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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, not the first post Id like to do on this forum, but I had to. Ive been having a few problems with my tank. I just cant take it anymore.

First my setup. I have 45 gallon, co2 at 1 bps, DI dosing, 3 watts/g T8 6400k light, Flourite, 2 ottos and 1 SAE. Just 3 fishes in the entire tank.

I have the following plants

Anabuis nana
Bacopa australis
ludwigia arcuata
Samolus parviflorus
Pogostemon h.
rotundifolia indica

My light turns on at 10 am and off at 9 pm. Co2 turns off and on 1 hour before. All the plants pearl like crazy from 3pm to lights off.

1) I think I have blue green algae for almost a month now. It is light greenish now, so Im thinking its dieing out. This thing is going crazy, growing on gravel, roots and plants. Just today I noticed the water surface having these green spots. I think it might be thing dead algae floating?

2) green spot algae growing on everything. My nana has already been hammered but I cant put my Samolus parviflorus in the shade. Since its slow growing and under high lights its been doing bad. Its growing really fast in my tank, but the leaves are getting covered in it.

3) My Bacopa australis suddenly burnt up. Im not sure what did it but it was growing like crazy before and then all of a sudden it stopped growing and started melting. My ludwigia arcuata turned red and pinkish but the lower leaves have turned black and are coming off. Its only maybe 3 inches or less in height. I got this plant 3 weeks ago.

4) Im noticing a new type of algae on my Samolus.

On a lighter note, my 10 lb co2 tank is almost empty, its only been 5 months to refill. Ive been using it at 1 bps for a month, before that it was 1 bp 2 s.

Here are the pics









Heres another pic, of how healthy some plants are doing. Especially this guy. Another problem is plants love growing sideways than vertically.



Thanks, Id really like some :help:
 

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1 bubble/sec of CO2 sounds very low for this size tank. But bubbles sizes vary, and so does diffusion efficiency, off-gassing due to surface agitation, use by plants, etc. What matters in the end is the amount in the tank. Do you have a drop checker with 4°KH solution to tell you this? Highly recommended if not.

A couple more questions. What is the distance between the florescent bulbs and substrate? What filtration/circulation do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1 bubble/sec of CO2 sounds very low for this size tank. But bubbles sizes vary, and so does diffusion efficiency, off-gassing due to surface agitation, use by plants, etc. What matters in the end is the amount in the tank. Do you have a drop checker with 4°KH solution to tell you this? Highly recommended if not.

A couple more questions. What is the distance between the florescent bulbs and substrate? What filtration/circulation do you have?

I thought that rate would be alot. The bubbles go into a big powerhead which turns them into tiny bubbles. Usually the whole tank will be covered with tiny bubbles floating here and there. For water circulation I have a medium sized external filter, its a Sunsun filter. The outflow is directed to the top 1/4 of the tank. The Parvoulas block the flow that is suppose to be going at the gravel. Should I adjust the outflow to aim at the bottom of the tank? Because I think theres no flow at the bottom causing the blue green.

From the bulb to the lowest point of the gravel is 17". Im not sure how effective the light is at those depths but Ive grown HC with this same light. As for the ph measure, Ill have to make a DIY soon.
 

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I've been trying to do the math on your setup. It would help if I knew the measurments of the tank. And also, what kind or kinds of light fixture(s) do you have? I also agree that 1bps in a 45 gallon tank is not going to be enough. You say you are EI dosing? What are your nitrate and phosphate readings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been trying to do the math on your setup. It would help if I knew the measurments of the tank. And also, what kind or kinds of light fixture(s) do you have? I also agree that 1bps in a 45 gallon tank is not going to be enough. You say you are EI dosing? What are your nitrate and phosphate readings?


Thats the problem, I dont have any test kits. I dose every other day. 5 ml of macro and 1 ml of trace. In 1 litre I mixed 60 g KNO3, 15 g KH2PO4, 25 g K2SO4. For trace in 1 litre I have 15 g of the trace. Since my tank isnt too heavly planted atm, I only dosing 5 ml. As usual 50% water change every weekend. I have two T8 light fixtures. 2800 lumens. Is there a kit you suggest that I can buy from ebay. Petsmart and these stores dont have it cheap over here. My tank measurments are 48 x 18 x 12.5
 

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Your macro mixture is per ml:

.22 ppm Nitrate
.06 ppm Phosphate
.07 ppm Potassium

So dosing 5ml is:

1.1 ppm Nitrate
.3 ppm Phosphate
.35 ppm Potassium.

