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Old 02-04-2004, 02:40 PM   #1
^iMp^
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Yep, BGA and green hair algae all over the place. The BGA is covering most of my glosso patch/plant leaves and the hair algae (at least thats what I think it is--looks like long, individual strands of hair) is mixed in with my xmas moss. Up until this point, I really had no problem with algae--minor booms now and then, but nothing this bad.

Tank stats:

20g paludarium with about 6" water (around 12 gallons total). PH around 7.8. Lots of surface agitation. 65 watt PC lighting (on 12 hours). Eco-complete substrate. Lots of hygros, ludwigia repens, java moss, xmas moss, glosso, bacoba carolinia--most of the ludwigia and bacoba is now growing emersed. I just added some more bacoba from a nearby fish store.

Ferts:

Dose 1 mL flourish excel daily. 0.5 mL flourish nitrate and phosphate every three days. Dose 2 mL flourish potassium twice a week. Lightly dose trace on water changes and hardly ever dose iron. A few (I took the conservative approach) Jobes plant sticks (can't remember the proportions--something like 15-5-5) in substrate near plants that are growing emersed and the glosso patch.

Other info to consider:

1) The temperature just went up a bit in the tank (warmer weather around here)--it went from around 65 to 75 over the course of a week. I'll try out my chiller if it gets any warmer.

2) Many of the plants were recently cut back/replanted about a week and a half ago.

3) Many of the stem plants are now growing slightly emersed. Do these plants feed more through the roots?

4) Only four white cloud minnows and one small hillstream loach in the tank--is this load too light? Should I be adding some kind of fert that is normally supplied by a decent load of fish?

5) The plants don't seem to be growing very well, but nutrients are being used up somewhere.

6) Perform 10% water change daily. I do not vacuum the substrate and I definitely don't overfeed my fish. Also, I do not change the filter pads very often. They're pretty grungey, but they still do their job.

7) The tank is only about 2 months old.

Any advice would be great. I'm currently monitoring tank nutrient levels to get a better idea on how much is being used up per day.
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Old 02-04-2004, 04:10 PM   #2
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Light... does all of it hit the 12 gal of water directly? Around 6W/gal, efficiently reflected onto very shallow water... that equates very high light.

Nutrients... in a high-light situation you need to know AT LEAST your nitrate levels, and if you have algae problems, phosphate levels too. So... what are they?
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Old 02-05-2004, 01:15 AM   #3
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Hmmm...thought I had mentioned my nitrate/phosphate levels. But I guess not. I just dosed yesterday and I'll perform a test right now (been about 24 hours). brb!

Seems to be about 0.05ppm phosphate, 7-10ppm nitrate (hard to tell for sure).

The lighting situation is tricky--there is about 10" between the lights and the water surface and emersed growth plants tend to "shadow" parts of the tank. The light only hits about 8 to 10 gallons--the rest is in the sump. Keep in mind that roughly 1/4 of the tank is "land" since this is a paludarium. Also, there is quite a bit of rippling on the water surface--I believe this increases the reflectivity of the water? Anyway, this has been a problem...I'd love to know the intensity of the light at substrate level.

Definitely high lighting though...some of my xmas moss is browning at its tips. I'm hoping the emersed growth will grow well enough to shelter it slightly from the light. We'll see.

Also, I am worried that the emersed plants stop feeding from the water column and depend more on root feeding. If this is the case, how can I prevent algae growth?

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Old 02-05-2004, 02:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ^iMp^
Also, I am worried that the emersed plants stop feeding from the water column and depend more on root feeding. If this is the case, how can I prevent algae growth?

^iMp^
Reduce/stop water column fertilizing? Increase water changes?

I am surprised that you have BGA... Is it really that, cyanobacteria? With all the specs and water movement etc I wouldn't expect it... Have you thought about an Erythromycin treatment to kill them BGA?
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:10 AM   #5
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Is it the case that emersed plants feed more from the substrate than the water column? What nutrient levels should I maintain in the tank? .1ppm phosphate, 10ppm nitrate? The only fully submersed growth is glosso (which isn't growing very well) and xmas moss, which is growing fairly well but never seems to green up.

I've tried stopping water column fertilization--whenever I do, algae takes over. Actually, yesterday's disaster was probably caused by lack of nutrients--it was the day I should have dosed but didn't get around to it.

I'm already changing about 10-15% of the water daily. I'll try cleaning/changing out my filter pads more frequently.

I'm a little frustrated because I don't feel like I know what I'm doing. Much of my fertilizing routine is purely guessing/approximating.

Its definitely BGA...a sheet of vibrant blue-green slime that covers the substrate. Its always been there a little but yesterday it spread onto plant leaves and over much more of the substrate. I cleaned it up by "hand" (tweezers).

I am looking into increasing the flow of water in the tank...maybe that will help.

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Old 02-05-2004, 02:18 AM   #6
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Eeewww, that IS BGA. So what about some EM? For a little water volume like that it's not that expensive...

I would keep the nutrient levels definitely on the low side. You said your PO4 levels are 0.05 ppm, that so? Or did you mean 0.5 ppm?

Another thing you could try is to add more (submersed growing) plants. Maybe some wisteria, or sunset hygro, anything that grows fast, to balance things out a little better. If the moss is the only thing in the tank growing right now, I am surprised that you have to add nutrients to the water at all. Well, I guess if your tapwater is pretty clean, you would.
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:41 AM   #7
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Definitely 0.05ppm phosphate. Dont know much about EM--I'll look for some info before biting the bullet. Is it harmful to inverts?

The tap water is fairly clean...no nitrates/phosphates, around 4-5 kh and gh. What is odd is the fact that reducing nutrient levels seems to CAUSE algae outbreaks (especially the hair algae).

Also, there is some green and sunset hygro in the tank (still submerged) but it doesn't grow AT ALL. One stem in particular was planted two months ago and has grown less than half an inch, yet its perfectly healthy looking. Its really weird...the tank seems to go through nutrients quickly, but I have no idea where its all going. In addition to the xmas moss, I forgot to mention a large clump of floating java moss. Its the primary submerged grower in the tank but its growth still isn't very fast.

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Old 02-05-2004, 03:23 AM   #8
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Could you be overdosing the Excel? I seem to remember there being doubts about whether Glosso was efficient at using C in that form... That could explain it's poor growth, etc...

Just a thought.

Ian
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Old 02-05-2004, 03:50 AM   #9
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I thought excel was "unusable" by algae? I doubt its overdosed...I'm dosing the dosage recommended by seachem for a 10 gallon tank. Their dosage recommendations tend to be on the conservative side and my tank has more than 10 gallons. I suppose its possible that I am grossly underdosing excel.

Thats one thing I really don't like about excel...I have no way of monitoring the levels in the tank so I'm forced to be a little cautious with it. Don't want to kill off all my critters. :?

So far I've been doing 1mL/day without a problem. I'll stick to this unless I can get some better info on excel and its relation to nutrient intake (I am guessing that the levels of excel needed can be approximated if the nutrient intake is known).

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Old 02-05-2004, 05:02 AM   #10
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Hmm... But does that apply to BGA? If Glosso is unable to use it effectively, that could be providing an advantage to the BGA. Pure speculation, but worth considering. Maybe stop dosing for a couple of weeks, just to see if either the Glosso or BGA is affected?

To sum up my hypothesis: You were depending on the Glosso and Stem plants to outcompete the algae, but they aren't, and Excel might be involved in that equation.

Sorry - I know it isn't a lot to go on.
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Old 02-05-2004, 05:05 AM   #11
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I just read the floating Java Moss thing. It's growing, and probably getting CO2 from the air? It's gotta be a C problem.
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