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My tank seems to be algae heaven.

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Frolicsome_Flora, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    I had a count up today, and a good look around my struggling 37gallon tank and I have the following algae types:
    • BBA - only on driftwood oddly, its never gotton onto the plants.
    • cyanobacteria - mainly in the front sand patch that gets a slightly shaded flow.
    • brown algae - keeps getting onto fittings
    • small amount of GDA - on the glass but only very small amounts.
    These are mainly from a long period of lack of maintenance, and a thorough lack of understanding of whats required. Hense I find this place :)

    Ive just started doing proper EI, today is the first day, and Ive noticed that my CO2, (thanks to Vaughn explaining how to use a drop checker properly), is only 9ppm. I have a nice pressurised CO2 kit coming complete with a solenoid. My lighting is 2.1wpg of T8 over the tank.

    Im hoping that once I get it all in place, that Ill start to see a reduction in the algae together with increased plant growth.

    I thought it might be interesting for me to keep this thread updated with occurrences as they happen, changes/no changes.

    Im pretty much a newb at this, so Ill do my best. If others have done this to death lemme know and Ill just keep quiet :)
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Please do keep up the story of your battle with algae, etc. I think we all learn by reading other's experiences, even if those experiences duplicate many others.
     
  3. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    well, i got my nice new D & D pressurised CO2 system, I managed to find a brand new set on ebay for about 2/3 retail. Even has a solenoid on it, so Im dead happy with that.

    Also got my 4 Zebra Nerite Snails today, they seem to love it too which is good. Now I have a nice stable CO2, and all my nutrients are as they should be, I think Im going to turn up my lighting again to 3wpg. 2 of my T8 tubes are fairly old and the tank seems really dark. Ill keep an eye on things and see how it goes from there.

    Feeling much more confident now I KNOW that I can control things better, DIY CO2 is all very well, but its just too horribly unstable and if your already fighting algae problems, I wonder if its more trouble than its worth.
     
  4. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Annoyingly, Ive had to send the CO2 system back :mad: the canister managed to completely discharge itself over night, with the solenoid turned off. The solenoid was buzzing furiously as well during the day, so it was kinda 2 reasons to send the whole kit and kaboodle back. The shop says theyll send me a replacement kit and refund my large postage bill for returning it, so thats something.

    Because of my large algae problems, and my temporary lack of stable CO2, Ive decided to black out the tank for 3 or 4 days. I did a huge cleanup of everything that I could see, and a 60% water change, then wrapped the whole lot in black bin liners and a thick blanket to keep it all together. Thought I might as well while Im waiting for the new CO2 kit to arrive.

    So annoying, the air was blue this morning when I saw the pressure gauge. I was so pleased with the results from just one day of stable CO2, and now I have to start over again. At least it might teach me some patience. As a very wise man told me, its not a race.
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I suspect you didn't tighten the connection to the CO2 tank tight enough. Generally, that is a source of leaks when not done well. The buzzing solenoid is another matter, and it was probably defective. My philosophy on CO2 systems is, go for the cheapest only if you are willing and able to do the minor repairs that are almost certainly going to be needed to make it work right. Otherwise, go for a higher quality unit. I don't know which you picked, but my Milwaukee regulator assembly took quite a bit of minor fiddling and repairs before it became a good device. Also, soapy water is your best friend when connecting up a CO2 system.
     
  6. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Thats a good idea, the soapy water for next time. Unfortunately, Im on an extremely tight budget and must make do with what I can get hold of for the money. I got a D&D 600 system.

    Ill be more careful next time I stick it together, although, I checked the gauge when it went off that night, and it was all good.. so dunno. Thought the best thing was to send it back, the solenoid was defiantly drowning out the TV, so that if nothing else warranted it returning.
     
  7. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Interestingly, the shop that sold me the CO2 system emailed me yesterday with the prognosis, they say that the CO2 canister has a fault on it, around the thread which caused it to discharge.. apparently really rare, trust me to get it! Anyway, a new kit is on its way back now, hopefully will get here today or tomorrow.

    Blackout ends today, I left it an extra day as I didnt have time yesterday to do a thorough clean up. Will be interesting to see what happens, I have a diy co2 bottle ready to go on at full rate, so hopefully that will be some way to normal co2 dosing until I get the proper system back.
     
  8. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    got the co2 unit back with new co2 canister, no solenoid buzz so im happy with all of that.

    blackout over!! and.. wow, no trace of any algae anywhere, what an amazingly satisfying way to get rid of it. blackout actually lasted 4 days. took out any debris that i could find and then did large water change.

    also, i changed one of the T8 tubes from an aqua-glo, which is very high in the red range, to a life-glo. so im now running 2 life-glo and 1 aqua-glo to provide a balanced spectrum with less red, but some red for the plants. anyway, will carry on EI, with nice stable CO2 and hope for the best now.
     
  9. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Im so annoyed, I get up this morning to find the new CO2 canister empty again *sigh* arranging a totally new replacement system.. why does life have to be this difficult?

    put on DIY Co2 as an emergency measure, again, and turned the lighting down to 1wpg to compensate. Ill give this system 1 more try and if it fails again, Ill get a refund and do more thinking.

    *mutter*
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't recognize "D-D" or "D & D" as a supplier of CO2 systems. Who is that? I can't see a reason for a loss of all CO2 from a CO2 bottle, other than a mistake in installing the regulator on it. Is this a CGA320 standard bottle connection?
     
