Need Algae/Plant feedback

Addictedtobettas

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I’ve been reading quite a bit on the planted tank, co2, nutrients and algae issues (including links I’ve found here) but I’m a little overwhelmed and want to lay out my issue and plan and if anyone has feedback or guidance on it? I’d be grateful.

My 45g tank:
7.4 ph
0 ammonia
0 nitrites
3-10 nitrates depending on before or after water change and thrive dosing
79-79.8 degrees
Prime conditioned tap water used
Stressguard only main non nutrient additive
Fluval 407 running at about half of full flow
2x Plant Spectrum 3.0, added second light 3 weeks ago after plants weren’t all receiving adequate lighting in tank

I posted a while back about plant decay and have been working to adjust the nutrients to match the lighting and amount of plants pulling all they need faster than I was supplying it.
I’d had co2 going but stopped several weeks or a month back after an incident where it was too high.
I run air stones gently for a couple hours in the evening only as the Honey GouramI has decided his favorite nesting spot is right over one.
I have increased dosing Thrive but still under recommended dosing while observing nitrate increase.

5 days ago I noticed a green effect in the water after a bigger water change and a carbon filter replacement. I’d also removed some plant material. I also noticed algae of a few types that had been lightly there for months but seems to have increased in areas present (not just rocks but plants now too).

I tried a small water change a few days ago. Did nothing.
Started co2 back up a few days ago. Nothing changed.
Forgot to close blinds and sunshine came in. Sure that didn’t help but didn’t aggravate much yet either.
Reduced hours of lights. Nada.
Added flourish as well as thrive. Won’t do that again. No reason to.
Added clarity and stability. Now it’s white cloudy not green.
Increased water flow again (which I did right after bigger water change) thinking maybe it wasn’t cycling water enough

If I understand the planted tank dynamics I think I’ll try the following:

Co2 daily, low dose, short timer
Thrive increase to full recommend dose
Air stones on nightly, low to not disturb nest
Decrease filter flow
Close blinds fully
Cut out red/blue lights
Decrease intensity and duration of lighting
25% water changes every 4-5 days
Add Amano Shrimp back in (I’ve already done this one and they’re munching away)
Add uv light


Does that sound right to keep the plants happy and healthy without giving the algae what it needs to be happy and healthy? So that the fish are happy and healthy?
 

Chanyi

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Addictedtobettas said:
If I understand the planted tank dynamics I think I’ll try the following:

Co2 daily, low dose, short timer - No, CO2 needs to be maximized at the highest safe level for the entire time the lights are on.
Thrive increase to full recommend dose - Yes
Air stones on nightly, low to not disturb nest - Yes
Decrease filter flow - No, you want lots of tank turnover to provide plants with CO2 rich water.
Close blinds fully - Absolutely yes
Cut out red/blue lights - No, plants use red and blue light
Decrease intensity and duration of lighting - Yes, until the algae is gone anyway. 5 hours per day max at 50% output.
25% water changes every 4-5 days - 50% would be light years ahead of 25%....
Add Amano Shrimp back in (I’ve already done this one and they’re munching away) - Good
Add uv light - Will help with water column algae / bacteria growth


Does that sound right to keep the plants happy and healthy without giving the algae what it needs to be happy and healthy? So that the fish are happy and healthy?
You're changing a lot at once and not giving each change enough time to show any effects.

See bold in the quote above ^^

For your algae issues:

Reduce light intensity if possible.

Reduce photoperiod to 5 hours per day max (until algae has subsided, then slowly increase back up to 8 hours per day over a few weeks).

Ensure you are providing adequate nutrients for the plants (unhealthy plants promote algae).

Dose Flourish Excel or equivalent Met14 at the “after water change” rate on the Excel bottle once per day.

Manually remove all algae you can.

Manually remove excess organics in the tank by gravel vacuuming and cleaning filter media in old tank water every water change.

Manually remove any decaying or dead plant matter.

Increase water change frequency, and the amount of water changed.

Consider spot treating badly affected areas or dipping plants / hardscape in a Flourish Excel, Met14 or H2O2 + water solution. Google search which method you think would work well, and for general ratios to mix a safe solution. Certain plants can’t tolerate these chemicals, so ensure you do a little research prior to dipping / spot treating plants.

If using CO2, ensure CO2 is dropping the pH of the tank water a full 1.0 – 1.2. To do this, measure the pH of tank water with no CO2 dissolved in it, and then measure again 2-3 hours after CO2 has been running. Ensure the drop in pH is a full 1.0-1.2. If the drop is not there yet, slowly up CO2 over a few weeks until at least a 1.0 drop is achieved, and watch fish / livestock carefully. Adjust CO2 down if you notice fish gasping at the surface and consider running an airstone at night when pushing a 1.2 or greater drop. For example, a tank water pH of 7.5 with no CO2 dissolved in it, should reach a pH of 6.5 – 6.3 for CO2 to really shine, and for maximum plant health.

Consistency in CO2 levels is key to plant health. Keep CO2 levels as stable as possible once a desirable level has been reached.
 
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Addictedtobettas

Addictedtobettas

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Co2 daily, low dose, short timer - No, CO2 needs to be maximized at the highest safe level for the entire time the lights are on.
Thrive increase to full recommend dose - Yes - Done
Air stones on nightly, low to not disturb nest - Yes - Got it
Decrease filter flow - No, you want lots of tank turnover to provide plants with CO2 rich water. - Increased the flow this morning
Close blinds fully - Absolutely yes - Done
Cut out red/blue lights - No, plants use red and blue light - Ok, I'll adjust those back
Decrease intensity and duration of lighting - Yes, until the algae is gone anyway. 5 hours per day max at 50% output. - Got it - does this affect the fish at all?
25% water changes every 4-5 days - 50% would be light years ahead of 25%.... - I will get a 50% wc done in a day or two
Add Amano Shrimp back in (I’ve already done this one and they’re munching away) - Good
Add uv light - Will help with water column algae / bacteria growth - Help in a good way? as in removing it? or helping it grow?

Chanyi said:
You're changing a lot at once and not giving each change enough time to show any effects.

See bold in the quote above ^^

For your algae issues:

Reduce light intensity if possible.

Reduce photoperiod to 5 hours per day max (until algae has subsided, then slowly increase back up to 8 hours per day over a few weeks).

Ensure you are providing adequate nutrients for the plants (unhealthy plants promote algae).

Dose Flourish Excel or equivalent Met14 at the “after water change” rate on the Excel bottle once per day. - I'm waiting for it to arrive in the mail, but its been ordered

Manually remove all algae you can. - Is it good to trI'm the plants back too? That have noticeable algae?

Manually remove excess organics in the tank by gravel vacuuming and cleaning filter media in old tank water every water change. - Always

Manually remove any decaying or dead plant matter.

Increase water change frequency, and the amount of water changed.

Consider spot treating badly affected areas or dipping plants / hardscape in a Flourish Excel, Met14 or H2O2 + water solution. Google search which method you think would work well, and for general ratios to mix a safe solution. Certain plants can’t tolerate these chemicals, so ensure you do a little research prior to dipping / spot treating plants.

If using CO2, ensure CO2 is dropping the pH of the tank water a full 1.0 – 1.2. To do this, measure the pH of tank water with no CO2 dissolved in it, and then measure again 2-3 hours after CO2 has been running. Ensure the drop in pH is a full 1.0-1.2. If the drop is not there yet, slowly up CO2 over a few weeks until at least a 1.0 drop is achieved, and watch fish / livestock carefully. Adjust CO2 down if you notice fish gasping at the surface and consider running an airstone at night when pushing a 1.2 or greater drop. For example, a tank water pH of 7.5 with no CO2 dissolved in it, should reach a pH of 6.5 – 6.3 for CO2 to really shine, and for maximum plant health.
- Are there any inverts that might have a big issue with 1 point PH drop? The fish seem to do ok but..

Consistency in CO2 levels is key to plant health. Keep CO2 levels as stable as possible once a desirable level has been reached.
Comments/Questions in italics, as colors didn't save, above. Thank you so much!!
 

Chanyi

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Addictedtobettas said:
Add uv light - Will help with water column algae / bacteria growth - Help in a good way? as in removing it? or helping it grow?



Comments/Questions in italics, as colors didn't save, above. Thank you so much!!
It will help kill water born algae and bacteria spores / cells.
 

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