Staghorn algea problems.

Discussion in 'Algae' started by LightHouse G, 19 Mar 2009.

  1. LightHouse G

    LightHouse G Newly Registered

    Messages:
    10
    Let me start by giving some equipment set up and current water peramiters.

    125 gl tank (US) 100-110 gl after aqua scaping
    Eheim Pro 3 canister filter (model 2076)
    milwaulkee Co2 reg w/selinoid and bub counter
    aqua medic 500 reactor
    double drop Co2 checker
    current usa 4x96w PC's (only using 2 of the four lights) (2)10k (2)6500k
    (7) 7kg bags of seachem Flourite Red
    RO/DI water purifier

    PH 6.05
    dh 3
    gh 4
    drop checker: green (run Co2 24/7)
    ammonia 0.25
    Nitrates 10
    phos 10
    Fe .5
    Lighting 8 hours

    water changes every 10-15 days
    Doses: Brightwells Florin Axis, Florin Fe, Florin Gro, Florin Multi, Florin K

    These are my current reading as of today. I am new to this hobby by only a few months and don't have it down yet but willing to learn. I have stayed on top of my tank trying to clear this up but nothing seems to be working. here is the skinny of what I have been doing.

    4 weeks ago: I scraped half of my plants and redesigned my tank layout ...40gl water change cleaned and scrubed everything

    3 weeks ago started dosing with Brightwell products after 53gl water change increased bub count to 3 per sec , decresed lighting by half

    2 weeks ago started over dosing Florin Axis (organic carbon) same as Flourish excel while keeping up with regular doses and testing

    1 week ago 60gl water change 50% TAP WATER after noticing that my nerite snails were looking bleached (tap water for the calcium and magnesium) don't like to do that because I can smell the chlorine in the tap.

    Today the staghorn is still growing as well as all of my plants I don't know what to do I have great color and growth with all of my plants.... I am at a lose :?
     
  2. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Welcome to the forum :D

    Once algae takes a hold, it can take time to get rid of even when you have corrected the tank conditions that caused it to bloom in the first place. (I always wait for 3 weeks after any changes in fert dosing levels for example before reassessing and amending again, and that is in a long term tank without algae rearing its head!).

    I would read the advice here: http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm regarding staghorn algae as a starting point.

    Two other things spring to mind as well...

    Is the water in your dropchecker a 4kDH solution, or just tap\tank water? It needs to be 4DKH in order for the green reading to be worthwhile. As per the guide here: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=467

    If you can smell the chlorine in the tap water then make sure you are using dechlor. With lots of large regular water changes it can get expensive so you might consider buying pond dechlor instead. ( viewtopic.php?f=25&t=2575&hilit=pond+dechlor )

    Hope that all helps. The amount of knowledge out there can be bewildering at first, but it is worth sticking with it. You look keen to start with, that is an impressive kit list for a newby :)
     
  3. LightHouse G

    LightHouse G Newly Registered

    Messages:
    10
    thanks matt I'll pick some declor for ponds and my drop checker solution is calibrated for 30ppm I got it from Cal Aqua Labs. So I guess I should be patient and keep with the water changes. So if I am understanding you I shouldn't be dosing my ferts? because if that's what your saying oops I'm bad. I'm doing another water change later today so I'll say off the ferts.

    thx, Gene
     
  4. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I would definitely keep on with dosing the ferts and also with the water changes.
    I would not take the dropchecker and test kits results as gospel. Test kits are notoriously unreliable. Dropcheckers are better but still far from perfect indicators.

    Most algae problems are from poor CO2 (regardless of what the dropchecker says!). 'poor' can cover a variety of sins.... usually people think of poor as low, but it can also be a matter of distribution (i.e. is your water flow good around the tank). or fluctuating levels and probably some more things that I do not recall right now.

    So the areas to look at are increasing your CO2 level and/or improving the flow around your tank.

    An easy way to increase your CO2 would be to up the dosage of your Excel equivalent.

    You can also search the forum for 'staghorn' and read up as I am sure previous posts will provide more info.
    If you see posts by Ceg on your searches take your time to read and digest them as he is a wise man!
     
  5. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I dose 'epsom salts' to keep my magnesium levels up.
    a few quid on ebay gets you a years supply :)
     
  6. LightHouse G

    LightHouse G Newly Registered

    Messages:
    10
    it's funny you said epson salts because my wife came home with a bag last night...wierd but anyway how much of this stuff shoud I dose for a 100 gallons of water? Second I went out and grugenly bought another canister filter to help turn the tank over more and help with water movement in my tank. I have set it up strickly as my biological filter and use the the Eheim to fliter the tank water. I now have a much improved water flow to the other end of my tank. I'll keep dosing and changing water and we will see.
     
  7. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    That is good that you are seeing an improved flow now.
    Sounds like you have made good adjustments. So as you say it is a case of keeping on top of the dosing and water changes and being patient.

