Algae issues/co2 remedies? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Algae issues/co2 remedies?

YO!

I have heard many different explanations on how to reduce algae growth in your aquarium. Some include increasing the co2 intake, regular excel dosing, blackouts, etc. It has bee hard for me to find a good thread explaining how or why any of these methods work.


In the past I have tried dosing my excel daily (overdosing) and my hair algae, or any other algae for that matter has started to diminish.

What I am looking for here is an explanation for why this has worked, or what other methods have worked for y'all in the past? why would an increase in co2 input decrease the production of algae? .... ps i run a 55g 2x54w 67/10k weekly dosing of flourish/potassium/excel/iron.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 07:21 AM
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simple explanation is that it helps your plants outcompete the algae by providing balanced resources (balance between lighting, CO2, and macro/micronutrients for your plants).
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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so.... then if i have semi heavily planted tank with an inline co2 reactor an 2x54w t5ho bulbs .... why does excel make my algae retreat?!?!

i am very regular with my tank and keep a close eye on everything... just looking for some more info is someone can point me in the right direction
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 03:11 PM
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I would try to figure out why you are getting the algea http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/


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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Erotica Aquatica View Post
so.... then if i have semi heavily planted tank with an inline co2 reactor an 2x54w t5ho bulbs .... why does excel make my algae retreat?!?!

i am very regular with my tank and keep a close eye on everything... just looking for some more info is someone can point me in the right direction
Even though you have CO2 injection does not mean you have enough CO2. The clues are: adding additional carbon (in the form of Excel) improves the situation AND 2x54 T5HO lighting-it's a very bright form of lighting like metal halide. Try raising your lights or if you have a glass top put some window screening on top of it to reduce lighting.


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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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I am not having algae problems in my tank. In the past I have and I increased my Excel dosing and it worked. I am just wondering if someone can give me a clear explanation as of why it did work? Scientific info would be nice
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 12:45 PM
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I am not having algae problems in my tank. In the past I have and I increased my Excel dosing and it worked. I am just wondering if someone can give me a clear explanation as of why it did work? Scientific info would be nice
Excel is an algecide. (it is also used is hospitals to disinfect) The main ingredient is Gluteraldehyde. See more here...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutaraldehyde


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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 02:04 PM
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You're missing a couple macronutrients, by the way (unless you didn't mention them in your dosing chems). Nitrates and phosphates, specifically.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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My nitrates are always quite low, same with phosphates. I am dosing once a week with flourish excel, iron and potassium, and the multi nutrient. I also use RO/DI water and add remineralize to it.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 12:06 AM
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so.... then if i have semi heavily planted tank with an inline co2 reactor an 2x54w t5ho bulbs .... why does excel make my algae retreat?!?!

Because excel poisonous, and kills the algae. Plants and animals aren't usually harmed at regular doses. There are some plants out there that are easily killed by excel however.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 12:35 AM
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I am not having algae problems in my tank. In the past I have and I increased my Excel dosing and it worked. I am just wondering if someone can give me a clear explanation as of why it did work? Scientific info would be nice
Ok, because we are talking about planted tanks that are so different from each other in various parameters much of this talk is subjective. It's largely based on our personal observations. When enough folks respond with like results we accept that there is some science at work here. In your case, folks have responded that Excel acts like an algaecide when used in high enough doses. I think that is pretty well accepted as fact as all you have to do is take a syringe type instrument and when all filters/water movement is off and apply it directly to algae and it dies right before your eyes. It also is a source of carbon for higher plants. The point I'd like to make is that you could get the same result without the Excel by optimizing the CO2/light ratio. You can do this by getting better circulation in the tank or upping the amount of CO2 or by reducing the lighting. Obtaining the optimum ratio will reduce algae and make your plants grow. As a side note you mention that you always have low nitrate and phosphate. That is something that can cause problems for you especially with T5 HO lighting.


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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Mark, my tank is highly stocked on fish, and i still get low nitrates/phosphate, what can I do to remedy this? also thanks for that info, very clear.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 01:38 AM
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Buy dry fertilizers from any of the several on-line vendors. You'll need potassium nitrate and mono potassium phosphate along with a trace mix (CSM-B) some chelated iron, possibly some epsom salts for magnesium (you can buy that in a pharmacy if you like) and small measuring spoons.


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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 01:40 AM
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The big difference between using Excel to kill algae compared to a good co2/light ratio is that the excel is not plant mass related, but the co2/light ratio is.

If the the light is very high and the plant mass is very small what is a good co2 ratio? I don't think that will solve most algae issues.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 04:07 AM
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Another theory is vascular plants need a whole lot more carbon than algae. An unenriched tank is likely to favor algae. Excel may kill algae but it is also a carbon source.
"C/N ratios help to distinguish between algal and land-plant origins of sedimentary organic matter. Algae typically have atomic C/N ratios between 4 and 10, whereas vascular land plants have C/N ratios of 20 and greater (Premuzic et al., 1982; Jasper and Gagosian, 1990; Meyers, 1994; Prahl et al., 1994). This distinction arises from the absence of cellulose in algae and its abundance in vascular plants and is largely preserved in sedimentary organic matter."
http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications...p_15/c15_3.htm
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