What am I dealing with here? - El Natural - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 06-12-2019, 12:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What am I dealing with here?

(First off, I'm really GadgetGirl. I accidently logged out and now I can't log back in! My saved password doesn't work and I can't retreive it because my email address has changed. So I gave up and created a new account.)

Any way my tank was successful but old and overgrown. So I tore it down and set up a new tank. It's a 40 gal SeaClear. I have a Finnex 24/7 CC. It ramps up to 100% at noon, then drops off to 60% at 3pm. They're is a layer of hornwort on surface. The light is 13" from substrate. Substrate is plain well-mineralized topsoil with play sand cap. Nothing that I haven't used before! I dose 2X Excel. This problem started within a few days of setup and has coated everything! It doesn't rub off. It's also on plants that are well_shaded. Light doesn't seem to matter. It's a dark reddish brown green layer on just about everything. It almost looks like it's part of the leaf if that makes any sense. Any ideas? Help needed!

pH = 7.0
GH = 5
KH = 2
NH3 = 0
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 10
PO4 = 2
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

Every new tank gets algae. Just stick with it. First adjust the the lighting, lower the intensity, then do water changes. The algae sounds like some sort of red algae like BBA or the beginning of some beard algae.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Every new tank gets algae. Just stick with it. First adjust the the lighting, lower the intensity, then do water changes. The algae sounds like some sort of red algae like BBA or the beginning of some beard algae.
Thanks for the reply! This just seems like so much so fast! I lowered the noon intensity to 60% for all colors including white. 3pm already set at this level. I do weekly 30% water changes. I did some research and it seems to match green spot algae that has spread to a sheet. It seems to mostly be on my anubias and crypts. A little on my Java ferns and none on my sword or hornwort so it seems to be the slow growers.
I hate to cut off all the affected leaves as there would be hardly anything left of my anubias. The rhizomes are healthy so I suppose they will rejuvenate.

Related question: Does PAR fall off linear or exponential? If I lower 60 PAR on my 24/7 CC (the rating for this light) by 50%, will PAR decrease to 30? In other words will decreasing the light intensity by 50% result in 50% decrease in PAR? Perhaps @hoppycalif knows the answer. He's the PAR expert.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

You can dip the affected leaves in hydrogen peroxide for 10-20 seconds, not any longer or the leaves will melt. Wash off the peroxide and the algae will die off over time. Oh, It could be spotted algae. You definitely had too much light.

PAR to distance is a expenential curve.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

That's what I did. I took the anubias out as they are easy to deal with. I put them in a tub of water and sprayed them with H2O2 for about 15 sec.

Finnex has the light at 60 PAR at max intensity at approx 13" (which is for a short period of the 24 hr cycle). They also state that when adjusting the intensity, each "click" is 10%. So I took it down 4 "clicks" from max. which I'm guessing is about 60%. Does that sound right? I have no idea what the PAR would be.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

In an NPT, the rooted plants depend on fish droppings for most of their nutrients. A cap of very fine sand prevents these from getting to the roots of the plants. That isn't the cause of your algae problem now, but it will cause problems later.

Your prior tank was overgrown? In an NPT, that is a sign of health! What is different between it and the current one?

I suspect that the lighting is at the root of the problem (pun accidental <g>). Shoot for no more than 20 - 30 PAR at the substrate. And until the problem is solved, perhaps maintain a constant lighting level. That would eliminate another variable.

You'll win eventually.

Bill
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

The difference in this tank and the old one is the height. The old tank was 21" high, the new one is 16" high. This may be the root of the problem. My original light was the Finnex 24/7 version 1, my new light is the 24/7 CC which is completely customizable and allows you to change the intensity. I believe I may have had it set too high at the noon setting.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

If the light is now 13 inches from the substrate, then I assume it was 18 inches from the substrate before.



These charts give you a good idea about how much the PAR changes with that change in distance. I would interpret the charts to mean that your PAR went from about 50 to about 80, at maximum intensity. That is a very significant increase in intensity. But, I don't know how to guess the PAR when you adjust it to 50%, for example. I don't know if the PAR drops by 50% or if that is just a way to set the intensity to the same value each time you adjust it to 50%. I haven't seen where anyone measured the PAR vs the setting.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

Hoppy, that is correct about the heights. This is what has me so confused. I'm just guessing at the light levels. Finnex says each "click" is 10% so I just set it 4 clicks lower.
Edit: Hoppy, I'm really @GadgetGirl. I got locked out of my account. You helped me with my PAR question I had recently.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What am I dealing with here?

Each click being 10% doesn't really mean that it drops the PAR by 10%. I think it means it drops the electric current by 10%, and that is not necessarily going to drop the intensity by 10%. You can buy a digital lux meter very cheaply, for example: https://www.amazon.com/123CityFarmer...-2-spons&psc=1 With that you can prop your light across a couple of chairs, put the meter sensor at a measured distance from the light, and see what a click does to the intensity. This is not a lux meter that can be used in water, and the spectrum that a lux meter measures is not the full PAR spectrum, but you can divide lux by 70 and have a rough estimate of the PAR. It is a pretty cheap way to get some usable information.
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