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Old 07-18-2006, 11:15 AM   #31 (permalink)
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the state of my aquarium is slowly going to Hell. Blue green algae is creeping along my glosso and riccia, there is staghorn algae growing everywhere, and all my ludwigia that hasn't rotted away is covered in hairy green algae about 2 cm in length. I dose 1/8 nitrates and 1/32 phosphates and micronutrients every other day. I have my ah supply 36 watt for 10 hours. what am i doing wrong? I do water changes once a week.

am i dosing too much or too little? would dosing seachem flourish or excel help my plants regain a foothold? please help
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:54 PM   #32 (permalink)
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You don't say whether you did a three-day blackout or not. That blackout will wipe out most of the algae you have and will help your plants get a foothold in the tank. Also, how big of a water change do you do? I believe 50% is what's needed to "reset" the nutrient levels via the EI fertilizing method.

That said though, it still sounds to me like ten hours of 36W light on a ten gallon tank is too much light exposure. I'm running 28 watts on my ten gallon for 10 hours, and I get no algae whatsoever.
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:22 AM   #33 (permalink)
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You could raise KH a bit higher. Mine is up at 6.5 or so.

PO4 looks quite high to me. I try to target 0.5ppm. Some say that PO4 is the best algae-limiting-factor. So I think your best bet is to cut this way back when dosing.

Nitrate also looks high, I target 10ppm.

I don't like those goofy CO2 ladders. By far the most efficient way to disolve a gas into a liquid is with vigorous churning (though not at the water surface, that will make it all evaporate again). Perhaps try putting the CO2 output tube directly under the filter intake tube. The bubbles will then get churned up by the impeller. As long as there's no splashing of the water back into the tank, it should work. An even better alternative is to make a powerhead reactor. There are several web sites detailing how to make these, here's one:
Probably CO2 is not the issue though, so I don't know how far you want to go with that...

It might pay to go ahead and do that 3-4 day blackout to wipe out the algae and then sort of start over, dosing less PO4 and nitrate.

Keep us posted, I'm rooting for you. Don't let those lower life-forms keep you down.

PS. Another algae controlling technique that many people use is have a break in the photoperiod every day. Perhaps try lights on 5 hours, off 2 hours, on 5 hours, off 12 hours. They say that algae takes longer to start photosynthesizing than plants do, so the algae will have less productive time if the light cycle is interruped in the middle of the day.

Last edited by nightwing; 07-19-2006 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:20 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about your algal woes. Hang in there, you CAN defeat this. Here are some suggestions.

Manually remove as much as possible. Do a major water change with a good gravel vac at the same time. If you have a way to test for your nitrates and phosphates do so, that will give you a ballpark figure of where you are.

I have the same light set up on a 10 gal, 10 hr photoperiod, with pressurized CO2. I keep my nitrates around 10-20, my phosphates around 2-4ppm - I don't have algae. FWIW, here's what I dose: 10ppm of NO3 at water change, another 5ppm mid week. 2ppm of PO4 at water change, another 1+ppm midweek. 1/16 tsp of potassium at water change. I add 1ml of Flourish the 5 days I don't dose macros and 1/2ml of iron at the same time.

Get a routine going, and stick to it. With diy CO2 you can't get the stability you do with pressurized, that might be your biggest hurdle to overcome. Measure your pH from the tank, then let it sit out for 24 hours. You want there to be about 1.0pH unit higher after it sits out for the 24 hours. That will get you about 30ppm. Your kh of 2-3 is fine for CO2.

A blackout will get rid of bga and will knock down a lot of other algae. But algae needs a lot less than plants to grow, you can't starve it. I'm not a fan of a mid day black out. You turn off the plants just when they're cranking. IMO, that doesn't do much for algae control.

Good luck. HTH.
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:45 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I have the same light over a 10 with pressurized. I dose the same. Algae when it was on 10 hrs, reduced it to 8 hours, and algae has back down.

So Reduce photoperiod to 8 Hours.

-John N.
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:23 PM   #36 (permalink)
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well, i think the worst has passed. but that is only because every plant in my tank is either dead or at the threshold. I tried to keep dosing ferts regularly, but can't say i was very consistent because it didn't seem to help any, and my phosphates levels got too high very quickly. i only have glosso left, and bits of pearl grass stuck to the filter, everything else has been smothered by algae or just melted away. The question that i have is whether i need any additional fertilizers in addition to KNO3, phosphates, and CSM micronutrients. i used a hagen ladder for co2, and it basically useless. could i replace it entirely with flourish excel?
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:03 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Frustration

I am sorry to hear that this is happening with your aquarium plants and tank. That can be extremely frustrating.

I would highly recommend using the Seachem Daily Dosage Schedule and dosing the recommended amounts each and every day and actually printing out your daily dosage schedule.

Consistency is the key. Reread any recommendations on the amount of light that you have and try them again. It is very helpful to read on this forum the cause of algae. If I have it down correctly, it is when the plants are limited by either carbon or some other nutrient (probably carbon - you may not have been supplying enough if you have a very high light level tank); and there are plenty of other nutrients for the algae to thrive on. It is a competition issue.

I would purchase and start out with each and every product listed on the Seachem Daily Dosage Schedule and after you have built up some confidence with this method, if you want to - learn and try others.

Just recommending what has worked for me in the past.
Seachem = reliable and predictable. Made for a very happy Jim.
Happy Plants = Happy Fishies. Good Luck.

I will try to attach my Seachem Daily Dosage Schedule adapted for my 10 Gallon Tank.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Suggested Dosing for Planted Aquarium .xls (18.5 KB, 112 views)
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