This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

dosing and black fuzz algae

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by georgiadawgger, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. georgiadawgger

    georgiadawgger Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Tom, I've enjoyed your advice over on AGA and your comments at TPT. I've run into a dosing problem though. After switching to Plantex CMB+B after using Fluorish, I've seem to hit a snag in my dosing and I've been battling staghorn and a fuzz algae of some sort (not big enough to be bba and its not green enough to be the true "fuzz". The staghorn is sporadic, and it seems to only like my slower growing plants (Java Ferns), but the fuzz algae is really annoying since it grows only on the plants near my substrate (tried glosso, dwarf sag, micro chains, etc). This algae seems to "build up" along the leaf edges and then I have to trim and remove.

    Here's what I have:

    46g bowfront: 192w pc lighting (two 96 watt fixtures).

    Pressurized to 30 ppm co2 via controller

    External canister filters (2)

    Fluorite substrate

    The tank is planted rather heavily. I've had to recently butcher my stand of L. aromatica since it got hit with both staghorn and the fuzz. I've got plenty of nitrogen sucking plants (hornwort, anacharis, H. leucocephala, riccia).

    My water parameters:

    nitrates: 8-10 ppm

    phosphate: 0.5-1 (max...never really get to 1 ppm)

    I dose plantex 1 ml a day, but I'm not sure that's enough and I hesitate to add more for fear of a bigger algae outbreak. 50% water change every week.

    I've tried the estimative method by adding nitrates on Wed and Friday (water changes on Sunday). I used to add phosphate, but I decided to feed frozen foods more regularaly to not worry about that.


    Any suggestions on how to combat this annoyance? Thanks.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    404
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    That's not enough trace, that light is very high.

    I add about 30mls min per week for this tank size. You add 7mls.

    I'd get in there and clean the tank good, prune well, clean the filters, lightly vacuum the gravel when you prune/uproot those areas, then do the water change, then check the CO2 again, add the nutrients back etc.

    I'd add: 1/2 teaspoon KNO3, 3x a week, KH2PO4, 1/16" or so.

    Traces at 10mls 3 x a week.

    Clean, preen, prune and repeat.

    If the algae comes back, do the water change and re set again and check the CO2. Do all these steps.

    After a week or two, if you have re set the CO2/Nutrients etc, you should see the response fairly fast.

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  3. georgiadawgger

    georgiadawgger Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Tom, thanks for the advice on using the EI...it realy does work well and I've recommended this method to a lot of folks already. BUT, I seem to have hit a snag. Although the fuzz algae is gone, I seem to have a bit of GSA growing here and there (it's spotty so not that bad) and some BBA that appeared out of nowhere...it attacked my Lileaopsis, so I had to pretty much butcher it. It also seems to like my sword a bit. Pretty much everything else is fine. Any ideas?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    404
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    CO2, don't listen to the test kits too much, watch the fish and increase the bubble rate.

    Make a small riccia stone or put some on a piece of wood. When it pearls well about 1/2 way through the day or earlier, then you are in good shape. Once you do this, add more PO4. Lileaopsis can get both of these algae fairly easily. Trim like grass, it'll grow back healthy. Amano's tanks has this plant and green spot as well and Anubias. He doesn't add PO4 though.

    High PO4 will certainly reduce green spot, there have been many reports of it and I have not had green spot for many years. I hated that algae more than BBA.

    Rapid response keeps algae from gaining a foothold abd becoming established. So adjust the PO4 and CO2 up, prune and trim well. These indicators are more important than test kits whichg often have issues or systems to dose CO2.

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  5. georgiadawgger

    georgiadawgger Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Thanks Tom,

    I'll give that a shot!
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    404
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Just keep in mimnd, the algae are very good water quality indicators.
    Better than the plants, so while the plants might appear to be doing alright, in many cases they are, the algae are much faster at response.

    So BBA=> something is wrong with CO2.
    GSA=> check CO2 then add PO4

    And so on, I'll have a listing of things to do for sopecific algae as time premits.

