I need help


Prolific Poster
Sep 6, 2005
Hi all,

First off my tank specs and test results

30gal. setup 4 weeks from today
eheim 2213
pressurized co2 with external reactor
96 watts 6700k

gh= 22 (when i tested at setup it was 18 out of tap now 22 out of tap this seems awful high)
kh= 6
ph= 6.8
no3 = 10 to 15 ppm (reading between colors is not easy)
po4 = between 1 and 2

Plant load: roughly
20 stems rotala r.
14 stems hygro poly.
3 stems hygro cory. narrow
7 dwarf sags.
2 pots of microsword ( unpotted of course)
20 or more stems of pearl grass
15 stems bacopa carolina
3 stems pennywort
I just added added 8 stem some luwiga palustris

I have been fighting hair algae for close to 2 weeks. At least I think its some kind of hair algae. Although its brownish tan in color it is soft and mechanically removable. I sometimes wonder if its staghorn. It really doesnt look like the structure of staghorn there are multiple filaments together.
And if perhaps it is staghorn I thought good co2 levels beat it down. Anyway on to what I have been dosing.

EI method
Day 1:
50% wc
1/4 tsp no3
1/4 tsp potassium sulfate
po4 ( I have made a solution from Chuck Gadds calc. by adding 1/4 tsp to 150ml of h2o-- this should give me roughly 1.2 per 20 ml. This is what i have been dosing.) Red sea test has been confirming within reason.

Day 2:
5ml csm+b (my solution is 1tsp/150ml h2o)

Day 3:
1/4 tps no3
20ml po4 solution

Day 4:
same as day 2

Day 5:
same as day 3

Day 6:
same as day 2

Day 7: off

I'm not sure if this regiment is what i should be doing? What do you think. Tomarrow I am going to get up and run my co2 a little higher and watch my fish (4 ottos is all I have in tank) in the earlier hours. That is when the co2 saturation is the most .....right? Then once plants get going o2 levels come up?

The gh value blows me away. It was 18 four weeks ago and I thought that was high but some people said it was workable. But 22 now ..... ugh. Is this a problem is there anyway to bring it down if so?

My plants have been doing pretty well I noticed a day or two ago that the hygro polysperma had a few leave that were a little transparent. Not many though Also after the last trimming some of my rotala r. got a little funny on the tops(looked little withered or maybe stunted). But both plants are already close to needing a trimming only 10 days after the last.

I have read Tom's hair algae thread and did half of my tank yesterday and fluffed the other half. Seems as you would probably guess that the Rotala R. and the Pearl grass are being infested the most.

Suggestions ....help..... kick in the pants........ :D

Thanks for listening



Prolific Poster
Sep 6, 2005
Re: I need help

Hi all ....
Today I did as I said and ran co2 up. As Mr. Barr says test lie. At least I assume my ph test is not right. I ran my ph all the way down to 6.4 according to test with no ill effect on my ottos. This according to chart would be 72 ppm co2. I think that would have killed my fish. I assume that my narrow range aquarium pharm. ph test is off. I am hoping that this will help my algae problem. I also notice some nice growth today. I would still appreciate any input on my dose schedule. Thanks again.


Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
Re: I need help

Just watch fish health, especially at night before the lights go out, or the last 4 hours etc............

Get a pH pen or meter.
Turn lights off for a second when you use a meter or pen(electrical current can cause reading error).

Most test error on the false positive side............they say you have much more CO2 than you really do, never the reverse at least in what I've seen so far...........

Folks see miracles once they get and maintain their CO2 levels in a good range...........

Tom Barr