    IF you keep thngs stable, then hopefuly this will be sufficient to prevent further algae outbreaks. In addition, manual removal of the existing staghorn alage is a good idea (this has got to be the least fun bit of keeping a tank :( ). You can get fish that eat it (I swear by SAE's, but it may be best to start a separate thread to discuss that one!)

    Be aware that as the plants grow and the biomass increases so does their consumption of CO2. So be prepared to keep tweaking the CO2 as this happens. Then in turn the fert usage goes up as well.

    I added the EpsomS not for snails but for the plants! I may have added more than needed, but it was cheap and did no harm.... I use to dose 1 teaspoon after a 50%WC and then a further 1/3 teaspoon every other day in a 40US Gallon tank with 1.2wpg lighting. ... for your tank, if you are doing 50%WC a week then I would go for 2 teaspoon a week. Half it if you are not doing big water changes.

    With regards to the general levels of nutrients you use. I have had good success with the EI method ( more reading :rolleyes: ... viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211 ). Dry salts are a lot cheaper than commercial ferts, easier to tweak the mix of what you put in, and just as effective.
     
  8. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    The NH3 wont be helping the algae situation, the sooner you can get NH3 and NO2 to zero the better.

    Sam
     
  9. LightHouse G

    LightHouse G Newly Registered

    Messages:
    10
    I have noticed that alot of people in this forum use dry ferts and I booked marked the AE web site to purchase them later on. However I haven't got a clue as how to use them yet. I work with my hands and a tape measurer :lol: . I have read the artical on dry ferts twice and I am still absorbing it all. I have also been browsing the fert section of this forum to get some common Q's on how othe hobbiest are useing them.

    I have one SAE and one GAE but do you this that some trap door snails wood do a better job?
     
  10. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    To be honest, staghorn is one the few algae that pretty much nothing will touch. SAE's are reported to eat it, but if there is fish food around, IME they will take that over the staghorn every time. Snails are much the same, the best algae eating snail being the nerite IMO.

    Excel is your best weapon against staghorn, once you've got on top of the cause that it. Its not a cure just a remedy.

    Sam
     
  11. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I agree with what you say Sam. I just make sure not to add any food to the tank for a couple of days and find the staghorn goes fairly quickly. Same goes for Amano shrip, they will eat Staghorn, but prefer fish food any day of the week.
     
  12. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I cant comment on whether trap door snails would help, I have never kept these.
     
  13. LightHouse G

    LightHouse G Newly Registered

    Messages:
    10
    Hey thanks for the comments :D but I think I have the staghorn pretty much kicked ny still have a slight BBA problem and have cut most of the infected leaves. I am still keeping with the excell and water changes and Co2 is up a little higher as well. I have read that using excell and or H2o2 will rid me of this but I don't know what H2o2 is or even how to apply it. Any help is appriciated.

    I just wish I had found this forum a couple months ago I don't think I would be in this situation because this forum seems to stress more flow and the use of the EI method then the other two forums I have posted and read through. I may be wrong on this point or maybe now after a few months it's finally :idea: seaking in.

    PS. I just recieved some dry ferts and will be posting on my proper dosages if you guys can help me out on that board :)
    thks, G
     
  14. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    I am chuffed you are getting on top of things. It is a good feeling when you can see your tank coming together :D

    H202 is Hydrogen Peroxide\Bleach. I have heard of people using it as well, but nevery felt the need to myself. From what I gather you make a mild solution of H202 by mixing it with water and dip the plant in it. It will damage the plant surface along with the algae, so it seems a bit drastic to me. Spot treatment with Excel is the best bet for BBA from what I can gather.

    Post away with your ferts dosing strategy, am sure someone on here can help you with it :)
     
  15. LightHouse G

    LightHouse G Newly Registered

    Messages:
    10
    thanks for the support :D Yeh I agree with the Hydrogen Peroxide\Bleach being used it a tank. I have a cyringe I can fill and spot dose. really the problem area that I see is in my java moss.... because the rest I have cut from the plants themselves and nothing new seems to be developing :D

    again thank you for your support and help....cheers
     
  16. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Your more than welcome. It has given me a good feeling too to know that I have helped you out.

    Moss and algae is a real pig. When it happens to me I try and untangle the moss from the algae (this can take ages, I absentmindedly and casually do it while watching tv so that it becomes therapeutic rather than frustrating :) ) and usually end up with just a little moss left and start growing it on again from there.

    Spot treating with Excel is probably a good bet.

    I heard a tip recently which I have never tried, but the chap who told me swore by it.
    Basically stick the moss in a bucket of water and make sure it is pitch black, leave it for 2 weeks and the algae will die but the moss will survive. I have a feeling this blackout method will only be effective for certian types of algae though.

    I will be curious to see what other people recommend.
     

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