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Is killing bacteria/algae causing critter stress?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Microbiology' started by Tug, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi all,
    Is killing algae/bacteria (after the recommended weekly water change) causing critter stress? Plants are critters too. :cool:
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    What method are you killing the algae with?
     
  3. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    If a chemical method, then yes. I use excel recently to kill algae and also it is killing my marimo ball. I will do a w/c and star with ferts method. Killing bacterias stress fish.
     
  4. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Mostly mechanical, say pruning ~ 30; 40% of the plants, sometimes outside the tank Ill clean sponges with low levels of chlorine, sometimes I piss (PP) in the bath water, but next there rinsed and soaking in old tank water from the fish.
     
    #4 Tug, Apr 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2010
  5. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Probably not a big deal; if your tank can manage more than a couple ppm of NH4 uptake per week (nearly always the case in a densely planted tank) then there's not much dependency on the cycle. It's not as if every species of ammonifying bacteria is going to keel over.
     
  6. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    well thats true, Dense planted aquarium not have a good nitrifing bacteria cycle because plants do the cycle.
     
  7. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    This happens after most water changes.

    The angelfish breath a little harder/faster for about 24-36 hours. Shrimp are more likely to run into the filter or to the surface. Sometimes after a WC a find I really have three Oto cats alive and in the tank. I've been thinking it was a DO problem. Things got better when I improved the flow and lowered the temperature to about 78-79 ºF, but after the water change, I often need to run a bubbler that first night. I haven't been keeping an eye on NH4. It wouldn't kill me to see if I get any change in levels before and after the next WC. I haven't been checking my pH in a while either. I know it wouldn't be the change in pH causing this, but any NH4 in the tank becomes a problem with higher pH. Right? :confused: Or, could there be a 30-40% loss of the oxygen due to cleaning and pruning. I suppose it could be both. The problem happens most when the tank is pruned back heavily during the water change.
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    HI,
    If you do not adjust the CO2 injection rate downwards after a 30% prune then this will mean a higher CO2 concentration level due to loss of CO2 uptake. It would be no wonder that your shrimp run for the hills...

    Cheers,
     
  9. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    CO2 uptake from plants in a compressed system is negligible. I did the math in another thread a while back; 1-3% at very most turns into plant.

    I can't find the thread where I did those numbers, but I can give the basic concept well enough off the top of my head/with a little reference. Plants max out at 50% carbon by dry weight, dry weight is about 1/10th wet (on the high side). Because of this plant growth maxes out at about 20x carbon weight. CO2 is 27% carbon, so you'd need 74mg/g co2/wet weight to produce 1g of your average-ish macrophyte material. Now, a 5lb CO2 cylinder does a 20 gal for about 6 months; We'll call this 12g a day of use. That's 162g of wet weight per day, 2.5lbs of wet growth per week. Now go to your grocery store, and look at the little 4oz boxes of fresh herbs; that's ~100g. Most of us might grow that out of 20 gal in 10-14 days at fastest, any significantly higher number would require going through CO2 faster to keep balance with the light.

    I'm betting heavy pruning eliminates low-CO2 areas where there's reduced flow/distribution. Pruning plants can also make for a big mess in the filter if you aren't turning it off and netting out all of the clippings, which would cause an NH4 dump. Osmotic shock isn't a bad guess either. I'd check your KH rather than pH; it's a more direct indicator, and any NH4 present won't throw it off.
     
  10. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks everyone,

    A light pruning this time. The filter lines and the filter were cleaned. CO2 injection was stopped. The tank water was allowed to gas off CO2 for a day prior to the water change, DC was blue. Still the Angelfish are breathing a little harder. There was a 2 degree change in the KH. I might not be able to do much about this, but knowing what is causing it helps me. I'm guessing I need to stay on top of cleaning the filter a little more frequently and remember to watch the CO2. Thanks again.

    pH ≤ 6.4 ➚ ≥ 6.8
    dKH 1 ➚ 3
    NH4 0.25 ➘ 0.0
     
    #10 Tug, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2010
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