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longstanding algae problem

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ir0n_ma1den, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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    So,

    I have had my 29g tank setup for more than a year and have always had GDA, hair algae, and some kind of red/brown cyano-like algae.

    I used to have 65w of PC light over the tank and still have had the same amount of algae that I have now with 130w of PC light.

    [​IMG]

    stats:

    29g tank
    130w PC light (1x 10k, 1x 6700k)
    Pressurized CO2
    Eheim 2115
    Maxijet 400


    dosing:
    alternate starting sunday

    MACRO
    KNO3 3/8 tsp
    KH2PO4 1/16 tsp
    K2SO4 3/16 tsp
    MgSO4 1 tsp

    MICRO
    CSM+B 3/16 tsp


    I scrape at every water change, but it comes back every week. I just started to dose excel (dosed 15mL today).
     
  2. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Go back down to 65w. You really don't need 130w, and it's definitely not going to help your CO2 levels hit non-limiting. From there, increase your CO2 until your fish start heading towards the top of the tank, then scale back. That or turn your drop checker a nice lime green color with 4kh solution.

    65w CF is enough to grow anything you want in that tank. At worst it's going to be spread, not intensity, that causes issues for ground cover near the base of larger plants.

    Try cleaning out your filter as well if you haven't been doing it monthly. A clean filter makes a world of difference on a tank.

    -Philosophos
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    To put things into contrast, I use 70 Watts of T5 with reflectors on 53 gallons. That's all it takes to grow every plant. Easier to manage and much less algae.
     
  5. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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    I do have the option to control both bulbs separately, so I can definitley cut down the photoperiod of one of the bulbs (both are currently on for 10 hours straight).

    The thing is that I have had this algae even when I had just 65w. I have a feeling it is not the lights but something else.
     
  6. deucebiggss

    deucebiggss Guru Class Expert

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    I say clean the filters and see what happens, like Philos suggested.
     
  7. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's quite possible your CO2 wasn't high enough even back when you were using 65w. I use 65w CF over a 20g quite often, and I can tell you that establishing high enough CO2 for that level of light isn't necessarily easy.

    What have you done so far to ensure your CO2 is high enough? What sort of methods?

    -Philosophos
     
  8. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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    I use a drop checker with 4dhk solution in it.

    its usually a lime green, and I have had at a yellow with no problems.
     
  9. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Lime green to yellow with 4dkh solution? I'd like to see how the tank looks after a good cleaning, reduced to 65w, a heavy run of water changes (2-3x50%/wk for 1-2 weeks), and some high excel dosing. Perhaps something was out of place the last time you ran 65w; all it takes is one variable out of place. I can't see any better way to improve the problem but to go back to the basics as a start, even if it didn't work the first time.

    Oh, if you don't have one, get your self a magfloat; it'll make all the difference on your glass.

    -Philosophos
     
  10. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Yup - I'd agree with philosophos there.

    Definitely reduce your light and focus on the CO2 levels.

    Toss the drop checker out - too misleading.

    Circulate the CO2 really well - very, very important!

    Set your CO2 and observe the tank for 1 week. Keep increasing the CO2, waiting a week, and you'll almost certainly find that things start to pick up. It's important to wait a week between changes so that the plants have time to adjust.

    Scott.
     
  11. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have to disagree on the drop checker. It's got a +/- 50% accuracy at any point in the tank. If you put your drop checker in a deader looking part of the tank, you have a measurement that should be in at least the lower 50% of areas with CO2. From there you know that if the drop checker looks light green, areas receiving more attention should be good.

    Slowly you can learn how the drop checker interacts with flow dinamics over the week and evaporation. I can tell you at a glance based on the time of day and water level if the CO2 is high enough on that specific day in a tank using a drop checker that I'm familiar with. The plants don't respond within 2 hours, unfortunately.

    This is not to say that you can't keep a tank without one; I do it all the time. I just find it a very useful tool to get a new tank broken in, or after major changes.

    -Philosophos
     
  12. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Agreed. If you are going to use the drop checker you MUST move it around the tank from time to time.

    More importantly, as plants grow in you also need to move it around the tank into areas that you "KNOW" from before had enough CO2. Plant biomass will affect flow in the tank and areas before that previously had high or "enough" CO2 may now be starved due to that one leaf blocking the flow now.

    It's a useful tool as long as you don't plunk it in the tank in the big open spot and call it all good just because it's green. It won't give you immediate results either, but will at least give you an idea of "needs more" and "enough" until you can start to get a feel for what's "proper" for your tank. You'll likely find what you thought was good flow isn't nearly what you think it is.

    Good luck!

    -
    S
     
  13. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for all the help everyone,

    I had time to setup an XP1 without the spraybar that I had laying around, and also bumped up my CO2 output.

    I definitely have enough flow now.
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    CO2/Circulation

    Hi,

    I hope you got the PM I sent a while back.:)

    Do not be overly confident in your circulation in a heavily planted tank it is more than just total pump power, there can be stagnate areas, look for places where debris tend to catch or pile up.;)

    As I said when I recommended this dosing regimen http://www.barrreport.com/general-plant-topics/6125-holes-my-tiger-lotus-when-they-reach-water-line.html, it was a starting point, with all that light energy, 4.5 watts per gallon; you would likely need more CO2/circulation, but I suggest modifying the dosing.

    Since the Tiger Lilys came back nicely, we will back off the potassium and magnesium, up the nitrates just a bit. Push the iron a little. Then see what happens.;)

    Dosing three times a week:
    • KNO3 7/16 teaspoon
    • KH2PO4 1/32 teaspoon
    • K2SO4 1/32 teaspoon
    • MgSO4 1/3 teaspoon

    Alternate three days:
    • CSM+B 1/3 teaspoon

    Biollante
     
  15. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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    Haha,

    Biollante you didn't offend me, I just haven't been around in a while.

    Sundays are my maintainence days and I redirected my Maxi-jet towards the back. I haven't noticed any dead spots yet.

    I also moved the drop checker to the back of the tank, and will be moving it around the tank about once a week to get readings in different areas.

    I will be trying out Biollante's new dosing scheme as the previous one has done wonders for not only my tiger lily, but all my other plants as well.

    I used to have problems with my blyxa, as it would never root too well and always seemed to be melting. Since the new dosing schedule, the blyxa has not become unrooted and seems much healthier, but I am still not getting those nice, thick bushes that I see in other peoples tanks.
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    I have had a lot of success with that higher dosing, then back off a bit and see. My guess is you will end up pushing the potassium a bit.

    The Blyxa will fill out (or in?).:eek:

    I am not sure I can explain it, just seems to work.;)

    While I never want anyone to forget the need for CO2 or plant friendly carbon of some sort, I am a new Excel convert. For reasons I cannot fathom people seem to want to cut it close or argue over some incredibly minor or arcane point. Then I see the stuff Tom Barr has done and the numbers he pushes at times and it just doesn’t seem all that out of whack. :)

    Be well my friend.
    Biollante
     
  17. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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    Today I have cut the photo period from 10 hours to 8 hours.

    Biollante,

    With my photo period down to 8 hours, will your dosing scheme suffice? or does the change in photo period not matter?
     
  18. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes


    Yes, perhaps even a bit better.:)

    Biollante
     
  19. ir0n_ma1den

    ir0n_ma1den Prolific Poster

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    I'm going to try a 3 day blackout starting tommorrow. Do I still dose during that period? excel? ferts?
     
  20. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Let it coast for those 3 days; maybe a single dose of everything before the blackout. The plant will still uptake and fixate some nutrients but not everything, and not for a very long time if there isn't any light. Read up on rubisco, calvin and krebs cycles if you want a little more info.

    -Philosophos
     
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