@#&*#@ Algea......Advice needed!!!!!
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Old 12-18-2003, 05:51 PM   #1
wellbiz
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Hey all,

Thought I had won the battle, but things have taken a turn for the worse... Here is the situation any advice welcome:

I have a nasty infestation of hair algea on my plants and wood. :evil: It started about a month back and got better(thought I was beating it) and then got really bad. Started out light green and now is a dark green almost gray/purple color.

Tank stats;
Ph 7.2-7.4
GH 4
KH 5
N03 less than 5ppm (cant seem to get over that)
Phosphates @1ppm
No ammonia, or nitrites
3 WPG (2-55w 6700K, 2-96w 10000K)
Sand and flourite substrate, using root tabs as primary fert due to Vals and crypts being heavy root feeders.
If I add anything other than potassium, algea seams to get worse(such as flourish or Nitrogen)... Plants look healty and are growing good.

Looking at the above numbers/stats it seems my limiting factor is C02( looks like less that 10ppm alot less). I was using the Carboplus system, but I have on order a pressurized unit and plan to make my own reactor this weekend.

Just looking for some advice from everyone. Do you think C02 is the issue, or is there some other considerations to take into account.... All advice welcome

Thanks and happy holidays
Jason
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Old 12-18-2003, 06:29 PM   #2
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I would reduce the light to 2 Watts per gallon or even less until the plant mass gets so dense that they cover and shade each other.

CO2 should make a big difference. Your PO4 is a tad high, but with CO2 your plants should be able to take it up quicker.

What do you mean you can't get over 5 ppm NO3? Have you tried adding some KNO3? If "less than 5 ppm" means close to zero, then there you go. If it means 4.9 ppm, you should be alright...
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Old 12-18-2003, 07:09 PM   #3
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Jason,
well, your nitrates and phosphates are not in balance. you should have a 10 to 1 ratio of nitrates to phosphates. Problem in my tank was Nitrates under 5ppm, and phosphates 1ppm. The plants slow down on growth due to low nitrate, so the algae latch on to the higher phosphate levels.
Sounds like yours is similar. I would call mine beard algae...shortish 1/4" long strands of a very very dark colored algae, that's impossible to pull off without tearing up the plant. When I see hair algae, I think of the longer (4"?) strands that are a lot easier to pluck off, often with a toothbrush.
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Old 12-18-2003, 08:53 PM   #4
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Wasserpest,

I have been adding NO3 from the Seachem product line... Short of dumping in half the bottle, I cant get the reading to register the lowest reading on my test kit which is 5ppm. I am thinking about switching to a dry mixture with possibliy the product from Ace hardware(stump remover).... I again am assuming this brand new test kit is good. Now that I think about it I am going to buy another kit on friday and try it, just to make sure.... Do you still think cutting back the lamps will help with this new info? I was thinking a blackout, but dont like the idea... I guess some water changes would help with that phosphate reading too....

I will say I am reluctant to add to much to the water column do to the root tabs and my root feeders and low c02 levels...


malkore,
I guess you could call mine beard algea too... I know I need to get up the nitrates, and/or lower the phosphates. However I am reluctant to add to much with out enough CO2 and making the situation worse...



Thanks
Jason
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wellbiz
Wasserpest,

I have been adding NO3 from the Seachem product line... Short of dumping in half the bottle, I cant get the reading to register the lowest reading on my test kit which is 5ppm. I am thinking about switching to a dry mixture with possibliy the product from Ace hardware(stump remover).... I again am assuming this brand new test kit is good. Now that I think about it I am going to buy another kit on friday and try it, just to make sure.... Do you still think cutting back the lamps will help with this new info? I was thinking a blackout, but dont like the idea... I guess some water changes would help with that phosphate reading too....
IME it's easier to get a tank balanced (read: no algae) with medium light levels. Once the plants thrive, go ahead and throw 400 Watts at them, but this is too much to get started.

You have the AP test kit? I think it's worthless for our purposes. The Red Sea kit is really much better, you can get it online for $7.50 + shipping.

I wouldn't do any blackouts... even if you damage the algae, they will be right back when you resume lighting. All you need to do is improve conditions for your plants.
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:21 PM   #6
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Wasserpest,

Ok, I am off tomorrow to locate some good N03, will turn down my lighting to just the 2-96watt bulbs. I also plan on getting my CO2 reactor built.... Do you know of any places that sell the Green/spectricide stump remover... I have only one ACE store close, so thinking Home Depot might be a better choice...

I will also get one of that test kits for N03 from red sea, Yes I have the AP kit...

Thanks again for all your help...


Jason
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:29 PM   #7
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I got the Spectracide from Walmart, I think OSH sells Green Light. Not sure about Home Depot... just make sure you read the label... there are stump removers that contain other things than KNO3.

You are right about being careful to add anything to the water column, since it might make things worse. Just make sure the NO3 isn't zero.
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:40 PM   #8
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Wasserpest,

Thanks.... I dont plan to add anything till I get a new tester and see what my levels are actually at.... I will stick with either spectracide or greens stump remover(and make sure I read the label.)...

Ok, N03 more than zero... Any optinum on phosphate levels or close to 0 as possible?


Thanks again
Jason
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:58 PM   #9
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PO4 as close as possible to 1/10th of NO3. If you get your NO3 to 5 ppm, try to keep PO4 to 0.5 ppm. No harm if it is a little lower, like 0.25 ppm instead. It's sometimes hard to differenciate with test kits... but it doesn't have to be soooooo exact. Zero is bad, and 1 ppm is too much for an algae infested tank. Happy measuring!
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:13 PM   #10
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Thanks again.... I will keep everyone posted on the war... It appears that the algea has won the first battle, but I aint about to let it win the war...


Jason
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:49 PM   #11
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otherwise,

Thanks for the info and the link... I will check them out....


Jason
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Old 12-19-2003, 12:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otherwise
But you also COULD buy KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4, Plantex, and a measuring spoon set from one convenient place for a lot less money.
How much does he charge for shipping? Couldn't find info on his website, and didn't want to enter my credit info just to see the shipping... I suppose the prices don't include the shipping.
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Old 12-19-2003, 12:38 AM   #13
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Wasser,

I checked and it looks like about $5 for shipping UPS for the ferts I will need..... Not bad...


Jason
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Old 12-19-2003, 01:30 AM   #14
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Great idea, nice guy. Sounds like the way to go when you are starting out with fertilizers. Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-19-2003, 09:28 PM   #15
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Alright, I did a major water change, tried to remove the plant leaves that were heavly covered with algea.

I also ordered some fert chemicals, and a good N03 test kit... Heck I even made it to the hardware store and started picking up the pieces of PVC for my DIY C02 reactor... I will keep you posted


Jason
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