The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, so I have been keeping up to my tank very strictly now because I was letting it go due to laziness. I have been talking to you all through my process of being strict on ei dosing and weekly water changes. But for the last few weeks and still up until now my tank has had a hair algae problem. But i couldn't find the reason. Well I started last sunday with a 50% water change and dosing KNO3 and KH2PO4 according to EI. Then sticking to ei, I would dose plantex for my traces the next day and alternate dosing doing macros 3 times a week and traces 3 times a week. Saturday is my rest day and now its sunday starting my week 2. I did a 50% water change and dosed macros just about an hour or two ago. I decided at the start of week 2 of my EI dosing to test the water. Here is what I got for results. kH 3, GH 9, pH 6.4, Nitrite 0, Nitrates 10-20ppm from dosing obviously, and to my surprise....Ammonia .5!!! WHAT!! This is probably why I am battling hair algae since i believe ammonia causes algae growth if im not mistaken. But where is it coming from?? My water is so clear and clean. I have 2 German Blue Rams, 8 Rasbora Tetras, and 3 otocinclus. All are very happy. The tank is about a year old and is way passed that new stage so I dont know why in the last few weeks ammonia has been present just out of the blue. I am at a loss of what to do since there are no dead fish in the tank. I found them all and they are all healthy. My plants seem healthy in my opinion and I just maintenanced my filter last week so there is no build up of organic matter in there. My biological filter has always been great so I dont know what to do. I believe this could be the one thing I need to figure out and then I'll be on the way to a pretty much algae free planted tank like I always wanted. I was also thinking i might just have too much light for a 20 gallon. I have a 65 watt cf aqualight mounted a few inches over the water with the mounting legs coralife makes. I was thinking if lowering the bulb to the 55 watt coralife bulb they make would help the algae issues as well. I am running pressurized with my drop checker a yellowish color.

On a side note, should i lower that gh. I dont want to use ro/di water because it is just not a practical option for me at the moment. I heard about water softener pillows or something like that. What are those and do they work? What do you recommend?


Thanks for any input!!!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,014 Posts
Have you stirred up your gravel lately? Stirring up gravel usually has the effect of releasing small amounts of ammonia, which could trigger an algae outbreak.

As for your GH, I think it is fine, personally. If you really wanted to lower it, then you would have to use RO/DI water, but as it is not practical, it is out of the question. Water softener pillows often work by cation exchange resins, but these will introduce sodium cations into your water (which is not desirable). I wouldn't worry too much about the GH.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i just did the water change and just a basic skimming if the gravel on top. I try to make as minimal as a disturbance as I can. But anytime I go to bury a new plant, as I push them into the flourite, debris and poop all comes out of the substrate. I'm always blame the otos from all the poop since it seems like it is all they do lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
There is a very good chance that your ammonia test kit is giving a false result. With lots of growing plants in a tank, those plants will use up any ammonia the fish produce, so you shouldn't have any in the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
A quote from the Skeptical Aquarist might help.
I think there's a lot of good info there:

http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/docs/algae/algcont.shtml

"Residual chloride questions. So the potassium is taken up by plants. Excellent. But what about that chloride ion? Couldn't Cl build up, if my partial water changes weren't enough to keep diluting it out?
A few drops of sodium thiosulfate (de-chlorinator) resolves the issue, apparently. Seachem explain at their website that when harmless sodium thiosulfate-- Na2S2O3-- gives false positive readings for ammonia, it is reacting with the chloride ion that is part of the test reagents, instead of the ammonium ion. After 24 hours, though, according to Seachem, the Na2S2O3 will have have reacted with chloride ions naturally found in water, and will no longer give such false-positive readings.
So an amateur like me can use sodium thiosulfate to react with any surplus chloride."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,348 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ammonia gone but pearling never came back!!!

ammonia for the most part disappeared over night so that is good. But I recently posted about my plants not pearling. I still have issues with it. I turned on my co2 earlier like some of you guys recommended but still nothing. Using DIY, My drop checker was green and I had pearling. Now I have pressurized running making my drop checker yellowish green and no pearling. It diffuses through the glass diffuser i have then that mist goes up towards the top, sucked into my powerhead and then that shoots the mist all around the tank as little bubbles. I feel my flow and diffusion greatly improved but pearling has disappeared. That's crazy! I used to just diffuse through an hagen internal filter in the back corner but that got to much of a pain to clean and didnt give flow through the whole tank. The only difference in my co2 is it is pressurized and is distributed through out the tank better due to much better flow. The powerhead makes my tank full of co2 mist, looks kinda cool. My plants with diy used to get lots of bubbles on the undersides of theirs leaves. Now that's not even happening... Very confused with this situation.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top