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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
Hop
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Before I go Crazy

I was unable to find an exact anwer searching the forums, but please be easy.... I'm S L O W when it comes to chemistry.

Would low PO4 cause thread algea? I finally got my PO4 test kit and I was surprised to see that the PO4 was much lower than I was guessing. Tank is at about .035. I was going to start dosing to get the phosphates up, but was currious if this was really the root cause of my thread algea or whether, in addition to dosing up the PO4, I should be looking at another area? FYI I'm running NO3 as close to 10 as I can keep it.

Thanks!!

Currently tankless for the first time in 24 years... Getting the itch again
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-15-2004, 11:43 PM
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I'm keeping my PO4 level in the 1.5 - 2ppm range and still have a light case of thread algae, but nothing that looks objectionable (or can't be removed in a 20 second sweep with a toothbrush on a stick). The reason for the higher PO4 level is that Tom Barr has said that it can reduce GS, which I have encrusting a number of A. coffeefolia leaves. But the thread algae in my tank has been about the same whether PO4 was at .5ppm to what it is now.

óBill

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-16-2004, 06:12 AM Thread Starter
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Figures.. Back to step 1. I'm hoping that dosing the PO4 to the right level doesn't bring on "optimal" growing conditions for my thread algea. It's really not that bad though, about ten minutes of removal per week. But I don't have any onther algea visable other than the regular old green stuff that I have to scrape off the glass and even that has slowed to the point that I only have to scrape once every three weeks.

Currently tankless for the first time in 24 years... Getting the itch again
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Well after starting to bring up the PO4 levels, my thoughts were confirmed... It seems as though my thread algae has begun to grow at a much faster rate.

So let me rephrase the question. What am I missing here? Surely something is off and I canít figure it out.

PH 7.0
KH 10.0
GH 15.5
NO3 10-12ppm, Dosed via KNO3
PO4 .5ppm bringing up to 1ppm
Co2 28-30 ppm

I do a 40-50% water change weekly. At that time I bring NO3 up to 10ppm. Every other day I dose approximately 4ml flourish and add KNO3 to replace utilized amounts. I also use Flourish tabs in the substrate, but only near heavy root feeders. I do not dose Iron due to the new flourite and the previously read post describing a connection between thread algae and iron. Otherwise the plants seem very healthy with no visible signs of deficiency, other than what I perceive to be slower growth. The thread algae seems to be oriented on my Rotala Rotundfolia and H. Zesterifolia.

What am I missing here? My brain is convulsing after reading so much. Maybe I'm missing the obvious.

Currently tankless for the first time in 24 years... Getting the itch again
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 05:48 AM
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My thread algae gets worse (grows faster) whenever I add too much traces or Fe. I think I need to stop dosing traces (or severely cut back on the amount I dose) in my 125 for a week or two and see what happens.

óBill

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 05:51 AM
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Should have mentioned that, like you, my thread algae is centered on my R. rotundifolia (and the Ludwigia brevipes next to it), with a strand here and there in the roots of my Java Fern.

óBill

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hop
Well after starting to bring up the PO4 levels, my thoughts were confirmed... It seems as though my thread algae has begun to grow at a much faster rate.

So let me rephrase the question. What am I missing here? Surely something is off and I canít figure it out.

PH 7.0
KH 10.0
GH 15.5
NO3 10-12ppm, Dosed via KNO3
PO4 .5ppm bringing up to 1ppm
Co2 28-30 ppm

I do a 40-50% water change weekly. At that time I bring NO3 up to 10ppm. Every other day I dose approximately 4ml flourish and add KNO3 to replace utilized amounts. I also use Flourish tabs in the substrate, but only near heavy root feeders. I do not dose Iron due to the new flourite and the previously read post describing a connection between thread algae and iron. Otherwise the plants seem very healthy with no visible signs of deficiency, other than what I perceive to be slower growth. The thread algae seems to be oriented on my Rotala Rotundfolia and H. Zesterifolia.

What am I missing here? My brain is convulsing after reading so much. Maybe I'm missing the obvious.
You dosing any potassium, other than the minute amount that's in KNO3?

Eric


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
You dosing any potassium, other than the minute amount that's in KNO3?
I haven't been, When I had the tank set up with PC and NOF, I had a major issue when I dosed it, so I thought I would wait this time and see if there was an obvious deficiency.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 06:03 AM
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In my 125g I dose K at 2X ppm that I dose NO3 so I'm beginning to think that it's just a phase I have to wait out. One thing that is peculiar is that it's concentrated on the side of my tank that get the return water from my Eheim (which I haven't cleaned in over a month). It's actually good timing as I'm just about to set up a 29 and could use the filter's mulm to seed the new substrate.

óBill

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I don't know it's just frustrating. I just don't see what I'm missing here. If I can't get it under control I'm at a stalemate. it's just at the level of control now. If it speeds up I could really lose some plants. That is how I lost a bunch of plants before, so i really need to get this capped off before I can move forward. Like I said this makes my head hurt very much bad

Currently tankless for the first time in 24 years... Getting the itch again
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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I still don't know what the problem is, but I just elected to go over to Greg Watson and order the full line. After the stuff gets here I'm going to reset the parameters and do things right. I'm not 100% certain, but maybe flourish gets old. I bought a gallon of this stuff a few years back and am still over half full. It's just a guess, but maybe... Certainly something that I don't have the ability to measure is in excess.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-18-2004, 03:06 AM
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I been fighting a very similar fight, and aside from traces, my dosing is about the same as Hop's. My problem first started when I wanted to start adding traces every other day (I was just adding at water changes). I started with 1 ml of a mix of 1 tbps in 250 ml of distilled water. That's when it started showing up pretty quickly. I've decided to drop the dosing back to .25 ml every other day and I'll increase (or decrease) every week or so until the algae starts showing up again.

FWIW..Brian.

46g bf, XP3 w/ vertical spray bar, CO2 w/ SMS122 & diffuser,100% Flourite, 96w+55w cf AHS, AGA Member
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-18-2004, 03:53 AM
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Hop if you ask me you started dosing that tank too early. That tank is barely 4 weeks old. Algae thrives on excess nutrients and if the plants are not acclimated and "hungry" they just plain dont use up anything and the algae takes hold quickly and strongly.
I firmly believe that in the first 4 weeks of any new tank you should add NOTHING but a supply of fresh water and the micro's in the tap will carry the plants through that first month. If you look at the list of ingredients in tap water...well water or city water it actually has in it everything plants need , just not enough for what we put them through with lighting, we make demands... LOL
I think we all tend to get fertilizer crazy and think that the plant will die if I dont feed it NOW...thats hogwash and it leads to algae.
The bad part is once you get that algae it takes twice the amount of time to balance the tank because now the algae we created is just as hungry as the plants and everybody thrives until the stronger of the two win the battle for food.
This is why if you look you will see that 90% of the tanks that have algae problems are under 4 or 5 months old...well before the plants need more nutrients, we give them more nutrients. They only uptake what they need, not what we give them.
Think of algae as fat...the body only gets fat if we eat more calories then we burn.
The fastest way to get rid of that algae is not to feed it...I would do a large water change and not dose any nutrients . Wait 4 or 5 days , do another large water change for the (micros) in it and then just watch how the plants respond...dont add ferts till you look in that tank and see that they need to be fed. Basically, you need to get them plants hungry ... and dont worry, they wont die overnight...LOL
In your case, I imagine that by the second week you will see a much weaker , dying algae and some hungrier plants.
Then start dosing slowly when the algae is at its weakest...it could take longer, just remember , wait to start dosing as long as possible...it will save you some money too ! LMAO

Plants can store nutrients, algae cant, without a source , it will die...


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-18-2004, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Buck... It's sound advice and I will certainly take to it. I had just read that dosing on 4.2 wpg should be after the first or second week, so that's what I did.
Quote:
Hop if you ask me you started dosing that tank too early. That tank is barely 4 weeks old. Algae thrives on excess nutrients and if the plants are not acclimated and "hungry" they just plain dont use up anything and the algae takes hold quickly and strongly.
I was uncertain on this because of the tank being set up before for a few months. I moved the plants, substrate and about 20% of the original water.
Quote:
I think we all tend to get fertilizer crazy and think that the plant will die if I dont feed it NOW...thats hogwash and it leads to algae.
I was holding off pretty well until the thread algea started back up and I started doing some reading. This is where I read that higher watt lighting should begin a dosing regimin earlier. Guess I should have waited. But initially it did not speed up the thread algea at all.
Quote:
In your case, I imagine that by the second week you will see a much weaker , dying algae and some hungrier plants.
Then start dosing slowly when the algae is at its weakest...it could take longer, just remember , wait to start dosing as long as possible...it will save you some money too ! LMAO
I'll certainly begin this regimin. I am assuming that I should still keep my No3 levels up? or should I allow those to bottom out as well?

Thanks again for the help.

Currently tankless for the first time in 24 years... Getting the itch again
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-18-2004, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
I was uncertain on this because of the tank being set up before for a few months. I moved the plants, substrate and about 20% of the original water.
Even uprooting and moving most plants, puts them in a state of rest I have found and yes I agree that the higher watts does speed up the "waking" period but that does not mean that they need to be fertilized at full dosage.
Thats why I say your tank at this point should not take but a week or so to weaken the algae because your plants are allready settled in.
How long are your lights on for Hop ? This could be effecting your situation also.
Quote:
I am assuming that I should still keep my No3 levels up?
NO3 is a fert that algae thrives on...thats the one factor in a non-planted tank that gets ignored will get algae in it... because the NO3 levels are through the roof because of a lack of water changes, the bubbling treasure chest usually gets it first.
Your plants probably have by now got enough stored nutrients to keep them sustained for the first week with no damaging effects.
Like I said, just keep an eye on the plants, if they look tired, start feeding them slowly at first. You have a lot of light, the balance will take a long time to achieve, but once you get it, you will never look back.

After I redid my tank a while back, I stirred up the substrate ferts and got a wicked case of algae that was covering the glass , plants , equiptment etc. and I stopped dosing ferts totally in my tank for 3 weeks and only did heavy water changes every 4-5 days and the tank is now virtually algae free again and I have just started dosing again. Some plants took a minor hit but are now growing better then ever.
Sometimes we need to go backwards before we can go forwards.


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