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Check this: INTRODUCTION TO FERTILIZING AND ALGAE CONTROL by Christian Rubilar

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by dutchy, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Originally posted by Detlef:

    "False, he does recommend a method. It's the same way Amano controls the amount of CO2: He watches the behaviour of shrimp.
    Simple or not so simple as you must know the animals well."



    IMO not a way too prove you have consistent CO2. You can find a momentarily maximum level. A level. CO2/O2 levels and current play a very dynamic role in the process. Maybe my shrimp will tolerate more CO2 because I have more current / O2. So when is 40 ppm really 40 ppm? Very difficult.

    regards,
    dutchy.
     
  2. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I run 3-5 BPS into a powerhead which runs the filter up to my tank. It's an ALL-IN-ONE Wet/Dry design. I also have a Koralia nano in there for more flow. I've never driven the CO2 high enough for the shrimp to act "wierd". Do I have enough CO2? Yes? No? Does the WD filter cause so much in the way of surface exchange that I DO have enough CO2 and O2 and that without that I'd have weird, or dead, shrimp due to lack of O2?

    I bring this up only because I agree that the method he suggests doesn't necessarily point anything out other than I clearly have some additional room to drive my CO2 higher but not necessarily whether I have "enough" or "good" CO2. Sure, I can drive the CO2 to the point where I gas the inhabitants, but that still doesn't mean the CO2 gets everywhere in the tank. Also, this tank has a breeding population of Panda Cories. Given their low reproduction rates, I'm not willing to risk gassing them or causing unnecessary stress if I don't have to. The method in question is probably viable if you have a couple of cheap shrimp you're willing to sacrifice, but it won't work for me in this case. Certainly not over his suggested timeframe as I'd need to ensure that my equipment setting doesn't creep over time.

    -
    S


     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I guess I care more about the animals than he does then.

    Stressing the animals merely to dose CO2.
    Does not seem ethical as a fish keeper personal.

    Does the care and ethics of how you keep the fish matter?
    Where's all this garbage about how toxic and stressful NO3 or PO4, dosing ferts etc, yet this is stated?

    Gas the shrimp because they are expenedenable?
    Having used disc diffusers for decades I suppose now, I know, they vary and clogged and must be kept clean, it is, like hitting a moving target, the ppm's move all over the place.
    I cannot not in good conscience, suggest this as method to add CO2. Maybe others can live with it, but not me.

    Some do it out of carelessness, they back off, this is somewhat what different and not done nor suggested as a method however.
    Knowingly doing so and suggesting to others to do it is really not a dish I'd ever serve at my house.

    The plants, not the animals should be allowed to biologically determine the right CO2 ppm, this is and should always be lower than the gassing of the animals.
    Thing is, you need to do it slowly and progressively. There's no need to rush. You can see gassed fish/shrimp easily, it is harder to see good plant growth and morphology.

    Those are the general trade offs, but if you add ethics.......then it's a no brainer.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have breeding pandas as well. As well as some rare plecos(2 species have bred), Fire shrimp, etc.
    I refuse to gas my fish, it's not good for them, and they do not eat nearly as well.

    I sacrifice much of my CO2 to adding more current and keeping O2 higher, but CO2 is cheap.
    With high turnover for CO2 diffusers/injection, as well as for current and O2, both are stabilized much more, and efficienctly as well, I use good flow via distribution and high flow to watt ratio pumps.

    These two gases are very important to fish.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    In this context, it seems fine.
    I think it's more or less just messing with PO4 to induce one species over another, rather than addressing the root cause, this is still PMDD more or less.

    Bottom line is he had issues with EI, which implies it was not a nutrient issue he had trouble with in the first place, rather, light and CO2.
    That was the root issue.

    The method did not fail us, we fail the method.


    Big difference.

    I can kill algae by using less light and it's much easier.
    I got rid of GDA on 2 tanks using nothing more than light reduction.

    Maybe if he did not have such high light to begin with, management would be much simpler, why don't try and focus on the root issues with newbies and not try to find algae cure alls?
    This has long been my philosophy and I've stuck to it consistently. Still, folks using a temp method to knock back the existing algae and correct the root issue is fine, and I think that is what he suggested, how he suggests it and some other misgivings is likely the issue in disagreement.

    Otherwise, it's fine I suppose.
    I cut to the chase personally.........I go after the root.
    Newbies have trouble with that however. Newbies are also impatient in general, anyone with a nagging algae issue is. So they get desperate and try and find ways around the blunt reality they have too much light, noit enough or whatever horticultural issues they have.

