Green Dust Algae: please help!

Matt F.

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Ever since I reduced my CO2 from 5-6 bps in an ADA 60P down to nearly 2 bps, I haven't had a GDA problem. I've also kept my photoperiod to 7.5 hours. Doing two water changes per week >50%. No EI, but a well stocked tank. I've also added stems (L. Arcuata, P.erectrus, Ludwigia Red, L. Vietnam, and Araguaia). This has kept m tank GDA free. Plant growth is doing well, too. Lifting the light from 12--->16" wasn't enough. Reducing CO2 and eliminating ferts in this tank did the trick. Adding more plant biomass is also key. Prior to this, I only had E. Belem planted in this tank. I was irresponsible with how much gas I was adding into the equation. Now that I've backed off, there hasn't been an increase in algae of any kind. there is actually less. The addition of stems (forgot to mention I'm growing HM, too) cements this. Balancing nutrients, light, and [email protected] with biomass is important. Not sure why the extra gas is so significant with GDA, though. But there seems to be a real link.

It's just another option in addition to good algae eaters at Tom mentioned (BNP, etc.).
 
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Matt F.

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I don't know for sure, but it seems like you're able to dial things in almost intuitively. You have great plant biomass, you have the appropriate amount of light and gas, and you have a good algae clean-up crew.
In my case, I think I was overdoing EVERYTHING (too much gas, too many nutrients, too much light, too little plant biomass, too few fish and inverts). I'm not sure as to which of these is the cause (I'm guessing all of them contributed to my GDA problem), but now that I have adjusted the light from 12--->16" above the water surface, reduced CO2 significantly (at least the injection part, not sure about water column levels), increased plant biomass significantly (by adding lots of stems), cut out adding the ferts, increased the fish and shrimp load, and kept the photoperiod to 7.5 hours with two water changes per week, the GDA hasn't made an appearance. I can go one week without any GDA.

Let's see if I can maintain this for a longer period of time w/o ferts. Right now the plant growth/health is doing well. But my ADA aquasoil is fairly new.


Tom Barr;122583 said:
So why don't I have or get GDA in my tanks?
 

fablau

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Yeah, I think having a good substrate, still plenty of nutrients , is key in your case. In my case, my tank is 5 years old and most substrate nutrients are gone, so I have to dose the water column a big deal to balance. Fert tabs are not sufficient, not for me. But in your case, what you wrote, makes sense to me.
 

Matt F.

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You can always try backing off CO2 to see if this makes a difference. What is the worst that can happen? FWIW, I also started to add carbon and purigen to my filter.

fablau;122593 said:
Yeah, I think having a good substrate, still plenty of nutrients , is key in your case. In my case, my tank is 5 years old and most substrate nutrients are gone, so I have to dose the water column a big deal to balance. Fert tabs are not sufficient, not for me. But in your case, what you wrote, makes sense to me.

- - - Updated - - -

You can always try backing off CO2 to see if this makes a difference. What is the worst that can happen? FWIW, I also started to add carbon and purigen to my filter.

fablau;122593 said:
Yeah, I think having a good substrate, still plenty of nutrients , is key in your case. In my case, my tank is 5 years old and most substrate nutrients are gone, so I have to dose the water column a big deal to balance. Fert tabs are not sufficient, not for me. But in your case, what you wrote, makes sense to me.
 

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Matt F.;122586 said:
I don't know for sure, but it seems like you're able to dial things in almost intuitively. You have great plant biomass, you have the appropriate amount of light and gas, and you have a good algae clean-up crew.
In my case, I think I was overdoing EVERYTHING (too much gas, too many nutrients, too much light, too little plant biomass, too few fish and inverts). I'm not sure as to which of these is the cause (I'm guessing all of them contributed to my GDA problem), but now that I have adjusted the light from 12--->16" above the water surface, reduced CO2 significantly (at least the injection part, not sure about water column levels), increased plant biomass significantly (by adding lots of stems), cut out adding the ferts, increased the fish and shrimp load, and kept the photoperiod to 7.5 hours with two water changes per week, the GDA hasn't made an appearance. I can go one week without any GDA.

Let's see if I can maintain this for a longer period of time w/o ferts. Right now the plant growth/health is doing well. But my ADA aquasoil is fairly new.


