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GSA and Diatoms very frustrating

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by crystalview, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    I cleaned my tank 4 days ago. I ran the magnium hot shot micro filter and did a vac on the gravel/ substrate. I scraped off the GSA. It is now coming back. What am I doing to have this grow so fast? My Diatoms are almost gone (after 16 wks) but there still is a slight amount. I do not think the algae is a combo of GSA and GDA but it does cover a big area in a short time. It also has to be scraped off not just rubbed. This lead me to believe that it is GSA.
    My plants have finally gotten over the Diatoms but I also lost several plants from that. I have fast growers for now and want to add more.
    I place a heavy towel over the front of the tank because it gets direct sun for an hour. The rest of the time the room is very bright. I am running my light 3" above the tank for 10hrs.
    I finally ordered IE dry ferts so I can soon stop using the Seachem products other then Excel.
    My tank is kept warm at 82. I have to add about a 1.5 g of water between wc from evaporation. The algae will also grow on the glass top from the humidity.
    I know that the GSA will be back and make the tank look green in about 2wks. What can I do to reduce this from happening? after all these months It is becoming a real pain.
    If the GSA continues to grow so fast should I do more then weekly WC? If the Diatoms don't leave all together of come back in full force like they have done now 3x what is the next step for that?
    One last question. I have one mini powerhead and then the Fluval out put. Should I add another mini powerhead to give more circulation? I really don't see the plants sway the way it is now.
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    You seem to have a lot of light for a 45 gal tank......

    Can you raise them higher? Depending on the type of fixture can you remove a bulb but still get a good spread of light to the tank?

    Do you use c02 at all? This will help a lot as carbon is the most important plant nutrient and drives the usage of other nutrients (EI).

    An extra powerhead never hurts to wash away plant waste and provide new nutrients to the plants. Fish will also appreciate it. You can always put it on a timer so it goes off at night so the fish can rest.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Light intensity determines everything else required by a planted tank. You have an intensity that requires that you provide good CO2 concentration to keep the plants growing as fast as the light is driving them to grow. That fast growth can only happen if the plants also get non-limiting amounts of nitrates, potassium, phosphorous and trace elements, so using the EI method of fertilizing is a good idea for you. Those changes should make stopping your algae problem much easier, because they will allow the plants to grow fast and healthy. And, plants that are healthy are the best defense against algae.

    However, looking at your plant list, I don't see any that require high light intensity. I have a 45 gallon tank with a single 55 watt PC light on it, and only low light plants, similar to yours. My light is suspended 6" above the tank, too. Perhaps you should consider using lower wattage PC light for your tank too.
     
  4. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    I have not figured out how to raise the light for it to look pleasing to me. I have high ceilings. I looked at Vaughn's box light raise and it looks bulky to me. It might be easier to reduce the wattage. Vaughn is your 45g a 24" deep? I know the depth also effects the light getting into the tank. I tried to look for a new bulb for this fixture but all I got was confused. The light I have is:
    Coralife Freshwater Aqualight- 36

    I can't seem to find a smaller wattage bulb for it. There are two tubes in this one unit bulb. When I read about starters and bulbs they talked about the right starter to run the right bulb. Can I reduce the wattage and still use this starter?
    Where do I find a lower wattage bulb for this unit? Or would I need to retro-fit? How low of wattage can I go?
    I have a two tube total 42w straight pin unit that I use on my crab tank is this wattage to low? It is a 10000k.
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Mine is a 20" deep, 30" long tank, but the added 4 inches in depth is only about 20% deeper, reducing the intensity by about that same amount. Your light fixture is limited to 96 watt bulbs only, so that option is out. If you can't raise it, you could use some floating plants. This might be one of those very few times when duckweed is desirable.

    Or, the 42 watt light is possibly adequate for the plants you have.
     
  6. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    But would be better with say 55w? I might be able to find a single pin bulb a little larger if the starter would work with it.
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The 96 watt ballast is highly unlikely to work with a 55 watt bulb. Some ballasts can work with different wattages by wiring them to the bulbs differently, but it doesn't look like 96 watt ballasts are one of those.
     
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