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CO2 Mist seems to kill Black Algae

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by discusman54, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. discusman54

    discusman54 Junior Poster

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    My internal CO2 reactor has been putting out a nice fine mist of bubbles in my 55 gallon, then I have another power-head at the opposite end of the tank to keep a slow race track flow trying to disperse the bubbles.

    I now have a Drop Checker with 4dkh solution, showing a nice green.

    As you may know I had a bad outbreak of Black Algae, still have some Sword plants that have the more stubborn black stuff on the edges of the leaves.
    The CO2 bubbles have been sticking to some of these areas on the leaves. I have been able to just scrape the black algae off, which appears to have died.
    This is only in the areas where the bubbles have been sticking.

    This leaves me with a question, Is the CO2 mist killing the Algae or could the algae have already been dead and the bubbles just happen to be there.

    I'm doing some more experimenting with this one.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    BBA is black when it is alive, but red and white when it is dying or dead. The black algae on the leaf edges is, I think, BBA. So, I don't think it is dying from the CO2. Excel will kill it very well when dosed at 1.5 - 2X the recommended on the bottle dosages.

    When I tried CO2 mist I found I had great pearling and plant growth, but BBA persisted unless I mechanically got rid of it and made sure the dissolved CO2 stayed up around 30 ppm. Like other algae BBA loves CO2. It just doesn't start its growth cycle if the CO2 level is persistently around 30 ppm day after day.
     
  3. discusman54

    discusman54 Junior Poster

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    The black algae I scraped off seemed to have lost it's hold on the leaf which is very unusual for this stuff. Probably just a coincidence and had already died out but it was still black.
    I put some Rotala Rotund in the tank yesterday. It must have grown an inch today, amazing growth!
    With the good CO2 levels I finally have the EI dosing is the only way to go.
    Thanks
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Namely fromn stable CO2 levels, BBA loses it's drive and slowly dies off.
    CO2 itself does not, howeverm , kill BBA.

    But CO2 kist sure can help plants grow much better in virtually all cases.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Stability is a key element to pretty much all fascets of aquatic gardening, this is also where EI has an edge, but I suspect that Co2 misting tends to accelerate or "augment" Photosynthesis in closed system enviroments. Dissolved Co2 is all well and good, but atmospheric Co2 tends to lubricate the process considerably. Plants have a clear advantage over algae in the right venue. Misting may not occur naturally, not often any way, but we often take advantage of biological phenomenon in this hobby. If it levels the Algae playing field a little I say go for it ! ;) 10,000% availability is quite an edge and higher plants evolved to take full advantage of that. :cool:
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, do not get too exicted, we are already pushing growth at 10-20X the normal rates.

    There's only so much, so fast a plant can metabolically grow before time factors into limiting the rates.

    At 30ppm dissoloved CO2, you are near maxmimal rates, so adding this might get another 20% more growth, not 10,000X more.

    It takes time for the plant to organize all these components into tisuue.
    Lots of very complex parts need assembled.
    The plants are quite fast and good at it, but they do have limits.

    If you drive some parts too fast and the plant can regulate or down regulate things or upregulate, etc..then you run into trouble.

    When you try and maintain high light + high CO2 + non limiting nutrients, things can and do get away from you.

    So reduce the ligh and that reduces the speed of growth and the energy added at the root core of plant growth: photosynthesis.

    Same with algae.

    So less intense growth is easily manged and a very stable way using light.

    More than any other single parameter, light tends to be our most easily controlled and stable tool we have.

    CO2 is about the most unstable.

    So...........

    More light= more CO2 related issues and less stablility and resiliency etc.

    We do not even have to get to/discuss nutrients to see this issue occurring.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    "When you try and maintain high light + high CO2 + non limiting nutrients, things can and do get away from you."

    This statement lays the groundwork for a very good discussion !

    We can only strive to create optimal conditions, but at what point have we actually exceeded any reasonable expectation ? ;)

    You Tom Barr are a Co2 nag. More Co2 ! Stable Co2 !! Better quality Co2 !!!

    Myself I'm more of a Light nag. More light ! Too much light !! Better Light !!!

    EI in itself almost always maintains stable nutrition. The only real problems ever encountered can and do occur only when we cross the boudaries of reasonable expectation, or allow hygein to lapse within the system.

