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Compsopogon bloom

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Fernando Muñoz, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Fernando Muñoz

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    Hello everybody!
    My name is Fernando Muñoz and I´m from Argentina. This is my first message in this forum and I want to ask for pardon because my English is not very good.
    I.ve been reading a lot of the messages but I have a serious problem with compsopogon and hear/thread algae in my aquarium and I can´t get rid of it.

    My aquarium was set up 2 months ago; the measures are 128cm (L) X 50sm (H) X 48 cm (W). (301 liters)
    CO2 pressurized with a Azoo valve with solenoid (more or less 6 bubbles per second ).
    The substrate was made with mineralizated soil and I use the EI index as fertilization method. (Micronutrients with CSM+B)
    Those are the others parameters:


    Light : - 2 55 watts PLL 4000K
    -2 75 watts HQI
    14 hours per day
    pH: 6.5
    kH : 3
    GH : 8
    NH3/NH4: 0 mg/l
    NO4: 5 ppm
    PO4: 4 ppm.!!
    The last two readings surprise me!.

    Those are photos 48 hours after the 50% weekly water change and after the manual remove of the algae. In this 48 hours the algae take again the tank. (The aquarium parameters were tested the same day).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The algae seem to affect mainly the Java ferns, Anubias, and Rotala sp.
    I didn´t have such bloom of this algae before!!!
    I really need your advice!! Thank you very much…..
     
  2. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    Como estas amigo? soy de Puerto Rico
    Hi, Im from Puerto Rico

    You have a lot of light for that plants. First down the light to 8 hours.
    NO3: 4 mg/l???? its very low, up this to 15-20 mg/l
    You use Macros?

    Java fern and anubias uses less light, so put these plants in shadow from other plants. They grow slow so algae attacks more easy.

    continues with w/c but mantain the levels with ferts, reduce light. That is all. If you want a hand, buy SAE and Otos also Add easy plants to the water like egeria densa, you can put these plants to float, then when algaes die, you can take out these plants.
     
  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Although I'm not one of the guru's here (who can correct me if I'm wrong) I see some issues:

    I agree that the light duration of 14 hours is too much. 8-10 hours is a lot better. Algae will take advantage of all the extra energy the light puts in. The intensity is kind of high too, the two MH alone are enough here. To make a comparison (although not totally right) You are using 260 Watts on 300 liters, I use 250 Watts of T5 on 600 liters. Less light means less demands on CO2 and that way it's easier to do it right.

    An algae bloom always means something has gone wrong. Are you sure that your CO2 is ok? Never assume it's ok. Also, check that you have enough circulation to disperse the CO2, around 10x the tank volume in turnover. Amount in bubbles per second depends on a lot of variables so that doesn't tell a lot.

    Like Brian said your NO3 (NO4??) is kind of low and could be a limiting factor. 5 ppm could be used in only one or two days. With a high PO4 level it can also give you BGA.

    High PO4 is not the cause of your problems, but maybe you are feeding to much or using frozen food.

    So check CO2 anyway, take out algae manually and do a large water changes afterwards. Do more frequent large water changes per week to get rid of the spores. Don't forget to dose afterwards.

    Good luck,
    dutchy.
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hola Fernando!

    Como estas?

    I agree with the good advice given here...

    My advice for the next several weeks:

    1. lower the light duration to 8 hours max daily.
    2. Do NOT use the MH.
    3. Increase your EI by 25-50%.
    4. Perform a 50% water change twice a week or more. Use Prime or Amquel, etc to dechlorinate the water. This will help offset any possible concerns on your part of too much macro dosing. This will NOT be an issue anyway, as too many nutrients in and of themselves do not cause algae.
    5. Manually remove the algae as you see it.
    6. Be aggressive in trimming any leaves that are totally infected. Weak leaves will leach nh4 which fuels more algae..
    7. If you can afford/get some Seachem Excel it will help a bit if dosed as directed. No more than directed is needed or advised.


    8. SLOWLY over days and weeks, adjust your c02 bubble rate UP. Watch the fish for signs of stress: Darker colors, gasping at the surface, staying closer to the surface than normal, rapid breathing, not eating, etc. If so, immediately turn the c02 down and increase aeration of surface agitation.

    Increase the rate slightly and OBSERVE the fish. Don't adjust the rate and take off for several hours. Based on how you diffuse the c02, changes may not be immediately apparent.


    9. Ensure your filters are always well maintained and working well.
    10. As you add c02 don't be afraid to add some surface agitation to add 02 as well.

    Be patient!

    As things become more in balance, look for the following:

    1. New plant growth is visible.
    2. New growth has good color, texture, etc.
    3. No NEW algae.
    4. Decrease of existing algae.
    5. Visible pearling on plants.

    This may take several weeks as the plants need time to adapt to better conditions as well....

    lo siento que no puedo escribir todo en espanol.

    I hope this helps.

    Bueno suerte!
     
    #4 Gerryd, Apr 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2010
  5. Fernando Muñoz

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    Thank you very much for the answers!!

