Green Beard Algae and massive phosphate levels!

Doctorp

Junior Poster
May 3, 2007
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I recently planted my 55 gallon tank with a low tech setup. 1.75 WPG of CF lighting, fracted clay substrate and low light plants. One week after planting I have a massive amount of green beard algae. It's growing fast and starting to cover some plants. It rubs off easily by hand and my Florida Flag Fish eats it but can't keep up. Here's how I'm running my tank and specs.

10 hours Lighting per day
78 degrees fahrenheit
Eheim Pro II 2028 Canister Filter
Ph - 6.8
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 7 ppm
Kh - 2 degrees
GH - 9 degrees
Phosphate - 10+ ppm

Dosing every other day with Natural Aquarium Vital and did one dose of Tropica Master Grow after planting. No Co2 supplementation, low water movement.

What are your recommendations on dosing or combatting my algae issues. I'm assuming the phosphates have to be part of the problem and know that they didn't come from my tap water (2ppm) but may have came from the PH buffer that was in my tank before I planted it.

Thank you from a newbie!
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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Your first step should be to calibrate your test kits, so you know that a 10 ppm phosphate reading really means something, and the same with the nitrate kit. Only then can you figure out, by testing, what could be a problem.
 

Mooner

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Jun 9, 2006
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My low light tanks use T8's with AH reflectors and some have cheap T12 shop lighting

I have Excel tanks with CF's and they do quite well. CF's are to much for a low tech tank. Consider using Excel or reduce to T8-T12 lighting.

Also, go light on the fertz in your low tech tank. A little goes a long way.

Good luck,
Chris
 

Laith

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And in my opinion it would probably help to stop using the Vital stuff. Never used it myself but the description I've seen screams "snake oil" (as do most of the descriptions of the Marc Weiss products :p ).

Snake Oil
 

Doctorp

Junior Poster
May 3, 2007
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Hmmm..good to hear about the Vital... I'll have to go pick up some Flourish. I did figure out what was the cause of the phosphates. I did a comparison test between my tap water and my tap water with some of Seachem's PH Equalizer.

The difference in results was huge so that would explain the phosphate levels in my tank as I've used the Equalizer for awhile plus I put some in with my last water change. I've stopped using it and will have to do some PWC's to get the level down to a plant friendly level.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Even if you have 10ppm of PO4, assuming a correct test kit, how is that detrimental to fish, plants or algae?

Unless it's limiting/low, it's not an issue, pretty much like K+.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Doctorp

Junior Poster
May 3, 2007
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The review of the test kits is interesting as I have been using the API one. I'll have to look for one online as my LFS don't carry them. Well I'm off for a week to Arizona hoping that my tank will survive without any ferts as I don't trust any of my neighbors to take care of it for me. Wish me luck! :D