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Increased lighting, ferts and co2, algae getting worse!

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by nickmcmechan, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    So, have a 300l tank heavily planted with Crypts, Swords, Hygrphillia, Frogbit.

    Last Week I increased

    • light from 1.4wpg to 2wpg
    • TPN+ (contains micros and macros) from 1/4 recommended dose on bottle to 1/2 dose
    • CO2 from just Excel at full dose to Excel at full dose + pressurised CO2 at 30ppm

    The tank is beginning to get overrun with Cyanobacteria and Brown Algae - I am manually removing every day with 30-50% water changes but its now beginning to win. The algae was there before and is now worse.

    So, what do I do?

    What do I increase / decrease??
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I can't tell if you have low light or high light or very high light. If you have T5HO lights, it is probably the latter, but if it is T8 lights it is the first. Since the algae are taking advantage of you I suspect you have high light intensity. In that case, yu need to dose fertilizers so they are non-limiting for plant growth rates. I have no idea if TPN+ is designed for lean dosing, most probable, or for typical high light tank dosing, unlikely. That is one advantage of dosing dry chemicals for fertilizers - you then know exactly what you are dosing and in what quantity.

    If you do have high light, you need to increase the CO2 bubble rate a small amount, watch the fish and plants for a day to be sure the fish are not clustering at the water surface trying to get away from the CO2, and looking for plants pearling. Then repeating this until the plants are pearling midway in the photoperiod, or until the fish show you that you have too much CO2 and need to back off a little.
     
  3. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    Its probably high light then! Two T8 tubes + two T5HO tubes

    TPN+ contains NPK and micros, recommended at 30ml per week for highly planted setups

    I did take the CO2 all the way to indicator going yellow but didn't help...

    The Nitrates are at 20ppm before dosing and water change

    Do you think I need to do a blackout for a few days and cut off ferts / co2?
     
  4. abcemorse

    abcemorse Prolific Poster

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    How long did you wait before deciding it didn't work? It can take time for stuff to come around.....
     
  5. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    How heavily planted are you?

    If heavily planted did you not have algae before?

    The recommended levels on TPN+ are lean dosing already. Most people in this hobby with fully planted tanks will use half the recommended weekly amount daily under lower light than yours!!

    I used to dose 5ml daily on my 125Ltr with just 1.4WPG and pressurised.

    TPN+ although containing N and P is still quite low in these two in comparison to most dry fert regimes.

    AC
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The TRopica is pretty light, you need a lot more than this to get things growing.

    I make my own N and P, and K, so really have no experience with the macro's, but like ALL brand names, it's just very cheap ferts and water.............I do not like to pay for water.

    AE's sells the items for that there in the UK for cheap.
    I'd go that route.

    Tropica for the traces is good, about 5-10 mls a day will do.

    Then the rest is just CO2.

    You cannot out water change some species of algae, because this is a low NO3 issue, you are helping the algae grow and further limiting the plants from NO3.

    The BGA will do better the leaner you go.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    thanks guys brilliant help

    i'm wondering if i should black out for a few days to kill it off, then lights, CO2 and much more NPK back in?

    to answer the 'how heavily planted' what i have in there is

    1 echonodorous bleherii
    1 echonodorous cordiflorous
    1 anubia barteri vari nana
    1 java fern
    half dozen or so amazonia frogbit
    about 25 crypto wendtii green and 3 brown
    3 hygrophillia

    susbtrate is sand, plenty of root tabs and laterite at bottom of substrate

    so, in my mind i'm heavily planted, however all the pants are very young and were planted about 2-3 months ago

    again, thanks for the brill advice
     
  8. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    I think you are lightly planted but a picture would help :)

    AC
     
  9. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    When you say co2 30ppm were did you get this reading? I hate to say it again and again but if you’re using a drop checker forget it. If I watch the two they will stay green and the plants will die. I turn up the co2 they go light yellow... bingo the plants turn on and everything does much better. Im not sure why but I don’t get sticky bubbles on the plants until the co2 is running about 10bps. I would watch the plants for good co2 response; also I didn’t see it mentioned what is your flow rate? From my own tank I know when the rate gets low in areas I see algae start to take over the older leaves.
     
  10. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    With bga, more ferts, more circulation, more water changes, less light, usually does the trick, or some combination thereof.
     
  11. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    So, here's the plan:


    • 2 day blackout
      eSHA 707 for a week
      increase dosing of ferts
      reduce ammonia dosing to keep tank cycled
      add more plants - suggestions?

    after reading this thread i did forget to mention that i run the tank at 30C as I am putting in a breeding pair of discus at the end of the month - want to get all the mucking about sorted before then!

