bga

Discussion in 'Algae' started by mister-t, 29 Apr 2008.

  1. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    hi all,this is my first post,so what a better way to start then with a algae problem :D
    i have a 180ltre tank,i dose ei,pressurised c02,drop checker nice and green,i have done so many blackouts ive lost count
    the plants grow really well,but the bga and sometimes stag horn keep coming back,i have sand substrate,which i clean when i do my 50% water change every week,i use water from my hma filter because i have discus fish.my lighting is as follows.arcadia 30w fresh water,30w grolux with reflectors.my water stats are good,and i also have a aquapro 2sp external filter,my lights are only on for 8hrs a day.but i just cant keep the bga away,i really feel like ripping all the plants out and just having a non planted tank,any help would be much appreciated
    mister-t
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Welcome to UKAPS! Sorry to hear about BGA. It's a PITA, I know.

    What NO3 are you dosing? BGA tends to do well in low NO3 conditions.

    Try blacking out the substrate line. BGA originates from the substrate IME. If you deprive the light at source then it shouldn't spread.

    Consider more flow. BGA tends to prefer dead spots. Aim for 10x turnover minimum. Using a large spraybar, you can ensure that turbulence isn't excessive for your discus.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi mister-t,
    Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your frustration. As much as you'd like to think that you CO2 is good, the appearance of staghorn inevitably means just the opposite. Staghorn is CO2 related and BGA is nitrate related so either you need to increase the injection rate and nitrates or increase the flow and thereby the distribution of nitrate CO2. If it's a distribution issue then the first thing you need to do is consider your filter throughput. That means you could use a filter rating of 1800L per hour (10X the tank volume) or as close to that level as you can accommodate. If you are not already doing so, you may also consider turning on the gas an hour or two before the light comes on.

    So three things to investigate 1) Filter throughput, 2) Timing 3) Injection rate or nitrate increase.

    You mention a green dropchecker, however are you using tank water in the dropchecker or are you using distilled water adjusted to 4dkh? If you use tank water you have a false high reading due to the acids in the water.

    You may also want to think about supplementing your CO2 injection with Excel or EasyCarbo, but this can get expensive.

    Cheers,

    Edited to correct the response: Saw BGA but read BBA :oops:
     
  4. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    thanks for the quick reply,my co2 comes on a hour before my lights,i use 4dkh solution for my drop checker,one thing i have noticed lately,is that when i add my dkh solution then the ph reagent i dont get the blue coloured liquid anymore it goes straight to green,im also considering getting a better external which will give me a better turn over of water flow
    any externals you could recomend for the size of my tank
    thanks
    mister-t
     
  5. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    sorry forgot to add my dosing regime
    i dose 5ml kno3 and kh2po4 3 x a week and 5ml trace elements 3x a week,also looking at my plants as my lights came on staghorn algae is present on some of the leaves
    mister-t
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    mister-t, sorry but it's impossible to interpret "5 ml of KNO3 and KH2PO4" because no one but you can have any idea what concentration the solution is or how you prepared the solution. Can you give us a clue of how many teaspoons (or grams) of each powder you added to what quantity of water to prepare this solution that you are dosing with?

    Cheers,
     
  7. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    the soloutions are made up as follows
    kno3 4.5tbs to 500ml of water,kh2po4 4.5tbs to 500ml of water,trace elements 1tbs to 250ml of water,all the powders are measured with measuring spoons
    mister-t
     
  8. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Where did you get those dosing figures from as they are way out for Estimative Index? I calculate that at the moment you are dosing 2.8ppm NO3 and 3.5ppm PO4 three times a week. The figures for EI are about 8ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 three times a week.

    The low NO3 dosing compared to the high PO4 dosing would explain your BGA problems.