    And unlike other tables of algae and with their "cures", this will actaully work and has been tested.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Hi Tom,

    just a minor correction here: Amano does fertilize with PO4! "Brighty Special Lights" is the brands name which is designed for high light tanks. Also his AP food series contains quite a bit of PO4. Since he stocks his tanks heavily with fishes lots of phosphats enter his tanks via food or poop.

    Regards, Detlef
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    404
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    I was long aware he started adding PO4 to his series, they are _very_ dilute as well.

    Most food is very low in PO4 since many assume that is causes algae and heavy in N.

    His tanks are not heavily stocked.
    I call that moderate to low.
    His lighting is lower than many folks also, if he uses more light, he uses it in a dawn dusk type of method and only hads full power 3-5 hours a day.

    That slows the growth down, thus the need for dosing.
    Golks that bhave growth issues or cannot keep up with things can switch to less light ot add only full power during the middle of the day, or they can use slower growing plants.

    Most shrimp/fish etc and other things they put into food is proteins so this is not surprising.

    Adding fish foods with more K+, PO4, iron etc is a decent idea but applies only to planted tank with CO2/high light etc in many cases.
    Not sure there is a high demand for that really.
    We added PO4 long before he did and explored the limits of nutrients.
    He, SeaChem, Kent, Dr. Mallick, There's another brand I'm forgetting here(an all in one thing with PO4) etc and others soon followed after I got poo pooed for a few years and folks finally started trying it out and saw for themselves.

    His readings and stat's are not in line with observations and plant health for the older books. He's no plant physiologist either.

    He adds just "enough" and suggests this is the best way, but when I directly called him on it, he said excess causes algae.

    Right, sure you know what your talking about and have tested it and investiagted this..........I think not.

    That was not protecting a business secret or anything, that was simply not knowing what he was talking about.

    Many folks will not question him, I have no problem asking questions and calling bullshit.
    He's good aquascaper, no one doubts that, the best around and one of the best photographers of tanks as well. But when it comes to this stuff, I am going to be very tough to put one over on.

    Oddly, my cohorts in my field have no issues with what I contend, they think it makes perfect sense. It's folks that are not in the know that give me the most grief and say stuff that I disagree with.

    I doubt he would argue back, he'd say something funny and we'd joke about it. But to the common person, he can say most things and they'd believe it.
    He does honestly want to help folks and have more folks keep nice well scaped tanks, we have the same goal, just coming at it from different prespectives, he's a better scaper and phtogrpaher than me, I'm a better researcher and physiologist than he is.

    But both together makes for a better world for planted hobbyists.
    That's both our goals.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Hi Tom,

    here are some things to take into consideration:

    ADA "Brighty Special Lights" leads to round about 0,15 ppm PO4 if one follows Amano's recommendation (1ml/20L/day). I checked this using a very sensitive test kit. I don't know if this kind of fertilizer is _very_ dilute. But the amount of recommended PO4/day makes sense to me.

    0,1g ~ 2ml ADA AP-fish food adds roughly 1ppm PO4 to the water column. I would consider one quarter of 2ml being enough for the fish stock in a 20g per day. That is 0,25ppm PO4 entering this size of tank every day via food alone! Is this food very low in PO4 really?

    I checked nineteen 60cm Amano tanks in several AquaJournals and found them stocked with between 15 to 65! mostly small sized tetras and barbes. This is 34 fishes on average in each tank (may be only for the photo session?). I did not count for otos and caridina japonica. Would you call this low to moderate stocked?

    Lighting on Amano's 60cm tanks used to be 4 x 20watts 10hrs a day (that at least was the amount of lighting before he introduced MH's and PC's to his tanks) totalling in about 5,8w/g or 1,5w/L. Would you call this lower than that of many folks?

    So this is what I found out. Nothing of much importance but something worth to think about.

    Regards, Detlef
     
  10. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Oops, sorry made a mistake: the daily amount of PO4 going into a heavily stocked 60x30x36 tank via ADA AP-fish food should have read - max roughly 0,05ppm - which is in no way enough to satisfy the plant needs.

    Regards, Detlef
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    404
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Yes, Amano does add PO4 to his fert's.
    Read his readings in those books of his, 0.1ppm of PO4 and 15ppm of CO2.
    Those are not readings that apply to those tanks.

