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fighting blue green algae

jolt100

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13 Jan 2008
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120
Location
bury,lancs
Yeah, its not too bad when its empty, but full!!! I hadnt realized how big it was.I dont think that was what my doctor had in mind when he said go and lift a few weights :lol:
I retested using the same kits, which might be out of date (but that shouldnt put them more than a 20% out imho as they are sealed drytab packs)just before a water change and got 40 Nitrate 1.0 Phosphate so decided to reduce the ferts back to where I was. My water is very soft, less than 1 KH, and perhaps it would be better to increase KH rather than overdose Nitrate?

Thanks again

John
 

ceg4048

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I don't care what date those mangy kits have on them, they are absolutely worthless. You know how much of each nutrient you are putting into the tank therefore there is no need to measure it. Stop measuring. you've already committed the cardinal sin by adjusting your dosages based on silly and unreliable test kit readings. You keep doing that and you'll be right back in the same boat you were months ago. Put your trust in your teaspoons and in your eyeballs, not in test kits.

Cheers,
 

jolt100

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13 Jan 2008
Messages
120
Location
bury,lancs
I see your point, I dont usually measure water parameters and just used the old kits to give me an idea of where the dosing had stabilised. I suppose I could calculate how much water I change and therefore what the concentration of Nitrate would be but I was trying to do it the "easy" way. You dont seem to have much faith in test kits, surely they cant be that bad? They must be able to tell you if the concentration is High or low even if you dont use the indicated reading?
Anyway, I will keep adding based on your recommendations, and try to do more water changes so there isnt any accumulation. I have just noticed the test kits are 10years old so have put them in the bin! :)
Cheers
John
 

ceg4048

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Hey John,
I'll tell you a little story; A long time ago I was suffering chronic BGA. In those days I was still plugged into The Matrix and I was thinking that the BGA was due to too much nitrate so I kept measuring with a NO3 test kit and I kept getting high readings. I would add RO water and test as often as 4X per day. The algae refused to go away and I couldn't understand the high NO3 readings when I knew I was adding RO water. I was so programmed to trust the test kit that actually I started to distrust my RO unit. I actually went out and plonked down hard earned cash to buy a new RO cartrige. Same test kit results, same BGA. When I was at rock bottom emotionally, and there was no other option I decided to test the test kit, so I measured water coming straight out of the unit and it measure high NO3. I immediately went out an spent more money on a new test kit and finally it measured low that day. The next day I used the new test kit and I got a high NO3 reading. Reviewing what I had done I realized that I had spent over a hundred Euros + hundreds of labor man-hours. There was still BGA, and I still had no idea what the actual NO3 level was either in the tank, my RO container or in my tap. So yes, in my opinion they are as bad. They are your worst nightmare.

The problem with NO3/PO4 test kits are that they only occasionally tell you the truth. The problem is that one never knows on what given day the test is truthful and when it lies. You also never know how much it lies, so it can lie a little or lie a lot, so you can't even tell whether you're in the ballpark or whether you're in the next county. That makes them useless as far as I'm concerned. On top of that, if you fear nutrients then you respond inappropriately to their readings, so you wind up drifting further and further away from reality.

If you follow the EI or PMDD dosing principles you already know exactly how much ppm you have added that day or that week. If your tap water contains some then that's fine, because having more than you need is better than having less than you need. You also don't really need to worry about toxicity unless you're keeping trout or salmon. These are the only groups of fish that have demonstrated high sensitivity to NO3. Our fish have a very high tolerance, and I see no negative results after keeping generations of chichlids with high dosages of NO3/PO4. As I've pointed out many times, the NO3 is the smoking gun. By the time the organic NO3 levels build, the damage has already been done by NH4 and organic waste. When you do your water change, you are removing organic waste and are keeping those levels in check. It doesn't matter about you inorganically dosed NO3 powder. The fish don't care. Only your plants and BGA care.

As you've no doubt discovered, if your flow and distribution are spectacular, then it requires less of NO3/PO4/CO2 to keep the plants healthy. I'm not opposed to lowering the dosages at all. It's a great idea because it saves money and helps prevent unchecked growth, thus lowering maintenance. It's just that I know that most people have poor flow and poor distribution combined with too much light, which is the worst of all worlds. Instead on focusing on the real problems in the tank, they freak out about NO3, so they completely miss the boat. I've been there and I have the T-Shirt. I know this inherently. I understand exactly how they feel. You have to suspend your fear of NO3 and trust in what you see. Be consistent with your dosages and make a specific downward adjustment, say, 10% less. Then wait 3 weeks. If the BGA does not reappear then make another downward adjustment. At some point in your downward adjustment you will have violated the minimum threshold and you'll start to see signs of stress during that three week period. No problems, go back up to the previous higher dosing levels. Do your weekly 50% or more water changes, dose immediately afterwards and remove weak leaves and all loose organic debris. Organic waste is your enemy. Every morning I stick my hands in the tank, shake/fluff the plants to loosen weak leaves then I net any out. I'm very particular about this and it annoys me if I see even a single loose leaf floating about. Concentrate your energies on keeping the tank meticulously clean and forget about the illusion of NO3 toxicity. And throw those #£^%$ kits in the bin please. :geek:

Cheers,
 

Hokum

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Glossop
I joined the forum recently as i'm just getting back into fish keeping after a gap of 15 years.

