I am the only one switching to easy green? - Page 7 - The Planted Tank Forum
 202Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #91 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 01:57 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 1,790
Since you tagged me, @HerpsAndHerbs:

I agree with anyone that states that too much fertilizer can cause algae. WHAT??!! Change the light and CO2 balance and you will get algae. Let organics get out of control, via absence of cleaning/water changing aspects (I believe this causes constantly changing nutrients/organics - mainly nitrogenous - that destabilizes plants), and you will get algae. You can find a balance (think ratios) at just about any level of total nutrients that will keep plants healthy. As others have mentioned, think Mulder’s chart: change one of your ferts too much and it can have a cascade effect on plant uptake of other ferts, with algae stepping in to capitalize on the newly stressed plants.

Any time you throw any part your tanks’ balance off, you destabilize healthy plants and they can weaken to the point where algae can take advantage of the increased organics caused by the sick leaves. It is much like the cytokine storm that we now know causes most of the COVID-19 problems. The plant’s begin spewing out nitrogenous organics that algae love and create comorbidities that make the plant even worse. Further, their dying leaves provide excellent platforms for algae to begin feeding upon directly.

As an example; @Greggz and @Asteroid both use NO3 at levels that would create algae in my tanks because their total package is adapted to this. They see plants destabilize when NO3 drops to even well above where I maintain NO3. If they were to overdose any other nutrient, they would likely also destabilize their plants. Some things, such as light alone, can cause algae, but not balanced fert levels if your plants are healthy.

Do the 5 things, well (either by design or by luck), that I mentioned in post #88 and you create a very large safety net which allows for a lot of slop in nutrient dosing before plants destabilize too much.
Deanna is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #92 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 01:59 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Southeastern US
Posts: 25
I really like this video and it is highly relevant to the discussion:


It is from Dennis Wong, one of the people behind 2hr Aquarist and while they sell ferts, this video is primarily about theory and not specific products. It really digs into why different styles of dosing (high or low amounts) can be successful or can grow lots of algae. It is in line with what a lot of people are saying: if your plants are happy and growing, they can out compete the algae, but to get happy plants you need to balance your system. If there's an imbalance, the algae can and will take advantage of it.
Greggz, ipkiss, burr740 and 1 others like this.
ElleDee is offline  
post #93 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 03:12 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 5,034
I really can't add much to the excellent posts of @burr740, @Asteroid, and others above.

They all point to taking a more holistic approach to a tank. Many times here someone will post a new "What's my deficiency" thread. Once you probe deeper and get more detail most times you find that the problem has little if anything to do with ferts.

It's usually a combination of other factors (light/CO2/Maintenance/etc). Until you get the entire tank in balance in relation to the type of plants in the tank, playing whack-a-mole with ferts rarely fixes anything.

In the end, concentrate on growing plants not defeating algae. I just went through this myself after my substrate swap, and it was the right advice to follow.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Greggz is offline  
 
post #94 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 03:43 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
In the end, concentrate on growing plants not defeating algae. I just went through this myself after my substrate swap, and it was the right advice to follow.
It's funny because I take the same approach to my lawn, but in this case the weeds are the algae. When I get the grass really green, thick and full somehow the "algae" (weeds) disappear. I don't even use weed killer (excel/other chemicals in our tanks) to get rid of them. Just food for thought.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Asteroid is online now  
post #95 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 48
There is a lot of great info on this thread! I think the video by Dennis Wong is perfect for this discussion! Thanks @ElleDee, I actually had no idea he had his own youtube channel; probably because he only posts a couple times a year, but I subscribed anyway.

Thanks to everyone who replied! I feel like I have a lot more information about what has made my fert routine work when it has, as well as when it hasn't. I have heard a lot of these things before piecemeal but I think taking it all in at once as well as seeing it in the context of everyone's own tanks has made it "click" a lot more. Hopefully, I am not the only one learning more from this discussion.

I'm excited to see how these new perspectives improve my husbandry!
Greggz, burr740, Asteroid and 1 others like this.
HerpsAndHerbs is offline  
post #96 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 48
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...results-2.html

I am posting the link to this thread because I think it represents a specific example about what has been discussed in generalities here. Many of the people who have been commenting here also have a presence on that thread but i wanted to round out the topic for someone who is casually reading this thread.