    James
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yeah, I did it the dunce cap way and I reckon the nitrate dosing is off almost by a factor of 4. :wideyed: In other words, if "tbs" means tablespoon and if there are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon then it's the equivalent of 13.5 teaspoons to 500ml of water which means the dosage should be closer to 20ml per dose instead of 5ml per dose. mister-t, Would be interesting to know how you did these calculations. Gee wiz, maybe even have a look at the Dry Salt Dosing article => viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211

    James I don't actually think the ratio of N:p is as much a problem as simple N starvation. Just treble or quadruple the KNO3 solution dosing and it should be OK, no?

    Cheers,
     
  10. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Yep, N:p ratio hasn't got much to do with it. But with high PO4, CO2 etc and pretty low NO3, then NO3 is going to become limited causing the BGA problem. Add 3x more NO3 and you should be OK.

    James
     
  11. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Hi Mister-T!

    Glad to see you made your first post. After a "pulling my hair out" post on another forum which has bad advice issued alot lately, naming no names, cough tff cough, I pm'ed Mister-T recommending UKAPS so he could get the help he needed.

    Seems the resident experts have found your problem.

    For filter how about 2 x tetratec ex1200, or 2 x eheim 2217s. I can't think of a filter that turns over 1800 lph...
    Is this your filter? http://www.ketteringkoi.com/acatalog/info_121305.html It says it has a flow rate of 800 lph. So you could just buy one tetratec ex1200 (about £60) or 2217.
     
  12. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    hi lisa and thanks for recomending this great site,so far everyone has been so helpfull,the filter in your link is similar to mine,and as for my dosing the calculations where recomended for my size of tank and my lighting from some one of
    tff lol.so all ive got to do is work out the exact dosing i need to be adding and with a better turn over of water for my 180ltr tank then i should in theory be on the way to a bga free tank
    thanks for your help
    mister-t
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    mister-t,
    Have you checked the article I gave the link for? It's worth a read. There is a section entitled "NPK (Nitrogen+Phosphorus+Potassium) Mixture for 20 Gallon Tank" which shows you what teaspoon values are necessary. Scale the amounts from the data you see there. Your tank is 50 USG so prepare a 4 week supply of your mixture by multiplying those values by 2.5 (50/20). Do the same for the Trace mixture.

    Cheers,
     
  14. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    thanks for the help,just read the article,very informative,will have to wait for my better half to arrive from work as my math is not my strong point,correct me if i am wrong,is the article for people who just add powders direct to the tank or can a stock solution be made from that dosing guide as i prefer to use 500ml dosing bottles
    mister-t
     
  15. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Mister-T if you read the article there is a section:-
    "NPK (Nitrogen+Phosphorus+Potassium) Mixture for 20 Gallon Tank
    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
    [1/16 tsp KH2PO4]*12 = ¾ tsp KH2PO4
    [1/2 tsp MgSO4]*12 = 6 tsp MgSO4
    Add these to 600ml of tap or distilled water

    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.

    Always separate the CSM+B from the NPK because it has a tendency to react with the phosphate. You can dose the CSM+B as a powder or if it more convenient add 8 * 1/16 tsp => ½ teaspoon to 300 ml of water and dose 25 ml two times per week.
    Naturally, the mixture scales in the same way. If the tank is twice as large than you would add twice as much powder to you 600ml of water and so on."

    Your tank is 47.6 usg so just X the amounts by 47.6/20 = 2.38
    So say 6 tsp MgSO4 x 2.38 = 14.28 so I'd add 15 teaspoons. Better to have too much than not enough.
     
  16. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    thanks lisa much appreciated your help
    mister-t
     
  17. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Or you could use a dosing calculator to make up the solutions - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm. EI doses about 8ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 3 times a week. For the dry trace mix add 30g to 500ml water and dose at 10ml 3x a week for your 180 litre.

    If your tap water is low on magnesium then a weekly dose of about 8ppm should be fine.

    HTH
    James
     
  18. mister-t

    mister-t Newly Registered

    Messages:
    9
    jamesC thanks for the help,ive worked out the measurements with the calculator in the link you posted,i have removed some of the bga and will remove more tomorrow,and remove the leaves of my plants that had bba on them,one last question should i do another blackout or just remove as much algae as i can and start the dosing.
    thanks for all your help
    mister-t
     

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