Struggling with plants, algae, and am flustered

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by plug, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. plugWell Known MemberMember

    I am just not getting anywhere with my tanks and the plants
    I have a 46 gallon community tank, and I have some floating water sprite plants, one water wysteria that I split into 2, and 1 Amazon sword as well as some long broad leaf plant which is a val or something (just bought it the other day and forgot to write down the actual name of it)

    In my 22 gallon barb tank I also have some floating water sprite, 1 water wysteria that I split into 3 and 1 Red Ludwigia

    So in both tanks, the plants seems to be growing especially the wysteria, but in my larger tank brown algae is covering the leafs as well as my amazon's leaves, and in the small tank, green algae is starting to cover the wysteria and ludwigias leaves

    I have T5HO lights in both tanks a roseatte bulb and I believe a 6000 or 6700 k bulb
    I dose with excel and seachem envy

    I have lights on for about 8 hours a day on average

    I see everyone elses tanks and plants and they look great , while my plants are starting to be stunted by the excessive growth of the brown algae

    I have oto cats in my large tank along with an albino BNP but not much help with the algae

    My water parameters are fine 0/0/5-10 ammonia/nitrite/nitrate

    Do I need to start injecting C02?

    Am I missing something?

    I just don't get it
  2. hoboValued MemberMember

    Yes I think you need to be adding CO2. Try a DIY yeast sugar solution to get started also try reducing your lighting period to 7 hrs. You should get yourself some Zebra nerite snails they will help allot in controlling algae. And cut back on your feedings once a day max you can even skip a day only feed on alternate days

  3. plugWell Known MemberMember

    I only feed once a day, and sometimes even skip a day
    I have looked but cannot find any zebra nerite snails. Checked at Big Al's and Petsmart...nothing
    I may try PJ'S but they do not have a great selection

    I wonder how much it costs to buy a c02 injection system since I seem to ize and screw up every DIY project I try...

  4. YeoyWell Known MemberMember

    DIY is easy. I have seen very easy ones done. It is a highschool science project. There may be some liquid additives? (maybe)

  5. TerraWell Known MemberMember


    I think I could have handled the 2 liter bottles and DIY method, but my stand is a wire/metal thing and open and I didn't really want to look at the ugliness. This was almost a DIY setup, only it was nicer looking and hangs on the back of my tanks. It took about 5 mins to setup and was making bubbles in my tank steadily within 5-6 hours.

    You can refill with your own yeast/sugar mixture when the included packets wear out. I've had one going on my 20g for the last week and a half or so, and on my 10 gallon for 3-4 days now. My plants are showing a noticable difference already and my nitrates are dropping.

    They're only setup for a 40 gallon max i believe, and would probably want 2 of them for your 46 gallon.
  6. plugWell Known MemberMember

    Now that looks like it is quite easy and not that expensive
    I will have to look into that
    And you make your own with yeast and sugar


    I will have to investigate this further
  7. DaacWell Known MemberMember

    The algae probably comes from the imbalance in carbon, light, and nutrients like mentioned above. You have the light and nutrients but don't have carbon. I would do the DIY method because I did this and it is cheap and easy to do. Also I had the same problem until I made most of my tanks dirted tanks and now I have no plant problems at all. I know this is not an easy thing to do but just in case you are planning on getting a new tank or something just an idea to consider. For taking care of the algae I recommend a mix of shrimp (like amanos or rcs) and snails because snails are good at getting the glass but not the laves because they are too heavy often. The shrimp can't cling to the glass and are small and light so they are great for cleaning leaves. Plus both are cool and are a good addition to any tank that doesn't have fish that would eat the shrimp/snails.
  8. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    I'd raise the light up on your smaller tank. Sounds like you have too much light. Raising it up will also help you gain control of your tank. old is the tank? How old are the light tubes? How much Excel are you dosing and is this every day? How much water do you change weekly? KH/GH test kit?

    I'm sorry you are having a hard time. Planted tanks are a bit more work but that's the fun part!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  9. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Very good information above! Algae always gets started when an imbalance occurs. The trick is to figure out what is causing it!

    Diatoms are very common. And always go away on their own. While at its worst, rub it off the leaves each day until it stops to grow so quickly. Raising the lights may help as well as cutting the lighting back to 6 hours. Other common causes are not enough water current throughout the tank or older bulbs.

    Green Algae. Is it green spots, a green slime or small tufts? Every form of algae has a different trigger, so it is important to know which form is growing in your tank.
  10. plugWell Known MemberMember

    My main tank (46 gallon) is almost 2 years old. I have a farlowella in there that eats all algae off the glass and the rocks, but he struggles on the small plant leaves as he is too big to stay on, so he avoids he seesm to only like the green algae
    I have 2 oto cats as well as a small albino BN pleco, but they do not really eat much of the brown algae...even though I thought they would

    I do water changes every week...the lights are barely 2 months old..ammonia/nitrite/nitrate are 0/0/5-10
    I don't have a KH/GH tester (will get one)

    In my 22 gallon tank the tank is only a few months old water parameters are the same, but it has more of the slimy green algae, especially on the plants. The glass has lots of green algae as well, even though I have a small farlowella cat in there as well, but there is so much algae he is truggling to keep up with eating it all

    I am thinking of trying a DIY co2 setup for my small tank which is in the basement, and maybe purchasing a co2 unit for the larger tank which is in the family room

    I was thinking of buying some shrimp, but my small tank has Tiger Barbs, and my large tank has angel and some Black Skirt tetras and I am worried they may try and eat them

    The algae is driving me nuts. I have tried rubbing ot off the wysteria plants but they are so delicate and there is so much

    I need a solution fast...will go to pet shop tomorrow and look at co2 units

    I wonder the cost for a 46 gallon tank
  11. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Cost to set up CO2 varies greatly!

    DIY is the most cost effective and very easy. With two 2-liter bottles, a smaller bottle, some airline tubing and a cotton pad you'll be in business. And will run for pennies a day.

    To purchase a simple set up, you'll need to read the packaging very closely. Some of the containers are only good for 10-15G. So, you'd need 2 for your smaller tank and 4 or 5 for the larger. That would be very expensive to set up. What you'd be purchasing is exactly what could be set up for DIY, but at an average cost of $25 each. If you use the tablet inserts, they would last from a few days to a month.

    Not sure you are considering it, but just to throw out all your options....injection setups. These are the most expensive to set up. Cost ranging over $200; but the daily running costs are very low.

    No matter which setup option you select, make sure it is sufficient to provide for your tank's needs. Setting up something that cannot produce enough CO2 will get you nowhere fast.

    Hope that helps.
  12. hoboValued MemberMember

    Try adding phosphorous green spot algae can be caused by a lack of phosphates
  13. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    I have an aquatek co2 system and it's been pretty solid. The needle valve adjustment is a bit touchy but hasn't fluctuated at all. I've also heard decent reviews on the Milwaukee ma957, another cheap regulator kit. You are best off acquiring the co2 tank locally since they are readily available.

    Both should come with a bubble counter and solenoid, you'd need to get a drop checker, diffuser, and timer.
  14. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    46g - did the Diatoms start appearing when you got new lights?

    I used to use your bulb combo for awhile. I got some Diatoms. The Rosette bulb brought out the red in my Red Melon Sword. You should swap it out for 6500K; red, blue and green, so some of everything.
  15. plugWell Known MemberMember

    Yes that is when I started getting the diatoms when I got my new light setup
    So you are saying to get rid of the rosette bulb? I thought that is what made the plants grow?

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