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Old 08-06-2014, 06:21 PM   #31
plantbrain
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Originally Posted by HUNTER View Post
So much emphasis on algae cause by lack of Co2. If it's that simple, you wouldn't see much complain about algae. If you're livestocks need to be in cooler temp, you can't just raise it. I say start with cutting you're photoperiod, dim the lights or raise the lights. If you feel or tested you're Co2 and it's at a proper level, don't raise it, it's just not good for livestocks. I played around with lights, Co2, ferts etc. and still I have BBA, not much, but it's there. Either I cut the leaves off or completely get rid of that plant, not everyone's way of doing it, but works for me.
That is because CO2 is not a simple thing, there's O2 as it relates to fish respiration, there's temp and different rates of demand at different temps for both CO2 and O2, there's 101 ways to mess up the measure of CO2, or think you have enough CO2 in the water, when you do not.

If you have algae, then the CO2 is NOT at the right level 95-99 time out of hundred for a given light intensity, that's the simplest test there is.

Have algae? Then something is wrong, most often, something to do with CO2.
You can reduce light to reduce CO2 demand...............but high or low light algae issues, still are rooted with CO2 issues.

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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
New tanks don't have the biofilter yet so we need to increase water changes, carbon, etc. to get rid of the breakdown. Old tanks have a build up of organics that the system can't handle unless we change things. Both are usually algae prone.
Generally with lower temps, you have higher O2 and with sumps etc, you have 1-2 ppm higher O2. So this means waste is rapidly and effectively broken down. If you have a lull or lowering of the O2, say via temp change, via poor CO2(plants do not produce NEARLY as much O2 with poor CO2), clogged filter, lots of waste(dead fish, rotting plants, muck, no flow through a filter etc).

Then you have troubles.
Water changes, good general care, routine cleaning, GOOD CO2.........for any temperature, particularly target the higher temps for optimal CO2, not the lower temps. Also, fish metabolism does what when the Temp is say @30 C vs say 20C? How might that alone impact fish health and O2/CO2 respiration rates?

How about plant growth and demand rates for CO2 with temp variations?

Hair algae seems to be much more CO2 issue.
Just needs 2 main things, a source of hair algae spores and then poor slightly off CO2. Higher light= more likely chance things will wreck and end up growing poorly.

Moderate light= best management method.

You know all this, but it's adding to what you already stated
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #32
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Hair algae seems to be much more CO2 issue.
Just needs 2 main things, a source of hair algae spores and then poor slightly off CO2. Higher light= more likely chance things will wreck and end up growing poorly.

Moderate light= best management method.

You know all this, but it's adding to what you already stated
Don't disagree of course with much you have said, but without enough plant mass wouldn't increase co2 without organic removal simply be more food for algae

I know your talking good co2 management, and yes I agree many here probably don't 'really' understand how much co2 they have reaching plants, but in a case of iwagumi (OP tank) the carpet looked good, removed plant mass via large trim algae got much worse with same co2 levels, so back to plant mass and not enough to remove breakdown.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:09 PM   #33
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High lights needs more co2
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:49 PM   #34
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I always think that when people say you need good CO2, this also is with the understanding that you have enough plant biomass.

I tore down a tank about 3 months ago and it was a small 8 gallon tank on which i ran my canister filter on plus a powerhead to ripple the surface pretty well. Having invested into a pH meter (and a good quality one at that) I measured the pH drop and typically it was 0.7 - 0.9 lower when CO2 was on. Now, i don't really know why, but that tank just never did well. Clado was present, BBA was there, although not like a sheet, pretty bad to the point where some of the bolbitus leaves were coated with bits of it.

But my main tank, a 17 gallon where i run a sump and have a pH drop of 0.8-1.0 (i put a range since i have changed the CO2 over the course of many months), virtually no BBA. The only algae i deal with when i do have issues is thread algae, which sucks. But I beat it back with just healthy plants believe it or not. Took a while, but I knew that if the plants could recover, they would eventually beat out the algae. I had this huge bloom of the thread algae one time and it was literally a ball that came out of the tank. I cleaned up as much as I could, waterchanged and blacked it out for 3 days. After, the plants slowly recovered, algae was still coming back but I jsut kept up teh water changes and removing what i could. Come 2 months later, i could not see a trace of the thread algae and the plants were doing great. I was able to trim and uproot plants pretty heavily from here and still no algae blooms.