    I was no different.
    I tried different things over the years.
    But none really did that much and it loses focus of the real goal and issue: growing plants.

    It's a simple idea.

    Thanks though, I think you did the best summarization I've heard.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, he had trouble with EI, so it was either too much light + not enough CO2, or CO2 issues.
    One or both with management issues.

    I know EI very well obviously, it does not fail, we and our assumptions do.

    There are issues, such as new aquariums and not enough plant biomass perhaps, or if you tear up a tank too much, most of the issues are independent of EI in and of itself however.
    Balancing CO2 or adding the right about of light is hard for new folks.
    I do not dispute that.

    Adding nutrients however is easy.

    I would also add that MDC is easier than many other methods for algae limitations and control.
    But still does not teach or address the root issue, those seem to be handled in further discussion.

    I'd rather discuss that 1st.........then think about killing what is there.
    Why? Most of the time ..the aquarist does not NEED to go through the entire process he suggest if they take care of the root issue in the first place:)
    Algae goes away and does not come back if you address the root.

    So then you do not need an algae control method.
    This is a deceptively simple phiosophy.

    Maybe too simple?

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Do you think as aquarist and horticulturalist, we should use animals and not the plant's themselves, since they are the root issue?
    I see this as a trade off of which biological indicator we chose.

    Plants are not without their own issues, they take longer to respond to changes in CO2, other factors influence the response to CO2 (light mostly, but nutrients, flow etc), but they are the goal and the factor that causes issues with algae, not fish.

    Edward said once that PPS suggest to add "just enough CO2", which he claimed was 10-15ppm (curiously the same as PMDD), yet I add 60ppm in some sections, 10-15ppm within the plant beds and about 30-40ppm on average in the tank in general.
    He did NOT suggest adding enough to gas fish. This was wise. His ppm's are way off because he really has not tested this critically, but in concept and with watching plants, I think it's a good idea.

    But.........if you are limited and dependent on other things, like light or nutrients, then you cannot see how CO2 fits into things independently.
    Light and CO2 are really linked strongly.

    See the old tropica article from Claus, Ole and Troels.
    We cannot escape that relationship.

    Thanks though, you pointed out an interesting trade off with a bioindicator(shrimp or myself, I suppose Edward, plants).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, that's what it takes and what should be taught to new folks, not the quick fix.
    Still, we have to understand and explain such quick fixes also.
    They do help understand the larger picture and other issues.

    Interesting, I am aware of this, but had not heard it put this way before.
    Good point on feeding and stocking but reduced water change issues.
    But are they not simply dosing their tanks? :)

    I guess is it reasonable to expect newbies to understand this balance?
    Perhaps we place too much on them? They will still come and try, most are often desperate and impatient.

    I think using less light really is the key to a good start for most.
    Ole, Troel, Karen and myself spent about 5 minutes discussing aquatic plants, and the hobby, we where all in agreement about this, then I took them to see Gaint Redwoods and the CA Coast and tide pools.
    Aquatic plants were not discussed further......

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't think it's too much for newbies to understand.

    I think that almost everyone new to planted tanks is deprived of the basic fact that algae has a much lower point of growth equilibrium for nutrients, and a far lower ratio of carbon to other nutrients vs. macrophytes. I've even seen people in the hobby for years that didn't understand this concept, and they almost invariably thought poorly of using non-limiting nutrients. Once these two concepts are understood, the rest makes sense to people.
     
  10. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    You're right. PO4 has a very bad reputation here. Fe is also considered a green algae trigger, hard to change this when all forums are in that direction with blind people following blind moderators

    Most people look for easy solutions. Why would they bother with all these powders when their aquaristic shop seller says all they are told on the net is crap. He will often sell them a carbon filter, some anti-nitrate products, a great algaecide, some fish and shrimps to clean the tank and many fish to replace the dead ones...

    Since I came here, I tested it and I no longer doubt it. However, it was hard to switch from 4x54W to 2x54W after my investment. Most forums and plants databases, if not all, state that many plants need +2-3wpg to grow, stay short... Most forums repeat this to beginners. They upgrade their low level aquarium lights and get invaded with algae. Some of them hear of this forum after desperate long searches for a solution. And here, they find just the opposite to what's said every where... Many won't make the step, others will try, but begin with many precautions: 1/4 EI, keep the light... then claim that increasing the dosing caused algae blooms and stop the process of slowly increasing their dosing

    When you know some one and explain this to him directly and he watches your tanks, he often believes, trusts and tries. Through a forum, it is a different story.
     
