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-   -   balancing a new setup | leave CO2 on 24/7? (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=197264)

bluestems 11-14-2012 05:05 AM

balancing a new setup | leave CO2 on 24/7?
 
My 7g nano is currently 6 weeks old and I'm trying to figure out the correct dosing + lighting + CO2 needed. Currently, I'm battling a new algae that began last week. So far, I've tried manual removal with an air line tube, and water changes 3x/week, but the algae seems to be growing in faster and denser each time. The diatom algae has also bloomed this week into green algae (on the glass).

Here's the setup:

equipment
  • 7g w/ eheim 2210 filter (filled with bio balls; replaced carbon w/ purigen this week)
  • Ada Aquasky LED light suspended 8" above water level; photoperiod 9 hrs.
  • CO2 injected w/ Do!Aqua mini diffuser @ 1-2 bps; previously on for 9hrs, but am thinking of keeping it on full time. See comments below.
  • Ada Aquasoil new Amazonia substrate
fauna + flora
  • dhg, hc, dwarf red lily and clover
  • rasbora maculatas x11, danio erythromicron x5, corydoras pygmaeus x5
  • amano shrimp x3, bee shrimp x2
dosing + parameters

  • 1 pump/daily each: Ada Brighly K and Step 1
  • water changes every 2-3 days, & remove algae manually
  • GH 30ppm, KH 40ppm, pH 6.3, NO2 0ppm, NO3 15ppm



The fish and shrimp seem to be eating & doing well. (with the exception of one off-colored amano, who acts fine, but is... orangish.)

The dwarf hair grass seems to be doing fine too. It's grown back nicely from it's initial trim and only has a bit of algae on the tips of some grass blades.

The hc was fine for the first 3-4 weeks, but then began yellowing and browning. I think it was acclimating. At 4 weeks, I added fauna... which in hindsight was not good timing on my part. :icon_redf This is when the algae crept in.

Currently, the hc is getting infested more and more each day, as are the dwarf red lily and clover leaves. Today, I did another water change, used the air line tubing to vacuum out as much of the algae as possible, and trimmed as much of the brown and algae ridden hc & plants.

I'm thinking of leaving my CO2 injecting 24/7 to see if this helps not only the hc recover faster but also helps my pH stay more stable for the shrimp & fish. I've reduced the flow to 1-2 bps.

Is this a good idea? bad idea? other thoughts on whether my dosing is correct or if I should be doing something else?


Thanks in advance for any help!

here's what the tank currently looks like:

http://i46.tinypic.com/2whgy8y.jpg


http://i50.tinypic.com/1e2xoi.jpg

bluestems 11-14-2012 07:07 PM

There was also a tip to add some floating plants, like frogbit, inside air line tubing corrals. After doing some reading, it looks like it might take up the same nutrients that the algae uses and not take away much from the other plantings.

Sounds like this be a good idea, or would it block too much light?

I'm new to the high-light + co2 & ferts setup. I appreciate any feedback. :smile:

acitydweller 11-14-2012 08:21 PM

Is there any reason why you are running a 9 hour photo period?

CO2 levels are about right. Do you start the CO2 30 before light on and stop 30 min after light off?

I think you can make a noticible dent in the algae by cutting back the light period to 7 hours without changing much else. If you were to troubleshoot this, change only 1 variable at a time and let the tank adjust over a few days to assess effectiveness.

bluestems 11-14-2012 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acitydweller (Post 2078672)
Is there any reason why you are running a 9 hour photo period?

CO2 levels are about right. Do you start the CO2 30 before light on and stop 30 min after light off?

I think you can make a noticible dent in the algae by cutting back the light period to 7 hours without changing much else. If you were to troubleshoot this, change only 1 variable at a time and let the tank adjust over a few days to assess effectiveness.

Thanks for the reply! I was actually thinking of doing CO2 24/7 at a lower constant level to help stabilize the pH for the shrimp & fish, but also because I've heard that I need to feed the other plants so they can successfully compete with the algae. Now I'm not sure. My hc is just starting to come back after the initial melting. I'd hate to do anything that would hurt it.

