_ReApEr's 29g: An Algae Saga

Philosophos

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_ReApEr;43905 said:
The GDA, staghorn, and fuzz alga all seem to have disappeared.
All very good signs; those are some easy indicators that the CO2 is headed in the right direction. I can't see the flow myself so I can't comment in detail, but hopefully this will leave you to mild adjustments rather than fighting with the tank as a whole.


_ReApEr;43905 said:
idplz.png


I was told that it was growing immersed, if that's any clue.

Looks like a Marsillia spp. to me.


_ReApEr;43905 said:
I'm having quite a time trying to keep the freaking HC in the substrate. Otherwise, this experiment of mine looks promising.
Ya, HC is that way unless it's in rock wool or done as DSM. Perhaps try netting it down if uprooting continues to be an issue?

_ReApEr;43905 said:
and GSA running rampant, though. Another precaution, I guess you could call it, I've taken is I'm now using "rounded" 1/4 and 1/16 tsp measurements as opposed to flat ones, just to make sure the nutrients really are non-limiting. I also did another butcher round on the Bacopa this week and am continuing to slowly hack the algae-infested crypt leaves.
It's probably not the nutrients, but adding more definitely won't hurt; more PO4 does tend to keep the GSA down. As dutchy says, it may be another waiting sort of thing. Planted tanks have taught me long term patience and timing like nothing else.
 

Biollante

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What Phil.. er, Dan Says

Hi,

Carbon dioxide, circulation, increase nutrients, lots of water changes.;)

What DanoPhil says.:)

I agree with PhiloDan that your plant is likely Marsilea Spp., though I admit I first thought it might be anemic Glosso, Glossostigma elatinoides. Whatever it is it looks underfed.:eek:

Biollante
 

_ReApEr

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Thanks, everyone.

As per the PO4 comments, I think I'll start dosing "heaping" measurements of KH2PO4, another upgrade from "rounded" measurements.

Philosophos said:
It's probably not the nutrients, but adding more definitely won't hurt
That's what I figured, if nothing else it'd just eliminate another potential factor.

I'm being patient and staying diligent with more than one 50% water change a week and the Sunday's maintenance water change is about 90% now. Also staying diligent with trimming off leaves with algae on them and trimming/topping the Bacopa. Question about that, by the way: when I just trim off the top of Bacopa and leave the bottom half rooted, where should I be aiming? Just above or below a node?

Also, as I said, I started increasing the CO2 super slowly (I stuck a hex driver in a hole on the needle valve knob and use that to turn it a tiny amount, almost not noticeable if not for the driver's handle moving) every other day, watching the fish carefully. That cardinal I mentioned, the one that looks deformed, has disappeared. :( I imagine I was right and he was just having difficulty extracting oxygen from the water, perhaps deformed gills or something. All the other fish are still showing no signs of stress. So I think he may have been giving me a skewed idea of my CO2 levels in the tank. Again, I'm going to be continuing the tiny increments of CO2 every other day, waiting for some sign from the fish that they're not happy, then turning it back a bit. That should definitely get me to the real tolerance level of my fish.

Thanks again, guys.

EDIT: Oh yes, the mystery plant does look to be a Marsilea spp,, crenata, I think, possibly minuta. Thanks for the info!
 

Gerryd

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Hi,

Up to you where to trim. I go just under a node so the new branching begins at that point.

I do 80% wc weekly as well, just note that will reduce the nutes in the tank. I would up your dosing to compensate........

I had some issues underdosing due to the large WC. Upped EI and no issues.
 

_ReApEr

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Gerryd;43961 said:
Hi,

Up to you where to trim. I go just under a node so the new branching begins at that point.

I do 80% wc weekly as well, just note that will reduce the nutes in the tank. I would up your dosing to compensate........

I had some issues underdosing due to the large WC. Upped EI and no issues.

Sounds good to me. I did kind of increase dosing with "rounded" measurements as opposed to flat. That should be sifficient, no?

Thanks.
 

Philosophos

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Ya, definitely change more if you feel like it. My "50%" WC's end up being 60-70% quite frequently. Just tack on 50% more dosing flat tsp if you're doing around 75%.

Once your stable this can all relax if you like. It's better to be anal when you start than too relaxed and wondering why everything is turning to goo. I've slacked on my 28 gal in some ways recently and it's kind of shameful right now; I'll probably pull a paranoid trim and then WC the crap out of it just to get things back into form. I've found being strict in schedule is better than trying to recover, but until you know how to find stability it's just more work all around. There's never a harder length of time in planted tanks than trying to stabilize your first high tech system IMO.

Once you're through this new system, and you've messed around for a while, it'll always be easier. Knowing the path to a stable system means a lot psychologically.
 

_ReApEr

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Okay, so I'd like some input. I think this is the lesser of two evils.

For Christmas, I'm either starting a 6g nano or upgrading my 29g. Here's the thing: If I upgrade my 29g, I'm upgrading the lights from 1x65w CFL to 4x24w T5. Obviously, throwing another variable into the tank is likely to cause some more confusion and a longer adjustment period. Granted, I could run just one of the bulbs at 24w all the way up to 96w, so I get more variation and customization. The main reason I consider this is because my tank isn't capable of growing the lush, beautiful scape I ultimately want and because the 1x65w CFL just does not provide very good spread. I would likely run two bulbs at a time, 48w T5, for 4 hours each, resulting in 8 hours of excellently spread 48w. I could also experiment with a burst period of 96w somewhere in there if I so chose. In the end, I'd absolutely love having the better spread and more options, but it'd probably throw some things out of whack in the tank.

Option 2: Start a 6g. For one, I'm hesitant because I'm still pouring all my energy and time into the 29g and I think it probably still needs all my energy and time, at least until things settle down and come to balance. More importantly, starting this tank would require me to hault CO2 injection on my 29g for almost a week while I send my regulator to Orlando for him to install a dual manifold to support the 6g. Now, I could cut the photo period way down thus reducing the need for CO2, but I know that isn't the best idea, regardless, when I'm just starting to get a hold on the algae in the 29g.

So. Which route would you all recommend? I truly want to perfect my 29g before starting another tank, but I also really want to start the 6g simply because of the ridiculously awesome piece of driftwood I found that inspired the tank to begin with and because I know it could be a really cool tank. My gut tells me the responsible thing would be to focus on the 29g. And that, even still, would lead to throwing another twist into the mix with a different light fixture and different lighting types and such.

What would you guys do? Right now, I'm leaning towards my 29g.

Thanks, everyone.
 

Gerryd

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Hi,

Initial reaction: That much light on a 29g sounds like trouble to me. Not sure you can supply enough c02 at the rate the light is going to drive the plants....

I would LOWER or reduce the light on the 29 while the reg is in the shop. Use some excel and WC to help while no c02 injection..

If you are having issues with the 29 at your current light levels, I would NOT increase the amount by 2-4 X....

How are you injecting/measuring your co2 in the 29g?

Please elaborate more on your setup and issues or link to another thread if you have already done so?

65W on a 29 sounds like a lot of light already and I would try and raise the lights a bit, or get some floating plants to cover, or use some screening to reduce the amount of light.

It is easy to overlight any tank and a 30g is not that large.

The higher light will drive c02 demand and reducing this may make it easier to meet the reduce c02 demand.
 

_ReApEr

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Gerryd;44380 said:
How are you injecting/measuring your co2 in the 29g?

Please elaborate more on your setup and issues or link to another thread if you have already done so?
_ReApEr;43140 said:
Please see my previous thread for background: Bad mix: green water + brown algae

And

Gerryd;44380 said:
Initial reaction: That much light on a 29g sounds like trouble to me. Not sure you can supply enough c02 at the rate the light is going to drive the plants....

Gerryd;44380 said:
If you are having issues with the 29 at your current light levels, I would NOT increase the amount by 2-4 X....

Gerryd;44380 said:
65W on a 29 sounds like a lot of light already and I would try and raise the lights a bit, or get some floating plants to cover, or use some screening to reduce the amount of light.

It is easy to overlight any tank and a 30g is not that large.

The higher light will drive c02 demand and reducing this may make it easier to meet the reduce c02 demand.

That's why I said I'm planning on running 2 at a time for only 48w. That's less watts with far better spread. The reason I feel my light right now is insufficient is because the microsword I put in the tank a couple weeks ago looks to be dying off while all 6 other new species seem to be thriving and I can only attribute that to its being partially shaded by the giant Amazon Sword right behind it. With 4 bulbs (2 at a time, not all 4), there would be much better spread than my 1 bulb provides, thus eliminating some of these shady areas.

With that in mind, what are your thoughts?

Thanks.
 

_ReApEr

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Any feedback? If not, I'll be ordering the light fixture tonight because, like I said, I feel it would be a smarter move than starting another tank.

Thanks.
 

Philosophos

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You're going to be increasing both your lighting intensity and spread given the efficiency that T5HO's have over CF's. At the same time though, if you can time the bulbs independently then you'll be able to control your overall lighting higher or lower, while still being able to get spread from more than one lighting point throughout the day. It's not a bad idea.

Focusing on the tanks you have is always a good idea if there are things you can do to improve them. I work with my tanks until I feel that they are serving their purpose before I move to the next. This doesn't mean that I don't go back and upgrade based on new information, but at least I've got a tank that I can keep in a stable routine. Given that you're settling in with your first high tech tank, focusing on it until everything works isn't a bad idea either.
 

