If it's not ferts, then idk anymore - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-10-2014, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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If it's not ferts, then idk anymore

I continue to battle hair algae daily and also this sort of brown algae that forms on the stems and leaves.



10 gallon pressurized

Ecocomplete

Malaysian Driftwood
Java Moss
Dwarf Baby Tears
Dwarf Hair Grass
Alternanthera Reineckii
Rotala Wallichii

4 black neon tetra
9 amano shrimp

Water:
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20
PH 6.6
Phosphate 0
GH 7
Kh 5

CO2:

I do have the little fluval intank diffuser, definitely not the best (the one with the black rubber around the disc) but I bounce the bubbles around a lot so I'm getting diffusion.

I have been running 4 bps. Today, just in case my diffusion was poor, I bumped up the CO2. I moved the needle valve as physically small of a turn it would. I could see a slight increase in bubbles.

About 15 mins later everyone was gasping at the top so I put it back to where it has been at 4 bps.

LIGHTING:

Current Satellite Freshwater + LED

I have the par data on it plus I have experimented with different settings from full spectrum down to cloudy days with lower par and all in between.

FILTRATION:

I could use improvement here but atm I can not upgrade.

Again, 10 gallon and I am using a hob rated for a 20 or 30. It has the thin little black foam it came with...in the chamber space behind that is Seachem Matrix biomedia in the bottom half & Purigen in the top.

FLOW:

I have a small powerhead running 24/7.

I've gone from blasting it down to barely on and I quickly learned that slow and low is the best...gentle. I have also moved it around to different areas so while mastering flow in a square shaped object can be tricky I feel I have it as good as it can get.

So...I explained all of that to ask about this...

FERTS:

I know... dry ferts, stop wasting your money, etc, etc...

That being said I AM using the Seachem line currently and I have their whole line-up.

I have been following their chart:



As for the dosing I have been using this calculator:

http://calc.petalphile.com/mobile

Today (did WC yesterday so today is 'day1') I started a slightly different schedule.

I get the concept of macro and micro.

For some reason this chart splits the macros. I noticed most alternate so today I started all the macros together.

Sorry for the long post btw I am just at a point where I want to say forget about it...I'm sure you've been there.

Looking at the above chart, is there a benefit to splitting the macros like it does? Phosphorus and Nitrogen on DAY 1...then 2 days later Potassium.

Also, I have no Iron test...is this chart on the right track in suggesting to dose the Iron daily?...bc I have been dosing it daily.

Lastly, I don't completely understand Trace but Seachem, while recommending it be used in conjunction with Flourish Comp...suggests using the 2 on different days.

Is Trace a gimmick?..or should I use it rarely as opposed to weekly as needed when I notice signs of deficiency?

Since the above chart hasn't worked for me here is the schedule I started today which simply combines NPK all on same day and does micros alternating.

1: Iron, NPK
2: Iron, Flourish
3: Iron, NPK, Trace
4: Iron
5: Iron, NPK, Flourish
6: Iron, Trace
7: WC

If you have read this far and don't know what to tell me I totally get it.

If you notice any glaring mistakes or have any advice I could probably use it.

It's becoming more frustrating than enjoyable. I have enjoyed experimenting, tinkering, learning so far but now it is seeming ridiculous.


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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-10-2014, 11:27 PM
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I would suggest you PM this to Zorfox. I see other fert threads which say not to use iron(micro) on the same day as macros. Won't try to repete what they said about it
as I likely would mis quote them. But if there is an issue in your list/schedule I think he could spot it easilly.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-10-2014, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
I would suggest you PM this to Zorfox. I see other fert threads which say not to use iron(micro) on the same day as macros. Won't try to repete what they said about it
as I likely would mis quote them. But if there is an issue in your list/schedule I think he could spot it easilly.
Thanks Raymond. I pm'd him this link.


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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 12:54 AM
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It looks like Rhizoclonium algae to me. Is the tank new? This algae seems to present on tanks newer than say 6 months. It also thrives under high light and poor CO2.

Your fertilizers are not to blame here. You have light/CO2 issues to deal with. Although this is not causing the issue you could do with more phosphorus. 0 is never a good number. Btw, no traces are not a gimmick.

My gut says it's a new tank. Changing 50% of the water 2-3 times a week for the first 2-3 months helps a lot. You can also do a 3 day blackout and daily excel treatments. This should knock it down until you can balance things.

I would try reducing your photo period or raising your lights. This usually helps.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 01:03 AM
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A few things that stand out from your post:

  • Your phosphates appear to be limiting plant growth, if they are truly at 0ppm. Are you dosing your phosphates according to seachem's chart, or via the nutrient calc? In any case, if phosphates are limiting, algae will quickly win out over plants
  • It sounds like you might need a better way of checking how much CO2 you're injecting. Bps is a highly inaccurate measurement, and while all CO2 measurements are somewhat inaccurate to begin with, you may want to install a drop check so that bps and fish gasping aren't your measuring bars
  • A hair algae and brown algae (diatom) combo could indicate high silicates in your water, so you may want to start swapping out some of that for RO/distilled at water change time.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 01:27 AM
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99 out of a 100 times algae is caused by lighting and/or C02. If it was my tank I'd be looking at the C02 first. If you can't bump up the C02, then dim down the light so the plants will demand less C02. These sort of problems take weeks to figure out. I'm having some what of the same situation with my 20 long, not that bad though. Also I noticed your phosphates are 0ppm you can have all the lighting and C02 in the world but if your missing a nutrient it means nothing but algae. Here's how I would do the dosing schedule day 1,3,5: Macro's NPK plus excel, day 2,4,6: micro's, trace + Fe + excel.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
It looks like Rhizoclonium algae to me. Is the tank new? This algae seems to present on tanks newer than say 6 months. It also thrives under high light and poor CO2.

Your fertilizers are not to blame here. You have light/CO2 issues to deal with. Although this is not causing the issue you could do with more phosphorus. 0 is never a good number. Btw, no traces are not a gimmick.

My gut says it's a new tank. Changing 50% of the water 2-3 times a week for the first 2-3 months helps a lot. You can also do a 3 day blackout and daily excel treatments. This should knock it down until you can balance things.

I would try reducing your photo period or raising your lights. This usually helps.
Thanks Zorfox I just PMd you.


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onyx165 View Post
A few things that stand out from your post:

  • Your phosphates appear to be limiting plant growth, if they are truly at 0ppm. Are you dosing your phosphates according to seachem's chart, or via the nutrient calc? In any case, if phosphates are limiting, algae will quickly win out over plants
  • It sounds like you might need a better way of checking how much CO2 you're injecting. Bps is a highly inaccurate measurement, and while all CO2 measurements are somewhat inaccurate to begin with, you may want to install a drop check so that bps and fish gasping aren't your measuring bars
  • A hair algae and brown algae (diatom) combo could indicate high silicates in your water, so you may want to start swapping out some of that for RO/distilled at water change time.
Thank you Onyx.

I am dosing everything as per the calculator, but on the schedule of the green and white chart (if that makes sense).

So when I dose phosphorus as opposed to half a cap (2.5 ml) per 20 gallons I am dosing what the calculator says which for 10 gallons I'm dosing 12 ml.

Also I did forget to mention, I slowly made the switch to RO water. I am currently only using RO, with of course GH and kh boosters.

And the drop checker, I have one from GLA but it was so fickle I got fed up with it. So my drop checker is in the "fish junk drawer."

It was suggested to me a while ago to find a different method of co2 diffusion.

With no chance of getting a canister soon, is there a better way other than building a Tom Barr diffuser?

I'm running pretty nano here and would prefer something smaller than in tank diy diffuser.


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
99 out of a 100 times algae is caused by lighting and/or C02. If it was my tank I'd be looking at the C02 first. If you can't bump up the C02, then dim down the light so the plants will demand less C02. These sort of problems take weeks to figure out. I'm having some what of the same situation with my 20 long, not that bad though. Also I noticed your phosphates are 0ppm you can have all the lighting and C02 in the world but if your missing a nutrient it means nothing but algae. Here's how I would do the dosing schedule day 1,3,5: Macro's NPK plus excel, day 2,4,6: micro's, trace + Fe + excel.
So you suggest I use excel with my current co2?

Apparently gasping fish doesn't necessarily mean lots of co2 if I understand from above post.

Maybe instead of searching for better diffusion maybe I just need a touch of excel to go with my co2 tank.

I forgot to mention when above I stated I had been following that chart...not to the letter, I have been dosing everything BUT the excel (but I do own excel).


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 03:10 PM
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I am also going through a similar situation (not as bad as yours but still very similar) and here is what I'm doing (seems to be working after the past week)...

- Lower light intensity / photoperiod (easier to maintain - bump back up once things are under control)
- Add excel daily (waning off of this now 1/2mL at a time...)
- Continue ferts (discontinuing ferts will starve plants / give algae more of a chance)
- Bump up CO2 as much as I can
- Trimming any affected / dead HC (this is the worst part by far - very depressing and time consuming) as well as other plants
- Frequent water changes - every other day if I can (yes it sucks but it will undoubtedly help out with any aquarium issues including algae...)

As others have stated do Macro on Day 1 and Micro / Trace on Day 2. You should not be doing macro / micro on the same day. I have accepted that I will battle my tank for months to come because it is new and apparently everyone goes through this crap. Just lower your lighting and be patient. Lower tech = easier to maintain.

The reward will be great once you have a mature tank and things like this don't hold you back. The first few months always suck (especially for me who has never done high-tech before my 75 gallon... Water changes / maintenance SUCK on large tanks)


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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 05:41 PM
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The fertilizing tables provided by Seachem, for their Flourish products, are really only good for low light tanks. They provide too little nutrients for higher light tanks. That may be your problem. When plants are not growing in good health, at the rate the light intensity is driving them to, that is an invitation for algae to start growing.

Hoppy
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by klibs View Post
I am also going through a similar situation (not as bad as yours but still very similar) and here is what I'm doing (seems to be working after the past week)...

- Lower light intensity / photoperiod (easier to maintain - bump back up once things are under control)
- Add excel daily (waning off of this now 1/2mL at a time...)
- Continue ferts (discontinuing ferts will starve plants / give algae more of a chance)
- Bump up CO2 as much as I can
- Trimming any affected / dead HC (this is the worst part by far - very depressing and time consuming) as well as other plants
- Frequent water changes - every other day if I can (yes it sucks but it will undoubtedly help out with any aquarium issues including algae...)

As others have stated do Macro on Day 1 and Micro / Trace on Day 2. You should not be doing macro / micro on the same day. I have accepted that I will battle my tank for months to come because it is new and apparently everyone goes through this crap. Just lower your lighting and be patient. Lower tech = easier to maintain.

The reward will be great once you have a mature tank and things like this don't hold you back. The first few months always suck (especially for me who has never done high-tech before my 75 gallon... Water changes / maintenance SUCK on large tanks)
Yeah this tank, if I remember correctly, is about 5 months old.

The strange thing is the day before this OP yesterday, I did my WC which I have been doing about 3 a week lately with nothing but airline tubing. It takes much longer but allows me to go in on each stem and suck the algae off.

So what was weird, to me anyway..was the next day I was in there when the light came on and there was new hair algae extending from the tips of hairgrass about 3 inches. At least 4 pieces did this.

So new algae that wasn't there at lights out can grow in the dark apparently.

I thought it needed some time in the light.

I'll just keep doing water changes. I'm at 7 hours on lights which is pretty low so I guess I will try a different setting.


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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The fertilizing tables provided by Seachem, for their Flourish products, are really only good for low light tanks. They provide too little nutrients for higher light tanks. That may be your problem. When plants are not growing in good health, at the rate the light intensity is driving them to, that is an invitation for algae to start growing.
Thanks Hoppy

I am using an EI online calculator for measurements so while I was following the chart for when...I have always used the calculator for how much.


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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 06:21 PM
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I am not even running 7 hours... I only run like 5-6 hours right now and am ramping up slowly from there. I used to run 8 but then all of a sudden I got diatoms / a few types of algae that I have been able to contain fairly well since.

If you are totally overwhelmed I would do the one-two punch and hope for the best. I've never had to go that far but a lot of people have great success with that method. It will give you a head start in the battle after destroying most of the opposition...

Also if you have no fauna in the tank just blast the CO2 to ridiculous levels. If things get under control just tone it down over time. I used to blast my CO2 but since getting fish / toning it down I ran into some problems... It is very difficult to find the balance with high-tech and I admittedly have a long way to go!


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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2014, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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I am not even running 7 hours... I only run like 5-6 hours right now and am ramping up slowly from there. I used to run 8 but then all of a sudden I got diatoms / a few types of algae that I have been able to contain fairly well since.

If you are totally overwhelmed I would do the one-two punch and hope for the best. I've never had to go that far but a lot of people have great success with that method. It will give you a head start in the battle after destroying most of the opposition...
Okay I will try 6 hours.

Thing is I have done the 1-2 punch already. Afterwards, I couldn't remove the dead algae that was so intwined with the plants without it ripping them out. It was a lot of dead algae so instead of pulling each plant and cleaning it was, while very heartbreaking, much easier to just order new plants.

So I pulled all the glosso and stargrass out and just had to toss it. I replaced it with 2 new plants so that was cool to get something new I suppose but at this point I can still remove it all with the airline tubing.


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