Algae r Us

The algae have discovered my tank and the otos and amanos are feasting! Suspect causes are too much light (probably around 80-90umol) from the T5HO plus some afternoon direct sun, a huge increase in bioload and inattention to fertz.

The new fish are the big bioload increase and caused a recurrence of cycling problems. I’ve finally got the ammonia and nitrites back to zero and hope to keep them there. While fighting the nitrites I let the phosphates, potassium and micros get too low while doing lots of water changes¬†and I’m sure that also contributed to the algae outbreak.

I’ve now got back on track on the fertz and even with only one T5NO and one actinic the plants are looking much better. I plan to get a lot of fast growers at the auction this weekend and hopefully turn the corner on the algae in a couple of weeks.

I ordered some 6700K T5NO bulbs from Big Als Online and they arrived today. They look great and should give me better control with options of 40 and 60umols plus whatever the NO actinic contributes. I’ve also received a timer and remote to build into the fixture which will give me control over three items and also reduce the number of cords from the light to just one for better appearance.

Finally, I added some flow directors to the locline outputs to try to generate more surface ripple and spread the flow a bit as well. I’m hoping the ripple will breakup the surface biofilm that keeps forming.

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4 Responses to Algae r Us

  1. MaryD says:

    Algae breakout just seems to be inevitable on startup–but look on the good side–when you scrape it off, the fish will love it! Nice looking innards on the setup–hope all the earlier kinks worked out!

    • admin says:

      Hi Mary

      I’m making progress. I don’t mind the algae battle. Just something more to learn!


  2. FredF says:

    The increased NH4 also likely was a large factor to speed along the algae outbreak. Plus algae happens, the fast growers will help, don’t be afraid to load it up with stems.

    • admin says:

      Hi Fred

      I agree the combination of NH4 and NO2 I was battling with water changes was the problem. I failed to add PO4 and K back in while I was doing the dilutions to keep the NO3 from injuring the critters.

      Now that the NO2 is back to zero I can go back to weekly water changes and mind the fertz and get the RHS of the tank much more planted.


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