No pearling, algae issues.. what am i doing wrong - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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No pearling, algae issues.. what am i doing wrong

Hey guys, i'm starting to get a little aggravated in finding a balance in my tank. I'm at the point that i'm not really sure what i'm doing right and what i'm doing wrong.

Lately algae has become a problem, first it was hair algae growing on a few plants and my driftwood, I think I remedied that by scrubbing the algae off and keeping on top of my fert routine. Then I had GSA which i've tried to remove the most infected leaves and scrubbed the few spots on the glass as well as upping my phosphate dosing a little. Also.. I seem to get no pearling whatsoever, I can't say I've really witnessed much pearling at all from most of the plants during the week, except after a WC and then they go nuts.

I am running pressurized.. my bps is probably in the range of 3-5. Diffusion is through the venturi pump that is supplied with red sea's bio-system. I have a drop checker which is consistently pee yellow throughout the day, turning lime green or so at night. The drop checker is also on the opposite side of the tank as the venturi for those that are curious about placement.

My EI is as follows (tsp):
1/16 t no3
1/16 phosphate
1/8 potassium

i tested today before i dosed and nitrates were about 5 ppm and phosphates were .25 or below, so i upped the nitrates and phosphates to a little more than an 1/8.

other information:
ph 6.4ish
gh: 19 drops.. so what 342 ppm?
kh: 21.. 378 ppm?

lighting is 72 watts T5.. so about 2.5 WPG for 8 hours per day


So what am i doing wrong/right here? Why no pearling.. if my co2 is really as high as my drop checker says.. wouldn't my fish be at the surface. Is there anything i can fix or adjust.. how about the dosing? not enough nutrients? other then my Alternatera Reinecki "roseafolia" which seems to show a possible sign of no3 excess, no other plants show deficiency's that i can tell.. so why the algae thats killing my plants, why the lack of pearling of any kind

i'm confused


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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 06:19 PM
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sounds like your water is hard enough to stand spoon in... Perhaps this is the culprit if your plants prefer softer water conditions.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by snoz0r View Post
Hey guys, i'm starting to get a little aggravated in finding a balance in my tank. I'm at the point that i'm not really sure what i'm doing right and what i'm doing wrong.

Lately algae has become a problem, first it was hair algae growing on a few plants and my driftwood, I think I remedied that by scrubbing the algae off and keeping on top of my fert routine. Then I had GSA which i've tried to remove the most infected leaves and scrubbed the few spots on the glass as well as upping my phosphate dosing a little. Also.. I seem to get no pearling whatsoever, I can't say I've really witnessed much pearling at all from most of the plants during the week, except after a WC and then they go nuts.

I am running pressurized.. my bps is probably in the range of 3-5. Diffusion is through the venturi pump that is supplied with red sea's bio-system. I have a drop checker which is consistently pee yellow throughout the day, turning lime green or so at night. The drop checker is also on the opposite side of the tank as the venturi for those that are curious about placement.

My EI is as follows (tsp):
1/16 t no3
1/16 phosphate
1/8 potassium

i tested today before i dosed and nitrates were about 5 ppm and phosphates were .25 or below, so i upped the nitrates and phosphates to a little more than an 1/8.

other information:
ph 6.4ish
gh: 19 drops.. so what 342 ppm?
kh: 21.. 378 ppm?

lighting is 72 watts T5.. so about 2.5 WPG for 8 hours per day


So what am i doing wrong/right here? Why no pearling.. if my co2 is really as high as my drop checker says.. wouldn't my fish be at the surface. Is there anything i can fix or adjust.. how about the dosing? not enough nutrients? other then my Alternatera Reinecki "roseafolia" which seems to show a possible sign of no3 excess, no other plants show deficiency's that i can tell.. so why the algae thats killing my plants, why the lack of pearling of any kind

i'm confused
Red sea Bio system for CO2 supply..............that;s the limiting factor, this has nothing to do with nutrients, you have plenty both in the water column and sediment.

Light has not changed, is fine for the tank.

Some water changes, excel perhaps, and good consistent CO2.
Consider a gas tank and regulator, will make life much easier.
Worth every penny.

If plants suddenly stop pearling, it's virtually always a CO2 issue.
Nutrients take much longer and are slower to reduce pearling.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry if I confused you. I am running pressurized co2, I'm just using the red sea venturi powerhead as a method of diffusion.


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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 08:41 PM
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is your drop checker solution 4dkh?
are you using any type of buffers in your tank?
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timwag2001 View Post
is your drop checker solution 4dkh?
are you using any type of buffers in your tank?

Yes and no.


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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 10:44 PM
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how about iron and trace? you dosing that too?
i cant believe how hard your water is. is it a well?

try turning off your power head and filter for a few minutes. sometimes pearling can be hidden in tanks with a lot of current. maybe it is pearling a little but you cant see.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, CSM+b. Yeah it's a well and trying to shower and do laundry is near impossible. I hate it.

Tried the filter/powerhead off deal many times. It's either none at all or some really really little. It's just all hard to understand, technically if you were to hold true to the ph/kh scale I'd be at nearly 230 ppm of co2. I'd think my fish would be long dead if that were the case however.


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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 11:13 PM
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well water sucks. i want to get a r.o. system to filter my water. i have a well and live next to a farm. my nitrates are over 40ppm and my kh is less than 1 degree

what other types of plants do you have?
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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L. Repens
Dwarf hairgrass
Java fern
Bacopa

A few others, you can see more info if you click the picture at the bottom of my post in my sig. It'll take you to the journal for my tank.


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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoz0r View Post
Then I had GSA which i've tried to remove the most infected leaves and scrubbed the few spots on the glass as well as upping my phosphate dosing a little. Also.. I seem to get no pearling whatsoever, I can't say I've really witnessed much pearling at all from most of the plants during the week, except after a WC and then they go nuts.
If there ever was a poster for poor CO2, this is the case.
Give up the nutrient obsession, that is not it at all.

Why would the plants pearl well after a WC?
But not other times?

What is in well water where there's limestone?

Lots and lots of CO2.............

GSA and good PO4?
CO2

No pearling(except after WC), CO2..........
A reineckii not doing so well, : CO2............

Expecting the Dc to tell you the Correct reading: CO2..........clearly at 230ppm according to the test method, all the fish would be dead, yet they are not and the tank still does not pearling(yet curiously does after a WC............)


Quote:
not enough nutrients? other then my Alternatera Reinecki "roseafolia" which seems to show a possible sign of no3 excess, no other plants show deficiency's that i can tell.. so why the algae thats killing my plants, why the lack of pearling of any kind

i'm confused
Seems fairly straight forward to me.
If the gas tank is used for CO2, simply add more, make sure there's decent current and enough surface movement and slowly adjust the CO2 up.

Do not rush that, you should see about 1/2 the pearling you see after a water change. I'd suggest you buy some DTPA Fe and add that to the CMS+B as well.


Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 11:55 PM
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plantbrain since you suggest adding more co2 do you suggest something to buffer the water to raise the ph? his ph is around 6.4.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Tom,
so then basically ill be attempting to up my co2 even further? Ill certainly attempt it. Why the high reading on my drop checker though? At this point it nearly sounds like I have an instrument that is completely useless at the moment.

Let's hypothetically say I increase co2 even further (personally I thought it was high to begin with) and that isn't the remedy to my problem. What could the next step be?

What could be causing the lack of co2 in my tank? It's only a 29 gallon, running nearly 5 bps. Ph to kh scale is off the charts, drop checker is off the charts yet I apparently have no co2 in the water. Whats the problem here, is there a lack of absorbtion somewhere. Could my diffusion method be the culprit? My tank is completely misted during the day when the co2 is running. If nutrients and lighting and other variables are ok and co2 increase doesn't work am I just completely screwed?


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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:24 AM
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You said:
"My EI is as follows (tsp):
1/16 t no3
1/16 phosphate
1/8 potassium

i tested today before i dosed and nitrates were about 5 ppm and phosphates were .25 or below, so i upped the nitrates and phosphates to a little more than an 1/8."

Is that a 29 gallon tank? If so, you are underfertilizing with nitrates. And, you have high light intensity, so the plants will be trying to grow rapidly, but will not be able to do so because of the lack of sufficient nutrients.

You say you tested the water, but did you first calibrate your test kits so you could tell what the readings meant? If not, you really can't say how much nitrates or phosphates you have in the water.

When I had a 29 gallon tank I recall that I dosed 1/4 tsp of KNO3, and 1/16 to 1/8 tsp of KH2PO4, 3 times a week. It won't do any harm to try those amounts and see if that helps. Also, I didn't see where you mentioned a trace element mix being dosed. That should be dosed at about the same amount as the KH2PO4, if it is CSM+B.

If you are dosing Seachem's NPK solutions you need to dose considerably more than they recommend, to match the light intensity you have.

Do your fish ever cluster at the water surface, like they are all trying to stick their snouts out of the water? That would tell you that you have too much CO2 in the water, and you want to be using less than that, but not much less, again to match the light intensity you have. If you never see fish behavior like that you may want to increase the CO2 bubble rate a little bit every few hours, watching carefully and often to be sure the fish don't get too distressed. Then back off a little on the bubble rate if it is bothering the fish.

Just some suggestions.

Hoppy
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Hoppy,
Yes it's a 29 gallon. All dry ferts and yes I use CSM+b at 1/8th tsp. No fish clustering except new fish that have trouble acclimating, but that only lasts about an hour. I do a drip acclimation as well.


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