Thread Algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Net_fisher2, 6 Mar 2008.

  1. Net_fisher2

    Net_fisher2 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Isle Of Wight
    :rolleyes:
    Hi all,
    7 days on new setup and thread algea starting to apear! :?:
    long strands 5cm long, not many and have cleared it tonight.
    Do I need to worry or is this just due to new tank / filter :?

    If someone tells me how to add pics I will! :oops:

    Any advice appreciated for the new boy!

    Thanks
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Stats:-
    95ltr
    Tap water (High pH, high Nitrates, high Posphates and very hard)
    2 x T8 30w
    1 x T8 25w
    12 hours with 2 hour siesta

    Co2 FE injection rynox 1000, shut off at night. on 2 hours before lights
    Nice green drop checker all day! (4 dkh water)

    Fluval 205
    100w internal heater
    Heating cable - play sand(now Off due to water temp too high)
    Tretra complete + Caribsea Eco-Complete

    1 cory and 1 Oto

    planting
    Vallis, Spatterdocks, Glosso, HG, 4 leaf clover (going like a rocket), Sagittaria natans.

    will be dosing, seachem nitrogen, potasium, + tetra plantamin, in week 2

    Amonia .025mg/L, No3 20 - 30mg/l, pH down to 6.8 to 7, No2 0, Gh 10 to 16 d, Kh 10
     
  2. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Up load pics to photobucket.com and copy the image links into your posts :)

    The algae is probably a result of the NH3, which should be zero. You could add a purigen packet to the final stage of the filter to take up the slack until the filter and/or plants are properly matured and able to cope.

    Sam
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi, welcome to the forum :D

    My advice would be as follows:

    1. Forget about siestas and reduce the photoperiod to a continuous 10 hours or less for the short term.

    2. Add a second Fluval 205.

    3. Maintain a water temperature of around 25 deg C.

    4. Don't believe in the accuracy of, and therefore ditch the following test kits: NH3, NO3, PO4, NO2

    5. [Optional] If possible do a part exchange on your Seachem bottles in favor of the dry powders KNO3 and KH2PO4 such as those found here (lower cost and more accurate dosing): http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... th=145_146

    6. Add Flourish Excel to your list of items to dose, or add more CO2.

    7. Increase your water change frequency, i.e 2X per week @50%.

    Cheers,
     
  4. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Add another 205???
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yes, I know, it sounds radical. Here is my reasoning: Our rule of thumb is to use 10X the tank volume per hour of filter turnover. Filters only deliver about half of what they are rated when filled with filter media and are fighting to pump water uphill from the floor to the tank's water level. The 95 liter tank, if we follow the rule of thumb, would require just under 1000 liters per hour. Remember though that is just the filter rating value. The 205 is rated at under 700 so adding a second gives you just under 1400 LPH. Even adding a 105 which is rated at just under 500LPH would help, but bigger filters mean more filter media and lower ammonia.


    Ummm...we're fanatics, remember?

    Cheers,
     
  6. Simon Dickenson

    Simon Dickenson Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    Cornwall
    I don't know If I would be inclined to ditch those test kits, even if variably inaccurate they do give an indication of water quality. For example, the glass permanent co2 tests are probably the most inaccurate of them all yet we all have them as an indication in our tanks!
    If you were after extremely accurate test kits look at some called MERC. Usually for the reef enthusiasts these will set you back a bit but are undoubtedly very accurate. ;)
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Actually, the CO2 test kit is your most accurate kit, assuming the test vial is filled with 4 kH water. The reason for this is that it is nothing more than a pH test kit - that's all - and pH test kits are among the most reliable.

    Secondly, the others I listed tell you nothing about water quality in real terms. I guess one would have to define water quality, and I suppose the definition would depend on the goals and objectives you have for your tank. In a planted tank I generally define poor water quality in terms of high organic waste content. My definition of good water quality is therefore characterized by low organic waste content with high levels of inorganic salts such as KH2PO4, KNO3 and other metals and minerals.

    Within the context of this definition, these kits don't add any value. The level of algae in your tank will tell you far more than any kit because algae thrive in poor water quality environment. The proliferation of algae automatically indicates the presence of ammonia and the lack of some other essential element necessary for plant health. The species of algae that develops is an automatic indication of what that other element is. These indications within the tank are absolutely accurate no matter what the test kit readings indicate. Algae are incapable of lying but test kits are notorious liars.

