Essential test kits for algae busting - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Essential test kits for algae busting

I already have a master kit for my tanks in seattle but while im at home im working on my mom's tank and she is getting hair algae up the ying yang. Im sure im way out of ballance in nutrients so i need to know which tests i need to get it back into balance. I know ill need nitrAte as well as phosphate. What others do you recommend? Ill post a new message this weekend with my levels and then you guys can help me get a course of action for destroying the algae.
Thanks
Chris
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-19-2004, 09:57 PM
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I would do Phosphate, Nitrate, pH, KH, and GH. The first 3 are most important, the latter are useful when using CO2 as you can get your CO2 levels from pH and KH.

I have had good success with the SeaChem P04 and NO3, although I find the NO3 degree of pinkness a little hard to discern sometimes.

Recently, I am very impressed with Aquarium Pharamceuticals...their pH comes with a plasticized chart that does not get ruined by water, and the differences between the colors for KH and GH are quite large.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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ok well i got nitrate and phosphate tested at my lfs while i look for some inexpensive test kits. The phosphate was 2! which im told is extremely high, and needs to be brought down. Im not sure what would cause such a high level in the tank? Also the nitrate was 2.5.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 08:45 PM
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Chris, test if there is any PO4 reading from your tap water. Also, do you use any buffer in your tank? How often and how much do you feed your fish?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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ill get back to you on the tap water. As for buffers, not that im aware of... And lastly i feed my fish once a day and a reasonable pinch.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2004, 10:31 PM
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Getting a cheap phosphate and nitrate kit is not wise. These kits are usually notorious for being inaccurate, where most here only trust a few brands. What brands did you buy?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2004, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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havn't bought one yet no time, i have work off tomorrow, but i have an excelent lfs store and they only carry the best stuff so im sure ill be ok. Is their a brand you recommend?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2004, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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ok i got some test kits for nitrate and phosphate. I tested my tap water and got 0 phosphates, pretty much expected that. I also tested my tank water again and got 0. About 3 days ago i added some phosgaurd phosphate remover to my filter and so i figure its about time to bring it back up again, to the desired level this time. Its not my tank but im going to instruct my mom to only feed every other day. As for the nitrate it was hard to distinguish the actual level with my chart but id say it was somewhere in the 1.5-2 area. Im not sure what the desired levels for nitrate are. I wonder, why if i had so much phosphate before and nitrate, how come the plants stopped growing? I had a prob with my c02 and that might have caused it, but i fixed it and still no growth. At this point the aglae is multiplying by the day and i feel it may be to late soon . What should be my course of action at this point?

oh btw they are red sea test kits.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 04:05 PM
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SeaChem for phosphate...nitrate too, although an AP nitrate kit should be accurate enough. In my experience, phosphate levels cause more problems than nitrate levels.

Too bad you got RedSea kits...I hear they aren't very accurate. I"m surprised it goes below 5ppm for nitrate...most kits go 0-5ppm, 10pmm, 20ppm, etc.

Are you 100% sure it's not a nitrIte kit?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 02:48 AM
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I find the Red Sea Phosphate and Nitrate test kits to be pretty accurate. I had a Seachem Nitrate test kit and it was not accurate at all (but it could have been a bad test kit). The Red Sea Nitrate is 0, 2.5, 5, 10, etc.

I keep my nitrate at 10ppm and my phosphate at 1ppm
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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ok so regardless of which test kit i got, those are my readings, what do you think i should do to dose. I have some flourish, but ive never really used it in the tank, never needed to everything was growing real well. But i decided not to add it once algae started blooming because i figured that'd only make things worse. What should i get and how can i start plant growth again in order to outcompete the algae?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2004, 12:38 AM
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titan848,

First, I'd look at your Nitrate and Phosphate being out of proportion. I'd shoot for what emoore3 has: 1ppm PO4 and 10ppm NO3. If the ratio isn't around 1:10, you'll start favoring algae growth.

Also, what type and how much lighting do you have? How old are the bulbs?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2004, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
Too bad you got RedSea kits...I hear they aren't very accurate. I"m surprised it goes below 5ppm for nitrate...most kits go 0-5ppm, 10pmm, 20ppm, etc.
Are you kidding me? Red Sea kits for NO3 and PO4 are very accurate. I have tested them many times with different doses to buckets of RO water. 100% every time. Never, ever heard such out right defiance that they aren't accurate.

So anyway, we know your PO4 is zero and NO3 (make sure it's nitrate not nitrite) is about 2ppm. Not good. You need to start dosing both and get them at a 1:10 ratio (PO4:NO3). www.gregwatson.com is a good place to get a small batch of ferts that will last you forever. Your LSF might have flourish phosphorus and nitrogen...these are good too, but cost a lot more in the long run.

We also MUST know what your CO2 levels are, watts/gallon, and the plants you have to better help you.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2004, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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im not sure of my c02 levels however i know that can't be the culprit to why they arn't growing because its the same setup when they were growing very well. As for lighting its a 25g with 55w ah supply compact flourecent, and the bulb is very new (6700k i believe) As for substraits its purely gravel with some laterite mixed in. The plants are, hygro, giant hygro, dwarf sag, baby tears, and 2 stem plants im unsure of the name. Oh and a nana as well as some crypts for good measure. And just so everyone is clear, its DEFINTATLY nitrAte, not nitrite. Come on guys, give me some credit, i can read Ill look into gregwatson, for some ferts.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-2004, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titan848
its DEFINTATLY nitrAte, not nitrite. Come on guys, give me some credit, i can read .
Haha Dude, next time you typed something in capital, make sure you spell it right I'm just kidding. No offense intended

Just to add on to the excellent advices, you can dose fleet enema for PO4. 1 drop from the original bottle will increase PO4 level by 0.1ppm for every 10gl.
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