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I was at 10ppm and got it down to 1ppm.
I spent most of the past 30 years working with SPS corals. Which are a 1000 times more sensitive than plants.
We have worked to stop doing water changes at all on coral tanks. To reach a stability of water parameters. So the whole let’s do 100 percent and 50 precent water changes to me is crazy.
This is the old the solution to pollution is dilution answer.
I know ICP testing is not a big thing in planted tanks. But you can do tests of the water before an after dosing an see how much the plants actually up take.
The two photos above show a before and after phosban.
Phosban Is a Synthetic ferric oxide hydroxide granules with an extremely high capacity for adsorbing phosphate from saltwater and freshwater. Also adsorbs silicate, and does not release adsorbed substances.
One could use straight ferric oxide which is iron pellets.
Another way is to use a algae scrubber.
Which creates am the perfect environment for algae to grow.
All algae’s come about due to an access of nutrients in the aquarium that the algae needs to grow.
 

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All algae’s come about due to an access of nutrients in the aquarium that the algae needs to grow.
I would agree algae comes about from excess nutrients, more specifically from the ammonia and other toxins that come from organic waste. If algae came about from excessive NPK, then every EI type dosed tank would have algae. I know my tanks typically keep in excess of 40 ppm of NO3, been as high as 80-100ppm and 3-4 PO4 and I don't have any fast growing stems in the tank, nor did I ever go through an algae phase, not even diatoms.

What all these EI type tanks have in common is excess ferts, so that simply can't be the answer. What they don't have in common is the uptake necessary to "immediately" process the ammonia.
 

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I was at 10ppm and got it down to 1ppm.
I spent most of the past 30 years working with SPS corals. Which are a 1000 times more sensitive than plants.
We have worked to stop doing water changes at all on coral tanks. To reach a stability of water parameters. So the whole let’s do 100 percent and 50 precent water changes to me is crazy.
This is the old the solution to pollution is dilution answer.

Which creates am the perfect environment for algae to grow.
All algae’s come about due to an access of nutrients in the aquarium that the algae needs to grow.
If your PO4 was at 10 ppm without dosing any PO4, then IMO you could really use more water changes.

Water changes are not beneficial because they dilute the fertilization, they are helpful because they removed dissolved organics from the system. An uber clean tank with low dissolved organics is easily the best defense against algae.

And there is a world of difference in a tank that generates 10 ppm PO4 from fish waste/food to a tank that is uber clean and is dosed to 10 ppm PO4.

Like @Asteroid said above, your statement that all algae come about from a excess in nutrients is simply not true. I can point you to some of the best tanks in the world that dose in "excess" but are algae free.

In fact, I would argue that too little nutrients is far worse than too many. Weak starving plants are an easy target and a magnet for algae.

In the end, think providing plants all they need to have healthy steady growth, not defeating algae. IME, starving algae never works, and only makes things worse.
 

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If your PO4 was at 10 ppm without dosing any PO4, then IMO you could really use more water changes.

Water changes are not beneficial because they dilute the fertilization, they are helpful because they removed dissolved organics from the system. An uber clean tank with low dissolved organics is easily the best defense against algae.
That's a good point about the 10 ppm of PO4 without dosing. Excessive waste from fish food etc. BTW from the Phosban description:

"Largest adsorption capacity of any phosphate filtering media. Ferric oxide hydroxide-based granules also adsorb organics and other pollutants. Use just like activated carbon; filter bag included.

So it appears that it also removes organics as well, which is interesting, but I still wouldn't recommend for planted aquaria since you need some PO4, which your @EdWiser getting from the ADA AS.
 

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In my new 120p I will be doing ICP testing on dosing methods. This is to actually nail down the take up on plants nutrients and Elements. I have been using ICP testing since it came out and follow DUTCH synthetic reefing guidelines. So I am looking this all from a testing of method not a this is what others due.
Don't use ICP ...yet. They are not able to accurately read the levels that we maintain micros, and you certainly don't need such analysis for macros. The reported values will, essentially, be guesses. They are working on this capability and expect to have it in the future, hopefully sometime this year. You may want to contact them about it (they are very responsive), as any interest on a potential customers' part may encourage them to look at our market.
 

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So it appears that it also removes organics as well, which is interesting, but I still wouldn't recommend for planted aquaria since you need some PO4, which your @EdWiser getting from the ADA AS.
That is interesting.

Removing organics having an effect on algae would make more sense the removal of PO4.

IMO, more frequent water changes, regular gravel vacs, and good filter maintenance far outweigh the benefits of charcoal, Purigen, or something like Phosban.
 

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That is interesting.

Removing organics having an effect on algae would make more sense the removal of PO4.

IMO, more frequent water changes, regular gravel vacs, and good filter maintenance far outweigh the benefits of charcoal, Purigen, or something like Phosban.
I agree, I do use purigen or more preferably Carbon because my tanks aren't stem heavy and much of the real estate is hardscape which doesn't help with uptake so in the initial period I feel these organic removal products can only help. Another tool in the toolbox against algae.

The best for organic removal for me is plants (continuous) and then water change/vac (once a week usually) The filter is at the end because when the filter takes in waste it's still part of the system. Plenty of tanks have huge filters, no plants and with good light they grow algae quite well. A theory can be told that your better off having waste not be collected by the filter, as one gravel vacs more frequently then they clean their filter. :surprise:
 

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Phosban description:

"Largest adsorption capacity of any phosphate filtering media. Ferric oxide hydroxide-based granules also adsorb organics and other pollutants. Use just like activated carbon; filter bag included.
I love the fascinating little tidbits you glean from conversations like this! Who knew that phosban also adsorbs organics.

I get the impression that you can really get away with minimal phosphorous in an aquarium. There was someone on here that couldn't detect phosophorous in a sample of Easy Green but that seems to work just fine for most people. I only add 2.8 ppm per week, and definitely don't overfeed, and I only occasionally get GSA and never get green hair algae.

I've had severe hair algae outbreaks in the past. The nuclear option is the "one-two punch" method, but the real root cause for me has always been tank cleanliness i.e. excess "organics". In one case it was due to using a lot of organic/non-mineralized dirt in the substrate (I used a bunch of worm castings) that was dragged up every time I uprooted plants. In another case it was a bunch of gaps in rocks that detritus was building up in.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Just wondering, if dissolved organics is the string algae culprit, has anyone here used activated carbon with success to combat it?
 

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I love the fascinating little tidbits you glean from conversations like this! Who knew that phosban also adsorbs organics.
We have to be a little careful about this. If you read further on the Phosban site, they are specific about it removing only water-staining organic compounds. These are things such as tannins. It does not remove the nitrogenous organics and there are many other waste aspects beyond nitrogen and phosphorus. As @Asteroid mentioned, Purigen and AC will also remove the same organics that Phosban does, other than PO4. Seachem also has products that do what Phosban does.
 

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When reading about the over dosing of fert’s then doing massive water changes. While in May work it is not a user friendly was of maintaining an aquarium. The “average “ hobbyist doesn’t have the time to do massive water changes 3 times a week. They have a family jobs and lives.
Now I can do this easily as I have a completely automated system to do this. I built it for my Saltwater system.
My friend D2mini who post’s to his build thread here does this. I can do this easy by either scheduling the removal of so much water per hour or by just pressing one button on my touch screen control of my tank an remove water while watching the tank.
I try to think about how to better manage this balance for the average hobbyist.
As far as plants taking up phosphate.
Have we looked into what plants take up what fert’s. This would allow people to realize that the may want to add certain plants to a tank to “balance” and therefore help with issues like hair algae.
 

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https://greenaqua.hu/en/alga-tajekoztato

I went here to help me with hair algae on my 75 gallon. All I did was become more consistent with my Co2. I have a set schedule since i'm working from home now and it's gone from a mess to only spot algae. I do recommend trimming the length of it or rubbing the areas gently to try and get it off there.

One person said to put a bunch of Excel in there, this is a great idea if you don't inject Co2.

I really can't wait to see what this looks like when you are done. I liked the layout a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and experiences. Based on your inputs, here is what I'm doing and will post new pics as I make progress:

I did the Excel megadose on Monday @ 1ml/gallon. It's Friday today and while I don't see much improvement in the hair algae yet, the plants and livestock do not seem to be affected at all. Even my Christmas Tree Moss is unaffected. I was really scared dumping 10x the recommended dosage of Excel in my tank. Anyways, I will follow the increase dose instructions and move to 1.5ml/gallon next week.

I also added Phosban and Activated Carbon to my canister filter. If the problem is dissolved organics, this will attack it on that front.

Finally, I'm trying something that is off the wall. In my reef tanks I have used a product called "Vibrant Aquarium Cleaner" which has worked wonders. It even eliminated Green Bubble Macro algae and Bryopsis in saltwater that is near impossible to control. The product is some type of bacteria blend rather than an algaecide. I've done the 1st dose of this according to label directions and will see what happens.
 

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This is a good article on algae. I think there's some confusion in this thread on what causes algae to appear in the first place and how to get rid of it once it's there.

Key point in the Green Aqua article:

"OK, so what causes algae to appear? In short: the presence of light and ammonia. The more light we have (and modern, high-tech aquariums have a lot of light), the less ammonia is needed to trigger algae-bloom. This is why beginning aquascapers see more algae after setting up their aquariums than traditional, low-tech hobbyists.

Problem is that ammonia can not be just "eliminated" - unless you make bigger, daily water changes in your aquarium - but that will also be a symptom cure. Our goal is to find out what causes the ammonia levels to spike in our water - and this is where things start to get more complicated. Ammonia appears as a result of decomposing organic elements in your water. This can be of multiple sources: dirty or inefficient filter, fish that died and remained undiscovered, decomposing plant leaves, accumulated mulm, etc."

Pretty much my belief. If you go on to read it, hadn't read it before and it's exactly what I think is true, The ammonia starts before you even "see" the algae and once it's algae it can feed off regular plant nutrients, but it starts with ammonia feeding spores. Also you can't really starve algae by reducing dosing, you need to out compete it. So if using something like Phosban make sure you have p04 in your substrate.
 

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I get the impression that you can really get away with minimal phosphorous in an aquarium. There was someone on here that couldn't detect phosophorous in a sample of Easy Green but that seems to work just fine for most people.
It depends on the individual tank.

Low light low tech tanks full of slow growing plants (most people?) can probably get by with PO4 that is generated from the tank.

Stop dosing PO4 into my high light tank full of flowery stems and you should expect a crash.

Also has much to do with the variety of stems. Rotala's & Ammannia's (lythraceae) and the like can get by with very little water column ferts as long as there is a nutrient rich substrate. And even then, some Rotala's like Macranda's prefer more EI level ferts.

So you really need to look at each tank in it's entirety, because there are a huge variety of tank eco systems out there.
 

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I have a fully planted tank, dosing EI and havent done a water change in 2 months (shame on me). CO2 + high lighting and only algae i get is diatoms (probably due to not enough phosphates) Plants and fish are thriving.

My other little guy is getting 0 ferts, 0 co2, but high lighting, Hair algae everywhere...i can vouch phosphate isnt the cause xD
 
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