    Brian:

    Muy bien! Como verás peleando un poco con las algas!
    Yes, I use macros. This readings really surprised me.

    Dutchy:

    Nowadays I´m not sure. But with a KH 3 and pH 6.5 the CO2 calculation table marks 31 ppm.

    I´ve got a pump Atman AT 105 from the sump to the aquarium and two powerhead Atman AT 302 in the aquarium.

    That´s right. That surprise me too!!... There is no evidence of BGA in the aquarium.. only the compsopogon growing like crazy!!.

    Yes, I, m using frozen food for 3 immature discus. I thought I was careful feeding this kind of food. I really give them very little frozen once a day, and twice Tetra Color bits.

    Thanks, I will follow your advice!! By the way, I did a 50 % water change before these lines.

    Gerryd:

    Very clear your advices!!! Thank you very much!!!

    I have one more question. Everyone in this post think that I have too much light..... What sould I do the future on the matter? Should I turn off some of the lamps? Which ones?
    I´really want to form a HC carpet in the bottom. With less light, can I obtain this?

    Once again thank you very much for your time!!!
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Fernando.

    Determining CO2 ppm's from the pH/KH table is not very reliable. You'd better use a dropchecker. Anyway, I have discus too, and my pH is 6,6 with a KH of 5, which gives a drop checker verified CO2 of 40 ppm. Discus seem to tolerate around 45ppm of CO2, and mine are doing very well at 40 ppm. So I think your CO2 could be a little higher. (see Gerry's earlier post)

    Frozen food really gets the PO4 levels up, I'm not dosing any PO4 either.

    About the HC....I'm growing HC with half the light you have, and my tank is even deeper than yours. How high is your HQI above the tank? Maybe you can raise it more? I'm not using HQI myself so I will let the others comment on that. Anyway reduce it to 8 to 10 hours.

    Good luck,

    dutchy
     
    #6 dutchy, Apr 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  7. Fernando Muñoz

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    Hi Dutchy!

    The HQIs are 15 cms from the surface of water.

    I´m intrigue! I have been reading some answers from the forum that suggests of light than other sites or forums... Why is this point of view?
    (Maybe you have some link to refer)

    More light not mean a faster growth of plants?

    Thank you very much!!!
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Ola Fernando,

    Lo siento mi respuesta mas tarde. Although more light means faster growth of plants, the difficulty is that it's harder to meet CO2 and nutrients demands. Also the effort in maintaining the tank is much higher at high light.
    With low light CO2 and nutrient demands are easier met and since plants grow slower, also algae grows slower. So you get a nicer looking tank with less management and less use of energy as a bonus.

    Most of us here found that out the hard way...;)

    You could read this: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/6972-The-light-limiting-growth-management-method?
    Statements that some plants only grow with high light (like 3 WPG) are greatly exagerbated. With good CO2 you can grow every plant at low light.

    ciao,
    dutchy
     
    #8 dutchy, Apr 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yikes!

    Try 30-45 cm at least.
    You lose intensity, but you get much bettrr spread, this will reduce the intensity a good deal.
    I'd start at 45cm anbd see, this is still plenty of light for plants.

    The algae appears to be diatoms, filamentenous eg, Melosira etc.
    You need to focus on growign the plants, reducing the light, getting the CO2 good and stable.
    Be careful and methodical with CO2, adjustr and change slowly.
    See if you can get some Excel or a similar substitute whikle you are adjusting the CO2 gas.

    Seal the sump wet/dry section with duct tape or similar so no air can exchange in the wet/dry section of the filter, the latter part where the water comes out and has the heaters, pump intake does not need to be sealed up.
    Also, reduce the distance to water spills over into the overflow, say no more than 5 cm.
    These two things will reduce CO2 loss, but still maintain good O2.

    I have HQI lighting on several tanks, but never use them.
    I only use the PC or T5 lighting now.

    I also have the lights 30-45cm above the aquariums.
    Even with PC lighting, 30-45cm etc, no HQI, I have pklenty of light.

    This makes management of CO2 and nutrient much easier, since light drives => CO2 demand/uptake => nutrient demand/uptake.

    You can also shorten the day cycle to 8 hours with HQI in most tanks with good results + raise them to 45cm.
    I'd do that primero.

    Then clean up the tank, this will take a lot of work.
    Amano shrimp, or even cherry shrimp to some degree, can help as can several other algae eaters.

    Adjust the CO2, seal up the sump, water changes will always help and then dose there after.


    No, more light = more headache.
    More light drives more CO2 demand, so adding CO2 will become harder.
    It is possible to add more light, but then you also have to add a lot more CO2 and if anything goes wrong, you end up with.......well ....a tank full of algae.

    I use perhaps 4x less light in terms of PAR.
    [​IMG]

    I also measure my tanks and those of others and various brands of lights using a PAR meter, so I can compare light among aquariums.
    Without a meter and without testing, it is impossible to compare lighting. Light is where all growth starts.

