Arrrgghhhh...Take II --- GONE! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Arrrgghhhh...Take II --- GONE!

I can't get rid of this stuff ...



I just tested everything I've got a test for:

KH-3 (1.5 from tap, 2 days ago in the tank it was at 4dKH after the addition of 1.5 tsp bicarbonate)
PH-7.0 by the test (AP)
PH-6.5 by the probe (Milwaukee, calibrated 2 weeks ago)
GH-5.5
Nitrate - 8.8 (Lamotte 3157 --- I hope the 3110 is easier to read!)
PO4 - 1.0 (Red Sea)
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - .5-1.0

Apparently in trying to get the stuff gone I've done a number on my nitrifying bacteria. Tried the e-mycin bit at full dosage for a full week. It laughed at it. Tried the blackout route exactly as instructions indicated. 50-70% WC prior with additon of KNO3, 3 day blackout with no CO2 and running an airstone, cleaned the filter and replaced the mechanical media (completely pulled the bio media as I figured there was no way to clean it, ) cleaned and bleached all my tools, uncovered and did another 50-70% WC and added back the KNO3 and PO4 (1/2 tsp and 1/8 tsp respectively.) In addition with the second WC apparently I didn't add back enough baking soda as I got up the next morning to find everybody gasping at the surface, the controller saying 5.1, and a dead male flag-fish and cardinal.

Although it looked like the blackout did it, within a day I saw signs it was coming back. I've researched BGA 'til I'm blue (or blue-green ) in the face. I've tried moving the spraybar to get more water circulation. It seems to like it. I can pull this stuff off by just gently running my fingers up the stems, which of course makes a huge mess and then I have to run the Vortex. At least then it's better for a few hours.

Heck, I'd rather have the hair algae back.

I've only got one thing I haven't tried. I don't suppose a UVS would do any good against this mess???

Slinte!
Cindy



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Last edited by RoseHawke; 04-10-2005 at 03:08 PM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 08:30 PM
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With a pH of 7 and a KH of 3, your CO2 level is 9ppm. Consider most of us are running with CO2 levels of 30ppm+, I'd go so far as to say that that might be part of your problem!

While I think you could raise your NO3 and PO4 a wee bit too, my guess is if you can get the CO2 level up, your algae will start to disappear.

Mike

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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So, you're saying I should trust the test and not the probe? Just crank it up until folks ( ) start gasping and then back it off? And where the heck is that bicarbonate going? Two days ago KH was at 4.0 and today it's closer to 3! Am I going to have to test and add the stuff every day? That's what I was going by, i.e. that two days ago (which is not today, I realize ) according to the probe (which, silly me, I trusted as it was practically just calibrated) the PH was at 6.5 and the KH was at 4 which should have given me a CO2 count of 38ppm which I would have thought would have been plenty. Since there seems to be a .5 difference between the test and the probe I'll try gradually cranking the monitor down 'til it reads 6.0 I guess.

I'm about ready to defenestrate the bloody chart and research a CO2 test kit.

Edit: Just wanted to add that today is macro day and those measurements were taken BEFORE dosing. So PO4 and KNO3 ought to be up now. I really don't want to test again as I'm getting a bit low on both these tests.

Slinte!
Cindy



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Last edited by RoseHawke; 03-24-2005 at 08:56 PM. Reason: additional info
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 12:03 AM
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Increase the C02 girl.. ignore test kits, personally I would disconnect the controller, I know I know, you paid good money for it, but really, it is not needed,
Run C02 hard during lighting, and off at night, thats the most effective safest way I have found to do it.

I N C R E A S E C 0 2

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, sir, Cap'n! (really need a saluting smilie ) ... Crankin' it down (gradually) as we speak!

Slinte!
Cindy



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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 01:31 AM
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Wolfie,
I've begun to shut off the Co2 at nite. Now it takes all day (doesn't come on until noon, with lights) to get the Co2 back up.
If I put Co2 on its own timer so that it comes on before lights, when do you think it should turn on?
...RoseHawke, please forgive my hornin' in.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 01:35 AM
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I think water volume has a lot to do with it. I leave mine on 24/7 at about 38 ppm with no problem, but it takes a long time for my CO2 to come back up after a water change.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 01:36 AM
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Cindy, maybe my experiences can relate to yours.

