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Algae Algae Control - Get some advice for your algae problems. Control algae in your aquarium with the solutions given here.

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Old 01-26-2005, 04:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Algae Woes

Details of my 6-month old 26 Gallon:

Water Parameters:
N = 10ppm (They would fall to 0 if I didn't add KNO3)
P = 1ppm (via KH2PO4)
K = dosed for 20ppm via K2SO4
C02 (daytime) = 30ppm via pressurized
KH = 4
PH (daytime) = 6.6
Traces = every time I add Flourish I get an algae bloom--even with 1 mL in my 26-G! Thus, I'm not adding any right now
40-50% water change every week (SoCal tap treated with SeaChem Prime)

Lighting = 2 ODNOd 36" 30w tubes (one 6700K, one 9325K)--assuming close to 90watts--photoperiod 10 hours via digital timer

Filtration = Eheim 2213

Heat = 78F

Plants:
Hairgrass
Glosso
Hemianthus Callitrichoides
Hemianthus Micrathemoides
A little Riccia
(Fairly densely planted (whole substrate is covered), though I pulled my fast growers--Rotala Indica, Watersprite, Red Lud) after the tank was set up for 4 months)

Substrate = EcoComplete

Maintainence:
Pull as much algae from hairgrass & glosso as possible. There is always residual left in the hairgrass & in the glosso. The Hair Algae tends to grow on the EcoComplete
Filter--doesn't get dirty b/t cleanings every 2 months
Glass (acrylic) gets cleaned weekly b/c it gets spot algae as well as fuzzy algae
Trim plants (they are growing well, but so is algae)

Bioload:
15 Cardinal Tetras
3 Harlequin Rasboras
9 Bee Shrimp
>50 Cherry Shrimp
2 Otocinclus
(Re: feeding--the tetras and HRs eat once or twice a day, but very nominal amounts)

PROBLEM:
I've read as much as anyone on how to make this aquarium algae-free. I've followed all of the suggestions verbatim for months. Getting my CO2 up to 30ppm (thanks Tom Barr) cured the Staghorn Algae problems. I'm still having BIG issues with Hair Algae (multi-branched, green, easily removed from glosso and hairgrass) and Thread Algae to a lesser extent (easy to remove, but overwhelmed my Java Moss so badly that I threw it all out).

This is really cutting into my enjoyment of the whole process.

It would be rather impossible for me to physically remove the algae entirely without pulling up all of my Glosso and Hairgrass.

I tried to use SeaChem Excel as an algaecide by ODing a little, but I lost a few shrimp. Could be coincidence, but I'd rather not lose more.

Is there anything I'm possibly overlooking? I'm really at a loss here right now. Please help.
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Last edited by John P.; 01-26-2005 at 04:26 PM..
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You most probably know as much as me (or more) on algae, I have been through the same battles as you. One of the things I found effective was to reduce my lighting from 12 to 9 hours, suddenly the algae did not want to know. I do not have as much light as you (2 watts per gallon) but it might be worth a try.

I know you are on 10 hours a day so you are not much different to me, however some people run on 6 or 7 hours so you could try that as an option.

Sorry cannot be more constructive
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What kind of test kits are you using, and have you calibrated them? Your parameters look good...you shouldn't be having problems.

You might try doubling your P for a couple of weeks, that helped me out and got rid of a lot of the algae I was having trouble with. I've also heard of others having similar success with adding more P.
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Why do you add twice as much K (in the K2SO4 dosing) as you do KNO3? I thought the general wisdom indicated equal quantities. Increased levels of K dosing might well have an influence on other uptakes causing, for instance, a shortage of something.

My water is softer than yours, but I did have a similar problem arise (thread and hair algae) when dosing Tropica Master Grow. After I started adding K2SO4 in equal quantities to KNO3, the issue was resolved. The only recurrence has been when the NO3 level dropped badly for one week.

I found that dosing K2SO4 seemed to increase the NO3 uptake so I increased the NO3 (and phosphate) dosing. So far so good.

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Old 01-27-2005, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pineapple
Why do you add twice as much K (in the K2SO4 dosing) as you do KNO3? I thought the general wisdom indicated equal quantities.
Andrew Cribb
Everywhere I look I seem to find that ratio (http://www.plantedtank.net/fertilizers.html for instance). I'll try to tone down the amount of Potassium then. Come to think of it, I've only had bad problems with Hair Algae once I started dosing this much K.

As far as test kits, I use AP for everything except excet for P, which is Red Sea. I think they are fairly accurate.

I think I should try removing organics by lightly vacuming the substrate, too. I've NEVER done that for fear of losing shrimplings. Think that'd help?
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Perhaps I was thinking of Greg Watson's advice on the K dosing. Whatever, it does seem to work for me.

Vacuuming also helps, I think. If you put a net over the siphon outlet you can catch fry and shrimp that get through and return them

I suspect that cleaning the filter hoses once in a while also helps to return things to a day zero situation. Every little (sometimes) helps...

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Old 01-27-2005, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I think I read on chuck's site that hair algae could be reduced if you reduce your iron dosing.

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_algae.htm
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