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Old 05-25-2004, 07:44 PM   #1
abc
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Newbie needs major help with water parameters and algae


Hi! I could really use your advice on what steps to take to correct my water parameters (which seem perfect for growing bba/hair algae but my plants are dying). Here are my specs:

75g tank
lighting: 2.5 WPG
pH: 7.2
nitrates 0
phosphates: 5.0
kH: 6
gH: 12
nitrites: 0
ammonia: 0

My entire substrate is ECO-Complete and I thought that the substrate would be enough for proper fertilization. I also dose with seachem flourish 1X a week (following the directions on the box).

What can I do to get rid of the bba/hair algae and set the water parameters right to encourage plant growth? I have a presurrized C02 tank. According to Chuck's CO2 calculation page, it is: 11.3 ppm

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! abc
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:58 PM   #2
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First, give us the water parameters out of your tap. Are you adding any chemicals to ammend your tap water?

For now, I would start with the phosphates and the nitrates.

Part of the problem, right know is the phosphate level. 5.0ppm is high. Why do you think it is so high? We are going to need to get the phosphate level down to 1-2ppm. Giving us your tap water parameters is going to help determine how to lower the phosphates. A water change may help, or you may need to add a phosphate absorber to your filtration.

Your nitrates are at zero. You definetly need to start to raise them slowly. Try bumping them up to 2.5ppm and then 5ppm and then up to 10ppm over a period of a couple of weeks. That is also going to help.

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Old 05-25-2004, 10:10 PM   #3
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The product I used to get my Nitrates up was Green Light Stump Remover & I still add it ever 3 days to keep them around 10-12ppm. You will be amazed at plant growth & the decrease in algae within 2 weeks. Also for two weeks I stopped ferts, decreased lighting to 7 hours a day & increased C02 to 22ppm. All this got rid of my hair algae within 2 weeks. Then I went back to using ferts & increased lighting 1 hour a week to it reached 10 hours daily. This site will help in dosing Nitrates: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nitrate.htm
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:53 AM   #4
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Default arghhh! no time... need to go to work, but thanks!

Thanks for the above posts. I will test the tap water next chance I get. May be I'll come home for lunch and then go back to work and in the meanwhile, squeeze in a water testing. Right now, I have to take off for work. But also on the way home tonight, I'll drop by Ace and get the nitrate fertilizer. I will also look into a phosphate absorber. Not sure why the phosphate is high, but I have 6 bichirs in my tank (all heavy meat eaters). So does feeding them beef heart/blood worms contribute to the phosphate level? I guess it could just be my tap water.... so I better test it first before extrapolating on any theories on the origins of my phosphate levels. I will post again when I have done the above! Thanks again, abc
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:47 AM   #5
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Default can anyone give me some alternatives to green light stump remover?

I have looked in Ace, HomeDepot, Walmart, and some local flourists, and no one in the greater Chicagoland area has Green Light Stump Remover. Can someone please make an alternative over-the-counter NO3 source?

I will attempt to remove some of the phosphates using a phosphate remover you add to your filter system. Hopefully, this will get the phosphates level down.

Right now, my tank looks hideous. BBA is on every plant. The walls of the aquarium have brown and green spots. I have 2 bristlenose plecos in the tank, 2 american flagfish, and 2 rosy barbs, and the algae is just growing. The problem is I've been pulling some late hours at work, so I have not had the time to pursue the matter any further.

Help?! abc
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:53 AM   #6
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For NO3, check out www.gregwatson.com for some KNO3.


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Old 05-28-2004, 02:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abc
I have looked in Ace, HomeDepot, Walmart, and some local flourists, and no one in the greater Chicagoland area has Green Light Stump Remover. Can someone please make an alternative over-the-counter NO3 source?

I will attempt to remove some of the phosphates using a phosphate remover you add to your filter system. Hopefully, this will get the phosphates level down.

Right now, my tank looks hideous. BBA is on every plant. The walls of the aquarium have brown and green spots. I have 2 bristlenose plecos in the tank, 2 american flagfish, and 2 rosy barbs, and the algae is just growing. The problem is I've been pulling some late hours at work, so I have not had the time to pursue the matter any further.

Help?! abc
You can get KNO3 from gregwatson.com for a few buck...

Jason

EDIT, Dohhhh Momo beat me to it
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:55 AM   #8
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Beat ya Jason!

