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Thread Algae

ceg4048

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Net_fisher2 said:
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!

Aye, there's the rub. Sadly, this is the most fundamental mistake that beginners make. They feel a need, subsequently develop trust in the test kit readings and get into all sorts of trouble. Here is a typical scenario:

(step 1)A beginner observes algae-> he tests for nitrates-> the kit lies to him and tells him the nitrate content is high-> he concludes that high nitrates are causing the algae and stops dosing nitrate-> nitrate levels continue to fall causing more algae to be induced-> see step 1.

This infinite loop causes more headaches than almost anything I've seen. Feel free to test but don't fall into the trap of actually trusting your test results. You will be led down the primrose path that dalliance treads...

Testing without knowledge is more dangerous than not testing without knowledge.

Net_fisher2 said:
One more question, new leaves are come out a little yellow.
Guess the ferts will see to that?
Cheers

Yep, new leaves turning yellow typically are a trace element issue, most notably iron - but it could easily be a nitrogen deficiency as well. Using the dosing scheme I listed should clear that up in a few weeks.

Cheers,
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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I'm afraid the newbies reluctance to discard the test kits is often the newbies failing. Its a double edged sword really.

On the one hand you are scared of just letting it go because you think a problem may arise.

On the other hand the test kits can give out readings that lead you to believe you have problems that in fact aren't there.

Of course this means that you are forever chasing non existent problems and whilst attempting to deal with these the changes you make to cure them create real problems.

This is when the newbie shows how interested they are in the hobby because they either get frustrated and return to just fish and fake deco or they take a deep intake of breath. Apologise to the fish if you are worried and then take the plunge in locking away the tests and trusting to your eyes watching the fish and the tank.

Water parameter problems = fish acting differently
nutrient or CO2 problems = plants not growing as well + algae.

2 simple signs that is easier than using a supposedly good test kit that makes 2+2=10 <--Not a huge exaggeration.

Therefore you can wait for the inevitable problem chase or run with us now and let us help you avoid some of these pitfalls.

Andy
 

ceg4048

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Hi donkey,
The thing I don't like about this generic trace mix is that it appears to be relatively low in Iron - only about 3%, which ordinarily is not a big deal because you could just dose double. What concerns me though is that unless there is a typo in the contents description it is 1% Copper which is 10 times more than necessary. Thinking about this :rolleyes: for people who have invertebrates, it might be better to use the Chempak Trace Mix http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/trace-elements-p-878 although I can't see the contents on this one. Normally 0.1% Cu is what you like to see for Copper and 7% or higher for Fe. I'll have to look into this. I'll call Garden Direct to get the contents of the Chempak. I think I recall that JamesC used this product so I'm confident it will be fine.

Cheers,
 

JamesC

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Garden Direct sell 2 trace element mixes. The first one is the Chelated Trace Element Mix - http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/chelated-trace-element-mix-p-887 and as ceg4048 pointed out it is lower in iron and a lot higher in copper. Before Aqua Essentials started selling traces I used this one and had great success with it, but I did add extra iron - http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/chelated-iron-ph-68-p-885. I also didn't have any shrimp so didn't worry about the copper.
The second trace mix - http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/trace-elements-p-878 uses salts and not chelated compounds so IMHO should not be used.

I use and recommend the trace mix from Aqua Essentials as this is the safest one to use. The only slight grudge I have against it is that the Boron quantity is quite high. Tropica for instance have much lower levels of Boron in their mix.

James
 

beeky

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Regarding the use of test kits, all the magazines (there did use to be more than one) kept reiterating that every good fishkeeper bought loads of test kits and tested every few days so they knew the exact state of their water. I'm sure I did this when I started but to to laziness and being a bit tight, I never bought them again and never had any problems in keeping fish. If you look on the PFK website they have articles on various types of test kits under test. It makes interesting reading.

By the way, I've often wondered how much a 'proper' water test would cost i.e. taking a sample and sending it off to a lab for analysis. It would be interesting to see the results to compare with a 'normal' test kit at home.
 

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