White Algae or Mineral Buildup? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2019, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy White Algae or Mineral Buildup?

Hey everyone!

This is my first time here at The Planted Tank! I've been having a problem though, and I can't seem to sort this one out myself...

I moved to Northern Indiana (from Texas) and brought my tank along with me. Since then, all my Jungle Val have died off. Originally, I thought this was white algae growing and covering my tank and destroying my plants. My Nerites and Amanos won't (or maybe can't?) eat it. I'm only able to get rid of it by scraping it off with a razor. Water levels are all good. Ammonia 0, Nitrates 5, Nitrites 0 (ppm). The PH is the only high thing, at 8. But that seems to come with the area and the fish are doing fine with it. I dose with Flourish Excel every couple days and water change/gravel vacuum every 1.5 weeks.

Any idea what this could be and or how to deal with it? I'd like for my tank to be nice again

(I added pics in the attachments, I believe).
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2019, 08:38 PM
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GH of water?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-29-2019, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Online database shows 374 mg/L Ridiculously hard.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 04:23 AM
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Does it list the KH. If KH is about equal your water is saturated with calcium and magnesium carbonate. And it might also have a lot of CO2 dissolved water. Try taking a sample of your water in a glass and measure everything you can (GH, KH, PH, TDS if you can ) . And then leave it clown and let it outgas for several day.. Does the same white material develop? If it does you probably calcium and magnesium carbonate rock depositing on your tank walls and other places in the aquarium.

If so you might only be able to resolve this by reducing the hardness of the water by mixing it with RO water to get a reasonable GH. I would also suggest getting a GH and KH test kit.so you can monitor your tank GH.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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It doesn't mention the KH on the Water Quality report. I'll go pick up a testing strip either today or tomorrow. What do you mean by "leave it clown and let it outgas"? I've never heard that before. Do you mean just let it sit in the open and evaporate?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2019, 04:51 PM
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Many water reports will label this alkalinity as CaCO3.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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I picked up a simple GH, KH testing strip. Both of them maxed the strip out. 250+ for both values. So I'm guessing that the water is too mineral rich and is depositing calcium or something of the sort on the inside? Without buying softer water, are there any fixes to this?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2019, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrowder11 View Post
I picked up a simple GH, KH testing strip. Both of them maxed the strip out. 250+ for both values. So I'm guessing that the water is too mineral rich and is depositing calcium or something of the sort on the inside? Without buying softer water, are there any fixes to this?
I will be interested in hearing if you do find a solution outside of buying a RO/DI unit. You can use buffering substrates such as aquasoils or safe-t-sorb but my understanding is that those max out quickly and in a few months they loose their ability to soften water. So in otherwords, if you have water this incredibly hard you might not have a solution outside of buying an ro/di unit.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2019, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
"leave it clown and let it outgas"?
Sorry a typo is should have read: leave it alone and let it outgas. Your water is probably coming from a well. Sometimes well water has a lot of CO2 dissolved in it. The CO2 makes the water acidic and it dissolves calcium and magnesium out of the rocks. If you put your water in a glass the excess CO2 in the water will dissipate into the air. When the CO2 level in the water drops the PH will increase. At a PH of 7 calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate will precipitate out of the water coating things in layer of rock.

In nature the rock is called travertine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travertine

I suspect it will be hard to grow plants at your GH level. What you need to do is to reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium in the water. using a RO filter system will reduce your GH level. RO system can reduce the GH level resulting in very soft water. Another possible approach is to put your water in a bucket and let the minerals precipitate out of the water. Then separate the rock and water. The water should have a lower GH and might be usable. But I suspect it will still be very hard water.

Quote:
You can use buffering substrates such as aquasoils or safe-t-sorb
Buffering substrates release organic acid into the water which will react with the carbonate reducing KH. However the calcium and magnesium will still be present in the water so your GH will stay very high. However these substates will eventually loose their buffering properties and will have to be replaced. With your water GH and KH levels it will not last long.You can use sulfuric or hydrochloric acid instead of a special substrate to reduce KH, But again the GH will stay high.
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algae, limescale, mineral deposit

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