Sporadic Algae outbreaks - What is causing them

SuperColey1

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Feb 17, 2007
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Every now and again I get a resurgence of staghorn and thread.

The staghorn adorns the leaves of Alternanthera Reinecki/Cryptocoryne Wendtii

The thread attaches to Riccia, moss and Rotala Rottundifolia.

All my other plants (although glosso seems to be getting the staghorn) are algae free.

I have to mechanically remove what I can every night although the staghorn is hard to remove without ditching the affected plants!!

My drop checker (4dKH) is the opposite side to the diffusor and is a nice limeade green colour. so I assume that my circulation is OK

I dose 3 x a week 40ml KNO3 solution (500ml water 55g KNO3 ) and 15ml KH2PO4 solution (500ml water, 15g KH2PO4) plus I have high nitrates and Phosphates in my tap water. I dose 6ml TPN 3 x a week for trace.

Am I adding too much, too little or is my CO2 still to blame?

My light is 2.5WPG over a 125Ltr tank which I use at: 3 Hrs 0.6WPG, 6 Hrs 2.5WPG, 3 Hrs 0.6WPG

What can the problem/defficiency be.

My nitrates today on rest day are (according to cheap API Nitrate kit) 10ppm
I have no other test kits only the usual Ph, Ammonia and Nitrite.

Wil be grateful for any help or advice you can all give me.

Andy
 

VaughnH

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How do you know you have high nitrates and phosphates in your tap water? Don't rely on your test kit unless you calibrate it. It looks to me like you are not dosing enough nitrate or phosphate. Why not double the dosing for a few weeks and see if that helps?
 

SuperColey1

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I know I have high Nitrates and Phosphates because I am in the same area of UK as George Farmer and we are supplied by the same water supplier.

It is quite an agricultural area.

He states that our water contains 20ppm N and 5ppm P

Andy
 

VaughnH

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Rechecking the amount of NO3 and PO4 you are dosing, they seem about right - I had a decimal point error before. Another idea: are you using a distilled water 4 dKH solution in the drop checker and not aquarium water? If that is ok, I am out of ideas.
 

SuperColey1

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Yes I use 4dKH with the API Ph test kit I already had. Water went a nice blue after a swirl and is now a nice limeade green.

I can't figure it either. It happens every now and again and attacks these plants like mad before dieing down a little but it never seems to go away. Just seems subduesd for a while.
 

VaughnH

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But, is the 4 dKH solution made using distilled or DI water? If it is tap water or tank water it doesn't work and will give a higher CO2 ppm reading than you actually have.
 

Tom Barr

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Well, those algae species suggest something, but high NO3/PO4 ain't them.

When you do the water change, mkae sure to clean everything very well.
Pulling up muck etc should be done prior to the water change.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

SuperColey1

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I guess it may well be my cleaning as I often feel the urge to take plants out and prune the bottom off. I will just clean and not touch the plants this week and see if that improves thing. Will let you know.

Andy
 

Tom Barr

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It's fine, but just clean AFTERWARDS and do a large water change.
Watch the CO2 etc.
Do not over prune.
Try topping instead for a bit.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

SuperColey1

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Will give it a try and won't pull anything out for a while.

Its not the feeding because I'm testing out the autofeeder for my hols so they only get fed once a day at the mo anyway.

Thanks
andy