EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Z

zeek

Guest
I'm not sure if I need help or not. I started the EI regimen some three weeks ago and my algae is still horrible. However last night when I cleaned the glass of a heavy layer of sheet algae with some GSA underneath, I found that my plants were doing much better. The slower growing ferns/crypts/anubias are still covered with BBA and hair algae, including new growth; but the faster growing species are doing much better.

At what point do the plants start outcompeting? How long should it take for the algae to die away?


Hardware:
120gal, Metal Halide 175W X2, dual Eheim 2228, CO2 with an external reactor. Lights on 10hrs/day, airstone at night. RO+tapwater mix for 7.3pH, 4° KH sits for ~5days before WC, temps usually 77-80°F

BioMass:
Moderately heavy planted, med-high fishload. Many new plants added last week with some more coming today. Fishload was significantly increased a few days ago. I'm getting ready to move into a 215gal, and got the fish because the LFS had an awesome sale and I'm impatient.

Chemistry:
I lost an Apisto to what appeared to be dropsy. He began looking bad over the past week or so, just before adding the new stock. Last night I broke out the chemistry set.
ph 6.3
KH 6°
CO2 at 90ppm, but fish are fine
GH 7°
NH3/NH4 0mg/l
NO2 >.3mg/l
NO3 75mg/l (Tetra test kit)
NO3 5mg/l (Hagen test kit)
PO4 >5mg/l (Hagen test kit)
The only thing I learned from the tests only confirmed what I already knew-- I don't like/trust testing! Look at the difference in the two NO3 readings for example. All of my test kits are pretty old.

Dosing Regimen:
Sa 50%Water Change
1.5tsp KN03, .25tsp KH2PO4, 30ml Tropica, 5ml Flourish Fe.
Su, Mo, We
1.5tsp KNO3, .24tsp KH2PO4
Tu, Th
30ml Tropica, 5ml Flourish Fe
Fr
none


Am I dosing too much/little? Should I increase water changes temporarily until moving into the larger tank?

thanks for reading,
Isaac
 

Spar

Guru Class Expert
Jun 5, 2005
123
0
16
41
Dallas, TX
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Really as long as you dose what you are, I just wouldn't test for NO3, PO4, or Fe at all. I don't trust testkits either.

I don't have experience with Tropica, but if it is the same concentration as Flourish Trace, then all seems perfect with your dosing regime. You could get away with a little more PO4 dosing (25-50% more than doing now).

Also important to note that you are dosing Fe and PO4 on the same days, which is a no-no. The Fe causes the PO4 to be ineffective if not doses far enough apart (some chemistry crap that I don't fully understand, but nod my head in understandment anyway). So, don't dose Tropica or Flourish Fe on water change days. Wait until the day after.

On a side note, how do you like your MHL (HQI) lighting unit? I am about to purchase one, but haven't heard much about them.

zeek said:
I'm not sure if I need help or not. I started the EI regimen some three weeks ago and my algae is still horrible. However last night when I cleaned the glass of a heavy layer of sheet algae with some GSA underneath, I found that my plants were doing much better. The slower growing ferns/crypts/anubias are still covered with BBA and hair algae, including new growth; but the faster growing species are doing much better.

At what point do the plants start outcompeting? How long should it take for the algae to die away?


Hardware:
120gal, Metal Halide 175W X2, dual Eheim 2228, CO2 with an external reactor. Lights on 10hrs/day, airstone at night. RO+tapwater mix for 7.3pH, 4° KH sits for ~5days before WC, temps usually 77-80°F

BioMass:
Moderately heavy planted, med-high fishload. Many new plants added last week with some more coming today. Fishload was significantly increased a few days ago. I'm getting ready to move into a 215gal, and got the fish because the LFS had an awesome sale and I'm impatient.

Chemistry:
I lost an Apisto to what appeared to be dropsy. He began looking bad over the past week or so, just before adding the new stock. Last night I broke out the chemistry set.
ph 6.3
KH 6°
CO2 at 90ppm, but fish are fine
GH 7°
NH3/NH4 0mg/l
NO2 >.3mg/l
NO3 75mg/l (Tetra test kit)
NO3 5mg/l (Hagen test kit)
PO4 >5mg/l (Hagen test kit)
The only thing I learned from the tests only confirmed what I already knew-- I don't like/trust testing! Look at the difference in the two NO3 readings for example. All of my test kits are pretty old.

