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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, so I'm at my wits end with this algae. The tank is almost a year old. I had this problem previously, decided to trim everything in a big way, physically remove as much as I possibly could and change my dosing a bit.

Right now I'm using TAP water for weekly 50% changes. One thing I know for sure is my water is HARD, it's city water, not well.

75 Gallon
C02 injected, controlled by a PH controller (PH is kept around 6.1 during the day, CO2 shuts off at 4pm with lights.)
Lights run for 7 hours, from 9am to 4pm.
Twinstar 1200SA light
Twinstar Algae inhibitor (clearly does nothing)
Water kept around 78 degrees
I dose slightly less than recommended with THRIVE

Parameter wise, everything is nominal. Nitrates hover between 30-50 depending on day. I do see good plant growth, but eventually all leaves get covered in this "Filamentous algae", and plant growth stunts. I have also tried Seachem Excel, two caps a day for the past three weeks, with no change. I'm wondering if at this point it's just my tap water and I'm doomed. I do have a few Amano shrimp - two large and five or six small. Wonder if I should just get an army of them. Or maybe I should be dosing more? Right now it's five pumps of THRIVE three times a week.

You can see it's covering the substrate (Eco-Complete):


Covered new driftwood in matter of days:


The full tank:
 

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You might have high phosphates from the tap water. I only use RO/Di water.
I would add phosphate removal to you canister filter. I use Seachem phosphate in my filter. The fish food that you feed your fish as well as the tap water could be the main cause. I would also add some stem plants as they will grow faster than the current plants you have in your aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I'm going to try two things. 1. Change my light intensity 2. Feed less

Wish me luck!! I wonder if I just need to slow down growth so Excel can keep up.
 

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Hair algae needs phosphates way more than plants.
What happens is if the plants are starved, then they start to melt and leech organics. Those organics then feed algae directly on the plants. So, it is possible that the algae is forming because of phosphates, because there's not enough phosphates. Does that make sense?
 

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that tank is probably underplanted and that's why the algae is thriving. Stuff that tank full of quick growers like more rotalas and ludwigias, try and completely hide the back glass with how many plants are in there. Once the plants are sucking up most of the nutrients then the algae will be less competitive. I would also grow that army of amanos, or get a bunch of cheap ghost shrimp as a clean up crew, I'm sure those bows are messy eaters and that's probably there's a bunch of excess nutrients.

Try adding more plants and clean up crew first before resulting to the phosphate removal media.... chances are you're not always going to stay on top of that media exchange and it's easier to just have more plants/cheap shrimp do all the work
 

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I had a Co2 controller once and it drove me nuts! I now just put in as much co2 as I can without harming the fish and shrimp. You may want to do the same. Use the drop checker to monitor Co2 and make small adjustments and monitor. Make sure the plants have all of the nutrients they need (N,P,K and Trace also Ca and Mg). If you have hard water then Ca and Mg are probably ok. If you can ensure the plants have everything they need you should be able to turn the tables on the algae. Manually remove the algae for now. Maybe check out PPS for fert. regimen. (I am not familiar with Thrive). Definitely do Not use the phosphate removing stuff(ive been there). Save your money! Good luck and dont worry about the PH controller. Eyeball the drop checker and ensure proper nutrients.
 

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Jon What kind of Phosphate remover have you had trouble with? Just curious. I have had good luck with Seachem Phosguard to reduce phosphate when battling staghorn algae. Pads need changing every month cause they fill up fast. Using it in my filter let my amano shrimp keep the staghorn at bay. That said I am not sure if phosphate is the problem here as the algae in this tank does not look like staghorn and I see no fish. Phosphate usually comes from fish food or phosphate buffer so I would wonder about the source. Lots of first rate advice in this string inclusive of adding more amano shrimp so I will not add much except to say "don't feed the shrimp".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, not much progress after my changes. I've ordered $300 in plants, and I'm just going to stuff the bastard. Out of curiosity, why would people be against a PH controller - wouldn't it be an ideal method to get CO2 to a perfect level? I adjusted mine by doing the calculator where you figure out your buffer etc etc to find your proper PH level. Right now I'm dropping my PH 1.0 (from 7.1 to 6.1) prior to lights on, and turning off CO2 soon before lights go out. I also have used a drop checker for backup - but it seems like a controller can make things so much more precise?
 

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Out of curiosity, why would people be against a PH controller - wouldn't it be an ideal method to get CO2 to a perfect level?
2 things here... lots of people use ph controllers for their CO2, so you're not alone.

