Help with water specs - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Help with water specs

Hello all,

I am having an issue with black hair algae. Maybe some can help with some advise? and I am not totally sure if my tank has cycled yet.
My specs are these.

72 Gallon
Heavily planted
approximately 40 - 50 small fish golden rasboras, White clouds, Cardinal tetras, Killies and 40 CRS

3 wpg lighting 8hrs on
20lb CO2 w/ ph controller
Fluval 404 & Eheim 2028
NH3 0
No2 0
No3 20
PH 6.0
Temp 79f
KH 53.7
GH 107.4

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 10:01 PM
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Have you looked into fertilizer dosing? Plants need nutrients to grow, looks like you supply light and CO2, need to add NPK and micros/trace elements.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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I forget to mention that i dose once a week with flourish:
1.1 cap of comp supp for planted aq.
1.7 caps of phosphorus
1.4 cap iron
2.2 cap pottassium
2 cap nitrogen
and i just started to dose with excel to help w/algae.
and I use plant tabs in the substrate
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 11:39 PM
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I am sorry, I read your NO3 as 0 for whatever reason. Well in that case, I would suggest patience... How long has the tank been up? New tanks almost always go through some algae cycles, and by giving the plants all they need (and being a bit patient) they disappear mostly by themselves.

Also, if this is a fairly new tank, reducing the light intensity might reduce the severity of algae outbreaks.

It's a good looking tank btw... you'll get it under control soon. My new tank just went through similar black beard/hair algae pains, but they come and go, and after a while you just clip a few leaves and it seems like there's never been any problem.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Wasserpest, The tank has been running for 2 months, But I had it running with plants only for the first month. I am getting a bit concerned b/c it seems as it is deteriorating some plants, the leaves are getting thin. I was reading some posts and read about using Peroxide (3 drops per gallon) to help kill the algae. Or should I continue to use the excel? If so what would you recommend as the dosage? Thanks for your help.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 11:59 PM
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Got a drop checker? Your controller might not be allowing enough CO2 into your tank for the plants' needs.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brohawk View Post
Got a drop checker? Your controller might not be allowing enough CO2 into your tank for the plants' needs.
I checked it with a drop checker and it check pretty close to the PH controller. Prior to this algae problem I had the controller set to 6.8 ph and after the breakout I lowered it to 6.0 ph to allow more co2. I am using a "rex" inline filter reactor to inject the co2. In the past week that I lowered the co2 I can see the pressure drop in my co2 tank, so I know it is running much more than it has before.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 12:09 AM
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How bad is it? Normally, algae doesn't really kill plants. It just uses them as a substrate. So even if there is a bunch of algae now, there isn't really a great need to bomb it with all sorts of chemicals. No need for Excel if your CO2 level is good (check like Brohawk suggested), no need for H2O2 either.

Not sure about dosage as I haven't used these things. Like I said, most tanks go through these periods, and the harder you fight each strand of alga, the harder they laugh. If you let them grow for a while, they burn out and then plants take over. It's a bit like the N-cycle. Ammonium comes and goes, Nitrite comes and goes, in the end everything is fine.

Can't help you with a quick fix... but if you keep an eye on CO2 and ferts, perhaps lower your light level for a while, and be patient... you don't need one.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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How bad is it? Normally, algae doesn't really kill plants. It just uses them as a substrate.
Well I notice it more on the small hair like plants and on the larger plants towards the top. Also if you look at my photo the large long leaf plant on the left (in the driftwood) the leafs are getting really fuzzy and the leafs are getting thin. I am not looking for a quick fix, I am just afraid that it will wipe out my plants. I also see fuzz growing on some of the larger substrate rocks. I have tried to clean it by hand but if I try to rub it off it doesn't really budge and it rips the leaf off.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 12:45 AM
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Seems to me things are still pointing to low CO2. Leaves grow thin and BBA/fuzz like low CO2. Your CO2 levels might be right now, but your dispersion might not be great in some areas of the tank. How long has it been since you lowered the controller to 6.0? If you don't see improved plant health w/in a couple weeks, try messing w/ the directions of your filters' flow. Those Rex reactors do cut down your canister's flow quite a bit.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brohawk View Post
Seems to me things are still pointing to low CO2. Leaves grow thin and BBA/fuzz like low CO2. Your CO2 levels might be right now, but your dispersion might not be great in some areas of the tank. How long has it been since you lowered the controller to 6.0? If you don't see improved plant health w/in a couple weeks, try messing w/ the directions of your filters' flow. Those Rex reactors do cut down your canister's flow quite a bit.
It has been less than a week that a lowered the controller. I was looking to replace the inline reactor but I had bad luck with mail order defusors. I had ordered one from DR. fosters and it came broken 4 times. I guess I should give it a bit longer with the 6.0 setting on the controller. I was thinking of using the peroxide to clear it up and keep the controller 6.0ph. Thanks for you help.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 06:34 PM
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Do you have 4-54 watt T5HO bulbs lighting the tank? 3 watts per gallon times 72 gallons equals 216 watts. If so, you most likely have enough light that you absolutely need to run the maximum concentration of CO2 in the water every day to avoid algae problems. This is done by increasing the bubble rate a little bit at a time, then watching the fish behavior for a day to make sure they don't all head to the surface and gasp for "air". Meanwhile, watch the plants for good pearling, which they should do if you have good CO2 concentration in the water. The goal is to get the pearling but not the fish distress.

Then, you need good water circulation throughout the tank to get CO2 to all plants all over the tank. This can be difficult, but is essential also.

Finally, the plants will be driven to grow very rapidly by that much light, so they need fertilizing at a rate so that none of the fertilizers is limiting the growth. I don't think that can be done by dosing only once a week.

You have a great aquascape, by the way!

Hoppy
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Do you have 4-54 watt T5HO bulbs lighting the tank? 3 watts per gallon times 72 gallons equals 216 watts. If so, you most likely have enough light that you absolutely need to run the maximum concentration of CO2 in the water every day to avoid algae problems. This is done by increasing the bubble rate a little bit at a time, then watching the fish behavior for a day to make sure they don't all head to the surface and gasp for "air". Meanwhile, watch the plants for good pearling, which they should do if you have good CO2 concentration in the water. The goal is to get the pearling but not the fish distress.

Then, you need good water circulation throughout the tank to get CO2 to all plants all over the tank. This can be difficult, but is essential also.

Finally, the plants will be driven to grow very rapidly by that much light, so they need fertilizing at a rate so that none of the fertilizers is limiting the growth. I don't think that can be done by dosing only once a week.

You have a great aquascape, by the way!
Thanks as you can tell I am new to the hobby, and so far I am loving it. The lighting I am using are compact florescent 55watts but they are about 12" off the water surface. As far as dosing I was told to provide 1/2 of what they recommend on the bottle (from a fish store).
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