Something not right?

Tom Barr

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You can try doing it in 3 stages, you can trim to the bone of the stuff, it'll grow back, most grasses are very good at that.

This way it'll reduce the shock.

It's fine for BBA to slowly be removed and picked away, it need not be all at once.

This only works if the new BBA is not growing!!!!

New BBA means you sill have some issues.

Less light for the time being will help also.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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BHornsey;12146 said:
Thanks Tom, I've pushed CO2 up a bit to what I think is about 35-37 ppm.


Brian

Just to be nit picky: I wish we would all be more realistic when we refer to our CO2 measurements by saying something like 30-40 ppm or 20-30 ppm or 15-30 ppm, etc. We just can't begin to measure it accurately enough to refer to it as 38-40 ppm, or as some do, 38.1 ppm. Chuck Gadd's great website has a CO2 chart that I think is ludicrous in suggesting how accurate the CO2 ppms he lists are, and that is the source of many of the "good to two decimal places" numbers we see tossed around. I spent my working years as an engineer and just got used to rounding off things I measured so the number reflected the real accuracy of the measurement. And, that has been an obsession for me for some time now. But, please feel free to ignore my obsession:D
 

BHornsey

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VaughnH;12166 said:
Just to be nit picky: I wish we would all be more realistic when we refer to our CO2 measurements by saying something like 30-40 ppm or 20-30 ppm or 15-30 ppm, etc. We just can't begin to measure it accurately enough to refer to it as 38-40 ppm, or as some do, 38.1 ppm. Chuck Gadd's great website has a CO2 chart that I think is ludicrous in suggesting how accurate the CO2 ppms he lists are, and that is the source of many of the "good to two decimal places" numbers we see tossed around. I spent my working years as an engineer and just got used to rounding off things I measured so the number reflected the real accuracy of the measurement. And, that has been an obsession for me for some time now. But, please feel free to ignore my obsession:D

I agree. I was basing it on a few things to verify it.

My kH is testing at around 80 mg/L and my pH controller is set to 6.55 pH which gives an average of 37 and a bit! Obviously this depends on the accurracy of both my pH probe and my kH test. Also, hysteresis on the controller is +/- .2 so we are looking at averages over time. :(

I have three other pH tests which agree so I seem OK there and the CO2 test indicator we discussed seems to match the range I'm targeting.

All I can say is that's what I've targeted. I agree it's a problem for Average Joe with the equipment available to him (or her, sorry Average Jane!!) Reading the many posts it's obvious the test kits on the market are not scientifically accurate but to try and get it that accurate means investment that takes it out of the hobby field. I'm simply glad there's a forum like this which is led by people who do take it seriously. ;)

Brian
 

Tom Barr

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B

Make sure you have good surface movement!! This gives you a lot more play in adding enough CO2 without gassing the fish.
Less light also is helpful(less CO2 demand from plants, they are happy= no algae).

Between these two, you should be able to tweak the CO2 without any issues to fish.

Raise the lighting, turn some on only part of the day for a noon blast.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

BHornsey

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Damn, it's coming back!

OK, I've been doing W/Cs every 2/3 days, dosing with Excel. I've put in a few more plants (more crypts and lileaopsis) to fill in some of the gaps and pruned the worst affected plants. Growth is good and the algae was dying off but over the last few days hair algae is creeping back in on the plants and green algae on the glass. If I have to leave a water change 3 days I dose ferts on the second day (my job gets in the way sometimes; roll on retirement - only 20 years to go :eek: )

I've been using tap water rather than RO but I haven't adjusted the pH controller so CO2 level should be increasing. I think it's quite high but the fish seem unaffected and my CO2 test indicator is showing around the 40+ ppm mark. There is some PO4 & NO3 in my tap (I wouldn't know what else is in there; my water authority's on-line water report is for the plant in town, not the one half mile up the road and it's two years out of date!) so I've been dosing half measures of traces and macros at w/c time

I put in a few black neons last weekend.

You mentioned reducing the light but I'm not sure that's possible. The light is a pendant fixed over the tank. The only thing I can think of is will a 70w MH work OK in a unit with a 150w electronic ballast? I've raised it up to about a foot from the water surface and altered the timer to give two five hour sessions.

The other item I plan to tackle is to build the DIY reactor you have on this forum to replace my CO2 ladder. For now I have filter outlet running to just ripple the surface.

I've been a bit confused by my tap water. Straight out of the tap kH is around 110 mg/L CaCO3 but I'm running it through the pre-filter for my RO which has a sediment filter, basic carbon and a chloramine filter, then into a tank where I pre-heat it. After passing through this the kH goes up to around 130. What could be causing this increase?

I'd like to try and bottom this as I'm starting to set up a 6' x 2' x 2' tank soon and I want to make sure I can get things right before I start screwing it up on a bigger scale!!

Brian
 

Tom Barr

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As you have seen, the CO2 is critical.
I think you will find that the reactor will be a great improvement.

I'd attack the algae good and make sure there's enough CO2/macros.
I associate hair algae due to less macros and CO2.

You might consider a 3 day blackout and attack the hair algae with daily water changes(60% etc and followed up with 2x Excel dosing each day).

That is a very agressive but non harmful approach to plants.
Good cleaning, filter, good cO2, dosing after each water changes etc.

You have a lot of light, raising the light up and having say 8 hours instead of 10 till things bounce back might be helpful.

Then go for 10 after a week or so.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

BHornsey

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Thanks Tom,

It's gonna be a little while before I get it built. In the meantime I've been pushing up CO2 by dropping my pH controller. According to my reckoning it's in the high 40's but the fish still seem quite happy. I assume when they start heading to the surface it's time to back off. How high can it go, realistically?

If you think macros are a little low, should I increase frequency or amount? I'm dosing thrice weekly;
KNO3; 2.75g which I make to be 11.5ppm NO3 & 7.25ppm K.
K2SO4; 1.0g to boost K by an extra 3ppm.
KH2PO4; .5g to boost P by 2.4ppm

Does the mono potassium boost K?

Brian
 

VaughnH

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Brian, I have found that an honest 40 ppm is just about the limit for some fish. I have my drop checker set to be green at 40 ppm. During the day, with the CO2 on, the color slowly goes from slightly blue green to fully green by about 4:00 pm - that's about 5 hours after the CO2 comes on. By then most of the guppies are gathered at the top of the tank, not constantly gulping air, but not wanting to stay in the lower part of the tank either. The CO2 goes off at 7:00 pm, and within a half hour the guppies are back to their whole tank life. Meanwhile, the rasboras, loaches and catfish all continue life as usual throughout the day. My interpretation of this is that different species of fish have different tolerances for CO2, but at least a few are not really comfortable with 40 ppm. As a result, I dropped my plan to try 45 ppm to see how that would work.

You really need a reliable method for measuring CO2. Get or make a drop checker (reference KH solution doodad).
 

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Hi,

As you know, I use that Dennerle test which seems reasonably good, backed with cross referencing my pH/kH to give me a ball park idea. As you stated earlier, you can't be that accurate with the equipment we have.

I'm gonna build the DIY venturi; if I read your post correctly, should I place some form of elbow on the outlet of the pump to make the water 'swirl' in the chamber? The diagrams aren't that clear.

Also, can I replace my 150w MH with a 70w without replacing the ballast?

Brian
 

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BHornsey

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Thanks Vaughn.

I have a gravel cleaner about 2" dia. that I'm gonna adapt and the Maxi Jet pumps are quite common over here.

Gonna try another blackout today, try and knock back the algae.
When I resume, what do you think of my dosing; should I increase dosing frequency and / or amount? (tanks about 145L)

Brian
 

BHornsey

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OK, did a w/c and covered the tank yesterday.

I took some cuttings of some of the worst affected fast growers but have put them in pots in tap water. Will they be OK like that for a few days?
 

Tom Barr

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Yes, this is actually a decent way to clean up some plants that are infested, take them out and cover the bucket from light etc for 2-3 days. Rinse and return.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

BHornsey

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Thanks Tom,

I hadn't covered the bucket. I'll do that. I'm just building my CO2 reactor, I hope to have it done before I uncover the tank again.

Brian
 

BHornsey

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Just a thought, how long can you keep cuttings in water like that. I'm gonna be setting up a six foot tank in a couple of months and I want to start building up a supply of plants now.

I have a couple of small planted tanks but they're pretty crowded already and I wont have room for a lot more plants to grow on; the bucket method would be better if it works.

Brian
 

BHornsey

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Right, my three day black out is done; much of the algae is knocked back so I'll keep on dosing excel and doing w/cs. I got my reactor built. It's a little slow getting started but once it does it really pumps it out; theres a gaseous mist in the water which I assume is CO2? I've now got that aiming water to the lower part of the tank and the filter outlet setup to give some surface disturbance.

As for lighting there isn't a lot I can do right now. To use a lower wattage lamp I'll have to replace the ballast as well which pushes the price up although I have spotted a 70w MH lamp in a 4200k temp. Is that too low?.
For now I've raised it up to about 2' above the tank and set the timer to give two four hour spells with a four hour break between.

I'm gonna set up my new tank (6' x 2' x 2') in the new year. Would the 150w MH be better over that with some T5 flourescents to fill in? I might be able to get a 70w lamp to use over my current tank then.

Brian
 

Tom Barr

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Basically there's no way to have plants sitting around till the new tank gets done. Unless you have several tanks to keep them in and have CO2 etc for them and so forth........

I suggest adding 8-10 hours of light, not a 4x4 split etc.
That's not going to help.

If you reduce lighting, raise the light, or reduce the total hours on.
If you increase lighting, do not go beyond 12 hours.

Stick to that.

The CO2 sounds good, if the mist is produced after about 2-4 hours, that is ideal.
You can start the unit about 1 hour before the lights go on and stop it about 1 hours before they go off if you wish.

Work on the CO2 right now and spend the energy and effort there.
If things still do not work, raise light etc.
Stick with 8 or 10 hours for now.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

BHornsey

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Well everyone, I have only one thing to say: Thanks very much! :)

The algae is knocked right back, just some last lingering on the Alternanthera.
I'm still doing w/cs every other day, when can I start backing off to longer intervals until I get to my normal weekly?

Once again, thanks

Brian
 

Tom Barr

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Yes, once the plant growth is returned for most species, some might take a little longer to recover, you can get back to a more normal routine.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

shane

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Hi BHornsey,

I think I am in the same boat as you were with regards to trying to knock back some green hair algae. I am doing 50% water changes every other day. What did you dose during water changes? How did you dose the Excel? On the bottle it gives (2) different dosages one for when you do greater than 40% water changes and the other was a daily sort of dose. Did you dose the 2x of the water change or the daily?

What did you find to be the most beneficial in terms of knock back the algae? The 3 day black out, the Excel dosing, or the large water changes?