Plants causing algae when cycling?

Magtom

Hi!
I’m doing a fishless cycle with powdered ammonia up to 2.0 daily on a 40 gallon breeder size tank. It’s been 6 weeks and although the ammonia goes to zero after 24 hours, the nitrite and nitrate are off the chart high. I had the light on for 12 hours a day in the beginning because I didn’t know, and tons of algae grew in long undulating basket weave-like strands on the wood and from the plants. I had planted 10 dwarf sag (which turned yellow, but some new growth), a red Java fern and about five long thin green plants in the back. They all have dark brown algae on the old growth (new growth seems algae free), and the glass where the plants are is building up algae. I turned the light down to 8 hours a day.

so, I’m wondering if the plants are causing the algae because I don’t have enough of them. And if I should just put them in my 10 gallon until the 40 cycles? Thoughts? Thank you!
 

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TClare

No, the plants are not causing algae, if anything add more plants. As they start to grow the algae problem should get less. The kind of algae you have is quite easy to remove with forceps and/or siphoning. Get as much out as possible and do frequent water changes.
 
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Passionfish

Hi!
I’m doing a fishless cycle with powdered ammonia up to 2.0 daily on a 40 gallon breeder size tank. It’s been 6 weeks and although the ammonia goes to zero after 24 hours, the nitrite and nitrate are off the chart high. I had the light on for 12 hours a day in the beginning because I didn’t know, and tons of algae grew in long undulating basket weave-like strands on the wood and from the plants. I had planted 10 dwarf sag (which turned yellow, but some new growth), a red Java fern and about five long thin green plants in the back. They all have dark brown algae on the old growth (new growth seems algae free), and the glass where the plants are is building up algae. I turned the light down to 8 hours a day.

so, I’m wondering if the plants are causing the algae because I don’t have enough of them. And if I should just put them in my 10 gallon until the 40 cycles? Thoughts? Thank you!
First off great tank, I can see it's potential.
Plants don't cause algae. But you are partially right. Not enough plants but having a lot of nutrients in the water such as nitrates will cause the algae to take over. Algae usually leave plants alone, but when they cannot find any more nutrients in the water, they will begin to consume plant matter. Try adding more plants, especially floating plants. They take away some of the most vital nutrients algae needs to survive. This goes for almost any type of algae, your included. Be quick to add more plants, or your existing plants will all die. If the algae shows no signs of retreating after you add more plants, try housing your plants somewhere else and see if they do any better. This is the best I can do. Hope I helped!
If you have any more questions just ask in this thread!
 
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Magtom

No, the plants are not causing algae, if anything add more plants. As they start to grow the algae problem should get less. The kind of algae you have is quite easy to remove with forceps and/or siphoning. Get as much out as possible and do frequent water changes.
Thanks TClare. What causes this kind of algae?
 
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Passionfish

Thanks TClare. What causes this kind of algae?
Sorry to barge in TClare. The algae was caused by the insane amount of nitrates you have in your water.
 
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86 ssinit

They are doing a fishless cycle so water changing isn’t recommended. As to the stuff growing off the wood that happens on new wood. Usually snails or fish would eat it. So just remove the wood and clean it off in your sink. Than put it back. More plants won’t hurt either . Is the substrate a plant substrate?
 
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Magtom

The substrate is Seachem Florite Dark. The nitrates and nitrates are still high, even after I have just done a 50% water change, but they were way higher before. Ammonia is zero, or between 0 and .25. The second picture is what they were before the water change. Is it ok to scrape the algae off of the glass where the plants are? mattgirl said not to disturb it too much. Just looking for more input. I’m worried cause it’s getting pretty thick!
Also, won’t the algae eaters (planning on a bristlenose pleco) eat the algae once the tank cycles and I can get one in there? Do I really need to take the wood out and scrub it?
 

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Passionfish

The substrate is Seachem Florite Dark. The nitrates and nitrates are still high, even after I have just done a 50% water change, but they were way higher before. Ammonia is zero, or between 0 and .25. The second picture is what they were before the water change. Is it ok to scrape the algae off of the glass where the plants are? mattgirl said not to disturb it too much. Just looking for more input. I’m worried cause it’s getting pretty thick!
Also, won’t the algae eaters (planning on a bristlenose pleco) eat the algae once the tank cycles and I can get one in there? Do I really need to take the wood out and scrub it?
DON'T change the water anymore because it will disturb the cycle. Take out the algae when you see it, add more plants. Start taking it out manually. This is just a recap of what we already said.
And, more plants means less algae. Combat nature with nature.
 
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Magtom

Excuse me! I’m new to this and everyone, it seems, has a different opinion about things. That’s why I’m asking. I’d love a little patience..
 
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Passionfish

Excuse me! I’m new to this and everyone, it seems, has a different opinion about things. That’s why I’m asking. I’d love a little patience..
If you took that offensively I'm sorry I didn't mean it that way. I was just recapping what we already said. My apologies.
 
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Magtom

No worries- the all Capps, “DONT” triggered a reaction to my overly critical mother! Haha!!

what do I do if the nitrite and nitrate get super high again (not that they aren’t high now- but they were higher)? Thanks for the help!
Also, what’s causing the algae? If it’s being caused by the light and I get more plants, I’ll have to keep the light on.
 
