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Green Water Algae control... Suggestions?
I have an aquarium, which has a recurring green water algae problem.
Below, I shall describe it in such detail. It is hoped that the detailed
descriptions will enable people to make suggestions on how to control the
According to the article, "Control of Algae in Planted Aquarium" By Paul L.
Sears, Ottawa, Canada, psears-at-emr.ca, and Kevin C. Conlin, Montreal,
Canada, kcconlin-at-cae.ca, found at http://www.thekrib.com . Algae
control is a matter of balancing light, CO2, and nutrients such that
phosphate is in short supply, so that the lack of phosphate is the limiting
factor in plant growth.
I have taken steps to limit any phosphate in the tank. I have stopped using
any buffers other than baking soda. I use only de-chlorinator, to treat the
water added in water changes. I have done a 200% water change, in 40%
increments, over a week's time in order to dilute any phosphates I may have
added using such products.
I am starting to think that I need to add some other nutrients, so that
phosphate will be in shorter supply than say, trace elements. in order to
get rid of my green water. So the question is, which ones? What other steps
can be taken get this green-water algae to reciede?
The plants cover about 1/3 to 1/2 of the bottom. I have done this
deliberately in order to give some area of sandy bottom for fish who like to
bottom feed. It has occured to me that one explaination of this problem is,
that if the plants are to be expected to out-compete the algea for
nutrients, there needs to be more plants... I don't know if there is
anything to that idea. What do you think?
Kh is 3.0
My pH is 7.5 without my DIY CO2, 6.6 with.
From the charts at The Krib, this gives me a 23 ppm CO2
Temp. 77-81 degrees F.
This aquarium is a 50 gallon tank, with 120 watts of florescent lighting, 13
hours/day. The substrate is Fluorite, which varies in depth from 1 to 3
1 Red Ludwigia (none too red at the moment)
1 Large Wisteria, 12" tall, bushy
1 Radican Sword.
2 Amazon Sword plants, 18 inches tall.
1 banana plant, putting out impressive leaf growth, and a 24" long runner
with a red leaf on the end.
1 aquatic version of a spider plant, which I believe is Sagittaria
platyphylla. It's putting out new plants both by runners under the
substrate, and above.
1 Hygrophila about 12" tall, and quite bushy.
5 Bala sharks, 2.5"
2 Black tetras 1.5"
3 Chinese Algae eaters. 2"
1 Pearl Gourami, 1.5"
1 Synodontis eupterus, 2"