_ReApEr

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I knew T5 was more efficient than CFL, bit I didn't realize it was that severe a difference. 48w T5 > 65w CFL? Jeez. Maybe I'm in for more than I expected. I can't time each bulb individually, though that would be awesome, but I can do 2 at a time, which is what I was planning. Regardless, I think it's a much better idea than starting another project. New light fixture it is. We'll have to see how it goes.

I also have an update on the situation, but I'm at work and don't have the pictures, so I'll have to post that later on

Thanks for the input..
 

Philosophos

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It can be greater if the reflectors are of good quality. I'd say expect about equal light at least. Cycling between the sets will definitely help.

If you update today I may be able to get a reply in later tonight, if not I'll be sure to check it out tomorrow.
 

_ReApEr

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It's incredibly difficult to copy/paste URLs on my phone, but the one I'm getting is a Catalina fixture and, if I'm not mistaken, they have quite a good reputation. I'm getting the 4x24w 30" Solar T5 fixture. German polished aluminum, triples light output, they claim. So I imagine they are quite good.

And, yeah, the plan is just to have one set on for 4 hours, then switch the bulbs for another 4 hours. I'm wondering, though, what would be the best way to go about that. I initially thought I'd just put them on one of those day/night timers and have one set as day and one as night and put THAT timer on another timer that is only set for 8 hours with the lights switching in the middle, but failed to realize that, when the "master" timer shut off, the light timer would stop keeping time. D'oh. So I figure just two digital timers would be the easiest/most accurate way to pull it off. Any other suggestions, though? Are there, perhaps, really nice timer strips that allow you to control each outlet independantly that anyone has any experience with? That'd be really nice.

Thanks, I should have my little update in within a couple hours.
 

_ReApEr

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Okay, my update.

I've noticed a couple things that are kinda weird and may point at a deficiency of some sort.

A)
holeysword.png

One of my swords sprouted this leaf. As you can see, there's a hole in it and it's brown around the edges of the hole.

B)
redcrypt.png

Some of my crypts are sprouting leaves with red / red-orange edges.

Anything?

Also, brown algae seems to have slowed down. Newer leaves sprouting aren't being overtaken with brown algae, or at least not as fast. The GSA is still rampant and infesting everything. I'm having to trim multiple leaves off the swords, in particular, every week. But I'm keeping at it, it's got to eventually give up with the increasing CO2 levels.
 

Philosophos

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I get holes like that with three major points of correlation. The first is stress from rapid parameter shifts; uprooting, intensely new light, CO2 dropping out fast. Have your swords been disturbed much? The other is simply CO2 being too low as a chronic issue. The final point is age; I find plants get to their max size, then deteriorate. This happens fast with any swords that I've kept because they tend to grow fast. Just today I pulled out a handful of leaves from my 28 gal; second time in a month that I've done it.

The red/orange thing is completely out of my depth; never seen it. I don't focus much on swords though, so I'm not familiar with all their quirks. If Brian20 is around, he grows swords and may be familiar with it.

Now as for the timers, I'd just sync up two cheap ones if you want an easy fix. There are two/multi cycle timers as well; I'll probably start looking for one myself before long. I've got a rig that's going to need it.

*edit* here's a potential timer: http://www.gulfaquaria.com/haduliti.html
 
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_ReApEr

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Philosophos;44516 said:
The red/orange thing is completely out of my depth; never seen it. I don't focus much on swords though, so I'm not familiar with all their quirks. If Brian20 is around, he grows swords and may be familiar with it.
Just to clarify, the reddish coloring is on the Crypts, not the Amazons. I don't know if they're technically a type of sword, so figured I'd make sure. ;p

The only trauma the Amazons might have seen recently is their butchering. Might that have upset it?

Also, the only option for the light fixture regarding moon lights is a strip of 8, which is probably way overkill for a planted tank. Do moonlights actually do any good for a planted tank or is that mainly for corals, invertebrates, and such? If not, I'll save myself the $30.

Thanks!
 

Philosophos

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In crypts that may just be morphology if you've got a green variety that's been grown under conditions that encourage red pigment.

If you trimmed the sword by clipping the leaves rather than tugging them, the residual stalks may be melting; this can trigger a mass melt IME. I've had it happen in swords, crypts and staurogyne.

Moonlights are purely for viewing purposes. There's no evidence I've ever seen that they serve another purpose. If you decide that you want them later, you can pick up moonlight strips on their own.
 

_ReApEr

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Hmmm. I kind of mix it up between trimming and tugging, though I always thought tugging was a sort of blasphemy because it's not at all a clean cut. Is tugging generally better in order to remove everything all the way down to its connection point?

I'm skipping the moonlights, then. Perhaps some time down the road I'll add a couple LEDs, but for now I don't think I need them.

Thanks! We'll have to see what happens, the new fixture will be put on the tank Christmas day. ^.^
 

Philosophos

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I pluck certain plants because it gets right down into the point where the leaf connects to the crown/rhizome, which is sometimes burried. Trimming always seems to leave more dead tissue.