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Toads' Twenty - A.k.a. Algaegeddon!

Discussion in 'Journals' started by toads74, Aug 25, 2017.

?

Should I do a hardscape?

  1. No, focus on plants!

    10 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Rocks would be nice

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Wood needed!

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  4. Rocks and wood needed!

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  1. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Spoke too soon. Getting algae again. Up the co2 again + excel to clean it up. Redid the lighting calculator, and I’m sitting at 78 par at the substrate, which is higher than I thought. Gonna try to find some lower wattage bulbs and see if I can get down to around 50 or 60. Taking it really slow with the co2 now since I’m well past where I had livestock issues before.
     
  2. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Minor troubles since the last update. Had an outbreak of bga. Wc, vaccuum, trim, and spot treated with h2o2, and added a small power head for additional flow. Nixed the bga easily, except the power head ended up in the dirt during the night. Removed power head and several wc later all is back to normal. Lost the Pygmy cories in the process, all at once. Not sure if it was the peroxide or what. Used less than 10ml of 3%.


    Currently the ph drop is 1.35, and once again I’m having some difficulty getting it lower due to livestock. I feel like I need just a little more, maybe 1.4 to hit that sweet spot. Been off the excel for almost a month at this level. I can’t keep shrimp alive in this tank for some reason and I don’t know why. Also the pigmy cories being lost. My first thought is o2. Does this surface flow look like it would be ok, or do I need to crank it up a few more notches? I’m using an Eheim 2215 canister, 20g tank.


    I’d also like to start tackling this r.nanjenshen. Getting taller, but pretty far from “ok”.

     
    #42 toads74, Jan 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  3. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Pigmy cories must have been hiding in an alternate universe for a while.... 5 our of 6 reappeared! :D
     
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  4. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    So changed up the equipment a little to get more o2 in there. First I removed the extra air stone. :eek: ........But wait! There’s more! :rolleyes: I took off the plastic strip in the back of the glass lid, and centered the lid front to back so that there is now a one inch gap both front and back. Next I removed the return to the front corner blowing the length of the tank, without the spraybar. I also got a small boost in flow by replacing the hoses with new ones and shortening them up as much as practical. .

    Co2 I’m having trouble getting stable again. My needle valve isn’t fine enough to have good control over it. Fabco nv55 iirc. Also has some slop in the threads that are making adjustments difficult at this point. Fish eem fine at 1.4 ph drop now, and hover at the surface at 1.45. I also noticed a huge difference in pearling going from 1.35 to 1.4, with some good plant response to match. Unfortunately co2 has been all over the place the last two weeks getting things tuned again, it’s going to take a bit to recover. This setup also seems more sensitive to water level, so I’ll have to keep a close watch on it.
     
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  5. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    It’s taking a lot longer for the ph to drop also. Started co2 4 hours before lights on today... 1.2 drop at lights on. Yesterday was the same, and it kept creeping up to about 1.45 at co2 off. Before the changes, it would take like 3 hours max to reach and hold a peak of 1.35. Then again o2 must have been a tad low, and may still be. Wondering what to do, seems a bit excessive to wait 4 hours to reach that level.
     
  6. jbs47

    jbs47 Lifetime Members
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    Great narrative...Having similar issues with algae and CO2. Will be following....
     
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  7. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Thanks! I hope it is useful to you and others. I’ve learned a ton here, lots of good helpful folks. It’s embarrasing though, feels like each update I come up with another problem. :D
     
  8. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Think i got things tuned fairly well. PH drop from co2 is 1.5, with 1.4 at lights on, which i think should be plenty adequate. I'm still turning on co2 about 4 hours before lights on, and it stays rock solid at 1.5 after the first hour of lights on.

    The apple cart was upset a bit and lost all the hc. It had some gsa and cyano, which was quickly beat down with 1 tsp/day of excel for a week, and 3 days treatment of Chemiclean. Seems like i have had a cycle of a week or two of good growth where everything is happy followed by a crash of bba/cyano/gsa and a couple weeks of recovery. I don't know why it would be cyclical like that unless it was running out of something every time the growth picks up. I'm running full EI daily, so is that not enough? I'm thinking it odd cause it is no where near "heavily planted". ADVICE WELCOME! :(


    I added a few plants. A pot of hc, shows some new growth starting, but older growth is dismal and expected to melt away pretty soon, i'm thinking the light at this spot might not be enough for it, or it was recently submersed. Mermaid weed, which wasn't in very good shape, but was cheap, and that seems to be recovering well, and is also doing well in the non-co2 shrimp tank.

    Being rotala challenged, added a fresh clump of nanjenshan. The few sprigs of it are still quite stunted and weak (on the far left), but the new clump has grown well. It was an inch or two below the surface when i got it. and is crawling at the surface now. Indica has almost completely dropped its older leaves, i think due to the peroxide treatment a while ago. New growth is looking better, but not great.
     
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  9. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    So I got co2 to stabilize in about 3 hours, 1.5 ph drop now. So at lights on it is pretty close to its peak value at 1.4. Had a wups where it reached 1.6, fish were at The surface but didn’t loose any.

    Doubled the macro dosing. I was on the low end of the calculator’s EI range, so not crazy rich or anything. Some of the limnophilia is straightening out already, only been three days.

    Also bit the wallet and ordered an led, chihiros 601+. This will give me more par flexibility, better spread, and finally can remove the glass top for good with hopefully better o2. The kittens are old enough now that I’m not worried about them getting an accidental bath anymore. :) Used to be a weekly thing... :eek:
     
  10. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    The only thing I envy with a closed tank is how slow the evaporation is. In my 20g I top up 800mL per day, if I don’t the water level gets closer to my powerhead, surface agitation increases, and now my co2 starts to degass faster... but it does look better without the lid, and then there’s the O2 thing....cats are funny.

    Edit: one other thing, when you get rid of the other lights and go with the LED your water temps are going to drop down, and the co2 will dissolve easier in cooler water. Id be interested to see the temperature difference before and after.
     
    #50 Kyalgae, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  11. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    I’ve had tanks open and closed. Evaporation is annoying, but as long as I can keep co2 stable I can toss in a cup of ro when adding ferts.

    Temperature is interesting. I was running it at 78F, and dropped it down to 74 a few days ago. Forgot to mention it in my last post. Kept track of it over a few days and I’m only getting a 1.5F swing in temp over the course of 24 hours. I’m sure it will make a bigger difference in the summer.

    The surface agitation issue is one of my concerns also. I’d like the return spout to be a couple inches lower below the surface and put an elbow pointing up about 45 degrees or so. Would be much less susceptible to changes in water level. I do this with a power head sitting on the substrate on my mbuna tank and works quite well. I’m always concerned about the single point of failure like an aux pump to supply the surface ripple, since co2 and o2 can cause havoc if it fails.

    The cats were funny, they always want to see what I’m doing, especially when cleaning the tanks.:eek:
     
  12. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    The light is here! Bye bye shop lights. The spread is much better now, and nanjanshen is starting to go nuts. :D The brightness is perfect for the shrimp tank too, so I may splurge and get another one soon. Bumped up the ferts a bit more, pearling has increased a few notches and I don’t want fert issues for the moment while I adjust the par levels.

     
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  13. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Two weeks later, with some trimming and shuffling...


    I think the light upgrade was worthwhile! :D

    I discovered that I made an error in my dosing for the first week. I was dosing 4x my original macros instead of 2x, and 1x micros. I fixed that and things are responding well at 2x macro, 1x micro. I’m seeing some paleness in the new growth, so I’m going to go to 2x micros / 2x macros for a week and go from there. The values below are for 1x dosing. I also increased the kh and gh from 2tsp each to 3tsp each. Light is 14.5 inches above the substrate and on setting number 5. Water changes 80% once a week.

    Per 25g 100% reverse osmosis water:
    KHCO3 3 tsp
    CaSO4.2H2O 3 tsp
    MgSO4.7H2O 3 tsp

    500ml solutions, dosed at 15ml per 20g for base daily ei levels.
    Macro: Micro:
    KNO3 13.17g CSM 2.97g
    KH2PO4 2.78g

    Fert additions (at 1x), totals for the week, split into daily doses:
    NO3 22.4
    N 5.04
    K 17.57
    PO4 4.2
    P 1.4
    Fe 0.7
    B 0.126
    Mn 0.203
    Mo 0.007
    Zn 0.042
    Cu 0.007

    Water change Contains:
    dKH 4.89
    dGH 6.9
    HCO3 106.26
    K 68.085
    Mg 15.93
    Ca 22.875
    S 39.33
     
    #53 toads74, Apr 6, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
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  14. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    A few tufts of BBA have appeared. Turned lights down from setting 5 to setting 3.... I’m guessing the added micros are allowing plants to consume more of something else?
     
