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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,
My name is Keith and I am somewhat new to this forum. I have been reviewing posts and info on this site for the past month, although this is my first post.

I have a 75 gal planted tank, with a 50/50 clay base and gravel substrate, approx 300 watts of lighting (3 VHO's) and my ph is 7.2. A few months ago, many of my plants began to yellow and some withered away after doing very well for the past few years. Upon my reseach and discussions with numerous individuals, I found the the main culperate for this was iron difficency. Based upon the advise of a good friend I increased my dosage of fertilizer drastically to improve iron levels. Whereas I do agree with their explanation and it did improve my plants health, I had a major algae bloom. I have eliminated the major fertilizations and have gone back to an old reliable method of fertilization, root tabs. I still have a lot of algae on my aquarium glass and plant leaves. I would appreciate any advice on how I may eliminate the gross amount of algae as it has taken over my tank. Any advice?
 

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Overdosing iron can cause algae out breaks, which looks like what happened in your case. Drastically increasing ferts at once is not a good idea, it should be done slowly to see how your plants react before increasing more. I would not stop dosing ferts all together only for a couple of weeks intil the algae comes under control.

Before further help can be given we need more info... Water paramaters, C02, water changes etc.

What type algae do you have?...
http://www.floridadriftwood.com/algae_identification.html

Welcome :)
 

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Thanks for your input. I would love any advice I can get as this is the first time I have had such an outbreak and problem in the 6 years I have been aquascaping. Additional info. on my tank is:

I have no CO2......and the algae that appers is the slime algae (blue-gree) on my filter, bright green algae that grows on my aquarium sides and the beard and brush algae on my plants. My water temp. is 76 degrees, it is soft and I only use reverse osmosis water.
 

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First of all I would recommend injecting C02, with 4WPG it is needed.

RO water is not recommended for use in a planted tank due to the fact it does not have any nutrients unless your tap water is just really bad. However if you have been using RO water for 6 years with good results then don't fix what is'nt broke.


For the BGA you can use e-mycin to clear it up, a product called Maracyn works well. On the BBA pick as much off that you can by hand and cut off badly affected leaves. The use of C02 of 20-30ppm & balance of nutrients will help.

What are your N03 & P04 readings?
How long are your lights on daily?
How often & what % of water changes?
 

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If iron overdosing causes algae outbreaks, where have my algae outbreaks been for oh, the last decade?

NO3.

That's the problem, lack of iron like you describe is unlikely to cause an algae bloom. It sounds much more like, Nitrogen to me.

Think about a 50/50 clay mix. Probably has plenty of iron for many years if that is your only source of Fe.

Do you add liquid iron as well?

By adding traces to an already slightly/morderately limited NO3 tank, you increased it's uptake and zeroed out the tank's supply of NO3.

Correlations do not imply iron caused anything.
Adding Iron=> more NO3 to be removed/at a faster rate etc.

Low NO3/poor CO2 are the two main causes of algae(~90-95%), or someone added of other changed something to cause NH4 from fish waste to build up/new tank or otherwise added NH4/urea to their tank.

BGA appears when you have too low NO3.

A non CO2 tank will poke along just fine unless you add something that does a couple of things, increase CO2 and NO3 uptake(adding Fe).

The non CO2 tank has a slower growth rate than a CO2 tank, but both in similar fashion.

It's up to you to use CO2 or not.

If you wish to improve growth of this tank, you will want to stick with one type of method there(CO2 or not).

You only need one 110w light on this tank for non CO2, maybe 2 for about 1-3 hours and then only one.

Stop doing water changes with RO, use tap water and add only enough tap water to fill for evaporation.

Yes, I just told you to stop doing water changes. Do them only after you root plants and large prunings etc(generally once every 3-6months.

We use water changes to re sset the faster growing CO2 enriched tanks to abalnce out a nice range of nutrients.

A non CO2 grows much slower and is able to have most of the plant's nutrient needs met by fish waste alone.

If you reduced the amount of fish food/ or fish you have in the tank, then this could have caused an issue.

To remove BGA, do a blackout, don't mess with Antibiotics, you don't need them. Remove what is there, net,siphon, trim etc, then do a 50% water change, turn lights off for 3 days and cover tank with trash bags/towle etc to keep 100% of the lights out, remove the bags and turn on less light this time(1-2 bulbs).

Add a little dolomite. This has KH/Mg and Ca.
Plants need Mg/Ca like any nutrient, RO water has none.

You can add a little KNO3, perhaps 1/4 teaspoon after you do the water change. Then turn off the light.

You might need to add more KNO3 here and there if plant growth is good and dense, perhaps 1/4 to 1/8th teaspoon once a week.

If you stop the water changes, the BBA should go away.

Blackout nor antiobiotics will help the other algae(just BGA).

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Tom, you have been overdosing :shock: iron with no hair algae problems :roll: , that is what I call lucky.
 

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Lucky for the last what? 10 years?
Not likely.

I'm the clown that suggested adding 5mls to every 20 gal of water every other day.
Some add even more.

That's a lot of traces.
Certainly "excess" as far as algae are concerned.
Do you know how little Fe algae need?

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I used to think that it was luck too. I could have sworn that the Iron dosing was causing the hair algae problems I was seeing. It kind of was, but like Tom said because of low nitrate levels. At the time I thought that Nitrate and Phosphate caused algae so I was keeping these at 0 ppm, but was dosing around 10-15ml of Flourish Iron in my 55 gallon. Fast forward now: I'm dosing 25ml of Flourish Iron a week for the last 3 months now with weekly 50% water changes and have absolutely no hair algae problems. The difference now? 10ppm Nitrate and 1- 1.5ppm phosphate.
 
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