Algae Problems Help Please

Discussion in 'Algae' started by anniekins, 30 May 2009.

  1. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Please can I have some advise as to what I need to do to overcome the BBA that I have in my tank. Just to give you some background,this is my first tank and I finished cycling it about two months ago.
    Tank Spec: 65L
    Lighting: 2x11WPL on for about 7 hrs daily
    CO2: None
    Filtration: Inhood wet / dry trickle system
    Fertilisation: ProFito 10ml weekly. EasyCarbo 5ml daily and EasyNitro 10ml daily.
    Plants:
    Camboda
    Vallis
    Anubais Various
    Fish:
    Corydoras Julli x 4
    Harlequin Rasboras x 8
    The Camboda is looking very healthy and bushy, Vallis is going a little transparent in places otherwise looks okay. The anubais do have dark algae on the leaves but are growing new leaves.
    I did have an outbreak of Cyanobacteria which I think started in the substrate at the front of the tank and then spread fairly rapidly. I did a complete blackout of the tank for three days and thankfully it cleared. I was advised to increase circulation in the tank so I purchased a Koralia 1 about three weeks ago.
    Now I am sure I have BBA. I have not increased the dosing of EasyCarbo/EasyNitro as I'm not sure how much more I can add before it becomes toxic to my fish. I also carry out 20% water changes weekly.The algae is on the 3D background, some plants and a little on the bogwood.
    Any advise would be very welcome, and thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    BBA is down to a lack of CO2, or equivalent. I think, as you're dosing EasyCarbo, that it means you might need to up the dose of that product. If you're already dosing at the higher rate on the back of the container (and I think you might be from the amounts you're adding) then I would add more straight away but use the EasyCarbo to spot treat the BBA by taking each day's dose in a syringe and squirting it directly on the algae. It will bleach and die within a day or two.

    Long term you will either need to very slowly up the dose or maybe you need to be more consistent with your dosing? Do you always dose at the same time each day? Ever miss a day? (I know I do!!!) These factors could allow the BBA to perhaps gain a foothold when the EasyCarbo isn't present in the water (it only lasts 24hours in the water so if you often dose 30 hours apart then there will be none in the water for 6 hours and this could easily be done by dosing in the morning one day and then in the evening the next day).
     
  3. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
    What about the flow - after reading the thread "wet and dry filtration in the hood - this an aqua one tank :?: :?: :?:.

    Regards
    Paul.
     
  4. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    EasyCarbo (or others) will melt the vallis, it's a common issue.


    EasyCarbo has a half-life of 24hours....this doesn't mean it is all gone after 24hours, just that the amount left in the tank is half of what you dosed...

    2 months of a tank is still early days, so keep going :)
     
  5. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    First of all thanks for all your replies.

    Just to clarify on the EasyCarbo spot dosing as I have not done it before. The BBA is spread over about 75% of the 3D background, so, do I focus on a small area each day eventually covering most areas?

    I will now make a point of adding the EasyCarbo at a regular time. I have been dosing each evening,but within a range of two to three hours.

    Paul, you were right, the tank is indeed an AquaOne with the added Koralia 1 now.

    Will keep you posted as to how things progress, and thanks once again.
     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Yep!
     
  7. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Unfortunately I have noticed some BGA appearing now as well as small patches of GSA on the tank. I feel that algae is taking over the tank!

    I have moved the powerhead to focus directly on the patch of GBA which is on the background along with the BBA. I have syringed the EasyCarbo onto the background with BBA, but should I now place it on the GBA patch?

    I was wondering if I need to up the daily dose of EasyNitro, at the moment,I am dosing 10ml in 65L, and I'm not sure how much I can add safely before it becomes toxic to my fish.

    Please let me know what I can do to get all this algae under control as I feel rather out of my depth at the moment with this being my first tank. :?

    Thanks once again in advance of any replies.
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    That's because nitrate, phosphate and CO2 starvation are the landlords of the tank.

    Probably about 1000ml if this is a typical commercial fertilizer, which are notoriously weak. The more you fear nutrients the more algae your tank will get.

