BROWN SLIME ALGAE IN MY NEW TANK

Discussion in 'Algae' started by creed1, 23 Sep 2008.

  1. creed1

    creed1 Newly Registered

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    I have had my tank set up for seven weeks the first 5-6 weeks were spent battling soaring ammonia bloom from my ADA amazon Aquasoil.

    The ammonia levels have settled but not yet quite zero (i know i should throw away the test kit).

    After numerous teething troubles with my C02 this has been fully functional at about 2bpm albeit I probably don't have the best difussion system yet.

    However in the last week I have had a major algae bloom which I have identified as brown slime algae which is completely covering my swords, crypts, anubias, etc, etc :twisted: :twisted:

    Having read some of these threads I think ammonia is the problem and i need to fert, fert, fert.

    I have limited time and I know i need to act quickly. I have not had time to read the Barr Report and EI looks a little daunting at this stage so is Tropica TPN the answer?

    My questions are:-

    What is the best off the shelf product to fert my tank?

    What doses of this product would you recommend?

    Can the BSA be removed manually or chemically from my plants and how?

    What other measures should I take?

    For the record my set up is as follows:-

    Tank size - 50" x 18" x 24"

    Lighting - 3 x Sera Daylight 48" fitted with reflectors. These are 36watt T8 tubes
    on 10 hours per day - CO2 on and off an hour before the lights.

    CO2 diffuser - an old Dennerle Turbo/Cyclone

    Substrate ADA Aquasoil - Amazonian

    External filter - Aqua One 2250 plus a home made trickle filter (18" x 12" x 18") fed via an overflow corner.

    Current fert regime - none

    Any general help would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Matt
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,
    Try not to fall into the trap of blaming all ammonia problems on Aquasoil. Ammonia buildup in a glass box filled with water and with living things is a fact of life on Planet Earth and it would occur even if you had marbles as a substrate. Multiple water changes throughout the week is the standard procedure to keep these levels at bay. It will be months before the tank matures to the point where ammonia production stabilizes.

    Well, I always try to remind everyone that ammonia is never zero - ever. It merely is at a value lower than what the kit is capable of reading. Ammonia production continues until the end of eternity. Nitrifying bacterial colonies in the substrate, filter and submerged surface have not yet reached their maximum populations. This is hardly surprising though.

    If this is the case then more CO2 injection rate and/or flow must be added to compensate for poor diffusion.


    This is another critical misconception. EI is a credo, a concept, or a way of thinking. It is not a product. Therefore we cannot escape it's principles. Whatever product you purchase they have to be applied within the context of these principles. It's almost a guarantee that if we avoid learning the dosing principles, not just of EI, but of any dosing scheme, then we are doomed to continue suffering repetitive algal blooms. You'll not solve these problems quickly. I personally would try to find the time to read this article in the Tutorials Section because your algae will refuse to lend a sympathetic ear => EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS You don't need to use the dry salts but you should understand the principles involved.

    TPN+ is the most well known all-in-one liquid fertilizer mix. It is unclear what the dosing levels should be as it really depends on your lighting level as well as what nutrients levels are already in your tap water. What is clear is that you will need to dose at least 2X or 3X the bottle directions in a high light CO2 injected tank. But this alone will not necessarily do the trick. CO2 must be adequate and water changes should be performed regularly, as well as manual removal.

    Cheers,
     
  3. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    satrt off with 1ml per 20l for dosing with the Tropica aquacare line.
     
  4. creed1

    creed1 Newly Registered

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    Hi guys

    Thank you for your advice.

    I have read ceg4048's EI link and found it to be very interesting. EI does not appear to be as daunting as I first thought. Presumbaly once you have worked out your dosing and created a solution you can simply bring it into your regime of feeding fish, etc - or is that not a good idea? To fert and feed fish that is.

    I have decided to give EI a go straight from day one rather than mess about. Can either of you or anyone else recommend a suitable supplier of the necessary salts, etc?

    Would the solutions, once made up, need to be kept in any specialist container? e.g. does the solution need to be kept in glass bottle because it would chemically react with plastic?

    Presumably, even if you do 50% water change the residual water column would become more saturated with any unused salts and ergo the whole water column would also gradually increase.

    I appreciate estimative nature of this regime and that the plants will only take up what they need and it is better to over estimate than under estimate. However does the level of unused nutrients ever reach a dangerous level for either the plants or fish, shrimp, etc?

    I am going also going to address the flow for my CO2 diffuser. Can you advise on what turnover I should be achieving for my total tank and what turnover is best through my diffuser.