You need to have:

10-20 ppm Nitrate
10-20 ppm Potassium
1 - 2 ppm Phosphate

You can get the API liquid test (Phosphate and Nitrate) kits on Ebay. I still would like more infor on your lights. Brand? 2 Bulbs per fixture? Watts? Reflectors? Is your tank A standard 45 gallon tall, 36 x 12 x 24?
 

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You also need a drop checker, you can get one of those on [Ebay Link Removed]. If it was my tank. I would up the ferts and the co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your macro mixture is per ml:

. I still would like more infor on your lights. Brand? 2 Bulbs per fixture? Watts? Reflectors? Is your tank A standard 45 gallon tall, 36 x 12 x 24?


Will check for that soon.

I have 2 T8 fixtures that have 2 tubes each. The tubes are Phillips 32T8/DX. M 45 gallon is long, not tall. As for reflectors its just a white fixer and Ive put aluminum foil on the top and sides to reflect the light down.

All this time I thought the exess ferts were causing algae :(
 

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Ok, your tank is 18 inches tall, with 4 t8 bulbs. You have tried to increase output by putting aluminum foil in for better reflection. I would guess you to be in the medium light range. I am running 2-3 bps of co2 in my 29 gallon tank, I think that would be a good place to start for you until you get your drop checker. Always watch your fish for signs of stress when increasing co2. I also would up your ferts. I have had Blue Green Algae a couple of times, and nothing but original Mardel Maracyn would get rid of it.

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=4838
 

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I'd agree with medium light, maybe close to high. No problems there.

It might help if you can get the flow down to the substrate, especially where the BGA is. Worth some experimentation to see if you can get a better flow pattern from your existing filter. I usually like to have two filters on a tank for better flow coverage, but it's not absolutely necessary; and your powerhead probably contributes some flow as well.

Drop checkers vary primarily in response time, not accuracy. The cheap chinese glass drop checkers work well enough. You can get one here, along with the required 4°KH solution, for $14 shipped from the US; so you don't have to wait 3 weeks for a shipment from China like on Ebay.

CO2 is probably your main problem. With EI dosing, you're probably well covered on ferts. However, the BGA may be consuming enough nitrate that not enough is left for the rest of the plants. Instead of adding more nitrate, I'd give some attention to cleaning out the BGA. Options include manual removal, blackouts, better flow, H2O2/Excel spot treatments, or erythromycin; with the last being the most effective, but also most expensive.

I've used the API nitrate/phosphate test kits and found the results to be misleading. Details could fill a thread all by themselves, so I'll leave that for another time. I'll just say for now that I hold all test results suspect unless verified against both reference solutions and real-world tank results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the great replies, especially you Cobra.

I think I have erythromycin, but I didnt use it because I wasent sure if it would hurt the fish and other plants. Im trying my best to remove the blu green. Its very annoying, it sticks to my gravel, on plant roots and plants. I will be doing my regular water change tomorrow, so I will adjust the filter output as well. About my fert dosing, should I increase them from 5 ml to 10 (not for blue green but in general)?

It will take me some time to get the drop checker and test kits. Unfortunately my co2 is almost finished so Ill need to get it refilled in a day or two. From then on Ill increase the rate. Yes I always keep an eye on my fish and they seem to be doing well, no excess co2 in tank yet. Just the plants pearling like crazy and water filled with bubbles led me to believe that my co2 was at a good rate.

Now with higher co2 lvls, Im assuming the green spot algae growing on the slow growing plants will stop? Also, Im not sure why one of my plant melted.

Edit: I really want to do this diy but just dont have the time atm. diy Drop Checker
http://gtaaquaria.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11247#5
 

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Plain & Simple. Your tank is too complicated & you're lights are on too long. Try backing the lights off to every other day for 6 hours & get rid of the CO2 which is just an added expense......... I have 2 48" T8 lights that I run every other day for 6 hours or so, not carved in stone, No CO2 & my plants are fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Plain & Simple. Your tank is too complicated & you're lights are on too long. Try backing the lights off to every other day for 6 hours & get rid of the CO2 which is just an added expense......... I have 2 48" T8 lights that I run every other day for 6 hours or so, not carved in stone, No CO2 & my plants are fine.
Ive always wanted to go high tech setup. I used to have a low light, no co2 setup and I had a forest of low requiring plants. When I get this setup stable, I will be adding more higher requiring plants. You cant get HC, needle leaf or red plants to grow in low light without co2.
 

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A lot of things potentially needs correction here. First of all too much light and for too long. Cut back to 6-7 hours and 1.5wpg. That is more than sufficient. Your dosing is too less, as suggested in some earlier posts, they need to be notched up for the plants to thrive. Finally, if you are having BGA then you probably do not have enough circulation of water causing dead anaerobic areas.
 

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Either erythromycin or toxins released by dying BGA (yes, it's toxic) can sometimes damage the biofilter, which can cause ammonia to build up and possibly threaten fish. It's a good idea to clean up all BGA possible right before starting treatment, then test ammonia periodically during and for a few days after the treatment. Never had a problem with this myself, but always good to exercise some caution.

I just looked closely at your fert dosage, and I see I assumed wrongly that you were dosing normal EI levels, when in fact you're dosing quite a bit less.

Livingword's calcs are correct except for potassium, every 5ml of your macro solution adds 1.1ppm of K to a 45G. The proportions of your mixes are correct.

However, the dosage is wrong. You're dosing about 9x less than EI recommendations for a high-light, heavily-planted, 40-60G tank.

You're correct that the dosage can be reduced, since you're medium-light, medium-planted, and near the bottom of the range of tank size. But I'd consider 3x less to be a more realistic reduction, especially considering how few fish you have contributing to nutrients. That works out to 15ml of both macro and micro solution, 3x per week.

Sorry I missed that initially. Oops. :hihi: That could certainly cause some problems too, though I still believe low CO2 is also a factor.

As for DIY'ing the drop checker, are you planning to DIY the 4°KH solution as well? Otherwise, you'll still have to order the 4°KH, and pay separate shipping; which could have been combined on a drop checker, reducing its effective cost to about $5.
 

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If some of your plants are doing great then you are on the right track!

If CO2 goes on at 9am, lights are on at 10am but nothing is pearling until 3pm then your diffusion method isn't very effective. My not big enough CO2 reactor isn't enough for my big tank but my plants start pearling within an hour.

Until you find or make a drop checker you can just take repeated pH tests right out of the tank and plot them on a chart to get an idea of how things are going. You could even take samples from different areas of the tank to compare. pH tests are fun as they are so quick and easy to read. Every time I go to the thrift stores I fit various tiny cups, candle holders and shot glasses together to see if I can find some that don't need to be glued together to make a DC. Haven't bought anything yet, don't actually need one and with prices around here I would be paying a buck for each piece of glass. Check the dark recesses of the cupboards, maybe there is something already in the house that could work. Be sure it is okay to use though.

You can use this handy dandy calculator to see what you have been dosing. Not enough! Try doubling up on the dosing for a week and see if you notice a difference.
http://calc.petalphile.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you guys for the great help. Ill be reading over this thread again and again for the time to come.

So in all, I need to increase my co2 and ferts (to 15ml ea). I will be turning my co2 on 2 or 3 hours before the lights turn on and adjust to when plants start bubbling. I think Ill be better off buying the checker. Since Im in Toronto Canada Ill get my bro to get it shipped to him in states. I guess I will also reduce my light down to 8 hours. I wanted the lights to stay on till 10 pm or so since its a great piece in the apartment (anyone entering the house sees the aquarium first). Also face the outlet of the filter down. Hopefully this will eradicate all the algae problems Im having. Im still wondering as to why one of my plant melted. It was the least requirement, low light plant. It dosent even require anything and yet it melted. I guess I cant determine the cause since I really dont have anything to check the water parameter with.
 

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You might try a split photoperiod. Set up the timer to cut off the lights for an hour or two in the middle of the day, when it's least likely anyone will be viewing it. No downside to this as far as I know, and it even lets the CO2 levels rebound since the plants stop using it for that time. It can be done with the mechanical timers where you insert tabs to set the times, if you steal the tabs from a second timer. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You might try a split photoperiod. Set up the timer to cut off the lights for an hour or two in the middle of the day, when it's least likely anyone will be viewing it. No downside to this as far as I know, and it even lets the CO2 levels rebound since the plants stop using it for that time. It can be done with the mechanical timers where you insert tabs to set the times, if you steal the tabs from a second timer. ;)

haha Ive done this for a year or two but recently stopped. I had no algae plus plants were perling so whats the point? And I went ahead and increased the light period. I guess Ill do that or make the lights turn on a little later in the morning. The problem is the apartment is lit in the morning/afternoon/enening so the tank gets some of the light. So yea, Ill try out and see what happens :)
 
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