Improving Water Quality - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Improving Water Quality

I have algae, BBA, hair, GSA, and used to have Staghorn. Now its not out of control per say ie I can stand it but I would like to decrease it a bit. Mostly the BBA on my crypts is what bothers me.

I have a Marineland Emporer 400 that I clean the filter pads on once a week, and I also fill the extra media containers with carbon. I have an aquamedic 1000 run by and eheim 1252 and I know its not really used for filtration but it has bio balls in it.

Items I am looking to change and need advice on.
1. Instead of adding carbon into the media containers I was going to put seachem matrix, I was told that carbon is not helpful in planted aquariums.
2. Adding seachem stability to the tank for a little while in case I was missing some strains of beneficial bacteria.
3. Another item of interest was the pentair aquatics ceramic bio balls for my aquamedic. This not only was to break down the Co2 better but to also create more surface area.

Overall goal is to make my filtration system more efficient.

All stuff below is tank details.
[55G tank, EI dose, 50% WC once a week
1 bushy nose pleco, 1 nerita snail, regular snails, 4 Caridina japonica, 1 oto (I know I need to get more), 3 dwarf cory cats for cleanup crew.

Other than that I have other fish creating a significant bio load.
11x Cardinal Tetra, Paracheirodon axelrodi
4x Golden White Cloud Danios, Tanichthys albonubes
5x Galaxy Rasboras, Celestichthys margaritatus
6x Harlequin Rasboras, Trigonostigma heteromorpha
4x Von Rio Tetras, Hyphessobrycon flammeus
1x Sunset Gourami, Colisa labiosa
2x Hi Fin lyretail swordtails, Xiphophorus helleri
1x Checkerboard Cichlid, Dicrossus filamentosa]

Any general comments, concerns, criticisms are totally welcome.


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 04:11 PM
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There is most likely nothing wrong with your water quality. It sounds like you have low or inconsistent CO2 and most likely too much light in relation to your CO2 levels.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 04:20 PM
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I agree take out the carbon and put in filter floss and I would go with Seachem Purigen myself I've had allot of good results with it.

What kind of lighting do you have? It's strange that you would be battling that much algae while using heavy ferts (EI) and big WC's but it sounds like the algae is out preforming your plants on food/light and that your bio load might be to much for the system without a good canister filter or two.

Lighting and bio-load is usually my first thought in these kinds of problems as it sounds like you have a good handle on things in general but we all get caught up in the more-better-stronger lighting trap from time to time.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 04:21 PM
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What kind of light are you using? Are adding ferts? I wouldn't use the matrix, you will need nitrates to feed the plants. Keep up with the 50 % water changes.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Wow you guys are fast!
Lighting is Coralife T5 48" 2x28W full spectrum, 1 actinic on a 10 hour burn, right on top of the aquarium.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 04:37 PM
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I would try dialing back the lighting to 8 hours at most along with adding Purigen to the filter and see what happens over the next three weeks and then if needed take more drastic actions.

If you can get more of those nerita snail's those are worth there weight in gold.

That must be the most docile cichlid on the planet, those galaxy's make awesome late night snacks I keep mine in a separate 10gal species tank.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info I will give that shot.

About the purigen though, how big are the granules? The plastic housing for the extra media has slots that are fairly large for the water to pass through. The image for the purigen on the seachem website makes it look like a powder. I am just wondering if it will stay in my filter.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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It looks like this https://www.marineland.com/store/Med...BD-P308C0.aspx


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 06:26 PM
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This is a good pic of it: { http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=4190 } but it comes in a filter bag so you can just dump it in a canister or in the carbon slot of a HOB without any problems.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for everyones help I will let you know how it goes!


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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I had a revelation!!

So the only plants that seem to have this algae problem are sword, crypts and crinum. Eureka... I think I need to add some substrate fertilizer. I have some flourish tabs, and I was wondering if anyone has used them with EI dosing to any ill effect? I used florite and somethings seem to be doing ok but I don't think its quite enough.

Thoughts?


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-18-2009, 05:04 AM
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Seachem tabs work fine I use them myself with EI dry dosing. I just push one down into the substrate next to the rooted plants.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Don't mean to revive an old thread but I believe I am making progress. My BBA is decreasing on my crypts and my plants are growing better/faster. So I guess its been about 2 weeks now and here is what I did.

1. I took out the active carbon from my filter cartridges and replaced it with matrix.
2. I put some stability into the filter to generate any bacteria I didn't have before.
3. I bought 1 siamese algae eater (not too sure if he is really doing anything).
4. I bought an Eheim spray bar for the output of my Co2 infused water. I had this fitting that was just blowing a very focused stream out into the tank. I am getting more surface movement and better Co2 infusion.
5. I also added some flourish tabs into the substrate, they have been in for a week.

All in all I am finally seeing a decrease in algae! Just wanted to share the success in-case it helps anyone else out.


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