A Fresh Look At Preventing Algae?

mrhoyo

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Hi @mrhoyo


As you will see from the link provided in post #1, your figures above would put you in the 'chance of green algae' zone. But, you say you have BGA. So, something doesn't tally. I am aware that the API Nitrate kit has had its fair share of criticism but I don't think it's likely to be reading 1000X too high (nitrate would have to be 0.01 mg/l to bring it into the blue zone).

JPC
That's what I thought. I pretty much just have this algae now which I'm fairly sure is BGA as nothing is eating it and you know, it's blue green in color.
20200718_182126.jpg
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Folks,

I did some measurements on my only tank at the moment that actually has inhabitants - fish, shrimp and snails. (JBL) nitrate is 30ppm and, wait for it, (JBL) phosphate is 4.8ppm! I had to do a quadruple dilution with distilled water as the maximum reading on the JBL Sensitive kit is 1.8ppm. No cyano/BGA in this tank. And no algae either. The tank is in a well-lit room and illuminated using a cheap Nicrew affair that allows me to adjust the spectrum. But, I never have it such that we humans would consider it to be bright. The spectrum (rough-and-ready) is 1 : 0 : 3 (R : G : B)*. BTW, the figures above translate to N = 7.5ppm and P = 1.6ppm. The Redfield Ratio calculator at https://buddendo.home.xs4all.nl/aquarium/redfield_eng.htm predicts a 'Blue algae risk'.

I've spent a large part of today digging into lighting, iron and cyano. I will report back - probably on the cyano thread**.

* Using Color Picker - see https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/free-lighting-tool.60842/
** https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/cyanobacteria-identification-at-last.60496/

JPC
 

Witcher

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Will the TNC cover that?
It should, but I'm suspecting that probably Fe is reacting in your tank with Phosphorus, precipitating both to some extent and making some of P unavailable for plants (assuming tests are reliable). Or simply your phosphates are so low because your plants ma be hungry of them.

Maybe not related directly with your tank but I'm sure that lots of red plants have higher demand for Phosphates, especially with strong light.
 

mrhoyo

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It should, but I'm suspecting that probably Fe is reacting in your tank with Phosphorus, precipitating both to some extent and making some of P unavailable for plants (assuming tests are reliable). Or simply your phosphates are so low because your plants ma be hungry of them.

Maybe not related directly with your tank but I'm sure that lots of red plants have higher demand for Phosphates, especially with strong light.
Oh heck, this is getting confusing now.
So should I be making a custom mix of salts now or can I increase the TNC?
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @hypnogogia
@jaypeecee Sorry, the focus of my statement was on the whether you diluted the sample water, not on the specifics of deionised vs distilled water.

This is what I said originally and I've emphasized the key word in italics:
I had to do a quadruple dilution with distilled water as the maximum reading on the JBL Sensitive kit is 1.8ppm.

JPC
 

Witcher

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Oh heck, this is getting confusing now.
So should I be making a custom mix of salts now or can I increase the TNC?
You know how it is... there is no "should" but I think having nutrients separated from each other (in form of salts, liquids or whatever you want) gives you far more possibilities than having "one for all" solution. What if you have two or three plants where one is extremely K sensitive (for example h. pinnatifida, reacting to low revels of K with stunting and dying leaves), while another one loves tonnes of Phosphorus (for example r. macrandra or p. sao paulo)? You won't be able to please them three using ready made mix which has x amount of K but 1/50 x amount of P for example. That's where separate salts/liquids have an advantage.

If you'll increase TNC as "all in one", you'll obviously increase levels of N - to utilise higher amounts of N you'll need very likely higher amounts of C (CO2) and Mg - as these three are needed to create chlorophyll cells. Now - increased amount of chlorophyll (which is creating energy from light) means you'll need more Phosphorus responsible for transporting that energy. There is a chance that ready made mixes may not contain enough of one of these ingredients (and I think it will be very likely P) and that's where plant growth fails - and we are coming back to advantage of having separate nutrients.