My CO2 ppm's are 45 in the lower light tank up to 70 ppm in others.
This is measured using 2-3 methods. Then comparing. I wasted 3 batches of dry ice doing the dry ice reference method.
New ADA AS= you really do not need much for hair grass as far as ferts, or a few stems.

Rather than chasing thy tail, measuring carefully the tanks that provide falsification, that provide good examples of optimal plant health..this is what folks should focus on testing.
Then you have a comparative baseline, a standard reference to compare to.
I use the plants as my test kit, but if you don't know what optimal plant growth and health looks like.......well.........sort of tough then.
So my test tend to be done after things are going nice.

This way if I use a test kit, I know what range I should be at.
Or if I see data, assuming that it's correct, I can tell quickly if it's something I can falsify and rule out as a cause.

I think unlike most Algae discussions, I put forth more hypothesis as to why they grow, how to test and measure things than just about anyone else I've ever met or seen on line.
And when I do this, I'm not looking to find the root cause most of the time, I'm just looking to rule out the more likely causes.

So Green water via NH4, seems to work still also, but NH4 alone does not seem to be the root cause, so this is false.
I am tentatively accepting of organic matter loading being a potential cause for BBA, COD or BOD could be used to measure general trends.
So it might not be entirely CO2, but.............95% of the algaes I've seen over 20+ years, CO2 related.

Sometimes it's just general care. Sometimes it's the filters and the need to clean, too much degassing, or not enough, KH is not all bicarb, always something.
And I get burnt a lot with CO2.

CO2 Tank runs out and now that I have a toddler, I have to keep the tanks under the cabinets out of sight. So smaller gas tanks and less likely to check the pressures etc.
Client's often can be out for a week at a time.

Automated Water changes mitigate CO2 issues on those client's with that set up.
Other client's missed tank run outs? BBA, plant responses, you see it over and over and over.

Not really intuitive, and my other tanks are low biomass, few algae eaters etc, the 70 Gallon Buce tank example.
The older version with hair grass had virtually no plant biomass.

So that's an exact tit for tat example for your same tank. Soil was older, tank was a 70 Gallon vs yours at 17 Gallon, but the same tap water, good lighting(50 umols at the grass), I use a wet/dry filter, CO2 mist etc, frequent water changes.
Rarely had any algae issues.

Sideview70gal_zps55333961.jpg


Today


Let's show the hair grass:









Gerry's 220 is another example, new ADA, nice filter, water changes done a lot in the start. Same plant and even less biomass.
If Gerry can do it, so can you.

I've been telling folks for near 20 years that more ferts = not the cause of algae.
It's been falsified 10,000X, but folks still fall for it.

Many other issues can be causing the problems. But..........I can say with certainty, what is not causing the algae independent of other factors.
That dependency is the root issue for you and others falling for this. You fix that and give in to focus of growing plants, then none of that monkey business is needed.
Plants get nicer and larger, you can prune aggressively, the 120 is a high light example, the 70 Gallon is a moderate to low light example with the opposite type plants(slow growth Rhenophytes vs high growth rate aquatic weeds).
The 180 is the most resistant tank I have. It can get mucked up and take a beating, but does well. Neither tanks have any issues. I've taken plants and algae infested cuttings from other folks, added it, it does not survive. So I'm certainly getting repeated exposure of the pest algae. But it does not establish or colonize and spread.

No tricks, no magic potions. I can certainly get away with less dosing on the 70 Gallon Buce tank, less light, less demanding plants for the ferts.
I cannot get away with that much abuse on the 120 however. But the tank pays for itself well also. So the labor and trimming = significant $.
 

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Matt F.;122596 said:
You can always try backing off CO2 to see if this makes a difference. What is the worst that can happen? FWIW, I also started to add carbon and purigen to my filter.



Your nice tank has BBA instead of GDA which does not bother the plants much.
I've spent plenty of time tweaking CO2 carefully. Degassing and mist and other issues can cause problems.
Observational knowledge is also a key part.

Something as simple as cleaning the filter more frequently if you have canister might be the root issue for some folks.
Others might have been winging it, then do a big clean out, water changes etc, then reduce the CO2 with a number of other changes.

I've just not seen evidence for algae appearing from too much CO2.
Fish issues yes, but never algae.
 

fablau

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Not sure about that, I have just moved into EI, and I am afraid to lower Co2 right now... Maybe later on, once I see things stabilizing, I will try to reduce both ferts and co2 to reduce water changes.
 

Matt F.

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I think I'll try EI dosing and leave everything else in my tank the same. My tank is stable now w/o GDA. My hunch is that the addition of extra ferts will NOT induce algae. I have no doubt that you are right about that. I'd really like to know the root cause of GDA. Right now my tank (one that was infected with GDA) is no longer suffering from it. This follows a reduction in CO2 injection (specifically 5/6 bps ------> almost 2 bps). I wonder why this is. I'm not seeing any deficiencies in the plant, yet. Growth is good and healthy.

Tom Barr;122602 said:
Your nice tank has BBA instead of GDA which does not bother the plants much.
I've spent plenty of time tweaking CO2 carefully. Degassing and mist and other issues can cause problems.
Observational knowledge is also a key part.

Something as simple as cleaning the filter more frequently if you have canister might be the root issue for some folks.
Others might have been winging it, then do a big clean out, water changes etc, then reduce the CO2 with a number of other changes.

I've just not seen evidence for algae appearing from too much CO2.
Fish issues yes, but never algae.

- - - Updated - - -

I think I'll try EI dosing and leave everything else in my tank the same. My tank is stable now w/o GDA. My hunch is that the addition of extra ferts will NOT induce algae. I have no doubt that you are right about that. I'd really like to know the root cause of GDA. Right now my tank (one that was infected with GDA) is no longer suffering from it. This follows a reduction in CO2 injection (specifically 5/6 bps ------> almost 2 bps). I wonder why this is. I'm not seeing any deficiencies in the plant, yet. Growth is good and healthy.

Tom Barr;122602 said:
Your nice tank has BBA instead of GDA which does not bother the plants much.
I've spent plenty of time tweaking CO2 carefully. Degassing and mist and other issues can cause problems.
Observational knowledge is also a key part.

Something as simple as cleaning the filter more frequently if you have canister might be the root issue for some folks.
Others might have been winging it, then do a big clean out, water changes etc, then reduce the CO2 with a number of other changes.

I've just not seen evidence for algae appearing from too much CO2.
Fish issues yes, but never algae.
 

Tom Barr

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If the CO2 is truly optimal and non limiting, independent, then adding ferts should NEVER induce any algae.
If so, then you have dependence going on somewhere. Something needs looked at and can be improved.

Some hedge and go well, "I cannot figure it out, so I'll just limit ferts and live with it"
I understand that attitude, but it's not advice I suggest or give.
You can garden better by not doing that.

2 bps sec, I think I ran about 3 bps when I have the 60p running. That was good for my own tanks back then.
So given the size and issues with the BPS measurements, I think that's well within the same ranges.
 

Matt F.

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For those of you with GDA problems, do you dose either glutaraldehyde or Seachem Excel (or the equivalent) on a regular basis?
 

gsjmia

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Matt F.;125424 said:
Ever since I reduced my CO2 from 5-6 bps in an ADA 60P down to nearly 2 bps, I haven't had a GDA problem. I've also kept my photoperiod to 7.5 hours. Doing two water changes per week >50%. No EI, but a well stocked tank. I've also added stems (L. Arcuata, P.erectrus, Ludwigia Red, L. Vietnam, and Araguaia). This has kept m tank GDA free. Plant growth is doing well, too. Lifting the light from 12--->16" wasn't enough. Reducing CO2 and eliminating ferts in this tank did the trick. Adding more plant biomass is also key. Prior to this, I only had E. Belem planted in this tank. I was irresponsible with how much gas I was adding into the equation. Now that I've backed off, there hasn't been an increase in algae of any kind. there is actually less. The addition of stems (forgot to mention I'm growing HM, too) cements this. Balancing nutrients, light, and [email protected] with biomass is important. Not sure why the extra gas is so significant with GDA, though. But there seems to be a real link.


Matt, you wrote the above back in January 29, 2014, is it still true about no GDA at that BPS rate?
 

Matt F.

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Good to know, so Tom's method of dealing with GDA works. I concur that excel has no effect on GDA, and actually might increase its growth rate. I'll see after this week. I was able to control GDA for months without BN Plecos. Now that I started EI dosing, bumping the CO2 and dosing Excel regularly, the GDA has come back. Lighting and other variables has stayed the same. Last week I cut the ferts. and CO2, and the GDA came back despite these shifts. I'm eliminating the Glutaraldehyde this week. Already I see far less GDA growth, and the tank seems to be normalizing again. I haven't given up trying to figure GDA out.
 

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Why not use algae eaters? You use shrimp, so does Amano, so do most top scapers etc.
Better them than you, they also do other work and clean other surfaces.

Seems this is a better approach to screw ups and a more balanced biological ecosystem approach to weed, pest management.

BTW I've back checked the GDA and bushy nose plecos 3-4 times now, removing them and then having GDA appear again in the client's tank.
There'as a number of pleco type fish that will perform well though, not just baby Bushy nose. I suggested them since they are cheap, small and available.

But there's arguing they do not work, they do.

20$ worth of fish will solve 90% of GDA issues.
 

Tom Barr

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Why not use algae eaters? You use shrimp, so does Amano, so do most top scapers etc.
Better them than you, they also do other work and clean other surfaces.

Seems this is a better approach to screw ups and a more balanced biological ecosystem approach to weed, pest management.

BTW I've back checked the GDA and bushy nose plecos 3-4 times now, removing them and then having GDA appear again in the client's tank.
There'as a number of pleco type fish that will perform well though, not just baby Bushy nose. I suggested them since they are cheap, small and available.

But there's arguing they do not work, they do.

20$ worth of fish will solve 90% of GDA issues.
 

Matt F.

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I didn't have GDA for months using the "less is more" method. Then I decided to add EI ferts. and bump the CO2 up a little. The GDA started to come back again. So now I'm back down to no ferts and
 
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yme

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Why then do my stems stop growing and GDA proliferate when I add EI levels of ferts and increase the gas? I'm stumped.

I feel your suffering! I am there as well... always stunting of rotala/pogostemon/ammannia species with EI.
In a recent post (which didn't get reply), I stated my water parameters that were measured by ICP-MS (yeah, the real stuff!).

here you have them again:

direct after WC 6 days after
B 0,217 0,340
Cu 0,246 0,317
Fe 0,276 0,631
Mo 0,007 0,012
Mn 0,004 0,004
Zn 0,046 0,074

P 0,40614 0,531
Mg 11,356 14,039
Ca 38,255 48,071
K 21,116 23,117
N ?? from just normal lamotte testkits:20-40 ppm NO3

plants receive 170-200 umol for 3,5 hours and 50 umol for about 5 hours (see the posts in my "tank" thread in advanced strategies and fertilization)

CO2 is 65 ppm, measured by a oxyguard CO2 probe.

2 weeks ago I got the ICP-MS results and decided to add more Mn, as that was the only element that was on the low side.... so far: no results... still stunting. (and some BGA in the tips of the plants, especially the syngonanthus belem an the l. pantanal)

so: I am REALLY at a loss. ALL parameters are now in right range and the plants are not really happy...

If someone has a solution???? HELP!!

yme
 

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Matt F.;125550 said:
Coincidentally, I have an emersed grow out tank on my desk (by a window). I recently added a lot of KNO3 and KH2PO4, and the tank developed a thick layer of GDA on the surface of the water--where the water meets the glass. Apparently I induced GDA growth in an emersed tank by adding macros and nothing else. the rest of the year, this tank is maintained the same way. I was doing 12 hour photoperiods prior to the addition of the ferts with NO GDA. In all fairness, ambient light has been more direct recently due to the location of the window, but the GDA decided to grow only after the addition of the macros.

Just a random thought... Have you tried ferts from a different source? I had a mysterious issue a while back where a bad jar of re-mineralizer caused a bunch of headaches that went away after switching to a different kind. It would be inexpensive to try.
 

reef12

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I watched the plants grow fast as soon as I stopped the Excel,almost doubled.

But have none of that GDA I do have places where algae will form, But I just remove it when I see it.

Have noticed no other effects, I do dose everyday ,with a skip date.

Some plants seem to not grow as fast maybe, still a trial and error process I think.

One thing I do want to try, is to back down the co2 on the 75, about 6 to 8 now I think, will kick it back to 4 to 5 and see what happens.

As about as much as the 125 and a lot more plants in it.

Yep Trial and error I guess, nothing actually will be same as somebody else's, as to water quality and all taken into consideration.

Keep at it and post more pics.

Jeff