The "One-Two Punch" Whole Tank Algae Treatment - Page 9
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:36 PM   #121
ChadRamsey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Chad, I took a look at part of your tank journal. Lights look about 36" from substrate. Hard to estimate exact lighting, but it seems in the ballpark, and not too much.

<<Edited out stupid question, don't know what I was thinking>> I'd do a nitrate test and see if you're overfertilizing. Unmodified EI plus lots of fish, and especially when there's not much plant mass, can do this. And will cause algae in my experience once it gets into extreme excesses. Further reducing plant mass will make it worse, algae counts as plant mass, and you had some side effects to your plants - which might explain the rapid rebound.

Also, I'm concerned about your flow. The FX5 is rated optimistically at 600GPH with filter media installed, probably less with the spray bar. And most of your plants are at the bottom, farthest away from the flow. The usual guideline is to have 10X more GPH than your tanks size, or 1,250GPH, to break up the surface tension on leaves sufficiently to carry CO2. I don't see any supplemental powerheads or such, though I might have missed something.
the lights are 36" above the substrate.

test results:
ph: 6.4 (midday)
Am 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrate 30
GH 10
KH 10
TDS 247

Flow might be an issue. Because i added a Koralia 1050 and my fish were gasping within an hour. I did NOT turn the co2 up just added the powerhead and co2 ppm shot up.




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Oh, one more thing! Using CaNO3 instead of KNO3 removes your primary source of potassium. The potassium from KH2PO4 is much smaller, and not enough. And I don't see where you've replaced the missing potassium with something like K2SO4.
I was using the CaNO3 because i HAD nerites in the tank and their shells had a bit of pitting.

I do have potassium nitrate though and will be using it from now on then.
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Last edited by ChadRamsey; 03-07-2013 at 07:49 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:21 PM   #122
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Nitrates look fine. Seems like the powerhead might have moved CO2 around the tank a lot better, exposing the tetras that hang around the mid/bottom of the tank to what appeared to them to be a sudden increase. I'm curious what happens if you place a drop checker near the bottom of the tank, close to the plants that have algae.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:34 PM   #123
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Nitrates look fine. Seems like the powerhead might have moved CO2 around the tank a lot better, exposing the tetras that hang around the mid/bottom of the tank to what appeared to them to be a sudden increase. I'm curious what happens if you place a drop checker near the bottom of the tank, close to the plants that have algae.

just lowered it, ill let you know
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #124
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ok, so the drop checker is about 3 inches off the substrate.

and this morning, about 1 hrs after the co2 came on, and when the light did come on, it was in the greenish/yellow. More yellowish really.

someone else brought up that since i have all mosses and root feeders, and the fact that my plant mass in this tank is so low that i should look into reducing my IE dosing.

your thoughts Dark?
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:45 PM   #125
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someone else brought up that since i have all mosses and root feeders, and the fact that my plant mass in this tank is so low that i should look into reducing my IE dosing.
In short, I agree.

Technically, your nitrate levels look acceptable. In reality, there do seem to be a few exceptions. One of them is what I call the "buffet condition".

For this, we will be assuming specifically that organic wastes cause algae. And will be using ammonia as an example. It's not scientifically classified as an organic chemical, and neither does it directly cause algae - fishless cycling proves that. But it is the best understood waste product, and likely that other wastes work similarly.

Plants prefer ammonia over nitrate. It's easier, and takes less energy, for them to process. And it's definitely preferable to us for them to use it first, as well.

However, they cannot completely reject nitrate in favor of ammonia. Even if there is sufficient ammonia for their entire nitrogen needs alone, if nitrates are present, they will be forced to process some nitrate; which means they also process less ammonia. The higher the nitrates, the more this occurs.

Like a buffet featuring prime rib... If there's enough other appetizing items, even if they're not as good as the prime rib, you will end up filling up more on other items, and eating less prime rib. So when an algae problem can be solved by reducing fert levels to less than what are normally considered acceptable levels, thereby increasing uptake of excess organics, that's what I call the "buffet condition". It does not apply to most cases, and in fact I've only had it happen once.

But it may apply to you. You do in fact have a lot of fish, and therefore organic waste. Plus limited plant mass. It could be solved by altering your scape, getting rid of fish, or reducing your feeding; which I'm sure you'd rather avoid.

So reducing your dosage is certainly worth a try. Fish food, and therefore waste, provides mainly nitrogen and phosphorus; so those ferts are the ones you want to reduce most. Potassium and traces, not so much, if at all.

Increasing plant growth can also solve it. Even at your current lighting, and despite that more light typically encourages algae, adding more light may have positive effect by tipping a more important balance. Strong emphasis on "may".

And of course, CO2 and flow. Your CO2 levels seem ok. But your flow isn't, either by the numbers, or by the odd effect adding the Koralia had on your fish. I have no clear explanation at this point for that. Maybe it was still a minor increase in CO2 at the level where the fish reside, coupled with low oxygen due in part to very low surface agitation; in which case pointing the Koralia at the water surface should work better. Or maybe it's kicking up an accumulation of organic wastes from the substrate, which are depleting oxygen. If anyone reading has any better ideas about this, please chime in!
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:43 AM   #126
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Dark Cobra, could you take a look at my tank and let me know if this type of treatment will fix my problem? I haven't tried any algae fixes yet other than adding excel back into my tank for the first time in the 3 months. I'm worried that my discus will die and that's why I have been letting this brown algae run rampant and kill most of my plants off... thanks for your time.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:31 AM   #127
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CCbeauch, I read and enjoyed your journal.

Yes, my treatment will easily kill most of the algae that is there.

And it will put your discus at risk. Any chemical algae treatment will. You can plan and hope for it to be an acceptably small risk, but it can never be a zero risk. If the discus can be moved to a different tank for the H2O2 phase, that will help. So will monitoring afterwards in case a little damage to nitrifying bacteria and a lot of decomposing algae combined cause an ammonia spike.

But it will not solve your problem. You have not only algae, but a rapid decline in plant health. Something has gone seriously out of whack since you set up this tank. Until that's fixed, the plants will continue to fail, and the algae will come back. That much I can say with certainty.

Beyond that, I have no practical, real-world experience at all with dirted tanks. And though I've read plenty about them, I believe it's better in matters like these that I leave a proper diagnosis to those who have direct experience in this style to guide their answers.

Post a separate thread in the algae forum with full details. More people will see and respond to that than a tank journal. I'll keep an eye out for it, as I do want to follow along and see what happens.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:41 AM   #128
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Just got through reading this thread. Very good information. I invited some algae over to my tank when I upgrade my T5 lights to T5HO and didn't bother to reduce photoperiod or light distance from tank. Algae seems to have stabilized slightly now that those two parameters have been modified, but I'll likely give this a shot at some point in the near future. Would love to see more feedback on how shrimp handled the treatment.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:01 AM   #129
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Excellent write-up, Cobra - very informative and I truly enjoyed it.

In fact, I'm going to give it a go in my discus tank, in which I've been a touch plagued by fine film algae on the grasses and anubias, and which I'd dearly love to clean up.
I certainly know the risks doing something like this with discus, but I think I can moderate it somewhat to make it safe, and hopefully succeed with the treatment.
I believe my discus are pretty tough hombres - lol
Thanks again.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:21 PM   #130
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So I took your advice and created a seperate thread for people to look at. Low and behold that is how I found your thread... Kinda funny. Anyway this is it and hopefuly one of you smart algae assasins can help me out.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...8482&highlight=
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:22 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Excellent write-up, Cobra - very informative and I truly enjoyed it.

In fact, I'm going to give it a go in my discus tank, in which I've been a touch plagued by fine film algae on the grasses and anubias, and which I'd dearly love to clean up.
I certainly know the risks doing something like this with discus, but I think I can moderate it somewhat to make it safe, and hopefully succeed with the treatment.
I believe my discus are pretty tough hombres - lol
Thanks again.

Could you give me advice on what part of his process you changed and how that worked out? I have a 20 gallon tank sitting around that I was thinking about transfering my discus to while the treatment goes on.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #132
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Ccbeauch: LOL. I saw your new thread, and the first response you got - was in part a referral back here! Sorry about that. Maybe it's CO2 alone, as was suggested, but I nudged it in the direction of uncovering any other underlying issues.

Zlookup, Discuspaul: Thanks! And I'm glad you've found this thread helpful. Keep sharing any experiences, and tweaks used to tailor it to specific situations. Others will surely improve this a lot further than I ever could on my own.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:17 PM   #133
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DarkCobra: It was funny that when I asked for help, I was repointed this way... I guess that is just how it is sometimes. Maybe someone else with a similar problem might show up with different advice or the same. I plan on trying the H2O2 later today anyway. I set up a seperate tank yesterday with 20 gallons of tank water and one bag out of my regular filter. I also threw in my albino pleco over night just to make sure it would be safe for the discus today. I figured if she died, then there would be no way the discus would live. This is part because the tank is located inside the base of my current tank stand and was used as the sump for the bigger tank when salt water occupied its confinements. I was pretty sure I cleaned the salt out 8 months ago but just to be on the safe side, smelled it, then tossed her in. I'll probably let everyone know how it went tomorrow.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #134
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I did this yesterday, and it really worked. Tank looks great! However, due to being a noob, I used regular Flourish instead of Excel. Totally thought they were the same thing. Have I doomed my tank to another algae outbreak?

Seachem really needs to rename and repackage this line. Even the bottles are virtually identical.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:16 PM   #135
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I did this yesterday, and it really worked. Tank looks great! However, due to being a noob, I used regular Flourish instead of Excel. Totally thought they were the same thing. Have I doomed my tank to another algae outbreak?

Seachem really needs to rename and repackage this line. Even the bottles are virtually identical.
The nutrients you added would feed the algae instead of hurt it, but given its weakened state, it may still get stunted slightly by a nutrient spike. Would eventually rebound though I am guessing. Another 50% water change followed by excel dosing may help. Or you can just dose excel too.

I also tried this last night. I'll report on the effects after 48 hrs.

Last edited by Zlookup; 03-21-2013 at 01:18 PM.. Reason: added info
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