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My algae issues are pretty bad...

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by LiamLiffey, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Hi folks,
    i recently set up a new tank. I made a big mistake by not adding any Mg to my tab water and not adding any Nitrat and Phosphat. All three were 0 for about two weeks. Now i am having a lot of algae. The water itself is little bit green. I switched last week to EI plus added some Mg. I am not sure if things are getting better. At the moment everythings just looks horrifying. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Is it possible to get this tank back on track?
    My fertiliser for EI is makro basic from Tobi (flowgrow)
    With this i am adding daily
    3,68 mg/l NO3
    2,8 mg/l K
    0,68 mg/l PO4

    Calcium is 40mg/l in my tab water
    Magnesium should now be up to 7 mg/l
    GH is 6.2
    KH is 5.8
    CO2 is 35mg/l
    I am also adding mikro basic the normal way.

    Is this ok? Seems to me very much.

    Thanks and regards
    Axel
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Axel,

    Depend on a few things......

    1. What size tank?

    2. What type of lighting, duration, etc?

    3. Are you using a DC with 4 or 5 dh water to determine the c02 ppm? If not you have no idea what your c02 is.

    4. Here is a link to some common algae issues.

    Aquarium Algae ID (updated)

    and a thread on how to do a blackout to help eliminate algae.

    http://www.barrreport.com/general-plant-topics/2707-algae-questions-3.html?highlight=blackout+method

    However, you need to identify and rectify the root causes of algal problems. They are a symptom of a larger tank inbalance/issue, although they cause much grief by themselves.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Hi Gerryd
    here my answers:
    40l=10,56 gallons

    2xT5 with 18watts each

    I am not sure what you mean because i dont know what DC and dh stands for. I am using an aquarium computer which levels the ph at about 6,55-6,60. My measured KH is 4 in this tank.
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,
    DC is a dropchecker and it is used to measure the CO2 content of the water without using the tank water. Using the tank water to determine CO2 content is not a good idea. It's very doubtful that you actually have 35 ppm of CO2 as the pH reading from tank water is corrupted by acids in the tank.You can see an explanation of the use of a DC here=> Welcome To UKaps - CO2 Measurement Using A Drop Checker

    40 watts of T5 over a 10 gallon tank is a LOT of light, especially if they have reflectors. You might want to consider de-activating one of the bulbs until you get things under control.

    Cheers,
     
  5. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Hi,
    thanks for your explanation.
    Actually it is 36watts and it has no reflector inside. I think theres not much light actually going to the ground.
    But anyway i have to mention that things seem to get better after all. Just a little bit. Maybe it just takes some time after my very big mistakes. I'll have a look at a drop checker asap.
     
  6. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Hi folks,
    everything was getting better but now i am having lots and lots of (hair) thread algae. It started when things were getting better. I dont know what to do now because i just cant get them away. It will pull out my hemiantus coll.
    Also N and P seem to be somewhat high. How high should they get before the weekly waterchange.

    Cheers
    Axel
     
  7. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Axel,

    You have received some good information here.

    Have you obtained a way of measuring your CO2 yet? This is VERY important in order to stabilize the tank.

    As suggested by ceg4048 you have a lot of light, even at 36W:eek: Cut the light in half until you get your parameters in line. Right now you are driving the tank hard with light but are laking on the rest.

    How do you know mg/l of the fertilizer you are using is correct? I'm not familiar with your macro nutrient or micro nutrient. You could use opposite days for NPK vs traces. Some prepackaged fertilizers are a bit on the weak side.

    Get a handle on the CO2 to rule that out then look into the nutrients.

    Good Luck
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Axel,

    You need to work on several things.

    1. Reduce your light. 3.5 wpg on a 10 gallon is just too much. As mentioned already by all, you are just driving a big nutrient demand off the bat. You don't mention how new the tank is, but if still cycling, NH4 will be high and be driving this growth.

    2. Get some fast growing stem plants like ludwigia, hygro, rotala, mex oak, etc. Stuff your tank. You can always remove them later.

    3. Mechanical removal of the algae as possible. hair algae can be removed by hand, though labor intensive. Cut away any infested leaves. If you get straightened out, they will be replaced with new growth.

