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New Member with Light-Co2-Fert-Algae identifying questions

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Datsun Dude, May 12, 2016.

  1. Datsun Dude

    Datsun Dude Junior Poster

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    Hi everyone. I'd like to say thanks to those who run the forum, it's been of great help since starting a planted tank back in January. It is a mr. Aqua 60p tank using Seachem flourish as a substrate. I am running an Eheim 2211 canister filter along with a Hydor nano 240 circulation pump at times for improved circulation.





    The light is an aquatic life edge 24 inch fixture. As far as par, with both channels on it is spec'd to have 95-105 at 12 inches of depth. Channel 1 is the multicolor LEDs and ch2 is the bright white LEDs. There have been several threads on specifics of color temp so I won't beat that horse to death. My understanding is the light has decent par but the spectrum may not be ideal for some of my plants, maybe all.





    I run a custom co2 system thanks to this forum. Regulator is custom built single stage utilizing a Fabco needle valve on a 5lb cylinder at 4bps using a GLA bubble counter into Fluval disc diffuser.





    Eheim spraybar is pointed towards surface for agitation and co2 circulation seems ok for this "wasted" co2 system- bubbles are circulated good from top to bottom. I plan on utilizing an in line diffuser at some point.





    My light/co2 schedule is as follows:





    Co2 on at 10:00 AM. Co2 off at 6:00PM


    Ch1 lights start 12:00PM Stop at 7:00PM


    Ch2 lights start 2:00PM stop 7:00PM


    30 minute ramp up/ramp down for sunrise/sunset.





    Utilizing hourly PH measurements and a co2 drop checker, I can confirm the following:





    Degassed overnight tank water PH- 8.2 (more water perimeters to follow)


    Tank Co2 @1hr -7.4ph


    Tank Co2 @2hr -7.2 - ph held consistent until co2 shutoff for rest of photoperiod.





    My intent with the above is to have as close to 30ppm as possible from the start of photoperiod til the end.





    Water perimeter tests: (same day as co2 testing using all API master test equipment)


    Ammonia- 0-.25ppm


    Nitrite - 0ppm


    Nitrate - 20ppm


    Kh- 14


    Gh- 24





    I will note I live in central Indiana with notoriously hard tap water. I have been filtering the water with a Pur faucet filter for the past couple of months and have seen an improvement in algae control, but I can't shake an unidentifiable kind.





    Ferts and water change schedule:


    Using an adapted EI scheme (finally seeing rotala macrandra growth!)


    40-50% Water change every Tuesday


    Aquarium fertilizer macro micro mix - 1/2tsp +1/8tsp - Wed,Fri,Mon


    GLA KH2PO4 - 1/4tsp + 1/8tsp per 500ml - dose 30ml - Tues,Thurs,Sun





    The fert dosing was calculated using the rotala butterfly calculator. I initially made the mistake of not knowing I was not dosing any P with the macro micro mixand had been fighting terrible green spot algae along with this unidentifiable algae. Once dosing P after a thorough cleaning and trimming, I have not had any green spot algae come back.





    Plant list:


    marsilea crenata - mostly removed for various reasons and algae


    alternanthera reineckii "mini" - few remaining


    ammania "bonsai" - grows like a weed!


    rotala macrandra - very temperamental growth, but once adding p to ferts great growth


    limnophila hippuridoides - unidentifiable algae has decimated this stuff. cut back to stems and is not bouncing back.


    elocharis sp mini - slow growth and is covered in this mystery algae. is setting off new shoots but not carpeting well.





    s. repens- added two weeks ago and is surviving but algae is starting


    alternanthera reineckii cardinalis- added two weeks ago and algae is starting again


    hygro fern- added two weeks ago, it is growing but again,algae





    whatever this algae is, it loves plant leaves and the glass. On my red plants it appears green hued but on the glass it appears green to brown hued.





    Thanks for reading, I wanted to be as thorough as I could be, unfortunately in my research I just can't identify whatever this bastard algae is. Seachem excel does not seem to phase it.











     
  2. Datsun Dude

    Datsun Dude Junior Poster

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    Here are some pictures of the tank, algae and the R Macrandra
     
  3. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    Hi , i can suggest a few things but you can wait for others suggestions . Here are my suggestions :


    - your filter eheim 2211 is too small for this tank, you need an Eheim 2213 full with bio material , like substrat pro , seachem matrix ...etc, if you have budget buy Eheim Experience 150 and fill it with good bio media .


    - lover your spray bar a bit , you have too much surface agitation and maybe your co2 goes out too fast


    - try up your lights like 10 centimeters above the tank


    -try up co2 , don't rely on bubble counter , you might need 3 bps or 5 bps , you will have to find out


    - i think also your water if a bit too hard , try getting out the rocks from the tank if you can and check if ph is decreasing


    Are you mixing micro and macro in the same bottle ? how much micro are you dosing ? Are you dosing micro and macro at the same time ?


    How old is this tank by the way ?
     
    #3 skija, May 13, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2016
  4. Datsun Dude

    Datsun Dude Junior Poster

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    I use the 2211 which is 60gph rated, plus the hydor koralia 240 nano which is 240gph of circulation. Plenty of current in the tank and the danios and rasboras enjoy it. The filter has a mix of seeded seachem matrix and eheim sub pro with Purigen after the carbon insert.


    The spray bar is as low as it can go in the system. I am debating shelling out the cash for way overpriced glass or stainless pipes, or just making my own hybrid plumbing system with some fabricated 316L stainless pipes and utilize AN fittings/flares with hose adapters for a leak free system.


    Regarding the light- I'm not sure lowering the available par would do me much good, rather than fab something it would be easier to shorten the photoperiod.


    Regarding the co2- based off of the Kh/PH tables available, I am nearing the 25-30 ppm co2 mark by basing my recorded PH drop from the baseline ph level of the tank. I can confirm that my tap water is at 8.2 with the same KH/GH as well. I have noticed if I increase to 5bps the fish become exhausted. I am wondering if I need to focus on the co2 diffusion quality rather than the injection amount.


    I do not mix the fertilizers together but dose separately on opposite days in order to avoid the iron and P reacting


    This tank was started in January of this year, so it is nearly 6 months old.


    I will add that after searching this forum and reading the dusko algae iD page I am confused as to whether this is some kind of hair or fuzz algae. Id like to pinpoint what it is rather than have more plants eventually die off. My A. Reineckii just can't win with this algae, it just destroys leaves and the plants just won't grow.
     
    #4 Datsun Dude, May 13, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2016
  5. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    You need to either increase plant mass or increase your water changes.
     
  6. Datsun Dude

    Datsun Dude Junior Poster

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    Thanks !


    I had been wondering about this, and instead of looking for more algae eaters a couple weeks ago I opted for more plants after reading up on plant mass versus algae in competition for nutrients.


    I have planted tissue culture plants in just about every available space available, and after two weeks it has brought me to post up here with the pictures you see. Now... If you think more plants are needed, which is fine - I would ask this:


    What should I look for that has a super fast grow rate considering I am dosing EI with the par levels I have (90-100) ? I look at it this way, if I can have something that will literally grow like a weed then great. I'd rather have problems keeping up with trimming than worry about slow growth with algae. I can always prune/remove / add other plant species later on once I get better balance.


    Regarding the water changes- I am currently doing the basic EI advised weekly 50% water change. By your recommended more frequent changes, what should I try? 20% every other day? Twice a week 50% changes?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  7. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    Any rotala, limnophila's, ludwigia's, bacopa's


    You ever hear plants being called weed's by etc. person's? Well that means its really fast in growth and has abilities to take over and such, so just a search around "fast growing plants"


    Your mac can already be topped for one. trim off the algae leaves of the reineicki. See you may say you'd like to trim aggressively but i don't see actions yet, practice now :) . Even the bonsai can be trimmed but me personally i would wait to reaches top a little more you'll get more from sideshoots after you top.


    Try 60-70% weekly or 50% biweekly sounds about right.
     
  8. Datsun Dude

    Datsun Dude Junior Poster

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    I totally deserve that, but to be honest I've been treating this whole EI thing as an experiment. I've only been doing the EI thing for a month, and in the past two weeks the macrandra has just boomed! It's had such slow growth since its been in the tank from the start, I've just wanted to see how much it will grow. It's been kind of my benchmark of "well this is growing so what the hell is up with the other plants" plant.


    My question on the water changes though-- with EI it seems the goal is to have an estimated surplus of nutrients so the plants never starve and eventually outcompete with algae. By doing frequent water changes doesn't this rob nutrients? I'm thinking for my schedule maybe the larger water change may be better, but I would slightly worry about too much drained for the tenants in the tank.


    And on that note, my B Pleco is not earning his rent. I think anymore he tries to eat everything but algae. However, he is the most entertaining fish, clearly letting everyone else know he is "the boss".
     
  9. Datsun Dude

    Datsun Dude Junior Poster

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    I am curious though, does anyone have an idea of what type of algae this may be?
     
  10. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    Yeah it does rob the nutrients, this prevents buildup. EI and water changes very legit system. Works well.


    Saying goes "nutrients/fertilizers are easy" Worry about the other factors. So rob, replenish, it does a aquarium good.


    unless there is something bad in the water i wouldn't worry about the larger changes and tenants.


    i don't know what algae that is, looks like GDA mixed with a bit of diatoms possibly some fuzz algae as well.


    Myabe you can identify it here:


    http://www.guitarfish.org/algae#fuzz
     
  11. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    funny seeing them being territorial about the bristle nose pleco
     
  12. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Try another approach.


    Get some hardy, hard-water tolerant plants like hygro, ludwigina, ambulia, dwraf sag etc. Get some plants in there. Get some density. The only things that truly prevent algae, is rapid plant growth, water changes, and cleaning.


    The tank needs a lot of cleaning. Trim infested leaves. Toss. Vacuum and clean filters. Do water changes twice a week.


    Reduce light. You are dosing EI with 100 PAR and hardly any plants. I am surprised that there isn't more algae. I'd guess only about 5-10% of your EI ferts are being absorbed.


    This is what I'd do, if I were you: reduce light WAY back, add plants I mentioned above generously, clean, clean some more. Move to a fert like Thrive and dose it at half or quarter dose.
     
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