    Firstly, you need to disable about 50% of your lighting. This is where it all starts. Light intensity drives the need for plants to feed. You have a combination of high lighting and poor nutrition, which is fatal.

    You also need to do more water changes. Twice or thrice per week of 50% or more.

    I have no idea what a "Inhood wet / dry trickle system" is. Whatever type of pump powers this system, it should be rated at no less than 650 liters per hour. You need to have high flow and distribution throughout the tank to ensure that nutrients are delivered to the plant surfaces.

    Double or triple your dosages. The products up are using are clearly insufficient. I also don't see where you are adding any Phosphate products, so if you choose to use that particular brand of ferts then ensure that they have a phosphate product, or alternatively, switch to Tropica Plant Nutrition plus TPN+ which is an all-in-one fertilizer.

    In general the following are the relationships between the types of algae and their root causes:
    BBA - poor or inconsistent levels of CO2 - In your case, since you do not inject CO2 you need to dose more Easycarbo, which is an alternate source of CO2.

    BGA - poor levels of nitrate - add more nitrate.

    GSA - poor levels of CO2 and or phosphate - add more Easycarbo and phosphate.

    Someday, when you tire of paying ridiculous money for the tepid fertilizers, you may want to "roll your own" for about 1/100th the price you are currently paying. Check out the Tutorial thread EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS

    Cheers,
     
  9. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks so much for your quick response.

    I have carried out tonights dosing already so tomorrow I will start with a 50% water change, and will cut the lighting.

    The EasyCarbo does state 2ml maximum per 50L, I've been dosing 5ml, would you advise to start adding 10ml or 15ml each day or even more? I had thought about adding more but the warnings about overdosing on the bottle did worry me, and in all fairness I do not have enough experience or knowledge to make a fair judgement.

    The EasyNitro dosage says 10ml per 500L which it states increases NO3 concentration by 2.0ppm and K concentration by 1.3ppm. How much do you advise I dose each day of this product?

    You are correct on the phosphate issue, both the EasyNitro and ProFito are phosphate free! I guess thats next on my shopping list!

    I have just received my new stock of fertilisers ,but I think I will try the Dry Salts in the very near future. Thanks for your time ,I very much appreciate it and will do all you suggest, and hopefully gain an algae free tank. Wonderful! :D

    Cheers
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    OK, remember to dose immediately after the water changes though.

    EasyCarbo can be doubled without issues as long as certain plants like liverworts, bladderworts and some other species (such as Vallis or Egeria for example) are not present. I don't see these in your stated plant list. It has been estimated that the liquid carbon products have about 1/3rd or less the effectiveness as standard gas injection levels. Many, including myself have triple dosed Easycarbo without issues but since i haven't seen every possible scenario such as inverts and so forth I hesitate to suggest this.

    Section 3 of the EI dosing Tutorial calls for the following weekly concentration addition:
    Nitrate (NO3) 20ppm per week.
    Potassium (K) 30ppm per week.
    Phosphate (PO4) 3ppm per week
    Magnesium (Mg) 10ppm per week
    Iron (Fe) 0.5ppm per week

    You need therefore to determine how many times per week you will dose and divide the stated concentration levels by that number. This will tell you how much to add. So for example if you decide to dose 5X per week then Nitrate needs to be dosed at 20ppm/5doses = 4ppm per dose. If 10ml per 500L increases NO3 concentration by 2.0ppm then you would need to add 20ml per 500L 5X per week to execute the 20ppm NO3 per week.

    A similar calculation is needed for K, but since ppm increase is lower it would mean a quadruple dose. Keep it simple for now and don't worry too much about the K. It will be well enough for now to just double the dosage.

    Remember also that all these corrections to your technique have an additive effect, so some actions may obviate the need for others. If you cut your lighting by half you will have a dramatic effect on the nutrient/CO2 requirements, i.e there is less need to increase the dosages. If you cut light and improve flow/distribution there is even less need for dosage increase. Since we don't know exactly where we are in this equation it's necessary to perform all actions and re-evaluate the health of the tank after a few weeks. Then we can make further adjustments in one direction or another.

