Help me rid of this blasted stuff once and for all!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Aeropars, 9 Jul 2007.

  1. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Hi Guys,

    Every since i've had a planted tank I've laways had this issue with old growth on plants. The growth doesnt have to be old and the plants only get a slight dusting but its enough to make it look horrible and not as clean as most of the other healthy tanks i've seen.

    Can anyone tell me what it is and how to get rid? I thought i might have gone awa since i stripped down and started again but within days its back.

    I'm about to start PPS dosing to try it out so for the week and a bit its been up and running i've not dosed anything. This will have happened anyway whether dosing or not going on past experience. Even with Co2 being well over 30ppm at the moment it still comes back which is really frustrating.

    I use all tap water for changes and have a kh of about 9-10 and a gh of around 14-15.

    Heres some pics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bobtail

    bobtail Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Wirral NW UK
    Would planting up with some hygro or something help?
    Just to use up the excess light and nutients?

    Im a novice but I was wondering this for my own tank.
     
  3. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    If you have a new setup then yes. My problems different though as I've had this all the tome whether the tank was new or old it was always about.

    SOmeone on APC has offered diatoms as the issue. It fts the bill but i've never been inundated with the stuff like i was in my cold water tank. That was a right mess with the brown stuff on everything!
     
  4. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    It looks like diatoms to me.. is it a new setup? if so sand and glass can leech silicates into the water column which triggers diatoms in high numbers.

    we all have diatoms in our tanks all the time, as its part of the ecosystem were trying to create.

    do you have a drop checker? ive always found that poor co2 or poor flow are the worst culprits.. dont rely on testing kh/ph to determine co2, its a totally useless method.

    are you dosing EI at the moment? without knowing that its hard to say, but for some reason your tank is probably limiting, either by co2 or nutrients..
     
  5. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Well, its newly setup t the moment.. i stripped it down and started again but still used the onxy gravel i already had.

    I've had this problem in setups thats 2 years old so i really am struggling to shift it.
    When this was going on I was dosing EI and had what looked like 30ppm using the drop checker and reference solution.
     
  6. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Looks like it could be diatoms to me as well. A characteristic feature of diatom cells is that they are encased within a unique cell wall made of silica which is why you often get them with new setups which have lots of silicates in the substrate. There is a possibility that if you have always suffered with diatoms, that your tap water could contain high levels of silicates. It is only a thought and may not be the answer.

    James
     
  7. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    I thought it could be the tap water so that made me concider an RO unit but the added labour is really offputting. I read about some silicate removal resin a while back. Does anyone know anything about it?
     
  8. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Much easier to get some ottos. They love the stuff and will keep your tank clean of diatoms.

    James
     
  9. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Oto's are the generals of my algae eating band of critters.. stunningly amazing fish, easily my fav fish in the tank.

    Go very easy on initial introduction, they become very very fragile on transport but once theyve been in a month, bullet proof. Expect to loose 25% of your initial stock, and no more than 1 per 10 gallons, they really do eat like.. well.. me. :lol:

    i woudlnt bother with any silicate removing agents, lots of water changes and good EI/co2 is all you really need, and something to remove it obviously.. rosey barbs also love the stuff if you can cope with their destructive nature.. shrimps and otto's are easily the best. But remember you have to get the tank stable or itll just keep coming back and back and back.
     
  10. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Well I can only assume I have high silicates in the tap water so water changes will only replace the old with new silicates.

    I do actually have some otto's. I did have six at one time but i few have dies and obviously been eaten. I have a blue gourami which is very likely to be eating the shrips so I dont fancy providing him with an expensive dinner :)

    As far as I was aware, the tank was stable before but this time i'm going to try not to rely on the ph probe to dose the right amount of CO2. I hope to get the bobble rate right.
     
  11. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    counting bubbles is seriously no good.. you need a drop checker, they cost very little and are bang on if you use 4dKh reference solution in them. It really IS the only way.
     
  12. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Yes i know. I'm referring to getting the bubble rate right so that i dont have to rey on the soleniod to switch off the co2 when it gets too much.
     
  13. Maximumbob

    Maximumbob Member

    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    I am having some troubles in a similar vein. I think its down to my tap water being extremely high in phosphate (5-10ppm) I'm employing API Phoszorb to see if that helps... It also absorbs silacates.. so hopefully I'll get some help from it.
     
  14. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    My tap water is the same. I looked at that type of thing but its not for use in phosphate buffered water (i.e dosing phosphate. Perhaps its worht running it for a week then doing as normal. I coudl really do with a silicate test kit. Is there such a thing?
     
  15. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    We measure silicates at work (power station) among lots of other useful things. I could tell you your parts per billion of your tap water if you are interested.

    Personally, I would have thought your Otos would have got the diatoms. Maybe your gouramis are terrorising them.

    Dave.
     
  16. Aeropars

    Aeropars Member

    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Leicester
    Update for you guys, heres what i posted on aquaessentials:

    So, the tank is well metured again after its strip down and after a small burst of green spot, the old brown stuff is back again and making the tank look unpleasent.

    I have more of an issue on my coldwater tank but symptoms are the same although theres no ferting in my low light coldwater.

    Plants are growing well despite this minor inconvenience with the new fert methods. Most plants are root feeders and are loving the Tropica base substrate. I've been a bit naughty and havent done regular water changes of late but thats about to change.

    Onyx sand continues to raise the kh but the kh is a lot different on the coldwater so its not down to the substrate thats causing the issue. I've tired the no3 approch too but that didnt cure the issue.
    I have a shoal of otto's in there but they fail to clear the stuff. The old stuff looks like its stained the plants as when i try and scrape it off noting comes off.. its as thought its kinda welded on.

    any further ideas on this? I can only think to get an RO unit and start from scratch but thats not what i want to do.
     

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