not sure what to believe

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michael68

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Ive googled and researched and am not sure what to believe.No co2,more co2,less plant nutrients, more plant nutrients,no plant nutrients.All the articles on algea control in a planted tank tell me something different.Maybe its just trial and error.Whats the truth?Oh and dont forget more light and less light.Maybe its a fine balance and i just need to find it?
 

funkman262

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I was going to answer this post when I first noticed it but I figured one of our plant experts would have chimed in by now. Are you currently dosing with any nutrients or supplementing CO2? What types of plants are you keeping? As for the duration of lights, I believe people typically run them for about 10-12 hours (I run mine for 12 hours a day). If I understand your aquarium info correctly, you have about 2.5 watts per gallon (which is just a rough estimation on the quality of the lighting) which is fairly high and you should be able to grow a good range of plants rather successfully. But the higher the intensity of light, the more the plants need nutrients and CO2 to grow without algae taking over the tank. And yes, it is very much trial and error. If your plants are growing fine and you're not having problems with algae, then you may not necessarily need to change anything. If you're plants are dying, they may be lacking trace minerals. If they're not growing, they may not be getting enough light or CO2 or nutrients. Sometimes, you might actually WANT to grow algae in the tank (like I'm trying to do right now) in order to have a food supply for algae eaters (I'll be getting a BN pleco when I feel there's a sufficient supply in there) so I've been continuing to dose the tank with liquid fertilizer even though I have algal growth in the tank. If I didn't want any algae in the tank, I wouldn't be dosing with ferts. I'm still fairly new to planted tanks so this post is to just get this thread started and I'm sure some of our experts will be able to help you some more on this matter.
 

sirdarksol

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Simplest methods of dealing with algae outbreaks:
More CO2. Okay, it's not really simple, but CO2 will help your plants fight the algae for dominance. I'm not sure why this is, but complex plants seem to need the carbon more than the simple plants (algae), so the CO2 allows them to use more nutrients.
Less nutrients in the water column. This one is tricky, but it basically amounts to keeping the water pristine while allowing some amount of solid waste to stick around in the substrate, thus feeding the plants' roots.
Broken light-cycle. An hour-long blackout in the middle of the day seems to throw algae for a loop, while still allowing complex plants to survive.
 

Nate McFin

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Too much light, low or inconsistant Co2 and/or LOW nutrients is the cause of most algae. Dosing extra nutrients will not likely cause algae and lowering nutrients will only make it worse. Healthy plants make algae disappear. The key is finding the balance between lights,ferts, and Co2. lights and ferts are easy. Lights are the easiest way to control everything. When you lower your lights you will increase Co2 (as the plant demand drop in conjuction with light levels) Nutrient demands also drop with light levels. Always start with light if lowering the photoperiod doesnt help then increase Co2 and nutrients. Watch the plants as they will usually tell you when algae is coming. Have they stopped growing? Are the leaves healthy or are they stunted. Signs of deficiencies? These problems are usually followed by an algae breakout!

Too confuse things more, every type of algae has a different cause. Some are caused by low phosphates(Green spot algae) some by low Co2 (Beard algae), some by low nitrates (beard algae, hair algae), some by excess rotting material or dirty filters (green water), too much light. ( I run mine for 8 hours a day..when I go 9 hours I get green dust algae (GDA) Some are caused by silicates (diatoms) IPoor water circulation can cause algae as well. Heck some are not even algae at all but bacteria!
There are alot of myths on the internet regarding algae because the hobby is learning all the time. Things are constantly changing and if one learned about algae methods 10 or 20 years ago, many of those ideas have been dismissed. The old ideas however continue to be passed along.
Here is the site I use most when dealing with algae problems.
http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/

Regards,
Nate
 
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michael68

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Thanks guys i think i am going to do some experimintation on my own.My algea is not really that bad.Im gonna increase water changes and flourish excel,a tad less comprehensive,less fish feeding and see what happens.I think my issue might be is that i have to many different species of plants in such a small area that they are all competing to grow and survive.
 

Nutter

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Sounds like a plan. Experimenting is the way to go. It's trial & error to find out what is going to work for every individual tank. Keep in mind that every tank has some algae in it so don't ever think that you will have a tank with no algae at all. The trick is just working out how to keep it under control.
 

sirdarksol

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Sorry, I need to correct one thing I said:
I said "less nutrients in the water column."
I meant to say "less nitrates in the water column."

Sounds like a good starting plan to see how it affects things.
 

sirdarksol

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That's probably a good level for your nitrates. (Of course, lower is better, but 10ppm isn't bad, either for fish or for algae growth)
 
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