    #50 jonny_ftm, Apr 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2010
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think most LFS are selling whatever these folks say they want.
    LFS's rarely have the time to test and see, investigate.

    So they are just going with whatever dogma is prevailing.

    Regarding lighting, I think if you look at Hoppy's newest graph, you can see how PAR changes with depth using T5, PC and importantly T12's which most of the advice was based on years ago, they are very different.
    I think this illustrates and measures what we need to show this issue.

    Read more here:

    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html

    3w/gal is pretty good seems like, but with T12's on a 4ft 55 Gal tank, this is not much light(about 36 micrmols).
    If it's T5's: it's nearly 70-90 micrmols.

    A huge difference.

    Think this plays a role?

    I sure do.
    But folks rarely discuss or measure light.

    I think most of the algae cures, are light and CO2 related, not nutrient.
    But PMDD, PPS, MDC as well as Redfield Buddy ratios on Charles' Dutch site all fall for this "nutrient carrot".
    Amano does as well. I wonder if Amano is aware or has just done it enough to know what works well?

    If you mess with things long enough, you can fiddle them into working reasonably well, many fail however.
    As far as method of management, I think you cannot seperate the light, the CO2 from the nutrients nor dismiss them so lightly.

    Using less light is a hard pill to swallow, or....is it?
    Depends on what type of lighting, and what PAR they actually have and if they can test/measure it(rarely).
    CO2 is a can of worms.
    Nutrients are fairly easy to rule out.

    So you can see where the holes are, and you can certainly see me nagging about these holes often going way back.
    George Booth nagged about them in 1995, Ole, Troels, Claus all have extensively.

    With the light loss curves vs distance, this gives folks a pretty good model to work with.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    Well I dont read his article, i will when I can but this is my opinion:

    Everybody try to not have algae, ones take one way and other take others way. I belief in mathematics, logic and to exact ways of make things. Im studing electrical enginner and the first impression of the clases is that all are exactly one thing or another. What im talking about? Well in the world of planted aquarium exist a lots of ways to reach your approach, some not good, some works but not are optimal and there are one way that are the best to your approach. Approach like to make a iwuagumi, a dutch, a growing tank, low light, high light and the list continues. If you study a lot of the aquatic life in the aquariums this case planted tanks you will see why this method works better than this one. Why EI works, why PMDD works, what is better, etc. A lot of biology and Chemistry involved, also Physics (light, filters, etc.). Yeah most probably you need to be a biologist to know well what happen inside the glass box.

    In my case, I read a lot, trying to understand, the problem is that the information here not is like the university. in the university you only learn the right way, here in internet have a lot of contradictions of what way is better, so you can confuse, what way is the best? I try some ways, inthernet helps me a lot in basics, at a point to have a healthy planted aquarium and knows the basics of what happend here. Now with advanced topics is hard to get the best way, you can say this, and this is the best way to do the things, but, YOU ARE REALLY SECURE OF THAT? if that way works it not means that it is the best way. I finally mix my Knowledge of reading with my knowledge of trial and error. Trial and error helpme a lot, also it can be expensive, realising experiments to see what happend. In the aquariums there are a lot of variables that we simply ignore it. If something bad just "reinstall" again (water change ). Start again with clean water and dont worry about all the chemicals in the old water. I have a lot of planted aquarium if 18 means a big number. I try El Natural, EI, Heavy planted High tech, a mix, Amano style, etc.. Also emersed culture (Plants are my hobby, electricity my carrer). I have more than 3 years on this, not 3 years only mantaining aquariums, 3 years of experiments, with lights, soils, plants, filters, etcc. I learned a lot by trial and error. So I dont have a strictly way to do my things. Interesting because I learned strictly ways to do the things in university. The thing is, that is very difficult to make a mental map to know what really is going in the planted tank, too many parameters, you not can get the best way because you need a super computer with a lot of testers to predict the future and to know the best way. Like predicting the weather is very difficult. I create like a mental intuition based of experience, so if this happend just make this and this and problem solved. Not go too deep, still it works. I has all the know and unknown algaes and fight a lot. Still that not mean that I always be correct, I can be wrong, I dont know all, still today I can say that im proud of my knowledge, really it is a little compared to some people here and obviusly compared to Tom Barr. I think, this is why we are here. If planted tanks are easy, I just go for other challenging hobby.

