Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

Martin

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 8, 2005
149
0
16
42
Sebbersund, Denmark
I have a fairly new setup, with new HQL lamps.

Tank is 85G
Wattage is 1x125W & 1x80W(will be 125W also (the 80W is a temp. bulb))
Co2 is about 48ppm
pH os 6.8 with Co2 addition.
kH is 10-11

I have some wonderful brown algae... i assume it is brownalgae... it looks brown.. kindda like decaying plantmatter... it breaks up when I try to twirl it.
I also have some rather nasty green hairy algae, that has rooted itself on my substrate. It has infiltrated most of my Hc 'Cuba' and is a real pain, because it pulls out the little HC roots.
I just wanna run my Routine by you guys, to see if anything here is amiss....

KNO3 KH2PO4 Trace K+ Iron
M 1/2 tsp 15ml 5ml
T 1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp
W 1/2 tsp 15ml
T 1/4 tsp
F 1/2 tsp 15ml 5ml
S 1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp
S WaterChange


Currently there is no fish in the tank.
 

Martin

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 8, 2005
149
0
16
42
Sebbersund, Denmark
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

It seems to be worsening. More & more algae is infesting the tank....



Any ideas?
 

colonel

Guru Class Expert
Nov 25, 2005
118
0
16
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

First you need to clean out as much of the algae as possible, trim etc. You want to get things as clean as you can. Even if you fix whats causing the algae what is in the tank is still going to grow and it needs removed. I dont know what your plant mass is like but you may want to consider adding some temp. plants, fast growers to help out.

And your going to want to get a balanced doseing down for the week..... here is where I am kind of lost, I dont really understand what you wrote as far as the nutrients your adding.... your little chart of doseing for the week didnt really make much sense. If you can clear that up im sure some will be able to give you some pointers.

Also you didnt mention hows your GH? are you doing a large water change on sunday? and after the WC are you adding anything?
 

Martin

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 8, 2005
149
0
16
42
Sebbersund, Denmark
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

colonel said:
First you need to clean out as much of the algae as possible, trim etc. You want to get things as clean as you can. Even if you fix whats causing the algae what is in the tank is still going to grow and it needs removed. I dont know what your plant mass is like but you may want to consider adding some temp. plants, fast growers to help out.

And your going to want to get a balanced doseing down for the week..... here is where I am kind of lost, I dont really understand what you wrote as far as the nutrients your adding.... your little chart of doseing for the week didnt really make much sense. If you can clear that up im sure some will be able to give you some pointers.

Also you didnt mention hows your GH? are you doing a large water change on sunday? and after the WC are you adding anything?


Here's the Schedule:

-----KNO3-----KH2PO4-----Trace-----K+-----Iron
M---1/2 tsp---------------- 15ml-------------5ml
T--------------1/4 tsp--------------1/2 tsp------
W---1/2 tsp-----------------15ml
T--------------1/4 tsp
F---1/2 tsp---------------- 15ml-------------5ml
S-------------- 1/4 tsp-------------1/2 tsp
S WaterChange 50%

I dont add anything on sundays.

GH is approx 12.

I have a lot of rotala's and some ludwigias, and alot of other plants, but what baffles me is that adding all this light, co2, nutrition etc.... well, my plants dont really seem to grow... ... they just kindda sit there... .apart from the algae...
I dont know what's missing....

Something somewhere seems off....
 

Martin

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 8, 2005
149
0
16
42
Sebbersund, Denmark
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

colonel said:
First you need to clean out as much of the algae as possible, trim etc. You want to get things as clean as you can. Even if you fix whats causing the algae what is in the tank is still going to grow and it needs removed. I dont know what your plant mass is like but you may want to consider adding some temp. plants, fast growers to help out.

And your going to want to get a balanced doseing down for the week..... here is where I am kind of lost, I dont really understand what you wrote as far as the nutrients your adding.... your little chart of doseing for the week didnt really make much sense. If you can clear that up im sure some will be able to give you some pointers.

Also you didnt mention hows your GH? are you doing a large water change on sunday? and after the WC are you adding anything?


Here's the Schedule:

-----KNO3-----KH2PO4-----Trace-----K+-----Iron
M---1/2 tsp---------------- 15ml-------------5ml
T--------------1/4 tsp--------------1/2 tsp------
W---1/2 tsp-----------------15ml
T--------------1/4 tsp
F---1/2 tsp---------------- 15ml-------------5ml
S-------------- 1/4 tsp-------------1/2 tsp
S WaterChange 50%

I dont add anything on sundays.