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Old 05-28-2004, 02:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momotaro
Beat ya Jason!

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Old 05-30-2004, 07:44 PM   #10
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Default about to give up... don't know what more to do

This post is over due, but here are my tap water parameters:

ph = 7.4
kH = 6
gH = 10
nitrates = 0
nitrates = 0
phosphates = 0.25

also, I bought Kent's phosphate absorber and have been running it through my filter for 1 1/2 days, and my aquarium water reading is still:

Phosphates = 5.0

I have ordered green light stump remover online and hope to get it by the end of the week. But I'm not sure why the phosphates are so high?! If the tap water is 0.25 then how come the phosphate spike? I'm changing the water again, but does anyone know if ECO-COMPLETE contains phosphates and that's why even though I do water changes the phosphates keep going up?

My tank is an algae disaster. My 2 bristlenose pleco's have pot-bellies since there is so much for them to eat. And they can't keep up with it. I've spent so much trying to set up a planted tank: co2 pressured set-up, retrofitted lights from ahsupply, the plants, the Eco-Complete, and buying additional algae eaters. I'm about to give up and go back to a non-planted tank because I just don't know what more to do get the chemistry right.

Sorry to vent, but does anyone know what i can do to:

1. lower the phosphates
2. get rid of the algae?: should I trash all my plants ($100 plus worth) and start all over again with new plants and hope they don't get algae like the others

I've reduced the lighting until I can get a handle on the algae problem but not sure what more to do.

Thanks for all the help so far, abc
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:17 PM   #11
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No point in throwing out plants and getting new ones. Algae grows faster than you can get them planted.

If your tapwater has 0.25 ppm and your tank 5.0 phosphates, something is quite wrong. The easiest fix would be water changes. Lots of them. Like every day 25%.

Eco-Complete doesn't leach PO4 into the water. It's quite possible that feeding meaty stuff adds to the problem.
As long as the PO4 is that high, don't expect any improvements...
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
If your tapwater has 0.25 ppm and your tank 5.0 phosphates, something is quite wrong. The easiest fix would be water changes. Lots of them. Like every day 25%.

Eco-Complete doesn't leach PO4 into the water. It's quite possible that feeding meaty stuff adds to the problem. As long as the PO4 is that high, don't expect any improvements...
Good points wasserpest. Hasn't there been some recent findings that show certain dechlorinators have phosphates in them? Wonder if it has something to do with that.

ABC: What are the feeding habits of the tank and are you feeding lightly or normal/heavy during those feedings?

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Old 05-30-2004, 08:49 PM   #13
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Are you adding anything to the water before you put it in your aquarium?

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Old 05-30-2004, 11:11 PM   #14
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Default thanks for the all the input!

What I have in the tank are 6 Polypterus bichirs (6-7inches long), and I feed them: frozen beefheart, froz bloodworms, cut-up earthworms, frozen krill, shrimp pellets, and occasionally live feeders/ghost shrimp

I used to feed them 2X a day in the middle of my algae woes, but after talking with some other hobbyists, I have cut the feeding down to 1X per day, and will eventually only feed 1X every other day.

I do not add anything else to my tap water other than stress coat, aquarium salt, and aquarisol.

I am going to try to do the daily 25% water changes and monitor the PO4 levels. I have reset my timer to only give 7 hours of light (vs. 10 hours from before) and have reduced the watts to 100W/75g (1.25 WPG). I have scrubbed the walls of my tank. I have moved all my java ferns to my hospital tank where I know the phosphates levels are low, and hopefully, the bristlenose pleco and american flagfish in the hospital tank will take care of the bba/hair algae.

As for my 75g tank with all the algae problems, is there anything else I can do besides the daily water changes? To summarize, I have done the following:

1. reduced lighting to 1.25WPG
2. added Kent's phosphate absorber to my filter
3. scrubbed off the alge from the insides of the tank
4. reduced the feeding of my fish to 1X per day
5. moved some heavily infected Java ferns to a hospital tank, leaving on the rooted plants in the tank (all have hair/bba)
6. ordered the green light stump remover and will start dosing with nitrates so eventually (over 3 weeks?) I can get the ratio of phosphates/nitrates = 1/10ppm.
7. of course, the daily water changes

I'm hoping something is going to work... abc
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