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Old 04-18-2004, 08:15 PM   #1
GraemeK
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Hey,

When i re-setup my tank over a year ago i had little fish and lots of plants and gowth was good and i had no algae! When i started to add fish BANG! algae was everywhere including tones of blanket weed etc...

In the last few weeks i've been cleaning up the plants, timing the lights (10hours a day), added a CO2 reacter, let the fast growing plants go wild and added NO ferts and used a phosthate remover. Since these changes i'm seeing far less algae and a lot of good plant growth and pearling.

I bought a new master test kit yesterday and decided to post the latest readings which look quite good. Can you tell me:

1. are these conditions ideal for very little algae

2. should i try to improve on any parameter?

PH 7.2

KH 170mg/L

GH 260mg/L

NO2 0mg

NO3 <0.5mg

PO4 0.25mg/L

NH3/4 (AMNONIA) 0mg/L

cheers!

G

p.s my water is VERY hard!
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Old 04-18-2004, 08:36 PM   #2
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Basically you are starving both your algea and plants. Your plants have the upper edge though with the CO2, so they are scrambling for the nutrients faster than the algea can get it. Have you had no CO2, algea would be dominating. So good job to this step so far.

Now, since you have the algea under control, it is safe so start dosing nutrients. What is you tank size, wattage and CO2 concentartion?

If your lighting and and CO2 are at good levels, then adding nutrients will only benefit the plants and not the algea. You are looking for a 10:1 ratio of Nitrate:Phosphates. The range should be 0.5-0.75ppm phosphates and 5-7.5ppm nitrates(or many times people go 10+). You will need to start dosing K and Fe as well. Traces will be great too. What is your substrate?
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:08 PM   #3
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right then... the tank is a 34gals and powered by two 20w tubes in the hood and another hooked on the back of the tank. thatís roughly 60watts of light. the tubes are two aquaglo's and 1 powerglo. all the lights are on timers but the ones in the hood can only be turned on and off once per day by the timer but the one of the back comes on and off twice to try to stop algae growth!
CO2 is supplied by two Hagen CO2 units joined together and fed into a reactor fitted to my filter output. I'm not sure about CO2 level? Can you tell my the parameters Iíve given?

I have root tabs with iron and also some liquid ferts, which Iím told, is a good one. I havenít done an iron test yet so I cannot tell you that level. Would it be useful to know the fert I have? I'm not sure whatís needed in that department. Since adding CO2 Iíve noticed a massive improvement in plant growth though. none of the plants have turned yellow or anything yet...
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:02 AM   #4
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Can anyone help me with this? I've posted all my levels as requested.
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Old 04-20-2004, 09:26 AM   #5
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Your CO2 level is 18ppm (from your pH and KH). Here is a link on how to measure CO2 : http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

I agree with Rolo on the target level of NO3 and PO4. Adding NO3 and PO4 don't always imply algae growth as long as your plants are using them to maximize their growth rate. I had algae breakout when my NO3 is 3 ppm and PO4 at 0.1ppm. They were gone after I dose NPK and keep my NO3 at 10ppm and PO4 at around 0.75ppm. The amount of micro fertilizer (flourish, plantex etc) is different for each tank. You don't want to overdose it. Just start slow and back off if algae starts to show up. I usually start with half the dose recommended on the direction and go from there.

If you don't have any algae or plants problems now, you could do the fertilizing very slowly. The root tab is safe to use. Just plant it close to the roots of rosette plants.

Please make any changes slowly so you won't stress out the fish and also let the plants to adapt. If you see something wrong like sudden algae breakout, do a water change and start dosing less or slower.
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Old 04-20-2004, 01:05 PM   #6
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hey ninoboy,

cheers for you posts again.

I still have algae growing on the leaves of my cyprts and other species. It isnt anywhere near as bad as it once was and the algae appears to be growing a lot slower. Should i try to change my water more or start feeding the plants as suggested and hope they out grow the algae? I used root tabs a while ago and i think some is still in the subtrate. Maybe thats my problem? that the root tabs are releasing too much feed into the water still? How i'd tell i'm not sure!

G
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Old 04-20-2004, 03:06 PM   #7
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You have very little nitrate, and the plants need it badly. bumping up nitrate to 5-10ppm would give better plant growth, and they should outcompete the algae for nutrients.
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Old 04-20-2004, 03:11 PM   #8
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Cheers for the pointer but

1. my test kit measures levels in (level)/mg/L how do i convert to ppm?

2. how do i boost the nitrate?

Thanks!

Graeme.
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Old 04-20-2004, 11:11 PM   #9
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1 mg/l = 1 ppm

To increase Nitrates, you can use KNO3. Not sure about a source in the UK, but you might try hydroponics stores, ag fertilizer supplies, nurseries, etc. Over here there are also stump removers that contain 100% KNO3.
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:21 PM   #10
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wasser of course is right, 1mg/l is 1ppm. There's no special conversion, as they measure the same amount, but express the value in different ways. 1 milligram in a liter is 1 millionth of a liter...so it happens to be 1 part per million as well
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