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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Control!

Hey all. This is my first post and id like to say this board has helped me quite a bit. You all do a great job. I've been researching from this site for a while now and havent even had to post with going through all the info in the archives. Keep up the good work. I'm sure youll be seeing more of me in the future.

Now, down to business.

Since i've been laid off for a couple weeks I've got some time on my hands to get the tank balanced. PO3-4 and NO3 are both off the charts and ive got some wonderful algae growth ive been tryin to battle. The tank has been up about 3 months now and ive had an explosion of fuzz algae I have been dealing with for about three weeks. More recently, an outbreak of what appears to be beard algae covering my glass in about a day. I'm not exactly sure if its beard algae, but it looks like the picture of beard algae at, although not quite as long. It's growing in short, lime-green tuffs, and looks like the fuzz on a tennisball. It's very easy to get off the glass, and hasnt really came back since I scrubbed it off, although it did spread rapidly when it set in. Please let me know what you think it may be.

I'll shed some light as to my setup now:

55g light density planted (so far)

2.9 wpg but scaling down to 1.4 for 12hrs with 2.9 for the middle 4 to 6 hrs of the photoperiod due to algae growth.

Filstar XP3 cannister filter

Nowhere near enough DIY co2. planning on adding 1 or 2 more 2ltr bottles later this week. i know at 55g persurized would be the way to go, but i simply cannot afford it at the moment. Maybe if i ever get the hang of this .

60% flourite substrate mixed with a plain black gravel of similar size.

Fish stocking has gotten a little thick as of Saturday when i brought home four nickel to quarter sized Angelfish. Now in the tank i have the original fish i started with: 5 giant danios and 5-7 otos, plus the new angels. the danios will be traded in shortly as theyre nearly full grown now, very greedy, boring and kind of annoying.

Now for the specs as of a few hours ago before a 45% water change:

PH- 7.2
KH- 5 dkh - 89.5ppm
GH- 5 dgh - 89.5 ppm
NO3- 20-40 ppm (waay high)
PO3-4- 10+ppm (also very high)

Tap water:

PH- 7.4
KH- 5 dkh
GH- 9 dgh
PO3-4- 0 ppm

As you can see, I could use some ideas as to getting NO3 and PO3-4 down to safer levels. Ive added a Phos-Zorb bag to the XP3 about a week ago, but this has done virtually nothing. Mantainence schedual constists of 25 to 45% water change a week. The co2 concentration was greater a couple weeks ago, but the bubble rate has slowed down a bit. Two weeks ago the KH was 6 dkh and PH was 6.2. Can such a high PO3-4 reading throw those PH, KH to co2 reading off? Am I on the right track to getting these readings under control? Any ideas to get this under control or questions and comments to the whole setup in general are always welcome. If you would like to know about the plants in the set up, just ask. This post is already long enough sorry about that. I'm just gettin started in the planted tanks and i can tell its going to be a lot of fun! Thanks for all your help in advance. You guys do a great job here! Keep it up!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 02:32 AM
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First of all welcome to the forum

I can't answer all your questions but I will give you some advice. First thing I see is your N03 & P04 is way to high as you already know, you will need to get the readings down to 10ppm for N03 & 0.4 for P04. The best way is through water changes, start with one 50% waterchange then 3-4 days later do another 50% waterchange, then start doing 30% water changes weekly. Also feed your fish less, if you are feeding twice a day cut back to once a day. Second thing up your C02 to between 20-30ppm at your currant readings you only have 9.5ppm of C02. The best way to do this is with pressurized, however intil you can afford it I would run 2-3 two liter pop bottles. Thrid thing I would run a straight 10 hours of lighting, breaking up the lighting only helps the algae not the plants. If you are dosing ferts stop for two weeks. Clean as much algae off by hand as possible, prune leaves that are badly affected by the algae. Get yourself a better variety of algae eaters. Doing all this will start to help with your algae problem but you will need to be consistent with the tank maintance. Remember some algae is natural in a planted tank and also normal in a newly setup tank.

He who angers you, controls you!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks for the reply trenac. I didnt know breakin up the light would benifeit the algae more than the plants. Thanks for the heads up. I havent dosed any ferts in about 3 weeks, so things are rolling there already. I'll cut back the feeding. Ususally i only feed a small pinch or two, whatever they can clean up in 30 seconds or so, and usually fast them by not feeding at all one or two days a week. it'll be one pinch a day from now on with a two fasting days a week. (tue and fri... something to that effect.)

as i said, ive done a 45% change today, and I'll do 50% on thursday and see how it goes. Do you or anyone else know how long it usualy takes to bring a PO4 reading down from such a high level? i just hope its not a "never-ending battle" type deal. I suppose im on the right track!

Oh, i do realize that the algae is going to be there, I just have an extreme surplus at the moment . Its to the point that its starting to starve and wither leaves and stems of my plants!

Last edited by BigJimSTL; 11-30-2004 at 03:31 AM. Reason: Forgot something...
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 12:41 PM
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I have never had the problem of high N03/P04 (knock on wood) so I'm adding these to keep my levels up, so I can't say how long it will take to get your levels down. Just keep consistent on your water changes and beside adding Phos-zorb for P04 there is a product called Algone that helps lower N03. You may also want to get some Hornwort to float to help soak up some extra nutrients that the algae feeds on. Hopefully someone else will come along that can give you some more advice, but in the mean while here is a great website...

He who angers you, controls you!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 03:18 PM
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Well if your PO4 is at 4ppm, and you do a 50% water change with 0ppm PO4, then after your water change, the PO4 should be at 2ppm.

You may have potassium deficiencies that limit your nitrate/phosphate uptake in plants. low CO2 could also do this, or micro nutrient deficiencies. I'd stop dosing NO3 and PO4, but I'd still add a little trace and iron and some potassium after a water change. Start small, work your way up.
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