    Since the kits are unable to determine, or even differentiate between the organic component and the inorganic components of the element they are testing for, their value is severely diminished.

    If you understand the inherent weakness of the kits and if you regularly calibrate the kits, and if you have some specific goal for which you are attempting to measure using the kits, their use can perhaps be justified, but as a general indicator of water quality (at least by my definition) the kits listed are completely irrelevant.

    Cheers,
     
  8. Net_fisher2

    Net_fisher2 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Isle Of Wight
    Thanks for the advice it really is appreciated that you have taken time!

    Picture as promised, sorry about the quality but i think you get the idea.
    Threadalgae.jpg

    1 - Photoperiod reduced down to 9 hours, no siesta.
    2 - The "new fish permission officer" will not go for that one! But flow has been increased as much as possible, raising canister etc.
    3 - done
    4 - Ok will think about that one!
    5 - not an option now, but next order!
    6 - Co2 now turned up to 2 bpm
    7 - Ok due in the morning, going to mix with the tap water with Rain Water, Tap : RW 1:2

    Your thoughts on the addition of rain water?
    I am really anoyed because of the amount of grow going on in the tank, so i am assuming I have definiency somewhere as well?
    The Dosing will start straight after water change.

    Cheers
     
  9. Net_fisher2

    Net_fisher2 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Isle Of Wight
    That should be 2 bps not bpm!!!

    doh! :oops:
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi netfisher,
    Ummm..I haven't taken any hallucinogens and I'm only on my 2nd mug of brew, but I swear that I have no idea what that picture is of :? It kind of looks like a yellow fishing pole catching a goldfish? I'm struggling here mate, could you help clarify that?

    Cheers,
     
  11. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Ceg can you think back to my thread with the brown clado? It's the same stuff as that was.
     
  12. Net_fisher2

    Net_fisher2 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Isle Of Wight
    CEG, Sorry i see your point!
    Been doing to many white powders.... :wideyed:
    This pic may help with scale, see the fishing poles in the middle! :p
    sorry about the quality again!
    tank.jpg


    Garuf what was the thread name, I would really like a read!

    thanks
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    OK, I'm tuned in to the proper frequency now :rolleyes: It's a good thing you clarified because my second guess would have been that you were flying a yellow bi-plane and snapped that photo while looking out over the Atlantic ocean. :wideyed:

    Garuf's thread is this one: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=795

    That's really not bad at all compared to what Garuf had. I don't like the idea of not dosing Phosphorus - it's just too uncontrolled long term.

    Garden Direct do a better deal on the powders:
    KNO3 http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/potassium-nitrate-p-210
    KH2PO4 http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/potassium-phosphate-p-213
    Trace Element mix http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/chelated- ... -mix-p-887

    These are a heck of a lot cheaper than the commercial products.

    For example your 100 liter tank would use the following dosages:
    3X per week 1/4 teaspoon KNO3
    3X per week 1/16 teaspoon KH2PO4
    2X per week 1/8 teaspoon Trace Element Mix
    1 X per week 1 teaspoon Epsom Salts (MgSO4)

    Look at the prices and do the maths - Megacheap :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
     
  14. Net_fisher2

    Net_fisher2 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Isle Of Wight
    No, My yellow bi-plane is currently impounded.....so must be the tank :lol:

    Your right those are cheap! thnx.... :D

    Been thinking about your suggestion of putting the test kits in the bin.
    I am finding that difficult, cos By day I use a lot of data for statistical analysis.
    Measuring and the capture of data is at the heart of this, and is often the hardest thing to get....
    ...and yes the data must be meaniful, so some of your comments on the accuracy of the data is interesting to me...
    May have to put some of the test numbers into Minitab and check for accuracy.

    Just about start the water change....so will get the hose out and hoover the Algae..

    cheers
     
  15. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    I've not tested anything in my aquarium for about 1 year now. No ammonia tests, no nitrate, nothing, not even pH, only thing I have is a 4dkh drop checker. Oh, I do check the thermometer but that is it. Problems? None. Shrimp breeding like rabbits, plants growing like mad, and no algae problems to speak of (a teeny teeny little clump of hair algae in one place, about 5 strands, getting pulled out manually tomorrow).
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yep, totally agree with nry on this. Your tank is your test kit.