Another video from dennis wong stating detritus/mulm is the primary cause of BBA and GDA. Thought it had a place here.
HerpsAndHerbs is offline  
post #97 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 07:54 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 2,131
Dennis Wong’s website is a wealth of aquarium knowledge.

https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...anted-tank-101
Blue Ridge Reef and Greggz like this.
DaveKS is offline  
post #98 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 04:22 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Southeastern US
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerpsAndHerbs View Post
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...results-2.html

I am posting the link to this thread because I think it represents a specific example about what has been discussed in generalities here. Many of the people who have been commenting here also have a presence on that thread but i wanted to round out the topic for someone who is casually reading this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XzN3yjCaL4

Another video from dennis wong stating detritus/mulm is the primary cause of BBA and GDA. Thought it had a place here.
I'm glad the video was helpful! I had seen the one you posted and have to point out that Diana Walstad says in her book that she never vacuums the mulm out of her substrate and considers it an important source of CO2. Her personal tanks do not look like Dennis Wong's, but again, there's another path to success. I do vacuum my substrate, but I'm going to set up a so-called no tech 5 gallon tank and see what happens if I don't. That tank is going to have wall-to-wall plants from day 1 though, something that is hard to pull off in a larger set up. We shall see.
HerpsAndHerbs likes this.
ElleDee is offline  
post #99 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 04:30 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,956
You could really setup a planted tank in many ways from Waldstad to ADA to "EI". There really is no right way, it's merely a matter of your objective and how much limitation you are OK with.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Asteroid is online now  
post #100 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleDee View Post
I'm glad the video was helpful! I had seen the one you posted and have to point out that Diana Walstad says in her book that she never vacuums the mulm out of her substrate and considers it an important source of CO2. Her personal tanks do not look like Dennis Wong's, but again, there's another path to success. I do vacuum my substrate, but I'm going to set up a so-called no tech 5 gallon tank and see what happens if I don't. That tank is going to have wall-to-wall plants from day 1 though, something that is hard to pull off in a larger set up. We shall see.
I definitely have experience with the no vac, built up mulm/detritis, Wastad-ish system. This has been the majority of my tanks for the past 6 years. IME the key to making that work is an undergravel filter (or at least trumpet snails or earth eaters) to pull the mulm down to the substrate where the BB and plant roots can actually do their job . IME this type of system will never be algae free, its just a matter of having the livestock that eats the algae. Lots of amanos, plecos, ottos ect... that can keep up with the rate of algae growth. When you do set up that system, i'd love to see it!

I love hearing what other people have gotten to work and I am in the mood to try something new so I am! I use many of the walstad principles (like siestas) in my tanks and have had what I would call great success. I think by the standards of a lot of the people here they might call them great failures but to each his own. I haven't had a rare plant species "dutchy" style tank since my last fish room in the old house, and I certainly never had one as impressive as the guru's tanks on here. If I can take some of the keys to success from the people here and apply them to my own tanks in my own way I think I will be a better aquarist for it. Who doesn't want less algae?
Greggz and ElleDee like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HerpsAndHerbs is offline  
post #101 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 07:02 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Southeastern US
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerpsAndHerbs View Post
I definitely have experience with the no vac, built up mulm/detritis, Wastad-ish system. This has been the majority of my tanks for the past 6 years. IME the key to making that work is an undergravel filter (or at least trumpet snails or earth eaters) to pull the mulm down to the substrate where the BB and plant roots can actually do their job . IME this type of system will never be algae free, its just a matter of having the livestock that eats the algae. Lots of amanos, plecos, ottos ect... that can keep up with the rate of algae growth. When you do set up that system, i'd love to see it!

I love hearing what other people have gotten to work and I am in the mood to try something new so I am! I use many of the walstad principles (like siestas) in my tanks and have had what I would call great success. I think by the standards of a lot of the people here they might call them great failures but to each his own. I haven't had a rare plant species "dutchy" style tank since my last fish room in the old house, and I certainly never had one as impressive as the guru's tanks on here. If I can take some of the keys to success from the people here and apply them to my own tanks in my own way I think I will be a better aquarist for it. Who doesn't want less algae?
The no tech tank is already in process! I'm dry starting a hairgrass carpet and it'll be a bit before I flood it. I should really start a journal for it.

I have to ask about your undergravel filter though! What kind of substrate do you use? How do you manage it so your plant roots don't clog it up? I've read that running a reverse flow undergravel filter prevents this from happening, but that wouldn't allow the mulm to settle. Whatever I read didn't have me convinced, so I'm running a HOB now. It's ok. It works, but the flow isn't as even, it's ugly, and I occasionally have to service it. I have fond memories of my UGF in my fish-only tank of yore.
HerpsAndHerbs likes this.
ElleDee is offline  
post #102 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-23-2020, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleDee View Post
The no tech tank is already in process! I'm dry starting a hairgrass carpet and it'll be a bit before I flood it. I should really start a journal for it.

I have to ask about your undergravel filter though! What kind of substrate do you use? How do you manage it so your plant roots don't clog it up? I've read that running a reverse flow undergravel filter prevents this from happening, but that wouldn't allow the mulm to settle. Whatever I read didn't have me convinced, so I'm running a HOB now. It's ok. It works, but the flow isn't as even, it's ugly, and I occasionally have to service it. I have fond memories of my UGF in my fish-only tank of yore.
I actually run UGFs on all my tanks. I saw profound improvements on my tanks when I put them on in terms of water clarity and root health. The only tanks I don't run UGFs on are sand tanks (by sand I mean really fine, think pool filter sand). I don't run any sand tanks anymore because I don't like the compaction and I think they are bad for plants. I also run pretty thick substrate layers, 2 inches at the lowest and with this thick substrate I have never had roots clog it. Some people don't like the look of the thick substrate layers which I get but I think all plants, UGF or not, benefit from a thick substrate. They have gotten hair structures down in there occasionally but it has never caused issues for me. I am also currently testing dirted planters which allow me a bit more flexibility with my soil types while running UGFs. You can see my initial tests in my tank journal.

Currently I have UGFs in all of the following substrates:

Quartz coarse gravel
Quartz fine gravel (think coarse sand)
Samurai Soil (buffering clay based aquasoil)
Eco-Complete
River pebbles

It is also worth noting that I don't think they would work well with aqua soils that break down over time (I've heard this can happen with Brightwell and others). I also wouldn't run it with dirt (duh). I also have never tried it with the coated soils like ADA substrate and I think a purist would consider it blasphemy to run UGF on an ADA style tank LOL.

To clean an undergravel filter system, I just hook a wet-dry vac up to the lift tube (like a shop-vac). Takes two minutes and it sucks all the crud out that settles on the bottom. I do this at the same interval I clean the rest of my filters. That being said, I have had people ask before about the dust that will inevitably work its way down through the gravel. IME I have seen this come straight back through the lift tube and "rain" back down on the surface and start the whole process over. I use the "dust" sprinkling around the lift tube as an indicator that it is time to pull out the shop-vac and clean my filters.

If you are doing dry start I assume you're also using aquasoil so I would check that your aquasoil isn't prone to breaking down. I usually just check mine by taking pieces that have been soaking and squishing them between my fingers. If they break up, probably not the best option for UGFs.

I hope all this helps. It has worked for me
Greggz and ElleDee like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HerpsAndHerbs is offline  
post #103 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 11:09 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Southeastern US
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerpsAndHerbs View Post

I actually run UGFs on all my tanks. I saw profound improvements on my tanks when I put them on in terms of water clarity and root health. The only tanks I don't run UGFs on are sand tanks (by sand I mean really fine, think pool filter sand). I don't run any sand tanks anymore because I don't like the compaction and I think they are bad for plants. I also run pretty thick substrate layers, 2 inches at the lowest and with this thick substrate I have never had roots clog it. Some people don't like the look of the thick substrate layers which I get but I think all plants, UGF or not, benefit from a thick substrate. They have gotten hair structures down in there occasionally but it has never caused issues for me. I am also currently testing dirted planters which allow me a bit more flexibility with my soil types while running UGFs. You can see my initial tests in my tank journal.

Currently I have UGFs in all of the following substrates:

Quartz coarse gravel
Quartz fine gravel (think coarse sand)
Samurai Soil (buffering clay based aquasoil)
Eco-Complete
River pebbles

It is also worth noting that I don't think they would work well with aqua soils that break down over time (I've heard this can happen with Brightwell and others). I also wouldn't run it with dirt (duh). I also have never tried it with the coated soils like ADA substrate and I think a purist would consider it blasphemy to run UGF on an ADA style tank LOL.

To clean an undergravel filter system, I just hook a wet-dry vac up to the lift tube (like a shop-vac). Takes two minutes and it sucks all the crud out that settles on the bottom. I do this at the same interval I clean the rest of my filters. That being said, I have had people ask before about the dust that will inevitably work its way down through the gravel. IME I have seen this come straight back through the lift tube and "rain" back down on the surface and start the whole process over. I use the "dust" sprinkling around the lift tube as an indicator that it is time to pull out the shop-vac and clean my filters.

