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Micros & algae

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by adechazal, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. adechazal

    adechazal Prolific Poster

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    I have found an apparent correlation in my tank between dosing micros (Aquacare) and algae blooms (GDA and 3mm thread) the next day. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    After about 8 months of following the EI method and still having algae issues, I switched to the "low phosphate" method. Both methods have yielded good plant growth but also good algae growth.

    In my continuing quest to significantly reduce algae, this week I decided not to dose any micros, and the algae is much less than it has been in the past. It is worth noting that my water is a 50/50 mix of well water and R/O. According to the water authority our well water contains 1.2mg/l of iron which is quite high. After diluting I presume it to be about 0.6mg/l. Is it possible that I am "over ironing" the water when I add the micros? According to Tropica my 180 gallon should receive about 45mls per week of micros (15mls 3x/wk)

    The plants are all happily pearling but so is the algae...
    My parameters
    180 gallon
    PH: 7.10 at lowest point
    injected CO2 (actively monitored with sensor) and drop checker good green.
    gH: 10
    kH: 8
    N: 15mg/l (used to be about 20mg/l under EI method)
    P: .2mg/l (used to be about 2mg/l under EI method)
    Temp: 78F
    Eco complete
    Lighting 4x80 T5 HO with 2 week old bulbs @ 6000k
    Photo period: 4 hours on, 2 hours off, 6 hours on
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    So why would you do that if it did not help and proves the point the algae are not P limited?

    No, you are not adding too much Fe or traces.
    The rates Tropica gives are conservative. You can ask Claus directly about it if you wish.

    4x 80 W T5's is a fair amount of of light, you should use 9-11 hours of total light, not split. This is a CO2 issue and you need to clean the tank more, wipe glass good each day and do large water changes at least 2-3x a week till it clears, even daily, and you can turn the lights off for 2-3 days while you do this. Adding Excel or other similar products can help as can running a diatom of a micron filter after wiping the glass.

    EI/PO4/NO3/Traces, there's no differences and these are all added.
    I've dealt with GDA several times now and there are a few ways to get rid of it, but it still relies on just good cleaning and care for the plants.

    In most of the cases, the CO2 was a tad low, the tank needed more cleaning and care.

    Once I made the effort to clean good and filter out the rest of the GDA that was floatign around, I have not had any issues.
    GDA is not related to dosing of NPK or Traces.

    Folks have already tried that(like they do every time they have algae issues, rather than focusing on the plants, good cleaning and care of the tank) .

    The Fe in tap is very different than the Fe is the Tropica master grow.
    Also, with that KH, I'd shoot for 7.0 to 6.9 for most of the photoperiod.

    Those lights are brighter than you think.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. adechazal

    adechazal Prolific Poster

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    Tom said: So why would you do that if it did not help and proves the point the algae are not P limited?

    I'm following your advice to try everything in an effort to find out what works and what doesn't. The folks from whom I buy plants argue just as convincingly that algae is P limited, so since I respect all of you gurus I figure I'll experiment for myself.

    Thank you for the feedback on the photoperiod, my next area of concentration was going to be on lighting or CO2. I am running an Aquamedic 2000 reactor with a 1200GPH power head (adjustable output) with the output running directly to the input of my 30 gallon sump pump. I recently installed a 20lb CO2 tank :D so I can crank it up as needed.

    I will also put my Magnum w/diatom back in the system and do a daily cleaning to see how things fare on the GDA front.

    I have had a suspicion that although 320 watts over 180 gallons is less than 2wpg the old wpg rules don't apply in a linear fashion at this size tank.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The growers you are speaking to are simply guessing.
    They do not know, they just say whatever other folks commonly hear.
    They sell plants, that's mostly their concern.

    I'm sorry, they do not argue just as convincingly, they get their flawed logic kicked up and down the street. Always have for well over a decade.
    You cannot argue with results.

    Here's 3 ppm of PO4, 30ppm of NO3 and ADA AS and 10mls 3-4 x a week of TMG:

    resizedsideview20.jpg

    Here's another example:

    resized350102006.jpg

    this one was 15 years ago:
    90galtank.jpg

    Simply put, if you want to test a hypothesis, say "excess PO4 or Fe cause algae", you set up a control tank that's doing well to start with(the big failure amongst most folks), then add the treatment to it.

