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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been battling the balance of my 55 for a few months and need to sound off to some of your experience for ideas.

How important is circulation to the health of our little Eco systems???
Things seem to get better for me once the water moves consistently throughout the tank. Is this the CO2 and or nutrients getting to all sides of a four foot tank?

Situation is I've been troubled by a brown/green slime for the last couple of months. This mostly inhabits the top of the tank and clears if I have an extra pump running. But the problem with this is I feel C02 is being stripped out of the water in the process.

I've bounced back an forth for a while turning off the CO2 at night and running the pump in the evenings. Or keeping the CO2 on 24/7 and still run the extra pump... bla bla bla.

Nothing seems to be killing this off 100%

Yesterday we returned from the foothills visiting family and the top 4" of the tank glass was covered in a bright green algae. Upon touching it it was slippery, far more slippery than I have found GDA. Darker gunk would pool at the side above the spray bar. Spray bar pointed down not moving the surface at all.

So at first I was under the impression it needed more NO3 and PO4 since the bio mass is more than I have ever dealt with before. Not so sure now. I've been using the sticky dosing suggestions with a pinch more NO3 lately. That didn't fix it since it did come back pretty hard. Or did the plants completely strip the tank in two days? I'm not trusting my NO3 test kits any longer.

I'm going to have to build one of the drop checkers so I can ensure my CO2 concentration is up to par.

Since the bio mass has increased the single 2026 pump with CO2 reactor seems to not have a real heavy flow as it used to. Hence the addition of the little RIO to add some water movement.

If I have the time this weekend I'll do another total tank tear down and replant. Bleach the slow growers and trim out the fugly stem remnants. Since I just did this a few months back I'm not looking forward to it again.
 

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I'm a big believer in circulation (within reason). An extra powerhead can sometimes make the difference between algae and no algae. The best location is high enough so that the surface swirls without actually breaking the surface (i.e. duck weed would take a crazy ride around the top of the tank, but the surface is still flat).
 

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I took circulation for granted until I discovered the benefits myself. Adding a small powerhead to stir things up a bit, works for me and the plants seem to grow better.
 

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I suppose some plants need circulation, well, Bolbitis heudelotti is the only one that comes to mind. And while aquatic plants in the wild quite often don't have strong circulation, their bodies of water are usually considerably greater than home aquaria.

So, I surmise that their water is constantly moving around them, albeit slowly, but their is also more water to be circulated. Just a theory, I like throwing ideas out there.
 

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circulation definitely helps as it helps get the nutrients and CO2 everywhere. Dense plantings really block the flow of water and also consume a surprising amount of nutrients. You really can't depend on the test kits for your dosing, they are inaccurate enough that you can really mess up the nutrient levels. That's how the Estimative Index came about - add plenty of nutrients so you insure there's never a shortage and do a large waterchange to insure nothing builds up. Instead of a test kit, use your tank as a guide: if you start seeing BBA, add more CO2; if you see GSA, then phosphate; pin holes in leaves, add potassium etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok. Good deal. I'm not off base thinking more flow would help. This thing has turned jungle on me where the spray bar is plumbed. Mini Rio will stay running 24/7 and not churn the surface from the other side of the tank.

I may even be ditching the reactor for a diffuser or two. Well see. Can't hurt to get the water going direct to the tank.

The other thing that cbennett brought up I need to confirm.
I get that plant mass can consume more nutrients. I'm almost daring enough to go for a 75g regime and see what happens. WC is weekly BTW.
So to help with the GSA add additional PO4? Did I get that right?
Sorry but the Bolbitis you gave me didn't fare to well. :rolleyes:
What did take off was the Green Hygro. It's almost the primary plant in there now, and I figure to be the nutrient sponge.

mrbelvedere thanks for mentioning the Bolbitis since I had no idea what it needed. I placed it right in a dead spot. :(
 

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The nice thing about keeping an inline reactor or two (IMO) is the zero maintenance. I'm pretty big on having a fair current. With two canisters on my 90 gallon, there doesn't seem to be many "dead" spots. Sometimes I can see floating detrius which is helpful determining the tank's flow. I use one spray bar on one side and the second output is on the opposite side's back corner and down low - without a spraybar. Its pointed out from the back glass at ~30 degrees towards the front glass headed back to the spraybar's side. Wasserpest helped me with this placement a few years back. Its worked out really well with both upper and lower areas of adequate flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A second pump canister is an option in the future just not now. I'm going to try and make the Rio do the job for the time being.

Trying to place pump outlet at the angle you describe would require a 1/2" 45 and place the Rio low in the tank. I'll do some tinkering and see where that leads me.

Plant arrangement next time will take this into consideration. I'm still thinking about tearing it up again.

If my CO2 is still not making it with just the reactor I'll probably just add an additional diffuser. I hear ya about the hassle free part of the deal with the reactor. The issue I'm running into is creating an air lock at the end of the day at the top of the reactor. I haven't turned CO2 up much so I'm trying to find the sweet spot and de gas if it goes over board. It only takes a few hours to catch back up.

