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Green Dust Algae: please help!

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by fablau, May 9, 2012.

  1. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I know I'm prob going to get some resistance on this idea, but it seems like high CO2 tanks get GDA. I, too, am free of all other algae. I run high CO2 and EI ferts. The only algae I get is CO2. COuld GDA thrive on higher cO2? All the tanks I have had with High CO2 have gotten GDA (the Mini-M, the 55 Gallon, and now the 60P).

    According to my bubble counter (ADA glass thingy), I'm injecting 5-6 bps in a 17 gallon tank. Not sure the actual ppm. Plenty of flow (eheim 2217, ada vuppa).
     
  2. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I just reduced my co2 bps by half (2-3 bps in a 17 gallon--was 5-6 bps), which looks a bit more like what Aquar Forest Aquarium's injection rate.. I notice that AFA tanks do not have GDA.
    I'll keep it there for the next 3 weeks to see if it influences the GDA growth. SHould see either an increase or a decrease in GDA in the next few days.
     
  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Or is this because high CO2 tanks also have high light?
     
  4. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not sure if the ADA MH fixtures are considered high light. There has been some conflicting reports. I should borrow the local club's PAR meter and test my fixture.

    I've gotten GDA in three tanks with three different lighting systems. The first was a Mini-M with the Mini-Solar M (27 watt CFL). The second was a Tek T5HO fixture with 4 Geisemann bulbs. The third is lit with a 150 watt MH fixture (ADA Solar 1).

    In all these tanks I've dosed EI, had higher light, and rich CO2. I've also wondered about the high co2/ gda relationship. In higher co2 water systems, there is generally less algae growth on plants, but who is to say that there isn't GDA growth on the rocks in the system?

    I don't remember having a GDA problem before in two other tanks (a 10 gallon and a 20 gallon) with T5HO. In those tanks I did not dose EI and used less CO2.
     
    #104 Matt F., Aug 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2012
  5. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I have had reports of tanks develop GDA after starting EI. But this can be a consequence of unlimiting nutrients. Limiting N and/or P also limits GDA. So people told me they got great plant growth and no algae after starting EI, but GDA started to develop. This makes it seem independent of good plant growth.
     
  6. Forumsnow

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    The only gda I have in my tank is right next to my in tank diffuser on the side of the aquarium. This area is also partially shaded by driftwood so the whole high co2 may have something to it. Could be that the powerhead is right above it to though.
     
  7. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've essentially cut my co2 injection rate in half, so we'll see what happens in the next few weeks. I'll still dose EI, maintain the 5 hour photoperiod, and do a biweekly water change.

    I'm not saying that CO2, EI, or high light is the direct cause of GDA development, but we know little about their relationship with GDA development.

    Just saw on the news that there is a fast growing algae that loves CO2 and multiplies 4 times every 24 hours. It feeds on CO2 and thrives in high light environments, but it looks more like what we call "green water." I wonder if what we call GDA is related to this strain. The reproduction rates are similar. They both grow very fast, and like the same environments (rich co2 and high light).
     
    #107 Matt F., Aug 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2012
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd have to say my tanks falsify this claim resoundingly.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    They clean the tanks daily before people come in.
    It's work effort.
    Light is relatively low as well.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    BTW, the client's tank has lower PAR than the AFA tanks(any of them) and got GDA.

    Another one easy to falsify given what you know and have done with light already.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    How come I do not get GDA in my tanks?
    I have more light and higher CO2, these things should induce/contribute etc and I have my hands in tanks with GDA, Caldophora, several hair algae, etc etc etc.

    Not only do they not get it, they are extremely resistant to algae generally. Even with 2-5x the fish load you and AFA have.
    And I feed the tank well.

    Another issue is that I have not one or two tanks, but 5 and then several client tanks, the one only recently got GDA, but that seems to be nothing more than new tank start up issues.
    These are small tanks that you have and degassing and daily care routines might the issue.
    With 5 tanks, if one or two are not doing well, I can rule out things like light or ferts.

    I have some statistics.

    Often times, like Green water, you simply have to kill what is there and break the cycle, rather than some environmental cue.
    Once you do, it will not come back, UV is effective for GW but if you try light, cO2 and ferts, none of that will work if you return to high light/CO2.

    I'm not sure UV will help much with GDA, but maybe internal micron cartridge might get some, and then clean that, or a diatom filter plus cleaning the glass a lot and such.
    Never had GDA long enough to test too much. I've attacked it real aggressively, which worked, and then left it alone for awhile, both worked for me.

    So does that imply all my tanks should be copied because I lack GDA? No, same deal at AFA, it's likely something else, maybe just good routine care/cleaning.
     
  12. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I wish I could answer your question, Tom. ;)
    Is there a CO2 saturation point where plants simply can't process any more co2--meaning they become max'd out and CO2 becomes unlimiting?
    I guess what I am trying to ask: Is there ever a time when there is a CO2 surplus in our systems...the plants have enough to grow, and there is a high ppm of co2 left in the tank? Would this gas hypothetically be available to certain types of algae?
    We see BBA with low or fluctuating co2 levels and most other forms of algae with lower co2...
    Hypothetically, could GDA be an algae that thrives in a tank high ppms of carbon dioxide?

    Didn't major in chemistry or physics, so go easy on me. FWIW I don't think Ferts are at play here, but I'm not able to do any actual tests.Just going off experience in my one "system."

     
    #112 Matt F., Aug 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2012
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Matt,

    Yes, but that's a different point based on 1: the plant species chosen

    and

    2. The light intensity used.

    Obviously with less light, the demand for CO2 will be lower and it's a non linear function/relationship.

    Algae, including this species, are not CO2 limited in any system, so adding more will not induce algae. their demand for CO2 is about 100-200X less than plants. Even larger celled colonial species are very very low CO2 demand and also macro algae in marine systems see little benefit from CO2 enrichment.
    We add CO2 only for the plants.

    Coontail might only need 10-20ppm to saturate and max out, Erio Type 3 might need 50ppm.
    Coontail's been tested, and onl;y 6-7 species have.......but we have some 400 in the hobby, even the 4-7 we do have research on, they are all very different in fact in terms of light and CO2 demand.

    I think it is VERY tempting to see one tank and think well they do not have it, there must be something to it. But we must be careful and see if there are other examples at the other end that falsify the issues/hypothesis.
    This way you spend your time focusing on the unknown rather than repeating the same old crap that does not work.

    "Why did EI work for you for 3-4 years, then suddenly?"

    It's obvious that it worked well.........so you know it was something other than the dosing.
    But many will still blaming the dosing.

    If you can net out of the inverts, and keep them a small tank, you might try the algaefix, might be worth it to try anyway.

    I have no idea if it works for GDA or not.........but in light of other options to test.........
    If it was my tank, I'd leave it be, then attack the snot out of it later. And not stop and clean and tweak.

    It will submit.

    I have a pH meter and maybe you can see the CO2 issue a bit perhaps.
     
  14. Forumsnow

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    I added algaefix this morning and it did nothing for the gda in the short run. I say this because it NUKED the GSA I had. But maybe repeated doses would work better.

    I was also looking at the co2 mist from the diffuser. The way the powerhead is blowing the co2 it does not appear like very much at all reaches the only area I have with the gda. So like Tom said, there goes that idea. But mines is in the front left corner of my tank in probably one of the lowest light areas in my tank. So goes that idea also.

    If I remember correctly I pretty much have had a small amount of gda the life of this tank(Only about 7 months). But it has never been to the point that it really bothered me, just small patches. Even when I had a SERIOUS GSA and bown algae outbreak that almost wiped my tank out.

    I believe I have seen people say it can be from low potassium. I have disproved that though because I dose ei and even squirted a mix with syringe directly on it for a couple weeks.

    Best of luck Matt, this really seems to be a mother.
     
  15. detlef

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    Years ago I've tested UV with GDA and it did nothing. A micron mat on the other hand cleaned it out so well that I had to renew the cartridge every other day. This along with scrubbing the panes immediately before wc worked for me. If I had GDA again I'd also try Easy Carbo. Battling spyro for about 20 months now :mad: including Excel I found EC did something while Excel did not. Perhaps EC impacts GDA as well?