    I believe it's Flora's Bye line that the only things that happen quickly in this hobby are generally bad. Given the technology available to Aquatic Gardeners today the hobbiest is relegated to a postion somewhere in between Benevolent God, and Ardent Custodian. In the process of pushing the envelope We are all ultimately responsible for the results achieved. Whether people lose sight of rational boundaries, or overlook the finer details I personally believe nutrition might be the "Easiest" aspect to maintain. Some folks just make a chore out of it...:p

    Co2 misting is only a tool or method to tickle or goose photosynthesis within a closed system enviroment. Or perhaps to augment or supplement enrichment when a large system has reached a plateau or been taxed to a breaking point. Grtz, Prof M
     
  8. discusman54

    discusman54 Junior Poster

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    I guess the areas of BBA I was able to scrape off had died, still a few spots hanging in there.
    Tom, I just finished your article on BBA, It's a great read! I can see where I had low CO2 in my tank, with out a drop checker there was no way for me to know. When I started using the Neutral Regulator the inevitable happened.
    EI + 30ppm Co2 + 5watts/gal light is like driving a high performance race car, one small mistake and things can go wrong very fast!
    I noticed a new problem developing, thats blue green Cyanobacteria is in my 55 now. I read where this is caused my low NO3 which seems odd, unless the plants are starving the Cyanobacteria. I suspect it is mainly caused by to much light so I am cutting back once again. I also wonder if this has something to do with losing several Ottocinculus catfish.
    What is this best treatment of Cyanobacteria?
    A 3 day black-out may be my best bet, hate to do that just yet. I'm not sure how my Discus would take it.
    Thanks
     
  9. Regarding the CO2 mist advantage over purely dissolved CO2... I have noticed this in my tank during the latest week.

    I initially set up things in a way that CO2 bubbles went straight to the canister inlet tube. That certainly dissolved all CO2 and I could track that by measuring PH and KH. Plants also pearled regularly.

    But then I switched to a CO2 difuser and the result is visually noticeable. Plants started pearling with "big" bubbles sticked to their leaves. Something that didn't ever happened with pure dissolved CO2.

    This was even injecting less bubbles per second.

    And it seems to me that it is not a matter of having CO2 lost somehow when I was injecting bubbles into the canister inlet, because again, I see that the PH is a little higher now with the mist from the difuser and less bubbles per second.

    Regards,
    Evandro.
     
  10. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    discusman54, i am a newbie to this site, but not the hobby in general, and I was instructed by this site to do a three day blackout to get rid of a lot of algae I was having problems with. I have 4 discus, and they are fine now, but they were very irritated with me, once the blackout was over. As instructed, I was to do a water change before and after the blackout, and the "after" part was the toughest part. I ended up more or less just changing the water....not really vacuuming anything.

    They were extremely shy with me, and "skitting" all over the tank once I tried to turn the lights back on, after everything was unwrapped.....then I was supposed to do a water change!:eek: Perhaps you will have better luck then I did, and maybe your fish are happier with you and your care for them, then mine are with me...who knows

    Anyways...my only suggestion is when you unwrap everything after the blackout, turn lights on slowly, and try to get them re-accustomed to things before trying to get in there and do a water change......like open blinds a lil bit....feed them, open blinds a lil more...wait a while, maybe turn on one light on the tank...stuff like that

    I felt like I was starting over with them....and going back to the "shyness" from when they were "new"

    I also lost a cardinal tetra in the process! haha....we all know discus like to eat lots! Those are the only issues I noticed when doing my blackout last week

    Works great for the algae issues tho....good luck!:)
    Eric
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It seems to be a more efficent mechanism to add CO2, you can use less, maintain the same pH, and get more growth from your plants.

    Many folks still think I'm crazy, but most that have tried this note the definite differences and I think if you are careful, even the skeptics see it also.

    The problem is folks read something and give a 1/2 hine quarter try and do not see if they can make the method work, rather, if by some luck, they do get it right, they believ, and if not, even though many others do, they think there's nothing to it and it cannot be right.

    It's not the method's failure, it's theirs(or yours or mine when we fail to do a method correctly).

    I apporach a method far differently than most, I assuem that it can work right and it's just me that's not getting it right when I am not successful.

    This is a good assumption because generally, someone has done the method already successfully, so we know it can work, how hard it is to get there is another question.

    But that's still up to us, not the method so much.
    Methods do not fail, aquarists do.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    The "One Size Fits All" picture that the individual posts on the internet portray are almost always myopic.

    Whether a person uses an external Dissolved Co2 reactor, internal venturi, or any 1 of a 100 different misting devices. There is no 1 perfect method for Co2 distribution. Personally I think one of the biggest misunderstandings is perpetuated by poor circulation within the system, and NO device can overcome that if you can't simply get the Co2 to the plants.

    The only 1 device that seems to actually produce a reasonable balance of both Dissolved, and Gaseous Co2 is "Your" original DIY reactor W/ the waste gas re-circulated through the pump impeller, but of course it has it's own limitations for volume.

    There IS NO right or wrong method between inline/in tank diffusers, line venturis, or needle wheel pumps. The deciding factor is the individual system they are to be placed in. Whether it is within a Trickle filter, Cannister filter, 10 gals. or 100 gals.

