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Thread and Hair algae :)

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by peteypob, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. peteypob

    peteypob Junior Poster

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    Hello everyone!
    I thought I had subscribed to this site along time ago and couldnt figure out why I was denied to certain threads. Come to find out I forgot to push the "PAY" button. Anyways, glad to be a member here and know Im going to get alot of great advise, critisism, and encouragement.

    Heres my current issue at hand.
    Algae:
    hair, GDA, thread algae, LIGHT GW, and minimal GSA

    Tank specks:
    Set up now for about a month
    45tall
    co2 injected
    TEK fixture-4x39watt T-5
    ADA Powersand
    ADA AquaSoil
    Milwaukee pH controller
    Heavly planted

    Lighting schedule:
    2x39watt 8hrs 11AM-7PM (1st set)
    2x39watt 6hrs 12Pm-6PM (2nd set)

    Dosing Schedule: All Greg Watson Ferts
    3xweekly: 1/2tsp KNO3
    1/8tsp KH2PO4
    1/2tsp K2SO4
    3xweekly: 10ml CSM+B

    Current tank params:
    KNO3 ~7ppm
    KH2PO4 .5~1ppm
    pH 6.4
    KH 10deg

    Fuana:
    13 Amano shrimp
    5 cherry shrimp
    10 unknown species of shrimp
    2 cardinal tetra
    2 SAE

    After the first week of planting my stems I was dosing 15ML of CSM+B and 2ML of iron. I was dosing iron because in my previous setup this was apart of my daily routine. I forgot I had a new setup at hand :eek: .

    I started noticing the algae problems about a week or two after dosing started. I know I have some symptoms of a new tank but others are not.
    I was given some advise to do a 50% WC and not to dose anything for a full week. I am dosing K2S04(1/2tsp) because my plants were showing signs od pinholes and lower leafs melting away.
    After week one to start dosing K2SO4,KNO3, and KH2PO4 at half of what I was dosing before and not to dose any trace during this week as well.

    I am midway through week one so far. Everything is pearling quite nicely in the tank and growth is there.

    The algae is most present on the the driftwood where it gets direct light. Anubias have a very fine carpet of thread algae on them. The leafs of plants have thread algae on them. The Hair algae is mainly on the moss and HC.

    I applied excell directly on the java moss in the lower middle part of the tank. It killed most of the moss. I have replaced it with new healthy moss.
    I have also added some java fern that is not pictured. I will try and get some updated pics pretty soon.

    So thats my current situation at hand. Any help?
    Whole tank shot
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Lovely tank btw.

    Owing to the fact that your doing EI dosing with your ferts, the only thing left really is CO2. Its very easy to think you have enough CO2 and to be way way off the mark. Get a drop checker, and read up on Vaughns threads about making/buying reference KH solutions, this will give you the most accurate way we have to tell how much CO2 you do/do not have.

    You have pretty high light, so you need to be providing alot of CO2 so your plants can keep up with it. The problem with high light, is that when things go pear shaped, theyre going to go pear shaped much much faster.

    If it were me, Id probably cut the light by 1/3rd, make sure CO2 was good and stable with a drop checker, dropping the light will slow the whole process down and allow you to get a handle on it.. then when the tank cleared up, if you wanted to use all that light, increase the light AND CO2 up again afterwards.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Why might you have light green water?

    Lots iof light, slightly poor CO2 and NH4.

    ADA and folks that use it do large water changes, 50-60% even 2-3 days, some folks do them 2x a week on average for the first 1-2 months, then once a week thereafter.

    They also tend to use activated carbon and or zeolite etc.

    What does that do?
    Removes NH4 namely.

    We can add all the KNO3 in the world and never induce GW.
    Same with PO4, maybe have done so and all have failed.

    NH4? Very easy to induce, mess with the CO2 a little, add high light, which you have, and add some NH4 leeching, =GW.

    If you remove the NH4, say with zeolite and water changes, it will not be an issue.

