What happens if you have a good balance of light, co2, ferts and... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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What happens if you have a good balance of light, co2, ferts and...

... decide to gradually increase the dosagee of ferts? What would be the first sign of imbalance? More algae?

I have a good balance but I suspect my plants could use more ferts. It is at least moderately planted if not heavily and also just a gut feeling.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kushy04 View Post
... decide to gradually increase the dosagee of ferts? What would be the first sign of imbalance? More algae?

I have a good balance but I suspect my plants could use more ferts. It is at least moderately planted if not heavily and also just a gut feeling.
Well as plant mass increases so does the need for more ferts and Co2. Generally algae is a sign of low nutrients not too much.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well as plant mass increases so does the need for more ferts and Co2. Generally algae is a sign of low nutrients not too much.
As you said, algae can be an indication of not enough fertilizer, I'm trying to figure out what would indicate "too much" fertilizer. Dead fish, healthy plants, no algae? I want to gradually up the dosing in my tank, I want to know what I should be on the lookout for as I don't want to stress out my animals.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kushy04 View Post
As you said, algae can be an indication of not enough fertilizer, I'm trying to figure out what would indicate "too much" fertilizer. Dead fish, healthy plants, no algae? I want to gradually up the dosing in my tank, I want to know what I should be on the lookout for as I don't want to stress out my animals.
too much fertz -> algae explosion
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nlewis View Post
Well as plant mass increases so does the need for more ferts and Co2. Generally algae is a sign of low nutrients not too much.
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Originally Posted by IntotheWRX View Post
too much fertz -> algae explosion



hmm conflicting opinions..
I'll side w/ the party of too low "nutrients" if CO2 is included..


Algae generally starts w/ an increase in spore germination by utilization of free ammonia, either in tank or in micro environments such as dying leaf surfaces, mulm.
At least that is what I currently understand..


Obviously poor growing plants will leak more ammonia from decay than well growing plants..


After germination then the higher nutrients (if other unbalanced parameters i.e CO2, light) could exaggerate the issue
BUT not necessarily..



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842878/


Quote:
Conclusions

This study is one of the first to compare nutrients, algal biomass, and habitat among five major agricultural regions in the United States. The use of TN and TP concentrations alone indicated a relatively high percentage of nutrient enriched sites; whereas, algal biomass, expressed as chlorophyll a, varied due to site-specific processes.
Quote:
This study demonstrated the importance of including stream and riparian habitat features in models that predict algal biomass as a function of nutrient concentrations, with canopy, temperature, substrate, and flow determined to be important. This study also presents a Nutrient-Algal Biomass Conceptual Model that helps explain why sites and/or areas may not show the expected relation between nutrients and algal biomass.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 12:19 AM
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Well as plant mass increases so does the need for more ferts and Co2. Generally algae is a sign of low nutrients not too much.
Agreed +1.

IMO low ferts is far, far more likely than high ferts to cause algae.

Happy healthy plants are the best defense against it, and weak unhappy plants are a magnet for it.

Concentrate on making plants happy not defeating algae.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 12:47 AM
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Plants can be a rough road for some.

Emersed cultures transforming to submerged, tissue culture with trouble, not enough ferts or CO2 from the start, someone new learning the ropes, etc...

Low macros seem to be a primary cause for plant deficiency but some are worried to dose enough of them.

Typically our quantities of ferts will not harm livestock, a learning curve at times.
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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I got lazy and stopped dosing ferts + excel in my high light, high tech tank for about a week and green haired algae started doing it's thing. I immediately started dosing again and new growth is starting to cover up the old algae. If this was your situation, would you guys remove the algae that has appeared or just let the plants outgrow it and let the problem take care of itself. I should post a pic of my tank when it was started in Feb and what it looks like today... Maybe later after work, but I've been following the same dosage amounts since Feb but the plant growth is insane, I feel like they can use more, but again, it's just a gut feeling. I might be trying to fix something that isn't broke and I don't want to break it for real!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kushy04 View Post
I got lazy and stopped dosing ferts + excel in my high light, high tech tank for about a week and green haired algae started doing it's thing. I immediately started dosing again and new growth is starting to cover up the old algae. If this was your situation, would you guys remove the algae that has appeared or just let the plants outgrow it and let the problem take care of itself. I should post a pic of my tank when it was started in Feb and what it looks like today... Maybe later after work, but I've been following the same dosage amounts since Feb but the plant growth is insane, I feel like they can use more, but again, it's just a gut feeling. I might be trying to fix something that isn't broke and I don't want to break it for real!
Definitely remove the algae. Hair algae is pretty easy to get out using an old toothbrush. Post some pics of the plants in question.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Definitely remove the algae. Hair algae is pretty easy to get out using an old toothbrush. Post some pics of the plants in question.
I will post pics in about an hour when I get out of work. I did try to remove the hair algae with an old toothbrush, but it wasn't "catching" the algae. I also used to use a 60cc blunt tip needled syringe to brute force "suck" the algae off the leaves, but for some reason that wasn't working either, seems like this green haired algae is physically stronger than what I remembered it to be... Worse comes to worse, I'll end up just cutting the affected leaves, but it will be a PITA because the affected plant is rotala, so many small leaves).
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 04:39 PM
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If you use a syringe to directly apply Seachem Excel it will kill the hair algae. Also hair algae is caused by a CO2 imbalance, not primarily a nutrient imbalance, so check your CO2 levels first. Continue with Excel or a carbon based supplement to boost your plants, they will outcompete the algae and that should eradicate your problem. Install a CO2 checker first though if you haven't already got one. If you do make sure your CO2 levels are suitable for your plants. Remember the more your plants have grown the more CO2 they will require. If you go for a big trim consider tweaking your CO2 down a bit to compensate for the reduced plant matter in the aquarium
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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definitely remove the algae. Hair algae is pretty easy to get out using an old toothbrush. Post some pics of the plants in question.

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It's not too bad on second thought, I found some older pics from March when I was just learning how to keep a planted tank, now if I ever got that kind of algae again, I don't know what I'd do...

But to reiterate, I couldn't get it off with a toothbrush or my trusty 60cc syringe... I just cut the rotala down from the aquarium top and am trying not to let the s repens overdominate it either. Rotala seems like a more delicate plant than the repens...
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 05:17 AM
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Well as plant mass increases so does the need for more ferts and Co2. Generally algae is a sign of low nutrients not too much.
I fully agree with this but one issue you should keep in mind. Plants need 14 elements other then CO2 and water to grow. Unfortunately most fertilizer don't have all 14 elements. Common examples are calcium, sulfur, chlorine (chloride salts), and copper. Chlorine is typically not a problem for tap water.

So if you increase the dose of the fertilizer plant growth will increase until the missing nutrient in the fertilizer is no longer available to the plants. The plants will go into deficiency and growth will slow or stop. When this happens algae will be the only thing feeding on the algae and you will get a surge of algae growth with no plant growth.

Always buy a fertilizer with copper. Copper concentrations in all aquarium fertilizers is not high enough to harm shrimp or snails. A sulfate based GH booster can also take care of the calcium and sulfur issue.
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