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Old 02-29-2004, 12:03 AM   #1
Aftica
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What kind of algae is this and how do I combat it? I did not see a picture like it over at Aquaticscape. Sorry but my Digital camera is an old type and i don't have the ability to get a clearer shot when it comes to closeups.

I am thinking it is Staghorn algae but it don't look quite like the shot on the site... mine looks like the first shot at Aquaticscape but not the second one which is way too whitish - mine looks like the first but a little darker in color. the stuff is tough - if I pull on it it could uproot a plant or tear a plant etc...

Recommended approach on this stuff?

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Old 02-29-2004, 06:40 PM   #2
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Hard to tell, I would guess somewhere in the area of green spot algae from what you are describing.

Usual suspects... NO3, PO4 levels? Adding CO2? Nutrients?
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Old 02-29-2004, 09:55 PM   #3
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Na - I got a bit of green spot on the back of the tank and on the side glass etc... I am pretty positive Wasser that it is Staghorn...


I did a water change today (about 35%) and tested for Nitrates and Phosphates (0 nitrates and phosphates are 0.1 ppm) - dang i only put enought KNO3 in about 2 days ago to bring it up to about 7ppm - them plants are chewing through them...

So I doesed today

teaspoon of KNO3
about 3/4 ml of Fleet Enema (Phosphate)
2 teaspoons of K2SO4
teaspoon of Epsom Salt (MgSO4)
and 2 capfulls of Flourish

From everything I have read hear and at Aquabotanic - algae problems are directly related to your nutrient problems. Nutrient imbalance will cause algae problems. To deal with staghorn algae keep my CO2 levels up around 20-25 ppm, keep the nutrients up, and it will go away in a few weeks or less.

Here's Hoping.
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Old 03-01-2004, 01:30 AM   #4
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I swear this kind of algea was just discussed in another thread a few days ago. Just keep everything in balance and it will dissapear in a week or three.
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Old 03-01-2004, 02:36 AM   #5
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Yep - it was discussed in this thread for sure - course when i started this thread I was not totally sure on the identification of the type of algae - after more research I am pretty convinced that it is Staghorn.

Here's hoping
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:26 PM   #6
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I was able to get a little closer shot of this algae using the digital camcorder (I am no camera expert - going to have to improve in this area I think lol)

This may be a bit clearer...
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Old 03-13-2004, 08:42 PM   #7
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ARGH! Do Shotguns and Fishtanks make good bedfellows???!!!

Well - that staghorn / Black beard algae whatever it is deamon is still here - is as thick as ever and I can spend 2 hours pulling it out in clumps and in 24 - 36 hours it back still!!! It covers my Echinodorus tenellus in the front of the tank the worst but it gets into everything and covers the filter pipes and the my poor newly sprouting Barclaya longifolia and I am so frustrated with this deamon algae!

Silly question.... "To deal with staghorn algae keep my CO2 levels up around 20-25 ppm, keep the nutrients up, and it will go away in a few weeks or less. - well - if the algae is already in the tank in full force and you got the nutriens in balance wont the algae be using them AS WELL as the higher level plants? (I can see an imbalance causing Algae as there is an over abundance of one and none of another macro... the higher level plants dont make use of it... the Algae can and does etc..) - but nothing is preventing the algae from using the ingredients in conjunction with the higher level plants?

Anyway... I have been keeping a log of testing now for several days (I have been testing daily and sometimes 2x daily - I guess out of desperation).... the resilts are posted below.

Sunday March 7

50% Water Change

Nitrate < 5 ppm
Phosphate 0.1 ppm
PH 6.8
KH 5

Added 1/4 tsp KNO3
Added 1/4 tsp K2SO4
Added 10 ml Flourish


Monday March 8

Nitrate 5-7 ppm
Phosphate 0.1 ppm

Added 1 cc for Fleet Enema
Added 1 tablespoon K2SO4
Added 5 ml Flourish



Tuesday March 9

Nitrate 5.0 ppm
Phosphate 0.1 ppm

Added 1 cc of Fleet Enema
Added 1/2 tsp KNO3
Added 20 ml Flourish Potassium
Added 5 ml Flourish Iron
Added 25 ml Tropica Master Grow

Note: tested Phosphate after dosing - got 1.0 ppm


Wed, March 10

Added 3/4 tsp K2SO4

No Testing

Thursday March 11

Seachem test kit arrived today! (Was using the Hagen one)

Nitrate (Seachem) <5 ppm
Nitrate (Hagen) 5 ppm
Phosphate 0.1 ppm


Added 1 cc for Fleet Enema
Added 1/2 tsp KNO3
Added 1 tsp K2SO4
Added 20 ml Flourish
Added 4 ml Flourish Iron

Friday March 12th

1:30pm
Nitrate (Seachem) 5 ppm
Nitrate (Hagen) 5-6 ppm
Phosphate 0.1 ppm

Added 1 cc for Fleet Enema
Added 1/4 tsp KNO3
Added 5 ml Flourish
Added 15 ml Flourish Potassium


6:30pm
Nitrate (Seachem) < 5 ppm
Nitrate (Hagen) 5 ppm
Phosphate 0.5 ppm

Added 1/2 cc for Fleet Enema
Added 1/4 tsp KNO3


Saturday March 13

Nitrate (Seachem) 1 ppm
Phosphate 0.2 ppm

Added 1 cc for Fleet Enema
Added 3/4 tsp KNO3
Added 10 ml Flourish Potassium
Added 10 ml Flourish
Added 3 ml Flourish Iron
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Help :?
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Old 03-13-2004, 10:49 PM   #8
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Jeez that reads like a lot of fertilizer. I would cut way back... If you continued to dose like that, IMO you would end up with high concentrations of potassium and heavy metals... 1 tablespoon of K2SO4? Wow... And I don't know what kind of Flourish you are using, but mine says to dose 1-2 ml for each 50 gal once or twice a week...
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:25 AM   #9
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I was thinking that too Wasser when I was typing that out... but I don't know anymore... this is where so many opinions and information gets kinda confusing I guess...

1 tablespoon of K2SO4 is 27.77 ppm Potassium in a 77 gallon tank - the recommended level is 20 ppm - I know I over dosed that time- I misread the darn think but it's not a super amount.... Unfortunately I don't have a test for K - but I have to assume that it is used up at a rate at least close to that of PO4 and NO3 ?

Flourish bottle says: 1 capful (5ml) per 50 gallons once or twice a week... I was dosing a bit more - I read a lot of folks posts on flourish and many suggest that the recommended dosage is on the low side and that many suggest dosing up to twice the recommended dosage (I think I was less than 2 times the dosage but I never figured it out exactly)

Flourish Iron says 1 ml for each 10 gallons (I dosed less than that as I think that the plants are getting iron from the Flourite?)

I was dosing a lot but the test kits are telling me I need to dose when it comes to Nitrate and Phosphate... for example Monday March 8 my Phosphate was at 0.1 ppm and I dosed 1cc of Fleet which should give me about 1.1 ppm PO4 in my tank. Just 24 hours later I test and I am back to 0.1 ppm again. Same type of situation on the Nitrates... so if I am plowing through these 2 macro's at that rate it would seem logical that the K and the micro's were also being consumed at a fast rate.

I am not saying your wrong and I appreciate and respect your thought Wasser - I am just pointing out why I dosed the amounts I did... but somewhere in my equation I got a glaring error or 2 ops: I think it reads like it is higher than it really is?

Any other thoughts?
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Old 03-14-2004, 07:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aftica
1 tablespoon of K2SO4 is 27.77 ppm Potassium in a 77 gallon tank - the recommended level is 20 ppm - I know I over dosed that time- I misread the darn think but it's not a super amount....
You need to be careful. Keep in mind that you are adding this amount to whatever is in there already. Best case scenario, there is no potassium in your tank, and you overdosed. But if you just continued your daily dosing, it's not over-, it's HYPERdosed, so to speak. There are different opinions about K overdosing, some say it doesn't matter, some say it is bad, since it makes other nutrients unavailable.
And you are right, there is no good way to measure the K level in the tank, just another reason to dose and possibly err on the low side. For example, if you just made a 50% water change, which would be about 30 gal in your tank, I would only add K for those 30 gallons!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aftica
Flourish bottle says: 1 capful (5ml) per 50 gallons once or twice a week...
Hmmm... honestly, mine doesn't. Perhaps I have a more potent solution??
If I add up correctly (it's late...) then it looks like you added 50 ml of flourish during that week that you reported. Jeez.... I can't help but think that this is 10 times as much as a high light tank that size should get. But I am a notorious underdoser :hehe: and as I said, perhaps your Flourish is different from the one I am using.

Regarding test kits, I trust the phosphate kits, but IME the nitrate kits can be tricky. I would be careful if the kit tells me to add much more than one thinks the plants eat. I mean, it has to go somewhere, and if the plants don't grow, that would tell me something is iffy nitrate-wise. Make sure you test before and after adding and you get the expected coloration...
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Old 03-14-2004, 07:27 AM   #11
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No fish/shrimp interested in chewing those stuff Aftica?
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Old 03-14-2004, 08:13 AM   #12
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:shock: Aww I can't believe I said what I said about potassium. Now Sean is going to think he got me convinced that K is baaad. :lol:
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:21 PM   #13
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Curious about the flourish - I have 2 bottles - I am going to check the other NOW... one came from a Canadian source and the other an American source... Just a sec...

-----------------Silence------------------

ok - I was a bit off (60 rather than 50) - but here is what both say...

Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 250 L (60 gallons*) once or twice a week. For smaller doses, please note that each cap thread is approximately 1 mL. Refrigeration after opening is recommended but not required.

I tend to also trust the red-sea phosphate kit - and it does return the expected results after dosing as well. I have a Hagen and a seachem nitrate test kit - both of which I think are "iffy" to say the best... I am going to invest in a Lamotte kit for Nitrate.

In order for the Algae to be out competed for the nutrients I am thinking that the higher level plants need to use up the nutrients - not allowing the algae a chance to get them... so in reality perhaps "Maintaining" the levels is a bad thing, but rather you should dose to those levels, let the plants use them all up in their entirety, then restart the process - sort of like a sine wave... Now the only thing I see in this possibility is that as the plants near the completion of eating up the last of the nutrients - there could be one or the other that are in a little excess (ie the plants used up 100% of all nutrients but only say 91% of the nitrate) - could this lead to an algae situation where the algae will use up the imbalanced amount of Nitrates? (or if the sine wave (cycle) is short enough the algae wont get a chance to really take off with it etc..)

Today is a 50% water change day... so here is what I am going to try.


Sunday
50% w/c
Test PH, KH, GH, NO3, PO4
dose to recommended levels
(only does K for 35 gallons )

Monday
Do Nothing but watch Algae

Tuesday
Do Nothing but watch Algae

Wed
50% w/c
Test NO3, PO4
dose to recommended levels
(only does K for 35 gallons )

Thursday
Do Nothing but watch Algae

Friday
Do Nothing but watch Algae

Saturday
Do Nothing but watch Algae

Sunday
50% w/c
Test PH, KH, GH, NO3, PO4
dose to recommended levels
(dose K for 70 gallons)

LOL - Wasser - I think he does:-)

Oh Me - Oh My - I wish Ace... they are just not interested in it... (Welcome back Ace -not see you for a while:-)

Thoughts?
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Old 03-14-2004, 06:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aftica
Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 250 L (60 gallons*) once or twice a week. For smaller doses, please note that each cap thread is approximately 1 mL. Refrigeration after opening is recommended but not required.
Interesting... my Flourish "Comprehensive Plant Supplement" gives these directions:

Use 1-2 ml (dispenser enclosed) for each 200 L (50 gallons) once or twice a week. For higher volume dosing, note that 1 capful is 5 ml.

So it looks like there are different Flourishs out there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aftica
In order for the Algae to be out competed for the nutrients I am thinking that the higher level plants need to use up the nutrients - not allowing the algae a chance to get them... so in reality perhaps "Maintaining" the levels is a bad thing, but rather you should dose to those levels, let the plants use them all up in their entirety, then restart the process - sort of like a sine wave... Now the only thing I see in this possibility is that as the plants near the completion of eating up the last of the nutrients - there could be one or the other that are in a little excess (ie the plants used up 100% of all nutrients but only say 91% of the nitrate) - could this lead to an algae situation where the algae will use up the imbalanced amount of Nitrates? (or if the sine wave (cycle) is short enough the algae wont get a chance to really take off with it etc..)
There isn't an easy explanation for this "outcompeting" thing. It comes kind of natural that nutrients are used up when plants are growing fast, so this shouldn't be a problem unless one thing runs out for an extended time. My NO3 levels go down to "undetectable" all the time, of course that's only what the test kit says. Maybe plants can actually store some of the nutrients, so they are not immediately affected.

If you do have algae problems, you should try to keep the levels on the low side. Continue to dose, but maybe half doses. Algae will use excess nutrients, I think this is what you see here...
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Old 03-15-2004, 02:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aftica
In order for the Algae to be out competed for the nutrients I am thinking that the higher level plants need to use up the nutrients - not allowing the algae a chance to get them... so in reality perhaps "Maintaining" the levels is a bad thing, but rather you should dose to those levels, let the plants use them all up in their entirety, then restart the process - sort of like a sine wave...
This I strongly disagree with, both experientially and theoretically. Nutrient shortages leading to imbalances almost always is what causes algae outbreaks. The better you can maintain constant rather than fluctuating conditions featuring adequate (or 'critical') nutrient levels to aid in their importation into the plants, the more likely the plants will thrive and the algae will be held in check.
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