When to Fertilize? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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When to Fertilize?

...and how to rid the algae..

I have deleted the original post since with guidance of a senior member here, I added a lot of details below.

Now I'm curious if I should repost in the Algae forum?

Thanks Team!

Last edited by LonBeMe; 02-04-2020 at 11:31 AM. Reason: added and changed detail
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 02:33 AM
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Yes, it would be best to dose after the w/c's.

However, if you want help, in general, please post as much of the following info as possible and, I'm sure, you will get plenty of responses. Make sure that you state what problems you think you are having (you mentioned BBA) and some members like to see pictures of the problems.

- Light (make & model): PAR reading at the substrate and photoperiod?
- CO2 setup (if any) and how you measure CO2 levels in the water if you do inject CO2?
- pH difference between fully de-gassed and fully gassed?
- Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings?
- What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often?
- Substrate type and how long has it been in place?
- What is your filter setup?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
- What is your water source and do you use a water softener?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Post redo with data!

Thanks Deanna!

Wow, I thought I was providing a lot of info, but I understand there is much more involved, and that I need to be clearer. I can't answer all of that but I will sure provide what I can.

Yes, my main problem is BBA.

Brief history: Tank had been running fine for at least 7 years, but as low tech - no fertilizers, no CO2, Simple LED lights on a timer. Why fix something that wasn't broke some might ask... Well I like the hobby and wanted to get more in depth. I also hoped to have more red plants and also carpets. That's when I bought the CO2 set up and light. Info below. I did this at the end of 12/19.

Fauna (current anyway) Lots of shrimp, mostly breeding neos and some amanos. 5-10 ottos, 4 nano corys, 4 tetras?, 3 hatchets
Flora - I will be ashamed here and say I don’t know the correct names, but Sprite, Crypts, trying dwarf hairgrass and baby tears, Ludwigia, tiger lilly.

- Light (make & model): PAR reading at the substrate and photoperiod? - Fluval 3.0 36". No idea of PAR reading. I have attached a screen shot of the settings, but a couple of key points are: 2 photo periods. This is what I always did and is important for me as it's when I can be in my home office to have the enjoyment of viewing. Basically 4hrs in the morning and 5 in the evening. The new light lets me ramp up and down. I also have the blue turned off because I read that can help with the BBA. I do not have all at 100%, but it's close. It gets just a little indirect sunlight during the daytime “siesta”. The light sits just above a glass top and under a custom hood (I have cats)

- CO2 setup (if any) and how you measure CO2 levels in the water if you do inject CO2? - CO2 Art system with inline defuser running at a bit over 2 bps. I have a drop checker and API test kit. I calculate it with PH and KH test and used a chart to be 30ppm when fully gassed. I have it going on 1.5 hrs prior to the lights

- pH difference between fully de-gassed and fully gassed? 7.6 fully degassed / 6.8 fully gassed

- Current NO3 - 6
PO4 – no way to test
GH - 9
KH - 6
pH – see above
TDS readings – no way to measure
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0

- What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often? This was what my question was to start. Trying to not overload my brain, I bought the all-in-one Thrive S (shrimp safe) from NilocG. It states 1ml pump per 5 g 1-3x week. I have been doing about Ĺ dose 2x week . Not consistent and I know that’s important and why I was asking (and still am)

- Substrate type and how long has it been in place? EcoComplete. Most of it has been in there for 7+ years but I added more to make hills.

- What is your filter setup? Ehiem 2215 canister with no carbon. I also have a small powerhead to help circulation

- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)? I had cleaned the canister filter only 3 x year. Last at end of 12/19, but will do that in the next days again due to the past and current issues. I know to only rinse the media with tank water. For cleaning the tank; when going well in the past, I would do 25% 1 x week WC. This would include vacuuming the substrate. Lately I’m doing 2x week.

- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom? Yes. My spray bar is on mounted on the left end on a 45 degree angle from top back to lower front. The intake is at the other end. I experiment with the small powerhead in different areas. I also have an air stone that comes on over night when dark for 3 hrs.

- What is your water source and do you use a water softener? Tap water specifically pulled before our water softener.

I hope this and the photos helps you and the team give me more guidance. I have read numerous things about killing the bba with peroxide and Excel flourish, but what made most sense to me it to first halt the growth. That’s what I want to do now…but at the same time, keep the plants thriving to starve out the bba.
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Last edited by LonBeMe; 02-04-2020 at 11:35 AM. Reason: added info
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 05:55 AM
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Thatís staghorn algae not BBA.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Thatís staghorn algae not BBA.
Thanks for the reply, but from my understanding of Staghorn is that it's like a Stags antlers and branches off. While these photos are not the best, I can tell you I have looked close with a magnifying glass many times, and nowhere have I seen anything but single strands. The algae on the wood has been scraped off a few times and regrown.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 11:46 AM
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Also looks like staghorn to me. My BBA has never looked like that but I've been wrong many, many times

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 01:12 PM
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That stuff on the wood is not BBA - BBA looks like fur, compact little balls. Don't know enough to help you, but very interested in what advice others may have. Consider this as a free bump!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonBeMe View Post
Thanks Deanna!
Your light is good for a high tech setup. You can take a look at this thread for an idea of what your PAR may be: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...l#post11194281. Turn your blue back on, as that is critical to good plant growth. You will never be able to fight algae effectively simply by removing the blue spectrum. Algae is best controlled with a thriving and decently sized plant mass.

CO2: BPS is just a reference point useful for your own comparison. The other methods are more useful for determining if you are in a range that you want. If it were me, I would push CO2 a little heavier - but slowly - until, at least, a one-point pH drop was achieved. I’d probably go more, so long as the fauna were happy.

Your Thrive S dosing seems to be ok, on the assumption that your test results are fairly accurate (some test kits can be problematic). I suggest that you consider either the PPS or EI methods of fertilization and then dose accordingly. You can better gauge your dosing needs/results by using this calculator: Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator. As you know, consistency is pretty important in all things.

I clean my filter every week or two. you’d be surprised at how much sludge can build-up and this contributes, quite a bit, to organics and organics are very beneficial to algae.

As others have said: the pictures do not show BBA. Hair algae can be killed with Excel (I use this procedure: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...l#post10762025) but, as you said, long-term it is best to inhibit algae growth with healthy, thriving plants.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much Deanna! Great details that I'm sure to study and utilize.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Hi again Deanna, I read this and have a few questions please:

Hair algae can be killed with Excel (I use this procedure: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...l#post10762025)

..This is only for red (hair-type) algae.... Is that just a name? My algae is grey.

you mention it works over a 6 hr period, but to only do it once a week. When is best for a wc relative to the dosing?

.. you mentioned safe for Amano, but do you know about with Neos?

My Ph w/out CO2 running is 7.2 +. 6.4 or so w/ CO2. I use an inline system so turning of the fillet for the 6 + hrs would change that. Does it matter?
Would it make sense to do it at night?
I have an air pump to agitate the surface that I run for 4-5 hrs over night. Would I leave this run or turn off?

Thanks again, really gotta kill this stuff off and have the new bottle of Excel ready.

Last edited by LonBeMe; 02-06-2020 at 02:57 AM. Reason: fix
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonBeMe View Post
..This is only for red (hair-type) algae.... Is that just a name? My algae is grey.

you mention it works over a 6 hr period, but to only do it once a week. When is best for a wc relative to the dosing?

.. you mentioned safe for Amano, but do you know about with Neos?

My Ph w/out CO2 running is 7.2 +. 6.4 or so w/ CO2. I use an inline system so turning of the fillet for the 6 + hrs would change that. Does it matter?
Would it make sense to do it at night?
I have an air pump to agitate the surface that I run for 4-5 hrs over night. Would I leave this run or turn off?

Thanks again, really gotta kill this stuff off and have the new bottle of Excel ready.
Red algae is the broad classification for many types of hair algae. It is called red algae because, if hit with alcohol it turns red when it dies. If you want to take a leaf that is covered with it and put it in a glass with about 5ml of alcohol, you can test it. If it turns red in a few days, you know the Excel will work on it.

Water change doesn't mater regarding the dosing. Excel degrades within about 8-12 hours depending upon varying conditions. If you get a large kill, that will add organics and may require a water change at that point.

I have never tested it on Neos. We will need to see if other members, that have, will comment.

You should run with as much circulation as possible. This keeps the Excel in contact with the algae and oxygenates. I temporarily put 3 Koralias on, all pointing toward the surface for good agitation. Excel is a reducing agent, so you want to oxygenate as heavily as possible. Aerators do not oxygenate that well. Oxygenation happens predominantly by surface agitation. If you can simply remove the biofilter, temporarily, in your filter, allowing the filter to continue circulation, that would be a big help.

Start with 1ml Excel per gallon. Watch it for a week and then go to 1.5ml next week IF it is needed. This is intended only to get a one-time knockdown of hair algae, to give the plants a chance to grow better and, hopefully, take over the algae.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 03:18 AM
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I think staghorn is the same species as bba. It is a different growth phase i.e. sporophytic vs gametophytic phases of life. Or vegetative vs sexually reproducing stages of life. It is apparently common to have dimorphisms between these phases in rhodophyta or more specifically, andouinella. Invariably, BBA will follow staghorn with enough time which makes me think they are the same species. Luckily, I think in the gametophytic stage (staghorn) there is high susceptibility to chemical control.

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