    In short:

    Tom Barr's EI works for me
    I use my own ways for 18 tanks and works for me, not is the best but works
    3 Years, a lot of reading of algaes. Still I dont know how the whole thing works to prevent algae or the best method. I dont know even why algae dont grow in a well planted tank or a plant with healty plants. I also have tanks with healty plants and healthy algae growing in it.

    I know here are other people just like me.


    I dont limit PO4, I dose PO4, not direct relation with algae in my observations.

    Brian Soto
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Welcome to the internet:)

    Misinformation and wrong stuff on the web? Oh my!

    When PMDD came up around 1995, we had a very different group of people, vastly smaller as well.
    Most where academics.

    I, at that time, was not, high school was it.

    But.......I asked some questions and a friend of mine prodded me to ask more.
    Even at the University, I do crazy things and ask weird questions. Doing something different is wise, since you already know what the more common things do.

    Everyone else has already asked the normal questions.

    I suggest folks try various methods, styles of aquascaping, get a good feel, try non CO2, try using low light, try using high crazy light if you dare..........try Excel, try different current etc.
    If you want to experiment........

    Try limiting one nutrient at a time.
    Note different plant species and how they grow.

    Sediments as well..........

    Not bad ideas.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Trust on a forum can be tough. I can look at MY tank and see issues. I can read about YOUR tank, and I can see PICTURES of what I should see in my tank. I can also look online and see photos of passably attractive women, then see all that is done for for her supermodel photoshoot. Ok, she looks prettier now, but still nothing like the shot on the cover. Oh, right... PHOTOSHOP. Forgot about that. If the supermodel can't even be a supermodel without photoshop there's a problem, however...

    It's always in my head when I look at a photo of a tank as to what's possibly been doctored out / photoshopped in. I suspect this cynicism is part and parcel of the web experience at this point and the result of marketing as a whole. But it sometimes makes it tough to take a photo of a tank at face value. Yes, the plants look very nice there. Now if you turned the camera around do I see more of the same, or an algal wasteland except for the clean staged corner you snapped a pic of? Kind of like knowing that Amano takes all the equipment out for the photoshoots. They are no less impressive for that, but without knowing that, trying to replicate those results with what you see in play might not be possible.

    It's VERY hard to "waste" half of that 500$ lighting rig you bought. "I spent good money on those 400W metal halides based on what everyone told me." etc. In my case, I just added some DIY CO2 first, and saw SOME change for the better which told me I was on the right track and then started with the EI dosing and lighting changes and such. For many people with the All In One tanks, changing the lighting around isn't really much of an option. It's just not really possible without removing or tearing apart the hood which I wasn't going to do if I could avoid it. That's a much tougher sell to someone who just dumped a 100+$ on a tank that the lighting on it is too intense and you need to turn it off and do something else with it. At least the guy with 2x400W of light probably realizes somewhere in his head that he's likely in overkill territory and that it might sorta kinda possibly be too much. :)

    -
    S

     
  15. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I didn't get it if you meant really my photos, but I use Paint Shop pro only for a crop/resize to reduce size. They are not the best looking scapes as I'm far from being an artist, but plants are healthy with no editing. Just DSM + EI + CO2 + very low light (0.9Wpg PC light). Anubia you see was never trimmed or any leaf removed in 4 months. Glosso was trimmed drastically before the photo, it will be denser in few weeks. Riccia was planted also 2 days ago, will be denser soon. Front glass was never cleaned as the lamp is put along bottom side of tank, so light won't be on the glass --> no cleaning

    [​IMG]

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  16. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you for the link, it is a nice add-on to what was started here by VaughnH
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/6036-Massaged-PAR-Data-for-T5HO-lights

    I now see that my glosso is between 45-60 micromols while P. Helferi is near 80 micromols, so not really the low light I thought. Still, hard to realize without a PAR meter that a stronger light wattage would give me the same micromols on soil. On a nano with PC U shaped lights, my trials showed visually a much more intense light using a longer bulb. Unless I get a PAR meter, I can't believe switching from my 11W to a 13W or 26W bulb would give me same intensity. Also, he states teh PC lights tested are linear in shape. I suspect spiral/U shaped would be more intense under a spot and lower in intensity far from the spot. Hard to say. Sadly, I can't afford a PAR meter for now, neither I see its use except for experimental purposes and gaining more understanding of the technical aspect or if you have many tanks to setup/maintain. Hopefully, visual observation of plants while lowering the light is of a great help replacing a PAR meter for my needs now. Maybe later, who knows...
     
    #56 jonny_ftm, Apr 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2010
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