    If adding excess PO 4or Fe(or whatever treatment you are interested in), does NOT cause an algae bloom after a few weeks, it cannot be the root cause for the algae.

    You need to look elsewhere for a cause.
    So you try another hypothesis and keep going till you find a suspect or run out of ideas.

    This is the principle of falsification and every hypothesis must be tested against this principle. It's just one step along the road to figuring out why algae is present.

    This should be a good step up.
    You must be over in Europe based on the PO4 comments and the AM 2000.
    No one here in NA or most Asian countries buys into the PO4 thing if they have been on the web long.

    I'd spend my time fine tweaking the CO2.

    Do this slowly.
    Also, make sure you have decent flow in the tank and surface movement of the water. Not enough to break the surface of the water, but a slight ripple.

    Also, I assume you have a sump based on what you have said thus far.
    If you have an overflow, make sure the level inside the overflow is only 5cm below the water level in the tank.

    This will reduce outgassing.

    If you have a wet dry section, see if you can seal any leaks to the outside air with duct tape. Make sure that these two things are done!

    Your CO2 will much easier to maintain and you will lose far less, but still have good O2 for the fish.

    Also, never add CO2 at night, it;'s not good for fish to have high CO2 all the time and allows you to add more during the day when you need it.

    CO2 is not needed at night.

    Generally, many turn CO2 uon about 15-60 minutes prior to lights coming on and then off 1 hour or so before the lights go off.

    Yes, definitely.
    This will help a lot.
    Clean the glass often and micron filter it.
    You will likely need to clean the cartiage often.
    I'd do larger water changes during this time as well, add Excel or Easy Carbo, no lights for 2-3 days and daily water changes.

    GDA, is a tough one to get rid of. Unlike GW, it attaches and will do well, so a UV will not really help that much like it does with GW.
    UV and micron filters will help as long as you can wipe the surfaces often and the water goes through the UV or Diatom/micron filter etc.

    GDA will clog filters much faster than green water. GDA is about 6-10x larger than GW. It's called Akinscendemus. I think I spelled it right.

    Well, partly, but T5's + a reflector are quite powerful. I'd say 2x that of the older T12 lights.

    I'd space them 25-30 cm apart if possible.
    Yes, they can support a nice film of GDA.

    but I think the issue is more CO2 and just getting rid of the GDA that's there.
    It rarely comes back again after you get it, much like GW.

    I do not know the cause of inducement/germination for GDA, but do for most others.

    I do however know I have not had it due to high PO4, Fe light etc.
    I also had had trouble getting it in many tanks even when cultures where added to control tanks. Never would grow or last for more than 2-3 weeks.

    Bottom line, no one, especially the folks advising you know much at all about this alga, I'm about the best, at least I can ID it and have 3 methods to get rid of it.

    I also know that nutrients are not an influencing factor , while CO2 often is for most algae.

    Tweaking CO2, good nutrients, good cleaning methods will help the plants do better no matter what and remove the algae.

    If you can also add Easy Carbo or Excel at the same time, a couple of the 3 day treatments spaced maybe 5 days apart ought to beat it.

    I recently helped a friend that had the worst case with this method. Then tried on my 20 gal test tank at home. worked well and took less time than the 3 week method where you wait for the next life stage to start forming(the film will start to slough off after 2-3 weeks etc), then you wipe and clean real well, do massive water change, add excel and tweak CO2.

    That worked well for many folks also, but drives many nuts while their tank has the green slime on it.

    GDA does no harm to plants and like GW, would be an ideal algae to study if we had a better understanding about it's germination.

    Each time you wipe it off, it'll swim around and reattach(inside 30-60 minutes!).So it does not complete it's life cycle and go dormant because you are disturbing it.

    After that, it's no longer an issue again.
    So dosing really will not matter.
    Like GW, you can water change it or limited it, your plants will die before then.

    The real question is what germinates the spores to grow into this part of the life cycle. If you stop new growth, then you can beat any species of algae.

    and that's the long term goal

    regards,
    tom barr
     
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