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Old 06-21-2013, 07:25 AM   #16
Dannyul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatiesl337 View Post
Generally good approaches suggested above, especially the patience part. The only thing I would add, do you have access to a PAR meter? 9 times out of 10, the issue is light. Taking some PAR readings would give you very valuable information.
I'm afraid not, but I can certainly get my hands on one! What is a suitable PAR level for a 180L/48 US Gal tank? I always thought that the longer the photoperiod = the increase chance of algae. I never realised that there was more to it with this PAR stuff

I really do appreciate everyone's feedback and I am taking it all on board!
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:56 PM   #17
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Suitable PAR is going to vary widely depending on your particular set-up. Generally tanks fall into low, mid, and high-light ranges depending on c02, ferts, plant requirements, and etc. Both photo period and PAR are important. I would recommend looking into the numerous threads in the Lighting section on these topics.

Fighting algae can be tough when starting out and learning the trade. Again, I recommend lots of research and patience.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:03 PM   #18
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You may observer where the plants (of same type if possible) grows better, shaded or well lit area.

Observe the shape and color of leaves, algae..etc
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:53 AM   #19
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Sorry you are having a trouble with your tank.

It's all about finding that balance between light, CO2 and fertilization.

You can't rely on a drop checker to indicate CO2 levels are good. I used to have one in my tank, it would be yellow and fish would be fine.

I go by drop in pH, plant growth and fish behavior. A one full degree in pH drop is roughly 30ppm of CO2.

Remove leaves infected with algae.

Your have to be diligent and patient. Balancing out a imbalanced tank can take a few weeks or more. It's just figuring out what it is and you start with the CO2 and go from there.

Make sure you have good circulation throughout the tank.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:36 AM   #20
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All the response have been incredible - thank you all!

My next steps are: to remove any infected leaves; find the highest injection rate of CO2 that the fish feel comfortable with and spot treat any algae with excel while filtration and powerheads are turned off.

I will continue as usual with EI dosing.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #21
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You are focusing too much on adding stuff to the tank. That is the general approach on the US forums so that is what you think works best because everybody talks about chemicals, fertilizers, and "adding more". In reality you need to "remove more".

Your tank has an issue with waste. That includes the fertilizers you are adding (and now more of them). You need to first remove the waste as much as possible. That may or may not include reducing the excessive fertilization. The waste may not be visible but as you see algae grows for no apparent reason.

Practical advice:
----------------------------------

Remove waste:
The first thing to do is to vacuum and change water so you remove visible waste. Do not overdo the water changes. You can lead your biofilter to crashing if you hit it too often with fresh, dechlorinated water. That doesn't sound not right but in real life it can happen. Best practice - change water every other day, no more than 15% of the tank volume. Premix the dechlorinator, don't use your tank as a chemical mixing vessel for the dechlorinator.

Water flow:
Next thing to do is to improve your filtration. That includes both larger biofilter volume AND better water flow pattern. You do not necessarily need higher flow. Depending on how you position the outflow and inflow you can have a tremendous increase in the efficiency of the water circulation. Best approach - direct the flow close and along the front glass only, the outflow is close to the surface, the intake pipe is on the same side as the outflow pipe. The intake pipe is a little above the substrate. The outtake pipe creates a slight ripple on the surface (that is very important because the surface plays a huge role in the processes in the tank).

Biofilter volume:
The volume of your biofilter needs to be as large as possible. That Eheim filter is not going to do wonders for you. I don't know what size is your tank but the volume of the Eheim is good for about a 20 gallon tank at most. You can make it work though, even if it is small to start with. Get some pumice from any Bonsai supplier. Look for size of the grains from 5 mm to 10 mm. This material will serve as both biological and mechanical filtration media. So it needs to be placed in a mesh bag so you can take it out of the filter easily and rinse it in tank water every 2 weeks or so. No sponges, no active carbon.

CO2:
The high CO2 will supress the biofilter. The mentality here is that the more stuff you add to the tank the better so most people put the pedal to the metal and go. Lots of fertilizers, lots of light, max. CO2. But fact is that high CO2 supresses the biofilter. That is why at night it is a good idea to turn the CO2 off and introduce air. Two reasons for that - you give the biofilter a break AND you help the plants do what they do at night.

Light:
Make sure that if there is little CO2 the lights are not running on full: If you turn the CO2 at night it will take some time for it to build up during the day (especially if the filter outflow is making the beneficial ripples on the surface of the water).

EI:
Make sure you understand what EI is. It is not about maintaining high levels of ferts in the water. Most people miss that "fine" point. It is about supplying the plants with whatever they need. ADA does that by providing a rich and active substrate and keeping the water void of nutrients (but they do add tiny daily dosages of ferts to the water). EI relies on loading the water with ferts that are food for both plants and algae. You decide who will get ahead if anything stops the plants from growing.

