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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Help with Planted tank...

Hey Everyone,

I'm having a major issue with either hair algae or staghorn, not sure which, but it's a thread like algae that is covering my plants. Basically I'm looking for someone to tell me if I'm doing something wrong or can give some suggestions.

My tank is 55 gallons, I have 4 foot, 2 bulb Odyssea fixture, i removed one bulb hoping less light might help, so currently just running 1 54 watt t5ho 6500k bulb. I have pressurized co2 running at about 3 bps (drop checkers stay green and almost get yellowish by the end of the light cycle). I dose 1/2 teaspoon of KNO3 3x weekly (every 2nd day), and 1.5ml of fleet enema for phosphates. On opposite days (3x a week) I dose 10ml of flourish for micros. I have a bio-wheel 350 on one side and a small aqua clear 30 on the other end and also have a maxi-jet pro 400 powerhead in the tank for added circulation.

Anyone who's had good success growing plants, using pressurized co2 and ei dosing, could your opinions of my routine and give any recommendations you may have. It would be greatly appreciated!

Also, feel free to ask for any extra info needed

Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:52 PM
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How many hours a day are you running your bulbs?


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:33 PM
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try turning ur c02 on an hour before lights come on and an hour before they go off. fertilize before lights come on. your plants begin their work as soon as light comes on. if everything isnt ready for them, they fall behind and algae gets a strong hold. algae is a simple organism capable of rapidly adjusting to any circumstance, plants take longer

I personally don't like flourish for micros, used to use it but it also has NPK, in it. however small the amounts i believe they interfere with what you are trying to achieve

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 02:33 AM
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You are running 1 WPG on a deep tank with CO2 and you seem to be dosing fertilizers. Fertiizers are certainly not needed at 1 WPG, though the CO2 can't hurt. IME, excess ferts are your major issue.

I would stop the ferts, install your other bulb and be sure you maintain high CO2 levels. Remove as much algae as you can manually and be sure to do 50% weekly water changes.

Those filters you have are degassing CO2 which is not helpful. What plants and fish are you keeping? What are your stocking levels?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 02:59 AM
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Without knowing the chemical breakdown of the Fleet, I wonder if you're short on potassium? Most people who do without adding potassium use KNO3, KH2PO4, and GH Booster, all of which have potassium.

You can always experiment with gradually increasing CO2.

And while "watts per gallon" has been thoroughly debunked, I agree that your lighting isn't too high, as you've only got one T5HO with a poor reflector. So I'd keep that for now, but if the algae clears up, you can always replace the missing bulb.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 03:07 AM
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I'd quote you both if i could but mr barr would step in and probably say that high lighting isn't that important and in fact most plants do just fine and dandy with lower light levels than most people assume. turning back ur lights its way easier than maintaining higher fert and c02 levels.. balance c02 and ferts, control lights.... also off gassing is probably minimal if there isn't much splash and the fact that the drop checker turns yellowish by the end of the day gives us an idea that there is probably a decent amount of c02 in the tank

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 03:11 AM
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Staghorn indicates the presence of ammonia IME. So does hair algae most of the time. How long has your tank been set up?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, sorry for being slow to answer but thank you all for your replies.

I was running my bulbs for 10 hours a day, I need to pick up a new timer to get things exactly where they should be as my CO2 was on the same timer, now I've been manually turning the light on an hour or 2 after the Co2 comes on (so probably closer to 8-9 hours a day now). I was hoping for fast growth which is why I had both bulbs in and it seemed to be going well at first but then suddenly the algae went crazy. I use flourish because it's easier to get locally (I'm in Canada, pretty limited here). I too wondered about potassium, I had been dosing based off of "the fertilator" and my potassium fell just slightly short of their target range (kno3 is my only potassium source), but i was originally dosing 1 tsp instead of 1/2, cut it back based off the dosing sticky on this forum. I assumed i'd have problems like holes in plants or yellowing, didn't attribute the potassium to algae issues. As for my HoB Filters, I keep my water level high for minimal splashing, I figured if the drop checkers are turning more yellowish come the end of the lighting period that I can't be losing too much. I'm using an atomic diffuser on my co2 setup. I've tested the water and there's no ammonia or nitrites registering. This tank has only been set up by me for a couple months now, but it was setup for a long while from it's previous owner, was tore down and brought here within about an hour, though i did change out the substrate (which is a mix of gravel and flourite). I'm honestly not sure what all my plants are and i'm not good with the names, but i know i have some java fern, vals, Mayaca Fluviatilis, Hygro. polysperma, some pearl weed, a large sword plant, and a couple others. I realize Java fern and such are low light plants but they seemed to be doing good under high light until suddenly the algae broke out.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post

And while "watts per gallon" has been thoroughly debunked
Debunked. That's laughable. WPG is a good rule to measure light intensity and 1 WPG is not a lot of light. WPG is not a dirty word. It's a useful tool.

In any case, IME 1 WPG does not require CO2 and most likely there is no need to supplement nutrients. This depends on bioload and plant mass of course.

Can you give us any pictures? I'm willing to bet you have a light plant mass.

Regards,
Robert

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-26-2011, 04:22 AM
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Overfloater, you aren't convinced the PAR readings from this thread are valid?
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

I think Fleet is sodium phosphate. Better than no phosphate anyway.

Circulation and organics maybe? Last summer I came home to an awesome growth of staghorn on Anubias roots. Pulled it off, squirted with Excel and gave the tank a going over with the siphon tube and it hasn't been back since. Moved the powerhead so it blew water across the roots too. The tank was choked with floaters too so not as much O2 exchange? Not sure on that as the tank has a sump and all.

Plants like java fern and moss tolerate low light fine but great in high light. Anubias can be real susceptible to GSA in high light though.

Try getting that extra timer for the light! Use one bulb and have the CO2 on earlier as you have been. Cut lighting period to 8 hours or so. Clean any prefilters of debris, go over the substrate to pick up fish poop and stray dead leaves, trim plants of damaged leaves and pull off the easy algae. And Mr. Barr would probably post to nudge up the CO2 a bit more. And are you doing the large water changes?

My total tank algae attacks seem to happen when I disturb the substrate doing wide spread rescaping and debris settles on the leaves. Guessing it is more the ammonia that is the problem but that debris just might allow algae a spot to land and grow.
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