  15. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Interesting thing BBA, I have some growing in a very shaded area of the tank. I’m thinking I might need to clean my filters, but I have been real busy lately. The shaded area has good flow, but almost no light. The only thing it grows on is either hardscape, or old java fern ‘roots’.
     
  16. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    I’m not sure what’s causing the BBa, but had some gsa show up also. Keeping a close eye on it.

    The last time I cleaned the canister filter was after about 3 months of running, and it was quite clean still. A little bit of silt but that was about all.

    I’ve had cycles of this, and this time it seems to have been slower to come on, and less dramatic.
     
  17. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Don’t tell the mrs, but the bottom of the Ista reactor blew out. Must have bumped it while cleaning. Thankfully noise and wet feet alerted me, but not before it dumped several gallons on the floor. Sigh.

    So for now I’m feeding co2 via air stone into the canister intake. Inline diffuser is on the way, and debating about what to do for a reactor.

    On a better note the light reduction seems to have slowed if not halted the BBa and gsa. Some cleanup to do. Some stems that were suffering before are surely suffering now mostly rotala indica..... but at least showing some new shoots.
     
  18. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    I saw in another thread that a couple ppl were using flow meters on their co2 systems, and I just had to try it. :rolleyes: Three thumbs up. I can easily see how flaky my needle valve is and adjust accordingly. Also noticed the flow changes with the weather and with water level. :)

    Pushing about 20cc/min and using a 5 - 50 cc/min meter. That’s air equivalent, so I’ll leave it to the interested parties to do the co2 conversion... :D Showing relative flow I think will go a long ways in keeping it stable.

    Running an inline diffuser on the canister intake, and still getting a ton of micro bubbles. Not sure it’s worth a reactor for now.
     
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  19. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    I think I’ve nearly destroyed this tank... help!

    So r.macrandra, my nemesis, nearly died out so I tried something drastic... in the interest of science (or foolishness) I increased light to the fixtures max... now it’s growing again. Also added some r.varigated, and it did the same. They both looks awful, but at least I got it to respond positively to something. They wouldn’t do anything on setting 3 but deteriorate, so tried 5 for a while, held on but didn’t gain anything. Now it’s on 7, max. I’m not sure what par this is. I had some duckweed in there, and it grew very fast, but didn’t seem to help.

    Anticipating algaegeddon, before doing this I moved clippings of most other plants to live with the shrimp, and they are doing slightly less well with the low light and low ferts (hehe, none) there, but they are safe. All critters were relocated as well, since I cranked up co2.


    Post 53 has the fert values, 2x micros and 2x macros, with the following changes:

    Mg cut by 2/3, to 5.3ppm
    Kh cut by 1/3 to 3.3 dkh. R.var and r.mac improved slightly.
    PO4 increased to 12ppm per week total. This seems to have had no noticeable affect.

    So in a nutshell, total for each week:
    Gh about 6,
    NO3 44.8ppm
    PO4 12ppm
    K 35ppm + about 45 from weekly water changes. ~80ppm total
    Ph drop 1.6. (7.0 - 5.4)
    Ca 22.8
    Mg 5.3

    Can someone help diagnose what I’m missing? I’m concerned less about the algae at this point, more about getting these more difficult plants on track. I think some of the algae issue will naturally be resolved once growth improves.

    So a couple questions:

    1. With the co2 as high as it is, is it safe to take co2 off the table as being an issue?

    2. Do the numbers above sound like reasonable ratios, any concerns about any being too high, low, etc?

    3. From the pics, even stauro is having a fit, along with the rotalas Mac and var having narrow, curled leaves, generally paleness for most everything. What could it be?

     
  20. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Light is very deceptive without a PAR meter.
    My 100PAR @ the substrate doesn't appear all that bright to me.
    I cannot distinguish the 75PAR side from the 100PAR side without the meter.

    Macrandra japan for me looks like pig vomit until the tops reach 8" tall.
    Then they are in a much higher PAR range, they begin branching and showing bright red tops.
    When trimmed the tops look like hell again until that right height is reached.
    Three years of growing this and I've only offered for sale once due to poor appearance.

    I would rule out CO2 @ this time.

    My fert schedule is so different using capped soil, can't chime in on that one.
    Dropping KH down should help improve as you have done.

    S. repens for me is growing 5" tall and branching even in semi-shaded areas of the tank.

    PAR meter, anyone you could borrow from ????
     

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