    Finally, because i live in West Wales I estimate it will take a week to source my salts, etc and start my EI regime.

    In the meanwhile what should I do to limit my BSA problem. Water changes ok but how much and how often.

    Is is possible to clean plant leaves to remove the BSA or do cut off and remove all effect stems. Or do i wait until I start my EI and let the whole thing sort itself out naturally?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Matt

    is not
     
  5. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    yes you can do it at the same time if thats what you mean

    http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... &cPath=145
    http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/fertilise ... -5_147_200

    plastic is fine :)

    A lack of nutrients causes algae, so always better to overdose, plants or fish are not botheres, you can go 2x EI or even 3x.

    10x - 20x is reccomended to push nutrients & co2 around, and also minimizes any dead spots.

    BSA? do you mean GSA? if so, this is linked with low PO4, or even too much PO4 so you have to find it right, this type of algae is easy to eradicate so i wouldnt worry to much about it, dont think water changes help.


    BSA again, i am thinking you might mean BBA now lol. remove the effected stems. BBA is linked with poor CO2.
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    From the thread title I assume Matt is referring to a Brown Slime Algae which most likely could be what we call Diatom algae. This occurs in immature tanks and normally goes away after a few weeks but starvation exacerbates this. This can be helped by manual removal + lowering the lights + frequent water changes, or by performing manual removal + water change + a 3 day blackout.

    My personal philosophy on water changes is to remove as much water as possible. The standard EI recommendation is 50% but I know that the more junk you remove the better off you will be because you are removing not only ammonia and organic waste which produces ammonia, but you're also removing alga spores. If you can therefore do a 100% water change you'll be twice as far ahead as if you do a 50% change.

    Since you are waiting for your products to arrive it might help to do the blackout while you wait. This allows you step back, take a breath, read more and not worry. Check JamesC's algae guide to identify the types in your tank=> JamesC Algae Guide

    Any leaf affected by the algae is a goner and is only serving to create more algae. If you found a man starving in the desert you would feed him immediately and the same goes for starving plants. Start your dosing immediately. This sometimes can be a Catch-22 because once the algae forms it will uptake nutrients and proliferate but there is really no choice because the plants can never get healthier by not dosing so you have to accept the short term worsening in order to achieve improved plant health.

    Cheers,
     
  7. creed1

    creed1 Newly Registered

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    Hi Guys

    Thanks again for the advice.

    I had already looked at JamesC algae guide and I think I have Diatom or Brown Slime Algae at present. However reading som of these threads I am sure I am going to come across many more types before everything is sorted.

    Good news - I have ordered my ferts from Aqua Essentials and hopefully they will arrive by the weekend. I also hope to be able to sort out effective CO2 diffusion out by monday.

    Do I commence an immediate blackout and for how long?

    I assume a blackout means simply turning off the lights or do I need to cover the tank to eliminate natural light as well? (nb tank does not receive direct sunlight).

    I assume that I should turn off the CO2 as well?

    Using a useful online calculator my tank holds approximately 93.51 US gallons when completely empty. Therefore using EI principles i have assumed 100 us gallons to give me a 5x factor for dosing ferts.

    On this basis I calculate that I should add the following to 600ml of distilled water:-

    KNO3 - 3/16 x 12 x 5 = 11.25 teaspoons
    HK2PO4 - 1/16 x 12 x 5 = 3.75 teaspoons
    MgSO4 - 1/2 x 12 x 5 = 30.00 teaspoons

    and dose 50ml three times per week. Is this correct?

    On the same basis I calculate that I should add 2.5 teaspoons (1/16 x 8 x 5) to 200ml of distilled water dose two times per week. Again is this correct?

    I can not recall seeing distilled water being sold locally but my lfs has RO water - is this ok?

    One question about the dosing regime - if overdosing is not an issue why don't you fert for a full week immediately after a water change?

    Finally, out of curiosity i note the salts K2SO4 and K2CO3 are alos being sold - where do these fit into the equation?

    Many thanks

    Matt
     
  8. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    3 days, if it is extremely bad then you could do it for 5 but this is usually not needed.

    cover with a blanet or something similar

    yes

    is that for trace?

    Tap water is fine, but you can use RO if you want

    because the pants could use them all up in the first few days and then they could strave the rest of the week.

    potassium sulhate (sulphate of potsh) is sometimes used to add extra K, but enogh is usually dosed with the KNO3 & KH2PO4.
    pottasium carbonate again for adding extra K, but also buffers your water
     
  9. creed1

    creed1 Newly Registered

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    Hi Aaron

    Many thanks for your help.

    Kind regards

    Matt
     

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