I'm currently using a timer which has plugins for day, night or on all the time outlets. So, with this configuration it turns the CO2 on/off at the same as the lights.

houseofcards 11-14-2012 09:10 PM

If you don't have a controller I wouldn't do that. Remember plants aren't utilizing the co2 at night.

bluestems 11-14-2012 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by houseofcards (Post 2078726)
If you don't have a controller I wouldn't do that. Remember plants aren't utilizing the co2 at night.

That makes sense.

So dosing and all sound right? I've noticed that the algae begin pearling much sooner than the actual plants. Would this indicate I need to dose more ferts or just that the algae are incredibly opportunistic?

KH2PO4 11-14-2012 11:10 PM

The leaves turned yellow because of the algae I think. I've got it on some
parts of my Rotalas from time to time but not major.

People had given up HC becasue of this very algae. I mean it's OK if you can't beat it.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic...7485&start=130
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...=170180&page=8
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...=164881&page=2

I would try reducing photo period to 5 hrs for a while to see.
ADA use 4-5 hrs for the first 14 days.

And Mark Evans uses 5 hrs for...months perhaps. Have a look at his HC.
http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php...7974&start=280

tylergvolk 11-15-2012 03:54 AM

Crank the Co2 up and keep it stable and watch ur fish. You can turn off at night but should come on an hour before your photo period starts. The fish will tell you to turn it one notch down.

Next, reduce your photo period to 7 hours and asses.

Next, increase flow so there is no stagnant water

By doing these things you will see a significant difference.

bluestems 11-15-2012 06:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KH2PO4 (Post 2078853)
The leaves turned yellow because of the algae I think. I've got it on some
parts of my Rotalas from time to time but not major.

I would try reducing photo period to 5 hrs for a while to see.
ADA use 4-5 hrs for the first 14 days.

And Mark Evans uses 5 hrs for...months perhaps. Have a look at his HC.

Nice. I guess it's just about finding that balance. It really helps to know what I should start trying to tweak. Thanks for the links :smile:

bluestems 11-15-2012 06:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tylergvolk (Post 2079205)
Crank the Co2 up and keep it stable and watch ur fish. You can turn off at night but should come on an hour before your photo period starts. The fish will tell you to turn it one notch down.

Next, reduce your photo period to 7 hours and asses.

Next, increase flow so there is no stagnant water

By doing these things you will see a significant difference.


Ok, I am going to try reducing my photoperiod and upping the co2. Currently, the drop checker is more blue-green, so I think I can push this more and see what happens.

Thanks for the help... I really appreciate it!

I also picked up some red-stemmed floating plants at the GSAS auction tonight, as well as 5 big amanos. They were working on a stem plant inside the bag at the auction... these guys mean business! Lets hope they do a better job eradicating the algae than I have. :smile:

interesting note: one of the amanos is berried. Sorry to say that I am not equipped with a hatching tank or salt water setup for the zoes. If the stress of the move doesn't cause her to loose the eggs, maybe I'll see if someone in the Seattle area can try to save the eggs.

tylergvolk 11-16-2012 01:43 PM

The drop checker is only a guide just like your bubble counter. Your fish will tell you when you really need to turn down your co2.

Give it a slight turn up periodically though out the day until you see your fish surface. They are looking for air because of all the co2 in the water. Then just give it a slight turn backwards.

By doing this you will have as much co2 in the water as possible without harming your fish. This is important because your plants will not be competing over co2.

bluestems 11-21-2012 01:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tylergvolk (Post 2080636)
The drop checker is only a guide just like your bubble counter. Your fish will tell you when you really need to turn down your co2.

Give it a slight turn up periodically though out the day until you see your fish surface. They are looking for air because of all the co2 in the water. Then just give it a slight turn backwards.

By doing this you will have as much co2 in the water as possible without harming your fish. This is important because your plants will not be competing over co2.

Thanks for the tip! I have turned up the co2 and reduced my photoperiod to 7 hrs. With the addition of amano shrimp, the algae seems to be under control now.

Thanks again everyone! :smile:

ps- I've added some updated pics to my journal, if you're interested.


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