    Cheers,
     
  11. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Have carried out a 50% water change tonight. I have increased the EasyCarbo to 10mls and EasyNitro to 20mls. The lighting has also been reduced by 50%.

    The plants I have are Anubias, Camboda and Vallis.If the added EasyCarbo is going to destroy the Vallis but help clear the algae what would be the better course of action:
    Remove the Vallis and continue the higher dose of EasyCarbo?
    Reduce the EasyCarbo back to 5mls?
    Continue the higher dose with the Vallis in place and see what happens?

    I have read your information several times, and I must admit that I never realised that EI dosing was quite so complicated, but I am determined to get things right with a little perseverance and guidance for which I thank you once again!

    I will keep you informed as to how things progress over the next few weeks.
     
  12. Simon D

    Simon D Member

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    I'd remove the Vallis every time. If you can re-home it temporarily in another tank all the better, or just give it away. If you continue the higher dosage of EasyCarbo it doesn't stand a chance (well it didn't in my very similar setup).

    That said; overdosing EasyCarbo is a temporary cure and not a preventative measure and should not be viewed as one (before anyone else says it)! :lol: :lol:

    Also, EI dosing isn't complicated (I was very worried the first time I did this though :oops: ).
    I mix my dry ferts into a solution, once you've done this a couple of times it only takes five minutes (well less actually) to get a mix that will last a month. Don't try to be too accurate, I've got some measuring spoons that go down to 1/8th of a teaspoon but don't bother with the 1/1000th gram scales. Just slap it in there and get it nearly right, the important thing is to be consistent so then you can make adjustments if needs be, at a later date.
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Err..quite so complicated? EI is as simple as adding sugar to your tea. I'm serious about this. It's we humans who are complicated. Think about this analogy for a minute;

    Let's say every morning you have 1 cup of tea with 1 teaspoon of sugar and two teaspoons of milk. Any more sugar/milk and you find it too sweet and any less you find it too bitter. Let's say one morning 3 friends come over all who like their tea the same way you do.

    How would you prepare a batch of tea for one serving each? Think about the calculations you would make for the amount of water, the amount of tea leaves, the amount of sugar and the amount of milk.

    Now imagine that these friends like their tea differently than you. The first likes her tea half as sweet as you do. The second like it twice as sweet but half the milk. The third likes it as you do but wants twice as many cups.

    Now, because I'm writing about it, it sounds complicated, but isn't this an every day occurrence? The concept is simple - we always want a certain sweetness regardless of how much water we have, but we need arithmetic to determine the proportions of the ingredients. After many mornings serving tea it will become second nature to decide how to prepare each persons beverage and to make adjustments if someone decides they want more or less. In conclusion...if you can serve tea you can dose EI, no doubt. :wideyed:

    If you have vallis, increasing the liquid carbon dosage might prove problematic, but here is my opinion; One needs to learn techniques of how to grow healthy plants and of how to resolve algae issues. One can always get more vallis. If the vallis can be removed and held in quarantine then so much the better, but losing vallis is not nearly as depressing as having a tank full of algae. I leave it to you...

    Cheers,
     
  14. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks for the replies guys. Have taken them all on board.

    As you say there is no contest.........the algae has to go! Therfore I will be removing the Vallis tonight. I can always replace it in a nice algae free tank after all.

    I enjoyed reading your analogy, it helped to get it into perspective, after all making tea........... dead easy!
    Feel quite confident now that I will soon be carrying out EI dosing as good as I can brew a good cuppa! :lol: :lol:

    Will let you know how things progress on the algae front.

    Cheers,
     
  15. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Just to update on the reduction of algae so far; the tank is certainly alot clearer, most of the algae has been removed, just a small amount remains on a section of bogwood which I am spot dosing, the 3D background has greatly improved.

