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Old 03-24-2012, 06:21 PM   #1 
puppyrjjkm
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Planted tank: too much algae?

Hi there!

So I've done a few planted tanks but have come up with the same problem: while having good lighting/fertilizer for plants I get crazy algae and slow plant growth. Any help? I started off in a 10 gallon with "household flourescent bulbs" I believe 2-15 watt bulbs after a fellow member recommend them since 10 gallon hoods don't have tube lights. I just had basic plants: anachris and amazon sword, 2 moss balls with driftwood as decor. Had a plant substrate like seachem brand, I'm really wanting to redo a planted tank but don't want crazy algae a week after. I'm going to use regular gravel as the plant substrate also was a pain when moving decor causing cloudiness. Any advice for me to avoid algae blooms while still providing optimum plant care? Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #2 
Olympia
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Have you been fertilizing? I know the seachem products are for a lot of plants, they have some stuff in them that could be feeding the algae since the plants aren't using it all.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:23 PM   #3 
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Oh sorry! Forgot to mention I used the Flourish liquid fert. maybe once every 2 weeks.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:24 PM   #4 
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Hmm, maybe cut down on ferts, you could be feeding algae if you don't have enough plants.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:39 PM   #5 
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In well maintained all planted tanks. seeing a significant amount of algae is highly unlikely and depicts that there is a problem. as In planted tanks the excess nutrients that the algae uses to grow in larger quantities is greatly diminished by the population of plants using the nutrients to there own benefit.

Adding Fertilizers doesnt usually cause adverse effects as such as the ones you are experiencing at the given time. flourish is a well concentrated product and only gives these effects when over dosed, used to much. or added to a tank with a minimal amount, or unhealthy plants. all resulting in an excess amount of nutrients for the algae to thrive on

It would be very helpful to know this Information to better help determine the problem

What Is Your lighting?

What Is Your substrate?

What Is Your Fertilization schedule?

What Type Of Plants do you have?

Is the tank highly aerated and is there a high amount of flow?

Does algae only occur when you add fertilizers?

Do your plants look healthy?

what Is the PH and hardness of your tank?

How much Flourish do you add?

Last edited by Mo; 03-24-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:48 PM   #6 
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Okay this tank was tore down a while ago so I'll do my best. Just don't want to repeat my problems!

What Is Your lighting?
2-10W flourescent bulbs from walmart housing area (another member said these work much better than 'fish plant bulbs'
What Is Your substrate?
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...uctId=11147295
What Is Your Fertilization schedule?
FLourish liquid supplement once per two weeks
What Type Of Plants do you have?
Amazon sword, wisteria, duckweed, anachris
Is the tank highly aerated and is there a high amount of flow?
not much, had 10 gallon wisper filter but moss-like algae grew into intake tube, this is the point I tore it down
Does algae only occur when you add fertilizers?
no
Do your plants look healthy?
yes, little bit of brown tips of leaves here and there
what Is the PH and hardness of your tank?
ph~7
How much Flourish do you add?
honestly just poured a little in
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #7 
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when having x2 10 watt florescent bulbs that are on a typical time of around 6-8 hours a day, you shouldn't expect an excess build up of algae where as keeping the light on for prolonged periods of time can result in negative effects such as lots of algae. so do you keep you tank lights on for 8+ hours a day, or have it on a sunny window? if so then re-locating the tank (if in a sunny room), or decreasing the light additions will most likely result in the algae reducing by a large size.

also. making sure that you do proper doses will also most likely result in the decrease of algae
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #8 
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Thanks, it's actually in a very dark room with lights probablly around 8 hours a day. I don't think I put too much fertilizer in but I guess that must have been it. Well I just ordered some new plants online so we'll give it another go! Thank you both for the advice!
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #9 
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With planted tanks often failures are due to the wrong color temp on the lights or too old of light bulbs or too short a photoperiod.

It is normal and expected to get some algae in a container of water that has both light and nutrients-some species of algae are a sign of a healthy system.....
Since this is a closed system you have to balance everything so that the plants can out compete the algae-your still going to get some algae that you will have to manually remove on a regular basis along with your regular water changes.

Lights-this is the driving force behind successful planted tanks-without proper lights the plants can't even use the ferts you add-but the algae can.....

Too short of photoperiod and the plants can be tricked into thinking its a season change and time to either die, reproduce or flower-too short of PP and the plants can't thrive-this gives the algae a head start....

Balance-the plants have to be given the tools to out compete the algae for lights and nutrients.....but don't expect an algae free tank either-but it can be controlled by the proper balance and manual removal.....

Lights-what is important is the color temp of the bulb that being 5000k-7000k-ideally 6500k daylight-
Age of bulb-as the florescent tube ages its intensity is lost-the algae and we can still see the light but the plants can't to use it for photosynthesis
Photoperiod-in nature plants are on a 12h schedule-12h of light and 12h of dark-with 1hour before and after of dimmer light as the sun goes up and down. In the aquarium you want to provide the plants with at least 10h/d to start and if you start to see algae problems increase to 12h/day or you can go on a 14h with a 4h siesta mid day to allow the natural CO2 to build back up to assist with plant growth....

Plant species can change this too-some species are slower growing naturally and use less nutrients-by adding stem plants and/or floating plants can assist with algae problems as well.

Bottom line-the plants have be actively growing all the time in order to out compete the algae-remembering that some algae is normal and expect.
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