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Thread algea?

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by tinkerman, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    I have been dealing with this algea for some time now and have made some progress with it but alot of people keep telling me I have too much light on my tank which I may, but some of the things I've read seem to say I'm ok. For example from reading on Tom's 180 gal tank,he has a simalier light to me minus the halides "At the full HQI+ PC, we have 650 micromoles at the surface and about 150 at the gravel farthest away. With PC's alone: 180 to 40 micromoles(2w/gal for a 180 gal using 4x96w of 6700K)". Granted I added some extra light to get me to a total of 516 watts/gal on a 125 gal tank, I think I'm sitting at about 3watts/gal, guessing as I do not have access to a par meter. Now I've also gotten a link from Carrisa about a different rule for light that breaks down the diff bulb typyes add gives diff to the watts/gal rule, which I have posted on a diff forum and Hoppy said he disagrees with it which is fine. I have also read the thread Hoppy wrote when he borrowed Tom's par meter and seen that light intensity decreases alot toward the bottom of the tank. Now I don't think the light is what is causing the algea and yes Tom I know don't think of what causes the algea but how to make the plants grow faster than the algea as there is a cause of the algea and to get the plant growth to improve I think it is co2 or fert related,but I have a drop checker and is green and working to get it to turn yellow slowly. I have benn given advise and taken it in and tried anything that was offered. Now I have been dosing N 2 1/2 tsp P 3/4 tsp and K 4 tsp and skippping the micro's as I think it may be the iron but not totally sure yet. Someone told me maybe dissolved organics and so I have made sure to get as much out vacing at waterchanges. Which didn't seem to help. Tonight I was looking at my dosing to see exactly how much I am adding and seeing how balanced it is agaist the recomended dosing and noticed that the amont of N and K where quite off as I thought they are supossed to be a ratio of like 1:1. I was adding a 1/2 tsp of plantex before I stopped, Ihad also been adding extre iron on top of that to and have noticed that since not adding it and a major removal of algea this has impacted it the most. Am I missing something to look at or not understanding some rightabout light or ferts. I cmae up with this for a fert schedual as to what I was addingN 3 3/4 tsp P 1/4 tsp K 1 tsp as I used the calc on the aquasketch site and seem the diff in using kci as to using kh2po4 for K. So any suggestions to try are welcome as I am running out of ideas to rid this of me tank.

    Thank you in advance
    Lyle
     
  2. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Lyle,

    Don't skip the micros. I and many others here pour the TMG/csm+b to our tanks with no ill affects from Iron.

    I don't think you need the K. Plenty in the Kno3 and the Po4.
    A simlpe question: are your plants growing? a little, a lot or none?

    you must address the plants first because if they are well they will help kick the algae. Also the green DC is OK but isn't the final verdict. Continue to adjust while watching plants and fish. Try an EI schedule and work from there.

    If you use the basic advise given here you should have success. I can grow a mean tank of weeds at 2 wpg and others state they have done with less. I'm sure you have heard this but, you don't really need high light. And if you do you must keep all parameters in check as things change quickly.

    Good Luck
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Lyle,

    So if you have 516 total watts on a 125 gallon, that is a rough estimate of 4 wpg.

    Am I to understand that you have 4x96 watt CF at 6700K?

    Please confirm.

    I would suggest the following steps:

    1. Manually remove as much of the algae as possible by hand.

    2. Initiate a 3 day blackout. Basically turn off your lights, turn off the c02, cover the front, back, sides, etc with black garbage bags or similar.

    3. Do the following EVERY DAY during this blackout:

    a. Do at least a 50% water change (WC) with dechlorinator.
    b. Dose Excel (if you have it) at the normal dosage.
    c. Dose 4 tsp of N and 3 tsp of P every day. You will NOT overdose anybody at this amount. Especially with a daily 50% WC.
    d. 6 hours after dosing N and P, add your plantex or TMG. About 30 ml of TMG.
    e. DON'T PEEK.

    4. AFTER the blackout, turn on the C02 and increase it a bit at a time until the DC goes more yellow. Just watch your critters for distress. If you see any, back down the C02.

    4a. Buy some plants like Hygro, rotala, etc and STUFF your tank with them.

    4b. Run your lights about 6-8 hours per day.

    5. Do a 30-50% WC every other day for 8-10 days.

    6. Continue to dose 4 tsp of N and 3 tsp of P, and 30-40 ml of TMG DAILY along with these 8-10 days of WC.

    8. As you see new growth, prune any older algae infested leaves. They will grow back if nutrient and c02 levels are adequate.

    9. At this point, your algae should be minimal (if any) and you should be seeing new growth, better colors, no NEW algae, etc.

    10 Be patient. It may take up to 2-4 weeks for things to really get under control.

    11. Clean your filters, sponges, etc regularly. You will be amazed how dirty they can get.

    12. Check your flow/current in the tank. I spent almost 2 weeks alone adding loc-line, bends, elbow, Hydor pumps, etc. It has made a HUGE difference in that nutes are carried to the plants, and NH4 and detritus is washed away. I have over 2400 gph of Hydor pumps alone in my 180 just for flow inside the tank!

    Then you can go to a normal EI schedule. I would personally dose about 3 tsp of N and 2 of P 3 times a week along with 30-40 ml of TMG also 3 times a week on alternate days. 50% wc weekly as well.

    You are using a lot of light, and a decent sized tank, so your nutrient level can be high and your nutrient DEMAND will also be high.

    All of the above has worked well for me and others in the past.

    If my word is no good, here is a thread where Tom says basically the same as above, which is where I learned :)

    http://www.barrreport.com/general-plant-topics/2707-algae-questions.html?highlight=blackout+method

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. Oh yeah, if you are running 4 wpg as above, I would seriously think about reducing it by 30-50%, at least for a while.
     
  4. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    I have done the 3 day blackout I have done once already, 50% wc before covered 3 days removal of algea no co2 no peeking, 50% wc after, removal, sunrise/sunset with 6 hr peek(2 96 watts and others for peek). The sunrise/sunset I have been doing for about 6 mos now. Yes the 96 w are 6500 k. I did not dose npk while doing the blackout so it was alittle different than the way you are suggesting and may make a diff. Mooner most plants are growing pretty well with a few exceptions glosso will carpet the tank in a mo with 1 in spacing, swords have 5-6 babies on them, cryps are growing runners, riccia I started with 2 peices and 6 mo later have 5 fist sized rocks coved, rotalla wallichii goes throw spurts of looking good and falls back to algea, Ammannia Senegalensis goes throw spurts as well with the tips grow smaller and smaller untill a new side shute starts growing good, red temple is only 6 in tall and several side shutes very compact.
     
  5. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    Here are a few pics if it will help.

    DSCF1143.jpg

    DSCF1155.jpg

    DSCF1156.jpg

    DSCF1164.jpg
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    IMO, you are underdosing for your lights.........

    You are getting decent growth but also algae. When things are in balance, you won't have algae. Algae indicates an inbalance somewhere.

    Dosing during the blackout is also important........

    And sometimes it takes more than 1 time........

    Crank up your c02 and your EI dosing. I would bet money this is where your issues really are.........

    Your plant growth should be out competing the algae.

    Sorry, what do you mean by this?????

    Good luck, but you seem convinced that this advice won't work for you, just because it didn't work one time or the last time.

    Under dosing of nutrients, including c02, for your specific light levels are the top reasons for most algae and plant growth issues.
     
  7. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    Sunrise/sunset say my light comes on at 10 am there are 2x 96 watt come on, then at noon 2x 96 watt, 2x 30 watt, and 2x 36 watt come on and stay on till 6 pm then turn off, then at 7-8 pm the first 2x 96 watt turn off.* The blackout I did not know you should keep dosing npk as I read 3 days no peeking meaning don't touch it.* Do you still do 50% wc during blackout?* I'm not trying to come off as if I think your giving me bad advise cause I've tried messing with the lights and messing with ferts and co2 is where I've been able to make the most impact on this algea.* The only drawback I don't like about EI is everytime I tweek the ferts I get rid of something (algea, deffiency symtom,ect) I get something else.* Everyone always says your ferts are out of balance , I've read N and K are supossed to be like 1:1 ratio, so if your plants show a sigh that they lack sya K do you have to up N as well or is there a point at which you have to adjust both or you get an imbalance?* Stuff like this I have yet to get a handle on and would like to know more as you don't see anything posted on suff like that or maybe I just haven't read it yet.* The ferts are what I think is wrong in my tank at the moment and will explore it for a couple weeks and if it don't work then I'll try your way of the blackout as there are differences in the ways to do it.* The blackout did't seem to affect the algea but I was amazed by the amount the plants grew with no light for 3 days. Thank you for all your help Gerryd and Mooner.
     
  8. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Remember as we learn here, as the tank grows in, the need for nutrients goes up. An answer/clue is above.

    When the spurts are noticed, pay special attention(things are going in the right direction) When they fall back to algae you just experienced a deficiency. Concentrate here and adjust (most likely up) on nutrients. watch the plants and try to put the hard rules aside.

    More and more I see that all nutrients are key. If the plants start to take off then you are dong something right, take note! If the tank does better at the end of the week the build up is better than the beginning of the week, take note! Once the plants grow consistently from WC to WC you are getting very close. I've never needed to employee a blackout. Just trim/prune it, WC's and add back nutrients. Don't be afraid to take nutrients higher than you current level. You can always bring them down if needed. BTW this isn't my discovery, it is printed on this forum hundreds of times, I just followed the advise.

    Keep at it, you will have success:)
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    So this is a total of 4x96 watt + 2x30 watt + 2x36 watt = TOO MUCH LIGHT!

    High light = high nutrient demand. You are not dosing sufficiently and the cycle continues. Plants starve, algae grows, light drives demand, plants starve some more, etc.

    The majority of this light is on the majority of your photo period.

    I am telling you that this amount of light is killing you and your tank (and totally unnecessary) and making your job that much harder.

    I know you want to make it work with your current lighting and you can eventually (maybe), but not while you are trying to strike a balance and get things correct.

    I would remove at least the 2x30 and 2x36 and go to a total photoperiod of 6-8 hours for the 4x96.

    Increase your c02 and your EI. Your tank is telling you that it needs more nutrients. Look at the amount of plants in your pics. That much mass needs a lot of food = c02 and EI. They are starving and this is the majority of your problem, along with too much light.

    Because you didn't dose EI or do WC! This is a big part of the process.

    Yes, the blackout should be done as described. Dose EI, do daily WC, etc.
     
  10. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    Just an update. Today toke the light down to 4x 96 watts, added a hydor 1 pump, added another 300 gph pump, toke outthe 2 200 gph. The co2 is going into the 2 300 gph pumps. Tomarrow I will make sure lights are only on 8 hrs. Upped npk to N 3 3/4 tsp P 1/4 tsp, and K 1 tsp, and will start adding 1/2 tsp plantex. Any comments on this are welcome. I have a limmited supply of P. N and K I can find in town, according to my calc this show be 20-2-20 every other day.
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Today Tom mentioned to me the results he got when measuring concentrations of CO2 in his big tank. If you recall, he has a super CO2 meter, costing $1500 or so, and it is supposed to be accurate to about +/- 2 ppm. To my astonishment, he said his CO2 ranged from around 120 ppm down to around 20 ppm, depending on where in the tank he measured, and whether or not it was in a mass of plants. The lowest numbers were in masses of plants. He now has even more water circulation than he had before.

    I am reporting this to suggest, based on your tank photos, that you might have problems getting CO2 and other nutrients to some of the planted areas, due to the mass of plants you have. My reaction to what Tom told me, other than astonishment, was that obviously CO2 is consumed by the plants at a rate high enough to deplete the concentration near the plants. And, if that is true of CO2, it must also be true of the other nutrients.

    Incidentally, these CO2 measurements were not done rigorously. He plans to do a lot more data collecting, then report on his findings. That is one report I look forward to with great anticipation.
     
  12. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    120ppm? Cloud of CO2 rich water perharps or else won't the fish and critters be dead if that was true? :confused:

    Regards,
    Peter Gwee
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Apparently the smaller the fish, the less the high CO2 concentration affects them. See Tom's new thread as of today for more, better details.
     
  14. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    I got some cardboard yesterday for a blackout, but had a question yet. How important is excel in the blackout? When the lights are out I thought plants don't use co2, the last blackout I did see plant growth so if someone could enlighten me on this alittle more that would be helpful.

    Thank you for any help
    Lyle
     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Lyle,

    Excel has been found to kill or reduce some algae.. You are right, no c02 for the blackout.

    Dose as directed for the 3 days. This is not used as carbon for the plants at this time, but to kill/reduce algae.

    I have done b/o both with and w/o excel.

    Really depends on how bad it is......
     
  16. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    Update. I did the black out as described, 3 days,50% wc, double dose ferts, and used hydrogen peroxide at 60 ml daily an hr before wc. No more algea since black out, riccia and pelia didn't like the hydrogen peroxide, riccia made a strong comeback and still have a few pieces of pelia in the tank. Thanks for all the help.
     
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