Can’t get rid of algae and confused

Sab80

Hello all, I’m sure this has been covered again and again in other threads, but I can’t find the information I’m looking for to help me.
I have a relatively new cycled 200L jewel Lido with 10 tetras, 4 angelfish and 4 rams. It has volcanic rock as the base and some brand of Aqua soil on top. During hardscape I planted Monte Carlo and dwarf tears with dwarf hair grass, my dream being it would carpet the front. Amazon sword in the back, some Anubis, some pygmy grass, some rush plants.
Water parameter all normal,all fish have been healthy, not a single issue with them, but the algae..... it’s everywhere. I admit my first mistake was probably not setting up a C02 system. We have now - it‘s been running for just under two weeks but I feel there has been no change. In fact it seems worse. Lights and co2 are off at night, on in the morning. Water changes weekly, filter pads changed weekly.
We have 6 Otos too to help clean some of the algae.
Feeding is once daily. The algae is green, not brown. It covers all the plant leaves, the volcanic rock hardscape, the glass surface, the filter. There is hair algae too which usually grows on the glass. Most of the plant leaves have died/melted, suffocated by algae - the Monte Carlo only some left, dwarf tears all gone- most ripped out by the angel fish and rams which I didn’t think they would do. We are v frustrated.
I know algae isn’t necessarily bad, and the tank is still quite new, but it’s ugly and I just really dislike it. It even covers the whole surface of the aqua soil substrate. I’ve tried black out and it does stop the massive algae growth but I can’t black out forever. How do I get a beautiful clear tank?
Is it just a matter of waiting for the co2 to do it’s job? It’s a Fluval system. One of those with the replaceable canisters.
Is it the light? It‘s a Juwel light and more than 6000kv.
Any advice much appreciated

AE46C042-F5C5-4AFB-BF61-594B61B1BA04.jpeg
And there is a tonne of algae on the Java moss of the bonsai
 

carsonsgjs

So a few questions at this stage:

how long do you leave the lights on for?
What ferts do you use?
What are your full water parameters?
How much water do you change a week?
When you say change filter pads, do you replace them or just clean them?

im sure others will think of other questions that i may have missed.
 
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Mudminnow

I would add:

Do you have any algae eaters?
Is that the temperature in the lower left?
 
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Nopsu

I would add:

Do you have any algae eaters?
Is that the temperature in the lower left?
He said he has 6 otocinlus and looks like temp meter and 26C is normal temperature for rams/angels/otos etc. =)
 
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Mudminnow

He said he has 6 otocinlus and looks like temp meter and 26C is normal temperature for rams/angels/otos etc. =)
Ah, I missed the 6 otocinclus part, thanks. Otocinclus, though, don't eat that fuzzy/stringy algae from what I've seen. Perhaps the addition of some amano shrimp would help the otos out. Amanos eat those sorts of algae.

I only bring up the temp, as 26C (in my opinion) is a bit cool for rams, but at the upper limit (again in my opinion) for most planted tanks. I find the warmer the tank is, the harder it is to control algae. So, as I see it, there is a bit of tension between the needs of the inhabitants of this tank and lowering the temp for algae control.

These observations are, of course, not the whole picture. For a more complete picture, I'll wait to see the answers to carsonsgjs questions.
 
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Sab80

Thank you all :)
The light bit confuses me. Most of my LFS employees have said too much light is the cause of too much algae, my research concurs, so I have done a black out for a week and then reduced light to four hours a day which helped massively in that the algae growth was minimal between the weekly water changes.
Tonight we went to a c02 talk at a LFS where we were told for aquatic plant photosynthesis light must be on, but it’s the *type* of light thats important and apparently our light is not *daylight* enough, something to do with the KV.....? Apparently our KV needs to be higher?

So ini when the light was on, it was on at least 10 hours a day which according to my research is too long.....but we have just added the co2 hence leaving the light on at the moment for photosynthesis.

I have no idea about fertilisers. I keep reading Seachem Prime is great but I don’t know how to use it or what effect it might have on the fish? I’d love some advice on this.

Yes, that’s the temp bottom left but it actually fluctuates a lot. Sometimes it’s below 26, sometimes its over 27..... we think we need an eheim heater for more reliable heating? Or the juwel digital thermometer is not reliable....

Water changes are at least 25% a week.

And I haven’t checked water parameters since last week, but last checked pH was around 7.4, and rest 0. As it finished its cycle around four weeks ago, nitrates were 20, but then dropped to 0. I’ll check them again after work.
 
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StarGirl

Seachem Prime is water conditioner not fertilizer. I would try bumping up you water changes to 50% maybe you just have too much extra organics going on.
 
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MacZ

I keep reading Seachem Prime is great but I don’t know how to use it or what effect it might have on the fish? I’d love some advice on this.

It's a dechlorinator. As you seemingly don't have had any losses due to chlorine, you can just forget about that stuff. If you had chlorine in your tapwater you would have other problems than algae. So you can just ignore that completely.

So what I see here:

Lights: 10 hours is too long for that miniscule amount of plants while using CO2.
CO2: With the non-algae-plants I see (species and amounts) you are throwing amounts in there the plants simply cannot process, not even when you left the lights on for 12 or 14 hours.
Stocking: For the amount of plants the amount of fish would be enough to privide nutrients to the plants.
Fetilizers: You might not use them, but this is definitely specialised plant substrate and very likely leaches nutrients to the water column
Temp: The fluctuation is normal. I would be much more worried with more than 5° fluctuations.
Waterchanges: 25% is a bit few for the tank and the bioload.
Algae eaters: Besides the fact nobody needs algae eaters (that's why we are looking for the reasons here) In this case I would definitely not get more of any kind.
And btw: Is that Seiryu rock? You might want to replace that with driftwood, as it leaches hardness buffers (calcium, magnesium and carbonates) that algae use as nutrients and especially it raises KH that makes you add even more CO2 to reach the green zone of the test. As all your fish prefer soft and acidic water all the more a reason to replace the rocks with driftwood.

So, what's to do?

Check the Nitrates, GH and KH (tank AND tap) today, then:

- Set the lights to 6 hours a day
- Turn the CO2 off
- monitor Nitrates during that time
- remove all plants that are heavily colonised by algae (the algae-moss-blob is beyond repair)
- add fast growing, nutrient sink plants. Preferrably some floaters, waterweeds, hornwort or pennywort
- remove the Algae carpet on the substrate
- up the waterchanges to 50%

And observe this for a week.

After that a new layout with more driftwood and plants should be developed, as well as a plan to manage nutrients and lights and a decision whether CO2 is even absolutely necessary.
 
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carsonsgjs

It's a dechlorinator. As you seemingly don't have had any losses due to chlorine, you can just forget about that stuff. If you had chlorine in your tapwater you would have other problems than algae. So you can just ignore that completely.

So what I see here:

Lights: 10 hours is too long for that miniscule amount of plants while using CO2.
CO2: With the non-algae-plants I see (species and amounts) you are throwing amounts in there the plants simply cannot process, not even when you left the lights on for 12 or 14 hours.
Stocking: For the amount of plants the amount of fish would be enough to privide nutrients to the plants.
Fetilizers: You might not use them, but this is definitely specialised plant substrate and very likely leaches nutrients to the water column
Temp: The fluctuation is normal. I would be much more worried with more than 5° fluctuations.
Waterchanges: 25% is a bit few for the tank and the bioload.
Algae eaters: Besides the fact nobody needs algae eaters (that's why we are looking for the reasons here) In this case I would definitely not get more of any kind.
And btw: Is that Seiryu rock? You might want to replace that with driftwood, as it leaches hardness buffers (calcium, magnesium and carbonates) that algae use as nutrients and especially it raises KH that makes you add even more CO2 to reach the green zone of the test. As all your fish prefer soft and acidic water all the more a reason to replace the rocks with driftwood.

So, what's to do?

Check the Nitrates, GH and KH (tank AND tap) today, then:

- Set the lights to 6 hours a day
- Turn the CO2 off
- monitor Nitrates during that time
- remove all plants that are heavily colonised by algae (the algae-moss-blob is beyond repair)
- add fast growing, nutrient sink plants. Preferrably some floaters, waterweeds, hornwort or pennywort
- remove the Algae carpet on the substrate
- up the waterchanges to 50%

And observe this for a week.

After that a new layout with more driftwood and plants should be developed, as well as a plan to manage nutrients and lights and a decision whether CO2 is even absolutely necessary.
I think thats a good course of action macz. Also forget to ask about feeding levels in my earlier post - all contributes to excess nutrients in the water and overfeeding is all too common. May not be the case here but i mention it just in case.
 
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MacZ

I would also like to add: The new plants should be brought in in numbers. Just a few, in hopes they grow and propagate will not work in this case. They will likely just also be overrun by the algae. E.g. if one takes Elodea 10 bundles are the least to get right away.
 
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Sab80

I meant seachem flourish, not prime. I know prime is a dechlorinator. And I’m not using fertilisers I just wondered if I should.

also, this algae problem is since tank finished cycling, c02 was only added a week ago in desperation.

Advice all much appreciated- my first post states once a day feeding abd I’m aware of not overfeed to reduce waste build up.
Just want you all to know I’m not a complete idiot. I’ve just got so midi conflicting advice now, no wonder I’m confused. Please read my post again. I tried light reduction, blackout etc, and last night was told light is not the problem, it’s the type of light and must increase c02.....

Yes, it’s seiyru rock. Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated :)
And if i add floaters, I can just see them getting covered in algae from the light, but I can try - I’ll give the tank a huge clean out, thank you very much :)
 
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MacZ

I tried light reduction, blackout etc, and last night was told light is not the problem, it’s the type of light and must increase c02.....

You did a lot, that's obvious. Maybe too much. It looks very much like a systemic imbalance, every factor has it's part in it. Blackouts help against black beard algae and cyanobacteria, light reduction (time) alone is good against diatomes, less intensity (dialing down the lights or using tannins) is often good against green spot algae, CO2 up only works if there are significantly more plants than you have, all the advice you got was good on it's own, but seems people didn't look at the tank but only threw out their standard answer or have simply made the connection, "it helped me, so it will help you" regardless of the fact they had different types of Algae to deal with. Some people also just advise from an aquascaper/high-tech planted tank perspective, which often doesn't account for the livestock and relies on a lot of addition or use of specialised equipment like special lights and CO2 injection.

The safest bet is often to bring everything down to minimum and systematically check one factor after the other until everything is in tune. With fast growing plants like floaters you can regulate everything as they show quickly if the changing of a factor is taking effect or not, and what kind of effect.
 
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Sab80

MacZ and all, esp MacZ, thank you very very much. If I have success I will post an update :)
Honestly much appreciated
 
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MacZ

Please only thank me when it did something. Can't give any guarantees. At the very least you'll be in a better position than now.
 
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Sab80

Ok, so early days only, time will tell.

Massive clean this weekend- chose to leave the seiryu rock at this stage but they got scrubbed (ideally bleached but decided not to for now), algae covered soil removed and binned, light layer of gravel placed to anchor plants better as fish keep ripping them out, old leaves and most of algae covered plants removed and trimmed, the algae moss blob (I love that description haha) I trimmed back instead of removing for now because it is pearling with the co2 and am hoping to salvage the Java moss, and we invested in a better C02 system, dymax professional system- we got a good deal at our LFS who we are good clients/friends of.
Good water change too, and of course changed top filter pads (Juwel filter flow in this tank is top to bottom).

I planted blyxa, baby dwarf tears and banana lilly, and Pygmy grass along the front.
Hopefully eventually some of the remaining Monte Carlo will pop through and carpet some of the front.

1950DA47-8FC6-4208-95B2-E57B041CC6A4.jpegSo fingers crossed! Oh and added 6 ramshorn snails to help with some of the algae and also because I feed baby ramshorns to my pea puffers so the snails will have dual effect for us :)

Happy to hear any advice or critique- still learning here, but I promised an update so here is update #1!
 
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MacZ

Happy to hear any advice or critique- still learning here, but I promised an update so here is update #1!

Thanks for the update. Here's the critique. ;)

chose to leave the seiryu rock at this stage but they got scrubbed (ideally bleached but decided not to for now)
Don't bleach them ever. The chemical composition of these rocks would have made them leach chlorine for weeks.

algae covered soil removed and binned, light layer of gravel placed to anchor plants better as fish keep ripping them out, old leaves and most of algae covered plants removed and trimmed,
Good.

the algae moss blob (I love that description haha) I trimmed back instead of removing for now because it is pearling with the co2 and am hoping to salvage the Java moss,
Not-so good. The blob might become the mother-cell of more algae blooms. Also it's Java moss. It's dirt cheap to get new moss.

and we invested in a better C02 system, dymax professional system- we got a good deal at our LFS who we are good clients/friends of.
Yeah... I know that type of friendship... no offense, I have the feeling you are being taken advantage of. But it's your money.

Good water change too, and of course changed top filter pads (Juwel filter flow in this tank is top to bottom).
Why "of course" changed the pads? Or are they just filterfloss?

I planted blyxa, baby dwarf tears and banana lilly, and Pygmy grass along the front.
Hopefully eventually some of the remaining Monte Carlo will pop through and carpet some of the front.
Well, many of those plants will not be a competition for the algae without more light, fertilizer and CO2 and question is who grows quicker. At least the stem plants might be helpful, but I would have added 4x the amount at once. Carpet plants have their time and place, but also with these fish, you ought to try and get as many plants that grow high and give cover from above.

Oh and added 6 ramshorn snails to help with some of the algae and also because I feed baby ramshorns to my pea puffers so the snails will have dual effect for us

:facepalm:
I hope the puffers eat enough, because in this state the tank will likely get you more snails than you wish for.
 
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Sab80

Well, glad I didn’t bleach the rock! Good to know. Reg our C02 system, this one is cheaper long run as other one ram on canisters that require replacing, you can’t refill them, so instead of paying $37 a canister every 2-3 weeks, we pay $15 C02 refill every 4-6months. So yes it’s our money and we are better off now.
We will add more plants once we see how these go. No point spending lots of money on plants that may still die or melt right now. Bit by bit, remember. If in a few weeks these plants are holding well, I’ll invest in more.
Yes, pads are filterfloss. We change them weekly anyway.
And we’ll monitor the blob :)
 
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MacZ

Reg our C02 system, this one is cheaper long run as other one ram on canisters that require replacing, you can’t refill them, so instead of paying $37 a canister every 2-3 weeks, we pay $15 C02 refill every 4-6months. So yes it’s our money and we are better off now.

Ok, that makes at least sense.

We will add more plants once we see how these go. No point spending lots of money on plants that may still die or melt right now. Bit by bit, remember. If in a few weeks these plants are holding well, I’ll invest in more.

And this is a missconception. You have to outcompete the algae and this might end up a very close race.
 
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