hair algae and CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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hair algae and CO2

Ok I have hair algea again...a UV filter worked last time and cleared it up with my GW but now it's back again. I don't know if it's BBA since the name doesn't lend itself to the very GREEN and LONG strands that I have. But either way I keep hearing that the CO2 must be low and to bump it up. Well according to chucks guide My co2 is at 150 ppm. High? I think so. But I can't tell. it's a 75 gallon tank...and the ph is set at 6.35, and the kh stays around 10 degrees. I have tried left and right to get the KH down but it tends to stay bubbled around 10. If the co2 were really that high would he algae still be able to live? or would they die out, or is that the reason the algae is there in the first place? The fish are fine, I added cardinals and the levels were like that...they were fine, I added rummy noses after the cardinals, and they were fine, everything still is fine. No gasping, and no surface swimming. so could it be that the chart is just off or that it wouldn't apply in the tank at hand. 150 seems really high...but I don't know if chucks guide acounds for the size of the body of water, but I don't know if that would really matter...I don't think that the volume of water would make a difference.
Any one know how to lower the KH from 10 to 2-3? that would really help my cause but I see more "kh up" stuff than "KH down".

any thoughts?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 06:34 PM
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You need to get a new KH test kit. It is highly unlikely that you have that high a KH. It is certain that you don't have 150 ppm of CO2 in the water or the fish would be dead by now. So, first get a new KH kit - Aquarium Pharmaceuticals works good for me.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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I Have tested it with two seperate kits (yes I have two) from that company...and they both read around 9 or 10 degrees. Even my lfs reads the water at that level. so the test I trust.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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oh and same with the PH. the monitor is set at 6.35, I have a second electronic ph reader in my reef tank that I will double check the ph with, and even last night when they both read the same, I tested with an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals ph test kit and it was around the same as the previous two...(I say around cause the colors are very similar sometimes). so ph 6.35, KH IS 10 degrees...and the fish have never been happier.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 10:39 PM
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I suspect your test kits and meters are correct.

Just means that something besides bicarbonate is buffering your tank. What's the pH when you don't add CO2? or what 's the pH of your tank water if you take some out, leave it a shallow cup overnight?

Oh, Yeah, I have not found that high CO2 levels help much with thread algae, which is what it sounds like you have. Fert levels and water changes seem to control it better.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 10:45 PM
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Ditto to that Alight - I've gotten rid of it by ceasing to be lazy with my ferts and doing some water changes. The second I slack off it is back again.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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It's hard to say what the PH is right now since I'm at work...but I have had instances where the CO2 ran out and I had to get a new bottle. The Ph went up to 8.2...more like salt water...but thankfully I didn't lose any cardinals at the time. When I added the CO2 back to it I had to slow it down cause the fish were gasping. But once it does get back down to 6.35 all is good with the fish and what not.

Here's whats odd. the Ph has risen like I just said to the low 8's. But the tap water that I sometimes use (RO/DI for the rest), after letting the tap wate sit...the ph is only 6.2. So I'm assuming that all the plants venting off oxygen while the CO2 is off is what caused the PH to climb so high. But I'll take some water out tonight after work and let it sit all night and test it in the morning.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-22-2006, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
So I'm assuming that all the plants venting off oxygen while the CO2 is off is what caused the PH to climb so high. But I'll take some water out tonight after work and let it sit all night and test it in the morning.
Oxygen levels do not effect pH. When CO2 mixes with water it makes carbonic acid, and acids in the water will drop the pH of the water. The kH (also called carbonate or temporary hardness) comes into play as a "buffer". A buffer keeps your pH from swinging too wildly.

A bit of background info:
http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html

Let me double check though - you're saying that your tank's pH is rising to a level higher than that of your tapwater? Do you have seashells, limestone, or anything else that might dissolve and add calcium carbonate to your water???


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2006, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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nope just the eco-complete...but I still have the instruction manuel for my Ph monitor (the one that my co2 is plugged into), and it ?Has a high and a low port. The high is for the Co2 to plug into...so when the Ph gets too high it turns on the co2, which bubbles and the PH comes down. Then it has a low port...so that you can plug in a regular air pump and if the ph gets too low...the air stone kicks in, adding oxygen and surface agitation...thus increasing the Ph.

At least that what it says. if there's more to it (and I'm sure there is) then the instructions have left that bit out. But then again I ask how come the PH rises naturally as the plants give off oxygen, and not as the water just sits stagnant. with the plants in it the ph goes up...but in a cup or bucket the ph stays at 6.2-6.3. I can only assume that it was from the plants and the oxygen they released.

????

either way I'm leaving the cup of water out tonight and I'll tell you what it reads.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2006, 03:39 AM
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Got any other parameters available? NO3? PO4?

Sergio C.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2006, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
the air stone kicks in, adding oxygen and surface agitation...thus increasing the Ph.
^^^ That'll increase the pH, not because of the oxygen, but because you're out-gasing the CO2 and it isn't staying dissolved in the solution of the water. Either way, it accomplishes the same thing.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2006, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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alright anyways here's the new numbers.
current PH of tank...6.35 (that's what it's set at)
ph of tap left overnight...6.2-6.3
Ph of tank water left overnight...7.3

temp...82
light...384 watts on a 75g...5.12 wpg (for the glosso to not grow vertically)
KH and GH are 9-10 degrees
I use sechem...florish, iron, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate. All at recommended doses.

Nitrate...around 10
and phosphate is at 2

Those are all the tests I have.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2006, 09:07 PM
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Eco-complete substrate? Perhaps you got a contaminated bag, other people on the forum have reported getting bags that raised the pH levels. I think Rosehawke just posted about finding a seashell in her substrate. Anyway, might be why you're getting wonky levels.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2006, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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We've been through this already and have proven that this is just not the case. Besides weren't those bags from like 2 years ago...and people are still attesting any problems with their tanks to eco-complete. MY ego's not that big I'm sure it's something that I am doing faulty.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-23-2006, 09:24 PM
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I wonder if some of the issue might be that your nitrate is relatively low compared to your phosphate. Plants need NO3 to help them consume phosphate, and I have found in a little more than a week that adding nitrate (I use dry ferts, but your flourish nitrogen would work fine) really helps the plants to grow. I am pretty sure that there has been some discussion of the phosphate/nitrate ratio on this forum, might be worth a search.

Have you tried manually removing the hairs? I think even if you fix the conditions that create it, you still want to get rid of what's already there.

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