As to why someone would choose not to use one, the best I can do is explain why I didn't go for one. I have a 125G tank with almost 300lbs of sieryu stone in the tank. After my water change, my degassed Ph is around 7.6, and by the end of the week, it's around 8. If I had a ph controller, my CO2 levels would go up every day, and then take a nosedive when I did my water change. Add to that, your Ph controller is not maintenance free either. You need to constantly make sure the probe is cleaned, free of mineral deposits, and calibrated. This adds work to your weekly maintenance, and kind of defeats the purpose of a "set-it-and-forget-it" CO2 system.
 

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...my degassed Ph is around 7.6, and by the end of the week, it's around 8. If I had a ph controller, my CO2 levels would go up every day, and then take a nosedive when I did my water change..
Your ph is going up even with co2 injection?
My degassed ph.

This is due to the Sieryu stone leeching Ca and Kh into the water column. To put it a different way, if I inject CO2 to let's say 6.6 (just after a water change), by the end of the week, that same amount of CO2 would give me a ph of 7. So if I was using a controller, it would keep pushing CO2 down to 6.6, potentially gassing all of my fish.
 

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My degassed ph.

This is due to the Sieryu stone leeching Ca and Kh into the water column. To put it a different way, if I inject CO2 to let's say 6.6 (just after a water change), by the end of the week, that same amount of CO2 would give me a ph of 7. So if I was using a controller, it would keep pushing CO2 down to 6.6, potentially gassing all of my fish.
Makes sense about the PH controller. Reason I asked is in my 3 footer (12 Gal Long) I have 18 lbs of Seiryu. My tap KH is around 4 and I've had my tank KH go to 16 before WC, but I have no problem getting a low PH and keeping the drop checker yellowish with reasonable co2. My tap is around 7.5 and the tank gets down to around 6.5, 6.6.
 

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Makes sense about the PH controller. Reason I asked is in my 3 footer (12 Gal Long) I have 18 lbs of Seiryu. My tap KH is around 4 and I've had my tank KH go to 16 before WC, but I have no problem getting a low PH and keeping the drop checker yellowish with reasonable co2. My tap is around 7.5 and the tank gets down to around 6.5, 6.6.
Your drop checker will be independent of the hardness in the tank. The KH of the water in that drop checker is always 4, which is why we can use ph indicator in the drop checker to monitor CO2.

The ph probe attached to a controller is reading the ph in the tank, which will change based on how much your Sieryu Stone has leeched. Hypothetically... if you didn't dose CO2 at all, you would see your ph gradually rise in between water changes. Now when we add CO2 the ph will drop, but only temporarily. If you get your CO2 tuned right, and you get a 1.0 ph drop for your light period, that 1 pt drop will remain constant. This is true, even if your degasses water ph changes.

So let's say you do your water change on Sunday. Monday morning you check your ph, and it's 7.2. Your CO2 kicks on, and because you have it tuned well, you attain a ph of 6.2 by the time your lights kick on, and it stays there throughout the day. Day over day, your degassed ph goes up by .1 pt, and so does your ph after CO2. Tuesday 7.3 ->6.3, Wednesday 7.4-6.4... Saturday 7.7 -> 6.7.

Now imagine you have a ph controller taking care of your CO2 dosing. You check your degassed ph on Monday, and you see 7.2. You set your ph controller to shut off at 6.2. By Saturday, your degassed ph is 7.7, but your controller is still pushing CO2 to 6.2. That's a pretty big drop, and will definitely start gassing fish.
 

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Your drop checker will be independent of the hardness in the tank. The KH of the water in that drop checker is always 4, which is why we can use ph indicator in the drop checker to monitor CO2.

The ph probe attached to a controller is reading the ph in the tank, which will change based on how much your Sieryu Stone has leeched. Hypothetically... if you didn't dose CO2 at all, you would see your ph gradually rise in between water changes. Now when we add CO2 the ph will drop, but only temporarily. If you get your CO2 tuned right, and you get a 1.0 ph drop for your light period, that 1 pt drop will remain constant. This is true, even if your degasses water ph changes.

So let's say you do your water change on Sunday. Monday morning you check your ph, and it's 7.2. Your CO2 kicks on, and because you have it tuned well, you attain a ph of 6.2 by the time your lights kick on, and it stays there throughout the day. Day over day, your degassed ph goes up by .1 pt, and so does your ph after CO2. Tuesday 7.3 ->6.3, Wednesday 7.4-6.4... Saturday 7.7 -> 6.7.

Now imagine you have a ph controller taking care of your CO2 dosing. You check your degassed ph on Monday, and you see 7.2. You set your ph controller to shut off at 6.2. By Saturday, your degassed ph is 7.7, but your controller is still pushing CO2 to 6.2. That's a pretty big drop, and will definitely start gassing fish.
All sounds logical. I really never studied the PH rise, so you got me really curious, so I'm going to get a good PH meter and see what the day-to-day changes are.
 
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