Dosing Regimen:
Sa 50%Water Change
1.5tsp KN03, .25tsp KH2PO4, 30ml Tropica, 5ml Flourish Fe.
Su, Mo, We
1.5tsp KNO3, .24tsp KH2PO4
Tu, Th
30ml Tropica, 5ml Flourish Fe
Fr
none


Am I dosing too much/little? Should I increase water changes temporarily until moving into the larger tank?

thanks for reading,
Isaac
 
Z

zeek

Guest
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Spar said:
how do you like your MHL (HQI) lighting unit?


You haven't heard much about Metal Halide? Guess the expense keeps some away, but they are very effective! This is especially true at greater depths, such as >18". I've got a pair of the old IceCAP pendants, black square-ish things. Not the most attractive but not too bad either. In my larger aquarium I'm going to incorporate three of them into a full hood to hang over the aquarium.
Gives great light. Expensive to operate (electricity) and lots of heat is produced (more electricity to cool the house down), but it's worth it in my opinion!

Thanks for the advice on the dosing. I guess I'll keep it up, minus the Fe and traces at water changes.
Isaac
 

Spar

Guru Class Expert
Jun 5, 2005
123
0
16
41
Dallas, TX
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

zeek said:
You haven't heard much about Metal Halide? Guess the expense keeps some away, but they are very effective! This is especially true at greater depths, such as >18". I've got a pair of the old IceCAP pendants, black square-ish things. Not the most attractive but not too bad either. In my larger aquarium I'm going to incorporate three of them into a full hood to hang over the aquarium.
Gives great light. Expensive to operate (electricity) and lots of heat is produced (more electricity to cool the house down), but it's worth it in my opinion!

Thanks for the advice on the dosing. I guess I'll keep it up, minus the Fe and traces at water changes.
Isaac

my tank is a paludarium, and 30" from top to bottom (although most is just open space). I was thinking it would help the depth issue. The lighting unit is $310, but I can sell my 2 dual-light-ballasts and the single light ballast on top of the tank now and get a good chunk of that back.
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
113
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

The issue at this point is that you have a nice established algae biomass.

The parameters can be good and both can co exist, till you go in and remove the algae that's there.

So spend the time to go through and uproot, clean, prune, harass the algae, then do a water change right away, wait 1-2 days, pick and clean again(no uprooting though), wipe glass good , clean equipment, one filter(do the other the following week), and keep after the algae for a little while.
BBA infected leaves: trim them.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Spar

Guru Class Expert
Jun 5, 2005
123
0
16
41
Dallas, TX
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Tom Barr said:
The issue at this point is that you have a nice established algae biomass.

The parameters can be good and both can co exist, till you go in and remove the algae that's there.

So spend the time to go through and uproot, clean, prune, harass the algae, then do a water change right away, wait 1-2 days, pick and clean again(no uprooting though), wipe glass good , clean equipment, one filter(do the other the following week), and keep after the algae for a little while.
BBA infected leaves: trim them.

Regards,
Tom Barr

would utilizing an UV Sterilizer benefit during this part?
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
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Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Won't hurt. If you have one, run it during that time, but you do not need go and get one for this.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

georgiadawgger

Junior Poster
Jan 23, 2005
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1
46
Arlington, VA
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Tom Barr said:
The issue at this point is that you have a nice established algae biomass.

The parameters can be good and both can co exist, till you go in and remove the algae that's there.

So spend the time to go through and uproot, clean, prune, harass the algae, then do a water change right away, wait 1-2 days, pick and clean again(no uprooting though), wipe glass good , clean equipment, one filter(do the other the following week), and keep after the algae for a little while.
BBA infected leaves: trim them.

Regards,
Tom Barr

I completely agree...algae will not magically disappear...you have to get in there and remove it :) Once the parameters get back on track...the algae should not REappear.
 
Z

zeek

Guest
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Spar said:
all seems perfect with your dosing regime.


OOPS! I just realized I put tsp instead of tbsp for the KNO3...
Also increased the PO4 and Fe. Plants were not as red as I'd like.


Dosing Regimen:
Sa 50% Water Change 1.5tbsp KN03, .5tsp KH2PO4
Su, Mo, We 1.5tbsp KNO3, .5tsp KH2PO4
Tu, Th 30ml Tropica, 10ml Flourish Fe
Fr none

too much KNO3? Plants are really growing well. Plant biomass is high now, since my AquariumPlants.com order came in a few days ago.



Isaac
 

Spar

Guru Class Expert
Jun 5, 2005
123
0
16
41
Dallas, TX
Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

yes, that is way too much KNO3. Drop off the "b" and dose as teaspoons instead.

i.e. 1.5tsp 3x per week
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
747
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Re: EI: Algae still persistant, plant growth improving

Common mistake, but you caught it.

I mixed up K2SO4 and KNO3, so do not feel bad!

Regards,
Tom Barr