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What is this stuff on my plants?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by RlxdN10sity, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

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    Best I can tell the parameters in my tank are acceptable (expept my drop check will not arrive until tomorrow) but this stuff continues to persist. I don't think that it is growing all that much but it certainly is not diminishing. This stuff is the bane of my existence as it concerns my aquarium. Any advice on getting rid of it that does not involve throwing away my tank?
    http://www.securestat.com/stuffonplants.html

    PS - sorry about the glare in the pic but the pics w/out a flash were much worse.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    That's got poor CO2 written all over it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

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    Thank goodness. I'm very glad to have such an ascertive diagnosis. I have a 55 gal aquarium. Approx. 8-10 gallons are displaced by substrate. Not much biomass to speak of, maybe 60% sq footage covered in microsword. I know that bubble counts are in large part useless, but should I be running 5-6 bubbles a second and still be low? I know I need a drop check to ascertain CO2 levels. I'm wondering is it simply that I do not have the needle valve open enough to introduce the required amount of CO2 or could it be something like highly dilluted gas from the supplier or ineffective exposure in the reactor? Does this flow sound low for my size tank? Even though it is an entirely innacurate way of determining good CO2 levels, it seems that there must be some avg. range of flow per given volume of water that typically provides enough carbon to produce an acceptable level of CO2 as referenced by the drop check indicator. Am I in that approximate flow range? Could it be some other problem with quality of my carbon source and or its delivery? Should I just crank up the gas?
     
  4. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Looks like brown algae to me, I have/had it to in annoying amounts. Ive read that its caused primarily by silicates leeching from things like sand/glass, which is why you only normally find it in new setups, but I dont know how true this is.

    One things for sure though, my Oto's LOVE it! Get some :) as Tom says, sort out your CO2 and all will be well. Those 2 things have knocked mine on the head no problems at all. Oto's really do rule the world. I love them.
     
  5. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

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    My Red Sea drop check arrived today. I have indicator solution that came with the drop check but the contents are not identified it just says that it is flammable. I also have wide range PH test solution but its' contents are not labeled either. Are either of these Bromo? How can I get Bromothymol blue and know that is what I have?
    I have also been thinking alot about my CO2 system and why I would not have enough in the water. I know it is a common practice when filling tanks of particular gas/liquid to top off with what is know as a nitrogen head. I wonder if all this time I've been dosing only highly dilluted CO2 from the top of my cylinder. I have a 200lb cylinder so I suspect that if it was topped with nitrogen it would take a significant amount of time for it to vent. I also noticed when looking things over that the CO2 is industrial grade but I don't know if that matters much. Any thoughts on this?
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The Red Sea narrow range FW pH test kit should be Bromo Blue.
    I doubt they refill the tank with an N2 head.

    The food grade CO2 should be virtually pure CO2.
    The Nitrogen head has other reasons for being used but I'd think with inert gases, they should likely not or in special cases.

    I could be wrong but I see where and how they refill my tanks here, there's no Nitrogen head, it's straight CO2 and very high purity.

    In other words, I'd bark up another tree, N2 gas is very insoluble anyway.
    Co2 is very soluble.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

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    so is 5-6 bubbles per second condidered low flow rate in a 55? Should I just crank up the gas and see what happens?
     
  8. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Once youve set up your drop checker, youll be able to fine tune your CO2 output so that the solution goes green. Expect it to be a bit blue/green first thing when the CO2 comes on. I have mine coming on 60 mins before the lights do, so that the plants can hit the ground running once they have light, and going off about an hour before the lights go off.

    Thats the only really accurate way of setting up your CO2, noones going to be able to compare bubbles per second really, as there are too many variables to consider.
     
  9. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Frolic...
    I'm not trying to adjust my CO2 according to the bubble count. I'm trying to determine if I am dumping an unusual amount of CO2 into my water and still not reaching acceptable levels per the drop indicator. Thanks also for the Oto recomendation. Is that what they are called as a nickname? Is there a more formal name for those fish I should use when I go to the LFS and ask for them?
    Thanks
     
  10. Frolicsome_Flora

    Frolicsome_Flora Guru Class Expert

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    Otocinclus are varatious algae eaters, so you wont need many in a 55 gallon tank, maybe 4 tops. While this will help you keep it under control, make sure you sort out the source of the algae issue though.

    Once your aglae is gone, you might want to feed them extra tabs on the bottom, a fat Oto is a happy Oto :) Any fish shops will know what you want if you say you want Oto's. Also consider shrimp as well, shrimp are natures gardeners and amazing tank janitors, plus theyre amazingly interesting to watch and breed like rabbits. Neither will eat your plants, although Oto's might nibble on soft foilage if theres nothing else to eat.

    Oto's are very good on broad leafed plants, vallis and wotnot, they do struggle though with narrower grass like leaves as they cant get their sucker mouths around them to scrub them clean quite as efficiently, thats where my shrimp take over.

    I found this site really good regarding Oto's. Be careful how you acclimatise them to your tank, take it real slow, theyre notoriously hard to get settled in, but once they are, are very hardy.

    www.otocinclus.com - Home of the Dwarf Suckermouth Catfishes
     
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