    He still has green spot algae on his anubias leaves, see cover page:
    July 2001 vol 69, look at some of the Aunbias in the photo's in other books.

    There's also a likely other source, the substrate, we know it has NH4 added.
    Green spot algae: That can be addressed by adding more PO4.

    0.15ppm/day might be okay for some plants and growth, but perhaps not enough to reduce green spot.

    What kit did you use?


    Like wise, some considerations, photo ops are not regular stocking rates.
    You also assume all the PO4 and N are converted to waste, this is not true, some is retained by the fish. Fish were even considered to remove and export PO4 from some lakes in Florida. Dead fish evolve a great deal of NH4 and PO4.

    The light routines he set up, and yes, I've talked to him and so have other in person on more than one occasion about this and he discusses it.........are not high light set ups, they might have a lot of light on there, but he only adds all the light for 3 hours. The rest of the time, it's low.

    The 60 cm tanks are 18-20 gal(80 liters approx) and that's 4 w/gal, not 5.8 w/gal The lights can be turned on in series.

    I do not know what the tap water is like where he lives.

    15-25 small tetras is pretty standard stocking, a little light for me.
    65? That's getting awful heavy and too much for a 20 gal tank.
    But 20 or so main fish and algae eaters, that's a nice tank.

    Adding 0.05ppm of organically bound PO4 is different than adding inorganic PO4 also.

    PO4 relative to N, the fish foods are always weighted to N vs a plant dry weight (10:1 in most aquatic plants but that varies).

    The ADA brighty series might have a bit more PO4(and NO3 etc) than the others.......

    0.15ppm should be fine for most situations. I have seen a fair amount of green spot algae on many of his Anubias leaves in the covers and the main layout photo's. Maybe it's not enough.

    The CO2 readings cannot be right though.

    It's wise to make the fertilizers dilute though. Sell more, and impacts the same value, you buy a large bottle, you think you get more.
    Then you can tailor the dosing for tanks with less lighting, more fish , fewer fish etc and the other variables consumers might have.
    TMG and SeaChem suggest lower amounts than many CO2 enriched tanks need for this reason.

    Amano has also mentioned a few times he has trouble growing certain plant species together. At lower nutrients levels, some plants can outcompete others for nutrients. I've yet to see plant plant interactions in any species. I've thought I've seen it a few times, but then when the nutrients where raised, the effect went away.

    If you look at his tanks at the visits, you'll see few fish in those tanks.
    All have wheels so you can move them around and take photo's.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: dosing and black fuzz algae

    Tom,

    I also have recognized long ago many mistakes in Amano's books or strange data which did not make sense at first glance or not at all. As for CO2 levels I concluded that his pH readings (and CO2 of course) were based upon rpH actually, the _resting_ pH as he (and others?) calls it. Which can be tested for in the morning after airating the tank just before the lights come on. He wrote about it in AquaJournal #35. Therefore, the actual CO2 levels in his tanks during day time hrs do and did not get published at all. But this is a guess only otherwise excellent growth and low CO2 levels don't concur indeed.

    When I was using ADA Aqua soil Amazonia I kept PO4 at 0,13ppm constant (with Na2HPO4 added daily!). And with this level I could not detect a single GS! Also, 0,13ppm PO4 supported excellent growth of plants like Eusteralis (Pogostemon) stellata and Gloss.

    I test with a PO4 kit named Visocolor HE-DEV from the german company Macherey & Nagel who sell mainly to labs. Their US branch phone # is 610 559 9848 Easton.

    How much organic PO4 gets retained by living fish by the way? Isn't it marginal?

    I've never read any recommendations from Amano not to use full lighting power all photoperiod long with one exception, for so called low light plants. His idea for full power during 3 to 4 hrs only came up when he began experimenting with MH lighting I suppose.

    As far as I was told Amano uses soft well water.

    But for now I want to stop speculating about what works for him or not without having more serious data. May be he joins this forum one day?
    And yes he is not only a great photographer and scaper but also someone who knows very well how to sell and make money.

    Regards,
    Detlef
     
Loading...

Share This Page