My name is Tim and I have an algae problem
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:02 AM   #1
bigblueallday
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Like an addict coming to terms with their problems it's time I acknowledge my algae problem. Here it goes. My tank is pretty well established having been running for 6 months now. It's a 54 gallon corner tank. Filstar xp2 canister filter which I admittedly haven't changed my activated carbon In probably 3 months. I'm running 2 fluval aqualife and planted leds for 8 hours a day. Pressurized c02 for 8 hours a day, it turns on and off with my lights. I'm on EI dosing with kn03, k2s04 and kh2p04 one day and seachem flourish the next. I also dose 5 ml of seachem excel nightly. 50 percent wc weekly. Water temp is a consistent 80 F. I have never tested for water hardness. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and surprisingly nitrate at around 80 ppm (was surprised when I saw that), though the api test for nitrate is very difficult to read. I'll post a pic of the nitrate test test below, maybe someone has a different opinion on the reading.

As for the the type of algae I'm dealing with, to be honest I'm not even sure (this is my first tank) . Below are the best possible pics I was able to get of the algae. So based upon my tank specs and the algae in the tank I'd love to hear some opinions on what I can do to treat it. Thanks guys.







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Old 08-19-2014, 03:16 AM   #2
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How much flourish comp are you using? It takes quite a bit to equal EI levels of micros, way way more than the recommended dose.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:18 AM   #3
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One cap ful, 5ml
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:24 AM   #4
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According to this calculator http://rota.la/ it takes 31 ml to equal EI levels of micros. I'd say it's very likely you have a trace deficiency.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:26 AM   #5
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Wow I had no idea. I read that it could be used but never realized I'd need to up the dose. Thanks burr
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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I would look into adding more CO2 after making sure you have enough macro and micro ferts. Lack of CO2 is usually the issue with high tech tanks and algae growth.

Drop checkers are good for a rough gauge but all of mine run yellow so I eventually stopped using them. Using pH and KH to gauge my CO2 i run my 55 at 71 ppm which cannot be right. I now just crank up the CO2 until the fish start acting weird, then tone it down a bit.

Also excel should be dosed right before the lights turn on. It starts degrading as soon as you add it, I read somewhere it has a half life of 12 hours.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:53 PM   #7
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When you say you haven't changed the charcoal does that mean you haven't cleaned the filter? You don't need the charcoal in the first place but you do need to clean the filter especially early in the life of the tank. I would start there and do a good cleaning and change at least 50% of the water to begin with.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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Clean things up and use more micro. Just get a bag of CSM+B. I made the same mistake by severely under-dosing micro with Flourish Comp and things have looked up when I started with CSM+B a few weeks ago.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceF View Post
When you say you haven't changed the charcoal does that mean you haven't cleaned the filter? You don't need the charcoal in the first place but you do need to clean the filter especially early in the life of the tank. I would start there and do a good cleaning and change at least 50% of the water to begin with.
I've changed filter pads after 3 months and cleaned the filter at that time. Haven't done so since, almost 3 months ago. Could this explain my high nitrate levels? I already do 50 percent water changes weekly.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:17 PM   #10
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The high nitrate levels could be from the fact that your plants have become limited by the micro deficiency, and therefore arent using other nutrients. I would concentrate first on supplying a full range of ferts, since that is the most glaring issue. Of course it never hurts to clean the filter.

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Also excel should be dosed right before the lights turn on. It starts degrading as soon as you add it, I read somewhere it has a half life of 12 hours.
If he's using Excel as an algae deterrent, wouldnt it do best after the photo period, so it can work during the dormant period? That has been my theory and practice. Im not sure it's entirely accurate but to me it makes sense.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:23 PM   #11
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Your co2 level is changing from lights on until it reaches your desired level. Co2 should be turned on about an hour before lights come on so when lights turn on, co2 is constant throughout the light period. You will have to test to find out how long it takes to reach your desired level. This changing co2 could be the cause of your bba.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy View Post
Your co2 level is changing from lights on until it reaches your desired level. Co2 should be turned on about an hour before lights come on so when lights turn on, co2 is constant throughout the light period. You will have to test to find out how long it takes to reach your desired level. This changing co2 could be the cause of your bba.
+1 I agree you could have a nutrient deficiency but what you also have is a CO2 issue. 99% of algae problem's derive from CO2 or lack there of. Definitely double check your fert dosing but take a good look at CO2. Jeepguy is right CO2 should be turned on way before the lights 1 hour minimum some of my bigger tanks take 2+ hours to get the proper CO2 level. Right now the first couple hours of your photo period your CO2 is not where it should be, that's plenty of time for algae to grow.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:39 PM   #13
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+1 for turning CO2 on way before your lights. I do 1-1.5 hrs on my 75G (still tweaking it)
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:33 PM   #14
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Yes. You don't replace filter pads you rinse them in tank water and put them back in the filter. Do it every couple weeks or so until the tank problems go away. I generally agree with the more nutrient posts. Sometime more kh2p04 seems to help.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy View Post
Your co2 level is changing from lights on until it reaches your desired level. Co2 should be turned on about an hour before lights come on so when lights turn on, co2 is constant throughout the light period. You will have to test to find out how long it takes to reach your desired level. This changing co2 could be the cause of your bba.
+2

Mine comes on an hour before lights come on, and turns off an hour afterwards.

When I was using those Ista little CO2 cartridges, aside from not being able to get enough CO2 in the tank without going broke, they ran out all the time, and I think the fluxuating CO2 levels were more of a problem then low CO2. On one of the stickied pages, I noticed a lot of the algae I was getting was directly related to CO2 fluxuations.

I don't use a drop checker, but for me my CO2 was slowly raised every day as high as I could get it until I reached the breaking point for my fish. Plants are happy as can be now, my algae explosion has been stopped, and my fish actually gasp when I do water changes lol... The oxygen levels are so much higher now with the plants being so happy, that when I change the water, the fish have issues.
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