Sorry for bouncing back and forth on this but there are soo many variables at play.
 

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if you're getting GSA (not to be confused with GDA) then definitely dose more phosphate. Everyone's tank/tapwater is different, so you may find you need to tweak dosing levels a little. I don't have to put in as much nitrate, but I need to put in extra phosphate or my glass gets covered in GSA. I have also seen that when the tank is overgrown, I can hardly keep up with the nutrients - compared to after a big trim when I can skip a dose here and there no problem. Bolbitis definitely wants A LOT of current or it will just wither away. Right by the filter outflow is a perfect spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We are on the same page. GSA.

So the PO4 drop count just went up to 60+ and well see what happens.

If we want to look at this from the ml angle I used 150 drops to measure 5ml of fleet.

So my usual dose of 40 drops was way off. I should have placed at least 2.5 ml after wc and each dose.

Well see how this works. I need to get the dry PO4 from Greg and stop guessing with fleet, always seems to work for a while then it get's out of control.

Time to start getting ahead of the curve and start feeding more when the bio mass matures.

Thanks!
 

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Your algae sounds like blue-green algae (BGA), which isn't really an algae, but you can read all about it in the algae forum. It's nasty stuff if it begins to spread. Good circulation seems to directly affect BGA as it doesn't seem able to "grab hold" in areas with good circulation.

As for overall tank circulation, I do think it benefits the tank. I think you see it more in larger tanks. I didn't notice it much in smaller tanks, but it is noticeable in my 150. I don't think it has to do with the dispersion of CO2 or nutrients in the water as I think this will happen anyways. To me it has more to do with the buildup of detritus and other things. Tanks with significant dead spots will allow the detritus to build up in those spots thus causing a concentration of "bad stuff" in those areas. Good circulation will prevent this from occurring which allows your filter to filter this stuff out of the water and also prevents algae growth and other things in those areas.

My $.02 anyways.

David
 

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Just to clarify - GSA is bright green, usually seen in round circles on glass and plants, and is a PITA to scrub off. BGA is usually a wierd bluish-greenish color, appears to be a patch of slime (like someone dumped some jello in your tank) on the substrate or glass, and may be accompanied by a strong funky odor.

kzr750r1: I put about 2mL of Fleet in my 60 gallon 3x per week.
 

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If you ask me, it is very important (esp on larger heavily planted tank).

Once I had this experience when many of my plants, esp the ones nearby the suface rots. Film builds up. The plants farthest from water current turns ugliest. I figured that this has something to do with the problem stagnat.
I upgraded my main filter pump, added a small powerhead (12W, very small for my tank)and replace much bigger CO2 reactor. I clear up a bit of the plants nearby the water outlets to ease up the premature blocking of current.

My dying tank is coming back to live.

You should see this CO2 distribution and well dissolution matter and improve tank circulation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've seen some improvement in the last couple of days. Still going to take some time to get back to normal.

After rearranging the Anubis collection with more wood dead spots have been problematic. That was two months ago. Especially after the stems matured. It's pretty packed.

Just kind of picking at it right now thinning out the crypts and spent stem groupings. Spent meaning more root mass above the than leaf. :)

Well see if making the room and keeping the flow going improve my situation.

As for the glass bound algae it's slimy to the touch and isn't hard to remove. Possible early stage of GSA or I'm in the throws of a GDA battle.

BGA had never taken over this tank but tried to take hold. I noticed some starting on my Scolly moss and have since kicked it's butt with more consistent CO2 and NO3 dosing. I had BGA take over the low light 10g a couple of years back. I had never seen such a thing take over like that before. Seemed like a carpet that pearled. :)

As for detritus I had a large collection of swords that I grew out and traded for different plants. It was fun and now I have several different stems and such that I'd never get to purchase locally.

What I could be contending with is all the rotting root mass left over from the sword farm and the current buildup. I have been using the vac lately so any new will be removed weekly till either there is improvement or I rip it down and get AS in this tank.

I think this is the payback for mixing aquabase and Eco complete.

Last tear down also gave me a chance to scrub down the wood and replant it. Should i have let it completely dry out for a while before adding it back. This is in hopes it kills off any BGA or whatever is growing on it.
 

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Last tear down also gave me a chance to scrub down the wood and replant it. Should i have let it completely dry out for a while before adding it back. This is in hopes it kills off any BGA or whatever is growing on it.
You haven't mentioned BBA, and you may well know this... but you can let BBA sit dry for 6 months and put it back in a tank, and it will pop its ugly head right back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You haven't mentioned BBA, and you may well know this... but you can let BBA sit dry for 6 months and put it back in a tank, and it will pop its ugly head right back up.
Yeah it's a bummer but I'm going to ditch one piece of wood. I've had it for years so it's served it's time.

My CO2 Reactor is driving me nuts. It will maintain but not allow me to push it. At around 3bps it sounds like and office water fall. I just cleaned out the 2026 a couple of weeks ago. So at some point Ill be doing a couple of things.

1) Rearrange and remove my fuglyness. Anything with BBA BGA GSA or I just don't like is out. I plan on a new 15 soon so most of the Anubis is going there.

2) I'm going to get a mid size diffuser. Place a manifold on the regulator for the reactor to run full time at 1 bps and have the diffuser on a timer and solenoid for running only during the day.

3) A second canister may be in order, I would love another 2026 but this may be over kill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I suppose some plants need circulation, well, Bolbitis heudelotti is the only one that comes to mind. And while aquatic plants in the wild quite often don't have strong circulation, their bodies of water are usually considerably greater than home aquaria.

So, I surmise that their water is constantly moving around them, albeit slowly, but their is also more water to be circulated. Just a theory, I like throwing ideas out there.
Therefore some energy is also going to be spent by the plants to strengthen themselves working against the current and push toward the energy...
 

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An E2026 is a glorified 2215 which really is not big enough output wise for a 55g seems fine at first, but when the tank matures and plants grow heavy the stability of the ecosystem declines. we start getting various forms of algae and we start assuming it is something we have or have not dosed right.
We take filtration/flow for granted, I've been guilty of it myself.

The condition of an aquarium depends very much on the performance of its biological filter. When the filter's micro-organisms are thriving, the water will be crystal clear and there is no algae growth.

The chemical reaction that expresses the oxidation process carried out by the nitrobacteria which converts harmful ammonia into harmless nitrate is NH3; NO2; NO3. The bacteria that converts ammonia (NH3) into nitrite (NO2) is called Nitrosomonas, and the bacteria that converts that into nitrate (NO3) is called Nitrobactor. Research shown that the remaining nitrate is about 70 times less toxic than nitrite, but if enough accumulates in the water it canstill be harmful. Therefore, it is always necessary to frequently change the aquarium water even when using a top-of-the-line filter.

So we need good filters and media that are properly maintained, lots of oxygen or surface agitation, but not to the degree that we degrade our level of C02 content below the uptake rate of the plants in time of thier need for it which will be evident by algae growth, fish gasping and or poor plant health based on the amount of light over the tank, filter/media and keeping the tank clean and free from excess organics, dead floating, rotting plant matter, and frequent water changes.

If the filtration/flow is inadequate the stability of the system will eventually decline or crash.

Read BOD, just below the ph chart.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/278839-post41.html

I have a 2126 on my 46g, when it gets grown over I have to either prune and trim hard or increase flow by the addition of a 2213 or a small power head.

Same holds true for my 29g I have a 2215 on it, the canisters are big enough, but the flow drastically reduces when the tank grows heavy. Creating dead spots/ish, C02 is reduce in this environment which in turn creates various other problems soon after. even on my 60cm a 2213 is not effective enough once the tank grows heavy.

I either need a secondary source of flow/filtration for each tank in time of mass, or keep the tank pruned down.
I just purchased another tank, I am going to get the largest filter I can afford for this very reason.
 

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In several case, good circulation as in avoiding the stagnancy on the water surface is also important.

Film and fine debris floating and accumulating at certain spot on the tank may seriously damage your plants (at least from what I personally observe). My lily pad would get shortlived and wither whenever I let too many debris or let my vals grow too long and cause scum accumulation at certain spots where the pads at.
Clearly the pads last a lot longer when the surface is crystal clear with some movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
An E2026 is a glorified 2215 which really is not big enough output wise for a 55g seems fine at first, but when the tank matures and plants grow heavy the stability of the ecosystem declines. we start getting various forms of algae and we start assuming it is something we have or have not dosed right.
We take filtration/flow for granted, I've been guilty of it myself.

The condition of an aquarium depends very much on the performance of its biological filter. When the filter's micro-organisms are thriving, the water will be crystal clear and there is no algae growth.

I have a 2126 on my 46g, when it gets grown over I have to either prune and trim hard or increase flow by the addition of a 2213 or a small power head.

Same holds true for my 29g I have a 2215 on it, the canisters are big enough, but the flow drastically reduces when the tank grows heavy. Creating dead spots/ish, C02 is reduce in this environment which in turn creates various other problems soon after. even on my 60cm a 2213 is not effective enough once the tank grows heavy.

I either need a secondary source of flow/filtration for each tank in time of mass, or keep the tank pruned down.
I just purchased another tank, I am going to get the largest filter I can afford for this very reason.
Your making me believe. My main reason to go with another 2026 is to have one spare parts bin for my canisters... Nothing wrong with two. I like to have a spare impeller/shaft and o rings on hand. Just in case.

Wö£fëñxXx I really appreciate your breaking this down for me.

Thanks.
:proud:
 
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