Went On Vacation, Came Back To A Disaster

abuch91

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Hey there, I had recently set up my planted tank and everything was looking great for the few days I had it running. (Dosing Co2 and running a Fluval Planted 3.0) I just got back from a week at the beach and my tank looks horrible. Based on my research, it looks like it may be covered in diatomaceous algae? What should I do to fix this?

It also looks like it's killing my poor S. Reps and Java Ferns

Before:
9oiYPNh.jpg


After:
MJMnjRT.jpg
 

Fish0n

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Looks like a tooth brush or fork could make quick work of removing at least the majority of that.
 
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abuch91

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Thanks, I'll clean out as much as possible and do a water change...Do you think this is caused by too much light? I'm running my lights on a timer, but they're only at 40% and blue is basically turned all the way down.
 

Vishaquatics

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Algae like this is common when you first set up an aquarium. It is due to

1) Unestablished filtration and lots of organic waste
2) Not enough plants
3) Too much light in correlation with the amount of CO2 being injected and biomass in the tank. (CO2 injection doesn't cause algae)

Here's the easiest way to clear it up and make sure it doesn't come back. Clearing it up is just a matter of using a tooth brush to remove it from the tank. Try to get as much as possible. Immediately hit the tank with a 75% water change after doing this.

1) Try putting in some established filter media into your filtration system. Established media can be obtained from your other tanks (that are healthy), a friend's tank, or even your LFS if they're willing.

2) Add way more fast growing stem plants plants. Like waaayyyy more. I'd recommend rotala rotundifolia, ludwigia repens, water wisteria, limnophila heterophylla, and other FAST growing stems. You want the fastest growing stems you can find and pack your tank full of them. Your tank should be an absolute jungle when you're done replanting.

3) Set the timer for a 7 hour photoperiod for now and have the CO2 staggered by 1 one hour before the photoperiod.

The algae shouldn't come back if you follow all of the above steps, but if it does, continue with the manual removal and water change.
 
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abuch91

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Algae like this is common when you first set up an aquarium. It is due to

1) Unestablished filtration and lots of organic waste
2) Not enough plants
3) Too much light in correlation with the amount of CO2 being injected and biomass in the tank. (CO2 injection doesn't cause algae)

Here's the easiest way to clear it up and make sure it doesn't come back. Clearing it up is just a matter of using a tooth brush to remove it from the tank. Try to get as much as possible. Immediately hit the tank with a 75% water change after doing this.

1) Try putting in some established filter media into your filtration system. Established media can be obtained from your other tanks (that are healthy), a friend's tank, or even your LFS if they're willing.

2) Add way more fast growing stem plants plants. Like waaayyyy more. I'd recommend rotala rotundifolia, ludwigia repens, water wisteria, limnophila heterophylla, and other FAST growing stems. You want the fastest growing stems you can find and pack your tank full of them. Your tank should be an absolute jungle when you're done replanting.

3) Set the timer for a 7 hour photoperiod for now and have the CO2 staggered by 1 one hour before the photoperiod.

The algae shouldn't come back if you follow all of the above steps, but if it does, continue with the manual removal and water change.
Thank you!! I'm going to try this ASAP
 
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abuch91

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So I just got my plants in, thought I ordered a lot but I think I could have got more. But after some elbow grease the tank looks good again. I don't know anyone who I can get some filter media from, but I might make a trip to a LFS to see if they'll be willing to lend me some. Thanks again everyone for all your help.
 

Momgoose56

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So I just got my plants in, thought I ordered a lot but I think I could have got more. But after some elbow grease the tank looks good again. I don't know anyone who I can get some filter media from, but I might make a trip to a LFS to see if they'll be willing to lend me some. Thanks again everyone for all your help.
Do you have fish in the tank? If not you'll need to cycle it before you put fish in there. I read all your earlier posts and it doesn't look like you're actively encouraging bacteria growth. What are your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings now? I saw in an earlier thread that you did have ammonia rise to 2 pom, but in order to actually put fish in there you need to make sure the tank will handle the ammonia they produce. Your profile says you know aboot the nitrogen cycle so I have to assume you are feeding the bacteria something? Fishfood, pure ammonia?
 
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abuch91

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Do you have fish in the tank? If not you'll need to cycle it before you put fish in there. I read all your earlier posts and it doesn't look like you're actively encouraging bacteria growth. What are your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings now? I saw in an earlier thread that you did have ammonia rise to 2 pom, but in order to actually put fish in there you need to make sure the tank will handle the ammonia they produce. Your profile says you know aboot the nitrogen cycle so I have to assume you are feeding the bacteria something? Fishfood, pure ammonia?
I don't have fish currently, just a snail that hatched with one of my plants I ordered. I've done fish in the past, but this is my first crack at live plants with a co2 set up so I've been more focused on that. I'll probably start the cycle soon, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to kill any of my plants. Will fishless cycling with ammonia dosing hurt the plants if the ammonia's too high? I've also heard people say you can cycle with a small amount of fish if you have enough plants. That's what I was going to look into next.
 
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