    For now:
    3 day blackout + daily water changes(50-60%), turn off CO2 while the lights are off, dose 20mls of Excel each day, clean off the algae as best you can each day.
    Add more current to the water surface etc.

    After the 3 days, dose, add CO2, watch the CO2 very carefully this time, and do 2x a week water changes until the algae settles.

    ADA tanks are not easy to start if you fail to do the routines Amano and others do.
    You will get algae if you add high light + sub optimal CO2 and do less frequent water changes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. peteypob

    peteypob Junior Poster

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    Hi everyone,
    Frolicsome_Flora:
    Thanks for comment! Thanks for the great advise! My tank is nothing like those here but hoping someday it will flourish and be somewhat interesting! I am in the process of ordering a drop checker. Folks ask why when I already have a pH monitor/controller. Figured it could only benefit letting me know if my pH probe needs calibration.

    Mr. Barr:
    Thanks for putting in your thoughts. Always surprise on how much I dont know and how others spit it out like clockwork!
    I know you have probably given the same advise to others with similar setups and it gets quite repetitive and boring. I appreciate the regurgitation!
    Your plan will take effect immediately!


    This is probably a dumb question and Im redundant to ask but where does NH4(ammonium) get introduced to the tank from? Hpw does it get in excess?

    Thanks!
    -Pete
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Both Aqua soil and Powersand have NH4.

    That's what causes some of the brown slime algae folks sometimes get.
    If you use activated carbon/zeolite and do 2-3x a week water changes for the first 1-2 months like Amano, then there's no issue.

    The NH4 leeches out, then and nice colony of bacteria develops on the outside the grains and prevents further leeching at high rates. Plants are also grown it by then so they are also removing it.

    Adding the zeolite etc sequesters it chemically and the water change removes it manually. Plants and bacteria sequester it biologically for incorporation into biomass.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. peteypob

    peteypob Junior Poster

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    I just did some research on drop-checkers and how they work in the aquarium. I am at a total shock on how little I knew how these work and how much I THOUGHT i knew about them.
    Heres what I have on order:
    ADA dropchecker
    KH Standard 4DKH(contacting Bill)


    I have a few questions now that I am more familiar with this product.
    Being that I have a milwaukee pH controler and the probe measures my pH, as long as I have it calibrated I should be getting somewhat decent reading from the dropchecker?
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat Prolific Poster

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    The drop checker isn't going to tell you the ph but rather the co2 level. The kh in the tank may vary from water changes , wood , substrate, ect...... . Therefore your ph may be differ in the tank from time to time. The drop checker is isolated from these influences and will have a constant 4dkh. So if you use bromide (spelling)blue for a reagent then the color of green in your drop checker is what you are shooting for. Hope this makes since cause at 4 in the morning I am a little tired. Damn insomnia.
     
  8. peteypob

    peteypob Junior Poster

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    This bromide solution, is it the same solution that comes with the ADA drop-checker or do I have to buy this solution as well?
     
  9. riverrat

    riverrat Prolific Poster

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    I think it is the typical reagent that is used in all narrow range ph test. I know the AP test uses it

    Okay...I just search some past threads. Its bromo blue . Not bromide. Sorry for the mix up.
     
  10. peteypob

    peteypob Junior Poster

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    Its the end of the three day black out and the plants will see light today. I was wondering when dosing, should I dose at the rate I was prior to the blackout or cut my dosing in half?

    Most of the thread and hair algae that was heavy on the wood has seem to vanished. There is still some hair algae o this mone area of Taiwan moss but not as heavy as before I noticed some of the lower leaves on the HC have some yellow color to them. Other than that everything seem to have taken the blackout quite well.
    I trimmed all the plants down to a level size and dumped the tops of the plants that had thread algae on them. Did a 60% WC and also added about two capfulls of Excell. I bumped my co2 up a little as well. I should be recieved the drop-checker and the KH Standard some time at the end of this week.
     
  11. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    dont cut your dosing down, that will lead you right back to square 1.. now is the time to hit the ground running with CO2 and ferts
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, you maybe able to alter the pH probe and use it with KH reference solution inside a DO like membrane. Gas exchanges but not liquids. But the drop checker is a nice less accurate color approximation as well.

    NH4: fish, but.........bacteria, organic matter break down, dead plant leaves, fungi, and a lot of stuff you folks cannot see unless you use a scope.
    But in this case, the Aqua soil and power sand is loaded with NH4.

    Excess is defined as enough to measure I suppose but that is somewhat arbitrary and does not consider other factors, such as hiow much light, CO2, plant biomass etc, time in the set phase etc.

    Compound that with troubles getting good low level measurements, I have troubles measuring it with good lab equipment as the NH4 gets used up pretty rapidly. So what is present in the water column is not very well correlated with what gets to the plant, oxidized by bacteria or gets to the algae spores.

    There are ways around this but no one has done so yet that I am aware of.
    Maybe next year I will who knows though.......

    So folks measuring NH4 will have troubles integrating these issues.

    Any slow down in plant growth from low NO3, especially low CO2, will reduce the amount of NH4 removed by plants.

    Less is better.
    If there is one thing that's very toxic, "bad", induces algae if in excess etc, it's NH4.

    More light= more issues with NH4.
    More CO2: also more issues in many cases with NH4(in non CO2 tanks, the filter bacteria are use to a more steady system, and they provide a fairly stable uptake rate along with the plants, which while having low CO2, also have a staedy uptake rate of NH4.

    Note, the uptake rate for a non CO2 plant tank is much lower for NH4, but that, + low light and stable CO2= stable NH4 uptake by the plants/bacteria and the rest is rapidly cycled by the bacteria which also have a much more stable supply of NH4 than in a higher light CO2 enriched tank that has variation in the CO2(confuses the plants).

    I takes some time for the plants and the bacteria to adapt to taking in a certain level of NH4. You do not want it occurring all at once, that drains O2 and can induce algae.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. peteypob

    peteypob Junior Poster

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    Well said! Answered my question plus more.

    I know there have been lots of descussion about co2 24/7 and just when lights are present. I would hate to be the "oh no another one" guy asking about the issue but Im going to anyway. I have always run my co2 24/7 ever since I first set up my first planted tank. Taking that Mr.Barr pointed out to turn off co2 when lights are off during the blackout. Should this be a constant thing? Does co2 running 24/7 help algae more than plants in some odd way?

    Until I feel that alage has somewhat settled down, its there a better day to do 2xweekly water changes? i.e. on trace days or KNO3,KH2PO4, and K2SO4 days?
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No it should not help the algae either way running it 24/7, unless you are not adding enough, many cannot add a lot of CO2 without gassing their fish pre dawn.

    Why?
    Causes there is less O2 then.
    If you only add CO2 during the day, then you have lots of O2 as well as CO2, = less risk to fish and easier to add higher amounts for plants.

    Blackouts are done because you deprive the algae of light for growth, but plants can weather it easily. Both plants and algae use CO2 during the day only, it does not help fish to add CO2 at night.

    Folks suggest virtues of simplicity of using CO2 24/7, heck.........is it that hard to use a 5$ timer?
    Feed the CO2 into a powerhead if you use DIY or do not have a solenoid etc.

    Very simple, easy, and while folks carry on about the 20-30ppm of NO3, they have no issues with adding chronic CO2. I've yet to meet a plant person that's killed their fish/shrimps with KNO3, except myself with a test for amano shrimp, I got to 160ppm. I've never even met one that did any negative observable issue with KNO3 dosing to fish/critters etc.

    We all hear stories of dead fish due to adding too much CO2............

    Funny how folks are about that:cool:

    I know plenty of folks that add it 24/7, they do fine etc also.
    But I know that it could be improved, but many just do not bother unless they have a visible reason to do so, many can say that about many things in life.
    And that's fine, we all do it to some degree somewhere in life.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. peteypob

    peteypob Junior Poster

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    Good stuff. I dont have a striaght anwser as to why I have never put my co2 on a timer, guess Im lazy. I have now correted it and have it running the same amount of time as my 8hr scheduled T-5's.
     
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