    4. DETERMINE YOUR ACTUAL C02 LEVEL. I/we can't stress this enough. Low nutrient levels esp c02, coupled with high demand, will cause many algal issues.

    5. Try dosing a bit more when you get the stem plants maybe 2-3 X as much. As long as you are doing at least 50% WC weekly, you will not overdose.

    6. Do a 50% WC every day for at least 7-10 days, and dose daily. Get your c02 under control and get it consistent.

    Be patient. It may take a couple of weeks to get it worked out.

    Keep at it.

    Small tanks are tough as the volume works against you somewhat.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Thanks all for your reply.
    The drop checker is on its way to me. So I am aware of the CO2 issues.
    But one question remains for me. I was checking the nitrate level and it was up to 20-30mg/l (ppm). I have to say that was 2 hours after dosing but also only one day after a 50% water change. Isnt that very very much?

    @Gerryd: I cant remove the hait algea because most of my plants get pulled out while removing. Its quite tricky. Removing only the leaves that are effekted would leave me with no plant att all :(

    Cheers
    Axel
     
  10. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    One more quetion.
    There are two different types of fluids for the drop checker. One that is based an defined KH (usally 4 is think) and one that needs to get some water from teh tank added. Which one is the better one?

    Cheers
    Axel
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Axel,
    The favor you can do for yourself is to stop measuring your water parameters, especially the nutrient levels. The problem here is that test kits are not very accurate so they often tell you the wrong story. You have a dosing plan from reading the EI thread right? Well, if so then just follow the dosing plan, inject your CO2 and forget about measuring anything because you will just get confused and you will undoubtedly make the wrong decisions based on faulty information.

    It doesn't matter how high the nutrient levels rise. As you yourself noted, the problem occurs when you have no nutrients in the water column. So ignore the readings and dose according to your schedule assuming the ppm values you stated in your original post are correct.

    There are two liquids that go into the dropchecker. The first is several ml of distilled water that has been adjusted to 4 dkh. The second is two or three drops of a pH reagent. That's all. No tank water should enter the dropchecker.

    Your hair algae is most likely related to low CO2. Increase the bubble rate.

    Cheers,
     
  12. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Hi,
    thanks for your reply.
    So it is not depending on the KH of the water, only on the water you fill into the drop checker. Then you can read the CO2 amount in every KH correctly?

    Cheers
    Axel
     
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Pull the plant from the tank and then clean it and replant.

    Mechanical removal of algae is also important. Leaving hair algae in there will only cause those strands to CONTINUE to grow. You may need to replace those that are heavily affected.

    I am unsure of this and think it is correct, but we mostly use 4 or 5. The main thing is to use water that you can use as a BENCHMARK where the reagent color is not affected by the zillions of things in tank water, that cannot be measured.

    The former. As above, I would NOT USE TANK WATER in ANY DC.

    Get the one that DOES NOT USE TANK WATER.

    I cannot stress this enough.

    As ceg mentions, c02 is your most likely culprit. Please give this thread a read as well.

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/2661-drop-checkers-co2-indicators-why-how.html?highlight=test+kits

    C02 can be difficult to get correct for each tank.

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Hi Gerry,
    did everything you told me. The drop checker shows 30-40mg/l Co2. Algae issues are not getting any better. In a german forum people told me to use easy carbo and lots of amano shrimps. What you think?

    Cheers
    Axel
     
  15. LiamLiffey

    LiamLiffey Junior Poster

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    Hi guys,
    once more. Things are not really ok in my tank. All algae is gone but not the hair algae. I really have no idea what i am doing wrong.
    Any suggestions?
     
  16. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    From my experience hair algae is very hard to eliminate entirely, no matter how well a tank is maintained.

    It can be controlled, though, by aggressively removing it whenever it is seen, and removing any plant leaves to which it's attached.

    Amano shrimp eat it.

    Good luck!
     
  17. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Add more CO2 and manually remove whatever is there. Hair algae is typically CO2 related (assuming nutrient dosing is OK) despite what the dropchecker shows. May take a few weeks though.:rolleyes:

    Cheers,
     
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