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Growing Plants and Fish but GSA

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have been using an EI regime now for several months, but continue to be plagued by GSA on my Anubias and tank walls. All other algaes have dissappeared except for this persistant type.

    Tank Parameters for a 180 Discus Tank with Presurized CO2, CO2 reactor and neptune controller:

    Temp 84
    pH 6.4
    KH 5
    GH 4 to 5
    Nitrates 10 ppm (mesureed with lamont kits every few weeks)
    Phosphates .8 to 1ppm (same)
    Lights 4 hrs. 3.2 wpg, 4 hrs. 2.2 wpg and 3 hrs 1.2 wpg

    Maintenance:

    3x per week 33% WC with RODI water
    and add 3 Tbls Barr Booster, 3 tbls baking soda, and 4 tsp seachem acid buffer, 1/4 tp KH2P04, 5 ml flourish N, 5 ml Flouish Fe and 5 ml Flourish

    constant drip solution:
    128 ml of TMG, 1 tsp of Kh2PO4, 5 mls of Iodine and 56 ml of Flourish N in a solution of 16 liters of RODI. Daily rate of solution is 2 liters.

    I have degassed a sample of the water and it has risen to 7.6 ph overnight.

    Fish load is significant, but not over the top with 9 adult discus, 3 adult roseline barbs, 4 bolivan rams, 40 tetras and full complement of cleanup crew including otos, SAEs, and inverts.

    Does anything stand out as out of wack? I have to clean the glass weekly and snip old leaves monthly because they are covered in GSA. Also, the glass has minor red spot algae, but it is minor.

    Any insights appreciated.

    Dan
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You say you are using the EI method of dosing, but you list your phosphate and nitrate levels obtained by testing. And, you are dosing a liquid mixture of all of the nutrients plus iodine using a continuous drip system. You are adding a commercial acid buffer, but using the pH of the water to judge the amount of CO2 in the water.

    My first suggestion is to stop and decide why you do all of those things. The EI method is intended to be a simple one where we dose every needed fertilizer in adequate amounts, often enough so the tank never suffers a deficiency of any of them, do weekly large water changes to avoid any buildup of any of the fertilizers, and don't do routine testing to try to finesse the fertilizing. If we plan to use the pH of the water to judge how much CO2 we have in the tank, we can't be adding extra chemicals that interfere with the pH/KH relationship that allows us to do so.

    GSA usually means we are short of phosphates, no matter what a test kit says.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Ack, never ever use "acid buffer"!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your CO2 is too low and that messes with the pH!!

    A lowered pH due to acid buffer is not the same as lowered pH due to CO2!!

    Plants want CO2, not a low pH, acid buffer does not grow plants, CO2 does, therefore add only CO2 to lower pH.

    Discus don't care as long as the KH is not too high, Gh's of up 10 have been reported as fine by many locally here that breed, I have no issues at GH ops 9 for 3 years.

    If you want lower pH's for some reaspon, you have RO, simply lower the KH.

    CO2 is the only thing that will lead to GSA if you add a fair amount of PO4.
    You could stand to add more PO4, drip methods never seemed to work or show any improvements.

    Give you do 1/3 3x a week water changes,. why not just add ferts after each water change?

    Easy.

    I'd add:

    1.5 Teaspoons KNO3
    1/3 teaspopon KH2PO4
    1 teaspoon GH booster
    35 mls TMG

    Blend RO with tap to get a KH of 2-3 and crank up the CO2.
    No controller, just use as a moniter.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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    Got it

    thanx for the insight

    I always balanced the ph with acid and baking soda. I will now just use tap. My well has a GH of 10 and a KH of 8 to 9 so that should work.

    Dan
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    TMG has some Mg, and K, not much but enough/
    I'd just lower the KH to 2-3 with RO and tap mix, add a little MgSO4(epsom salt).

    No need for the rest of that.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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    But still use the GH booster right?

    No add'l Fe or will TMG be enough?

    Dan
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    TMG will be enough and you can add the GH booster or add the MgSO4, but not both.

    The tap is most likely high in Ca and not Mg.

    If you want to spike the iron once twice a week with flourish Fe, that's fine, but I'd focus 10000% more on CO2, that will yiled much more fruit than trace Fe fiddling will.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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    Sounds like a straight forward plan

    thanx
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Try it for 3 weeks.
    Try to pay very close attention to CO2 and adjusting the KH to about 2 or so.
    I'd remove the control function and add CO2 only during the day time.

    No need to subject fish to CO2 at night.
    Allows you to add more during the day.

    No acid buffer.
    Throw it away or give to another non plant Discus person etc.

    I think you'll find a lot more success this way.

    Regards,
    Tom, Barr
     
  10. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom, I used your suggestion yesterday for the first 33% wc and actually had the kh at 2, but the GH was < than 2 with only a tsp. of Booster. RO 65% and well water the balance.

    Will plants and inverts be ok with that level of GH?

    Dan
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you add about 2 or so degrees of Gh booster, things should be fine.
    Alternatively, you can add a little MgSO4 in lieu of the Gh booster, but the Gh booster is cheap and covers both the Ca and Mg.

    Greg sells it cheap.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com

    danieljmmckenna@yahoo.com Lifetime Charter Member
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