Help, I'm losing the algae battle.....

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by AndyTaylor, 23 Sep 2008.

  1. AndyTaylor

    AndyTaylor Member

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    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    The Bad Stuff:

    I have GSA on the glass since yesterday. Not loads but still.....
    I have short black algae on Hygro Siamensis/E. Tennellus/Anubias/Various Mosses/Various Crypts/Nessea Podicellata/Ludwigia Repens.
    All of the above plants are otherwise healthy and piling on growth.

    Since 2 weeks ago, I have been dealing with cloudy water. White rather than green. Huge W/C reduce it somewhat. Dosing seems to cause it. I have alternatively stopped trace dosing and MGSO4 dosing to rule out interactions. No luck.

    My Dosing:

    KNO3:
    Conc: 1ml = .50ppm

    Dosed on Day 1/3/5: 60ml

    KH2PO4:
    Conc: 1ml = .54ppm: 6ml

    MgSo4:
    Conc: 1ml = .01ppm : 50ml

    Trace dosed on days 2/4/6

    The good stuff:

    I have E. Stellata which I've brought back from the brink of death after a late delivery nearly wiped it out. It is unaffected by the algae and grows at least 4 inches every week.
    I have Downii, again unaffected by algae of any sort, not spreading but no dying either.


    Lighting is 2 x 39W T5 over 200L for 11 hours. and 4 x 39w T5 for 2 hours at noon.

    Filter is an Eheim turning over 700L P/H backed up with 2 Eheim powerheads turning over 300L p/h...

    Weekly W/Cs and scrupulous cleaning to remove any decaying matter.

    Is it time for a blackout?
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    You don't mention CO2. Have you got a stable 30ppm during the daylight hours? I find a dose of EasyCarbo (or Excel) often helps by spot treating the worst areas. You might also be best removing the worst affected leaves too. Have you got some algae grazers too?
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,
    This is a contradiction in terms. The appearance of algae by definition means that the plants are not healthy. The black algae sounds like it could be BBA which is an indication of poor CO2. GSA is closely related to poor PO4 as well as poor CO2. As Ed notes you haven't specified what your CO2 injection techniques are.

    Cloudy water is the least of your worries and is simply a verification of the underlying problems occurring in the tank. When you fix your problems the water will clear. Dosing cannot possibly be responsible for cloudy water, otherwise everyone who doses would complain about this. This conclusion is therefore not valid and neither is the decision to stop dosing.

    More than likely your problems are as a result of poor CO2 and/or poor flow. Blackouts will only bring a short term relief unless CO2 is fixed.

    Cheers,
     
  4. AndyTaylor

    AndyTaylor Member

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    :D No sooner had I hit 'submit' than I knew you'd pick me up on that one! Point taken, though.

    CO2 is FE injected. At least 30ppm running from 9am (lights come on at 10am) until 13.30pm. The D/C is yellow even after the CO2 has been off for hours. I think I've pushed the level as far as the fish can take but I'll experiment.

    I don't think I need more flow, but I could be wrong. The evidence would suggest that I am, I suppose. :oops:

    I'm going to go run the CO2 now and observe for a bit.

    Should I up my PO4 level as a start?
     
  5. AndyTaylor

    AndyTaylor Member

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    Ok, I've upped the CO2 a little and added a 3rd Eheim 300 powerhead.

    I'll double the PO4 when I dose in the morning. I'll resume the MGSO4 dosing also.

    I really thought I was getting the hang of reading this tank......obviously not.... Ho Hum....... :rolleyes:

    Once the cloudy water clears, I'll get some pics.
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Well at least it registered in your brain. That means Tank has already loaded some of the operational programs you'll need to survive in the Matrix. 8)

    BBA can't be tricked. Its either injection rate, flow, stability or some combination of two or more. Also avoid automatically assuming that a drop checker reading necessarily means that you have 30 ppm at the plants surface. All we truly know are basic indicators green, yellow, blue. It may be that you need turn the gas on an hour earlier or that you need a better circulation pattern. Just make minor changes to the injection rate and leave it for a week or two - don't go crazy. :rolleyes: If you are maxed out on the injection rate then you have to think seriously about distribution patterns or lighting intensity or consider supplementing CO2 with Excel/Easycarbo. Have you maximized flow rates? Have you created the best flow patterns? It really is a bit of a puzzle.

    Also you should verify that in fact you have BBA and not something that only looks like BBA. Check here: =>James Algae Guide

    I normally add more of everything in multiples like 50% but it's up to you. You can try just 50% more PO4 and see how that goes for a few weeks. GSA on glass is very difficult to eradicate completely so if the amount stays small it may not be worth the extra dosing. If the GSA infects the leaves however then you have no choice as that's a clear signal of CO2/PO4.

    Cheers,
     
  7. AndyTaylor

    AndyTaylor Member

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    Oh, don't worry.... I'm well on the way to being de-programmed! Operation ceg4048 continues! ;)

    Having checked James' Algae guide I'd be almost 100% sure that I'm farming BBA.... I's also be pretty sure I have a few of the other varieties that he mentions. Most all of them linked to low CO2.

    I'll play around with flow patterns for the next few days. I doubt if I've found the optimal set-up yet.

    I'll also ignore the cloudiness for the moment (or at least, I'll stop trying to cure it with W/Cs) and deal with the cause not the symptoms. At least that way I'll know I'm getting somewhere if I can improve the cloudiness.

    I'll report back.

    Thanks for the help. On the button, as usual.
     
  8. zig

    zig Member

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    How are you dissolving the CO2 Andy, reactor or diffuser? I have had more success with reactors on tanks that size myself, the glass diffusers get bunged up pretty quick IME, personally I gave up on dropcheckers, use as an indicator only.

    I would start to dose 4ml of carbo plus daily, very hard to get rid of bba by hand removal only.

    I wonder with the powerheads are you driving off the CO2 too quickly, could be quite a swirl in there with filter plus 2 powerheads on the go.

    I just added a new DIY reactor to my Tetratec 1200 on a 150l tank, my best one yet :D 100% CO2 dissolving, and the reactor is totally silent, I hit the sweet spot. The last one I made was a bit noisy because the CO2 was not dissolving properly due to lack of flow from the filter (different filter Eheim 2215) Got the parts in B&Q for under €20 although your 700l filter would be to weak to run this one I'm afraid, you would run into the noise problems and have very poor flow with the reactor added.

    I think the light period is a bit long as well, I would cut that back by a couple of hours until you are under control with the bba.

    Anyway just some suggestions, my best suggestion is listen to ceg but you know that anyway ;)

    Cheers Andy
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Member

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    You could kill the midday burst too and shorten the lighting period, until you get this straightened out...
     
  10. AndyTaylor

    AndyTaylor Member

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    :) even the masters must listen to ceg ;)

    I'm using a rhinox 5000 diffuser, but I think you may be right. It needs to be cleaned nearly every week at this stage. i may have to look at a better solution... I have some Excel here so I'll dose that for a while until i can sort the distribution out.
    Is your DIY diffuser scalable? Could I make a smaller one?.....I'll pm you later.

    I'll cut back on the photo-period for a week or two and observe. I don't want to deprive the Pog. Stellata of light either though, now that it's doing so well...... I even have E. Tennellus growing compact and staying that lovely bronze colour you were looking for. i must send some down to you next time I cut it back. It's the small successes that keep me going really!

    How does a 9 hour main photo-period with a 1 hour noon burst sound?
     
  11. zig

    zig Member

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    Andy the reactor needs good flow going through it to work properly, this is the key to its success really. Making it smaller would still require good flow for it to work properly so no real advantage gained there. A 700lph filter wouldn't cut it I'm afraid, the Tetratec 1200 seems to have enough flow to make it work efficiently. The reactor I made will only fit the larger 17mm fittings of the Tetratec or any larger filter, smaller fittings seem to be in short supply for what I wanted but no shortage of the larger 17mm ones in B&Q.

    I would probably cut the light period to 6 hours lowlight + 2 hours at highlight until you get a bit more control.
     
  12. AndyTaylor

    AndyTaylor Member

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    Ok, after 36 hours and 1 w/c on 6 hours lowlight & 2 hours hilight (as zig suggested), the cloudiness has cleared. At least, it had this morning before i dosed Macros.
    I made some adjustments to the flow pattern and upped the CO2 injection rate. It comes on 2 hours before lights and goes off 2 hours before.

    Dosing 4ml Excel daily.

    I did a fairly heavy prune of the Hygro/Nessea and some of the crypts to remove as much BBA as I could without disturbing substrate.

    We watch and see..................
     
  13. zig

    zig Member

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    I have a low(ish) light CO2 injected tank running here for about 6 months maybe longer, 150L 1.8WPG, I run the lights for 9 hours per day and the tank does fine at that, you could do 7 hours low and 2 hours highlight if you wanted and I'd say that would be plenty to keep it running good. Personally I would just run the CO2 right till the end of the Light period.

    BTW went up to the lads in D&D not so long ago and got the CO2 refills, found them as per your instructions (relief) €15 in total for 2 refills, nice :D
     
  14. AndyTaylor

    AndyTaylor Member

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    Ah good stuff, glad that worked out for you. I wish i'd stockpiled before I moved away because the cheapest I can get a refill for over here is €36.....more than twice that if I need a cylinder too. :wideyed:

    I did get your pm btw, I just haven't got around to replying to you. :)

    So far, so good with the tank. I'm up to 7 hours low and 2 high at the moment and I have crystal clear water. Growth is still great but the BBA is not decreasing (and worst on the Tennellus that I'm growing for you) . The GSA is gone since I upped the PO4 (I'm at 6ppm)
     
  15. zig

    zig Member

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    Well its good the tank is now clear Andy, thats more important than the bba, you have the basic problems sorted out now anyway, the bba is more of a nuisance tbh you just need to be persistent with it and within a couple of weeks it should come good. Each day I would remove any traces of it, just keep at it. Most importantly though dose the Excel each day, just use low dosages and keep doing that from now on. keep dosing the excel and it will definitely clear it eventually, on the e tennellus I would just cut off the affected leafs and leave the stems there to regrow new shoots, any other badly affected plants I would be pretty ruthless as well. If its on the tank furniture, scrape it off, remove it from the glass etc I find once you get a handle on it you can get rid of it but you need to be persistent, a couple of weeks of bba removal each day should do it.

    If you ever need a couple of spare cylinders picked up during the week anytime I could do that for ya no problem, I think the lads out Bray direction are paying €65 for a 5kg refill so €36 probably isn't too bad.
     

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