    Any 1 method is almost always adequate in an individual system, but many systems DO require a bit of both.

    Never the less aquatic plants DO enjoy Co2 misting, and while it may be an un-natural process, our aquariums are un-natural enviroments, and I'd prefer to establish the boundaries within my system rather than be on the recieving end of an Algae Proxy by default ! :p

    "My Own Experience" with Co2 misting is that I've witnessed improved Growth, Color, and Texture in the plants over all appearance, and the only real problems encountered were with the extreme ends of distribution. Extremes rarely work well in any closed system...:eek: That's "Operator Error" not poor methodology. ;)
     
  13. discusman54

    discusman54 Junior Poster

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    I know exactly what you are talking about! Sometimes I have no idea what sets them off, skitting through the tank to hide in the back behind the plants. I've had these fish for around 4 months, hand feed them daily. You'd think they would trust me by now.

    I'm trying a different lighting routine, using half of my fixture( 2.5 watts/ gal.) and just alternating between 5200k and 6500k, not having both sets on at the same time. This may be a better solution so we can view the fish and not have to look at a dark tank.
     
  14. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    yeah discusman...the feelings mutual! I have no idea what sets them off either! I hand fed them a lot when they were growing up, and even made some specialty food for them, did 2xwater changes/week, so you would think they would be used to me by now too....Im always in the tank! haha...they do eat well, and I think sometimes they make eachother "skit" off to the back behind the plants too! haha

    Good luck with all of it:)
     
  15. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    1st. Discus are not particularly fond of high light.

    2nd. It's often helpful W/ discus to keep a reasonably sized school of dither fishes as they use the school's activity as an early warning system, and this allows them to relax under regular activity. (Please Note: Spastic fishes like Danios are a Very Poor choice)

    3rd. All fishes will behave in an aggitated/nervous manor if suffering from the initial stages of nitrite poisoning. Discus even more so !

    4th. Please consider checking the stray voltage in the tank or installing a platinum ground probe set to a dedicated ground. Stray voltage is a common irritant of both fish and plants. The lateral line of a fish is basically it's primary sense to relate to it's immediate enviornment. Stray electrical voltage erodes the mucous mebranes and inflames the nerves. You may also notice a splendid increase in the vital color, and chatoyance of your Discus as the reflective color is bound in the crystaline structure of their mucous. All that excess electrical current is like taking a match to fine silk. Don't believe me ? Get a pack of 9v batteries, and lick em all day, and then say "She sells sea shells" 9 times !!! :p
     
  16. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Professor....I have heard discus do not like high light, and mine do seem better now that I have only the midday burst with the 10,000K bulb on for an hour....when only the 9600K bulb is on, they seem to be a lil more active and relaxed. I have 11 cardinal tetras, so the schooling fish is kinda covered....these guys dont really school, but they do hang together.

    I dont think my fish have nitrite poisoning....this tank has been setup since december?

    I would like a lil more info on the ground probe tho, if you dont mind?

    Thanks again
    Eric
     
  17. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    This type is the easiest to hook up. Ground Probes | Grounding Probes | Electrical Supplies | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com and of course it's just down the road in Lancaster. ;) Prof M
     
  18. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks very much Professor! That does look easy to hook up! haha! Never dealt with them before, but I will def. pick one up! Not badly priced either! All I do is submerge the probe under the water correct? Like I dont have to bury the titanium probe under the substrate or anything special?

    Thanks again! Takes me about 15mins to get to That Fish Place!:D
     
  19. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

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    Picked up the ground probe, and grounded it to the screw on the outlet plate.

    Drop checker was green towards the end of the photoperiod last night! Riccia is about the only thing that pearls, and thats prolly cause it is floating

    I hope to receive my surface skimmer today! I will hook that up, and prolly turn up my bubble count on the reg. Doesnt seem like anything is leaking from my filter anymore:rolleyes:

    Thanks for the info
     
  20. discusman54

    discusman54 Junior Poster

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    Several weeks ago I removed the school of Zebra Danios just for that reason, they are crazy physco fish. Also removed 3 Yoyo loaches which where literally taking food out of the Discus mouth. Also had to remove 10 Red cherry shrimp from the tank, think they where spooking the Discus after lights went out. At present I have a small school (5) Rummy nose tetras, pair of Bristlenose plecos and several ottos with them.
    A week ago I changed my lighting so that one set of bulbs are on now, and had to change NO3 dosing due to high nitrate of over 20ppm.
    They are calmer but still spook sometimes. Plants are looking great, algae is almost completely gone!
    I'll get the voltmeter out today and see if I can find any stray voltage.
    Thank you for the tips!
     
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