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86 ssinit

Looking at your test pics your cycle seems to be moving along correctly. No problems there. I do see why you don’t want to move the wood. It’s on a piece of slate. So it will disturbed a lot to move it. To me it’s still easier to remove and scrub off. When putting back don’t bury it. Wait till the tank is cycled than bury it. This way if you have to clean it again it won’t be as messy. For me yes that algae is getting bad. Scrap it off than use a net to try and remove as much as you can.
I try and take the guessing out of testing. I put the vial right over the color chart. If you can see the color through the vial that’s not it. It’s the last color you can’t see .
4298D517-8317-4FF5-8BED-365102CBCA94.jpegeven though this looks bright red it’s only 20ppm.
 
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Magtom

Looking at your test pics your cycle seems to be moving along correctly. No problems there. I do see why you don’t want to move the wood. It’s on a piece of slate. So it will disturbed a lot to move it. To me it’s still easier to remove and scrub off. When putting back don’t bury it. Wait till the tank is cycled than bury it. This way if you have to clean it again it won’t be as messy. For me yes that algae is getting bad. Scrap it off than use a net to try and remove as much as you can.
I try and take the guessing out of testing. I put the vial right over the color chart. If you can see the color through the vial that’s not it. It’s the last color you can’t see .
4298D517-8317-4FF5-8BED-365102CBCA94.jpegeven though this looks bright red it’s only 20ppm.
Thank you! That’s a good idea about not burying the wood until it’s cycled. What would you say this reading is?
 

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86 ssinit

I’m saying 10ppm. That color chart and api’s explanation of how to use it is designed to make people worry. Don’t worry about nitrate your cycling your tank. Nitrate is the final stage. It good to see .
 
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Passionfish

No worries- the all Capps, “DONT” triggered a reaction to my overly critical mother! Haha!!

what do I do if the nitrite and nitrate get super high again (not that they aren’t high now- but they were higher)? Thanks for the help!
Also, what’s causing the algae? If it’s being caused by the light and I get more plants, I’ll have to keep the light on.
Your tank is going through the cycle. You put in plants during the cycle, which means the plants would be helping you with your cycle, but instead, since you have so few, it is not contributing but actually your plants are degrading. They are trying to absorb as much nutrients as possible. The excess nutrients are still in the water, and that is the main cause of the algae growth. Try to remove as much as possible with tweezers or forceps. Let the nitrites and nitrates rise and fall, which will take a little time. You can either add a lot more plants like hornworts or floating plants, because they soak up a lot of nitrates, and let the algae "starve". Hortwort is tough and will fight off the algae, so it won't grow back. Your second option is to remove all of your plants until the cycle is done and add them afterward, along with a cleanup crew such as amano or cherry shrimp. You pick which one suits you
 
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Magtom

Your tank is going through the cycle. You put in plants during the cycle, which means the plants would be helping you with your cycle, but instead, since you have so few, it is not contributing but actually your plants are degrading. They are trying to absorb as much nutrients as possible. The excess nutrients are still in the water, and that is the main cause of the algae growth. Try to remove as much as possible with tweezers or forceps. Let the nitrites and nitrates rise and fall, which will take a little time. You can either add a lot more plants like hornworts or floating plants, because they soak up a lot of nitrates, and let the algae "starve". Hortwort is tough and will fight off the algae, so it won't grow back. Your second option is to remove all of your plants until the cycle is done and add them afterward, along with a cleanup crew such as amano or cherry shrimp. You pick which one suits you
Would it be ok to put the plants in my seasoned 10 gallon and bring them back once it’s cycled? I’m slowly switching from fake to real plants in there and there’s a big fake one I want to take out (but have t because I was worried it might cause a mini cycle). I could take it out and replace it with the plants from the 40 until it’s cycled.
 
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Passionfish

Would it be ok to put the plants in my seasoned 10 gallon and bring them back once it’s cycled? I’m slowly switching from fake to real plants in there and there’s a big fake one I want to take out (but have t because I was worried it might cause a mini cycle). I could take it out and replace it with the plants from the 40 until it’s cycled.
Yea that would be good but since your plants in the 40 are already covered in algae spores, you should watch out in your seasoned 10 gallon for an algae bloom. I would get some floating plants in your seasoned 10 gallon to combat it.
Your big fake plant will not cause a mini cycle if you take it out. You have a filter in there right? If so, then it will be fine.
 
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Magtom

Yeah, I have a filter. I also have a lot of floating water lettuce (about a third of the tank covered), but I didn’t know there were algae spores. Can I get rid of those? There is only a tiny bit of algae that grows on the glass of the 10 about every month or so, and I scrape it off during a water change. Here’s a pic.
 

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Passionfish

Yeah, I have a filter. I also have a lot of floating water lettuce (about a third of the tank covered), but I didn’t know there were algae spores. Can I get rid of those? There is only a tiny bit of algae that grows on the glass of the 10 about every month or so, and I scrape it off during a water change. Here’s a pic.
That is a very nice tank!
I was talking about algae spores on the plants in the cycling tank. It would introduce algae to your seasoned tank, but the water lettuce should fight it off fine. You can move your plants
 
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Magtom

Thanks! Ok. That’s what I’ll do. Then I can add lots of plants once the 40 is cycled. Thanks for your help, and patience. ☺️
 
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86 ssinit

Ok I wouldn’t move the plants. Yes you’ll be introducing algae to the 10g. No need for that. Leave the 40 as is and let it cycle through. The algae is the result of the 12hrs of light you started with. For lighting set your timer for 4hrs on 4 off and 4 on again. This break in lighting makes it much harder for algae to grow. But still works for plants.
 
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Magtom

4 on and 4 off all day and night or just for the day? How many hours on?
I mean, I’d rather not move the plants because it’s time consuming.
 
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86 ssinit

Just during the day for a total of 8hrs.
 
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Magtom

Ok. Thank you..
 
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