Controlling algae? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Controlling algae?

What's the best way to control algae and what happens to the algae when it dies? Does it simply change color or does it go away? Right now I have it on plants, a few rocks, and a textured background.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 01:48 AM
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The best way is to let your plants get the nutrients - the worst mistakes I have made is over fertilizing. Let you plants sop up your tank of nitrogen and potassium and phosphate once you get those levels to zero you can then fertilize and it will be your plants that get the benefit and not the algae.

I have great success with a ratio of 10k - 10N - 1P

Excess nutrients = excess algae in my experience.

If you have blue-green algae I have had great success with maracyn as a treatment. I can elaborate on that if you have the dreaded BGA.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by williamsonaaron View Post
The best way is to let your plants get the nutrients - the worst mistakes I have made is over fertilizing. Let you plants sop up your tank of nitrogen and potassium and phosphate once you get those levels to zero you can then fertilize and it will be your plants that get the benefit and not the algae.

I have great success with a ratio of 10k - 10N - 1P

Excess nutrients = excess algae in my experience.

If you have blue-green algae I have had great success with maracyn as a treatment. I can elaborate on that if you have the dreaded BGA.
no offense but letting your nutrients bottom out at 0 is a far better way to grow algae than having excess nutrients. have you read into ei dosing yet?
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:03 AM
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different algae have different causes. usually lack of nutrients or co2, or too high lighting (or a combination of the three)

what type of algae are you battling?
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Here are my specs:

29 Gallon Tank
72 watts of lights (1) 6,700K, (1) 10,000K
Nitrate 0
Phosphates: Unsure. How do you test that?
Algae Type: BGA, GDA, Staghorn
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:32 AM
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they sell P test kits

bga can be caused by low nitrates. you need to get your N up, so dose. then run an airstone and cover your tank with a thick blanket for 3 days without feeding. you want a complete blackout for 3 days. then when done do a 50% water change, get co2 going again and dose your nutrients regularly.

gda is just a pain. you can let it grow on the glass for 3 weeks and then scrape it off and then do a very large water change. it may grow back, if so do it one more time and it should keep it away for a while at least.

never had to deal with staghorn but i guess its all about poor co2 and poor water circulation. check your co2 levels and make sure they are up to par and maybe add a powerhead.

you should look into ei dosing. its easy and almost fool proof. although occasionally a few of us fools manage to screw things up.
get your co2 up, you didnt mention anything about it so i'm assuming that you dont have any
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, pressurized CO2 and I'm using the EI regiment. I made some mods to the filtration system. Probably need to go with a higher output pump.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by timwag2001 View Post
you need to get your N up, so dose. then run an airstone and cover your tank with a thick blanket for 3 days without feeding. you want a complete blackout for 3 days. then when done do a 50% water change, get co2 going again and dose your nutrients regularly.
I was running an airstone at night but another member told me to discontinue it. What's the purpose of the airstone?
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Here are my specs:

29 Gallon Tank
72 watts of lights (1) 6,700K, (1) 10,000K
Nitrate 0
Phosphates: Unsure. How do you test that?
Algae Type: BGA, GDA, Staghorn
I just checked this website http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm and I may have misdiagnosed the algae types. I'll take a look tomorrow and update this thread.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 10:54 AM
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the airstone is for when you do a blackout
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Gotcha.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timwag2001 View Post
no offense but letting your nutrients bottom out at 0 is a far better way to grow algae than having excess nutrients. have you read into ei dosing yet?


I can only share my experience - I don't let my tank bottom continually I did this once while I was having an algae problem. Since then I dose and keep my levels to just what my plants need and that includes trace. I believe most people overdose trace and sometimes macro's. Algae will take advantage of any imbalance in your nutrient supply I'm merely suggesting knowing where your starting from.


Again to my point this has been successfull for me I have a heavily planted 80 gallon with 240 watts of CF lighting and I have next to zero algae.

If you have a different experience and way of keeping out algae then by all means share it. I shared my theory thats all.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamsonaaron View Post
I can only share my experience - I don't let my tank bottom continually I did this once while I was having an algae problem. Since then I dose and keep my levels to just what my plants need and that includes trace. I believe most people overdose trace and sometimes macro's. Algae will take advantage of any imbalance in your nutrient supply I'm merely suggesting knowing where your starting from.


Again to my point this has been successfull for me I have a heavily planted 80 gallon with 240 watts of CF lighting and I have next to zero algae.

If you have a different experience and way of keeping out algae then by all means share it. I shared my theory thats all.
Well, since you put it that way:

I dose 15ppm NO3 and 5ppm 3x a week and feed like crazy to this high bioload tank



Sooo.........where's my algae and problems then?
How can this possibly be true what you are saying?

You are saying that your hypothesis is that by over doing macros and traces(I add about .5ppm a Fe as proxy 4x a week), folks will get algae, and yet when I have done this now.........on dozens of tanks for decades, I get no such algae issues.

How can you explain my results when I test it and cannot confirm the claimed hypothesis????

Magic?

Need more examples? Different plant species?
Fish? Shrimp? Different tanks sizes? I got those

You state that algae take advantage of excess nutrients and are problems for that reason, and yet, clearly and without any doubts..........I am adding non limiting nutrients for any and all species of algae, as well as plants(here's the key) and there's no algae of any issue. How can you reconcile this?
I add this week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade..............

Think about it, what is the real goal here?
Algae control or plant growth?



Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Good Lord Tom, that tank is beautiful. I'm using your EI regiment, but I'm not sure I have it right. Here are some details about my setup:

Equipment
29 Gallon Biocube with modified stock filtration to eliminate wet/dry chamber
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...ml#post1030524
100 watt Theo Heater
5 watt Biocube UV Sterilizer
72 watts of light (1) 6,700K, (1) 10,000K

Plants
(4) Bacopa Carolinas
(3) Rotala Roundifolis
(1) Tiger Lotus (centerpiece plant)
(1) Anubias Barteri Nana
(2) Walkerii Crypts
(10) Dwarf Subulatas
(5) Dwarf Baby Tears

EI Dosing Schedule
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
5 ml Seachem Flourish
1/4 tsp Iron Chelate (Fe)

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
1/4 tsp Potasium Nitrate (KN03)
1/16 tsp Mono Potasium Phosphate (KH2P04)
1/16 tsp Potasium Sulphate (K2S04)

Saturday
Off

Lighting, CO2, Air
12:00-8:00 pm CO2
2:00-9:00 pm Lights
9:00 pm-5:00 am moonlights on
9:00 pm-2:00 airstone (recently discontinued because of algae issues)

Everything Else
Eco-complete substrate
RO/DI Water
Temperature: 77.5-78.5 degrees
GLA 5000 Diffuser http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...user-5000.html
Cal Aqua Double Check drop checker http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...ble-check.html

So there you have it. Any advice, help, or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks Tom! My full tank journal is here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...ml#post1014411

Kelly
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 04:54 PM
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Yep, pressurized CO2 and I'm using the EI regiment. I made some mods to the filtration system. Probably need to go with a higher output pump.
If you are EI dosing at the suggested levels and your nitrate reading is zero there is something wrong. Most likely it is your test kit. The cheap test kits are not accurate and if you use them you need to calibrate them against a known standard. That means mixing up a solution of a known strength and then testing the test kit to see if it gives you a proper reading. Do an advanced search here for "calibrate test kit", that should help you find the info you need. I believe Hoppy has a thread here about how to mix up the reference standards.

I would almost guarantee that your problem is lack of adequate CO2. You have a lot of light over the tank. Nutrient and CO2 levels (think of CO2 as another nutrient, carbon) have to be spot on to not end up with algae problems. The lower the light level the more wiggle room. More light makes it much easier for things to go wrong, go wrong quickly and take longer to get back on track when they do go wrong. Nutrients themselves do not cause algae. The worst thing you can do with a higher light tank is stop dosing nutrients and CO2.

Are you using a drop checker to monitor CO2? What are you using for diffusion?

How long is your lighting period? Can you raise the lights to reduce intensity? Lower light levels reduce the demand for nutrients including CO2.

CO2 is the hardest part of the equation to get right. Dosing macros and micros is easy. Light is also easy to control since it is constant. CO2 is the moving target.
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