This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Unfortunately for Photobucket users, things have changed in a big way as of June 26th they are rolling out a $399 per year subscription fee for those who want to hotlink images from Photobucket’s servers to display elsewhere.
    This does not mean it only affects this site, It now means that billions of images across the Web now display an error message instead of the image in question. :(
    https://barrreport.com/threads/attention-photobucket-users.14377/
    Dismiss Notice

Major help needed (long)

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by shogsten, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Warning lots of gory algae details


    I am having a huge problem with algae that is getting worse. Even new growth is covered by algae in a few days. This is mostly hair algae (very long strands) and beard algae, I noticed some brush algae on a small sword as well. I constantly pick and prune - I am injecting C02 from a tank and a DIY reactor similar to the one describe on this site. The tank has been setup for over six months and has never been completely without algae. I had BGA one month after I setup the tank that I cleared with a blackout and maracyn. Until about four weeks ago the tank was going along fairly well - too much algae but I could control it with pruning. I then did a water change and left for a trip, sometime right after I left the filter stopped working. When I got back I had a full blown case of green water and the glass was covered with algae. I bought a new filter, put a UV sterilizer in line, cleaned pruned, did several massive water changes, and it has been a slow down hill slide since then. I am picking half a bucket of algae a week out of the tank. Plant growth is very good and I am constantly having to prune and replant. One anacharias stem grew over three feet last week. The plants (and algae) start perling like crazy as soon after the lights come on.


    Tank 150 Gallon
    Filter XP3 and a very small hob that I use to disolve ferts into the tank turning it off makes no measurable difference in C02 levels
    Flourite (3 inches)
    Plants (Luwidga, Mayca, Anacharias, Annubia, Forest of Vals, some Hornwort)
    Fish ( Roughly 20 small tetras, 2 cory cats, 2 yoyo's, 6-8 oto's, many snails)
    Light Compact Flourescent 400W (10 hours a day)
    C02 Injection (cylinder) Reactor with a Rio 600 (2 inch diameter 12 long)

    (Well Water)
    Ph - 8.5 (7.2 out of tap - 8.5 after 48 hrs)
    KH - 17-18 (Well water from KH kit)
    GH - 10
    Nitrates - A trace of of the tap
    Phosphates - 3 ppm out of the tap

    Tank
    Ph - 7.2-7.6 (7.2 before lights on - climbs to 7.6 before lights out)
    Nitrates - 30 ppm (test by myself and two LFS's)
    Phos - 3 pmm
    Nitrite - 0
    NH4 - 0
    Micros - Greg Watson - 50 ml every other day

    Tank Schedule
    Day 1 - 75% water change - prune/pick algae - 3 tsp KN03, 1tsp K2SO4
    Day 2 - 50 ml micros (CSM+B) - pick algae- I check KNO3 and add if necessary
    Day 3 - 3 tsp KNO3, 1tsp K2SO4, 1/4 tsp KH2PO4 - pick algae prune
    Day 4 - same as day 2
    Day 5 - Same as day 3
    Day 6 - Same as day 2
    Day 7 - Same as day 3

    - Does anyone see anything wrong ?
    - I recently up the micro's and the algae loves it
    - Do I start over ?

    What do I do next ? I'm ready to give up, bleach everything, and hang a night light over the tank, maybe grow blind cave fish in a blacked out tank

    Scott
     
  2. fosteder

    fosteder Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    You need to up the CO2. If your light and nutrients are taken care of, the cause of most algae is CO2 levels. According to charts your CO2 levels are anywhere from 12 - 30ish. And that is only a rough idea. You can keep much higher levels of co2 than this withour hurting the fish. You'll see them gasp at the top if there is too much co2. Be sure to turn the co2 off at night.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,446
    Likes Received:
    305
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    CO2.

    There's plenty of nutrtients for the plants so you can rule that out.
    If something like Anarcharis grows well and the other plants are getting covered, it means CO2.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Ok, I'll bite and I'm not trying to be difficult I'm trying to learn - Why do I need to increase C02 ? Also it appears that adding Micros increases algae growth ? Moving the ph with my KH at 17 isn't easy. Anyone else have a KH of 17 ? I have great plant growth - I have to prune the anacharias and hornwort every other day. The vals are growing several inches a week and sending out new shoots like crazy. Everything is perling like crazy - the walls of the tank will be coated with bubbles when I get home this evening. Is a few hours of keeping the CO2 up really going to make a difference? I have kind of watched the PH over the past couple of weekends and it goes up like this

    10:00 am lights on - Ph 7.2 - C02 30 ppm
    12:00 noon - Ph 7.3 - C02 26 ppm
    4 pm - Ph 7.4 - C02 20 ppm
    6 pm - Ph 7.5 - C02 16ppm
    7 pm (50% lights off) - ph 7.5 - 7.6 CO2 -16 ppm - 13 ppm
    8 pm (all lights off) - Ph 7.3 - 7.4 CO2 - 20ppm
    10 pm - Ph 7.2 - Controller kicks C02 off

    Scott
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,446
    Likes Received:
    305
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Yes, you don't have enough CO2 production.

    You need a more responsive CO2 delivery system/method.

    More water flow and a higher level.
    Your tank loses over 1/2 the CO2.

    Why even bother using a controller if it does not do it's job?
    Hard or soft water does not matter, the plants still want CO2.
    Add more and keep doing that.

    Get a better CO2 reactor/method.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)



    I'm using your design :D , I will admit it's the best of the three I've tried so far. I'll add a second one and maybe it's time to order an 80lb tank :(

    Scott
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,446
    Likes Received:
    305
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Awww hell, you need at least 2 of those things for a 150 gal.

    I'd make 2 x 6" to 8" L models and spal a maxi jet powerhead 1200 or so on them.

    One will not do it as you can see from your readings.
    Forget everything else till you do this and address the CO2 levels.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Tom, bear with me but something is still way out of kilter kere :) . KH is a horrible term, let's say something in the water that causes a test kit to return a KH (alkalinity) of 17.5 and something causes a PH reading of 7.2. Last night adding a second reactor should have made some change. Sheesh I'm dissoloving a steady stream of bubbles in one reactor and I add a second one bumping up the C02 and it doesn't change the PH at all ? Even running the reactors overnight ? I also added tight fitting glass covers and turned off the hob (had too to fit the cover on that side) it should have had some effect to drive the PH down at least a little bit it's 7.6 right now. I also really cranked the C02 up this morning, I just checked and I'm I have very steady stream of bubbles at the reactors (too fast to count) and it looks like most of the C02 is desolving. Assuming that both reactors are equally effective I should have come close to doubling the dissolved C02. I don't see fish gasping at the surface, but given the perling is it possible the my C02 content is higher than the C02-PH-KH table is reporting ? Could there be a red herring that is tripping up one of the tests ?

    I'm not throwing anything else at this until I have a better understanding of what's going on. I'm going to setup up my quarantine tank (20 gallon) tonight and do some experimenting. I'm going to set the tank up bare, pull water from the 150 and stick one or perhaps both of the reactors into the 20 and see what happens. Do you agree that with a 20 gallon tank that I should be able to drive the PH very low or do I need to connect a small V8 to the reactor :) ? I can also replace the pump on one of the reactors with my water change pump 400 gph although I may need to increase the length of the reactor again to keep from blowing the C02 out the bottom. This is getting a bit frustrating.

    Scott
     
  9. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    The strangeness continues. got home last night and the PH was 7.6 and just before lights out it was 7.5. One hour after lights out it was down to 7.2. I was going to move my quarantine tank over to the main tank and fill it when I found a couple of missing 5 gallon buckets in the stand of the 20.

    I filled a bucket with tank water - PH 7.3 - I put the reactor and PH probe into the bucket and in about 20 minutes pulled the bucket down to PH 7.1 and after an hour I got it to 6.9. I was thinking at this point that I was going to have to improve my reactor(s) in the main tank. When I went to return the reactor to the tank I noticed a couple of fish gasping at the surface and when I returned the PH probe to the water the PH was 6.9. Never in the past month have I been able to get the tank this low and I did it with the one original reactor. I double checked everything and even recalibrated the PH probe again. The PH controller and an a brand new AP PH (9/04 mfg date) kit agree with each other. The probe responds almost instantly to the 4.0 and 7.0 solutions.

    This bugged me all night so early this morning (5am to be exact) I filled another bucket with tap water (ph 7.2) and I put the reactor in and went back to bed (5:25 am). I checked the water in the bucket at 8:30 just before I left for work and it was at ph 7.2. It really does appear that I have something in my water buffering my PH.

    I'm not going to have time to play with this again until the weekend but I want to repeat this experiment again. FYI I double checked the alkalinity in the tank this morning and it is actually a little higher than the tap maybe 17.5 - 18. The water from the tap changes color right at 17, when I do the water from the tank it starts to shift at 17 but doesn't fully change until the 18th drop is added. Could this be caused by the extra Phosphate added to the tank ?

    Scott
     
  10. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Your problem is CO2 dissolving efficiency.

    It's normal that the tank would go lower in pH after lights out because the carbonic acid can accumulate more as the plants are no longer using it.

    With the lights on, the carbonic acid is being used up by the plants as fast as it's being created in the water so the pH can't go down anymore.

