This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. Dismiss Notice
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Newbie with algae issues

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Erk, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Hi everyone....I was reading around on this site today...when Im supposed to be working, but this algae I have going in my discus tank is kicking my butt!

    I currently use all the seachem ferts, except phosphorus and nitrogen. I have dry ferts from greg watson ordered and they should be in in about 2 days. Im not exactly sure how to use them, but I will figure it out

    I have about 4.2 WPG and its not doing anything but causing algae issues...I know high light equals high maintenance, and I would like some help on how to proceed. Im working on getting the best out of my pressurized co2 (5lb) and at the same time having enough o2 exchange for my fish, and so far that isnt even going well:(

    I made a good bit of mistakes already...trimming the spray bar and drilling more holes in it, and then the fish were gasping, so I have backed the co2 down, and I got a new spray bar. Im gonna hook that up today, and Im not gonna trim drill any holes, just trim it to fit

    I have attached some pictures of the algae I have ATM

    Thanks very much for your help, and sorry my post is so long...but Im in a hole right now, and could use some help big time:)

    Eric
     
  2. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    firstly, reduce your lighting by half. 2wpg is pretty plenty, anything more than that and your gunna have huge issues very fast if something isnt right, which it obviously isnt...

    then, get a drop checker and use it with reference 4dKh solution, when it goes green, your on the money. Counting bubbles for co2 is no way to know how much you have in there, and neither are test kits unless you have lab facilities.. you MUST make sure your co2 is in good order or nothings going to get better.

    learn about estimative index, your not dosing a complete package for the plants, so their going to be limited by ferts, possibly by co2 as well.

    remember the cycle, light drives co2 uptake, co2 uptake drives nutrient uptake, that then provides growth.

    right now you have MASSES of light, possibly very low co2, and your missing some nutrients, like the PO4 and N your not adding.. so your limiting your plants ability to grow in a number of different areas.

    make sure you have alot of surface agitation, an airstone isnt going to do half the job as a good ripple 24/7. Also, when your plants are growing nicely and are pearling like mad like they should be, your O2 levels in your tank will rise due to the increased activity of the biomass, so your fish will be happier with it.

    your high light and high temperature both mean that if your going to get an issue, its going to accelerate out of control very fast, halving your light is going to slow the whole system down, which will make it easier to identify and elliminate issues as they crop up.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    I agree wth Flora, but also, you only have a 46 gallon tank, but you have a ton of fish in there, all generating waste which can contribute ammonia, and the discus are, I assume, being heavily fed, so the excess food also contributes ammonia.

    You need to clean out the algae that is now in the tank, either kill it or remove it. It will continue to thrive unless you get rid of it. Then, with heavy planting, good fertilizing, not too much light, and not too many heavy eating fish, regular maintenance on the tank, you can keep the algae from coming back.
     
  4. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Thanks very much for the reply Flora, and that is a very nice explaination:)

    I have a co2 indicator suction cupped to the glass in the tank...its the Red Sea indicator? It usually goes green by the end of the night, but is blue almost the entire photoperiod:( I dont add the N and PO4 because those readings are always about the same. The nitrates never go down, and I have seachem phosguard in my cannister, and the PO4 is always at 1ppm. I have tried to increase dosing on K, and Fe to help with this

    Im not sure what you mean by:

    "then, get a drop checker and use it with reference 4dKh solution, when it goes green, your on the money. Counting bubbles for co2 is no way to know how much you have in there, and neither are test kits unless you have lab facilities.. you MUST make sure your co2 is in good order or nothings going to get better."

    Dunno how to quote things on here yet.....I dunno what you mean by reference 4dKh solution?

    I will work on the surface agitation with this other spray bar. I never see pearling in my tank:(

    Would I be able to grow glosso and riccia if I half my lighting? Also, I would like to figure something out with the timers. I have two of the corallife timers, and I have been reading around on here, and would like to figure out a way to have the co2 on about an hour before lights on and then an hour or so before lights off have it shut off? And then run an airstone for a few hours over night....these timers dont allow me to do that

    Thanks again very much
    Eric
     
  5. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Thanks VaughnH yes the discus to get fed a good bit, and that is my fault! haha

    I do clean the algae off the plants as much as I can during my water changes..I took those pics before a water change.

    I know im overstocked on the tank, but I figured with my water changes it would be ok for a lil bit...hopefully one day I will be able to get a big tank....like a 6 footer:)

    I was hoping to propagate the plants as they grew....but here I am, they dont grow like I hoped, and so I can reproduce them.

