tank problems

Tom Barr

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This is a bit normal in some tanks when you redo/reset things.

Do a good water change and follow it with Excel and Dosing, repeat this every other day if you want to beat the algae back, this will help a fair amount.

After a few days of that, the algae will back off.
This algae I often associate with redoing a tank and disturbing the substrate without a large water change thereafter, sometimes poor cO2.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

yme

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I thought indeed that this wasn't that abnormal. glad you confirmed.
Of course I do a weekly 50% waterchange. But I am not able to do it every othe day. Just because the osmosis aparatus takes 2.5 days to make the 50 liters. :(

About the Co2 I am nowadays never sure, but the setup that I have now seems the best so far.

greets,

yme
 

Tom Barr

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Well, it does not test in real time, it does have a delay of about 2 hours and it's only colormetric, unless you did the pH probe insertion method.

I'd try and see about buying some distilled water etc for the Excel water changes since it's mainly a one time thing, a few days and you are done.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Professor Myers

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Schematic Update ?

At least one of us is still waiting for your last refinement, and eager to fabricate a working model. :p I did purchase a drop checker for the "organic" tank though this will allow me to parse the differences, but they are both very worthy methods, and a darn sight better than lame presumptions ! :)
 

yme

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I don't know.. as a control freak, I would rather go for the PH-electrode method.
But is there yet a good design? I read tom saying something about "Tap Plastics"... Don't know what it is, guess some hardware store, but can I conclude that there is an easy to make design?

btw: I saw some CO2 drop checkers in the shape of a tear. Is this oke? To me, it seams that the surface for gas exchange is smaller.

greets,

yme
 

VaughnH

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I made one of those "tear shaped" drop checkers, using a clear plastic bottle, cut apart and welded back together. It works very well too. For other ideas see: DIY Drop Checker - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art
Tom is referring to his idea for incorporating a pH probe in the design, so you can more accurately determine the pH of the liquid in the "drop checker", thus more accurately determine how much CO2 you have. Tap Plastics is a franchise type store that sells plastic sheets, rods, bottles, tubes, containers, etc. and the cements for glueing them together. You can find it on Google.
 

yme

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Some time later, there are good and bad things.
The very bad thing is that I lost some fish. I increased the CO2 concentration too much and this resulted in the death of 7 fish.
The others were also very slow and/or gasping but when I put them in a aerated bucked with just the same tank water, they were oke within 15 minutes or so. Very sad that I lost some fish.

One thing I learned from this is that I don't have lack of CO2. Together with some powerheads I can be quite sure that there is enough CO2 in the water.

So what is left?
Mg and Ca --> good enough, I add after every waterchange Mg and to get to a level of 4 mg/l Mg and 35 mg/l Ca.

PO4/NO3 --> I add after a waterchange 0.6 mg/l PO4 and 10 mg/l NO3 (due to the algae and poor plantgrowth I change the water now twice a week). Between the waterchanges I add also 0.3 mg/l PO4and 1.2 mg/l NO3. I think I am fine with these levels.

traces --> every day 2 ml flourish and 1 ml flourish iron (I haven't bought tmg yet...)

And at last the light --> I have 3 30 watt t8 TLs with reflectors burning for 10 hours. One of the TLs is lying on a glass plate that is covered with calcium deposits, so a lot of light from this TL will be lost. Together, I do not think I have too much light.

And what are the results: well it seems that the plant growth rate is slower for some reason. However, the algae growth as well. But the result is still the same: after a while the new leaves are covered with this green algae that feels slimy and can easily be rubbed off. The algae sounds like rhizoclonium. but may be a mix with some other algaes as well (possibly a bit of BGA?) because the colour is rather dark/black after the initial green colour.

There are good things: I see new growth on the rotala. the lower ends are comletely covered in algae but the plant is not dead yet. The stargrass is very healthy and growing nice.
On the other hand, the tonina is almost not growing at all. the newest leaves are nice but the slightly older ones are covered with algae.
The hygrophila is is also very susceptible to the algae. I have rub it off before every waterchange.. And surprisingly, the new growth looks like its emerse form. Why is this?? I like the fine needle structure, but not these rough leaves...
And at last, the blyxa is collecting a lot of dirt and algae. I try to remove as much as possible, but I can't manage to remove everything.

and because pics are worth a 1000 words:

tank1.jpg


rotala1.jpg



tonina.jpg


balsamica.jpg





greets,

yme
 

yme

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and one last picure:

stargrass1.jpg


hmmm, when I look at the pics, It doesn't look too bad. Maybe because I remove quite often the growing algae, or just because of the camera quality. But believe me: it is bad....

greets,

yme
 

Tom Barr

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I know this algae, it sort of acts like BGA, I ought to sample some and ID it actually. It's not very common, I've rarely seen it.

Lots of uprooting, lack of water changes etc.
Even if the CO2 is good etc, it's not helping.

You can do a few things to beat the algae back, some you have heard or read before.

Do the 2-3 day blackout.
Clean as good as you can, Vacuum the substrate(1/4-1/3 etc).
Shut off CO2.
Add more current.
Do 50-70% water change.

Shut off, lights and keep a blanket/towel trash bag etc over the tank.
The next day do another 50-70% water change and vacuum the other 1/3 of the tank.

The following day, repeat, clean as good as you can vac the last 1/3 of the tank.

Add ferts at about 1/2 EI during each water change.

Return lighting, CO2 etc.

You need to wait longer for the good CO2 levels to balance things out.
Much of the issue seems to be from the CO2 still to me looking at that growth, especially the Hygro.

Too much, too little, not just right.
You can beat the algae back w/blackout and water changes and trim the plants up more. This species of algae really does not care much about nutrients.

Regular routine water changes + good CO2.
It's the same old thing again and again.

Did not matter if it was 20 years ago of 10 or 5.
It's still the same old thing.

You might not believe it, but it really is.
Getting each person to realize and be able to do that is another story.

Folks mess something up or skip water changes, dosing, something.......there are a number of things to overlook. One thing that's helped me is realizing what other folks are doing that does work so I rule those out as possible cause for my own problems.

Eg adding PO4 at high levels does not = algae.

Most folks realize that PO4 at high levels has no ill harm, but many that have not yet gotten to that point do not see things that way.

Not sure if this helps you, but you seem to be putting and alot of effort, measuring nutrients etc and not enough to water change/cleanings and measuring CO2.

At least that's what the tank/algae/plants would suggest.
It seems there is plenty of biomass that appears healthy in the pics.......

So removing the algae that's infestinjg the plants and doing a large water change to clean up after and redosing etc should work, the blackout will knock out the rest.

But there is likely something else going on either you overlooked/forgot etc.
Tanks that are well run with good biomass should not be this touchy.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

yme

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cool! I have a rare algae! If I understand correctly, it is an algae nor some archae bacteria? And if I may asked, what was the result of the determination?
I will attack it as you suggest.


in respect to the CO2 and the hygrophyla: If I kill my fish I refuse to go even higher. With a KH of 2.8-3.2 and a pH of 5.85-5.9 (which is 0.1 above the value that resulted in the death of the fish) I *should* have enough CO2. In respect to the current: the two outlets left and right on the tank are connected to a external reactor and an eheim 1500 l/h eheim pump. For the microbubbles a CO2 outlet is connected to a 600 l/h powerhead. In addition to that I have an eheim professional that takes care of the filtration. I wouldn't call this to little current...
I agree that it could be a CO2 issue, but I have no clue what to do about it. The only thing that comes to mind is reducing the light.

greets,

yme
 

Tom Barr

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Then stick with the less light approach.
I think many folks try and try to force a system based on never changing the light.

You can always add more later once the tank is happy an stable.
Many tanks experience issues, then backing off the light for awhile, the tank does much better and crusies along nicely.

Then later, once the growth is rapid, plants growing well, you might add more light.

It takes awhile for plants to respond and get going again.

As far as CO2: needel valve variation can cause issues, but generally well timed bubble counters can alert you to this.

Cheaper valves will expand or change through a day or week etc.

Working on several client's tank's that bought the cheaper CO2 regulators with cheap valves already on them alerted me to this issue.

Every week, I had to turn the darn CO2 back up.

I bought a nice new valve and have not had issues with these two tanks since.

You have to watch the CO2 throughout a day cycle and see what it does.
This will save fish and prevent algae.

I think you have hit the max CO2, fish lost, plenty of current and various methods have been done.

So there's been a reasonable attempt made there.
So needle valve might be the only other thing at this point.

Regards,
Tom Barr