    Good maintenance practices such as the following will ensure that you never need to test for NH4 (algae can be caused by NH4 values 10X lower than what you can read on the kit.):
    Regular water changes, and removal of detritus.
    Strict policy of removing any organic debris including dead or dying leaves.
    Regular filter cleaning.

    If you dose known quantities of the dry powders then you know absolutely what the NO3 and PO4 values you are adding. The dosing scheme I listed provides roughly a weekly value 20ppm NO3, 30ppm Potassium, 3ppm PO4 and 0.5 ppm. The values that are in your tap are unknown, as are the values added by fish food. There will be additional nitrate contribution due to the bacterial reduction of NH4 but this value is variable since as the plants grow, their ability to consume NH4 increases. When you trim the plants the loss of biomass reduces the total NH4 uptake. As a result of all these dynamics, it's very difficult to predict or assess the nutrient profile. Your test kit can be super accurate one day and rubbish the next day - except you never know which it will be on any given day. By following a strict dosing regimen and by knowing what quantities you are dosing you relieve yourself of the need to test because your plants will have more than the minimum required. Algae blooms occur when you drop below the minimum required for the level of lighting you are providing.

    Now of course if you enjoy testing then that is a completely different scenario and I wouldn't want to discourage that, but we should be aware that hobby grade test kits, for the most part are rubbish. The chemistry lab at your nearest university may have better reagents and better spectrometry equipment.

    Hanna Instruments produce some excellent electronic calorimeters, but they cost an arm and a leg: Here is the ammonia unit for £300 - http://www.hannainst.co.uk/acatalog/HI_ ... meter.html

    They do a nitrate and a phosphate unit as well but I've never been interested in paying that kind of money for accuracy because I simply don't need it. If you do enjoy the testing and if you can afford it then I would recommend that you get these units because the cheesy kits marketed to us are a complete waste of energy. :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
     
  17. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    So where would you get the reagents? Is this also a lab thing?

    This is quite cool, my opinion is you do not need the colorimeter for each thing. What you need is a spectrophotometer. You can choose the wavelength of light being measured. 412 is around yellow. So I could make a series of known quantities of ammonia and then add reagent to my fish tank and measure the absorbance with my sample.

    Question number two, ammonia what? I'm sure it comes with something like sulphate... What would it be with in solution. Considering ammonia is positively charged (in the right pH) therefore it must be with a negatively charged molecule or anion.

    Sorry if that was too sciencey, if anything there was not understood please let me know! This is quite exciting as I never thought of this, quite silly really. It's what I do all the time in undergraduate labs.
     
  18. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Lisa.

    Lost it very early on there. I'm with the other 2. Test kits in the bin or in the cabinet never to be seen again (apart from using the Ph in my DC)

    No need to test is you have a decent filter. This will take care of problems that are harmful if the plants are struggling.

    If the plants aren't struggling then the filter has less of a job hence why mine now has only one third of the media inside it.

    I haven't had any fish die from illness. I've either killed them with CO2 or by putting silly mesh things in for moss which they always get trapped in, under or behind.

    They also have lovely colour so I assume that the water is OK. Doesn't smell so I'm not too worried. lol

    Andy
     
  19. Net_fisher2

    Net_fisher2 Newly Registered

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Isle Of Wight
    Thanks again....Powders have been ordered...

    You are right, for you the tank tells you all you need to know.
    But for me, a beginner, I feel the need to test!
    With you guys taking time to help, and the forum, My knowledge will get to a better level.

    One more question, new leaves are come out a little yellow.
    Guess the ferts will see to that?

    Cheers
     
  20. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Lisa,
    Yes, it's definitely a lab thing. Hanna sell the reagents in kit form. 200 or 300 samples for some given price. I'm sure other lab grade water quality instrument vendors sell the reagents as well but they are not cheap. Some reagent kits will cost £1 to £8 per test. Gosh, don't even think of buying a spectrophotometer.:arghh:

    Ammonia released as a product of metabolism or decay would be in it's ionized form NH4+ or complexed in some organic molecule such as urea.

    Again, this would all academic and if you enjoy all this measuring then yeah, you can really go to town with all this exciting equipment, but to what end? How does having a £300 calorimeter or (gulp!) a [insert price here] spectrophotometer help you to grow better plants? :wideyed: My intent/technique is to present an unlimited supply of nutrients and CO2 for plant uptake while at the same time minimizing the ammonia content. The basic husbandry methods described achieve this without the need for testing. ;)

    Cheers,
     

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