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Bonkler's algae farm

Discussion in 'Off Topic and Chat' started by bonklers, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. bonklers

    bonklers Junior Poster

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    Hi all,

    I'm not sure which subforum this thread fit in, so my first guess will be this one. I'd like to give some information about my tank and why it's not doing so well right ever since I started. Sure there were some time that I had to throw away pounds of plants because they were growing too fast. But that won't last long and to tell you the truth, they weren't allways healthy looking plants.

    Last week was when I started with EI, also I changed my lighting (more watt). The tank itself has been up running for about 2 years or so. BTW i'm assuming mg/L is the same as ppm when the water is 25 deg C right?

    80 gallon (50' 20' 20', L*W*H in inches)
    pressurized CO2
    2.3 Watts/gallon (2*T8-36Watt and 2*T5-54Watt all with reflectors)
    substrate heating
    2 external filters (Eheim 2228 and 2229, each has ~1000 litres/hour pump cap.)

    The lighting is on fullpower for 10 hours and only 2*36 Watt is on for the remaining 2 hours, one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening (total of 12 hours lightperiod).

    Tapwater
    KH 7
    NO3 5 ppm
    PO4 0 ppm

    First day of IE (after dosing the macro for the first time)
    KH 7
    NO3 5 ppm
    PO4 0.5 ppm
    Fe 0 ppm
    CO2 ~25 ppm (PH 7)

    A week later
    KH 7
    NO3 ~30 ppm
    PO4 1 ppm
    Fe 0 ppm
    CO2 ~40 ppm (PH 6.6)

    What am I dosing?
    80/20 times IE dosing

    1tsp KNO3 every other day
    4/16tsp KH2PO4 every other day
    20 ml trace on off days

    The trace I'm using might be a bit suspicious because I'm not using Plantex CSM's but Tenso cocktail.

    A quick comparison:
    CSM Regular |CSM+B Mix |Tenso cocktail
    Fe 7.00% 6.53% 3.84% EDTA/DTPA
    Mn 2.00% 1.87% 2.57% EDTA
    Mg 1.50% 1.40% 0%
    Zn 0.40% 0.37% 0.53% EDTA
    Cu 0.10% 0.09% 0.53% EDTA
    Mo 0.05% 0.05% 0.13%
    Bo 0.00% 1.18% 0.52% EDTA
    Co 0.00% 0.00% 0%
    Ca 0.00% 0.00% 2.57% EDTA
    *if it looks a bit messy, you can find a better table at APD

    And the trace I mixed it up like in the krib's site:
    2tbs KSO4
    1tbs MgSO4
    1tbs trace mix of Tenso cocktail

    in 500 ml water.

    Also I give my fish clamps in that are suppose to be human food so it has all kind of conservation chemicals including naturalvinegar and some other stuff I can't translate in English (sour-regulators or sth). I'm telling this also because I've read about NH4 as algae promoter (?) so there might be something in here also.
    ========================================================
    Since I started with EI, I see fast response that I've never seen before. The stem plants make those roots which are above the substrate within a week (never seen them before). Also the top of the plants looks like it wants to grow. I'm using "looks like" because it's not growing very well, but it's algae free=growing, and that occured after a week or three when I didnt use EI. So all I can think of is that I still miss some element. I doubt it's the CO2/NO3/PO4 when I compare the parameters at the first day and a week later. So my guess is the trace elements. I don't trust the stability/completeness of it when I think about how complex the stuff is with all different kinds of chelate forms. My plan is to start with a commercial trace fertilizer which I used before that has never give me white tops on my stem plants (Dupla 24) and see how it's going.

    Pictures tell a thousand words:
    www.picturetrail.com/bonklers
    The seriousness of the thread algae is what I always get, EI or not.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
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    Re: Bonkler's algae farm

    Yes

    You are fine here, clean the filters once every 1-2 months.


    Tapwater
    KH 7
    CO2 ~25 ppm (PH 7)
    1tsp KNO3 every other day
    4/16tsp KH2PO4 every other day
    20 ml trace on off days
    The trace I'm using might be a bit suspicious because I'm not using Plantex CSM's but Tenso cocktail.
    [/quote]

    Okay, add more CO2, keep the pH at 6.8 or so. Get some riccia and tie a buit to a small stone and place somewhere obvious.
    If it pearls well 1/2 or sooner after the lights have been on, then you have enough CO2 likely.

    See what the CO2 does over the entire lighting peroid.
    Sometimes the lighting is stronger than the responsiveness of the CO2 reactor system etc.
    So in the first part of the day you have enough but them it runs out later in the day as demand increases by the plants.

    Always test right when the lights go off and about 7-8 hours into the light peroid.

    "My plan is to start with a commercial trace fertilizer which I used before that has never give me white tops on my stem plants (Dupla 24) and see how it's going."

    Try Tropic Master Grow, it much cheaper and has a long track record.
    I'd add 15 mls 2-3 x a week to the tank.

    Traces will not cause such massive algae issues as you have, this is likely CO2.

    We will easily be able to rule out nutrients and dosing soon.
    You did not mention the GH, => Mg and Ca.
    If it's 5 degrees or higher, you will be fine.

    Then all that's left will be CO2 and you'll know this rather quickly.

    This process of elimination is very easy and works.

    So:
    Add 15mls 3x a week(every other day after the macro nutrients) of TMG(Tropica Master Grow)

    Add 1/2 teaspoon of KNO3, every other day(4 days a week)
    Add 1/8" teaspoon of KH2PO4 every other day (4 days a week)

    Do 50-60% weekly water changes with tap water.
    Do not worry about the test kits except the CO2, make sure you add a bit more CO2, make sure to have a little surface movemenet from the filters.

    Now... before you make these changes:
    Get in there and prune and clean off any algae, then bleach any woord, rock, equipment that has any algae on it, clean a filter, vacuum the gravel in 1/4 of the tank's substrate each week, be careful not to disturb the cables too much.

    As you clean each 1/4 section, inspect each plant carefully. Clean it well before returning it back to the tank.

    Then after this clean the filter(just one), and then..........do the water change at the end, add the nutrients back and crank up the CO2 a little bit more.


    I've done hundreds of tanks........it's the same for every tank.
    Your tank is a bit light on plants, you might want to add some more cheap plants and remove them later as things stabilize in the tank.


    Even the worse algae infested tanks I've even seen or had were able to look nice and completely turned around in 3 weeks or less.

    You shoudl see less algae growth right away, there might be a little but after a 3-4 days it should not continue. If so, then you'll know it's the CO2 or something leeching out from the substrate or the traces etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. bonklers

    bonklers Junior Poster

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    Re: Bonkler's algae farm

    This is what I've done until now:

    -Removed the big algae driftwood
    -Removed all the plants that can't be saved anymore
    -Dipped the little driftwood in boiling water
    -Cleaned the filter (a week seperation between them)
    -Planted some cheap fastgrowers
    -Vacuumed gravel (almost 80%)
    -continued dosin and 50%+ WC

    I'm not too sure about the CO2 level, it seems that the riccia fluitans doesnt bubble within an hour. But withing the first hour, I only have 2*36 watt on (~.9watt/gallon). Last week I checked, PH was ~6.5 KH stayed at 6-7 deg (also after 7hours lighting period). GH is 12 deg, remains quite stable. I couldnt find TMG either, so I'm sticking to Dupla untill I can buy them.

    I do need some advise on pruning the plants. When I do it with my fingers, the algae wont go away. When I do it with a toohtbrush, the leaves gets damaged (if I do it gently the algae won't go away). And these damaged leaves, gets algae pretty fast. I tried H2O2 dipping, no luck. So all I'm left with is buying new plants or cut lots of leaves (I did both). If anyone has a good method pruning these thread algae, I'd appreciate it.

    I've read the article about "getting rid of thread algae", you said something about the algae shouldn't grow back after pruning (atleast not fast) if the conditions are allright.
    So I still see the algae growing (quite fast, see my pictures), which indicates I'm doing something wrong here. I can double check the CO2, with riccia and PH test. If the CO2 is also good, I'm thinking of cutting back my lighting. Will this do any harm ? Because the plants are rather new, and they might need some time to grow on full speed. I'm thinking of going with only 0.9 watt/gallon for a week with a few hours on full intensity (2 hours maybe?).

    If this doesnt help either, will the 3 days blackout work for thread algae? I really dont want to use H2O2 *in* my tank.

    BTW do I have enough plants to start things with? I'm not too sure about this, I'd happily fill my tank with plants if I knew they were going to stay okay. But it's likely they're going to get those hair algae and I'll be throwing them away after a few weeks like I did last week. Waste of money ofcourse :(.

    www.picturetrail.com/bonklers for the pictures.
    Greetings and TIA,
    Hendra

    ps. you can mail me about translating the report in Dutch. Though I'm not a native speaker, and I'm not very good in biology, I'll see what I can do if you need some help :).
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: Bonkler's algae farm

    I think you still have environmental problems.
    CO2 and KNO3 are generally the largest problems (not enough).

    If the algae is growing back quickly, then you should look at those more carefully.

    Trim and pruning are learned through experience and watching other people do it. You learn what the plant can and cannot respond to and if it can bounce back and recover.


    The Thread algae you have is Rhizoclonium.
    You do not have enough plants in here.

    Here's a Dutch site with some pictures of some nice tanks to give you an idea of the biomass when enough CO2 is added and nutrients:
    http://www.nbat.nl/aquarium4/keuringgezel/keuringgezel03.html.

    Quite a few more plants?

    You might wish to buy some more and let the rare ones grow in slowly.
    As they rare plants grow in, then you remove some of the cheap plants.

    I would add moss and java fern all over the wood.

    I leave some wood exposed, but very little in mature tank.

    I'd say you need about 5x more plants, more CO2 and not even consider any H2O2, it's not going to help this issue.

    Other plants:
    Bacopa and Rotala.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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