re: Brush Algae
>37gal., pH 5.8-6.5, NH3: none, NO3 ~50ppm, NO2: none, KH <3ppm, filtered by
>Eheim 2213 totally biological, powerhead for circ., 78xF, light: 3 x 20W
>tubes (Triton, PowerGlo & Vitalight) 7 hours per day, 1 tsp. Kent fert.
>two weeks., fish: mostly tetras (9), 2 livebearers, 2 plecos, 3 corys, 1
>Gourami, plants: 12 var. Crypts, 4 var. tall Anubias, 1 A. Coffeefolia, 3
>small A. Nana, 1 large A. Nana
>Being dedicated to my plants I added the third bulb (the vitalight) two
>months ago. BOOM! Algae goes wild and now includes small green dots
>decorating my tank glass. Today I did a 50% water change (overdue) and
>clipped back the larger Anubias leaves that were covered by the beard stuff.
> In addition I vacuumed the gravel (gently, of course) and rinsed out my
>filter in it's own water.
>My question is, what else can I do to erradicate my problem?
Where to start?.......
I have a few suggestions, each of which, will probably help some.
1. No more than 12 hours of light per day. This can be broken up into
aesthetically pleasing periods without any negative effects that I have
observed. Algae just keep growing past 12 hours, but plants don't. I'm sure
you already are using a timer by your post, so I don't need to tell you to do
2. Look at the ingredients list of the Kent fertilizer. If it contains
nitrates, you might want to look into something else. Your 50 ppm readings are
conducive to brush algae growth. Your extra light just made it easier for
green spot algae to grow too. If you get things where your plants are using up
all the nutrients, you won't have much algae.
3. CO2 injection can be done cheaply to start out with and you can move up to
an automated system at such time as money permits. This, combined with your
increased light will help your plants grow faster and outcompete the algae for
nutrients. Your KH is a bit low for CO2 at < 3ppm. You may need to bump it up
a bit before adding CO2. This will raise your pH quite a bit, so do it slowly.
CO2 will bring your pH back down.
4. Just two weeks in my tank without my regularly scheduled 30 gallon water
change (on a 55 gallon tank with wet/dry) = lots of beard algae. If I keep my
water change regimen up, I don't have anywhere near the problem. It also helps
a *lot* to remove any debris build up on the gravel surface. My fish won't
leave algae alone, and it eventually winds up on the floor of the tank. I can
either get rid of it (and the nitrates it contains) or let it attach itself and
become a really big mess. I reccommend frequent water changes. These keep the
nitrates down to a minimum. I plan to eventually have my system set up to
continuously change the water at a rate of 50 gallons per week. Inline carbon
filters do a good job of removing chloramines, and I already have a sump drain
set up, so I can turn my tank from a "pond" to a "bayou" with a continuous
water change system.
David W. Webb
dwebb at ti_com