Between my 2 tanks, I do not really understand why they are so drastically different. However I know that CO2 was better dissolved in the 17 gallon, was higher and more stable since rate at which dissolve was faster, and O2 levels were much better. This tank is also housing only PRL's and Supreme Red shrimp. So very sensitive livestock. But I haven't needed to tough my CO2 dial for months, and since i got a good regulator, i can leave it and trust it's pretty consistent. So keeping things stable i believe helps a lot.

For your issue, if you can dose it , algaefix (destroys ur shrimp, well it did a number on mine) has worked for me in a previous tank, but you need healthy plants as well otherwise itll just come back. Healthy plants come from good stable CO2 levels and water changes will keep the water cleaner to remove those nasty organics that can build up. Blackouts ime work really well against hair and thread algaes. A little excel helps as well to hurt it during the process. Remove as much as possible, water changes after the blackout.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:01 PM   #35
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I always think that when people say you need good CO2, this also is with the understanding that you have enough plant biomass.
Not on this forum anyway. It's pretty much brought up all the time and the oP has like no mass in his tank or sometimes an iwagumi which are usually low in mass as well. Not saying of course that good co2 won't help many tanks, but you have to think in a thinly planted tank, what will have a bigger impact on algae. Keeping your tank cleaner or keeping your drop checker very yellow.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:52 AM   #36
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Just an update, Dropping the photoperiod 2 hours, didn't do very much in terms of controlling the algae. I had about the same hair algae growth in a week. Last week, I added 4 otto's to help, (I can't get amano's here in hawaii, easily). I also dropped the intensity from running at 58% down to 40% ( I ran 40% light when I was DSM'ing, and it grew great). The combination of ottos, and the reduction in light intensity has helped curb the algae issue. I was honestly surprised that the Otto's ate the hair algae, I could see it on the glass with scrape marks, but its almost completely gone from the S. Repens. This with all else being equal, except with Co2 levels, I've been having some issues keeping the drop checker yellow, its mostly greenish yellow, (issues with my clippard needle valve) The HC has responded to lower light intensity/duration as well with smaller leaf size. Its tiny now. Since I've ordered a Lux meter, one of those Hoppy has been able to convert to PAR meter, just to get an idea of how much light I have. It makes sense that hair algae is related to the balance of CO2, and light. Someone said, somewhere on TPT, max out the co2 to the limit of the inhabitants, and use the lights as a gas pedal.

On a side note, I wonder if I have a deficiency as well, as the S. Repens leaves are really lite in color, almost whitish. Here is the timeline pics, each taken before a glass scraping, tooth brushing, 50% water change. I'll go this coming week with overdosing excel to try and get rid of the hair algae in the HC carpet. I want to save this tank, and keep it going. Hopefully my Lux meter comes in by then, and I can get some numbers from my lights.

Monday 8/4/2014


Monday 8/11/2014


Tuesday 8/19/2014
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:39 AM   #37
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Have you considered dosing something like excel or metricide 14 (same thing as excel but cheaper) Along with being used as an alternative carbon source it has the added benefit of killing algae and other microbes. Just check how it interacts with HC and your s repens.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:14 AM   #38
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Have you considered dosing something like excel or metricide 14 (same thing as excel but cheaper) Along with being used as an alternative carbon source it has the added benefit of killing algae and other microbes. Just check how it interacts with HC and your s repens.
That is my game plan for this week, just to get the hair algae out of the HC. I want to get to the root cause, before dosing excel. It does have double benefits as you mentioned, however, I think as an algaecide, I need to overdose, I'll probably start with 2-3 times the recommended amount. I think once I have my rough PAR reading, I can set my lighting levels.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:09 AM   #39
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CO2, CO2 and CO2, too much light.........other things perhaps: lack of water changes, temp is too high, you live in HW, but is the tank air conditioned? Unless you live up in the mountains, it's likely pretty warm.

Excel will NOT kill hair algae, spot dosing yes, but not whole tank treatments.
Algaefix will kill it however.

Small tanks also pose issues since evaporation is high, which causes the surface returns for filters to vary a great deal, thereby blowing off a lot of CO2.
So you have a few things going against you here.

Better CO2, more water changes(HC loves these), evaporation replacements more frequent etc. Folks have told you what to do, so now it's up to you to take the advice or keep suffering.

I can get rid of it without the chemicals, but it's tougher/more labor.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:43 AM   #40
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CO2, CO2 and CO2, too much light.........other things perhaps: lack of water changes, temp is too high, you live in HW, but is the tank air conditioned? Unless you live up in the mountains, it's likely pretty warm.

Excel will NOT kill hair algae, spot dosing yes, but not whole tank treatments.
Algaefix will kill it however.

Small tanks also pose issues since evaporation is high, which causes the surface returns for filters to vary a great deal, thereby blowing off a lot of CO2.
So you have a few things going against you here.

Better CO2, more water changes(HC loves these), evaporation replacements more frequent etc. Folks have told you what to do, so now it's up to you to take the advice or keep suffering.

I can get rid of it without the chemicals, but it's tougher/more labor.
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the reply, I don't like to use chemicals either, figure I'd give it a try. This tank is in my office, so the temps are between 69-71, 24x7 AC, WC once a week, per EI dosing. I think the weekends is what is causing the blooms, you mentioned a good point about small tank and evaporation. I've also been keeping a eye on my evap, one thing that was causing me issues is over the weekend when I'm not in my office. Often times, I get in on Mondays and the surface is being agitated heavily.

One of my goals is to get the CO2 extremely stable, I did hear lots about Co2 and algae, but I didn't expect a couple days of unstable CO2 to cause an algae breakout.

sigh.....I should have stuck to my 120gal, so much more stable........these nano's......heh.....Challenge Accepted!
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:05 AM   #41
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My tank is in my guest room and my family came over for a month and opened the window. Where the sun light hit the tank, I had A TON of hair algae. I tried everything- high CO2, low/no light... nothing worked. Now my tank is spotless. I did 2 things:

1. I spot treated my hair algae injecting Excel for 3 days, once a day. By 4th day, I could see discolored hair algae but they were still there.
2. Local pet shop was having a 50% off all fish sale. I bought 2 Singapore shrimps just for fun. As soon as I released them to the tank, they started eating hair algae non-stop.

By day 7, I had nothing, no algae of any kind, left in the tank. Now they climb on top of my tallest plants trying to catch food in the water. I ended up getting algae wafers to feed them. I hope this is one more useful info. I have never heard of Singapore shrimps eating hair algae before. It was pure luck on my end.
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Old Today, 08:16 PM   #42
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Thanks everyone for all the recommendations and yes, I think the root cause of my hair algae was high light, and not enough co2. I got my cheap lux meter (LX1010B) that Hoppy was using and got an estimated conversion to PAR. Previously, I was putting out 60 par at the substrate in the center, now I'm at about 40 par. Measured dry, so I think its a bit more if its in water. Here is a breakdown of what I've been doing so far:

Less light duration, from 8 hours to 6 hours.
Less light output from estimated 60 par to 40 par.
Added 4 ottos.
Increased/stabilized co2, estimated 30ppm, or to the point fish are hanging out at surface, yellow drop checker, co2 on 2 hours before lights)
slight increase of EI dosing to get more phosphates.
replaced 90 degree elbow in CO2 reactor for more water circulation.
(I run an eheim 2213 on my 3.5 gallon tank, water moves in a CCW motion)
Water top off every other day.
Measured water parameters before weekly WC:
NH3=0 ppm
NO2=0 ppm
NO3=25 ppm
PO4=2 ppm
PH=6.4
dGH=10
dKH=5
TDS=410

Observations:
Hair Algae is no longer visible. Only trace is on the glass, seen sideways as slight green build up.
HC growth has significantly been reduced to more than 50%, evident by water tests before a WC, and less trimming. Prior, NO3 and PO4 would be severely low down to 10ppm and .5 ppm.
Blyxa used to be a stump with 3 leaves, now growing, and reddish, (indication of strong light?, really? at only 40 par)
Tank has signs of BBA, on S. Repens leaves, and used to be on drop checker.
Signs of what seems like GSA on older S. Repens leaves, and lower layer of HC, evident after a trim.
some blueish green fuzz like algae on rocks, nothing I've seen before.

Overall, I think the tank recovered well, however, the presence of other algae still tells me I have a long way to go, specially with CO2. I think I'm ready to buy a Parker H3 or H2 metering valve, my Clippard MNV4 requires daily micro turn increase, at a certain point, its just too much and requires closing and opening again. Does not work well with about 30psi working pressure.

Last but not least, pictures!

Monday 8/4/2014


Monday 8/11/2014


Tuesday 8/19/2014


9/2/2014


9/10/2014


9/18/2014


9/19/2014 Algae closeup
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