Originally I got a no name controller, I consistently get different readings from the probe versus another Milwaukee hand held pH pen and pH test kit. The test kit and the Milwaukee pen often agree on the pH level, but the controller always reads 0.2 pH lower. I tried calibrate it twice and the reading wonder off a few days later.

Being super paranoid, I went ahead and ordered a new Pinpoint pH probe. Hooked onto the same no name controller, calibrated it with new batch of pinpoint 4.0 and 7.0. Voila! all test kits including pH pen actually agrees with each other!

So that means pH probe's make do make differences, and it's a good idea to have multiple brands of testing method to make sure this single most imporant thing for our planted tank is indeed accurate.

Now I am setting the controller at 6.3 +/- 0.05, with KH of 4 that gives me 60ppm of CO2. I think this is the limit my tank could endure.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbels
Wolfie,
I've begun to shut off the Co2 at nite. Now it takes all day (doesn't come on until noon, with lights) to get the Co2 back up.
If I put Co2 on its own timer so that it comes on before lights, when do you think it should turn on?
...RoseHawke, please forgive my hornin' in.
Do you have alot of surface movement? you should not be losing an abundance of C02 overnight, but it will offgas some,
Just run it hard during the day, with the light's and don't worry about it, once you get it set, you should not have to mess with it at all, I have not touched my C02 adjustment's in, I don't know how long, comes on, and goes off with the light's.
So, just plug into light timer, keep an eye on it for a few days, make sure it is producing good, and you should be good to go.

Craig

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
Do you have alot of surface movement?
Mmmkay, when Co2 ran 24/7, I ran a 5" bubble wand all while the lights were off. Other than that, no surface movement at all.
I am sorry to be such a ninny, but I do NOT have the heart to do away with the bubbler now as those little fish love to frolic away in that curtain of bubbles. They even seem to sense the time of nite when it's almost time for the bubbles to come on, as they get ready to frolic again. No siree, I do not have the heart to take that away from those little guys.
I suppose having the Co2 shut off at nite and the bubbles dissipates a whole lot of my Co2.
...with that, should I still go ahead and run hard during day and shut off at nite? Or should I maybe go ahead and put Co2 on its own timer to come on a few hours before lights come on?
...and be gentle.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 05:27 AM
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Cindy,

This is what one person called grey slime algae, as you can see, antibiotics do not work.

I can tell you a few things that bother this one: a horde of Amano shrimp, SAE's, mollies etc.
Water changes, do several in a row as needed.
Bruching and fluffing with your hand, the plants and leaves, carefully clean all equipment. Make sure everything is running properly.

Change the CO2 as already mentioned.

You are losing KH because plants are likely using the KH when the CO2 is low.
The same thing occurs in reef and macro algae marine tanks.
They need to add KH to maintain stable levels.

If you use CO2, add enough.
I turn my CO2 off at night.

If it takes a long time(more than 1 hour) to bump the CO2 levels up in your tank, you need more flow and/or circulation through the CO2 diffuser/reactor tube.

The mixing method is not efficent enough for that sized tank.
A responsive CO2 reactor/diffusers are great things to have.
A little surface movement is good.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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plantbrain --- Thank you Tom! I thought I was nuts and had somehow "bred" a super strain of BGA. You know, I wonder if I mightn't have had this stuff all along and didn't know it until I've started having issues (apparently recently) with the KH/PH being in the proper proportions? There were a pair of mollies in there, but I took them out as they were having issues with the acidity and alkalinity (or lack thereof) of the water and no matter what I would do kept showing bacterial infections ("Black Molly Disease") They were always fat though ... even when they weren't pregnant . Maybe I'll try to, besides also doing the other things suggested (CO2 for one) get a couple more, and see if I can't find a couple of true SAE's.

I have been doing more frequent water changes, pretty much every other day, but only for the last few days. And it only occurred to me this morning that the reactor may be clogged even though that's supposed to be clean water running through it. I'll check that also.

danmhippo --- Also, also, this is the Milwaukee SMS122 controller which should be at least a decent one. One would have thought. I think now that I might have messed with the adjusting screw in the back before I knew that I wasn't supposed to if not calibrating it to a slope, but on the other hand, it seems like if that was the case it wouldn't show 7.0 when in the calibration fluid. I'll make an order soon and order both the 4.0 and 7.0 and calibrate it to a slope and see if that makes a difference, in the meantime depending more on testing etc., to make sure the CO2 count is where it should be.

Barbels --- You're forgiven

Slinte!
Cindy



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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-10-2005, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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I almost hesitate to say anything, but I seem to have gotten rid of this stuff. I've been fighting it for six weeks now, 50% WC's every other day, tinkering with nutrient dosings, CO2, everything it seems like. The other day, I'd finally had ENOUGH, as I'd do water changes, siphoning out the stuff, cleaning plants and literally within two HOURS it'd be coming back.

Soooo .... I started up the python, siphoned and cleaned down to my 50% mark, reversed the flow, filled it up ... then did it again. And again. About 4 times basically doing a 100% WC. I did NOT put in the de-chlor while I was doing this. In my limited experience the fish (I don't have any inverts except for pond snails) can stand it for a while without the de-chlor. I did not put any baking soda in. Somewhere in there I decided not to clean the filter, although I did stop and start it a couple of times to help knock loose any crud in the tubing. Then I went ahead and did a normal dosing, added de-chlor (Amquel) after the last cycle, and ran the Vortex, cleaning and re-charging it once. It ran for a about 4 hours total. I also changed out a bulb that was apparently going bad (even though they're not that old, about 4 months,) and re-arranged the wiring on the lighting so I could halve the light if I wanted to try that. Cranked up the CO2 a bit more. Also, just for the halibut (getting desperate) added 1/4 cup H2O2.

All this was last Wednesday (I've had company the last few days) and I haven't seen the grey slime since. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I've been dosing macros, but skipped the traces the last few days. I'm going to start back with the traces this week.

The first day it was apparent that I'd at least knocked h*ll out of it, and the next day I didn't see anything that looked quite like it, although I did peer suspiciously at something I now believe to be a bit of hair algae. I realize this was a shotgun method, and I don't know which of the above things I did got rid of it (hopefully for a long time) but at this point I really don't care which!

Slinte!
Cindy



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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-10-2005, 05:23 PM
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In the last two weeks, with the probe just under 1 year old, I am finding that it is substantially inaccurate even though it reads spot on with 7.0 calibration solution, I currently test at 6.4 with the probe reading 6. I just discovered this discrepancy when I moved, with all other things being equal other than a different dosing regimen, the pearling stopped in the new house. I now have it testing at 6.4 and we're fine again, but the controller is still reading 6.0-5.9.

I'll be getting new probe.


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opening soon
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-10-2005, 06:26 PM
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Arrrgghhhh... Take II --- GONE!

YAY CINDY!!!

I have been battling the same thing as you the last week or so. And riding along on your battle for answers... Woke up this morning to CLEAR WATER!!! And pearling!!! Still a little crap on the Rotala in spite of beating it up with the end of the syphon over and over to loosen the stuff - is that plant a friggin algae magnet??? (My kingdom for an oto) But the water is clear. I don't know exactly WHAT did it, but I did everything I could manage. This much I think I DO know. Clean, clean, clean some more (tank water after rinsing out filter media is SO pretty!) and just two words... WATERCHANGEWATERCHANGEWATERCHANGE!!!

My husband thinks I change the water too much as it is (weekly). "I had that tank set up for a year before you came here and never did anything but top it off!" Ummmm... where are the fish? Ummmm... where was the tank when I moved here? (The basement...) He changed his tune this morning!

Another battle won! For now. Knock on wood!!!!!!!

Kathy
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