition? Put the tank in darkness for a couple of days? Increase co2?

    Thankfull for all help, big or small :)

  2. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    Looks like green dust algae on the glass, I can't tell if any other types of algae are growing in there. The usual response is to just leave alone and it will die off, believe it or not.

    Here is a good rundown of types of algae, causes, and cures

    Do you have a CO2 drop checker? Having CO2 at 30ppm will optimize plant utilization of nutrients in the water column, whereas algae is less dependent on it. If you continue having algae problems, we need to look at the balance of lighting, ferts, and CO2. I wouldn't just turn up the CO2 without a drop checker, this can be dangerous to the fish and high doses of CO2 don't solve the root problem.

    What is your lighting like? How long is your photoperiod? Again if you're just seeing the green dust, then you probably aren't doing anything wrong, but it never hurts to be proactive. I think it's also important to accept algae to some degree as part of the planted tank process. You can either fight it or learn from it, but it will happen regardless. Regular and prompt maintenance should keep it in check though. I don't know anything about SW, but I have heard that high light planted tanks can be comparable in terms of workload. It's accelerating the natural process of plant growth, but also the growth of things like algae.
    Last edited by Zerileous; 10-01-2013 at 09:02 AM.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the response Zerileous!
    It's not only algae on the glass, if you look at the plants you can see long green probably hair algae growing.
    I do not have a dropchecker but thanks for that tip. Ill get one if I'm not able to stop this algae bloom.
    I'm aware that algae is a natural thing, especially in a new tank but I'm just concerned how fast its growing. This is what we got in a week. Every monday I do 50% water change and if there is algae I'll get most of it out while siphoning the tank and then scrubbing the glass.

    The lightning is the lamp that came with the cocoon nano tank which says "duo boy 26 watt". It's currently running 10 hours a day.
    On my saltwater tank I started off with 3 hours a day the first week and increasing it with 1 hour every week until i was up to 10 hours. I didn't get the same advice when starting my freshwater tank but maybe I should think in the same way here?

    Really appreachiate your advice!

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Have you checked for ammonia/nitrates/nitrites? Sometimes algae is a sign of excess nitrogenous wastes, but from a glance it doesn't appear the tank is over-stocked, plus you seem to have a good water change regimen. Never hurts to test though. What kind of fish do you have there now? Sometimes adding a few shrimp can help a lot with algae, but many fish make a snack out of them.

    Some people have pretty good luck with turning the lights off for an hour or two midday. I would be cautious leaving the CO2 running though. From what I can tell, the light seems appropriate for the tank, if a little on the high side. I would start by decreasing that to 8 hours, possibly 4 on, 1 off, 4 on or something similar.

    What kind of fertilizer are you using? I tend to be pretty conservative with them, but too little can cause algae as well.

    For now I would try to change one thing at a time and manually remove algae from the plants, substrate, etc as best you can. If the green dust bugs you too much you can clean it off the glass, but it may last longer than if you left it alone.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    No I havn't checked any of the chemicals from the nitrogen lifecycle but I can't imagin they being very high since i do big waterchanges regulary and how clear our tapwater is but I could bring my test for my saltwater tank with me to work tomorrow to check. At the moment I have 10 fishes. 5 Sundadanio axelrodi (blue) and 5 Boraras brigittae. I'm going to add shrimps later but I wanted the bacteria to get a firm grip before introducing sensitive invertebrates. I've told my collegues that the shimps are 1-2 weeks away.
    I'll try decrease the light time but could you explain what the reason for having it turned off one hour would help?

    I'm using Tropica aquacare plant nutrition and dosing it every monday. I havn't dosed it this week though since I wanted to get some feedback before doing that. Do you think I should continue with it?

  6. #6

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    0 Not allowed!
    In a planted tank, algae should never be a problem provided the tank is balanced. Troublesome algae (thinking here of the green and red types) will only result when the light and nutrients are not balanced for the needs of the plants. Many factors affect this balance: plant species (growth rates, etc), fish load, water changes, source water GH, fertilizers, light spectrum, intensity and duration, ambient light in the room, and fish foods.

    The only way to solve algae problems is to establish the balance level. There is no "rule" for this, since so many factors are involved. Also remember that in new setups, algae will often occur initially because of the imbalance that is normal. Once the biological system is established, usually within 3 months, and provided it is balanced at that point, you should not see problem algae.

    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I don't think it could hurt to skip a week on the ferts. If that seems to impact aglae growth you might try starting at a half dose and working up from there. Sorry I'm really not good with water column fertilizers though, so it wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion on that. Is it the "plus" version? According to this thread, the plus version has some nitrogen in it.

    Looks like some folks have used the saltwater/freshwater kits interchangeably, just make sure you use the appropriate color cards (or pictures of such found online) - at least this is how it seems to work for the API brand.

    I looked into the siesta a bit and I couldn't come up with much in support of it. If you're not injecting CO2, it allows fauna to replenish the CO2 levels a little bit while the lights are out. If it decreases the appeal of your display, then don't worry about it, just decreasing the photo-period should help.

    If your water parameters look good (ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate < 10) then I see no reason not to add the shrimp (not too many though, the bioload of your 10 fish seems to be on the high range of appropriate), but I'm guessing the tank may not be fully cycled. How long has the tank been set up? How long have the current fish been in there?

    Often times plants can supersede the bacterial cycle, but I'm not familiar enough with the species you're growing to be sure. The carpeting plants can be pretty slow growers, as can java fern, and I only see a few stems. Even though there are a lot of plants, the nitrogenous waste could have gotten ahead of them.

    Please let us know when you test your water. Don't worry too much, almost every new high light planted tank goes through this, it's just part of the fun figuring out how to strike the balance for each particular setup. In the mean time, just know that this happens and can be remedied.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Dammit, i forgot the testkits at home... oh well ill try remember them tomorrow :/.
    My plant nutrition is the plus version, is that a problem?
    Could you please explain what "it" and "siesta" is in this sentence (other than the spanish word for nap)? "I looked into the siesta a bit and I couldn't come up with much in support of it".
    The tank has been running for little more than a month and fish has soon been there for 4 weeks. Other than the plants in the back the carpeting plants seem to be the fastest grower actually.

    Again... im very thankfull for your help!

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Hey sorry, I didn't mean to change terminology on you. When people turn their aquarium lights off for a little bit in the middle of the photoperiod, a lot of them call it a "siesta".

    I don't think the plus version is a problem, but it does contain some nitrogen. This can feed plants, if there is more nitrogen (in the form of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate or fertilizer) than the plants can use, then algae are likely to use it. It's just something to be conscious of as we try to find the proper balance of light, nutrients, and CO2 for your plants to thrive and algae to be manageable. Here's the reference where I found data on your fertilizer.

    Don't mind helping one bit, please keep us posted!

  10. #10


    1 Not allowed!
    Where are these plants supposed to get their macro nutrients from? Pretty much 90% of the fertilizer products on the European market don't contain much of these and Stockholm tapwater certainly doesn't have them in any amount. (one of those cities were I never bothered with mineral water)

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