If you are doing dry start I assume you're also using aquasoil so I would check that your aquasoil isn't prone to breaking down. I usually just check mine by taking pieces that have been soaking and squishing them between my fingers. If they break up, probably not the best option for UGFs.

I hope all this helps. It has worked for me <a href="https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/PlantedTank_net_2015/smilies/tango_face_grin.png" border="0" alt="" title="Big Grin" >:-)</a>
Thanks for the info, this has been very helpful and I'll definitely check out your journal. My tanks use topsoil, so probably not the best fit for UGF as you said, but if I ever switch it up I'll keep this in mind.
HerpsAndHerbs likes this.
ElleDee is offline  
post #104 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 12:02 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerpsAndHerbs View Post
I actually run UGFs on all my tanks. I saw profound improvements on my tanks when I put them on in terms of water clarity and root health. The only tanks I don't run UGFs on are sand tanks (by sand I mean really fine, think pool filter sand). I don't run any sand tanks anymore because I don't like the compaction and I think they are bad for plants. I also run pretty thick substrate layers, 2 inches at the lowest and with this thick substrate I have never had roots clog it. Some people don't like the look of the thick substrate layers which I get but I think all plants, UGF or not, benefit from a thick substrate. They have gotten hair structures down in there occasionally but it has never caused issues for me. I am also currently testing dirted planters which allow me a bit more flexibility with my soil types while running UGFs. You can see my initial tests in my tank journal.

Currently I have UGFs in all of the following substrates:

Quartz coarse gravel
Quartz fine gravel (think coarse sand)
Samurai Soil (buffering clay based aquasoil)
Eco-Complete
River pebbles

It is also worth noting that I don't think they would work well with aqua soils that break down over time (I've heard this can happen with Brightwell and others). I also wouldn't run it with dirt (duh). I also have never tried it with the coated soils like ADA substrate and I think a purist would consider it blasphemy to run UGF on an ADA style tank LOL.

To clean an undergravel filter system, I just hook a wet-dry vac up to the lift tube (like a shop-vac). Takes two minutes and it sucks all the crud out that settles on the bottom. I do this at the same interval I clean the rest of my filters. That being said, I have had people ask before about the dust that will inevitably work its way down through the gravel. IME I have seen this come straight back through the lift tube and "rain" back down on the surface and start the whole process over. I use the "dust" sprinkling around the lift tube as an indicator that it is time to pull out the shop-vac and clean my filters.

If you are doing dry start I assume you're also using aquasoil so I would check that your aquasoil isn't prone to breaking down. I usually just check mine by taking pieces that have been soaking and squishing them between my fingers. If they break up, probably not the best option for UGFs.

I hope all this helps. It has worked for me


Which UGF do you like best?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Uncle_R is online now  
post #105 of 112 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_R View Post
Which UGF do you like best?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
The one I like best is a really old one. I think it is penn plax but I haven't seen the model lately. Its white, corrugated, and has really thin slits which allows for a finer gravel.

The new under gravel filters I have used are also the penn plax but the slits are wider by several mm which makes a big difference IMO.

They don't make them like they used to and they don't make a lot of them lol. Its a good thing they don't break! (Kncok on wood)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Really interesting video here from Dennis Wong. In it he references an experiment from @burr740 where he tested with and without osmocote + in the substrate. I imagine this topic and particular experiment have probably been talked to death on this forum long before I arrived here. If someone knows where this thread is and has the link handy can you post it? I would very much like to give it a read through.

Again, I am finding myself relearning just about everything I "knew" about growing aquatic plants. I cant believe that there was such a small difference between root fed and water column fed plants. In the particular example of burr's test I imagine the difference between the two sides would be much greater if there were a lapse in dosing at some point (simulating a weekend away for example). Dennis Wong touches on this in the video saying that the nutrient rich substrate provides a constant nutrient resource with a longer dwell time.

I am applying this new knowledge in a retrospective manner to my style of aquarium keeping. I have almost always run UGFs which I think will, at least to some degree, create a more nutrient rich substrate. Applying this to my previous comments in this thread, I'm wondering if this has been responsible for my very lean style of dosing working as well as it has when it does work. Even if my water column nutrients run out, my plants have always had an abundance of organics at their roots.
Greggz likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by HerpsAndHerbs; 05-24-2020 at 08:17 PM. Reason: Just some thoughts
HerpsAndHerbs is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome