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Need help with steam plants and some algae

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by mstolpner, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. mstolpner

    mstolpner Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    I have 135G 10 month old well planted aquarium. I moved 4 months ago and basically had to restart it. The aquarium is doing pretty good but not perfect:
    - all the stem plants slow down and die off in about two weeks after I plant them, and I tried different steam plants.
    - there is some green spot algae (or it lookes like) on the older leaves of apanogeton, cryptocoryne, and some other plants
    - there is some BBA on Anubias only
    - aponogeton doesn't grow very big
    - valisneria, cryptocoryne, echinodorus and other plants are doing very well.

    The water volume is about 100G. I change about 10-12G every day. The water from the tap has nothing in it. I have crashed corrals in the filter and I am dosing:
    - every night: 3.3g KNO3, 0.8g KH2PO4, 0.27g K2SO4, 3g Mg7H20
    - every morning: 12ml TMG

    I am adding pressurized CO2 and controller keeps pH 6.5 when the light is on. It goes to 7.7 after aging water for a day. KH is about 5d, GH is about 8d, NO3 is about 30ppm, PO4 is over 5ppm but I do not really trust the tests. The fish load is high and fish is doing great.

    I would appreciate your suggestions. Thanks, Mikhail
     
  2. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Re: Need help with steam plants and some algae

    What type and how old are the bulbs? It may be time to replace them, as regular flourescent is claimed to lose much of its effectiveness after as little as 6 months. How much total light?

    If the BBA on Anubias is old and before stabilizing CO2, it probably won't die and you'll have to remove the leaves, bleach dip, spot treat Excel, or use some SAEs. If the BBA is spreading, I think you should take it as an indicator CO2 is too low, despite the pH drop and KH measurement.

    For many your spot algae indicates low PO4. For what its worth increasing CO2 seems to have more of an affect on spot algae than PO4 for me. (I hod spot algae when maintaining 3ppm PO4.)
     
  3. mstolpner

    mstolpner Junior Poster

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    Re: Need help with steam plants and some algae

    The light is 2x96W CF (11 hours a day) and 3x150W MH (7 hrs a day). The bulbs are about one year old. This is open top aquarium and the light is about 10-12" from the water.

    I bleached anubias once but BBA came back in about couple weeks. I am not sure though if it killed all the bba though.

    I think am adding a lot of PO4. Fertilator calculates it to 14ppm (0.8g/10G every day). Do you think I should try adding even more?

    Do you think this is safe to add more CO2? How much more?

    Thanks, Mikhail
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Need help with steam plants and some algae

    Do you have good water circulation in the tank? It is possible that where you are measuring the pH the CO2 concentration could be good, but in stagnant areas it could be very low. A little powerhead would add more circulation, or if you aren't using a spray bar on the filter output, adding one could improve circulation. I think making sure the circulation is good should come before trying to increase the CO2.
     
  5. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Re: Need help with steam plants and some algae

    You shouldn't need to replace the CF. I do not know how long MH lasts before losing effective output.

    That is a lot of PO4. If you're adding the .8g to the 10gal water change its a fine level though, since you only care about the resulting ppm once diluted in the tank (1.4ppm PO4 with 100gal of true water volume.)

    I agree with VaughnH that increasing current is a great way to ensure CO2 (and nutrient) circulation. If this doesn't stop BBA from spreading though, or you already have good circulation (likely with no dense stem plants), I would suggest increasing CO2 incrementally while observing fish. Some consider it cruel, but cranking CO2 and then backing off once fish gasp, then continuing obervation, is a fine and effective method to me.

    When the stem plants slow then die, are you seeing nutrient deficiency (yellowing, holes, dropped leaves, etc) in new and/or old growth?

    *If* you cannot see a nutrient deficiency except for stunting, and siince you're doing full blown EI with plenty of light and CO2, whatever the problem is may be an odd one. For example, with your rate of water changes and assuming moderate GH from tap, I doubt you need to supplement Mg, and FYI others report stunting from Rotala sp. with excessive Mg. The CC in the filter will dissolve faster as acid (CO2) increases, and perhaps a fluctuating KH is part of the problem. (I've stunted R. macrandra and R. wallichii when monkeying with KH.) These are shots in the dark, but you'll likely need to go through a bit more troubleshooting and observation to solve the problem with stems. It is an odd problem to me.

    HTH some.
     
  6. mstolpner

    mstolpner Junior Poster

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    Re: Need help with steam plants and some algae

    Thank you for responses. I will try slowly increasing CO2 and I will stop dosing Mg for a while.

    BBA doesn't really spread. It lives on Anubias and doesn't grow but it came back after I bleached it. The anubias is doing wel and grows pretty fast.

    GSA appears there and there on older leaves.

    I actually think that I have too strong circulation.

    I don't see any defficiency symtomps. Plants just stop growing and in several days new shots appear on them. But they don't grow big either. Then plants start loosing leaves. Well I may not have enough experience to see a defficiency symptom.

    Please let me know if you can think of anything else.

    Thanks a lot,
    Mikhail
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Need help with steam plants and some algae

    Classic CO2 issue(not enough).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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