GH is approx 12.

I have a lot of rotala's and some ludwigias, and alot of other plants, but what baffles me is that adding all this light, co2, nutrition etc.... well, my plants dont really seem to grow... ... they just kindda sit there... .apart from the algae...
I dont know what's missing....

Something somewhere seems off....
 

colonel

Guru Class Expert
Nov 25, 2005
118
0
16
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

Looks like you could use some more KNO3, probably less KH2PO4 you really dont need that much, I would cut the K2SO4 all togeather, but if you feel you need it just add about 1/2 tsp. after WC. And s bit more traces probably wouldnt hurt.... Something more like this....

Mon. - 20 ml traces
Tues - 3/4 t. KNO3, 1/8 t. KH2PO4
wed. - traces " "
thurs - macros " "
fri. - traces " "
sat. - nothing
Sun. - WC, Macros " " and maybe some epsom salts to make sure GH is covered.

Make sure the CO2 is cranked up too, maybe add a bit more to make sure.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
745
113
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

You do not need the K2SO4.
You'd do better to add 1/2 teaspoon of MgSO4 instead.

No fish=> add more CO2.

Clean the algae before it gets to much out of hand.
Most new set ups need 2x a week water changes till things settle in.

More plants, floating plants etc helps.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Martin

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 8, 2005
149
0
16
42
Sebbersund, Denmark
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

Tom Barr said:
You do not need the K2SO4.
You'd do better to add 1/2 teaspoon of MgSO4 instead.

No fish=> add more CO2.

Clean the algae before it gets to much out of hand.
Most new set ups need 2x a week water changes till things settle in.

More plants, floating plants etc helps.

Regards,
Tom Barr


½ tsp MGSO4 pr week? Wont that create a Calcium defiency?

I'll cut back on the K2So4, and the KH2PO4...
I'll add more KNO3, and see if i can up the Co2.

So rest of schedule is ok for 2,9Wpg?
 

banderbe

Prolific Poster
Dec 5, 2005
30
0
6
44
Maple Grove, MN
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

Symbiot said:
Here's the Schedule:

-----KNO3-----KH2PO4-----Trace-----K+-----Iron
M---1/2 tsp---------------- 15ml-------------5ml
T--------------1/4 tsp--------------1/2 tsp------
W---1/2 tsp-----------------15ml
T--------------1/4 tsp
F---1/2 tsp---------------- 15ml-------------5ml
S-------------- 1/4 tsp-------------1/2 tsp
S WaterChange 50%

I dont add anything on sundays.

GH is approx 12.

I have a lot of rotala's and some ludwigias, and alot of other plants, but what baffles me is that adding all this light, co2, nutrition etc.... well, my plants dont really seem to grow... ... they just kindda sit there... .apart from the algae...
I dont know what's missing....

Something somewhere seems off....

In my humble opinion you should be re-dosing the tank after your water change. That's probably part of your problem.

Your nutrients may be limited for 24 hours after the WC until you dose on Monday. Not a good thing.
 

banderbe

Prolific Poster
Dec 5, 2005
30
0
6
44
Maple Grove, MN
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

Tom Barr said:
You do not need the K2SO4.
You'd do better to add 1/2 teaspoon of MgSO4 instead.

No fish=> add more CO2.

Clean the algae before it gets to much out of hand.
Most new set ups need 2x a week water changes till things settle in.

More plants, floating plants etc helps.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Why no K2SO4? What is the ratio of K to N that is best? Just what comes from KNO3??
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
745
113
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

For K, all you need is from KNO3.
Unless you have a low light tank, high fish load combo.
Adding K2SO4 will not hurt though.

Here's the details:

If you dose a fair amount of NO3 via KNO3, keep nice tank parameters, don't have much fish load, I'd suspect you don't need to add K separately.
Steve and I did this for awhile, there were times when folks could not get any K2SO4 around the area, so we did without.

We never really found much difference.Steve suggested we did not need any extra K as it was being supplied via KNO3.

If you have 6.4 ppm of so of NO3, then you add 4 ppm of K using KNO3. Some products have K+, like TMG.
I find it unlikely you really need MORE K+ to grow plants well and ************it's one less thing that folks need to dose which is my goal here****.
Looking at a mass balance of N/K+ ratios, __most/many__ plants have about 1.5 :1 ratios of N:K(Epstien 1972).

Now take into account the O3 part of NO3 and to get elemental N and you suddenly find you have plenty of K+ for plant growth.
So 1.5/4.4= .34 N's for every K+ you add.