    If you can get more into the water and at a rate faster than the plants can use it then your pH will go down further even with the lights on...

    Someone hit me on the head if I've got this all wrong :p
     
  11. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Laith there has to be something else going on - read a little closer. It's not just dissolving the C02, although I agree that part of the solution maybe to get more aggressive with the injection of C02 after a water change. Let me summarize.

    150g tank
    1. One reactor - run overnight - PH 7.2 - (last three weeks)
    2. Two reactors - run overnight - PH 7.2 - (added 2nd reactor Monday eve)
    3. ?????? Original reactor running for 2 hours last night pulls tank to 6.9 ???? Other reactor was in 5 gallon bucket

    5 gallon buckets (say 4.5 gallons total water)
    1. Tank water 1 reactor one hour PH 6.9
    2. Tap Water 1 reactor (same reactor above) three hours PH 7.2

    If it's just disolving the C02 why suddenly last night am I able to pull the tank down to 6.9 with one reactor ? Also again if it's just dissolving C02 why did the 5 gallon bucket get stuck at ph 7.2 this morning ? I need to repeat the 5 gallon bucket experiment but it's going to be tomorrow night or Sat before I can get to it. I need to get a little more scientific and modify one parameter at a time.

    Scott
     
  12. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    I love the web - I did some googling and found the tests for some wells in the area of the county that I live in. Anyone see anything odd in here ? We have a water softener so our tapwater hardness (GH) is very low. While the alkalinity is very high. Anything look odd to anyone ?

    Well No. 3 7
    Well Depth (feet) 387 350
    Capacity (gpm) 200 450
    Depth to Bedrock(ft) 50 238
    Water-Bearing Formation4 LS LS

    Chemical Constituents
    Total Dissolved Solids 743 660
    Hardness (as CaCO3) 571 480
    Iron 0.5 not/tested
    Chloride 14.3 9.5
    Sulfate 245 257
    Fluoride na 69
     
  13. jonathan11

    jonathan11 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Okay, I'll offer my 2 cents. You're pulling the PH down in the 5 gallon bucket, and once in the tank, but not all the time. Lack of consistency. Please check your line and be sure that it's clear. Be sure the needle valve is open (exaggerate it), and CO2 tank valve is open (wider than normal). A small turn on the tank valve may not fully unseat the valve, resulting in erratic operation. Or so my welding instructors use to tell me. Do you have a plastic check valve? Possible source of blockage or restriction due to deterioration of the plastic by the CO2. I'm thinking that the agitation in the reactor (bubbling) maybe misleading, that CO2 just isn't getting into the water. With a KH of 18, and using a controller, and setting the PH to 6.8 or 6.9, you should be blasting the living daylights out of that reactor, the CO2 should never stop, literally. The bubbles aren't leaving the reactor as large bubbles and going to the surface, are they? Perhaps a sponge at the bottom of the reactor might help dissolve the bubbles better? Your problem interests me, because I'm thinking of using Tom's venturi reactor as well as my present reactor to provide a better distribution of CO2 thoughout my 75 gallon tank. Or a larger pump than the little Rio I'm using now. Keep us informed on how you're doing, we're all interested.

    Walter
     
  14. shogsten

    shogsten Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    I did a lot of testing this weekend and something in my well water is causing some kind of bufferring effect. I pulled two five gallon buckets of water out of my tank and I took two five gallon buckets from the tap. I used a couple of powerheads to stir up the water and free any C02 in the water. If I put the reactor into the tank water (1 week old, PH 8.2 after 12 hours of agitation) and let it run the PH drops rapidily and within the hour it is PH 6.8. If I do the same with tap water the PH drops rapidly to ph 7.6, slowly goes to 7.2, sits at 7.2 then goes down to 6.8. this took around 90 minutes on both buckets of tap water.

    Now that I understand that I have this effect, I'm modifying my water change protocol to help deal with it. I have always done 50-75% weekly water changes usually closer to 75%. I'm going to switch and start doing 25-30% water changes twice a week. I'll probably vacuum on one change and just pull out water on the other. This should decrease the time that it takes me to get through the bufferring effect and I should be able to maintain a more stable PH and C02 level. I did the first of these changes around 1:00 yesterday, I did a 25% water change and turned on both reactors. This worked much better, by 6:30 pm I had the PH stable at 7.1.

    Scott
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,446
    Likes Received:
    305
    Re: Major help needed (long)

    Or you can fix the reactor to have the CO2 system be more responsive.
    That's what it should be doing anyway. You should not hasve to odify the water changes to get decent results, Amano doesn't, nor do I.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
Loading...

Share This Page