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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all -

This is the first time I've actually visited a chat room, first on-line post.

I've kept fish for many years, most of that time with live plants. Now I'm finally getting serious about the plants and algae wasn't the plant I had in mind.

I do a 10% water change weekly, have the tank pretty lightly populated with fish and have made sure no sunlight hits the tank. Algae is coating the leaves on my sword plants and starting to go after the java fern.

Any ideas?
 

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Please read this sticky and fill it out as completely as you can. This will help one in identifying the causes related to your algae experience.
 

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Welcome to APC.
Wow, for your very first post on a board like this, it was very well constructed. :)

There is an algae section here that might help give you some answers to your question.
 

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Dmills, welcome to APC :) ... The first thing I would do is increase water changes to 25% weekly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Newbie fighting algae

Thanks all for your responses, sorry for delay in getting back to the discussion. I've got an awful lot of irons in the fire right now, so please excuse the delay.

I use RO water buffered with a nutrient package. Honestly, in my inexperience, I haven't tested it, but will now.

I'll collect the parameters and get back with you.

In meanwhile, I've been reading threads about the PPS and would like to adopt this method. I've found the KNO3 and the K2SO4, but haven't found a source for the KH2PO4. Do I have to buy this from a chemical supply outfit, or is there some commonly available material that is really KH2PO4 by some other name?

Thanks for the advise and taking the time to reply.
Dan.
 

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How do your algae look like (colour, aspect : like hair or more like a layer) ?

PS : what does "sword" plant mean ? (sorry, english isn't my mother tongue, and I haven't found this expression in the dictionnary)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the "enema" tip. Took me a minute to understand it, I thought it was a joke at first!

My algae runs the spectrum: I've got furry, brush like clumps on the back glass that I scrape off from time to time, but the main problem is the film-like stuff that coats the leaves of my crypts and the sword plants.

Sorry that I haven't learned the correct names of the plants and algae - my newbie nature showing through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The algae on the back glass look like the algae in the vveronique link. What is on the plants doesn't look like either link. It is more of a film, most of which can be peeled off on one piece, but cleaning each leaf is more commitment than I can give.
 

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Sounds like Blue Green Algae (BGA) which is a cyanobacteria... this is the stuff that can be "peeled off in one piece".

As most algae are the result of some type of imbalance in the tank, you will probably be able to get more useful inputs if you give us more details on your setup. Rob G's suggestion would be useful to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here are some of my parameters?

RO water for top-off, treated with a salt mixture that came with the RO unit

pH 7.5
NO3 <5
PO4 0.2 ppm
GH 5 dH (with a different test kit, got 75 ppm)
KH 2 dH (with different test kit, got 180 ppm)

In the tank
pH 8.5
NO# <5 mg/L
PO4 0.3 - 0.5
GH 6 dH
KH 3 dH
NH3 0

I've been dosing with the phosphate free solution for a week, 5 ml/day and now the algae has gotten worse! Will be doing a water change tonight and will re-test the parameters.

Any help you all can offer this newbie will be appreciated. D.
 

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How much light is over the tank? Are you adding CO2 to it?
 

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I see that your N03 & P04 are out of balance, you need to keep a 23 to 1 ratio of N03 to P04, so if you are keeping N03 at 10ppm the P04 needs to be at 0.4.

What ferts are you dosing, how much, how often?
 

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I always seem to disagree with Trena on the ratios :)

I don't think you need to worry to much about ratios other than the fact it gives you some numbers to shoot for. I have been slowly dropping my KNO3 levels to below 10ppm and keep the PO4 at 2+ppm. I have little to no algae and haven't had green spot algae on my glass or anubias leaves since December!

The important thing is to make sure your plants do not run out of anything they need, CO2, NO3, PO4, K or traces. Keep the plants happy and you keep the algae away.
 

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your algae problem

there are good algae and bad algae....so check that out...
if you have fish, you may be over-feeding and have too much waste...
lastly, with lighting, it may more likely be too much or not enough light (total time lights are on)...
 

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With those pH's ....he's not adding CO2.
Nor should he be doing the dosing like this.
Sounds like BBA and BGA and likely some green algae mixed in.

PPS nor EI etc is going to solve this issue for Dmills.
If DMills adds CO2, then yes, some elbow grease and he can get it back on track.

But without the CO2 you are not going to address this problem through the nutrient routine otherwise.

DMills, what is your goal for the tank?
Is CO2 an option you have considered?
If not, I'll suggest a method to deal with the growth of the tank and the algae you now have.

And the N P ratios are more likely better at 10:1 to 7:1 for submersed aquatic plants, not 23:1, even algae prefer more P than that.
If you want ref's I got them. But they ratios in and of themselves does not matter.

The NO3 is too low also. Few kits are that accurate at 5ppm or less.
Having the NO3 that low does not gain you anything in particular regarding plant growth, but it can do a good deal of harm should the NO3 bottom out which has occured, BGA is a good sign of that.


Regards,
Tom Barr

wwwBarrReport.com
 

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MatPat... I agree with you that it only gives you a number to shoot for, I only give it out as a guide line to the people whom are still learning. I myself do not really worry about what ratio my nutrients are at but I rather go by what the plants and the tank as a whole look like.

There is so much disagreement at what to keep your ratios at that I'm unsure myself anymore. I've been told or read a 10 to 1 ratio of N03 to P04 and other say NO it is a 10 to 1 ratio of N to P not N03 to P04, so go figure. Since I've been in the hobby for a few years now I've stopped relaying on ratios. But I still think someone that is new to the hobby should keep a close eye on the nutrient levels until they are comfortable with plant keeping.

Plantbrain... Here is where I got the 23 to 1 ratio at: http://www.aquariaplants.com/nutrientsfertilizers.htm
This guy was a member of one of the other forums I use to frequent and gives very good reliable information, he has helped me through algae problems that I had as a newbie.
 

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trenac said:
Plantbrain... Here is where I got the 23 to 1 ratio at: http://www.aquariaplants.com/nutrientsfertilizers.htm
This guy was a member of one of the other forums I use to frequent and gives very good reliable information, he has helped me through algae problems that I had as a newbie.
Those ratios are way off as far what a plant or an algae needs in terms of N:p ratio. 10:1 is what most general wetland plants possess in terms of dry weight and many submersed are in the 7:1 range. Even Redfield's old phytoplankton ratio is 16:1. FW algae are around 14:1.
These are from scientific references, a lot of them. What's this guy got?
This guy got a lot of information from my post it looks like. But not that ratio, ask them where that one came from.

Either way, adding PO4 above 23:1 or 10 :1 is not going to cause algae.
Anyone can test that easy enough new or experienced.

Back to the problem here:
As I've said, Dmills issue is CO2.

A ratio is not going to help Dmills with that and they will continue to have algae till that is addresed.

regards,
Tom Barr
 
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