Added pressurised CO2 now have increased algae?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by TrickyT, 26 Aug 2009.

  1. TrickyT

    TrickyT Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    I have just installed a D&D pressurised CO2 unit to my 350 litre corner tank.

    I have plenty of giant vallis all around the rear of the tank with other plants scarreted ehre ant there. I also have a large amount of java fern on a large piece of bogwood. With a couple of moss balls scattered around the bottom.

    I am running the CO2 at 2 BPS and the 4 DKH drop checker is the correct colour green.

    I also dose 5ml of Tropica Plant Nutrition + daily.

    I have the following lighting 2 x 36" 30 watt tube and 1 x 18" 20 watt tube.

    The tank is filtered by an Eheim 2028 and 2317 filter with a small power head at the surface over the stream of bubbles from the Dymax CO2 atomizer to help spread the CO2.

    My readings are:

    PH - 6.6
    KH - 5
    Nitrate - 5

    Lights on 08:00 to 12:00 then 16:00 to 22:00 with CO2 being turned on 1 hour before in the morning and off 1 hour before in the evening.

    I now am getting more algae on my glass and plants that I had before I started using CO2. Some of it looks like BBA.

    Any advice welcome please as I thought adding CO2 would remove any algae problems.

    I also do a 50 litre water change with RO water remineralised with Tropic Marin Remineral Tropic.

    Regards

    Trevor
     
  2. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    could it be possible that adding the co2 has increased plant growth so the 5ml fert per day is no longer enough?
    green spot, which i would think is the algae on the glass is mainly associated with low phosphates and too much lighting i believe.
    or it could be green dust? but this is more common in newer set ups.

    the BBA is caused by fluctuating co2 levels.
    its a big tank and i doubt having the co2 on for one hour before lights is enough.
    also why are you having a lighting break? this is usually done on a tank with no added co2, the break gives the co2 a chance to build back up to residual levels. this is probably also causing your co2 to fluctuate a fair bit.
     
  3. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,298
    Location:
    London
    Yeah by adding CO2 you have now increased the demand for fertilization, 5ml is recommend for a tank my size (125 litres) so you will need to at least double if not triple the daily dosage.
     
  4. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi Trevor.
    I have to agree with baron von bubba that your BBA is caused by lack of CO2, for sure. I had this problem in my early days until I finally got my circulation and CO2 delivery rate right.
    You also mention that your drop checker is the correct colour green. Obviously this is at the position of the drop checker only. I found moving the drop checker around the tank, even down to substrate level, gave me a good indication as to where my CO2 was not getting to :oops: . I left the drop checker in each position for a day at a time due to it's slow response. You will be quite surprised at the differences you will see, I know I was.
    So your initial assumption that adding CO2 will remove your algae problems will only prove to be correct if you add enough CO2 and also get your lighting and ferts regime sorted.
    Your lighting break is also not necessary and is probably not doing the plants a lot of good either. One long photoperiod is better than two short bursts. If you're only doing it so the lights are on when your at home in the evening, you would be better off moving the whole single lighting period forward with a later start.
    Finally, you now have a CO2 enriched tank, high ferts, if you heed LondonDragon's advice (which I would), and a relatively long lighting period. I would strongly recommend you up your water changes. You are treading a fine line between a nice looking tank and a tank full of algae. Most of us round here change at least 50% per week to remove any waste matter that causes ammonia spikes. This includes fish waste, excess food, scum on the plant leaves and dead or dying leaves etc.
    Beware, Ammonia spike = Algae, and once you get it, it will then feed off of all those lovely ferts that your feeding to your plants and you'll never get rid of it.
    In the short term you will have to remove all infected leaves, up your CO2 injection rate and might I suggest shortening your lighting period until you get to grips with all the other things like CO2 delivery and ferts.
    Sorry I've gone on a bit here, but I've been where you are, so just trying to help :D

    Chris
     
  5. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    I'm finding the same, I recently re-introduced my drop checker in my nano and realised that my co2 wasn't as good as I'd like it. Therefore, I've increased it, I've found that plant growth has improved but there are areas of algae due to me not increasing my TPN+ dosing. I've increased it to compensate and will give it a week to settle in.
     
  6. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi Superman
    I tend to try and leave things to settle for at least 3 weeks, sometimes 4, after I make a change, before I change anything else, to observe the effects of that one change. I only do this because it takes the plants time to adapt to whatever changes you make. So if you change something one week and then change something else the next, you might find that in 3 weeks time something changes in your tank for the better and you automatically think it was your last change that fixed it, when in fact it could have been any one of your changes over the previous 3 or 4 weeks and you can end up chasing your tail trying to resolve an issue that you yourself have introduced.
    Maybe I'm just paranoid :lol:.
    Anyway, good luck with sorting your current problems.

    Chris
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    I've had look at your case and a preliminary analysis is complete. There are several issues that require attention, or at least clarification on your part for a more thorough analysis to be performed.

    A 350 liter tank holds a lot of water. In order for CO2 to be effective that water has to be evenly saturated with CO2 and nutrients. And it has to find it's way to the plants because 350 liters also means that there's a lot of space in which CO2 and nutrients must journey in order to reach the plants.

    It's always a dangerous assumption to unilaterally correlate application of CO2 with problems in the tank. This is like saying that I bought a car and I find myself having more accidents. An increase in accidents could be due to my poor driving technique, because accidents are not caused by cars, they're caused by people driving the cars poorly. So it could easily be that your CO2 application technique is poor thus causing an algae accident.

    Well one really needs to identify exactly what type of algae exists in the tank. Individual species are induced specifically due to certain deficiencies. Please refer to JamesC's Algae Guide and see if you can identify, based on his photographs and descriptions just exactly what species you have. It's not good enough to say that something "looks like BBA". One must ascertain whether it is BBA or whether it's something else, because BBA has a definitive cause and something else also has a definitive cause. If everyone assumes it's BBA and then it turns out to be something else, then you will be treating a cause that may not exist and the result will be more problems.

    Depending on your water supply, flow, lighting and plant mass, this may be insufficient because TPN+ is anaemically weak. The type of algae you have will tell you immediately whether this is in fact the case.

    Yes but you have not specified whether this is T8, or T5, or something else. This has a tremendous impact on the results.

    Very good, but again, difficult to determine if this is sufficient. The 10X rule specifies that a 3500 LPH total pump rating is the target here. Depending on the lighting intensity, what you have may be OK, or not.

    The only data of concern here is the Nitrate reading, which can't be trusted if you used a typical test kit. If it could be trusted it might be considered low by at least 100%. However, it can't be trusted, so we really don't know what the true reading is.

    As stated by another poster, if this is BBA you might do better to turn the gas on much earlier, like 2 hours prior to lights on. I don't think a 4 hour gap in the lighting is doing you any favors, but that's up to you and your preferred viewing schedule.

    It should be noted that there is no reason at all to use RO water if this is being done for the plants. If it's being done for the fish such as Discus then that is a different story, but using RO water contributes significantly to the root cause of some algal types if it's not adjusted for nutrient content.

    Cheers,
     
  8. TrickyT

    TrickyT Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for all of your replies. Just to clarify some points.

    The lighting is all T8, with tubes less than a month old.

    I will move the Drop Checker to a different part of the tank to check reading. I currently have it in a place where I think it has least flow.

    My aim it to get an in line reactor to diffuse the CO2.

    I use RO water as I get mine supplied by Thames Water, The nitrates etc vary from day to day and are horrendous after heavy storms. Using RO with Tropic Marin Reminear Tropic means that my water changes are the same every time.

    I will keep the lights on for one continuous session.

    The CO2 will now come on 2 hours before the lights.

    Will increase TPN+ to 10ml daily.

    I will increase my water changes to weekly.

    As I already have some algae, would a 3 day balckout (without CO2) be beneficial to remove it?

    Regards

    Trevor
     
  9. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    i'm not sure a black out would do any good.
    its pretty much only effective on BGA.

    check out the algae guide in clives post to identify the types of algae you have and take it from there.
     

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