Algae In Co2 Tank>

DanniD

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Hi all,

I just set up a pressurized CO2 system in my 20 gallon tank a few days ago! As expected, things will get harder before they get easier but it's always exciting.

Just today I've noticed a nice algae bloom. The culprits: black beard and green spot algae. Call me naive but I didn't expect it :/

This tank has been around for a few months

Does anyone have any idea on what might be causing this or how to help?

Tank information:
Size & stocking: 20 gallon tank, stocked with 6 choco gouramis, 2 german gold rams, 4 otocinclus
Params: Ph 6.4, 80F, Nitrates = ? (they were between 0-5ppm before switching ferts)
Water Changes: 15% 2x/week but moving to 20% 2x/week
Filter: HOB filled with bio rocks and filter sponges (seems to have low surface agitation though)
CO2: ~2 bubbles per second (on/off 1 hour before lights come on/off)
Lighting: Finnex Planted + 24/7 (24 watts) on for 12 hours a day
Ferts: Thrive +, 1 pump with each water change (I know more is recommended for high-tech but I worry since I have nitrate sensitive fish)
Plants: heavily planted with water wisteria, ludwigia, crypts, swords, java fern, christmas moss, cyperus helferi, etc...

Any advice is very welcome! Thank you!
 

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tommywantfishy

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Hi all,

I just set up a pressurized CO2 system in my 20 gallon tank a few days ago! As expected, things will get harder before they get easier but it's always exciting.

Just today I've noticed a nice algae bloom. The culprits: black beard and green spot algae. Call me naive but I didn't expect it :/

This tank has been around for a few months

Does anyone have any idea on what might be causing this or how to help?

Tank information:
Size & stocking: 20 gallon tank, stocked with 6 choco gouramis, 2 german gold rams, 4 otocinclus
Params: Ph 6.4, 80F, Nitrates = ? (they were between 0-5ppm before switching ferts)
Water Changes: 15% 2x/week but moving to 20% 2x/week
Filter: HOB filled with bio rocks and filter sponges (seems to have low surface agitation though)
CO2: ~2 bubbles per second (on/off 1 hour before lights come on/off)
Lighting: Finnex Planted + 24/7 (24 watts) on for 12 hours a day
Ferts: Thrive +, 1 pump with each water change (I know more is recommended for high-tech but I worry since I have nitrate sensitive fish)
Plants: heavily planted with water wisteria, ludwigia, crypts, swords, java fern, christmas moss, cyperus helferi, etc...

Any advice is very welcome! Thank you!
Cut back your lights to 8hrs at the most. Anytime I leave mine on for longer I get algae. You could add some fast growers like wisteria, anacharis, etc to suck up some nutrients. Set your finnex to MAX for 6 hrs. Maybe do a blackout for 24 hrs. Also, you could add some Seachem Excel. It works as a great algaecide when lights are off.
 
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DanniD

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Cut back your lights to 8hrs at the most. Anytime I leave mine on for longer I get algae. You could add some fast growers like wisteria, anacharis, etc to suck up some nutrients. Set your finnex to MAX for 6 hrs. Maybe do a blackout for 24 hrs. Also, you could add some Seachem Excel. It works as a great algaecide when lights are off.
Thank you! I've scaled back my lighting a it and increased ferts. Hopefully this works out well...
 

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Do you run your Finnex 24/7 in 24/7 mode? I have the earlier version and in 24/7 mode and injected CO2 there was not enough light for effective photo-period. I added a supplemental light for the high light hours (11am-3pm), this did the trick for me.
 
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DanniD

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Do you run your Finnex 24/7 in 24/7 mode? I have the earlier version and in 24/7 mode and injected CO2 there was not enough light for effective photo-period. I added a supplemental light for the high light hours (11am-3pm), this did the trick for me.
No, I just have it set to max for the whole photo period. It worked really well up until I started CO2 so I just have to figure out the balance now...
 

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Looks like nutrient overload (your tank is what I call moderately planted). Cutting the light will help, but first I'd try cutting back the CO2. 2/sec is quite a bit in a 20.
 

dinosaur act

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BBA can be caused by inconstancy of co2 levels or poor circulation of co2 around your plants. i'd guess for you it could be due to your plants, as of the moment not being able to utilise the co2 you are providing due to newly introducing it or lack of ferts.

if you want to get rid of the bba sharpish on your next water change do the following;
turn off filter so you have no water movement
spot treat the areas of BBA whit syringe and liquid carbon(excel/easycarbon/ect) keep within recommend dose
wait 5 mins the BBA will start to turn red
continue whit your water change making sure to vac the area you have just treated (safer to remove as much excel/easycarbon as you can)
you may need to remove some of the red(dead) BBA manually as not to sure the otos will touch it, 'pest' snail will tho if you have any.
(this is only a short turn fix but may help your plants catch up)

heres a useful algae link:

hope this helps!

Looks like nutrient overload (your tank is what I call moderately planted). Cutting the light will help, but first I'd try cutting back the CO2. 2/sec is quite a bit in a 20.
i'd be very surprised if its an over dose of fert, below is what op is getting whit 1ml of dosing.

Element ppm
NO3 1.75001
Po4 0.325
K 1.25
N 0.42268
P 0.10567
Fe 0.10039
Mg 0.00793
Cu 0.00119
B 0.02642
Co 0.00003
Mn 0.00925
Mo 0.00026
Zn 0.00211
 

tommywantfishy

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Thank you! I've scaled back my lighting a it and increased ferts. Hopefully this works out well...
Also, do you have a solenoid? Makes it so much more convenient, and maintains your co2 level if on a timer (will need 2 timers to cut co2 on an hr b4 lights) it will make your levels consistent, which can cause algae as well. And as was stated earlier, run MAX for 6-8 hrs, and nothing the rest of the time. Would go 5-6 until algae subsides. Definitely up your ferts, and up your plant load if possible. I like to float anacharis if I am happy w/ my scape as-is.

Also, do you have a drop checker? There is one on Amazon it is a Jardlii (or whatever it is called). Has 4dkh solution. When and if you get a drop checker you will be able to maintain proper levels of 20-30 ppm Co2, and therefore determine how many BPS you actually need. BPS is not really a good way of telling....as your kh, and ph will have a major effect on how much co2 is dissolved in the water. You could gas 10 bps and if it isn't being dissolved properly, your drop checker wont turn green. Also, put it on the opposite side of your diffuser, or as far away on other side of tank. Sorry for the rambling. Tldr
 
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DanniD

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I have the following: drop checker, bubble counter, co2 regulator with built in solenoid, timers x2 with co2 on an hour before lights come on.

I have my diffuser in the middle of my tank beneath the outflow of my HOB filter. The drop checker is in the left front corner. It kind of stays at a deep green. Honestly that part is confusing to me. Should I increase co2 until I get a brighter green when the lights turn on?

I was thinking about the plants I have and nothing seems to jump out at me as fast growing. I have wisteria but it tends to grow
Slowly for whatever reason. Maybe I’ll throw in some pennywort since I always have good luck with that.

I have some more questions of you do t mind.. my stem plants (ludwigia and cabomba) have been gaining a lot of height really quickly but it’s more like they are being stretched out. So my ludwigia is no longer bushy. Also I’m losing some reddish color on the leaves. Do you know what’s causing that?

Thank you! This is so so helpfu
 

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I have the following: drop checker, bubble counter, co2 regulator with built in solenoid, timers x2 with co2 on an hour before lights come on.

I have my diffuser in the middle of my tank beneath the outflow of my HOB filter. The drop checker is in the left front corner. It kind of stays at a deep green. Honestly that part is confusing to me. Should I increase co2 until I get a brighter green when the lights turn on?

I was thinking about the plants I have and nothing seems to jump out at me as fast growing. I have wisteria but it tends to grow
Slowly for whatever reason. Maybe I’ll throw in some pennywort since I always have good luck with that.

I have some more questions of you do t mind.. my stem plants (ludwigia and cabomba) have been gaining a lot of height really quickly but it’s more like they are being stretched out. So my ludwigia is no longer bushy. Also I’m losing some reddish color on the leaves. Do you know what’s causing that?

Thank you! This is so so helpfu
Yes, carefully bring it to a brighter green. Remember it reacts very slow. Don't gas your fish.
I saw sources suggesting to replace the 4dkh solution very week, I think it's overkill. However, make sure it's not too old either. I replace mine once a month.
 

tommywantfishy

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I have the following: drop checker, bubble counter, co2 regulator with built in solenoid, timers x2 with co2 on an hour before lights come on.

I have my diffuser in the middle of my tank beneath the outflow of my HOB filter. The drop checker is in the left front corner. It kind of stays at a deep green. Honestly that part is confusing to me. Should I increase co2 until I get a brighter green when the lights turn on?

I was thinking about the plants I have and nothing seems to jump out at me as fast growing. I have wisteria but it tends to grow
Slowly for whatever reason. Maybe I’ll throw in some pennywort since I always have good luck with that.

I have some more questions of you do t mind.. my stem plants (ludwigia and cabomba) have been gaining a lot of height really quickly but it’s more like they are being stretched out. So my ludwigia is no longer bushy. Also I’m losing some reddish color on the leaves. Do you know what’s causing that?

Thank you! This is so so helpfu
Could be lack of iron. What is substrate again? Iron brings out the red. If you have a nutrient rich sub you will be good to go.

Also, yes, It takes up to 2-3 hrs for your drop checker to change. Also could be a lighting issue. Your tank is a 20 long right? If it was a 20 high the lighting could be a problem. Some plants just work better for some than others. But if they are reaching/stretching it could be a lighting issue, but I have been able to grow most plants except for carpets (hc/cuba, etc) under a finnex 24/7 in my 29g standard. Just run as bright as possible for 6-8 hrs and give them a long photoperiod. They will appreciate the rest.

I added a Micmol 600 aqua air recently and it is almost too much.

Here is my 9.3. Running a twinstar 450e led. About to plant some tc's od HC Cuba in the space I cleared. Also going to move the front right plants over to the right completely for balance.

Btw I highly recommend this substrate. Got it from buceplant.com. UNS fine grade controsoil black
20180509_024504.jpg
 
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DanniD

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Could be lack of iron. What is substrate again? Iron brings out the red. If you have a nutrient rich sub you will be good to go.

Also, yes, It takes up to 2-3 hrs for your drop checker to change. Also could be a lighting issue. Your tank is a 20 long right? If it was a 20 high the lighting could be a problem. Some plants just work better for some than others. But if they are reaching/stretching it could be a lighting issue, but I have been able to grow most plants except for carpets (hc/cuba, etc) under a finnex 24/7 in my 29g standard. Just run as bright as possible for 6-8 hrs and give them a long photoperiod. They will appreciate the rest.

I added a Micmol 600 aqua air recently and it is almost too much.

Here is my 9.3. Running a twinstar 450e led. About to plant some tc's od HC Cuba in the space I cleared. Also going to move the front right plants over to the right completely for balance.

Btw I highly recommend this substrate. Got it from buceplant.com. UNS fine grade controsoil black
View attachment 437377
I have a 20 gallon high but here's the interesting thing... Before starting this CO2 stuff, my ludwigia was a beautiful red and wasn't stretching out at all. I was dosing Excel daily and Flourish bi-weekly, that's it. Now that I've added CO2, the color is fading and it's stretching out. My lights are the max intensity all ran for 10-12 hours. Could it be that light is the limiting factor now? My substrate is just flourite so no dirt... Had I known I was going high-tech, I would've dirted it.

Also changed my ferts from just the Flourish to Thrive+ 2x/week... Wasn't dosing iron before at all and now I am. This makes my head spin! Lol
Your tank looks gorgeous! The reds are to die for
 

tommywantfishy

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I have a 20 gallon high but here's the interesting thing... Before starting this CO2 stuff, my ludwigia was a beautiful red and wasn't stretching out at all. I was dosing Excel daily and Flourish bi-weekly, that's it. Now that I've added CO2, the color is fading and it's stretching out. My lights are the max intensity all ran for 10-12 hours. Could it be that light is the limiting factor now? My substrate is just flourite so no dirt... Had I known I was going high-tech, I would've dirted it.

Also changed my ferts from just the Flourish to Thrive+ 2x/week... Wasn't dosing iron before at all and now I am. This makes my head spin! Lol
Your tank looks gorgeous! The reds are to die for
Try this. Go to 8 hrs a day. Dose 3x/week. Simply put. I use thrive plus in the 9.3 tank too. And get your drop checker to medium green during photo period. Try for a week and let us know how it goes.

Keep that water column fertilized for the stems. I water change once every 2 weeks. Just watch your fish for odd behaviour.

And thanks btw!!
 

dinosaur act

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I think your limiting factor here is low ferts.

if it was me i'd be;
aiming to dose according to daily EI dosing whit 1-2 rest days (no ferts added)
have C02 at 30ppm
would also be doing 40-60% water changes weekly to "reset" my fert
would be using my lights as the limiting factor, its a bit of a odd way to do things but makes it simpler as you only need to hone your lights to the amount of growth you want.
if any algea was to show you would then lower your ferts according to the algae it is.

if you did not want a crazy amount of growth (decided by lighting times in above suggestion) you could even go to a leaner EI dose (half or 1-2/3rd).

i advocate this approach because:
lets say you tank runs out of K (potassium)
your plants will then not able to properly use the other nutrients in the tank (ferts/co2/light)
which in turn would then mean 'algeas' could out compete your plants for nutrients

hope this is helpful!

useful link: https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php (dosing calculator)
 

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Hi all,

I just set up a pressurized CO2 system in my 20 gallon tank a few days ago! As expected, things will get harder before they get easier but it's always exciting.

Just today I've noticed a nice algae bloom. The culprits: black beard and green spot algae. Call me naive but I didn't expect it :/

This tank has been around for a few months

Does anyone have any idea on what might be causing this or how to help?

Tank information:
Size & stocking: 20 gallon tank, stocked with 6 choco gouramis, 2 german gold rams, 4 otocinclus
Params: Ph 6.4, 80F, Nitrates = ? (they were between 0-5ppm before switching ferts)
Water Changes: 15% 2x/week but moving to 20% 2x/week
Filter: HOB filled with bio rocks and filter sponges (seems to have low surface agitation though)
CO2: ~2 bubbles per second (on/off 1 hour before lights come on/off)
Lighting: Finnex Planted + 24/7 (24 watts) on for 12 hours a day
Ferts: Thrive +, 1 pump with each water change (I know more is recommended for high-tech but I worry since I have nitrate sensitive fish)
Plants: heavily planted with water wisteria, ludwigia, crypts, swords, java fern, christmas moss, cyperus helferi, etc...

Any advice is very welcome! Thank you!
Dear @Ddelpinal ,

BBA is usually caused by inconsistent CO2 levels. 3 hours before lights on and off together with the lights is a better cycle. All bubble counters are different but 2bps is very unlikely to be sufficient. 3bps is a good starting point. Use a Ph pen instead of the drop checker, until then aim for yellowish green. Aim for 35-40 ppm together with good surface agitation. Be sure that you have reached over 30-35 ppm before lights on and be sure that it stays there through the lighting period. If or when you fluctuate under 30 ppm problems arise. Fluctuations when you are over 30 ppm are irrelevant.

GSA can be caused by many reasons but will go away almost instantly with higher PO4 dosage.

The nitrogen in the fertilizers being dosed is in inorganic form and will not affect fish health. Maybe after 120 ppm or so. Dose Thrive in the suggested amount daily and do a %50 water change every week. You can not get higher than 30ppm nitrates by regular Thrive dosage. You are super safe until 50-60ppm ( from inorganic sources ), thats for sure.

Lower lighting period to 8 hours and adjust it to be consistent. Don't use the 24/7 mode and run it at max.

Remove all algae and spot treat the BBA with Seachem Excel. Even after algae disappears keep on dosing your regular daily excel doses together with CO2 injection.

Use Purigen !

Please feel free to ask any further questions.

Happy Fish Keeping
 

tommywantfishy

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Dear @Ddelpinal ,

BBA is caused by inconsistent CO2 levels. 3 hours before lights on and off together with the lights is a better cycle. All bubble counters are different but 2bps is very unlikely to be sufficient. 3bps is a good starting point. Use a Ph pen instead of the drop checker, until then aim for yellowish green. Aim for 35-40 ppm together with good surface agitation. Be sure that you have reached over 30-35 ppm before lights on and be sure that it stays there through the lighting period. If or when you fluctuate under 30 ppm problems arise. Fluctuations when you are over 30 ppm are irrelevant.

GSA can be caused by many reasons but will go away almost instantly with higher PO4 dosage.

The nitrogen in the fertilizers being dosed is in inorganic form and will not affect fish health. Maybe after 120 ppm or so. Dose Thrive in the suggested amount daily and do a %50 water change every week. You can not get higher than 30ppm nitrates by regular Thrive dosage. You are super safe until 50-60ppm ( from inorganic sources ), thats for sure.

Do a %50WC every 1-3 days until the algae problems disappear.

Lower lighting period to 8 hours and adjust it to be consistent. Don't use the 24/7 mode and run it at max.

Remove all algae and spot treat the BBA with Seachem Excel. Even after algae disappears keep on dosing your regular daily excel doses together with CO2 injection.

Use Purigen !

Please feel free to ask any further questions.

Happy Fish Keeping
Good call on purigen @KeeperOfASilentWorld

Long time no talk bro.
 
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DanniD

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This information is like gold to me right now! Thank you!
So far the algae is still growing but slowly so I'm feeling good about how things are going. I've increased my CO2 by a lot with no adverse effects on my fish. I'll continue monitoring tomorrow, might have to turn it down if it builds up too much throughout the day. Lights are on for 10 hours but I'll shorten the time again tomorrow. I don't like the 24/7 cycle so I just have it set to max when it's on. Tomorrow is maintenance day so I'll get rid of as much algae as I can and start Excel again (just normal daily dosing until algae is gone?)

One major issue I have with dosing ferts to the full capacity is that they recommend 50% water changes. Normally I'd have no issue with that BUT I have fish that are more sensitive to large volume water changes (chocolate gouramis & german gold rams). Right now I do 20% water changes twice a week. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing any more. Any suggestions for how to get around this?

I was thinking maybe dose Thrive+ twice a week instead of 3 times as recommended in order to get around this but now I'm not so sure...

Thank you!
 

tommywantfishy

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This information is like gold to me right now! Thank you!
So far the algae is still growing but slowly so I'm feeling good about how things are going. I've increased my CO2 by a lot with no adverse effects on my fish. I'll continue monitoring tomorrow, might have to turn it down if it builds up too much throughout the day. Lights are on for 10 hours but I'll shorten the time again tomorrow. I don't like the 24/7 cycle so I just have it set to max when it's on. Tomorrow is maintenance day so I'll get rid of as much algae as I can and start Excel again (just normal daily dosing until algae is gone?)

One major issue I have with dosing ferts to the full capacity is that they recommend 50% water changes. Normally I'd have no issue with that BUT I have fish that are more sensitive to large volume water changes (chocolate gouramis & german gold rams). Right now I do 20% water changes twice a week. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing any more. Any suggestions for how to get around this?

I was thinking maybe dose Thrive+ twice a week instead of 3 times as recommended in order to get around this but now I'm not so sure...

Thank you!
I would do Thrive plus 2 pumps 2x/week. Co2 is fine to increase. Just watch your fish for any gasping. If they do gasp have some surface agitation ready. I almost gassed my 29 last week. Had a spray bar on hand and 2 HOB'S and an airstone. They were fine in the end. Was scary, however.

The thrive plus wont hurt your fish. Unless you have inverts. If you have inverts use thrive S (I don't recall you having inverts).

After a day or two of getting co2 balanced you can start working on tank balance. I would grab some root tabs as well. Cant hurt. I prefer flourish tabs over the osmocote. I know lots of folks love the dry ferts but I dont have time for it. The extra expense is worth the convenience for me.

And agreed on increasing fert levels. Might as well go big. Can do a PwC if you have to. But dose it up to see if that is the missing link to your balance.

Ferts, co2, plant load, fish load....can take a bit to get it down pat.

Add excel 2 hours before lights on.
 
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DanniD

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I would do Thrive plus 2 pumps 2x/week. Co2 is fine to increase. Just watch your fish for any gasping. If they do gasp have some surface agitation ready. I almost gassed my 29 last week. Had a spray bar on hand and 2 HOB'S and an airstone. They were fine in the end. Was scary, however.

The thrive plus wont hurt your fish. Unless you have inverts. If you have inverts use thrive S (I don't recall you having inverts).

After a day or two of getting co2 balanced you can start working on tank balance. I would grab some root tabs as well. Cant hurt. I prefer flourish tabs over the osmocote. I know lots of folks love the dry ferts but I dont have time for it. The extra expense is worth the convenience for me.

And agreed on increasing fert levels. Might as well go big. Can do a PwC if you have to. But dose it up to see if that is the missing link to your balance.

Ferts, co2, plant load, fish load....can take a bit to get it down pat.

Add excel 2 hours before lights on.
If things go bad with the CO2, I have an airstone and I'll lower the water level so my HOB filter will splash around more... Hopefully it won't come to that.

I do have root tabs going for several of my plants (Crypys & swords).

What do you mean PwC? My biggest issue with maxing out ferts is that I can't do large volume water changes. I'm apprehensive to go more than 20% 2x/week. What do you think?
 

tommywantfishy

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If things go bad with the CO2, I have an airstone and I'll lower the water level so my HOB filter will splash around more... Hopefully it won't come to that.

I do have root tabs going for several of my plants (Crypys & swords).

What do you mean PwC? My biggest issue with maxing out ferts is that I can't do large volume water changes. I'm apprehensive to go more than 20% 2x/week. What do you think?
I would let it build up. In my 9.3 gallon I add 1 pump 3x/week. I dont have any livestock, however. Adding as soon as the tank balances out. I dont think it will hurt your fish. Just keep an eye on em. Would do one Partial water change (pwc) /week. But if your plants and fish are doing well you can push it.
 
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