Plants taking care of everything:
Truth is if you make the plants grow well they WILL take care of all problems in the tank. The real question here is how to make that a stable, almost self-sustaining process. Your goal is to make the plants grow well, not to toil on that tank every other day out of necessity.

Patience:
Yes, wait and see what happens after every change you make. Too many things at once and you will not know what was a good decision/action and what was a bad decision/action.

Good luck.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:50 PM   #22
Jeff5614
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There's a lot of good info regarding start up, maintenance, etc in the following thread in the nano forum and the pratices are applicable to any size tank. It's very long and you'll have to spend some time to find the info you need.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...992&highlight=
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niko View Post
You are focusing too much on adding stuff to the tank. That is the general approach on the US forums so that is what you think works best because everybody talks about chemicals, fertilizers, and "adding more". In reality you need to "remove more".

Your tank has an issue with waste. That includes the fertilizers you are adding (and now more of them). You need to first remove the waste as much as possible. That may or may not include reducing the excessive fertilization. The waste may not be visible but as you see algae grows for no apparent reason.

Practical advice:
----------------------------------

Remove waste:
The first thing to do is to vacuum and change water so you remove visible waste. Do not overdo the water changes. You can lead your biofilter to crashing if you hit it too often with fresh, dechlorinated water. That doesn't sound not right but in real life it can happen. Best practice - change water every other day, no more than 15% of the tank volume. Premix the dechlorinator, don't use your tank as a chemical mixing vessel for the dechlorinator.

Water flow:
Next thing to do is to improve your filtration. That includes both larger biofilter volume AND better water flow pattern. You do not necessarily need higher flow. Depending on how you position the outflow and inflow you can have a tremendous increase in the efficiency of the water circulation. Best approach - direct the flow close and along the front glass only, the outflow is close to the surface, the intake pipe is on the same side as the outflow pipe. The intake pipe is a little above the substrate. The outtake pipe creates a slight ripple on the surface (that is very important because the surface plays a huge role in the processes in the tank).

Biofilter volume:
The volume of your biofilter needs to be as large as possible. That Eheim filter is not going to do wonders for you. I don't know what size is your tank but the volume of the Eheim is good for about a 20 gallon tank at most. You can make it work though, even if it is small to start with. Get some pumice from any Bonsai supplier. Look for size of the grains from 5 mm to 10 mm. This material will serve as both biological and mechanical filtration media. So it needs to be placed in a mesh bag so you can take it out of the filter easily and rinse it in tank water every 2 weeks or so. No sponges, no active carbon.

CO2:
The high CO2 will supress the biofilter. The mentality here is that the more stuff you add to the tank the better so most people put the pedal to the metal and go. Lots of fertilizers, lots of light, max. CO2. But fact is that high CO2 supresses the biofilter. That is why at night it is a good idea to turn the CO2 off and introduce air. Two reasons for that - you give the biofilter a break AND you help the plants do what they do at night.

Light:
Make sure that if there is little CO2 the lights are not running on full: If you turn the CO2 at night it will take some time for it to build up during the day (especially if the filter outflow is making the beneficial ripples on the surface of the water).

EI:
Make sure you understand what EI is. It is not about maintaining high levels of ferts in the water. Most people miss that "fine" point. It is about supplying the plants with whatever they need. ADA does that by providing a rich and active substrate and keeping the water void of nutrients (but they do add tiny daily dosages of ferts to the water). EI relies on loading the water with ferts that are food for both plants and algae. You decide who will get ahead if anything stops the plants from growing.

Plants taking care of everything:
Truth is if you make the plants grow well they WILL take care of all problems in the tank. The real question here is how to make that a stable, almost self-sustaining process. Your goal is to make the plants grow well, not to toil on that tank every other day out of necessity.

Patience:
Yes, wait and see what happens after every change you make. Too many things at once and you will not know what was a good decision/action and what was a bad decision/action.

Good luck.
Wow Nico, thanks for all that advice! Loads of people are saying contradicting things about CO2 levels so I am going to keep it at about 2bpm which provides a lime-green colour on drop checker therefore it is not in excess and suppress the biofilter.

I have also (well, on Monday) added an external Eheim Professional 350 filter to the tank which provides adequate filtration but shall leave one of the two internal Eheim Biopower 240 filters inside the tank to run along side the external.

I have a Hydor Koralia providing good circulation which is positioned on the left hand side of the tank at the front of the tank - above the CO2 diffuser. This allows the foreground plants to sway in the current and allows the CO2 bubbles to be distributed all across the tank.

I'm new to EI but I have followed the guidelines/calculators which shows me how much of a stock solution to add throughout the week, with a no-dose-day on Sunday, and a 40% water change on Monday.

Thanks again
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