Losing the battle
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:17 AM   #1
apstreck
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Losing the battle


I'm really starting to get frustrated with my 10g high tech tank. It's been up and running 2-3 months. A few weeks after it cycled I had a bad outbreak of cyano. I finally beat the cyano with erythromycin. Within a week of the cyano being gone however, I started to notice hair algae, which I have been battling for over a month now, and I can't get control of it.

Equipment:
10 gallon tank
AC50 Filter (sponge, chemi-pure elite, bio media)
Pressurized CO2 diffused through the AC with drop checker (offset one hour from lights)
Fluval Nano Heater
Eco-Complete Black Substrate
Finnex Ray2 Dual Daylight (6 hour photoperiod)

Fauna:
10-15 Red Cherry Shrimp
7 Celestial Peal Danio
2 Otocinclus

Flora:
HC
Red Ludwigia
Spiral Val
Chain Sword
Anubias
Crypto

Tank Params:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
pH: ~7.0
Nitrate: ~40
Temp: 78
CO2: Lime green on drop checker

Maintenance:
Weekly 50% WC (today is final day of dosing before reset)
EI Dosing per "Yet another nutrient calculator" http://calc.petalphile.com/
3x Weekly Plantex CSM+B
3x Weekly KNO3 + K2SO4
Weekly glass wipedown and manual removal of hair algae while sipohoning

I've also been spot treating the worst areas with 1-3mg per day of flourish excel via syringe. It will kill the algae but more keeps popping up. I'm at wits end here, and I really love the tank, but I don't know what else to do with it. Sorry for the long read, I wanted to include everything. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-28-2014, 04:28 AM   #2
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I should also mention all plants are growing well except maybe the anubias. The ludwigia grows 4-6 inches per week and the HC is carpeting nicely.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:42 AM   #3
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You have high light, around 70-90 PAR, but you have minimal CO2 in the water because the method you are using to diffuse it into the water causes most of it to quickly outgas. You also don't seem to be dosing any phosphate, which is essential for plant growth. With the plants limited in growth by the lack of phosphorous, they must be unhealthy, and that is an open door for algae to take over.

You need to get some KH2PO4 and dose it along with the other ferts. And, you need to find a much better way to get the CO2 into the water, and increase the CO2 bubble rate until further increases don't result in any improvement in the plants.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:04 AM   #4
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I actually misspoke on the ferts, it should read KH2PO4, not K2SO4. And if I wasn't getting enough CO2 why would the drop checker change from blue in the morning to lime green about 2 hours after the CO2 kicks on.
This is exactly how I'm diffusing it: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=104645
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:41 AM   #5
Solcielo lawrencia
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Looking at the HC and Vals, possible K deficiency.
BBA= unstable CO2.

I've noticed that staghorn usually takes hold on the edge of leaves, possibly due to K deficiency but I haven't confirmed this yet.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
Looking at the HC and Vals, possible K deficiency.
BBA= unstable CO2.

I've noticed that staghorn usually takes hold on the edge of leaves, possibly due to K deficiency but I haven't confirmed this yet.
yep from the pics it does not look like you have hair algae but a combination of BBA and Staghorn algae, much more manageable algae imo
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:03 AM   #7
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What is your KH & GH?

I find the best way to control algae is getting any extra organic material out of the water. Dead leaves, uneaten fish food, older driftwood, etc. Clean the filter well with RO water.

I would take the rocks out and scrub them with hydrogen peroxide (rinse them with water after) to control some spread. I find small grout brushes work well.

I run my CO2 all the time. I know that is up for debate, but if you want stable levels, keep it going.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:19 PM   #8
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I do clean the filter weekly. I'll try using RO water from my saltwater setup. I've been trying to avoid taking out the rocks but I guess it's time. Should I increase my EI?
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:44 PM   #9
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Hydrogen peroxide sport treating works well...
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:57 PM   #10
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I have had some moderate success with spot treating using excel. It definitely kills the stuff. But I guess I'm looking more for the root of the problem. I don't want to have to spot treat every day. I've seen some claim that too high lighting is a factor, while others say that light is not a limiting factor for the algae. I've got my photoperiod at 6 hours, considering putting it back to 7 or 8 hours. I also may try to up my KH2SO4 concentration.

Today I hydrogen peroxide soaked all of the rocks and scrubbed very well. I eliminated all visible signs of algae. Hoping this stunts it pretty well.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apstreck View Post
I actually misspoke on the ferts, it should read KH2PO4, not K2SO4. And if I wasn't getting enough CO2 why would the drop checker change from blue in the morning to lime green about 2 hours after the CO2 kicks on.
This is exactly how I'm diffusing it: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=104645
When you introduce the CO2 into the water in the HOB filter, that water then falls into the tank water and that acts to encourage the CO2 to diffuse back into the air. The best place for CO2 rich water to enter the tank water is near the bottom of the tank, where there is horizontal water flow. A drop checker can't tell you how much CO2 is in the water with any accuracy. What it does it tell you is that you have a significant amount of CO2 in the water, 10 ppm or more, not just 5 ppm. With high light you will probably need well over 30 ppm to have the optimum amount in the water. To get there you need to adjust the bubble rate a bit higher, wait a few days while watching the plants for better growth, more pearling, healthier looking growth. If you see that, you should repeat this, until the last increase has no effect that you can see. Of course you also have to observe the fish during this time to be sure they are tolerating the CO2 well.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
When you introduce the CO2 into the water in the HOB filter, that water then falls into the tank water and that acts to encourage the CO2 to diffuse back into the air. The best place for CO2 rich water to enter the tank water is near the bottom of the tank, where there is horizontal water flow. A drop checker can't tell you how much CO2 is in the water with any accuracy. What it does it tell you is that you have a significant amount of CO2 in the water, 10 ppm or more, not just 5 ppm. With high light you will probably need well over 30 ppm to have the optimum amount in the water. To get there you need to adjust the bubble rate a bit higher, wait a few days while watching the plants for better growth, more pearling, healthier looking growth. If you see that, you should repeat this, until the last increase has no effect that you can see. Of course you also have to observe the fish during this time to be sure they are tolerating the CO2 well.
That makes sense. But what would be the best way to diffuse without having a CO2 reactor? And I'm pushing yellow on the drop checker, which is too much from what I have read.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:50 AM   #13
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My amano shrimp love this stuff. They wiped it out in less than a week. The bba is another story. I would add several more plants to compete for the food source.

Best,

Joe
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:11 PM   #14
Kntry
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I just started battling the BBA, also.

Are you saying that it's caused from unstable CO2? If you run the CO2 continually, do you have the lights on 24/7? I've read that the plants can't use the CO2 unless the lights are on.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kntry View Post
I just started battling the BBA, also.

Are you saying that it's caused from unstable CO2? If you run the CO2 continually, do you have the lights on 24/7? I've read that the plants can't use the CO2 unless the lights are on.
"Stable CO2" means that the concentration of CO2 in the water is the same every day during the photoperiod. It makes no difference how low the CO2 goes at night.
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