    Regards, Detlef
     
    #115 detlef, Aug 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2012
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    EC is more concentrated than Excel(I think about 10X more). Dose makes the poison, if you spot treat Spirogyra, then this might be why.

    For Spirogyra, I just had a rash in the 120 Gal, it was CO2 and then good pruning to remove what was there, readjustment of the CO2, some trimming,manual removal etc.
    You can use algaefix for the 3-5 day labeled dosage. And do a 4 hour light period. This can be done ONLY if you do not have shrimp/nice snails you want to keep. If those can be removed, then that can be used and should kill most of the algae left over after a good cleaning in 1-2 weeks.

    In my 120 gal, I did not use algaefix, too many shrimp.

    CO2 and trimming. CO2 stopped the new algae growth and it's really obvious that it worked. Trimming removed the left overs.
    I work at the lab which has lots of long Spiro in the vats and I'm in there day and night. So it's not a question of inoculation. My tanks are heavily exposed to different algae species.

    The 70 Gal hair grass recently got some spiro. I'm removing the shrimp this weekend and will see how well the algaefix works on the entire tank vs a 20 Gal bare bottom with just floating plants.
    My non CO2 tank also rarely has much algae, but I can try it there also since there's no shrimp.

    At some point, I'll need to kill off the Fire shrimp culls somehow.
     
  17. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Nice to know about your improvements Matt!

    I think that what really induce this GDA bloom (as well as any other algae) is due to some unbalance inside your tank.

    That may be too much Co2, too many nutrients, too much light, too little circulation, etc. I have been algae free for 3 years in my 75gl tank, and when I tried to increase light and nutrients to let Glossostigma grow better, GDA begun to appear in my tank in some way and After 2 years I am still struggling with it.

    But I have experienced that by reducing CO2 and Light I can now control a little bit better this GDA.

    The worse I got was to have GDA back to the glass after just 1 day of cleaning, whereas now I begin to see it appear after 5-6 days. I could probably improve my situation with the following adjustments:

    1. Reducing Co2 from 5-6 bps to 3-4 bps

    2. Reducing light from 240w @ 8 hrs/day, to 130w @ 7hrs/day

    3. Improving circulation

    4. Increasing plant mass to a critical point where any single spot is covered in plants.


    I can now live with my situation despite GDA is always there.


    Fab.
     
  18. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    Thanks for the thoughtful response!
    I know for a fact that I have more problems with different algae when I reduce ferts. Not going to go down this alley again. I'm sold on EI--no question in my mind that it works.
    As for the light/co2 relationship...I hear what you are saying about plants being way more limited than algae.
    I'd like to try to measure pH during the day and also measure PAR on this fixture. I think without these measurements, I'm shooting in the dark.
    I'm going to follow through with the initial plan (5 hour photoperiods for 3 more weeks, biweekly water changes).

    If the dust still comes back, I'll try the leave it alone for 3 weeks method. I'm just thankful that this algae (although irritating) is easy to clean and deal with!

    My CO2 is back up to the normal rate for this tank. The plants and growth are lookin good.

    Might try some otos and more amanos.

     
  19. Tom Barr

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    Remember, many of you are suggesting lower CO2 and Light, these 2 things are dependent however.

    My advice is to lower light intensity. NOT CO2.

    Wait till later, then see about lowering CO2 if you wish.
    Better to know what, how, each individual parameter influences, not just doing a mess of things and then trying to guess.......which did what.
     
  20. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    I realize that algae is far less limited by CO2 than plants are (generally speaking), but why do they add co2 gas to speed up algae growth in lab settings? The algae I am talking about is the type for alternative fuels. Why not just blast the nutrient rich water with sunlight? The algae they are growing multiplies rapidly within a 24 hour period.

    Maybe GDA is partial to rich CO2 enviornments and can out compete (reproduce) plant cells?

    Do you think rich co2 increases reproduction in GDA like it does in this alternative fuel algae?

    I really need to get the SFBAAPS par meter and do some tests on the ADA MH fixture.
    I've had GDA with this light as well as the tanks with a CFL and T5HO.
    Growth seems less dependant on light (assuming the ADA MH fixture is lower PAR).

    Something is accelerating GDA cell growth. It seems more efficient than other algaes and plants.
     
    #120 Matt F., Sep 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2012
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