    Thanks again very much! I appreciate everyones help....very quick responses:)
    Eric
     
  6. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    I will read up on EI dosing while I wait for my dry ferts to arrive

    How does anyone go about that with 2x per week water change? I do them wednesday and saturday

    Thank you! I do have much to learn, and here I was thinking I did a lot of reading on several websites....and I belong to a few fish and plant forums already

    Guess not

    Thanks again
     
  7. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM

    the red sea one is nice, i have one of the same.. easy to read. the reason we use a 4dKh solution is this. There is a direct relationship between co2, ph and Kh, unforunatly for us, all our test kits are pretty inaccurate.. so to get around that, we put water in the checker that we KNOW is 4dKh, that way we know much more accuratly whats going on. The reason we use 4dKh, is because when it goes green, itll mean you have about 25-35ppm of co2, right on the money.

    unless youve calibrated your test kits, you cant rely on them.. PO4 test kits are famously inaccurate, ignore them and use estimative index, its worked out to provide slightly more than the needed amounts of PO4 and the other ferts, that way you KNOW your not missing anything.

    yes, no problem at all, make sure its not shaded though.. if its shaded it wont matter how much light you have it wont be happy.

    i have my co2 coming on about 1 hour before the lights come on, to ensure that the co2 is up to good levels before the plants start using it. and going off 1 hour before the lights go off. This allows me to add much more than you would if you were adding it 24/7, as the fish get a break.

    Hoppy is right, you have a large fish load for a tank of that size, I didnt notice that before. You have to remember that algae needs very little of anything to grow, plants need alot, if the plants arent growing, theres no competition for ferts, so the algae wins. this is why a large biomass is a good thing to aid you in making your tank stable.

    id consider doing a 3 day blackout to rid yourself of existing problems.. it has to be total, no peeking! and it works amazingly.. but make sure EVERYTHING is right for when you turn the lights back on.

    once youve read and understood as best as you can EI.. use the calculater downloadable from the link in my sig to tell you how much and when. a 50% weekly water change is totally enough, so youll be spending less time chucking water and more time pruning and gardening, which is what we do it for! Ive not used a test kit in 6 months, and i wont probably again either.
     
  8. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    So do I use the drops in the bottle with my tank water that came with the indicator? Is that the dKh reference...or do I need to pick something up? Ive never heard of this, but I have read about the ph, kh, and co2 relationship.

    I will read up on the EI dosing while I wait for my dry ferts...thanks for the tip

    I will also look at timers and see what i can figure out to get my co2 and airstone to work on a timer more like yours...I was also thinking of having my lights on timers so the 6700K is on first throughout the day, and then have the 10000K come on as a burst.....which is more recommended, like that, or the 4 hours on 2 hours off, and then 4 hours on again? I would like to try my luck with the two lights just maybe a lil different photoperiod? Would that be ok? I like the way it shows my reds, and my discus off. Also, if I do decide to half it, which tube is more recommended be the one to remain?

    I tried to do the quote about the 3 day blackout...I really got a kick out of the "no peeking" :) Can I do the blackout after I get a round of dosing in with the dry ferts? say hopefully this weekend, or monday? I will also get some more plants in there:) No problems there

    Thanks very much for your help....Im off to read up on EI, and Im gonna download your calc now;)
    Eric
     
  9. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Use 1/2 as much light, drop your temp to 84*, and considering your Bio-load, and feeding you should seriously consider getting a second XP3. Rotate servicing these two filters weekly. Set the spray bars 1" below the waterline directing the current at an appx. 6* angle not quite breaking the surface. Make sure your Co2 is on a timed solenoid to shut off at night.

    I also strongly suggest picking up one of the surface skimming Bio-System power filters Power Filter: Bio System Power Filter & Surface Skimmer from Drs. Foster and Smith These are a very simple way to acquire surface skimming which helps to maintain optimun Air/Water interface to maximize o2 exchange.

    I realize this sounds like alot, but Discus like higher temperatures, and unfortunately they also tend to thrive on High o2. People also tend to feed them quite heavily and this equals an extremely high nutrient potential, and ultimately Algae if unattended. In your case high heat, limited surface area, high stocking, and heavy feeding is crippling your o2 levels. HTH. Prof M
     
  10. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    use the regeant that came with the checker, but not with your tank water. Youll either need to make some 4dKh water (by using distilled water and adding bicarb to it, search for Vaughns threads on this, hes worked very hard on them), or, you can buy it from a few sources depending where you are. If you look in the sale/swap section, I think Bill was selling some on there to anyone anywhere.


    In my experience, light bursts dont really do much, I appreciate your wanting to highlight your fish, after all, with a lovely discuss tank thats your main drive.. but rather than increasing the light to catastrophic levels (like you are) try playing with tubes of different temperatures to highlight the colours.


    I would do your blackout now, while your waiting for your ferts. Again, search for 3 day blackout and read Toms routine, its easy and works a treat.


    Id love to be able to take credit for the calc, but its not mine :) I purely push it because it saves alot of headaches in trying to work out whats going on :)

    Good luck, kill that light though.
     
  11. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Thanks Professor M and Flora it sounds like I have a good bit of changes to make, and Im gonna start making them this weekend, and do my blackout while I wait for ferts as Flora suggested.

    Is there a 36" long square pin CF that is lower then 96 watts? I guess I will look around for that some more also. I checked the link you set to Dr. Foster....ordered a good bit of stuff from them in the past....and the sizes I need are both on backorder or something until the 13 of july. Does that skimmer create "white water" surface agitation? I have never used one of those before. I will consider the second rena, but they are a tad pricey, and I will be having a baby soon, so I would like to do what I can now, and see how it goes...I have backed off the feeding of the discus a good bit now.

