I can't figure this out. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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I can't figure this out.

I've been fighting this for about 4 months now and I do not know what else to do. I am currently down to 8 hours of light and just a touch under two Buble's per second of co2. I just recently upgraded to a compressed co2 set up so my co2 should be much more consistent now. My tank is a 40 gallon breeder the reason it got out of hand was because I was gone for a month for work. I started dosing flourish excel a week ago 1 cap per day but the algae is still getting worse. I've also been dosing regular flourish on a regular basis. The light I am using is a beamswork da fspec with is suppose to be capable of just under 50 par at full depth based on what I read on someone's tests on this site. Any help would be greatly apriciated. Sorry this is scattered Just trying to think through the Coming questions.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 02:02 AM
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50 PAR at the bottom is almost high light as soon as you get 4-6 inches off the bottom. You are too focused on trying to get rid of the algae when you can focus on the plants. This hair algae from experience will grow when plant growth is slowed significantly by lack of nutrients or CO2 and when you have too strong of a light. The algae is basically feeding of the nutrients from the plants and using it to grow since the plants can't use the nutrients properly since one nutrient is not available for growth (liebig's law).

The best solution is stop focusing on the algae and dose nutrients to get the plants growing properly and maybe check your CO2. The algae already in the tank will be hard to clean off without the help of an SAE but it is not going to matter until you get your plants growing since it will keep growing on your plants. Once you get your plants growing then all you need maybe 2-3 SAE's and they will clean the tank.


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 02:15 AM
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I had a hair algae problem and I fixed it by switching to EI dosing. When I had the problem I was only dosing excel and flourish just like you. Since I've started adding the other nutrients my plants have out competed the hair algae and I no longer have an issue.

I like tanks.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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So timing should be right for the light in your mind but need more co2 and dosing more/different ferts?

What is el dosing

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-23-2017 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishman479 View Post
I am currently down to 8 hours of light and just a touch under two Buble's per second of co2. I just recently upgraded to a compressed co2 set up so my co2 should be much more consistent now.

I started dosing flourish excel a week ago 1 cap per day but the algae is still getting worse. I've also been dosing regular flourish on a regular basis.
My tanks run up to 120PAR with photoperiod never exceeding 6.5 hours.
Consistent CO2 is also key, before lights on I hope.

Flourish Comp by itself will fix nothing.
A complete macro/micro solution is needed.

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Originally Posted by PortalMasteryRy View Post
The best solution is stop focusing on the algae and dose nutrients to get the plants growing properly and maybe check your CO2.
This is also good advise!

When plants are growing well they seem to take over on the algae.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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It comes on before light but only long enough to before that the diffuser is bubbling as the lights come on. It is timed so cn be adjusted what are you thinking?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 02:51 AM
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1.5 to 2 hours before lights on is what I run.
That way I have a substantial pH drop started.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 05:08 AM
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What is el dosing
Estimative Indexing is a fertilization strategy developed by Tom Barr. The idea is if you supply everything a plant needs slightly in excess of that need by plants can allow plants to outcompete Algae for nutrients. This is what Tom Barr wrote about it.
https://www.barrreport.com/articles/the-estimative-index-of-dosing-or-no-need-for-test-kits.38/"]https://www.barrreport.com/articles/...-test-kits.38/[/URL]
It is very popular algae control methode.

It can work very well however sometimes it doesn't. Tom made one mistake in the EI methode. he assumed if your water's general hardness (GH) Value was 3 to 5 or higher you would have enough calcium in the aquarium. However it is now apparent the calcium deficiency is a common problem. GH measures the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water but it doesn't tell you how much calcium or how much magnesium is in the water. It is know known that many people having problems with EI dosing of Calcium or magnesium deficiency. Additionally Tom overlooks the importance of sulfur.


Plants need Calcium, magnesium and sulfur but Tom mainly talks about Nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. if you don't dose any one of these you are going to have problems and most fertilizers don't have calcium which makes the problem worse. he has stated that if the EI methode is not working the problem is likely CO2 not a fertilizer nutrient which didn't help since we now know many people have issues with calcium, magnesium, and sulfur deficiencies. Additionally there are 15 nutrients that need to be in fertilizers and if any one is deficient your plant growth can slow down.

Quote:
The best solution is stop focusing on the algae and dose nutrients to get the plants growing properly and maybe check your CO2. The algae already in the tank will be hard to clean off without the help of an SAE but it is not going to matter until you get your plants growing since it will keep growing on your plants.
This is good solid advise but there is another possible cause of the problem. If you get an excess amount of one nutrient in the aquarium the water can sometimes become toxic to plants and slow plant growth. Adding more fertilizer can a sometimes make the toxic excess nutrient problem worse


Quote:
I had a hair algae problem and I fixed it by switching to EI dosing. When I had the problem I was only dosing excel and flourish just like you. Since I've started adding the other nutrients my plants have out competed the hair algae and I no longer have an issue.
If you have an excess of a nutrient slowing plant growth it can be really had to identify which nutrient it is or to even confirm an excess is present. In that case sometimes changing to a different fertilizer can help. More and larger water changes may also help. There is not golden rule on how much of each nutrient is needed in a fertilizer. some companies might not have enough causing deficiencies while others may have too much. You might want to try a different fertilizer. Many of the EI based fertilizers on the market are a good place to start if you want explore this option.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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thank you all for the help. i will work on my ferts. i couldn't get the calculator to work from the reading above. is there any all around good ferts so i don't have alot of different stuff i have to put in the tank every day.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 09:53 AM
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All of the above is much more important than what I'm about to suggest, but to get rid of algae in the short term, you can try treating with hydrogen peroxide. This is what I do after I'm away from my tank for a long time. You can either use a pippette to directly apply on effected areas underwater, or drain the tank 90% and use a spray bottle filled with a diluted solution over the effect area. Overtreatment will kill plants. Also note that killing lots of algae at once uses up a lot of oxygen, so it's important to have a temporary air pump running after. If all goes well, algae will turn pink in two days and decay to nothing soon after.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
It can work very well however sometimes it doesn't. Tom made one mistake in the EI methode. he assumed if your water's general hardness (GH) Value was 3 to 5 or higher you would have enough calcium in the aquarium. However it is now apparent the calcium deficiency is a common problem. GH measures the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water but it doesn't tell you how much calcium or how much magnesium is in the water. It is know known that many people having problems with EI dosing of Calcium or magnesium deficiency. Additionally Tom overlooks the importance of sulfur.


Plants need Calcium, magnesium and sulfur but Tom mainly talks about Nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. if you don't dose any one of these you are going to have problems and most fertilizers don't have calcium which makes the problem worse. he has stated that if the EI methode is not working the problem is likely CO2 not a fertilizer nutrient which didn't help since we now know many people have issues with calcium, magnesium, and sulfur deficiencies. Additionally there are 15 nutrients that need to be in fertilizers and if any one is deficient your plant growth can slow down.

@Surf, I have read many of your posts claiming Ca, Mg and S deficiencies in plants. Can you post pictures or explain in a little more detail what these deficiencies actually look like?

How have you come to the conclusion that these are now common issues?

If Ca, Mg and S deficiencies are now so common as you claim, what do you recommend in PPM will negate these deficiencies?

If someone was to simply add GH booster (which Tom Barr himself recommends) after every water change, should this not take care of these deficiencies?


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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 01:26 PM
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There is always going to be differing opinions on what causes algae. I would have to question how one would every have a lack of calcium when much of the country uses water from groundwater running in limestone. Ifyour tank gets hard water skum or deposits, I would think you are not short on calcium?
Just too easy to make flat statements that may or may not be true.
I would suggest doing this in a lot more methodical way. Switch to cheaper dry ferts so that individual items can be added, removed or adjusted as needed. While tanks may seem similar, there are numerous things that differ from tank to tank.
Starting with different plants in different numbers will make the ferts needed differ. Part of the idea of EI is that it DOES give plenty of all the ferts. But then it is an estimate and it is always good to try changing up an item if there is a problem.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 02:10 PM
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I definitely agree with everyone stating concentrate on plants... and not eliminating algae. It is hard to make sense at first, but maintaining optimal conditions will drive away the algae.

--

Also in regard to CO2... how you stated 2 BPS or whatever... don't get so caught up on bubbles per second. I used to stress over this, and then eventually I just started turning up the CO2 a tiny bit at a time, until I saw that healthy new growth and consistent pearling. This was WAY above 2...5...10 BPS for me (in a 75 gallon). I had literally spent years trying to make 5 BPS work for me because it worked for _____

I finally made a good 3" x 24" PVC Rex Griggs (so I knew the reactor was sufficient), and went from there.

I don't quite understand how it varies so much but some people can get by with 2 BPS.... others need uncountable streaming BPS. Make sure your water surface agitation (mild) is in place and watch your fish. Don't make adjustments when you'll be away from the tank for extended periods of time.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 04:34 PM
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I get a decent bloom after using Flourish in my 29g. I dose Excel daily (7-8ml/day) and cut back the Flourish to 2ml about 2x/week. Usually by the end of the day or the day after dosing Flourish, I see algae growth. I'm under the assumption that the algae more readily absorbs the added nutrients and therefore will take over more.

BUT, I just changed my substrate a few days ago from white (national geographic) to Seachem Flourite Black and I have a super clean tank at the moment. I also cut off leaves of plants that has significant hair algae growth on them. All the hair algae is gone...for now.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 06:56 PM
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The pictures weren't showing for me when I first posted here.

I agree OP should focus more on plants, but I don't think fert dosing is the issue here. It seems to me OP's problem is plant quantity: there are far too few plants. Until OP has cut and replanted enough stems of the plants they want to have in this tank, I'd recommend keeping a temporary grove of hornwort.
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