    More is not better, more is just more work.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Fernando Muñoz

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    Hi dutchy
    Yes Dutchy!! is truly a great change in the mentality especially when everyone, in others forums, said the opposite!!

    Thank you!! I read the article and I find a very interesting perspective...but also fills me with some questions. Anyway, I will give it a try and I will start implementing this alternative.

    Tom:
    Thank you for your answer!

    The Ecxel is not available in my country. But.. I´m a dental surgeon and I am very familiar with the 2% glutaraldehido used as decontaminate.
    But.... I have really pretty scary at the time of use it. The last time I used it wiped out plants such as Crypts, Vallisneria and Monosellenium sp.. What is the correct dosage in your experience?

    I wil do that!!

    You people convinced me. I will implement it....... I will keep you informed with pictures of the evolution!!

    Thank you very much people for all the answers and for the kindness (and patience) you have shown me!!!
     
    #10 Fernando Muñoz, Apr 27, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  11. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    well Light is the energy of the plants but is right that a lot of light not is the best all the times, if you have more light that plant can use the other go to the algae.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    One of the educational goals I try hard to do, is to help folks not repeat these same mistake we made in the past.
    This is difficult.

    I often say, "....a good myth... is very hard to kill".

    Excel is 1.5 % solution, so.........roughly 4mls per 10 Gallons of aquarium.
    This should yield about 2ppm of acive ingredient.
    Around 4ppm, and we start to see animal mortality, plant's being affected etc.

    Hobbyist often get a little crazy and think that they can simply add more of a chemical not realizign the limitations of dose.
    Virtually all hobbyists are desperate and impatient when they seek to use Excel to get rid of algae.

    Both of these issues = bad results for many.

    Like any drug, dose makes the poison or the medicine.
    Too much: kills the patient/plants/fish
    Too little: does not have any impact, still have algae, poor growth of plants.

    Too much CO2 also is highly toxic, too little = algae.

    CO2 and Excel are the two largest issues as far toxicity in planted aquariums, NH4 is a distant 3rd.

    As long as the chemicals you have are water + the active ingredient, you should be fine.
    If you dose like the directions, never more than 2ppm per 24 hours, then you should be fine.
    Give the 2% time to work, this might take 1-2 weeks, do not rush things, much like taking all the antibiotics over the prescribed time.
    Let these products do their job over time.

    This way, there is much less damage to non targets like fish/plants etc.

    When you seal the sump, make sure to watch closely, you do not want to gas the fish with too much CO2.
    The wet/dry filter was degassing rapidly prior, now the CO2 will remain, so be careful not to gas the fish!
    Also, I add good current, about enough to just not start breaking the water's surface.

    This keeps the O2 levels up, while keeping most of CO2 in solution.

    Many people have issues with adding CO2, and stressing their fish because they have low current and not enough O2 as a result.

    Respiration is a two way camino.
    Both O2 and CO2 levels matter, not just CO2.

    Keep that in mine, they both act indpeendently in solution also, one does not displace the other.
    This should help you considerbly when you add the other advice here.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Fernando Muñoz

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    Hi everyone! First of all I would like to thank everyone for the help you gave me.

    I did what you suggested me:

    - massive water changes during the first two weeks
    - raise the dosage of CO2
    - glutaraldehyde dosing once a week
    - raise a little the dose of nitrate
    - and started with the light limiting growth management method

    Some of the results really surprised me!!!

    As promised, here are some photos of the evolution:

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    NOW

    [​IMG]

    BEFORE

    [​IMG]

    NOW

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Somethings pleasantly surprised me.

    - The blyxa grew much more with a lower level of light!!.
    - I honestly thought that with such low lighting, the HC was going to die soon. But it was just the opposite! The HC began to grow (without algae) at a slow but steady range!!

    [​IMG].

    The L. aromatica grows well, albeit with less red. (This is not a problem for me)

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Fernando Muñoz

    Local Time:
    6:12 AM
    But some plants became leggy. This is the case with:

    Bacopa sp "Paraná guazu":

    [​IMG]

    Cabomba furcata:

    [​IMG]

    Rotala vietnam:

    [​IMG]

    And ironically the plant that is growing worse is .... the Rotala rotundifolia!!!!:

    [​IMG]

    Why is this happening when other plants that are more demanding, growing up without problems?

    Tom I have another question:

    - Is it possible when using the EI plants grow best when water changes are more space? (A water change 50% every two weeks )..... or is it just an appreciation?

    Thank you very much!!!
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Some of those plant, the Bacopa, appear a bit NO3 limited. If you have an issue and are trying to get the aquarium back into a good condition, doing more frequent water changes is best.
    I do 2x a week, 50-80% if there's an issue...algae etc.

    If the aquarium is stable, doing well, good growth, then 1x a week seems good. Some aquriums can certainly go longer, say 1-2x a month, but this takes a bit mas experience.
    You might try trimming the leggy plants more also. Cherry shrimp and amano shrimp would be useful, I do not see many fish in your aquarium.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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