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BG algae? Tom's Solution?

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by HowardM, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. HowardM

    HowardM Junior Poster

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    I posted on the planted tank that I am losing all sorts of algae eaters, such as rubber nose plecos, then SAE's then Oto's then CAE, one right after the other. All the other animals (congo tetras, serpae tetras, danios) show absolutely no problems and have a 100% survival rate. Algae is everywhere, red and green and probably the toxic BGA.

    In a search on the Planted Tank forum, I found a posting by Tom that said it can easily be killed in 3 days in any tank by doing a 50% water change, remove as much of the algae as possible, add 1/4 tsp of KNO3 per 20 gallon tank, turn out the lights and CO2 and cover the tank for 3 days

    Then turn the light/CO2 back on, do another water change and add KNO3 back again and then add KNO3 at least once a week or more thereafter to prevent return.

    I have the KNO3 - $5 for 4 oz container from local chain pharmacy and am getting ready to start tonight. Is the followup dosing stll at 1/4 tsp/20 gallons, and am I missing anything else in the cure?

    Thanks for any and all advice.

    Howard
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    As long as you follow th4 advice and do not delete some part of it, cover the tank with a plastic trash bag(black etc so that no light gets in, and follow the rest, you will be fine.

    Regards,
    Tom barr
     
  3. HowardM

    HowardM Junior Poster

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    All directions have been followed. Tank looks better than it has in a long time. Is the maintenance dosing of KNO3 to be the same 1/4 teaspoon per 20 Gallons?

    Thanks for all the suggestions and advice.

    Regards,

    Howard
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, just keep up on dosing the KNO3 and it should not return.
    This assumes you clean the filters often, and make sure there's good flow and other basic care.................it's not just the things that make the plants grow that is the focus many times(CO2, light, nutrients), but other factors folks can often overlook.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. HowardM

    HowardM Junior Poster

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    I followed the directions. The tank was near spotless of algae when uncovered after 3days, 8 hours. It looked to me that there may be still some down between the substrate and glass, but I cannot be sure. I did a 50%+ waterchange. Dosed 7/8 tsp KNO3. Lights came back on. I am using 8 hours and about 225 watts on the 70 gallon tank with the lights about 19 inches above the 5 inches of substrate. Started the DIY CO2. Dosed 7/8 tsp KNO3 again after 3 days and repeated again after 3 more days. Current NO3 with Mardel test strip and separate API chemical test both indicate about 40 ppm. Have watched all week as the green algae returns on the glass and especially on the 2 rather large amazon sword plants.

    No signs of the previous areas of red algae have reappeared, but plenty of green. How do I know if the algae that is coming back is just green or is there some blue green and I am just seeing it as dark green?

    I have not tried to put any more algae eaters in the tank for fear of killing off some more.

    I will do another weekly 50% water change and clean filters tomorrow 4/2 and dose again after the change with 7/8 teaspoon of KNO3.

    Is the elimination of the algae a slow process or should it have gone away 100% after the blackout and not have returned at all?

    Any additional ideas or suggestions will be appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Howard
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    With this much, and with a tank this size, it's crazy not to get a Gas CO2 system.

    This is less an nutrient/light issue and much more a CO2 issue.
    DIY CO2 is not going to go well for you or most folks.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. HowardM

    HowardM Junior Poster

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    Thank you Tom. I have been reading some of your CO2 threads and have ordered a gas CO2 system earlier this week. I went with a SuMo regulator which seemed pretty well recommended and still need to figure out what kind of reactor to use.

    Thanks again.

    Howard
     
  8. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think you'll be very happy with the SuMo regulator. One thing to note, when they say to secure the tank make sure you do. It's a hefty regulator and will readily pull over a 5lb CO2 bottle if you even look at it hard. I ignored that advice and luckily only bent the knob on the needle valve and didn't end up trashing the whole valve.

    -
    S
     
  9. HowardM

    HowardM Junior Poster

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    I now have a tank and regulator and diffuser to replace the DIY system. I have to figure out all the drop checker stuff and get that equipment. In the meantime can anyone suggest an approximate settng for bps on my bubble counter?

    Tank is 70 gallons with about 60 gallons of water and 4.5 inches of fluorute red. Lighting is Coralife 2 x 96 watts and 1 x 25 watt. Coralife Lighting is on 9 hours/day and the 25 watt is on 2 hours before and 2 hours after cuz we still want to see the aquarium all day. Main cannister is a Fluval 305 and one additional powerhead. Primary plants are 2 large amazon swords and some crypts Wendtii. All plant leaves are moving so I think the water circulation is pretty good. Started EI dosing 2 weeks ago after a 3 day blackout. Water changes are 50% weekly. Even with 1 bubble every 2 second with DIY system, light pearling is observed late in the day on many of the edges of the plant leaves.

    Animal life is about 40 inches consisting of 10 x Congo tetra, 8 x Serpae tetra, 3 x CAE and 1 x pleco (still not identified). The maximum animal size is 2 inches so far.

    Any and all help, suggestions, etc. are appreciated.

    Thanks

    Howard
     
  10. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Without knowing your diffusion method it'd be tough. I now have mine on a ~30 gallon tank running the CO2 into the impeller on the pump. Since we have the same regulator setup you can probably extrapolate on my settings. I'm pushing ~2 BPS and I'm guessing I'm still quite a bit low since I don't really see much in the way of pearling. Given your size tank I'd say go for at least 4 BPS to start. As always, watch your fish and see how they do. If they're at the surface you definitely need to drop the CO2 going into the tank. Once you get the drop checker you'll have a slightly better idea of what's in there and can tweak from there with a bit more confidence.

    -
    S
     
  11. HowardM

    HowardM Junior Poster

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    Added 3 Chinese algae eaters + 1 pleco on April 9. One CAE died today 4/20 with no visible signs of disease, injury, etc. Just like last time.

    Have followed BGA removal instructions very closely as described earlier in this thread and started KH2PO4, MgSO4 and Seachem Trace dosing in addition to the KNO3 (7/8 tsp every other day for 70 gallon tank). April 18 removed DIY CO2 and installed new gas CO2 and set at 3 BPS until my drop checker and reagent arrives later this week.

    I scrape algae off glass and 50% Water change weekly on Thursdays and vacuum algae off substrate and off the tiny bit of hairgrass that was not eliminated beforehand. Rinse input filters of canister and clean separate powerhead Then pleco and the CAE’s are keeping the Amazon Sword leaves clean.

    Still have excessive algae back after water change in about 4 days. I see green dust type on the glass and some 1/16 inch long green stuff and substrate clinging to the hairgrass, and sometimes on the glass. Maybe hair algae and/or green beard?

    Lighting is 200 Watts and set for 9 hours. CO2 is set to start 2 hours before lights on and shuts off with lights in evening.

    Have not seen any of the reddish/pink algae that used to be on the front glass before the 3.5 day blackout was completed on March 24th. I do not see any blue-green slimy algae on the sword leaves or on the substrate. But if I am killing off the CAE's again, I must have something toxic there. NO2 and ammonia = zero, NO3 measured at 40ppm with test strip, KH = 1, GH = 4, pH = 6.0 with API chemical test.

    I realize the death of this CAE may be from some other cause than algae. But they are a pretty hardy animal and have been in the tank for 11 days already.

    Comments and thoughts would be appreciated.

    Howard
     

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