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Algae ID and Help, Please

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Frank Lawler, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    Can someone identify this algae and suggest a possible cause? Tank parameters are: N 20; P 1.0, Fe 1.0, 2 w/gal x 10 hrs, also dose K, CSM+B, Ca, and Mg. Pressurized co2, drop checker green to yellow in 4 dkh solution.
    One more thing. I had tried Seachem Equilibrium on two occasions for Ca and Mg, but each time it caused algae. Now I use gypsum and Epsom salt. GH is 10-12.
     
  2. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not good with names, but from the picture it looks as if you have a lot of light coming from that window. You might have shared this on another thread, but 2 watts of HO would be contributing to the problem, 10 hour days too. When you say your tank parameters are N 20; P 1.0, are these your weekly doses?

    Introduction to algae issues
    http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/
     
    #2 Tug, Sep 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2010
  3. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    No, these are my average levels in between weekly WC's. And HO is?
     
  4. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    high output
     
  5. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    So photoperiod is too long, or intensity too high?
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Intensity is too high, if you let us know what size the tank is and what lights you have, we can give a better advice. If you use less intensity you can keep the 10 hour photoperiod.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  7. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    It's 29 gal with a 55 watt CF bulb, so I figure about 2w/gal.
     
  8. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Some more question:

    1. Is the tank 18" deep and how high above the top of the tank are your lights?
    2. Are you calibrating your test kits?
    3. What are you actually dosing each week?

    Something else we have not discussed that might be worth pursuing, is to improve the water circulation.

    Basically high levels of light do require you to be on your game. The link on an earlier post provides excellent explanations and remedies for most of the algae we run up against. IMO, with the light coming from the window you have plenty (more then enough) of light and not enough CO2/nutrients. Reduce the light intensity to lower the demand for CO2/nutrients. You might also have poor water flow.

    The solutions; full EI doses, clean the tank and filter, water changes, improve water circulation and improve on light/CO2/nutrient levels.
     
    #8 Tug, Sep 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2010
  9. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    Tank is 18" deep. bulb is about 2" above surface. Only my nitrate kit is calibrated. My ferts are pre-mixed in 500 ml bottles, but my best dosing estimate (weekly total) is N 1tsp, K 1/4tsp, P 1/8tsp, and CSM+B 1/4tsp.
    Reply is late because for some reason was unable to get to the site for about 20 hrs.
     
  10. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Frank,
    Yes, we all suffered a bout of Barr Report withdrawal.

    Dutchy is much better at pinpointing the most likely solution to what looks like hair algae, but here is my two cent. From what information you have provided (including the picture) your light is in the mid-range at the very least. Your dosing still could be off. I will take your word for it and say that it is not, but without knowing how you make your stock solutions it's hard to say for sure. This would mean focus on CO2 levels and water flow. IME, hair algae is removed manually (some fish will eat it as well) and prevented with improved water flow when sufficient levels of CO2 are present.

    Raising the amount of CO2 you add is one option. Improving the way water is circulating CO2/nutrients is also an effective way to improve CO2. You might also try reducing your light (if only temporarily) to lower the demand for CO2 and thereby raising CO2 in an indirect fashion. I hope this helps.
     
    #10 Tug, Sep 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2010
  11. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I think your dosing is enough to prevent limitation, but only just. 1 ppm of PO4 isn't that much to go on halfway the week. I'd bump it up around 30%. I'd also raise the light something like 5 inch, this will lower CO2 demand, as Tug said.

    Pick and prune, do a 50% waterchange 3x per week to get rid of the algaespores., and don't forget to dose afterwards.
     
  12. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    OK, thanks a lot. I've just finished a 3 day blackout, and will follow up with the water changes as advised, increase P, and raise the light. Long term, I might be able to increase CO2 by splitting the input between two diffusers. Right now I have a 1 1/4" diameter Rhinox, which I keep clean by weekly use of Tilex, but it already seems maxed out with the amount of CO2 presently in use.
    For my own curiosity and education, any thoughts on why I twice had algae outbreaks shortly after using Seachem Equilibrium? I keep thinking there must be some sort of relevant clue in there somewhere. Thanks for all the assistance. Frank
     
  13. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    If Equilibrium causes algae, everyone using it should have algae . A common mistake made is that when people add a nutrient and they get algae, they blame the nutrient. This is a wrong conclusion. According to Liebig's law, the speed of growth is determined by the substance that's the least present. So at the moment you add a nutrient plants start to grow faster and another nutrient will become limiting This causes algae. The substance that you add in abundance never causes algae. (except with NH4).

    So on the question: "I added nutrient x and I get algae?" the answer is "what is the new limitation?"

    If you take care that no limitations exist, you shouldn't get algae.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  14. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    Thanks. I only knew Liebig's Law in the abstract, and my thinking was too set on the assumption that I dosed plenty of macros. Since my nitrate test kit is calibrated and shows 15-25ppm, it must then be a phosphate deficiency, which is in line with the advice given. I think K deficiency might be ruled out because I see none of the obvious symptoms, and also because of the K in KNO3 and KH2PO4.
    Perhaps I also might consider a trace deficiency?
     
  15. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Yes, that's very well possible. Anything in the CO2 / NPK / Traces. A K+ deficiency is not very likely as you said. Nutrients is very easy to do. I have a NO3 > 30, a PO4 >3 to 4 and Fe >1 all the time, but no algae. Anyway, your CO2 / light management is just as important. Most problems I see on this site are CO2 related.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  16. Frank Lawler

    Frank Lawler Member

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    Thanks very much for all the help!
    Frank
     
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