Are my light bulbs bad (new algae)

sherry

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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.
 

VaughnH

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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.
 

Tom Barr

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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
 

sherry

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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.
 

Tom Barr

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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
 

sherry

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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.
 

sherry

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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.?
 

Tom Barr

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sherry;15439 said:
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.

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
 

VaughnH

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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.
 

sherry

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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.. :)
 

Tom Barr

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sherry;15488 said:
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!
Well, critical thinking is a skill and it spans many fields of work/academia/blue collar trades(I spent 18 years doing such work), English lit, Philosophy, it's far from the exclusive domain of a botanist hiding in some swamp. haha
I did not scare you away with my false crotchetiness?
I'll try harder next time:p


Feathers get ruffled on line easily.
Ego's get bruised, some never heal.

Then they have it in for you from then on....
I'm not worried, I just keep going.


Thank you so much. I feel so silly for not having looked at the gauges.

Oh heck, you and me both, we and everyone here is very capable of doing this, it's a good lesson for you and everyone, myself also, we all are human and try to do things to prevent our feeble incompetence from getting the better of us.
Heck, I have to. I'd mess everything up otherwise.

Prevention is the key.
But after making the same mistakes a few times, we learn and do not keep doing them, well ............hopefully
That is how we learn.

We are all in the same boat.
I've just made the mistakes first or a few times more than you.........

So never apologize for learning.
I think as a good teacher, one should teach folks what they need to know with the least amount of pain as possible, but it requires effort to do that effective on both parts.

Mistakes will be made, at least we are not graded here:)
I tend to give lots of tough questions and work, but you get results for it.
And that process can be applied to many things outside this hobby/class etc.


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.. :)

Well, when you see the pearling slow down, alarms, bells and fog horns should go off. The plants are the best test kits for me, and that's why I can tell most of the time with very little information what is going on.

Algae are the next test kit.

The rest is just having done enough dosing routines and algae inducements to know what effects can cause these things.
EI is nice because it isolates and reduces the work for folks wonder if they have something else going on.

Then they see CO2 for what is truly is in the role and control of the growth and regulation of the plant.

Adding CO2 is not particularly natural, it's plain horticulture amplification, when you do that, the rules change for the nutrients as well, you need a lot more to keep up with the CO2, then the CO2 uptake increases and you get this back and forth effect, but it evens out once you isolate the nutrients well, then tweak the CO2.

If you have trouble, less, not more light is the key in slowing things down.

It's rare you see me telling folks to add new bulbs and more light unless they are way down on the very bottom end. Even then it's rare.

Regards,
Tom Barr