  11. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    D-D Complete CO2 set [RUW001] - £112.95 : Aqua Essentials#

    theres no mistake in installation, Im a qualified diver so I know about gas seating and wotnot. They think its a fault in the solenoid leaking when its shut off, hence it only discharges at night.
     
  12. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Well, the shop that I bought the system from are being a nightmare and refusing to pay the postage to send the kit back yet again, when it was their lack of checking that found the faulty solenoid in the first place. So Im getting a refund and buying the, hopefully better quality JBL kit. It doesnt have a solenoid on it, but Ill get one when I can and just turn the bottle off over night manually for now.

    On the tank front, no signs of any of the previous algae issues, CO2 is less than before due to my yeast kit, but at least theres some going in, its not actually that far off of the pressurised kit, so Ive kept lighting as it should be.

    Hopefully Ill get the new CO2 kit monday/tuesday so just maybe I can get things into some kind of routine.
     
  13. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Getting the brown algae back, mainly on the bare sand patch (soon to be filled hopefully) and the slower growing plants and lower leaves of the faster growing ones. also alot on the back glass.

    could this be down to my not so great temporary CO2? Im EI dosing, but I dont have a huge plant load as yet.

    CO2 system should get here today hopefully.
     
  14. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Got the new CO2 system now, bought the JBL one and wow, what a difference in quality to the D-D one. Its refillable cylinders, so Im going to have to try and find somewhere to refill. Unlikely that my LFS will do it but its worth asking. Ill buy a solenoid in a month or so when I have the funds, until then, Ill just turn off the main valve at night by hand.

    Got the HC today, bought 2 pots of it to try it out, broke it up a bit and gave each clump a bit of space, looks really nice. Also netted some Riccia to the new cave roof, will see if the barbs leave it alone long enough for it to grow some!

    Hoping now Ive got the CO2 inplace that the brown algae will go. I recently added some sand, and Ive read that the silica leeching from that might well have caused it, so hopefully that'll pass soon, I hate the stuff, almost as much as cyano.

    The JBL vario diffuser is a work of art, incredibly built, and its great that you can just alter it to the exact height of your tank, its also fairly hypnotic to watch :eek: will see how efficient it is, apparently it takes upto 48 hours to run in properly, and its getting better all the time.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    FWIW,

    I use a nice high quality Victor regultor(best one out there), Swagelok metering needle valves(about the best), clippard solenoids, clippard poly CO2 tubing(soooo much cheaper than the vendors) and disc or reactors of my own design.

    I use ADA, Rhinox, and CAL labs(not yet) diffuser stones.
    I use 3 versions of reactors of my own design.
    I use 2 types of venturis for larger tanks.

    I use 4 different measures for CO2. All use some sort of reference to gauge the CO2 content against a "standard" vs tank water.

    I've never met anyone even remotely close to going to such lengths to measure and check their CO2.

    But I've been CO2 crazed for about 15 years:D

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Now this vario reactor has the bubbles going all the way up, Im not sure about the loss.. although very small by the time they reach the collecting cap on top, some of the CO2 is making it there..ill wait a bit to see how it shapes up and think about buying a ceramic disk, I really like the polinating method, seems to produce much better results. Will see how it goes.

    wish this damn brown algae would quit it! maybe a week or so of stable CO2 will sort it. What with all my CO2 kits recently failing Ive not had stable CO2 for like.. ever.. hopefully this is the last time Ill have those issues. This new JBL kit is about 100 times better built.
     
  17. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Vario Reactor update:

    not impressed, the loss through the top collection cap, and I have the extension as well bolted on, is quite a bit, Im whacking 3-4 bubbles per second through it, and Im struggling to get my drop checker to go nicely light green like it did with the pollinator that I had from my D-D kit.. so Ive ordered a good glass one, not massive $$ as I cant afford much for it, but its stated to service 300 litres, so at 140, I should have room to spare.

    so, Vario.. looks pretty cool.. doesnt work that great.. even with a good flow over it.
     
  18. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Drove all over the place yesterday looking for a good plant shop in my area, nothing at all.. just people selling some very dodgy looking swords. I really wish that the LFS's around here would pick up the batton and start catering for planted tanks properly, I dont mind ordering from the net, but I like to see what Im buying first, and I always wonder what effect the transport has on some of the more fragile plants.

    Anyway, picked up some Oto's yesterday, 6 of them.. what tremendous little fish they are :) working like busy bees eating up all my brown/red algae which is great. I have some more shrimp coming too next week, also internet ordered.

    The tank is really starting to grow now, my hygrophilla is looking so good now (except for the algae on the lower leaves). The HC is taking hold nicely too, quicker than I expected. Im trying to build some good biomass so I can tip the balance in the plants favour now.. its hard keeping patient.

    CO2 is going well, although the mister I have coming I think will be far more efficient than this vario.
     
  19. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Even after only 3 days of the Oto's being around, combined with good CO2, the brown algae seems to be subsiding, which is great. The Oto's are fat and happy looking, great additions to the tank, really happy I got them. Ive also put in 5 very little (hope they dont become lunch) shrimp.

    Ive lessened my photoperiod to 10.5 hours from 12, after reading some recent threads, and Im sticking with 2x life-glo (6500k) for now, when I have good coverage and a much higher biomass I might go for one of the Aqua-glo's (18500k) and see what happens. If all the brown algae is gone by then, itll be interesting to see if it brings it back again.
     
  20. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Got my solenoid today, much happiness. I bought the aquamedic one, as it was £30 cheaper than the JBL one, for the same thing *boggle*. Really nice unit, quiet, doesnt get too hot either, which is nice. Be nice now to get the tank into some accurate routine.
     
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