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Are my light bulbs bad (new algae)

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by sherry, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    I have a 96 cf quad 6700 (about a year and four months old) and a 40 cf 10,000 and 40 cf actinic (a year old) over a 20 inch cube.

    in the last couple of months I've seen a lot of bba and green spot.

    before that I had well more snails for the spot algae, and a ton of pearling and no algae at all.. Still dosing EI, water changes weekly, and co2 is full.

    can the algae be because the bulbs are old ... maybe changing the light frequency they send out? It was a friend's guess, but I hate to toss out good bulbs unless the guess makes sense.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    BBA building up suggests you don't have enough CO2 dissolved in the water. If you make or buy a drop checker, use it with 4dKH distilled water in it, you can be sure you have enough CO2. GSA tends to show you don't have enough phosphates in the water, so increasing the phosphate dosing by about 50% should help that. I don't think there is any chance that aging bulbs are your problem.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I still have a pair of 6 years old PC light bulbs, no issues relating to algae, if anything, you see less, not more algae as the bulbs lose power.

    You have a CO2 issue, not a light bulb issue.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    great. Upping the co2 and phosphate is the cheapest solution... I'll wait until Saturday so I can monitor the fish as I do that.

    Thanks!!! I hate to toss bulbs when replacements are so expensive.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The R macrandra should respond well to increased CO2, good NO3/PO4 and GH.

    Place the weed in the path of the CO2 mist, it should do very well there.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    Tom you are probably a little brilliant and a litte psychic!. I went to check my co2 and it had emptied!!!!! It had maybe a few bubble left, but must have been running on low pressure for a couple of weeks because when I upped the bubble count, my cannister was empty within 2 hours.

    I never thought of that because it had been filled 3 months ago and the last cannister lasted 8 months -- I figured this one for a year because I had taken your advice and had started shutting it down with the lights.

    No wonder I've been fighting algae!!! eesh. the only co2 hit those plants were getting was during weekly water changes. I wasn't even using excel.

    Canister gets filled first thing Monday morning when the place opens!! Thank you.
     
  7. dapellegrini

    dapellegrini Lifetime Charter Member
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  8. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    actually I went on ebay as soon as Vaughn mentioned them.. hadn't kept up on those threads before.. do you leave the checker in or just use it on occassion.?
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    So when you think an dsee other folks claming that their CO2 is fine and that they are positive it cannot be that, you'll know why and how I say what I say.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can either leave the drop checker in the tank, or take it out, drain the fluid out of it, and set it up again whenever you want to check the CO2 again. Since the latter is a lot of work, why not just leave it in the tank? You could put it in an inconspicuous location in the tank, then move it out where you can see it easier when you want to use it. If you left it out of the water very long the solution in it would begin evaporating, which would raise the KH of the water in it.
     
  11. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    vaughn, will do! I got a pretty one anyway.

    tom, I never question you, although I do know what you are talking about. The problem with planted tank types is they all want to be experts. They get thrown when faced with someone who has actually tested all of the common wisdom and rewritten it. I am -- by trade -- a journalist. I know how to pick a good source and I chose you after a bit of reading. I haven't questioned my decision!

    as far as this specific advice, even though I thought it was unlikely that co2 was the problem, I went and upped the gas after I read your note. I did wait 2 days, but only because I was worried about gassing the fish and wanted to do this over the weekend. You could have knocked me over when I realized the co2 tank was empty. It was six months too soon!


    My once gorgeous algeae free scape is a bba mess with green spot accents.. and some plants look like they are wilting. I'll bet co2 lack is why the fluviatilas melted, and the downoi too. and the glandulosa is frowning at me, as is the stellata. We'll see what bounces back. eesh. Thank you so much. I feel so silly for not having looked at the gauges.

    I'll bet the pressure was low for awhile, because the tank had stopped pearling before the algae showed up. There were definately some bubbles in the counter, but clearly not enough and I'll bet not consistently.

    Vaughn's gadget will help, but the truth is so will just looking at the tank! I was starting to research if the wavelengths of light had changed with older bulbs. I really do feel silly. .. Oh, and the last three weeks, I had a much easier time pruning. Oh the sheer folly.. :)
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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