    Have been carrying out thrice weekly 50% water changes and adding 20mls EasyNitro, 10mls EasyCarbo daily and 20mls ProFito after each water change, and reduced lighting by 50%.

    Should I continue with the thrice weekly water changes or, reduce to twice a week now?

    I am also getting low on the EasyNitro liquid,I do want to try the dry fertilisers but am a little concerned as I will be away on holiday in about five weeks time and I do not know how long it can take realistically before getting things stabilised with dry fertilisers. Would you advise continuing as I am at present with the liquid fertilisers or changing to dry fertilisers now?

    Thanks once again in anticipation of any replies.

    Anne
     
  16. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Anniekins

    If its working for you with off the shelf fertz - "stick with it" I was dosing E.I and it didn't work for me, it ruined my tank and I have gone back to my profito and daily dosing.

    Regards
    paul.
     
  17. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Well, I'm completely biased in favor of the dry powders so I see no reason whatsoever to buy more liquid, or to wait. However, to avoid pressuring you, if you feel more confident/comfortable with the liquids then continue with them. It's just that they are unnecessarily expensive, that's all. If you need help figuring out how to mix just give a shout. If you don't want to trawl through the EI tutorial, you can also use JamesC's formula as well PMDD - Poor Man's Dosing Drops Plenty of options. :D

    Try reducing to 2X per week water change. The tank will let you know right away if this was premature. :wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  18. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks guys for the replies, and sorry to hear about your experience of E.I. Paul I do hope your tank is looking better again. At least you had a try at it, even if things did not work out as well as you had hoped. I am sure things will get back on track.

    I have spent a very long time reading your tutorial ceg4048 and it is clear that you have an absolute wealth of knowledge to share, awesome! Read as much as I could find this afternoon but now feel a little confused by it all....... sorry. :?

    Where do I start?..... Well, I am confused as to what is really necessary to add and what isn't. I did read somewhere (but can't remember exactly where) to use the following: Trace mix, 3tsp in 500ml, 2nd bottle containing Potassium Nitrate 10tsp in 500ml and Potassium Phosphate 2.5ml in 500ml. Dose 0.5ml of each per 10L each day.

    On the PMDD it lists the above plus Potassium Sulphate and Magnesium Sulphate. Would these "extras" be there to replace the trace elements in the first mix?

    Please let me know what you would recommend I start with as I really do not know what is essential and what isn't. Oh! I nearly forgot to mention, I do not have small scales so will be using teaspoons for measuring and I also have to admit that my knowledge of chemical symbols is very rusty..... sorry!

    Perhaps I should go back to making tea! :lol:

    Thanks again
    Anne
     
  19. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Anne,
    It hadn't dawned on me until recently, that like you, a lot of people were confused by the fact that the EI recipes vary so much from website to website. I'm gonna stick with the food analogy because it's the most appropriate. How many recipes for lamb stew have you seen? Scores of them. And they all are a bit different. Some call for more salt, others add carrots. In the end, they all fill your belly and even though some may taste better than others, any one is about as nutritious as the other. The idea is to fill your belly.

    Since I value simplicity I try to use the minimum number of ingredients and to get the most bang for buck. In the recipe you listed, the mixture stays the same and the volume dosage varies as tank size changes. This is also how the commercial bottles function. In my recipe I do the opposite and vary the initial mixture, based on tank size, but keep the volume dosages the same. The effect is identical. The difference is in the chef. :D

    Your tank is 65L, which means it's more or less a 15G. I don't like the number 15 so I'll round up and assume it's a 20G. I could just as easily round down and pretend it's a 10G, but if I round up I can just use the standard 20G dosages listed in the tutorial. Instant simplicity. :D

    Chemical Formula Legend
    KNO3 = Potassium Nitrate
    KH2PO4 = Potassium Phosphate
    MgSO4 = Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salts)
    K2SO4 = Potassium Sulphate
    NPK = Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium mix
    CSM+B = Trace mix

    I'll pull the basic numbers directly from the tutorial:

    1 month = 4 Weeks
    3 doses of NPK per week
    Therefore there are 12 doses of NPK per month.
    Multiply a single dose teaspoon value by 12 => [3/16 tsp KNO3]*12 = 2 ¼ tsp KNO3 (In you case you can easily round down to 2 tsp.)
    [1/16 tsp KH2PO4]*12 = ¾ tsp KH2PO4 (In your case round up to 1 tsp)
    [1/2 tsp MgSO4]*12 = 6 tsp MgSO4
    Add these to 600ml of tap or distilled water

    CSM+B as a powder or if it more convenient add 8 * 1/16 tsp => ½ teaspoon to 200 ml of water and dose 25 ml two times per week.

    Now this mixture must serve 12 doses so each dose is 600ml/12 = 50ml
    This makes life easier because you need only dose 50ml of this NPK solution 3 times per week.

    Now, this scheme is based on dosing NPK only 3 times per week and Trace mix only twice per week but I guess many people freak out - mumbling things about how they can't remember which day to dose what, so the daily dosing routine came about, again, which mimics the commercial bottle's dosing scheme. Don't be confused. It's all the same - 3 larger NPK doses per week is the same as 7 smaller doses per week. Also, can you see how flexible it is? Who wants to measure out 2.25 teaspoons of KNO3? Just make it 2 and call it good. The same with KH2PO4. 3/4 tsp is a drag - just make it 1 tsp and "Bob's your uncle". The people who lay out these other recipes never explain this so beginners think they have to be locked into a specific formula. EI was never meant to be a shackle. Adjust as you go. In fact, you are doing EI right now with your Profito liquids. Didn't you simply adjust the dosages to fill the plants bellies? As a result it contributed to your algae clearing up a bit right? There is no difference in comparison to the dry powders other than the fact that the liquids are costing you 100X more than necessary. EI is interactive. It's a "World View" and is not married to any product or any recipe. The only difference is that I choose to pay the Tesco price instead of the Harrod's price. This is SPECIFICALLY why the tutorial is entitled EI Dosing Using Dry Powders.

    If you want daily dosing then instead of dividing the 600ml NPK mixture by 12 doses per month, simply divide it by 30 doses per month. So it would be 600ml/30days = 20ml per day. I mean, one need not be Albert Einstein to figure that one out. :rolleyes: Don't like the fact that it calls for 600ml total volume? Do you like 500ml instead? Fine, add the same amount of powders to 500ml/30 days = 16.67ml per day. I don't like this weird dosage number (that's why I picked 600ml) so call it 15ml per day and get on with it.

    So to summarize, this is your basic NPK numbers=> 2 tsp Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) + 1 tsp Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4) + 6 tsp Magnesium Sulphate (MgSO4) added to your water volume of choice. Whatever water volume you choose, divide it by 30 to get a daily dosage and round up or down for convenience.

    The trace mix is done the same way. 1/2 teaspoon of trace mix to 200ml/30 yields 6.67 ml per day. Again this is too weird so how about adding that powder amount to 300ml and dosing...wait for it...10ml per day. How mentally taxing was that?

    Now just compare how much 2 teaspoons of KNO3 cost versus the amount of Profito Nitroglycerine or whatever you're using. 2 teaspoons weighs about 12 grams according to JamesC's website, so a 250g bag of this stuff will last you almost 2 years. The price difference is astounding. Farmers buy this stuff by the truckload and you can find it in any good gardening center - just below the the shelf which holds the 50 kilo sacks of Cow manure. I mean, lets keep it real folks. :wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  20. anniekins

    anniekins Newly Registered

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks ceg4048 for taking the time to explain so fully the calculations and for trying to make it as easy as possible, I really do appreciate it. I have read it through a few times and I must say "the fog is definately clearing.....For now anyway! ;)

    Have ordered the powders tonight so I will be able to start in a few days time. Just to clarify on the water changes though, will I still need to carry out 50% changes twice weekly to continue from where I am now? Also should I dose straight after the water changes have been carried out as usual?

    Thanks once again
    Anne
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice