phosphates and algae - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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phosphates and algae

I have been at this planted tank business for only a little over a year, but have recently noted some problems in my FIRST tank ( a 29 gallon tank, low tech, dosing excel, T5HO 24 Wx1 Hagan glo fixture, Temp approx 78F, using a penguin 350 biowheel filter ).
The problem has been with algae. First, black hairy algae on the leaves that is tenacious as [email protected]@#!$. That is getting a little better with hard work. Now I have some gluey morphous brown stuff that makes little soft tufts everywhere. I change 50%water weekly, using tap water.
PArameters have been good, with pH around 6.8-7.2, NO2 neg, NO3 <15, ammonia neg. Water tends toward soft, GH around 60, KH 40-50.
A friend advised that I check phosphate and it was over 10!!!
That seems high to me. Getting this under control....could this be the source of my problem.
Oh, tank inhabitants: 5 raspora het, 4 brilliant raspora, 3 yoyo loaches, 1 abino BN pleco.
Plants are java fern, narrow leaf hygro, various swords and crypts, anubias
thanks!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 12:32 AM
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1) is your test kit calibrated?
2) bba is commonly caused by fluctuating co2. fresh tap water has co2. doing large water changes raises the co2 temporarily and then it drops again. probably what's causing your problem
3) i dont beleive that phosphate causes anything but plant growth. i dose 15ppm of phosphate in my 55g tank per week. and the only time i get algae is when i screw something up.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 12:47 AM
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Probably too much light and not enough co2. Try raising your fixture and/or cutting your photoperiod down to 7 or 8 hours if it's much longer than that...
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 12:52 AM
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I think you have high light with that 1 bulb fixture sitting right on top of the tank. If you raise it about 3 inches you will have medium light, which is much more appropriate to use without CO2. If the fixture comes with legs, they may raise it that much.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 01:01 AM
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Thanks for this fundamental reminder.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 01:29 AM
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Without calibrating that test kit you can't trust it. As Hoppy suggests you need to raise your light fixture. I have a Hagen Glo t5HO fixture and the reflector in it IMO is very good so my gut feeling (not having a par meter ect) is that three inches above the water is not going to be enough for a non-CO2 tank. I have my 2 bulb fixture (108 watts) about 3 feet above the substrate (at least a foot above the water) on a CO2/ 5 inch diameter 2 foot tall reverse flow reactor and mag pump. Maybe raise it up and add a DIY CO2 system?


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!
I do not add any additional nutrients, pe se, except for excel. The fish provide a lot of fertilizer. Therefore, I did not think about the folks who PUT phosphate in as a food for plants. Duh. I will try raising the light and reducing the photoperiod.
I have been trying to get brave enough to consider CO2! Who knows, maybe I will graduate to high tech!
thanks for the help,
glenna
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks!
I do not add any additional nutrients, pe se, except for excel. The fish provide a lot of fertilizer. Therefore, I did not think about the folks who PUT phosphate in as a food for plants. Duh. I will try raising the light and reducing the photoperiod.
I have been trying to get brave enough to consider CO2! Who knows, maybe I will graduate to high tech!
thanks for the help,
glenna
CO2 doesn't really have to be high tech. My set up has gotten simpler in many ways although it would appear to be "high tech". 50% water change weekly using my tap water straight outa the tap-no more RO-mixing stuff back in complications -no water testing of any kind-simple. CO2 on a timer-lights on a timer-dry fertilzers added with small measuring spoons-but not measured very closely-more today maybe less in a day or two whatever I feel like because the 50% WC resets the levels-simple. Best of all the tank is the nicest it's ever been-no algae-controllable growth-all with less work than before.


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