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Help with hc/algea

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Dutch, May 31, 2010.

  1. Dutch

    Dutch Prolific Poster

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    First let me say that this site has been a huge help in getting me started the right way with Ei, lighting, circulation, planted tanks, etc. Your paid subscription is well worth the advice, articles and research that you all have done over the years. Second, my appologies for posting my initial query in your read only EI forum, (how do you removed it?)

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7242-Tank-Rebuild-Initial-Ei-dose

    I have come a long way from that post, takin advice from the responses I received, increased my circulation, Cut down my lighting (raised um up, built some diy pendants with aluminum screens on the bottom). Plants have been growing like mad, drop checkers are running greensih-yellow, but the fish don't seem to mind.

    My problem I'm seeking advice on is the dwarf baby tears (hemianthus callitrichoides) and giant baby tears (micranthemum umbrosum). While it is growing and spreading, the dwarf plants are having a fight with a greenish gray algea (possibly staghorn?) while the giant plants seem to have a brownish film on some of the leaves (diatoms?).

    Attached are some pics of what I'm talking about. Also attached is the tank, day after cleaning,wc,etc. Dropchecker fluid is new, so blue atm.

    I use 4 koralia #1 (4x400g/hr) and 2 maxflows for about 1820g/hr internal circulation, the sealed wetdry is pumping another 800 g/hr, and I have a magnum running atm for water polishing.

    Any advice to cure this would be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    ~Dutch
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi.

    You seem to have a good amount of light there, good bio-mass...

    Have you increased your c02 to account for the growth and larger bio-mass?

    I would lean towards c02 being the issue... You may also want to ensure that even with your mult koralias that these problem areas are getting good flow.

    Remember that plants do change the flow patterns as they grow in.....

    Also ensure your filters are clean...You shouldn't need more than 8-9 hours light max per day...

    Nice tank BTW :)
     
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    That still looks like piles of light. You could always raise it higher.

    Biomass won't impact compressed CO2 that much, at least from the math I could figure a while back and now off the top of my head. 10# of CO2 in a 50 gal works out to about 280mg/l pumped through the system in 8-12 hours. That's Something like 23-35mg/l pumped through an hour, which is about right given what we know about gas-off times being in the 20-60 minute range. Compare about 4-6% wet weight carbon and you'd be supplying enough for about about a pound or two of growth per day. Of course there's the issue of being non-limiting and such, but I'd challenge anyone to even make 1/10th of that CO2 viable plant material. 1/10th would mean about 2-3.5ppm impact at most.
     
  4. Dutch

    Dutch Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for the advice Philosophos, I raised the lights some more, they are now 24" above the water line. With the screens on the bottom of the pendants to block some of it, the top of the substrate now looks quite shaded compared to what it was. Heres a question, can I put 150w lights in the fixtures in place of the 250w or do you need to change the ballast as well? Reading some forums on lighting, it seems that 2w/gal is recommended, prob will need to go back to the mfg and check on that question.

    Gerry, on the water flow, do you have any suggestions as to another type of pump or placement? That substrate is so light, when I get the flow too close to the bottom it starts washing it away. Also, my lights are on 10 hours/day. Should I lower that to 8 hours and see if that helps out as well?

    Would a 3 day black out period help me here, or should I wait and see if these changes in lighting help. Also, with less lighting, I guess I should monitor the CO2 levels, the usage more then likely will drop some?

    I took the CO2 off of the PH controller quite a while ago, I still use it as a fail safe for the lower limit, but it is turned way down and never shuts off. I bought the electronic regulator from Aquarium Plants, along with their reactor. which has made quite a difference in my CO2 waste (no undisolved Co2 is hitting the tank now). The regulator is cranked down to 4bubbles/sec with a low side pressure of 8pds which seems to be the right setting atm for the tank. Increasing the pressure will increase the bubble size which goes into the reactor. I've been keeping the bubble rate constant and adjusting the pressure which holds exactly where you set it to control the CO2 level.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Blackouts may help. I don't have Tom's thread on it handy, but I'm sure someone does or it's easy enough to look up. Shut the CO2 off though; no photosynthesis means no carbon uptake.

    10 hours should be fine. It doesn't make the light any less limiting for the hours it is on, it just shortens the growth period for everything. Unless your plants look like they're all closing up a couple hours before lights out, I wouldn't bother using duration to compensate for intensity.

    150w will definitely mean a new ballast... under-watt bulbs for over-watt ballasts means *kaboom*
     
  6. Dutch

    Dutch Prolific Poster

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    Ok, so I tried a 3 day black out, that helped a lot with the existing algea, still have some green stringy stuff on the hc in places. So I got to thinking maybe my dosing is off? Went to the local fish shop and bought a NO3, PO4, and new KH/GH kits, came home and tested my water. Boy was I off. here are my levels 1 day after the water change:

    KH 5-6
    GH 10-11
    NO3 40-50 ppm
    PO4 5-10 ppm

    Drop checkers (and I have 4 of them now in various place in the tank) are running light green to yellow. I swapped out the 2 maxflows for 2 big korilas evolution 1050's. I had to put the 6 pumps on an alternate 15 min timer so they all didnt run at once (tank was looking like a toilet when you flush it, whirlpool anyone?) so I think I have the circulation down pat.

    Appears that I have not been doing enough of a water change, so I have the ro\di running and will do a 50% change daily till I get the levels down.

    What should my target levels be right after a wc? Am I dosing too much ferts? Tank is 150 + add in 30 for the filter, pipes, etc so call it 180 gallons. My dosing is:

    2 tsp KNO3 M,W,F
    5/8 tsp KH2PO4 T,T,S
    2 tsp G4 Boost SU
    5/8 tsp CSM-B M,W,F

    Also, my tank sits in the basement. with the a/c running (its hotter then hell in KC atm) my tank runs around 72. This too cold?

    Thanks in advance

    ~John
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think everything would run much betetr if you chose to use 2x 39W T5 lighting.
    This is plenty for this sized (90cm?) tank.

    Algae will stop, better health, much easier for you, and a nice thick HC lawn.

    [​IMG]

    This tank has about the same intensity I suggested for your tank.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Dutch

    Dutch Prolific Poster

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    Thats a beatiful tank tom, I do have a question on the lighting though, how many T5 lights/ wattage for a 150 gallon tank? diminisions are 48in x 24in x 36in.

    tnx,

    ~John
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd use 4 x 54 W
    Maybe 5.......I use 4 on 120 gallon, 48x24x24.
    I also use 4 on 175 gal, 28x28x 50

    But, the 4 are well spaced over the 24/28" distance on the top so the light is evenly distributed.

    The tank example is from a LFS, but the light is = to about 2x 24W at 12 inchs above the tank, maybe a little higher.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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