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10-24-2013, 11:21 PM #11Banned Discus fish
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
- Vancouver, BC, Canada
I want to come back to an earlier point first, before turning to the last posts, and this has to do with so-called "algae-free" planted tanks. These do not exist; there is always going to be some species of algae in an aquarium. The aim is to keep it under control, and that is possible. Plants will "out-compete" algae but the light and nutrients must be in balance.
Floating plants will help, but in my view you are going to have to lessen the light intensity to really get at this brush algae. You are not over-fertilizing from what you have told us, and that can cause this too. The duration of the light is important, but duration and intensity are not interchangeable, meaning you cannot make up for one with more or less of the other. You are at 7 hours, and I would not go below 6, but that is in my opinion really not going to do much.
To illustrate how delicate this light issue really is: I brought brush algae under control when i reduced the duration of light down to 8 hours. I have moderate light, some say it is low light, over my tanks to start with, but brush algae was a problem until I reduced the duration to 8 hours. Over a period of two years I noticed that the brush algae also increased during the summer, and I came to realize it was because of the increased daylight during the longer days. I added heavy drapes and kept them closed during the next summer, and with no other changes, end of brush algae problems. This has now worked the last 2 summers. It was simply the increased ambient room light from the brighter sun during the longer days that affected the balance.
I would increase your water change volume to half the tank, and stay with once a week.
The wood in my tanks is absolutely covered in brush algae. I don't worry about it. I take action when it begins to increase onto the plant leaves. And there are several types of "brush" algae, as the attached photos show. I have both of these, though not in all tanks. It is another aspect of a tank's biology being unique that certain tanks will attract one algae but no others.
brush algae1.jpgbrush algae2.jpg
10-25-2013, 11:53 AM #12
Thanks for all of the detailed info! I am going to try and disable one bulb and see if that helps. I don't have much natural daylight to contend with since the tanks are in my basement office. If I cannot disable one bulb I am going to try some floaters to greatly diminish the light. I appreciate the insight you gave Byron.
10-29-2013, 11:48 AM #13
Most likely your phosphates are high like Byron said and also check your nitrates; nitrates are best kept below 5 ppm. Phosphates should be pushed as low as possible but under 0.5 ppm works well to control algae and leave more than enough for plants. Avoid any fert that has phosphates. After killing the algae off using the Excel treatment, increase your size and number of water changes. An algae filter will also work wonders (killed my algae problem completely.
Rather than removing a bulb just get two lower wattage bulbs with the correct color temp.
10-29-2013, 12:26 PM #14
10-29-2013, 02:55 PM #15
I finally got rid of my mess when I added some otto's and got rid of my plant light. I kept mine on a timer at 6 hours, as well, but it was simply too much light. I now have two- Home depot clamp-on lights at the whooping cost of $13! My $100+ light sits in my closet now but my tank is clean, neat and free of algae.
Floating plants will not work if you have filters that will throw them all over the tank. I tried that one, too. I have read of someone who got some window screening and attached it to his light to cut down on the brightness.
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 10-29-2013 at 02:58 PM.
10-29-2013, 05:13 PM #16