On the war against CB/BGA i believe that very low conc of H2O2 is extreamly effective against it. Though of course fighting the cause of the CB build up is the way to win the war, but to give it a bloody nose it will certainly kill any in the tank and no adverse effect to fish or flora.
 

mfcphil

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11 Feb 2009
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Thanks for another great read Clive, I find it very heartening that you have suffered like the rest of us, and I mean that in a nice way.

I am still struggling with the smelly Blue Green Algae....my next attempt is to remove the reflectors from my 2 x 35w hilite juwel bulbs.

I have increased the flow and increased the Phosphate, Nitrate and Fert dosages....hopefully less light is another step in the right direction. :(
 

viktorlantos

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mfcphil said:
Thanks for another great read Clive, I find it very heartening that you have suffered like the rest of us, and I mean that in a nice way.

I am still struggling with the smelly Blue Green Algae....my next attempt is to remove the reflectors from my 2 x 35w hilite juwel bulbs.

I have increased the flow and increased the Phosphate, Nitrate and Fert dosages....hopefully less light is another step in the right direction. :(

if it's not too expensive i recommend to try and use ADA Phyton Git. This thing fight very hard agains this algae in a friendly way. Meanwhile many other thing hurt plants this one fight like a silent samurai against them ;) and helps to your plant to prevent diseases. makes your sand clear etc.

usually this algae on the front of the glass. add in a korallia to speed up the flow and add this thing after te water change. after every 5 liter 1 drop. will do the job quickly.

if your substrate got colored inject Phyton git to the substrate when you do water change.

i added this item to my weekly to do list after water changes. worth the money
 

mfcphil

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11 Feb 2009
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426
Thank you Viktor I am willing to try anything....I will look around the internet for this ADA Phyton Git :)
 

Superman

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mfcphil said:
Thank you Viktor I am willing to try anything....I will look around the internet for this ADA Phyton Git :)
I managed to get some off ebay as the usual UK stores like TGM didn't seem to stock it. I'm still waiting for it to be delivered as it can take 10-15 days from Hong Kong but it'll be worth the wait.
 

mfcphil

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11 Feb 2009
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Is there a UK ADA site that might stock Phyton Git?

"ADDED" Its Ok I got some from ebay as you suggested :)
 

dw1305

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Re: fighting blue green algae - Test kits

Hi all,
Clive is correct about the test kits, they aren't very accurate, and particularly for NO3 the levels will be changing all the time. Even an expensive meter with an ion selective electrode is of little practical use.

cheers Darrel
 

jolt100

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13 Jan 2008
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120
Location
bury,lancs
Hi All, thanks to Clive for all the advice, now my flow is up to 10X the BGA hasnt returned, the tip about fluffing up the plants has shown me that its not just the flow rate thats important its circulation around all the plants, I have a dense wall of anubias and Java fern and when I followed Clives suggestion and shook them a cloud of detritus filled the tank, even though I regularly waterchange and the spray bar sprays over them all the time and the water looks crystal clear. :oops:
Now i am shaking them daily and I have just kept dosing as suggested things are much better. :clap:
I am working on pruning the anaubis and fern back so there will be better circulation but will probably do a complete re think over Christmas and actually plan the tank rather than let it all run riot ;)

Cheers
John
 

hazeljane

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5 Dec 2009
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136
Location
St Helens
Whats up with dosing Erythromycin is it bad??? sorry but im new :oops: :oops: if it bad or not how is dosed???
I thought this was medicne for humans????
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
Hazeljane, "erythromycin" is an antibiotic which acts by inhibiting protein synthesis in gram-positive bacteria, including the cyanobacteria (that cause Blue-green algae). As a general point it isn't usually a good idea to use antibiotics to widely, and in many countries you can't buy them over the counter, but in this case nearly all pathogenic bacteria have already developed resistance to erythromycin already, so we can discount that as a worry. Another advantage is that it is also has very low toxicity to higher plants and fish.

The problem is much more that it is:
1. "broad spectrum", and kills of other gram-positive bacteria, and disrupts the ecology of the aquarium.
2. The nitrifying bacteria in the nitrogen cycle are largely gram-negative, but still may be effected.
3. The die-off of the bacteria/BGA may produce an ammonia spike.
4. Erythromycin is a "cure" and it doesn't address the reason for developing the BGA in the first place (possibly the low
P: high N ratio).
5. If conditions remain the same BGA will soon re-appear (resting spores will be present in nearly all aquatic situations),
but it may take much longer for the aquarium to re-stabilise.

cheers Darrel
 

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