I'm not saying "all in one" solutions are bad, but quite often there is something missing in them if you keep plants which are more hungry for certain ferts than the others.
 

Ruskie

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Not wanting to derail this thread but having watched and read the responses it’s opened my eyes to how incredibly fickle and difficult this hobby can be.

Plant your plants, add some ferts and you too can have a tank similar to the photos you’ve seen.

Nope, sorry, don’t work like that.

Maybe as a newbie I’ve been blind to see what’s blatantly obvious to others but @Witcher post above has been somewhat of a lightbulb moment. It’s made me realise how little I know and how far I have to go before I stand a cat in hells chance of having the tank I desire
 

Melll

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Not wanting to derail this thread but having watched and read the responses it’s opened my eyes to how incredibly fickle and difficult this hobby can be.

Plant your plants, add some ferts and you too can have a tank similar to the photos you’ve seen.

Nope, sorry, don’t work like that.

Maybe as a newbie I’ve been blind to see what’s blatantly obvious to others but @Witcher post above has been somewhat of a lightbulb moment. It’s made me realise how little I know and how far I have to go before I stand a cat in hells chance of having the tank I desire


Same here.
 

hypnogogia

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I think one of the challenges is that many people now come into the hobby and start with a high tech tank straight away, whereas mayor the really knowledgeable, experienced guys on this forum have been in the hobby since before high tech. I think of it as the difference between driving a road car and an F1 car.
it’s actually possible to run a tank with medium light, and lower doses of CO2. Plants grow nicely, more slowly and the margins of error are greater than on turbocharged high tech tanks.
 

Ray

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Its worth noting that @Ruskie, @mrhoyo and myself are all currently struggling with BGA in low tech tanks. I’ve a feeling this is because the plants have more trouble out competing the BGA without CO2 and hence I’ve now gone big on stems to see if that will tip the balance. I’m dosing Tropica all in one BTW.
 
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jaypeecee

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Hi @Ruskie
It’s made me realise how little I know and how far I have to go before I stand a cat in hells chance of having the tank I desire

In my case, I was getting on pretty well with my fish (and other species) tanks. Then, I introduced live plants. That's when the fun (!) started.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Folks,

I have been helped a great deal in this hobby by Diana Walstad's book*, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium. But, I have a scientific background, albeit not in the so-called 'Life Sciences'. Ecology of the Planted Aquarium may be a bit over-scientific for some people. There are also some good resources on the internet but you have to 'shop around'. Perhaps we should start a new thread listing recommended resources - or perhaps it already exists here on UKAPS and I just haven't found it yet?

* I am not on commission!

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
somewhat of a lightbulb moment. It’s made me realise how little I know and how far I have to go before I stand a cat in hells chance of having the tank I desire.
I think of it as the difference between driving a road car and an F1 car. it’s actually possible to run a tank with medium light, and lower doses of CO2. Plants grow nicely, more slowly and the margins of error are greater than on turbocharged high tech tanks.
That would definitely be <"where I'm coming from">. Have a look at <"A record of my low tech.....">.

One of the advantages of the <"Duckweed Index"> is that it uses a floating plant, which takes both CO2 and light intensity out of the equation.
I have been helped a great deal in this hobby by Diana Walstad's book*, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium.
It just goes to show a well respected person like Diana Walstad can prove that despite the science,experience etc that nothing is permanent and it's truly refreshing to validate us all from experts to hobbyists to question things,try things and learn more ,Everything is always evolving
It is still a <"fantastic resource">, if I only owned one book on aquariums it would be this one.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @Ray

I should perhaps point out that the tank to which I referred in post #65 above has no CO2 injection. Indeed, no additional carbon of any kind. Just dissolved atmospheric CO2 and excreted CO2 from the fish. The plants are Anubias varieties and there are three lush green moss balls. It would be interesting to do an experiment one day with moss balls. They're so undemanding, aren't they? They grow in low light and don't need special ferts. Of course, they are not a moss - they're a compressed ball of filamentous green algae. Perhaps this means they should mop up excess nutrients? Just thinking out loud.

JPC
 

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