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Intro and a call for help

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by flipflop82, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    A big hello to all of you from a newbie to this forum as well as to planted tanks as a hobby. I am from India and the planted tank bug has bitten me only recently.

    The call for help is with regards to algae. I have read up some relevant stuff on this forum and now I think I have an understanding of what i am doing wrong (like poor flow, not enough plants, poor CO2 injection etc).

    While I am in the process of fixing these, I need some help with identifying what algae I am dealing with. I have read Dusko Bojic's fine article, but it has left me confused about what algae i have.

    The link is this : http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll60/ashleycherian/DSCN2834.jpg

    I was under the impression that it is BBA but after reading up his article, it looks like fuzz or thread. But its short unlike fuzz or thread algae. It cannot be removed with a brush and the Chinese algae eater pair havent been on much help yet ( I got them only today though).

    Can someone help with an ID?


    Thanks
    flip-flop!
     
  2. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I just finished a battle with oedogonium. Very persistent algae. What helped me were series of blackouts, 3 days off, 3 days on, 3 days off....... Big waterchanges (80%) just before and just after the blackouts.

    SAE's finished the leftovers.

    But that's just fighting the result. Fix your CO2, circulation, don't let the nutrients get low and not too much light.
     
  4. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Thank you Dutchy and Nipat.

    I have been reading up on EI, the premise of which rests on a Geckoesque "more is good' :) I have been dosing KNO3 and KH2po4 as well as trace regularly for my 15 gallon tank. I am just a bit confused about the GH booster discussed in this forum. How do i dose CaSo4 and MgSo4 which i have as dry fertilisers. If i do not have to worry about ratios can i just go ahead and dose 1/4th of tsp each?

    My kh is around 4 (azoo test kit) - accepted with pinch of 'salt' (this must be a cliched pun here, i am sure)

    Also, Caso4 doesnt seem to dissolve too easily? What do folks do here?

    Thanks a ton
     
  5. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    GH Booster doesn't affect KH but GH. Tom suggest adding it to up the GH by 1-2 degree
    to make sure that you don't lack Ca and Mg.

    You can dose 1/4 of Ca and Mg (2:1 or 3:1) by looking and guessing at the spoon.
    It needs not to be that precise.

    I dose GH Booster (into the tank) at night. The CaSO4 will be gone when I wake up.
     
  6. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Thank you nipat.

    I gave you the KH degree because GH test kits arent easily available here and KH test kit is all i have.Thanks again.
     
  7. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Anubia pearling?

    Hi,

    One part of me wants to believe it is indeed a miracle while the skeptic in me tells me its just the CO2 mist settling down . I found my Anubias with bubbles below its leaves and i find it hard to believe that merely fixing the CO2 reactor (and thus producing the mist) would bring about such an incredible change as to make a plant in my tank pearl !!

    If it is indeed pearling, why would a plant pearl from under instead of the top? I have seen cabombas and swords pearl and they are at the tips

    Even though i havent been posting too many queries around here i have been following advice already doled out to others for algae control and have tweaked my CO2 reactor and the results have been incredible (and to think it hasnt even been a week since the changes). So pearling or not, a big thanks to this forum.

    -flipflop
     
  8. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Pearling - gets me thinking

    If pearling is indeed because of O2 production 'rate' exceeding water's dissolution 'rate', there would be more pearling in a tank with poor water circulation rather than in one with good flow? (Assumption -- good circulation = better dissolution capacity)
    and thus, further fortifying the theory that pearling need not be end all or proof that all is 'OK' with the tank.

    Am I thinking on the right lines?
     
  9. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    I don't know if less circulation will bring more (viewable) pearling. But better circulation
    will distribute CO2 and nutrients around the tank better.
     
  10. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Junior Poster

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    Surely better circulation would transport the O2 away from the plant also, so more chance of water becoming "locally" O2 saturated with less circulation!
     
  11. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    That is like chicken and egg. More circulation may reduce viewable pearling
    but it encourages more pearling by supplying nutrients and CO2 as well.
    So, I don't know.

    And with more reading about what causes pearling, I think I even know
    less than before.:confused:
    pearling=saturation=myth .. test results
     
  12. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    YAY!!! My anubias were definitely pearling. Its been a couple of hours since i switched off the lights and there is no more pearling, in spite of CO2 being still on. :)

    regarding my other qn on why anubias pearl from below the leaf - i did a bit of googling and came across an article which mentions that anubias have stomata below the leaf, because they are 'terrestrial'. Arent anubias aquatic?
     
  13. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Hi Nipat,

    I think my poser is of mere academic interest since chances are that in a poorly circulated tank, algae would take over, deplete nutrients leading to poor growth of plants and hence cause no pearling (pearling by definition is viewable; the benefits of efficient nutrient and CO2 distribution by circulation is i guess indisputable). So we are both still on the same page :)
     
  14. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Inert substrat

    My 15g tank has been making steady progress - got rid of the algae, built a more effective but ghastly looking internal CO2 reactor, and the tank is looking better.

    But the leaves of the swords are twisted; the red lotus leaves have holes, cabombas have black leaf tips etc. pointing to a nutrient deficiency. the problem is my substrate is just sand - completely inert. Do you think it is a tall order to depend just on nutrient dosing in the water column?
    I dose 1/2 tsp KNO3, 1/4 KH2PO4, 1/4 K2so4 every other day and micros on the other days. 50% water change weekly.

    Lights are 36W (too high?) and they are CFL lights. The water temperature is high at around 34C (i.e 93F). Maybe i should fix that with a few fans on the hood.

    circulation is also poor - what with the new Co2 reactor set up on the outflow tube of the filter,impeding flow.

    While i'll try and fix the other issues(circulation, temperature) , the substrate is not something i can change right now. With so many things loaded against growth, what are the chances eh?

    Regards
    flipflop
     
  15. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Water column dosing is fine, you just have to keep up on it. That is one of the reasons for suggesting AS or other substrates. It gives you some leeway if you forget to dose or have to head off for the holidays and don't want to rely on neighbors and such.

    Can you pull a water report from your water company so you can tell what you have to start with? Philosophos and Biollante are incredibly good at figuring out dosing if you can give them a starting point with what's in the water.

    The 93 degree temps may be a major factor here as well. I would see if you can get some fans in the hood and knock the temps down to a "cool" low 80s to start with. For circulation you might consider something like a Koralia Nano ( probably a lot more current than you need ) or maybe a tiny HOB filter or something like a minijet 404 ( adjustable ) to get some additional flow.

    -
    S


     
  16. flipflop82

    flipflop82 Junior Poster

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    Thanks shoggoth!

    I will try and pull a water analysis report soon.
    In the meantime, I have kept half the hood of the tank open. it compromises on the light reflectivity, but it has brought down the temperature by a couple of degrees (celsius). Lights are anyway in excess i feel (36w CFL for 15 gallon); so i guess it might be ok.

    I was also wondering what is normally done to prevent fish from jumping out - the only fish i have lost of late are because of them jumping out - which led me to get a closed hood. I have for now stuck a tape around the edge to prevent fish from jumpng out. Will it work?

    I am going away for a couple of weeks. will fix the rest once i am back.

    Thanks again. See you in 2 weeks time!!
     
  17. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    jumpy fish

    If you have access to some window screen material, or shade cloth maybe, you could just use that across the top of the tank and then put the hood on top. A side effect of that is that it will ever so slightly drop the light in the tank. It will be open enough to not seal the tank but will keep what you want IN, and stuff you might not want ( like cats ) OUT. :)

    -
    S


     
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