So you should theoretically have 3x as much K as you need relative to N x the 1.5/1 ratio = 4.5x as much K+ relative to N per dose.
.
There are other sources of N, plant decomposition, fish waste but some K+ comes from these pools also.
I really do doubt that adding K2SO4 to such a tank will make any significant difference.

Unlike NO3 and denitrifying bacteria NO3=>N2 gas, there is not much to the K+ cycle except for plant uptake/leaching.

So it certainly is something folks can skip if they add KNO3 as their main source of N.

Now if you have a good fish load, over feed Discus, slow growth/non CO2 etc, adding K+ from KCl/K2SO4 is advisable since you already will have plenty of NO3.

But for many, KNO3 as the source of both N and K should do the trick.

I'd say you simply don't need but 3 things, KH2PO4, KNO3 and traces.
And then the other two parts: Light and CO2.

I'm glad Ghori brought it up as I've not thought about it since I guess 1997 or so. But going through it, it should not be a problem even with all the different plant species needs and possible extra K+ needs a plant might have.

I think it's be EVEN easier for the new folks and us too, to delete one more nutrient from the mix.

That is a GOOD GOAL.

The goal is to reduce down with simpler designs/methods/dosing routines for folks that still work very well.

Importantly:
Just remember if you have NO3 issues from the tap/fish load, you will still find a use for K+ dosing from KCl or K2SO4.


A follow up:

I typically will round down to add a buffer of error and call it 4:1, N:K based of Epstein's 1972 anaylsis.

Not all plants will have the same N:K make up, but with a 4:1 ratio buffer, adding KNO3 should easily handle any differences between plant species and aquatic species differences(generally these have lower N/K ratios).

So the practical effect is you don't need to add more K+ in almost every case unless you have very high bioloading, too high IMO.
50% of the N from a CO2 enriched tank is pushing it.
Also tap water can have a fair amount of NO3 so that can influence whether you need K2SO4.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

tacks

Junior Poster
Jan 12, 2006
9
0
1
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

I am new here and I hope I am not stepping out of line here. I have a 90 gallon and a 24 gallon heavly planted tanks. I read here were people are adding all sorts of chemicals too there tanks. I read a long time ago that the less things you add to the water the better off you are. Mr Barr is great and I agree that all one should really be adding to the water is kh2p04-kno3-tropical master grow. What I would add to that is I use a lot of fert sticks around my plants and thus plants can get food from there roots andalgae can not get too it. No one seems to mention fert sticks here and I was wondering why? Again hope I havent over stepped my self here thank you Ed
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
745
113
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

Hi Ed, no, that's not an unreasonable notion.

Many thought that in the past. But it does not precvent algae, and when you uproot a jobes" stick, up comes all those ferts, so that does not help really unless used sparingly etc.

Problem with those things: they have NH4/urea, that's certainly not good for plants=> algae and for the fish either.

KNO3 is very mild in comparison.
Many plants also simply don't have any roots.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Martin

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 8, 2005
149
0
16
42
Sebbersund, Denmark
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

to give a small update, I added my fish yesterday. Mostly Tetra's and cory's.

My brown algae seems to be disappearing as i expected it to do, but the annoying green thread algae is still covering quite alot of the substrate, my rocks and a bit of my driftwood..

I've switched my dosing around a bit, dimmed the light a bit, so i only have 2x80W.

now i Dose:

monday 3/4 Kno3, 20Ml Trace
Tuesday 1/8 KH2PO4
Wednesday 3/4 KNo3 20Ml Trace
Thursday 1/8 KH2PO4
Friday 3/4 KNo3, 20Ml Trace
Saturday 1/8 KH2PO4.
Sun : waterchange
 

banderbe

Prolific Poster
Dec 5, 2005
30
0
6
44
Maple Grove, MN
Re: Dosing routine a possible cause of Algae?

Symbiot said:
to give a small update, I added my fish yesterday. Mostly Tetra's and cory's.

My brown algae seems to be disappearing as i expected it to do, but the annoying green thread algae is still covering quite alot of the substrate, my rocks and a bit of my driftwood..

I've switched my dosing around a bit, dimmed the light a bit, so i only have 2x80W.

now i Dose:

monday 3/4 Kno3, 20Ml Trace
Tuesday 1/8 KH2PO4
Wednesday 3/4 KNo3 20Ml Trace
Thursday 1/8 KH2PO4
Friday 3/4 KNo3, 20Ml Trace
Saturday 1/8 KH2PO4.
Sun : waterchange