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Green Dust Algae on the glass. UV?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Whiskey, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Hello all!

    I have an aquarium that is closing in on a year old now in it's current state. It is a 30G tall, with 1X55W PC lighting, and a 18W T8 NO. It is CO2 injected, levels are good, lots of flow fertilized based on the EI method, water changes are done every week and my plants are healthy, and growing well.

    I have had algae issues, actually more than I"ve ever had in the past, this tank has turned out to be quite the learning experience, but they've all been dealt with except for one. The Green Dust Algae.

    I will scrape the glass, and the next day the algae is visable, by the second day every pane of glass is green. Then I scrape again and the cycle repeats.

    I understand that this algae is spore caused, so I've tried doing 100% water changes, getting everything as clean as possible, and not letting any of it back into the water column, and that helped,.. but always on day 3 it was back.

    I just got done installing a UV filter in hopes of fighting the spores 24/7. Is there anything else I can do to help increase my chances of battling this nuisance back?

    Thanks for your help!
    Whiskey
     
  2. dbazuin

    dbazuin Guru Class Expert

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    Increase PO4.
    I did and the glass stays clean.
     
  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Don't touch it for 3 weeks. This way the algae completes it's lifecycle. Then scrape and change water.

    Also flow against the glass and less light against the glass helps.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  4. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    More kh2po4 and maybe reduce lighting period to eight hours. Maybe not use the 18 watt bulb.
     
  5. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I stayed on top of mine by doing a 3 day brownout during which I used a UV light 24/7, did two 50% water changes per day and dosed excel's water change day recommendation after every water change (5ml per 10 gallons). At the end of the 3 days, the GDA was all but gone. I dose excel now and keep the light at a 7 hour photoperiod. This seems to keep mine in check.

    I though PO4 was a way to prevent GSA, not GDA.
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    True.

    I'm doing an experiment with GDA at the moment. I happened to discover that in a week that my nitrates were more than 50 ppm, GDA was 75% less. The week after that nitrates were lower and it was back again. This week I'm repeating this to see if the effect repeates itself, or that it was based on coincidence. If high PO4 can stop GSA, maybe high NO3 stops GDA. We'll see.


    regards,
    dutchy
     
  7. dbazuin

    dbazuin Guru Class Expert

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    dutchie@ I had GDA but the last few weeks it stays very clean. I thought it was the increase of PO4 but I also increased the NO3.
    After I increased the levels I had some GSA but that also seems to be gone now.

    Interesting stuff huh :)
     
  8. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Hmmm,.. It's interesting you say that. My P04 always seems to be good, but in this tank I've noticed that the NO3 seems to run a hair on the low side, at around 15PPM. I've never done anything about it because that's not limiting, but maybe it's contributing to my issue? How high are you guys talking?

    Whiskey
     
  9. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I'm testing with NO3 of around 50 ppm this week. Of course I'm not sure, that's why I'm trying to see if it's reproducable. If it is, someone else could try to see if works in another tank.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  10. dbazuin

    dbazuin Guru Class Expert

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    I add three times 10 ppm a week.
    So I guess it is between 30 and 40

    We need someone with lots of GDA to test it I think.
     
  11. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    I just tested my water,.. today is my water change day so this should be the peak for the week.
    My PO4 is 10+ PPM
    My NO3 is 15-20 PPM

    This is not unusual for my aquariam, I actually dose a little under on PO4 and a little over on NO3 to work toward correcting this, but I haven't gone far enough yet.

    So! Starting today after my water change I am going to double dose NO3 while leaving everything else the same.
    It won't be conclusive becuase I plan to leave the UV running, but it should be intresting. I'll report back my observations.

    Thanks!
    Whiskey
     
  12. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    P.S.

    I add 2X 10+ PPM per week, but I'm unable to keep much more than 10 ppm in the tank by weeks end.

    I'll now be adding 2X 20+ ppm. Along with the other EI stuff, Flourish Iron, and a touch of excel because you never know.

    Whiskey
     
  13. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Dutchy,

    That's very interesting. I'll be sure to follow your results. GDA can be a real nuisance. My method (3-day brown out, 2x per day >50% water changes, excel 5ml per 10 gallons, and UV) seemed to work, but I did get some residual GDA, which I have kept in check via excel and 7 hour photoperiods.

    My tank is virtually GDA free, but it wasn't without a fight!

    Keep us posted, please.

    -Matt
     
  14. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I can already tell you that high NO3 doesn't help against GDA. Of course I know about the things that help but it's just that I would like to find something the makes it easy to get rid of it. Back to the drawing board :(

    Probably Tom could have told us right away and is laughing his socks off. ;)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  15. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    That's good to know,.. I'm still going to continue with the higher NO3 dosing just because I'd like my NO3 to track a little higher, but I won't expect it to help my GDA.

    So far it seems that my UV is helping,.. but my other problem is back,.. when I dose iron it makes my tank go all white. (that's why I took the UV off in the first place) Now I have the UV on all night, but not during the day. My hope is that will help fight back the spores, while still allowing me to dose Iron in the morning and have the tank remain clear.

    I'll keep this thread updated.
    Whiskey
     
  16. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    I wanted to bring this thread back to report progress.

    The changes I made were to increase the NO3 level, it always tracked around 10-20 and is now tracking more like 20-40. Neither should be limiting though, and was dis-proven earlier in the thread that NO3 makes any significant difference.

    I also added a UV running 24/7.

    I got back from a 3 day vacation last night, and there is just a barely visible dusting on the glass that you can only see when viewing the tank sideways. When I started this thread you could see that much algae in just a few hours.

    It's not perfect yet, but I'm happy to report that my tank is definitively on the right track!
    Whiskey
     
  17. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I think an UV makes a difference as it will certainly kill some zoospores swimming around, but it willl never eliminate GSA completely as not all the spores will pass through the UV. Some will swim right back against the glass.

    Other things like less light, more flow and higher CO2 also help.

    The do not touch method never worked for me.

    Regards,
    Dutchy.
     
  18. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    I just thought of something else that is worth a mention.

    For the first time ever this tank is going on it's third week without a water change. Typically I change 80% on Sunday morning just before the C02 kicks in, but this weekend I was out of town, and last weekend I was busy with an urgent repair that ate my weekend.

    My walls always got green the fastest right after a water change. I don't know if this is related but I'm tempted to let the tank ride this week out and see what happens.

    Whiskey
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have little doubt that different folks have pretty wide observations, success rates here with this alga.

    I assume these observations to all be true.

    So what do we know?

    Well, some have similar CO2, NO3, PO4 etc........

    Co2 is tricky, but........Mg might have some bearing.

    General care, momentum of growth etc........also might have a chance at the issue.

    These are fairly easy to test and check, add more slowly and progressively and see.

    I do not think UV is going to help much, these thigns can swim and they swim fast and anchor where there is light.
     
  20. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Hello all!

    I was looking through the board and came across this old post of mine, figured it was worth an update.

    A few months ago my UV died - just stopped putting out light. I didn't bother to try and figure out why, these things are expensive to buy, expensive to repair, and though it seemed to make a small dent in the algae, it didn't come close to solving the issue, and it made my water go all cloudy right after I added Iron, so I simply unplugged it.

    Increasing various levels had varying results, but nothing really solved it. Leaving it alone didn't turn out to be the miracle cure either.

    I still have the algae, but not nearly as bad as I once did, I clean the glass about twice a week, and I can live with that. There are a number of things that can make it worse though and I think those are worth mentioning.

    Getting the tank badly out of balance in one direction or another fert wise makes it worse; however this usually happens because one fert is limited and the others aren't being used, so it could be from the overdose, or the stunted growth.

    Cleaning all the filters at once, or badly disturbing the substrate seems to make it worse.

    Doing huge water changes and jerking the tank around seems to make it worse,.. I went from 80% per week to more like 25% and this helped.

    Waiting too long to put in root tabs makes it worse,.. probably because this stunts the growth of my crypts especially and they make up about half the plants in the tank.

    In the end,.. keeping the tank stable, and the plants growing well is what has helped keep this algae at bay,.. I'd love for it to go away completely, but at least it's easy to scrape off.

    Whiskey
     
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