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Algae Advice

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by shane, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am trying to rid my planted tank of some BBA. The BBA grows moreso on the anubius and crypts. Here are some specs of the tank:

    1. 36" x 18" x 20" tank: ~ 58gallons
    2. Running 96 Watts of Compact Flourescent 8 hours/day.
    3. Pressurized CO2 using a Aqua Medic CO2 Reactor w/ Eheim 2217. Running ~1-1.5 BPS. Eheim 2217 filter is a biological filter mostly.
    4. Using a Cal Aqua Double Checker - They seem to be equal colors throughout the day.
    5. Running a 15 Watt UV sterilizer w/ Eheim 2215 all the time. Eheim 2215 is a mechanical filter.
    6. Use a Eheim Pro 3 filter as an overall filter.
    7. Using ADA Amazonia for substrate.
    8. Dose Tropica Master Grow in morning.
    9. Dose K 3 times a week.
    10. I do (2) 20gallon water changes/week.
    11. Tank stocked with (2) 7" Discus, (2) 5" Discus, (3) German Blue Rams, (8) Rummynose Tetras, (2) Cory Catfish, Amano Shrimps.
    12. Feed fish Hikari Frozen Bloodworms 3 times/day at (2) 3.5oz. cubes each time.
    13. I do not dose any Phosphate or Nitrate. Using my Hach Phosphate test kit shows 1.5PPM Phosphate before a water change. Using my LaMotte Nitrate test kit shows about 20-25PPM Nitrate before a water change. Therefore, I figure no dosing needed here.
    14. Tank is fairly densely planted: Anubius, rotala indica, rotala colorata, blyxa japonica, various crypts.
    15. Plants in all parts of the tank show a nice gentle swaying motion.
    16. Try to keep plants (the rotala's) trimmed.

    Any ideas what I should try to stop BBA? I know this is mostly a CO2 issue but it seems like the CO2 is okay according to the drop checker. I do notice more BBA if I try to add in an additional 55 watts of lighting. Not sure if this is a dosing issue or a CO2 issue.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't think you can have enough CO2 in the water, running only 1-1.5 bubbles per second, for that size tank. Drop checker fluid has to be replaced at least every 2 weeks or it isn't accurate. The dual bulb unit has to have both solutions replaced. Both contain dyes and dyes are not known as real stable compounds. My 45 gallon tank gets about one bubble per second, but the bubbles are about .25 inch in diameter, probably 5-10 bubbles per second of the normal size.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Drop checkers are not exactly precise measures.
    Yellow - Green- Blue, very wide ranging and slow to respond, also, I know that CO2 levels are very different in aquariums, so that's measuring at one spot only.

    It cannot tell if plants are consuming the CO2 vs not.

    You might consider switching to 39W x 2 for lighting, this will give a better spread over a 3 ft long tank, and better color options. This will also reduce the W/gal, some and even out the lighting and highlight the fish more/better.
    Then you can run a 10 hour split lighting at 7 hours each with 3-4 hours over lap.

    You can also add Excel 3x a week.
    That should kill it off slowly.

    Adding some SAE's also might be considered(small ones).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Vaughn,

    I think my bubbles coming out of the Aqua Medic CO2 reactor are fiarly large. Definitely larger than a bubble out of a ADA CO2 system. What bubble per second would you expect to be about right for this system?

    I have already gassed the discus before (at a pH of about 6.3) so I am leary of pushing a lot more CO2 into the tank. But I can try a little more.

    SO it sounds like this is a CO2 issue and not a dosing issue in your opinion?
     
  5. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Tom,

    What do you think of the dosing regimine I have? I only dose K and Micros.

    I like the idea of the (2) 39 watt bulbs. Do you think I have too much lighting for this setup?
     
  6. lokii_37

    lokii_37 Junior Poster

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    why do you not dose N? it seems like there may be a nutrient imbalance so the plants can not up take as many of the nutrients as they like.
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You need to calibrate the phosphate and nitrate test kits if you are going to depend on them for determining how much to dose.

    I am not experienced with discus, but based on what I have been reading, you really have a heavy fish load in that tank. And, your feeding means the fish are producing an abundance of ammonia in the tank. Unless you have a lot of plants growing very fast, so you need to prune more than weekly, I doubt that you can keep algae from starting up. Testing for ammonia and getting a zero reading doesn't mean you aren't hitting the tank with big surges of ammonia everytime you feed the fish - 3 times a day!
     
  8. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Lokii_37,

    I don't dose N because the discus provide N. I've tried dosing a small amount of N and P. It did nothing for the BBA.
     
  9. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Vaughn,

    Yes, the fish load is pretty high. I do run (3) filters on this aquarium: a Eheim 2217 that is 90% filled with biological filter media, a Eheim 2215 all mechanical filter, and a Eheim 2076 with both biological and mechanical filtering.

    I also do (2) 20 gallon water changes per week.

    Each feeding is 7oz of frozen blood worms. I have thought about reducing feeding to twice a day.
     
  10. stevie D

    stevie D Junior Poster

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    I've never really had algae issues, thanks to the great advise here and other forums, but there will always be some in a planted tank. I started dosing excel for about a week once a month and I really have very very little, almost too little as i have some ottos and nerites, amanos and things like that. It seems to do a great job at controlling algae, is cheap, and haven't found any downfalls. I don't dose a lot, maybe 1.5 time the recommend dose. This might help you out.

    Stevie D

    BTW i have pretty high lighting. On my 26 gallon bowfront i have 48 watts on for 10 hours and 96 watts on for 5 of those hours.
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Is there a decimal point missing there? Is it .07, 0.7 or 7.0 ounces? Seven ounces is almost half a pound?
     
  12. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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  13. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    What should my target K value be for this tank? I do a 1/2 teaspoon 3 times a week right now. Perhaps this is where I am a bit light?
     
  14. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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  15. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    The packaging says 3.5oz (100g). It could be for all the cubes. There are 32 cubes. So a little over 3 grams each.
     
  16. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I feel better now! I knew Discus were heavy eaters, but I just couldn't see then eating three hamburgers a day!:D
     
  17. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    The way they eat, I wonder if they wouldn't eat three hamburgers! LOL
     
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