    The co2 has a selanoid and shuts off at nighttime, and Im gonna pick up some more timers and get the times for the co2 and the airstone switched around some...more like how flora does it

    Flora...I will look at the 4dKh solution threads on here, and see what I come up with, or if I need to purchase some from the sale/swap section, and I will start my blackout tonight when I get home from work

    Thanks everyone very much for your help....Im gonna read up on EI dosing some more and try to look at different lighting
     
  12. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    why dont you just use 1 of your 96w units and turn the other one off? job done. Thatll be about perfect. Just choose the colour temperature that you feel shows your fish/plants off best, probably the 6700k one. Its becoming more and more accepted that colour temperature is purely for personal preference and has no effect on plants growing more/less.
     
  13. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Ok, thanks flora:)

    I will try it for a lil bit with only the one fixture after my blackout
     
  14. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    "white water" surface agitation ? Que...? :confused:

    Not that I've ever noticed... Prof M
     
  15. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Thanks Professor M...yes, I meant surface agitation...I read on here somewhere that you shouldnt have "white water" so I took it as breaking the surface, and creates bubbles, etc.? Certainly does sound confusing once I re-read my post.

    So the surface skimmer doesnt break the water surface, outgassing CO2? As I stated...Im still working on the surface agitation with co2 injection. I will rotate the spray bar as you suggested tonight, and get back to working on getting the co2 under control, and get this drop checker under control as well

    Thanks again....sorry for being confusing
    Eric
     
  16. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    RE: Degassing No, not that you would ever notice.

    That's one of the reasons I like surface skimmers. They allow you to maintain a clear air/water interface without driving out your Co2. Perhaps to some slight degree, but certainly nothing significant. In the case of the Bio-System filters you have both a surface skimmer and a continuous thin water spill way. Theoretically your surface area becomes almost infinite and with your show tank dimensions and limited surface area this is a significant handicap.

    The advantages of skimmers are three fold.
    1st. you have a clean Air/Water interface. (Maximum Air)
    2nd. you also achieve a clear path for Light (No surface scum to compete with)
    and 3rd. you can maximize chemical filtration as all elements are either hydrophylic or hydrophobic and this perpetuates surface tension, so Albuminous waste protiens (such as one might encounter with high protein feeds with Discus fer instance) can be redirected though carbon or poly type filters "before they decompose" at your discretion. Never the less putting you in control of the decision.

    I was surprised that this particular design actually worked so well for it's price point, :cool: Honestly ? They work GREAT !!! :eek: and they are actually on sale right now. :)

    I bought mine at full retail dangit ! :p HTH. Prof M
     
  17. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Thanks Professor M....I see they are on sale! I was actually a lil surprised to see the prices of them, I never dealt with them before, and was happy to see they are rather inexpensive...Im gonna check my LFS to see if they carry them, and try to pick one up over the weekend.

    Got big plans this weekend

    Fix the spray bar, redo drop checker with 4dKh solution (which I have to make still) revise the timers for the co2 and airstone, water change, turn off one light bulb, hook up surface skimmer if I can find one.

    Thanks for the information about surface skimmers....they sound like they should be a necessity for a discus planted tank:)
     
  18. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Picked up another timer today, and everything needed to make the 4 dKh solution, and prepared that...tomorrow I will do my water change and put the drop checker in with the new solution. Just curious how do you "store" the dKh solution? I have mine in the gallon jug the distilled water came in. Is it ok to leave it like this? Can I put the jug in the fridge? Guess it doesnt really matter?

    During my water change tomorrow I will mess with the spray bar, and hook this "unchopped" one up, pointing it up and on a slight ~6* angle. My LFS stinks and didnt have any of the surface skimmers like Dr. Fosters, so I will order it from them, and wait till that arrives and see what the co2 vs o2 relationship is going then

    Thanks....I feel like im forgetting something I wanted to ask:( oh well....another time! :)
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    641
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Store the KH solution anywhere but make sure nothing evaporates from the bottle/jug etc.



    Getting the O2/current and water pattern right takes some finess and tweaking. Just keep going till you see good plant and fish health.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. Erk

    Erk Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    4:40 PM
    Thanks Tom, I have it stored in the gallon jug the distilled water came in, on the kitchen counter right now. I have the drop checker in the tank, and it was green yesterday, a few hours after sticking it in the tank, so that was pleasing. Got the timers under control...new spray bar on, and things seem to be getting better. I have the co2 come on an hour before lights on, and an hour before lights off, and then the airstone comes on 2 hours after lights off, and off one hour before co2 on, so thats 2 hours before lights on.

    Dry ferts should be here today....I upped the dosing of the seachem products...I was nowhere near dosing what I should have been:(

    The fish seem good with this co2 vs o2 setup, and I look forward to getting the surface skimmer, and dry ferts soon.....still no pearling:( Hopefully things will look better today

    I am curious if I can dose my ferts when the lights are off?

    Thanks again very much
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice