What am I missing - please help with my battle with algaes
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:14 AM   #1
aroos_tpt
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Hi,
I am battling algaes for a while now, read though various forums and tried everything apart from chemicals. I know that to be successful with algae I need to get all in right balance, but I must be missing something, just don't know what. Please help if you can.

My tanks is fluval Osaka 85 gallon, rather deep 30 inch or so. Have been established for over a year.
Substrate Eco complete. Lights: 2 x kessil amazon sun.
I am dosing EI:
3/4tsp KNO3,
3/16tsp KH2PO4,
3/16tsp K2SO4 tree times a week
and plantex CMS+B 3/16tsp tree times a week.

Adding pressurized CO2 through inline diffuser around10-15 bps.
And doing weekly 50% water change.

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My parameters are:
Ammonia: 0
NO2: 0
GH:60 ppm
KH: 20 ppm
PO4: much more then 5
NO3: 100
PH: 6
Temp: 26

I know that phosphors build up is really high because even after water change it still test for maximum (5) that test I have measures. ( tap water I use for wc does have a little phosphors but test shows usually around 1)

I assume my plants doesn't absorb enough nutrients and that causes the build up.
Also I am getting fuzz algae all over the tank which I read somewhere that it's a sign that plants leak nutrients back to water.
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On various forums people usually point to CO2 being the main cause of algae. So I kept unceasing CO2 slowly to the point that one day I overdone it and it killed all my fish when I was at work. I don't have any fish since then - just 2 Amano shrimps which I manage to resurrected after that accident.
So I think my CO2 is pretty high.

Now, I am out of ideas as what to do. I must be missing something. Just don't know what it is.
Please help if you can.
Thanks

I forgot to mention that I am also dosing 15 ml excel daily.

And my lights are on 8 hours/ day

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-28-2013 at 05:04 AM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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How do you even see or count fast enough to measure 10-15 bps? Anyway, have you tried to measure your co2 in other ways to correlate what might be the co2 content in the water? i.e. drop checkers, shake test, let the water sit test .. http://www.theaquatools.com/co2-calculations While none are truly accurate, it may still help you get an idea beyond just a bubble count.

The other thing to look into is surface agitation. It may make a big difference in how much co2 you can handle before you hit the lethal limit. From the looks of it, you don't have that much agitation.

http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/c...ed-tank.26559/

Here's another one that has more detailed experiments
http://www.prirodni-akvarium.cz/en/i...hp?id=en_co2ph


See this thread too in a discussion last week some of us had about agitation

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=462377

or more specifically, this video that fellow member jonathan posted on what the agitation should at least look like.
http://youtu.be/p-ntI_aTBfE

Finally, maybe you just have too much light for the co2 that you can safely inject. Are the algae growing more in the areas of high light?
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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I went through a similar situation back in August when my 135gal was over taken with the green beard / fuzz algae (looked like a green velvet). The only thing I found to kill it was Algaefix (Tetra's Algae Control is the same active ingredient at cheaper cost). I found that I too was having very high nitrates in relation to other parameters so I did a 75-80% water change and cut my fert dosing in half. This triggered by bloom of the fuzz algae (best assignable cause I can think of). I notice your phosphates being 5ppm+ are way too low for the nitrates being 100+ppm (IMO) this leads me to believe its a nutrient imbalance as your root cause.

If you're not consistent with the water changes of 50%+ weekly and not growing plants well enough to use up the ferts then the nitrates could build like this. Also this could happen if your having root tabs leaching into the water column or your dosing measurements are off from your intended adds.

I'm not seeing a heavy plant load in your tank or at least no real nutrient hogs but rather plants that want more root ferts.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:36 PM   #4
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Sorry but I just noticed also your water GH & KH being really high for your pH being 6. This would suggest you're somewhere in the several hundred ppm CO2 (maybe around 600ppm !!!). I'd say that would kill your fish off. Check the delivery method for consistency. You're adding too much CO2 and too much ferts for your plant load / plant uptake of said nutrients. I'm not familiar with your lighting so I cannot say but algae is directly tied to light, ferts, & CO2. Your are for sure at an imbalance.

Make sure your test kits are reading correctly. There are threads on this forum you can search for calibrating them.

So, get the inhabitants (fish if any remain and shrimp) out then nuke it with Algaefix and if other forms of algae are there you can try the One-Two Punch and add the dose of Algaefix after the Excel (One-Two-Three knock out for sure).

However, if you do not find the balance this will happen again.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
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jfynyson,

He's listing ppm.. not degrees. unless it's listed wrong?

from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonate_hardness

one degree KH ~= 17.848ppm

So he's around 1dKh which plugged into the table gives him close to the 30ppm co2 -- assuming no abnormally low ph readings caused by other things in the tank.

Aroos_tpt: What would be interesting if you take a water sample, shake it, or let it sit overnight for the co2 to dissipate and then measure the ph of it to see what you started out with to insure that you didn't start with an abnormally low ph to begin with (which would've thrown off the reading)
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:21 PM   #6
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Yeah I may have read that too fast...so I sure hope that's the case here. Either way the nitrates vs phos seem way off and likely the root cause.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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Default What am I missing - please help with my battle with algaes

Thank you so much for all your replies. Very much appreciate it.
With 10-15 bps it's just my estimation. I do not know for sure, no way I can count that fast :-)

I did not do any tests on CO2 content you have mentioned. I have water sitting over night to test pH tomorrow.
My aquarium water is always ph 6 and tap water is 6.5. On the other hand I am not sure how accurate those tests are since I have 2 identical tests but they show different results: one is 5.5 other 6 (6 is newer test). I recently bough digital ph meter but it's still in post.

Interesting reading about surface agitation. You are right, mine isn't big. Will look into increasing it.

I agree, my plant load isn't heavy. I was hoping plants will grow denser by now. Didn't know my plants are heavy root feeders, but there maybe something to it. My blyxa and apongenton are only plants growing reasonably well. Where bocopa and cryptocoryne very slow. I think last one is more of the root feeder.

I don't have any root tablets in substrate. The Eco complete I have is over year old, maybe used up all nutrients and there isn't anything there. What could support that, I noticed the cryptocoryne grows roots upwards - out of substrate.
I am looking into getting some root ferts.

Yes, my GH and KH are in ppm, so it's about 3 degree GH and 1 KH.

Phosphorates I mentioned are 5+, it's just because the test I have measures only up to 5. I think it's way more then that, because after 50% water change it still comes up 5. (Of course, not sure if my test is accurate, but for tab waters it shows 1, so it is capable of showing different values :-))

Well, thanks again for all you help. It gives me hope. At least I know there is something I can do.
My plan is:
Tomorrow, I will do another 80% water change.
Reduce ferts dosing
Increase surface agitation
Probably will need to increase co2 ( with no fish anymore I will be more generous)
Look for root tabs

Hope this will work!

I just tested ph of the water sample I set aside and it raised to about 6.75
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:46 AM   #8
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How long are you running your lights daily?
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:47 AM   #9
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8 hours
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:50 AM   #10
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I would start by dropping it down to 6 hours daily until the issue is resolved. Are you dosing the ferts separately? I use 4 different mixing bottles for my EI dosing and I rarely have to dose the nitrates in my tank since my stocking level keeps my nitrates at about 10-20ppm
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:03 AM   #11
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I can reduce lights to 6 hours.
I have 2 solutions. One premixed nitrates + phosgorates+ potassium , other csm+b
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:25 AM   #12
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Yeah, next time you mix I would definitely suggest doing at least a separate bottle for the nitrates.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:12 AM   #13
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curb dosing nitrates and shorten the light to 6 hours. the intensity of light is likely far greater than needed to run longer than that.

EI always sets up a surplus of excess nutrients in the water column so it pretty much primes the environment up for algae if the light isnt moderated correctly.

to be honest, none of the plants listed really demand the amount of dosing applied. if you check out the low tech journals, these very same plants are used in their setup and doing great without the algae problems.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:58 AM   #14
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For a tank that is a year old, it seems very sparsely planted; and the plants don't look grown in at all. Did you only recently change parameters/add CO2 etc
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:10 PM   #15
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Just checked ph of the sample I had sit over night and it's 7.
So I increased surface agitation and reduced light to 6 hours.
I slightly increased co2 as well.

As for the plants. I did move some plants around about 4 months ago. So it's been like in the picture since then. All plants been in tank for over a year. Java fern on the wood grew out of one leaf so it has spread quite nicely over the time.
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