Algae Problem

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Chuffman11, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Chuffman11New MemberMember

    Hey everyone, my freshwater aquarium is having a horrible algae problem. Sometimes it get so bad that it grows on my live plant. The algae also covers most of my substrate. It literally grows everywhere. I do weekly 40% water changes but this doesn't seem to help. I have a canister filter that is rated for a 170 gallon aquarium and mine is only a 60. I use clearmax in my canister filter to remove phosphates and only use aquarium water to clean out my foams. I have an LED light that i orders off amazon that is the full width of the tank. Is it possible that this light id to bright?? Also i do not have a CO2 system and use Flourish Excel or API CO2 booster as a CO2 supplement.
  2. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Pictures would be lovely if you can provide. How long do the lights run. 6-8 hours is perfect. How many live plants do you have? Do they look like they are growing or dying? If they are growing then I would cut back on dosing co2. Plants once they seed should be able to do their photosynthesis thing. More plants less algae since it's a battle for minerals and you want the plants to absorb it instead of it being available for algae cells to grow and spread.

    Might need more filtration in my opinion as well.

  3. FishL:))Well Known MemberMember

    Is your aquarium near a window that shines on it? Sometimes that is a source for big growths of algae.

  4. DaleMWell Known MemberMember

    Definitely need pictures so we can see what type of algae it is. Probably brown algae/diatoms, especially if your tank is new
  5. Chuffman11New MemberMember

    I can possibly post some pictures later. The tank is not near any windows so it never sees sunlight. The plants aren't dying but they are also growing super slow. I put them in probably 3 months ago and I don't think they have grown more than an inch or two. I usually let the light run for 8 to 10 hours. The tank is not very heavily planted. Do you think more plants would make enough difference to control the problem?
  6. musserump09Well Known MemberMember

    Once you post a picture all of us here be glad to help you out.

    If what you say is true then I would stop dosing co2. 3 months should be long enough for them to settle I believe in my experience so I'd let the plants to their thing.

    Deep clean and see if this makes a difference.

    I just recently myself switch to doing just s flourish feed and no longer do I need co2. My plants produce enough of it which my tank is algae less. There is some but it's not on out break mode.
  7. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    How often do you dose liquid ferts? What's the specs on your light? Is it possible you are using a salt water light used for a reef tank?
    Also, what kind of plants do you have?
  8. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    Is it algae of Cyanobacteria? Cyano tends to cover substrates, and would need a different approach.

    It’s possible the media you are using to remove phosphates is contributing to your issues. I keep my phosphates up to three in some tanks, phosphates don’t cause algae...

    How long are your lights on for? What type of light (brand, etc) is it?
    How long have you had plants in there? Do you dose ferts?
  9. DaleMWell Known MemberMember

    Phosphates can definitely impact on algae levels if there is more phosphates than what can be used by the plants, although granted there would need to be at least some nitrate as well. Nitrates and phosphates are both big issues to the Great Barrier Reef here as it promotes algae growth which in turn smothers coral from the light and killing it.

    Heavily planted tanks are usually dosed with extra KNO3, KH2PO4, etc as the aquarium doesn't produce enough to feed the plants.

    Algae growth usually occurs if there is an imbalance of light, nutrients and carbon. In low tech plants carbon isn't much of an issue, but high tech tanks there'll be considerable algae problems if you don't have enough carbon. It's all a balancing act as too much light and/or too much macros is food for algae - carbon helps suppress algae growth in high tech tanks given the excess lighting and fert dosing whilst also being used by the plants
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  10. Chuffman11New MemberMember

    Sorry but still no pictures. I have been super busy with work. I dose the CO2 every three days. 6ML each time as that what it says to do on the bottle. Here is a link to the light that i am using Not sure what the specs actually are as i cannot find the wattage or anything on the light itself. It says it is good for fresh and salt water. Maybe this is part of the problem. Someone said the ClearMax in my canister filter could actually be causing algae growth. Is this a possibility?? The only plants I have in my tank right now are Dwarf Hairgrass, Telanthera Cardinalis, Amazon Sword, Anubias and Cardinal Plant. Also does anyone have any opinions on UV sterilizer Lights. Would one of these also help the issue or do the just kill microbes that are in the water.
  11. DaleMWell Known MemberMember

    UV sterilizers are generally a waste of money in freshwater tanks. Their main function is to kill microbes (both good and bad), rather than kill algae. They are more useful for salt water set ups.

    I have no experience with ClearMax so can't help much there. Do you dose any macro ferts, or just micro ferts or nothing at all?

    Your light wouldn't be sufficient for any more demanding plants. I doubt you'll have much success with the dwarf hairgrass as they require proper lighting and ideally pressurised CO2 to keep them going longer term. Low light plants like java fern, anubia, possibly Amazon Sword, etc should be fine, although they will grow at a slower rate.

    I'd be looking at reducing the time your light is on for and look at your fertiliser regime. Liquid carbon doesn't do a great deal. Stay away from any algae control chemicals as they can do more harm than good, even if the company tries to tell you otherwise. If it's brown algae, it thrives in lower light conditions

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