The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, all. First post here. I'm having some problems with pH swings and beard/hair algae in my 55g planted tank.

At about 3 bubbles/second into the HOB filter intake from pressurized CO2 at 20psi, run on the same timer as that of the tank lights, my pH during the day reads about 6.7. This is about the level I want for my plants and South American cichlids. However, at night the pH swings up about one whole point to the area of 7.6. The water that comes out of my tap is relatively soft (low buffering capacity) with a pH about equal to the pH of my tank water at night. I want to avoid leaving it on 24 hours a day to conserve CO2 and also because with my present setup, the CO2 bubbles striking the impeller of the HOB filter is somewhat noisy and I live in a small apartment. Having said that, is it likely that simply giving the tank 24 hour CO2 will solve my pH problem? Can someone also suggest an alternative to CO2 straight into the intake? Do those bubble ladders really work and are they work ~$20?

I'm also getting some nasty beard/hair algae, particularly on older leaves of sword plants, slow growers like blyxa and even on the tops of some Eusteralis and Hygro! My nitrates read only 5ppm. ODing with Excel helps but this is obviously not an ideal solution. I've recently started dosing Seachem root tabs, Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Iron but I can't tell what effect this is having if any on the algae problem. The tank gets a little indirect sunlight through the blinds. What could be causing this and what can I do besides manual removal and Excel?

Thanks everyone!

General Tank Info:
48" X 13" x 20"
HOB filtration, Aquaclear 70, Topfin 60
4x 65 watt 6700k CFL, 12 hours a day
Pressurized CO2 - shares timer with lights, lowers pH one point from 7.6 at night
Relatively soft water, Nitrates 5ppm
Mixture of flourite, silica sand, gravel substrate
In operation for about six months
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I lose the surface agitation from the HOB by switching to a cannister filter will it reduce the pH swing with CO2 on the timer with the lights? Will I also need to oxygenate the water somehow to compensate for the less of surface agitation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,647 Posts
Surface agitation is a good thing. It oxygenates the water which is good for the fish. You don't want the water splashing as it exits the filters but you do want surface movement and good circulation throughout the tank. Any CO2 lost due to surface movement can be compensated for by increasing your bubble count. Running your CO2 at night isn't necessary, the plants don't use it at night. The pH swing caused by it isn't an issue and the fish will be fine with it.

The beard algae you speak of is usually caused by low and/or inconsistent CO2 levels as are most algae issues. Manual removal and Excel will help until you get your CO2 up to par. You might give thought to picking up a dropchecker to help gauge your CO2. You are a bit lean on nitrate and with the amount of light you have it will get lower as you increase your CO2 and the plants grow so a source of nitrate, potassium and phosphate is essential. Most people prefer to use dry ferts for those but seachem, pfertz and others also sell them but dry is much less expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,647 Posts
Okay, this makes sense.

Do you think a Fluval 304 (260 gph) would be sufficient filtration for a 55g, heavily planted with a fair population of livestock?
I used to use a 304 on a 55 gallon and looking back it was barely adequate. A 404 would have been better or using a 304 in conjunction with a powerhead would have been better. You could use a 304 along with one the HOBs you still have. As the tank grows in you'll find the flow in it drops considerably. I have a 75 now and use 404 and 304 and by no means is there too much water movement in the tank.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,071 Posts
Increase co2 and/or decrease surface agitation for the algae. pH swings caused by co2 don't affect fish, so don't worry about that. 7.6 is pretty high for softwater. I'd advise against the fluval in favor of eheim or rena.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top