What's the problem and solution?

darkcat

Here's my tank rn. I have 1 gold zebra loach, 5 neon tetras, 1 betta, 3 corydoras (I know I need to add more, but I don't know how many. I don't want to overstock my tank) in a 20 gallon high. I came from vacation the day before yesterday. I was gone for 2 weeks. Used automatic feeder. I did a water change the day before going to the vacation. I kept my lights off the whole time. Usually, I keep my light about 13 hours. ( 7Am to 10PM.) is the light too much? I'm going to test my waters, so the result will be in a minute. How should I stop making this much algae, and what was the problem? Plants: 2 java ferns, 2 Anubias bateri var nana, 1 anubias bateri, few bacopa caroliniana, 1 amazon sword, thinking to get more plants and a bit more corydoras. Is the nitrates 10 or 20ppm?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210731_134452052.jpg
    IMG_20210731_134452052.jpg
    252.5 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_20210731_134448969.jpg
    IMG_20210731_134448969.jpg
    216.1 KB · Views: 32
  • IMG_20210731_134446084.jpg
    IMG_20210731_134446084.jpg
    246.2 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_20210731_135213040.jpg
    IMG_20210731_135213040.jpg
    162.3 KB · Views: 33

Ouse

I assume you’re seeing diatoms because you didn’t do a water change for the two weeks you were gone. The automatic feeder, knowing they’re not the most trustworthy, might have overfed and both factors meant more nitrate was produced in the end.

If you’re trying to bump up the schools for the six minimum rule, you can, but you don’t have to. The fish wouldn’t know to care much more since they’re already in schools. Number six isn’t worshipped by the fish, so to speak.

The lighting is too much. Another factor causing diatoms. Decreasing it by a few hours can only help.

BTW, diatoms aren’t algae. ;)
 

darkcat

I assume you’re seeing diatoms because you didn’t do a water change for the two weeks you were gone. The automatic feeder, knowing they’re not the most trustworthy, might have overfed and both factors meant more nitrate was produced in the end.

If you’re trying to bump up the schools for the six minimum rule, you can, but you don’t have to. The fish wouldn’t know to care much more since they’re already in schools. Number six isn’t worshipped by the fish, so to speak.

The lighting is too much. Another factor causing diatoms. Decreasing it by a few hours can only help.

BTW, diatoms aren’t algae. ;)
I'll try doing a water change today or some time near. Thank you so much!
 

carsonsgjs

Im wondering if it was to do with the lights being switched off for 2 weeks. Diatoms don't normally just show up if you don't do water changes, but can if there isnt enough light.

Also, is this a newly established tank?
 

MacZ

Erm... the java fern and the anubias should be taken out of the substrate. At least the java fern is obviously just rotting away.

And the amazon sword is showing some signs of deficiencies.

Vishaquatics ?

Edit: Oh, and 13 hours of light is tons too much. Even in the tropics there are only about 12 hours of daylight in 24h. Tune it down to 8.
 

Ouse

How could I not notice the rhizome plants in the substrate? :facepalm:

Darkcat, you can tie the rhizome of the two plants to a rock or wood using string. Some use cyanoacrylate resin to stick the rhizome down, although overall thoughts on that are mixed. Leave the Amazon sword in the substrate.

I now see you got back with the results, although I can’t read what it says in that image. Ammonia and nitrite seem to be under control, but the nitrate reading, given it’s not very clear in the image, remains ambiguous. It looks high if anything. What’s it usually?
 

darkcat

Im wondering if it was to do with the lights being switched off for 2 weeks. Diatoms don't normally just show up if you don't do water changes, but can if there isnt enough light.

Also, is this a newly established tank?
Nope, I cycled it by fish in cycle. Took 2 weeks.
Erm... the java fern and the anubias should be taken out of the substrate. At least the java fern is obviously just rotting away.

And the amazon sword is showing some signs of deficiencies.

Vishaquatics ?

Edit: Oh, and 13 hours of light is tons too much. Even in the tropics there are only about 12 hours of daylight in 24h. Tune it down to 8.
Okay, I'll tune it down to 8 hours. Thanks!
How could I not notice the rhizome plants in the substrate? :facepalm:

Darkcat, you can tie the rhizome of the two plants to a rock or wood using string. Some use cyanoacrylate resin to stick the rhizome down, although overall thoughts on that are mixed. Leave the Amazon sword in the substrate.

I now see you got back with the results, although I can’t read what it says in that image. Ammonia and nitrite seem to be under control, but the nitrate reading, given it’s not very clear in the image, remains ambiguous. It looks high if anything. What’s it usually?
I thought about this, but I was afraid to use Glue in the tank. Doesn't it have bad chemicals? Oh! That's perfect a string! Thank you. It's around 5ppm, maximum of 10ppm.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210731_143924813.jpg
    IMG_20210731_143924813.jpg
    132.1 KB · Views: 19

Ouse

I’ve never had rhizome plants, but many here would say using cyanoacrylate glue to hold them down is safe, while others aren’t fans of the idea. String is always safe of course, and the plant would be firmly secured to the rock/wood before the string biodegrades.

Diatoms usually occur in new setups due to high nitrate from the cycle and/or high silicates typical in new setups, but as you say the setup isn’t new and nitrate is 10ppm at maximum, neither compounds could be the cause of the diatom bloom.

Edit: it looks like 40mg/L. Did you shake the second nitrate bottle hard?
 

MacZ

That nitrate level is... Please do two more checks: a. check your tap for Nitrates. b. check if the result is not based on en error.

Agree on the string. The better method.

Diatoms also show up when the lighting time is too long with too much nitrate. Had that a lot in my breeders of the Malawi cichlids. Especially the way it grew on that rock tells me though, that this is not just diatoms but also "Schmieralgen" (I don't know what it's called in english, the 1:1 translation is "smear algae") a - for once - harmless type of cyanobacteria. That stuff appears fast and can be gone as fast. Overall just a sign of an imbalance, due to the two weeks without light but high nutrient build-up from the autofeeder.

I don't see much of a problem besides the nitrates, so some 50% waterchanges (provided there is no NO3 in your tap) and less light should be all you need to do.

And for your next vacation of 2 weeks or more just prepare ONE portion of food for somebody to feed midway through those two weeks and not more. That portion should be only a tiny bit more than the usual daily feeding amount. Then also leave the light running with a timer. 8h each day, not too much, not too little, but that way the plants can do something with the nutrients and no algae take over the role of the consumer.
 

Ouse

Yeah, I can’t comment on the glue method. String does sound better. Anyways, everything else stated is as I also thought.

I just did a quick Google search of smear algae, and I got results for blue-green algae, slime algae and all sorts, so I assume the German term Schmieralgen must refer to a cyano.

Using autofeeders is very risky. Some people have had theirs eject too much food at once, causing an ammonia spike while they’re gone. You were lucky it was just higher nitrate than usual.
 

darkcat

That nitrate level is... Please do two more checks: a. check your tap for Nitrates. b. check if the result is not based on en error.

Agree on the string. The better method.

Diatoms also show up when the lighting time is too long with too much nitrate. Had that a lot in my breeders of the Malawi cichlids. Especially the way it grew on that rock tells me though, that this is not just diatoms but also "Schmieralgen" (I don't know what it's called in english, the 1:1 translation is "smear algae") a - for once - harmless type of cyanobacteria. That stuff appears fast and can be gone as fast. Overall just a sign of an imbalance, due to the two weeks without light but high nutrient build-up from the autofeeder.

I don't see much of a problem besides the nitrates, so some 50% waterchanges (provided there is no NO3 in your tap) and less light should be all you need to do.

And for your next vacation of 2 weeks or more just prepare ONE portion of food for somebody to feed midway through those two weeks and not more. That portion should be only a tiny bit more than the usual daily feeding amount. Then also leave the light running with a timer. 8h each day, not too much, not too little, but that way the plants can do something with the nutrients and no algae take over the role of the consumer.
What should I do if I don't have the somebody? My family and I will be gone because of the vacations, my friend's house and mines kinda far away, or usually busy. Any other ideas? Ill try to convince my friends but... What if no?

Luckily, I already have strings. Any would be fine right? I will test the nitrates again....
 

MacZ

I completely forgot how far people can live apart in other countries (everything is cosily close here in Europe). I have no real alternative for you. As long as my dad and I had a whole fishroom we rarely were gone for longer than a week and if so we had an acquaintance that was a fishkeeper too and who cared for our tanks.

As long as the string isn't coloured with aggressively artificial colours (like neon orange), and made e.g. of cotton, it's fine.
 

Vishaquatics

What light do you use? Also, are you dosing fertilizer? If so, what fertilizer do you use and how much do you dose?
 

darkcat

I do not use fertilizer. I bought a 20 gallon kit that comes with a light. I use this :
 

Vishaquatics

I do not use fertilizer. I bought a 20 gallon kit that comes with a light. I use this :

Yep, that's the issue then. Plants will grow well if their basic needs are not being addressed first.

You'll need a planted tank specific light. For aquariums without injected CO2, something like a 30" Finnex Planted Plus or 30" Finnex Planted ALC will work fine for you. Another great option and my light of choice would be the Chihiros WRGB2, though it is more expensive.

You'll also want to use an all-in-one comprehensive fertilizer. I personally recommend APT Complete by 2hr Aquarist. Other good options include Thrive by NilocG and Easy Green by Aquarium Co-op. I've used all of these for years and APT is the best IME.

Put the light on a timer for 8 hours daily, dose fertilizer as recommended on the label, perform large 50%+ water changes weekly. Plants will be thriving in a few weeks.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Question
Replies
7
Views
156
BigManAquatics
  • Question
Replies
8
Views
288
skar
  • Question
20 Gallon Tank Is this an okay filter?
Replies
17
Views
248
Nate32
  • Question
Replies
2
Views
127
YellowGuppy
Replies
12
Views
199
StarGirl

Random Great Thread

New Aquarium Algae Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom