Can't seem to get enough Co2?

Squidly

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Thanks for the clairification, and all the guidance. Did manage yesterday to get the new light hung successfully from the ceiling which is currently about 8" from the surface. Can't say I'm not tempted to turn all 4 lamps on instead of two, but will resist the temptation. Still have the atomizers coming and looking at a new reactor possibility as well to see about getting the Co2 distributed faster (or at 30ppm at first light). Will update on any progress.
 

jonny_ftm

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Squidly;46443 said:
Can't say I'm not tempted to turn all 4 lamps on instead of two, but will resist the temptation.

Yes, really resist, unless you optimize the CO2 and are ready for long hours work on your aquarium, forever

Or, but in my opinion it is an energy/money waste, you can hang the luminaire at 24-30in and turn on 4 lights. Then play with it to find if it needs higher or some lower depending on growth rate. The highest it is, the better the light is spread.

We often think that in dense aquariums, plants loosing bottom leaves is due to low light reaching them. Here, I learnt and tested that in densely planted aquariums, if CO2 diffusion could be maintained, the plants will stay healthy in their bottom despite a low light. But putting a sufficient flow/CO2 on bottom parts is often very hard. Also, reaching a sufficient flow between dense parts is often at the price of a strong flow at lighter parts. A strong flow can cause plants to stunt their growth.

Start playing with the 2 bulbs and height. When CO2 is controlled and plant growth looks ok, you could try the 4 bulbs at a 24-30in and play with it depending on plants reaction to maybe optimize light at certain areas.
 

Tom Barr

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After things are running well, looking good, stable etc, then you might try some additional light, say a high noon burst for 1-2 hours, then try it for a little bit longer etc.
Adjust dosing and CO2 if you can some to account for this.

This is only done if you want faster growth, have the time to prune and keep up on the aquarium, and without any existing issues with algae.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Squidly

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Thanks all. Guess I should've titled this thread 'Got too much light'?

Still haven't got enough Co2 after all this.. but working on it. Have both a Rhinox and Atomizer (grabbed one from a user in CA) now but the needle valves I ordered a month ago got lost from Malaysia somewhere! Ideally I'd prefer one Co2 source, wondering if a giant reactor would do it?
 

jonny_ftm

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There are some "giant reactors" that are supposed to dissolve a lot of CO2. The problem is that dissolution is not the problem, but rather diffusion in your densely planted parts. You'll still have a hard time to achieve a proper diffusion under high light.
Two sources could be achieved via an Y link from just one cylinder. If the two diffusers/reactors are the same, one needle valve should be enough. If you use two different (AM1000 + rhinox or Atomizer), you'll probbaly need 2 needle valves. I really advice the Ideal valves sold by Rex, they are just perfect. The more expensive solution would be separate CO2 loops with 2 canisters or a canister with a double regulator (really expensive)
 

shoggoth43

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A simple manifold feeding two needle valves is likely your best/cheapest bet for fine control. With the right manifold you'll be able to add additional feeds for other tanks as well and just cap any unused ports.

-
S
 

Squidly

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My initial observation of the atomizer is very positive. I removed the existing AM1000 that was hooked up to the trickle filter pump and added the atomizer inline to the Rena return. (removing the reactor provides more flow)

To get the unit working did require upping the Co2 pressure as you mentioned otherwise there wasn't enough pressure to get the Co2 through the membrane. I just set it to 30psi and didn't look back but expect I could've gotten away with something lower. (I had some trouble getting the hose installed until I realized that the compression fittings are meant to be screwed outwardly over the attached hose vs. screwing the rings down over the hose)

What was most noticeable after connecting the atomizer which fit well with the Rena hose, was that my drop checker hit yellow in less than two hours as compared to almost eight with the reactor and with less than half the Co2! I couldn't even count the bubbles going into my reactor before whereas now I'm down to between 5-6 and think this will drop still more while adjusting for fish behavior.

I've got the Rena spray bar placed vertically about an inch from the bottom of the tank which I presume will give a better distribution and time for the Co2 to be in contact with the water at the lower reaches. There's a pretty good fog of bubbles on the one side which thins out considerably by the other end of the tank. If it matters, I'll plug in the Rhinox 5000 on the others side when I get the other needle valve(s) and see if it doesn't even things out.

The lighting is now 14" from the surface and have some algae disappearing from the rocks but there still seems to be some growing on various plants. The only complaint I might have is when viewing the tank closely one sees all those bubbles which looks unnatural to me. But if it helps rid the algae from the tank and get's the plants growing instead of shrinking again, I'll be plenty happy.

Hard to reason why the AM1000 was so underpowered except the output flow by comparison to the Rena Xp3 was about 1/2 as a guess. If I use the AM1000 reactor again, I'll cut off the manufactured ends and replace with 5/8" ends instead of 1/2" and attach it to the Rena. But given the differences, I think it would still be underpowered as compared to the atomizer. I must be doing something wrong otherwise?
 
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Squidly

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My initial observation of the atomizer is very positive. I removed the existing AM1000 that was hooked up to the trickle filter pump and added the atomizer inline to the Rena return. (removing the reactor provides more flow)

To get the unit working did require upping the Co2 pressure as you mentioned otherwise there wasn't enough pressure to get the Co2 through the membrane. I just set it to 30psi and didn't look back but expect I could've gotten away with something lower. (I had some trouble getting the hose installed until I realized that the compression fittings are meant to be screwed outwardly over the attached hose vs. screwing the rings down over the hose)

What was most noticeable after connecting the atomizer which fit well with the Rena hose, was that my drop checker hit yellow in less than two hours as compared to almost eight with the reactor and with less than half the Co2! I couldn't even count the bubbles going into my reactor before whereas now I'm down to between 5-6 and think this will drop still more while adjusting for fish behavior.

I've got the Rena spray bar placed vertically about an inch from the bottom of the tank which I presume will give a better distribution and time for the Co2 to be in contact with the water at the lower reaches. There's a pretty good fog of bubbles on the one side which thins out considerably by the other end of the tank. If it matters, I'll plug in the Rhinox 5000 on the others side when I get the other needle valve(s) and see if it doesn't even things out.

The lighting is now 14" from the surface and have some algae disappearing from the rocks but there still seems to be some growing on various plants. The only complaint I might have is when viewing the tank closely one sees all those bubbles which looks unnatural to me. But if it helps rid the algae from the tank and get's the plants growing instead of shrinking again, I'll be plenty happy.

Hard to reason why the AM1000 was so underpowered except the output flow by comparison to the Rena Xp3 was about 1/2 as a guess. If I use the AM1000 reactor again, I'll cut off the manufactured ends and replace with 5/8" ends instead of 1/2" and attach it to the Rena. But given the differences, I think it would still be underpowered as compared to the atomizer. I must be doing something wrong
 

jonny_ftm

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I'm happy you're solving it out

Keep on same way, focusing on light/CO2 and algae will disappear forever
 

Squidly

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Hi there - I installed a second diffuser on the opposite end of the tank (Rhinox 5000) after finally receiving the valves I'd ordered. I'm currently using three valves with the Fabco managing the over all bubble count and the other no name brand valves to try and balance the flow from the Atomizer with the Rhinox. Easier said than done since the Atomizer takes ~30PSI to get things going whereas the Rhinox considerably less. Hooking up the Rhinox helped to get bubbles on that side of the tank, but it's hard to say whether this provided any additional benefit over just running the Atomizer alone. THose $8.95 brass valves from AquaticMagic seem to work fine for my needs along with the slip fitting Co2 3 way connector.

Initally I believed that the diffuser(s) provided quicker Co2 dispursement throughout the tank but now I'm not really sure. In the end, I found it impossible to achieve 30ppm Co2 level within 2 hours. To do this required putting in a high level of Co2 which subsequently kept getting higher forcing me to turn it down afterwards. So in my infinite wisdom, I did what I should've done with the reactor long before - turn the darn thing on at 4am with a lower bubble count and measure things at 9am and voila, I was in the yellow and could maintain that level throughout the day.

I have been concerned over my Cichlid fish running the higher Co2 levels for some time. Before when the Co2 was rising, the fish always seemed to spend more time hiding or laying around on the bottom causing me to turn things down. But after a couple of days observing things since keeping the Co2 high and consistent, it seems to me that the fish adjusted on their own to the higher levels (the Co2 level takes many hours to come back down at night after it's turned off). They were all out and swimming around and feeding well today finally.

After all this, I'm left wanting to raise the Co2 even higher but since the drop checker is banging yellow I have no way of knowing how high (or low) I really am? The lamps are now set at 17" above the tank and the algae is diminishing ever so slowly and the plants on top (pennywort) aren't so problematic anymore. The dense growth you noted before is returning and the new growth in these areas is actually doing well. I'm thinking I need to raise the lamps still higher to get ride of the algae completely, but at 17" currently, it is hard to enjoy the tank without getting blinded. Hopefully I will be able eventually to lower them down to 12" or so. In the interim, I'm doing Excel but am almost tempted to go with another blackout.

Thats' my story and I'm sticking to it!
 

jonny_ftm

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I personally find blackouts useless, except for BGA maybe. Trim plants, remove most affected parts 2-3x/week, keep CO2 high with good flow and dosing + 50-70% weekly WC. Algae will go. Don't lower light for now if growth is fine and algae regressing. Let the tank stabilize a few weeks or more and algae completely disappear before increasing light. There's another ongoing topic about it, stickied now, showing how growth can be optimal with low light. Once tank is set and algae gone, you can increase light or add some burst periods to have denser and faster growth, if you don't worry about trimming and maintaining plants few times a week
 

Squidly

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OK I give in. I just don't get the EI/Co2/light thing? I've added an Up Atomizer and Rhinox on the opposite ends of the tank replacing what I thought was a useless Am1000 reactor. My light (2x80w T5) have been on 8-9 hours per day, at one point as high as 18" above the top of the tank which I've lowered back to 12" to stimulate more growth. I've turned the Co2 at 4am on so that at lights on, the drop checker is showing yellow and bubbles are visible throughout the tank. I've even increased the Co2 input until the fish were darting around wildly or swimming sideways (and double dosed Excel)- but I am STILL getting this brown dusty algae stuff everywhere??? In addition, some of the lower branches of the stem plants in particular are melting while the wisteria is getting rather 'woody' instead than growing many leaves like it used to.

I've just ordered a second Rena XP3 and enough plastic to make two reactors - but I'm beginning to wonder if Co2 is really the problem? I'm seeing on another post where a fellow is having plant melting occur which someone attributed to lack of Po3. Although I understand it's added every day with the EI mix, I wonder if I need this in addition? I've tried all else I can think of? Between the Excel and Co2, I know I've been adding too much of either/both even before now. Could it be that 80W T5's put out more lumens than expected?

Tempted to do another blackout not knowing what else to try.

--George
 

jonny_ftm

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A very dense planted tank with fast growth under very high light (like in your case), needs every day maintenance, trimming, removal of decaying leaves...
Hard to say in your case without photos maybe

Also, you change things too fast to know what's impacting your plants. Keep the 2x80W at about 25in hight, no direct daylight, 8h/day maximum, dose EI as recommended or even more NO3 and micros, be sure you have soft acidic water or to add DTPA to CSM+B. No need to dose more PO4 under these conditions. PO3 vs PO4 is a non sense too. Add some K2SO4 maybe 5-10ppm 3x/week

Keep this, don't change it for some 4-8 weeks, plants should grow, light is more then enough if CO2 and flow are ok. Lower light will make CO2 less critical

Once things are stabilized and if you still like faster growth, increase light intensity by lowering luminaire progressively, increasing CO2 and enhancing flow, + regular trimming as growth gets faster. Under 4x54W for my 60 gal (40gal real volume), 14in hight, I had to trim stems 3x/week !!!
 
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Squidly

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Well let's see. 25" above the tank top??? I'll go blind looking at the tank! I noticed when I was at 18" (and squinting), that the red color particularly in the hippo grass was disappearing. Growth was at a crawl. Despite trimming (daily) to remove old and/or dying leaves, the brown dusty algae keeps coming although in fairness it has slowed down. Why on earth does one use T5 if it's this powerful and causes so many problems? Why not go back to using standard T8 and avoid all the expense and hassle? Anyway, since I've taken it down to 12" things seem to be growing again. My hope was that the plant growth would exceed the algae as off as that probably is.

I can't turn up the Co2. If anything I probably am running far more than I should as my fish would dictate - unless cichlids are particularly susceptible to Co2? Even with Co2 bubbles covering some plants next to the output, the algae are growing. The overall density is not anything like it was as most of that growth died off sometime back which I'm sure created add'l problems which with all the water changes should be gone by now. I've got good flow, but am adding another Rena XP3 and will install it so that the output and Co2 will flow from the opposite side hopefully providing more equal Co2 distribution. I would think with all the Co2, Excel and raised lighting that I should have no algae? I added a powerful air pump and have it running in the sump but having turn it off yesterday, the fish were quickly stressed either and I had to halve the Co2 even though I have a good amount of surface disturbance presumably feeding o2 into the tank.

I've got soft clean water (I live not far from Mr. Barr) which I've been changing 85% weekly. Were you recommending that I stop doing this for 1 month or two? As for dosing, I'm just doing the regular EI thing using specs for a 100g tank. Should I dose still higher, say for a 125g tank? I've added on occasion some Flourish Iron (maybe twice a week and once a week with Flourish as well leftover from the start days) I'm still thinking about raising the fixture again as you recommend but it's getting to the point of silly if I have to raise it that high. I just read a thread in which Tom indicated he used 2 teaspoons of GH booster whereas I've been using .5-1 tsp. Guess I'll start adding more?

Speaking of mass, I have perhaps 30-35" of fish altogether. Could this be tipping the algae scales?
 
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jonny_ftm

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You don't seem over-stocked with fish, you're even rather largely low stocked

If you really do all what you say, sometimes, a test kit can help. In my opinion, something that can run really low sometimes in planted tanks is NO3, especially in tanks with few fish like yours. If you dose PO4 as specified in EI, you shouldn't run low on PO4. Try a NO3 test kit that you calibrate to see where it is. Look for a good test. I personally like Salifert tests, but there are others too. At least you'll have an indication on where you are with ferts. You could also give a PO4 test kit a try. Some regions can have rather high PO4/NO3 in tap water because of agriculture pollution. I only advice you tests to see if you are on the very low range or the extreme high range. Having a sample of your tap water composition could be useful.

Try dosing K2SO4 too, sometimes it helps on some tanks

Also, do you dose GH booster or some MgSO4?. Tap water is very low in Mg

The easiest is to look at it from the begining, we have some times to do this 10th of times before things settle

Some photos of the tank with close-ups where you have issues could help too

Try to sum up what you are doing as EI dosing exactly and post it + photos of your tank/CO2/pumps locations. About WC, you have to continue WC of course.

When I fight algae, what always worked is: full EI dosing + 3x/week 70-80% WC + compensating EI after each WC, always works, brings lots of CO2 at WC to plants, doing this some weeks usually solves issues
 

Squidly

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100g tank false back (built in trickle filter with 263gph pump) and Rena Xp3 filter

For substrate, I am using Eco-Complete
For hardscape, I have 100lbs of mixed rock

For EI I've been using the following:
GH Booster after WC (.5-1 tsp). Added 2 tsp today
KNO3 - 3/4 tsp (+1/8)
P04 - 1/2 tsp (upped per Tom's take on the plants a long time back)
CSM+B - 1/4 tsp
Once a week or so, I add Flourish and Iron (just using up the old bottles until gone)

Water Quality is extremely good here and no modifications are necessary except for GH booster. I've tested for both GH/KH.

For Co2:
Up Atomizer (lg) connected to outflow from Rena Xp3 (once clogged, I wonder if you can't puncture the membrane and attach to canister inflow and let the impeller chop the bubbles?)
Rhinox 5000 on opposite side of tank. Placed under continually running Koralia pump
Excel (double dosing except after W/C in which I use recommended amount)

Since the original photos, most if not all of the stem plants have died off. I do have some remaining Hippo grass which as mentioned has lost it's red color I suspect from raising the light. At 25" I see no pearling at all and see very little unless at 8" or so which is mainly from cut or broken stems/leaves etc.

The brown algae I mention is covering the upper tiered rocks and doesn't seem to disappear unless I do a complete blackout and then returns. It doesn't look like diatoms as there are no patterns etc. It has lessened somewhat since raising the light, but I still see it reappear on the pennywort leaves which are nearer the surface. It's all over the anubias and efforts to cut the leaves and/or wipe them clean only lasts temporarily.

I have both a Nitrate test kit and a Po4 kit. They don't seem very accurate as I can never seem to go over 1ppm P04 no matter how much I add. The N03 kit shows I've got plenty of it but again using a colormeter chart just shows a range of where things could be. In any case, since good old Tom has done all the testing for us, I just use the EI per his recommendations without regular testing. If this EI stuff doesn't add to the algae problems, then if anything, I am likely low although the tank's water volume can't be much more than 60g.

There is good flow throughout which will get better with the addition of another XP3. I can see the Co2 bubbles moving across the lowest reaches of the tank so I think everybody's covered. As the stem plants have all but died off, I've been adding anubias in their place. If I don't keep cutting back, the brown algae begin covering the leaves. Funny I suppose that this is the only algae I still have after going through different kinds (and lots of plants)

For at least 6 months, I've been doing the EI thing (properly) and keeping up on trimming and WC's. I really thought after all that, that I just wasn't getting that Co2 at 30ppm at lights on but it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference after removing the reactor and switching things out to diffusers. The tank has looked it's best after a blackout which lasts about two weeks. Somewhat surprisingly to me at least is just how much the plants grow (and look healthier) during a blackout as if they don't need light at all.

I'd send photos but I want to gag everytime I look at the tank now. The lights are raised 25" over a bare acrylic top with tubes coming out all over the place. I can't use bulkhead fittings as the false back doesn't leave enough room so I will have to revert to the canopy without a top once things settle down (if ever). Aside from one single dense area of some red plants I've got left, the remaining plants are staggered throughout so as to leave as much room for flow as possible.

Seems to me that if we have to raise a T5 some 25" over the tank, there really isn't a very good reason to spend all that cash when you could just use T8 and leave the darn lamp ontop of the tank instead.

If you *really* need photo's I'll do my best but I probably have 1/3 of what I did before things really went south. Not a lot of mass left.
 
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shoggoth43

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What are the overall tank dimensions? Can you get us some photos of the tank and the fixture as it is now, and maybe a couple of shots of the problem areas? You've got 160W worth of T5HO lighting which is a LOT of light, but depending on tank size might be fine. Do you know of anyone nearby with a PAR meter that you could borrow? The meter should put an end to any questions on the amount of light and where it is.

"Why on earth does one use T5 if it's this powerful and causes so many problems? Why not go back to using standard T8 and avoid all the expense and hassle? "

"Seems to me that if we have to raise a T5 some 25" over the tank, there really isn't a very good reason to spend all that cash when you could just use T8 and leave the darn lamp ontop of the tank instead."

You will generally find that is one of the bigger problems out there. T8s are perfectly adequate for the vast majority of tanks for what people want to do - decent growth without too much trimming and dosing. You need decent spread with the T8s. Most T12 rigs are terrible in this regard and there aren't many T8 options generally available that don't have the same issues of the T12 hoods. A single tube or two tubes right next to each other on a 12, 18, or 24" wide tank just isn't going to cut it. Spread the two bulbs out 8" or so and now you start to get somewhere, but it's not a typical hood you'll find in the Local Fish Store. I found such a light rig at Home Depot and it works reasonably well, but it looks like what it is. A crappy shop light hung above the tank. If you want spread, easy to find, easy to install/use, and aesthetically acceptable you really only find that in the T5 HO rigs and even those typically need to be suspended to get a better spread for even lighting.

T5 HO lights are the sportscar of lighting. If everything is great, you have a great ride. Take your eyes off the road for even a second and you're off into the weeds, or algae in this case. One really good reason to use T5 HO lights is for when you DO want to get from here to there quickly. If you want fast growth to grow out your aquascape, or dry start method, then pour as much light as you can into the system. When you get it to where you want it you then turn off some of the lights, or raise the fixture to help drop some of the light going into the tank and even things out a bit. You can then raise it up or down as needed or turn on or off extra lamps for similar results. For aesthetic reasons, the T5 HO and even the MH lighting options can look awesome.

Suspended lights also give you the option of turning your tank and the surrounding area into a display vs. the tank in the corner. The extra light spill can be used to splash light on an accent wall/feature and/or grow additonal house plants or whatnot. Whether you can use this "free" light depends on your situation, you may not want it. You may also view all of this as a waste of electricity, which it really is if you can't or don't want to use it. It's also a problem if you find that for your uses a 4' fixture might have gotten you the lighting you needed even if you don't have the lengthwise spread of the tank. Some of us don't really care if the ends of the tank are a little dimmer and for others that's a real problem. Only you can decide that, and as you already have the lights you can either use them, or try to trade or sell off the ones you have now and get different ones. Selling/trading is rarely a useful option for many people because of the time and money inversted in them. Plus you may need the full length of the tank lit for whatever reasons including "the wife likes it that way" and I only bring it up to try and cover as many options as possible.

A couple of ways to reduce your lighting a bit:

Raise the fixture. Not really an option here for you due to light spillage being a problem, however, what about a curtain or similar around the light? You could try and get some cardboard and tape it alongside the reflector to create a valance. This doesn't necessarily need to be big, maybe just an inch or two in height. You can throw something together quickly with some masking tape and cardboard to see if this is a viable option for you.

Remove the reflectors. Take them out or cover them somehow. Many times the reflectors are used to mount the endcaps so that makes it much harder to remove the. Also, this can be a lot of work and now your wiring is exposed internally. You could try to paint them white to reduce the effectiveness but this doesn't always work as well as you think. You could also paint them black which will drastically reduce the light. "Restoring" your lights back to factory condition may be a problem and it's hard to justify "ruining" a light you just paid some decent cash for. Be aware that many of the high wattage ADA lighting rigs seem to have terrible reflectors installed in them. This has been seen in the PAR numbers Tom has collected as well as others. This lets ADA have the high wattage T5 HO is better marketing without the T5 HO is far too powerful issues you seem to be experiencing. This may actually be one of your better options if you can find an easily removed paint or your reflectors can be easily removed/replaced. It should also help if you lift the fixture a bit since the reflectors won't be putting as much light into your eyes and it could be the refectors are bouncing light further to the sides than you would expect.

Block some of the light. Someone was using toilet paper on their splash guard as a way to diffuse the light. You might be able to do something similar. One thing I tried for a tank cover that worked VERY well was the eggcrate type light diffusors that you see in office building lights sometimes. I put that inside the rim of the tank and cut it to fit as a cover to keep the cats out. This had a noticeable change in light intensity at the bottom of the tank and it doesn't block any gas exchange since it's an open grid. You can also use this to your advantage as the direction of the grid matters as it's tapered so it focuses or diffuses the light slightly. I'm not sure which way you put it to do which though. This was 10-12$ for a 4x2 foot sheet of the stuff. Another option is shade cloth which should be available at nursuries. You could wrap the light fixture, put it on top of the splash guard, or right on top of the eggcrate grid if you wanted.

Floating plants. Something like salvinia or duckweed. These will theoretically double in mass every five days or so. This will quickly cover your tank if left alone. As they have ready access to CO2 they should not compete with your existing plants for it. Before you go this route just be aware that they will compete with your other plants for nutrients and as they are on the surface will now collect any surface film and will reduce any gas exchange area at the surface. This is still a viable option and is reasonably cheap and/or free if you can get the LFS to just give you some or "accidentally" scoop some up for you with another purchase.

You could combine a whole bunch of these as well. Drape the shade cloth under the light in a U shape and raise up the fixture or some other combo. Most of these are very cheap to try or just take a little time to test.

Hopefully this might give you some ideas to try.

-
S
 

jonny_ftm

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When you say your water is of excellent quality, what do you mean? Any idea on GH and KH at least?
Otherwise:

- First up your dosing to the 100-125gals
- Stop dosing excel, especially double dosing!!! it only kills plants and fish when overdosed. This is really something toxic if not dosed as recommended. Excel in a 100gal is just a waste of time/money, just adding on CO2 fluctuations as it doesn't live long in tank
- No need for all those blackouts, you only make your plants weaker and weaker, let them grow, only prune/trim/retop if needed
- Make 2-3x/week a 70-80% WC for some weeks until algae is away, this is the key for algae, overdose EI after each WC to compensate
- Putting the luminaire higher is normal to see plants stop pearling, they need to adapt, but they will do if you let them take the time, just wait and see, you can't loose anything since they're dieing anyway, right?
- Rising it high is not a waste of money, it's just a temporary adaptation to make your plants survive algae, once done, after MANY weeks, you can lower it again slowly and even add some burst periods with the other 2 bulbs

My advice is to not hurry, to let plants adapt, they need 3-6 weeks, even more sometimes in my expierience. While they adapt, 2-3x/week WC will control algae

Follow this, don't change anything for some weeks, except focusing on CO2 to make it STABLE. Plants can't adapt if everything fluctuates/changes (light, ferts, CO2...) every 2-3 weeks like now, they need stability.

I'm sure your tank will grow and algae regress. Also, you can manually remove those algae as much as you can between WC.

I well know what you're living, here's my tank how it was:





lys83njsb26bhrkwqd-p1040513.jpg





Then, how it looked, no blackouts, most are same plants!!!




Read also this topic:
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/5665-Lighting-directions-outdated

Will make you wonder about light, just like made me stop using my 4x54W T5 on my 60gal and hanging my luminaire higher, it works as you see

Good luck
 
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Squidly

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That's a lot of ideas - thanks. Photos of the tank are in my profile area. It's a 100g tank, 60" x 20"H x 18" so the fixture fit's end to end. I spent a long time before getting the retro's installed inside a hood (they used to be 4" off the water inside a canopy). Now that they are, I can't remove them even if I wanted to since they are riveted in. I've got the fixtures and hood mounted from the ceiling so I can go any height. But I shouldn't have to go 25"? I'm running 15" for the moment otherwise the growth is almost nil.Tom thought 8-14" above the top should be about right based on his general PAR guidlines. It's got to be in there somewhere...

Speaking of growth, I think I've got more dying off than growing. So I'm not getting enough of something. Perhaps the extra GH booster might supply add'l calcium to help things out. I have no idea otherwise. I've never had big growth except with wisteria back now months ago when I had less Co2. Now it grows roots and stems and I tend to throw out most of it. The hippo grass which seemed very strong now has soft brown stems with only minor growth and I have only a few stems in all left. The pennywort and java fern seem to the only thing besides some moss that are actually growing. Only when I cut a leaf from an anubia do I get growth. Otherwise they are the same size as when I purchased them months ago. Pretty much everything else stays about the same size or dies off completely with time. BTW - the pennywort grows along the surface in the rear mostly blocking out some of the light but this too is susceptible to algae and I'm continually cutting off the bad areas.

I don't mind the labor if the payback is there. I've been watching this tank like a hawk for I don't know how long now and still am fighting that darn algae and plants melting. I'd much rather see pearling and strong growth as compared to what I've got now. That is after all why I spent so much $$$ on this thing. I'm very good on maintenance otherwise making assessments difficult as to what else to try. I don't have anything but brown algae now which coats the glass (easily removed) but is grittier on the rocks it attaches to. Once on the leaves of the plants, it's hard to remove aside from trimming.

So you know, I've got a trickle pump (263gph), a Rena XP3 (375gph) and 2 Koralia pumps running continously providing visible distribution of Co2. I've since ordered an additional XP3 in which I'll install so that the inflow/outflow are the opposite of the existing installation which should provide more even Co2 distribution if it matters. I've got plants right in the way of the Co2 outflow and they are still getting algae!

I'll try and get some pics uploaded as I know it's difficult to assess otherwise. Then again aside from how the algae looks, I don't think anyone will find much to go on from the pics. The ones I took before when the tank was full of growth still had these problems but they don't show up well unless you look closely.

Thanks again.
 

Squidly

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Lifetime Member
Mar 30, 2009
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You know Jonny, I actually feel better after seeing the pics of your tank prior. The algae I'm dealing with isn't anything like that although it's obviously making my life miserable, although it's been like that in the past early on. I see that your lamp is but inches from the top of the tank, that you have dense growth (far more than mine currently) and yet it's all cleared up for you?

I'll bite the bullet and stop dosing Excel. In the past, it's been the only thing that kept the algae from taking over but I'll work on the Co2 issues. As far as upping the EI dosage, have you any recommendations?

I've had that light an average of 15-18" high for many weeks and saw no pearling? Maybe it's the Excel??? With the slowed grow and die offs, I had to bring it back down to 15" as a compromise. Tom believed it should be between 8-14" for my tank dimensions given his PAR data so I'm going with that premise for now unless the algae start rapidly growing out of control. Having it at 25" is a real eyesore, literally!