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I need help?

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Davo, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Davo

    Davo Junior Poster

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    G'day,

    I have a 4x2x2 planted dicus tank. It has 330w of CF, a Dupla auto CO2 system with a gravel/sand and laterite/flourite (28 lbs) substrate. My KH is 5-6 and my PH is controlled at 6.8.

    I have been adding ferts via the Tom Barr EI method but I am encountering several problems. My dosing regime has been a 50% WC then 20ml Sera traces twice a week, KN03 3 x a week 1/2 teaspoon, KH204 3 x week 1/8 teaspoon per week and K2S04 1/2 teaspoon once a week

    I should add that the tank is not fully planted. Do I have to have the tank "fully planted" to reap the advantages of the EI tank? The tank has val and plenty of hygro polysperma.

    The first problem is a fluro green algae problem on all surfaces. I get the usual green dust on the glass but the main problem is a fluoro green fluffy algae which is only about 1-2mm long on all of my plant leaves and driftwood be it my crypts, swords, hygro, val etc. I am also getting BBA on some leaves but this is not a problem at this stage.

    I have a minor outbreak of spot algae on my tank walls but this is easily removed.

    I do not know if the algae problem is due to the regular feeding of the discus and associated fish several times per day.

    I have a couple of questions to ask. First off is that I am not getting the plant growth that I expected with this wattage and CO2.

    This may be attributed to my light setup. I have 330w of CF over this tank consisting of 6 x 55w 5000k tubes.

    The problem may be that the tubes I have are only 5000k and rated at 3000 lumens. These are the only CF 55w tubes available in OZ. Do you think that these tubes are suitable? I am able to order 3 x 9325k 55w tubes and 3 x 6500k tubes from the US for a reasonable price. Do you think it is wise to buy the new tubes?

    Another problem is that my crypts are not growing normally. They are growing along the substrate not up. Is this an indication of low light/incorrect tubes etc. My tubes are about 8 months old.

    The last question is that I am able to buy some Eco-Complete substrate at $28 (US33) per bag. I would need about 8-9 bags of it to replace my gravel/sand mix. The only problem wold be that I would have to completely redo my tank. I think that I will buy the Eco-Complete and store it until I need it. Does it have a shelf life??

    The thing is that I am currently doing the old tradesman trick, eliminate each problem before going onto the next one and I would like to make it alot easier.

    Thanks again
    Sorry about the post
    Dave.
    Sydney.
     
  2. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: I need help?

    That's about a 120 gallon aquarium right? If so, your nutrient dosing levels are way low.

    EI dosing recommendations recommend 1/4 teaspoon of KNO3 4 times a week for a 20 gallon tank, which would equal 1.5 teaspoons 4 times a week compared to your 1/2 teaspoon 3 times a week ...

    EI dosing recommendations recommend 5 ml of Traces three times a week for a 20 gallon tank, which would equal 30 ml of traces three times a week compared to your 20 ml (of Sera) traces 2 times a week. (I don't have the ingredient list or concentration levels to know how Sera compares in terms of concentration to either Flourish or TMG) ...

    So my first impression right off the top is that your nutrient levels might be very low ...

    ... since you have Discus, I don't know what your feeding routine for them are, so your Nitrate levels could be higher depending upon the nitrate contribution you are receiving from your fish food and fish waste ...

    I didn't do the math to see what your CO2 levels were ... but you have all the various equipment pieces you could possibly really need ... I'd get your nutrient levels in line before I started spending any money on any of you equipment ...

    Greg
     
  3. stcyrwm@adelphia.net

    stcyrwm@adelphia.net Prolific Poster

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    Re: I need help?

    Heavily planted is kind of a mantra for fighting algae especially at the beginning. I used Hornwort because it was cheap and grows like a monster - more than 3" per stem per day. It is a floating plant so you can weight it, let it grow and then pull it out without disturbing the gravel, as you get the plants you want. You can do this with any fast growing stem plant.

    Your bulbs should be fine. Everything I've read says 5000 to 6500 K is ideal. How are your reflectors? If you don't have good reflectors you could be losing a lot of light. If you want to read more about bulbs and reflectors you could got to "ahsupply.com".

    Ditto what Greg said about ferts.

    Another of Tom's mantra's is CO2 at 30ppm. You are at 24 to 29ppm.

    Good luck, Bill
     
  4. Davo

    Davo Junior Poster

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    Re: I need help?

    Thanks for the advice Greg and Bill,

    The tank is about 100g (432 litres).

    The tank is due for a W/C tomorrow so after I do it I will start a new fert regime. I will up the Trace (Sera Florena) to 30ml 3 x times per week and increase the KNO3 to 1 x teaspoon 3 times per week.

    Do I need to add any K2SO4? Does the KNO3 contain enough?

    I don't think that I need to add any KH2PO4 at the moment as the frozen beefheart cubes and frozen bloodworms I feed the discus should provide enough phosphates. The only problem is that I still have green spot algae (mainly on the rear wall), is it correct that by increasing phosphates it will help clear the green spot algae?

    I will increase my CO2 also.

    I will hold off on ordering any new bulbs. If the new fert regime improves plant growth and reduces the algae problems I will be happy with that and save a couple of hundred bucks also.

    Thanks,
    Dave.
     
  5. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: I need help?

    Most "current thinking" in the various online forums right now would suggest that you should be getting all of the Potassium that you need from the KNO3 ...

    In *most* cases (even though I personally dose K2SO4) I think this is true ...

    In your case, I would start out with the assumption that this is probably true. However, over time, watch closely because you probably will be getting a much higher nitrate contribution from your fish food and fish waste than the typical person does ... if this occurs, you will be dosing less KNO3 that perhaps might be typical and thus also less Potassium ...

    TMG (Tropica Master Grow) is a great product ... it contains micro nutrients and Potassium ... in the typical low light, non-CO2 tank, this Potassium contribution becomes critical .....

    In a lot of Discus tanks feeding rich foods, the supplemental dosing of Potassium Sulfate often provides that needed extra Potassium ...

    So my personal recommendation would be to start out on the assumption that you have adequate Potassium, but keep a watchful eye out ...

    Others here may be able to give you a good description of what signs to keep an eye out for if you do have a potassium deficiency ... hint hint hint (this is time for others to jump in ) ...

    Greg
     
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