Iron dosing causing hair algae.

VaughnH

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Re: Iron dosing causing hair algae.

Tom Barr said:
Even with a pH meter, unless the water is RO or tested for all forms of alk, it's difficult to be absolutely sure.

Another common pH problem is stray electrical current from light ballast etc, this can drop pH readings.

Turn the electrical devices on/off to see.

You can use 10mls instead of 5 mls for the KH test kits, this will give you 0.5KH units.

The Lamotte Test kit is accurate to 4ppm of KH. Not bad, add 2x the volume and you extend this to 2-4ppm. You need lab equipment to go further.

Regards,
Tom Barr
I'm pretty confident in my KH readings. I do, at times, double the water sample to increase the accuracy, but haven't found any real errors in the standard reading. It helps that, for KH, we are looking for an abrupt and big color change. Also, the 1.0 PH drop test doesn't require knowing KH anyway, but the PH/KH test still needs PH. Is there a PH meter accurate to +/- 0.05? And, does it cost two arms and both legs? My memory says the cheap PH meters are only accurate to +/- .1 or .2, which really isn't of a lot of help with the 1.0 PH drop test.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Iron dosing causing hair algae.

There are some cheap pens that are that accurate.
50-60$ or you can get a monitor for 80-90$.

They are worth while.
They make the .1pH unit ones for 30$ or so. Worthwhile also.

FYI, the KH test, they measure total alkalinity, not carbonate alkalinity.
See this thread here:

http://www.barrreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1140

Read this good.
It will help you.

Please note: he is using HCL to do the lowering of the pH.
Not CO2!!!!!! This strong acid, HCL, destroys Carbonate hardness, CO2 will not destroy Carbonate hardness.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dschmeh

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Re: Iron dosing causing hair algae.

i had a little bottle of iron that had the dropper end on it for some unknown reason it took of the dropper end . a week later i wanted to add a drop to my 10 g planted shrimp tank and forgot the end was off and before i knew i put in .25 of the bottle . Its a 10 gallon tank with 28w aqualight . I didnt get any algae nor did it harm the shrimp.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Iron dosing causing hair algae.

Many times this is how we inadvertantly end up figuring out things through such mistakes:)

I've done that, we all do to a certain extent.

But then you know, if adding X treatment causes algae, and you add X treatment to an other wise healthy tank, and no algae appears, then you know it cannot be from the X treatment.

It does not say what causes algae, but it does rule out causation.

I wish more folks would try and do this method instead.
It's easy to rule things out this way.
But you need to start with something that's not already loused up!!

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

vidiots

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Re: Iron dosing causing hair algae.

If I understand previous posts from Tom and others correctly you may have more than one nutrient in short supply. For example if you had low levels of NO3 and Fe. You then raise the level of the Fe but not the NO3. The plants are still short of what they need to out compete the algae, but you have just added the missing ingredient that certain types of algae need (those that don't require as much NO3 as plants). You just created an enviorment for the algae to thrive but not the plants and it appears as if the Fe you added is the cause, when in reality it is the lack of another nutrient.

Another example could be that you have a large amount of NH4 being converted to NO3 due to a high fish load. Tom has proven to himself others that NH4 causes algae in an otherwise healthy plant tank. I too have purposely caused an algae bloom by adding NH4 for culturing algae to feed to daphnia raised for fish food. Now lets say you have a shortage of Fe and an excess of NH4, you add the Fe and get an algae bloom, and again it appears as if adding Fe was the cause when in reality it was the excess NH4.

The hard part is finding the true cause and correcting it.

BTW for anyone interested Liquid Miricle Grow added as directed to water and given bright light and a week or two is an easy method to cause an algae bloom. (Liquid Miricle Grow contains NH4 among many other nutrients)
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Iron dosing causing hair algae.

The how:
Do a water change say 50-75%, dose the GH builder,KNO3, Traces, KH2PO4, that will cover the nutrients, so you do not need to figure out which.

Then all that's left is CO2...........

We assume that everything is added in adequate supply if you re set the tank. This is a very safe assumption.

Is you assume the tap or the fish is adding enough NO3, whatever nutrient, or assume the test kits are correct without calibrating them..........those are poor assumptions.

You can eye ball and get a feel for things, but when things go sour, you might just fall back on this concept.

It's easy, does not rely of figuring out which issue caused what, rather, just fixes the issue you have, which unless you are me or someone nerdy, most hobbyists simply do not care much about. They just want it fixed.
What the issue was is a curious issue perhaps, but not the real issue=> make algae go away and have good plant growth.

Figuring out the specific issue is often much more tricky for most.
Most have poor skills for that, EI and changing one variable at a time makes that easy if you are really curious though.

You delete the PO4 for 3 weeks and note the growth patterns/algae etc.
That's easy to maintain EI and remove that one nutrient to see what happens while maintaining non limiting conditions for the rest of the nutrients.

You can do this for Traces, NO3, K+, etc..........whatever you want.

Regards,
Tom Barr


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Wet

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Re: Iron dosing causing hair algae.

Only for whatever its worth (I am no expert), but using Tom Barr's methodology above I get hair algae each and every time N bottoms out.