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/5478-how-does-hight-water-temp-affect-need-ferts.html

    let me know your thought pls! :)
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    1. Do yourself a favor, never use algae killers...........
    They have never helped => eSHA 707

    2. Do not add NH4, it's not useful for any planted tank.
    Plants use the NH4 directly, so there's not a lot of bacteria culture nor is cycling ever required for a planted tank.

    3. Add more plants is a good idea.

    29-30C is fine for the fish.
    CO2 is a bit tricky, that's where you will spend most of the time and worry.


    Go to Aquaessentials.com. By some ferts, they are cheap. Will save you a bundle.
    Also, Join UKAPS if you have not already, it's your local group for planted folks.
    Read some of the articles there also.
    They often sell or give plants away.

    BTW, there's a "Barr's Tavern" there in town, apparently the same relatives of mine according to the genes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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  14. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    Thanks - surprised by the addition of ammonia thing, tank was already cycled but moved fish out to make for discus - cancelled order when i found they were ill and have new ones coming on 28th...worried about hitting ammonia / nitrite spike when i put them in...will tanks cope ok with these toxins?

    Why will the co2 be tricky?

    Already been to aquaessentials, bought TPN+ for laziness really! Also a member of UKAPS.

    Might make my way to Barr's Tavern!.............;)
     
  15. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    bit of an update

    went ahead with the blackout, increased NO3, redirected filter flow so plants waving, stopped ammonia dosing...co2 switched off as there is no lighting right now (should i put it on?)????

    had a look in the tank just now, brown algae has taken an absolute hammering, BGA has now covered entire back wall of tank and seems to have increased?
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Give it 3 full days, with no light coming in, cover tank with a towel, of a pair of trash plastic bags etc. Plants are shipping for 2-3 days all the time without issue.

    BGA can be beaten this way easily, and many greens and others, Caldophora, and BBA, GW(rarely) cannot be.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    thanks again Tom
     
  18. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    Update.

    did a massive clean out yeaterday - took me about 4 hours


    • scrubbed all the surfaces (most of the bga was on the back)
    • removed all the plants and put them through a 1:19 bleach dip
    • thoroughly vaccumed substrate (sand, couldn't get all the BGA debris off)
    • added another 1/2" of substrate on top (same sand)
    • replanted with new plants as well
    and now continuing the blackout...think i will take it to tomorrow night?

    the plant population is now


    • 8 twisted vals on the left and frogbit
    • 2 echinodorous cordiflorous to the back either side of the tiger lilly
    • 10 crypts along the back on either side of the sword / lilly centre piece
    • 1 row of 10 crypts in front of that
    • 2nd row of 10 crpyts in front of that row
    • 6 hygrophilollia siamesis 53b around the big resin magrove root decoration at the right
    • 4 anubias var nana attached to the mangrove thing as well as a java fern

    i think i might be able to squeeze in another 1/2 dozen crypts and i've left about 2-3 inches clear at the front for the discus to feed when i get them on the 28th. do you think i should move the crypts at the back forward and get more hygrpohillia for the back?

    plan going forward is


    • put 2 light tubes back on monday 16th
    • monday introduce ferts, excel and co2
    • 22nd march put other two light tubes on all going well, i.e. no algae and significant plant growth, otherwise wait one week
    • 28th March - pair of discus arrive
    • 28th onwards - daily water changes with HMA and daily dosing of ferts

    i've had advice that says stop the blackout now and get the pants going again

    most of the flow comes from the output of the eheim 2217 to the left. the output of the juwel internal internal on the right feeds into the co2 diffuser thus owering flow. i've ordered an eheim aquaball 2212 internal to go beside the output of the juwel / diffuser; it has a pivotal head so i can bast the bga if it comes back, wherever it is!

    share your thoughts please!
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    3 days is all you ever nee for a blackout(BO).
    If you did not kill, the BGA, it's not BGA then after 3 days.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Prolific Poster

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    i found a small spot (size of end of a fingertip) of BGA which appeared this afternoon! I removed it with my fingers

    the eheim aquaball came and i've directed the flow towards that spot

    co2 is cranked up - drop checker at furthest point in tank from output showing green / yellow ish

    dosed TPN+ yesterday (used weekly dose divided by 7 as intend to dose daily), measure nitrates after lights off tonight and got 20ppm (API kit) so have not dosed tonight - intend to wait until nitrates drop to 10ppm then dose - sound sensible?

    also, i've held off on the discus order until things settle down
     
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