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Discussion Starter #1
Three days ago when I turned the light on in the am, I had extremely cloudy water. My first thought was GW. But during the course of the day the water cleared leaving only a whitish haze by lights out.
Yesterday was a repeat of the previous days. This am, again cloudy water.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but, does'nt algae need light ( amongs other thing ) to propagate?
If it is algae should'nt it be getting worse during the day instead of the night?

Tank Stats: 50Gallon, 130W Aqualight, DIY CO2, NO3 5ppm ( last night before adding 1/4 tsp KNO3 ), PO4 .25-.5, PH 6.4, KH 10.8, GH 13.4, Iron .5 ( last night before 25% water change ).

Tank setup is 10 days old with plants and fish ( ran 5 days prior to that without anything but ceramic nooddles from my other tanks )
Dosing Greg Watson PMDD Pre-Mix every third day, KNO3 every second.

Last night at 8PM


This morning 8AM
 

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On the "morning after" photograph, there seems to be a surface film.

How much DIY CO2 is being generated? If for some reason the DIY system is highly active, you might be getting some sort of acidic reaction. You can almost certainly improve over-night water quality by using some method of aeration at night, at least for the short term. Another idea might be to disconnect the DIY CO2 overnight (if you decide to do that, you will then understand the convenience of solenoids and pressurized CO2 systems).

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter #3
pineapple said:
On the "morning after" photograph, there seems to be a surface film.

How much DIY CO2 is being generated? If for some reason the DIY system is highly active, you might be getting some sort of acidic reaction. You can almost certainly improve over-night water quality by using some method of aeration at night, at least for the short term. Another idea might be to disconnect the DIY CO2 overnight (if you decide to do that, you will then understand the convenience of solenoids and pressurized CO2 systems).

Andrew Cribb
Thanks for the reply Andrew. There is indeed a surface film on the water, although it is a lot less this am than the previous morning.
My CO2 system was initially ( first 5days or so ) generating around 64 bbm the gradually reduced to around 30bbm two days ago. This am I noticed an even slower rate ( did'nt count bbls ) and gave the units a good shake and got production up again.
I wish I could afford pressurized =P~ . But I guess it'll come in time.
I will try your suggestion and add aeration at night and see if it makes a difference.

My KH & GH have been slowly creeping up over the last five days, ( KH 6.72 to 10.8, GH 7.5 to 13.44 )and I have yet to figure that one out. (Tap is KH 7.28, GH 11.2) I first thought my test kit was at fault but a new kit gives the same results
 

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When I was using DIY CO2, I found the biggest difficulty was to keep the BPM reasonably constant. The best way I found was to leave about 30% of the old mixture in then add more sugar + water and, if need be, yeast. At the beginning of the mixture I was at 60bpm; after 10 days had elapsed it was down to 30bpm - too low. I ended up replenishing 70% of the mixture every 7 days. That seemed to work and kept the BPM constant at about 40-50. I also had surface film and some cloudiness when the mixture was super active. Very similar situation. As the plants grow in, this problem tends to diminish.

Good luck.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well here I am, 13 days later with the same dilemma. Tank not really getting worse but definitely not getting better.
I searched all over the net and in library books for a good description of GW cycle and still come up empty.
With GW, is it normal to have the tank opaque ( can’t see more than 3” in ) in the morning and after a 12hrs light cycle (130w) have only a whitish haze left ( fuzzy but can see the Hagen ladder on the back at 18” )
Am I correct in assuming that algae is a form of plant and requires light amongst other things to grow ?
If so, why does it get thicker with lights out? Less O2 more CO2?
Plants are growing and pearling like crazy. ( Wisteria & Cabomba 3-4” in the last 10 days, crypt 2”, micro sword new growth sprouting out of the substrate, Java Fern 3-4 new leaves.)
Parameters are good I think; PH 6.6, KH 8.9, GH 13.4, NO3 10ppm, PO4 .5, NO2 & NH3/NH4 at 0. CO2 still on the high side @ around 65ppm.
Ferts; KNO3 ¼ tsp every second/third day to maintain 10ppm, Greg Watson PMDD Pre-Mix 15ml on the day following KNO3. Water change 25-30% weekly.
Cleaned the filter for the third time yesterday (6 days since last change) and although the floss had a green tinge to it, but was definitely not overloaded with matter.

I ran an air stone last night, this am the water was somewhat clearer than usual in the am.
So maybe there is a relationship between high CO2 and lowered O2 and algae bloom.
 

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Andy, (Welcome back - sorry it was not for better reasons :) )

Something must be right if "Plants are growing and pearling like crazy."

You have 130 watts of lights - is this compact flourescent?

The lighting is reasonable for the aquarium size, so it seems. I wonder if a slight decrease in dosing might help to improve water quality.

The Greg Watson PMDD Pre-Mix also contains NO3, as I remember. Are you dosing this dry or as a solution?

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Andrew,
Lighting is 130W PC (Aqualight 2 X 65 )
As far as the Greg Watson PMDD Pre-Mix, it does contain KNO3 and I'm dosing as a solution.( However there is something in that mix that does not disolve as there is allways some crystals left in the bottom, even when using boiling water. )

Strangely this am after lights on I turned off the air stone. Within a couple of hours the tank was back to its usual morning appearance. [smilie=c:
 

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I stopped using the PMDD pre-mix because I could not figure out what component was doing what in my tank, at the time. I'm learning and it seemed easier to learn using each component separately. As you say, there is part of the mix which is hard to dissolve.

Why not try dropping the PMDD premix and stick with KNO3, K2SO4 (pot. sulphate), and PO4 via Fleet or Greg Watson sourced chemical and add in the extra elements via Flourish or some other mix. That might help with the control of whatever is happening in there.

It seems like whatever is causing the cloudiness is removed by the plants in the daytime as the tank oxygenates and CO2 is removed from the water by the plants.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your input Andrew.
I actually thought a while back of stopping the PMDD pre-mix.
I already have the NO3 and the fleet is easy enough to get. My only problem will be the K2SO4. Gregg Watson's shipment are on hold for a while ( From what I heard ) until beginning of march.
I read something in another tread by Tom Barr that high CO2 was also a component of producing GW. From testing my PH/KH over the last couple weeks I get CO2 levels between 65 - 107ppm. I think I'll disconnect it for a couple of days and see what happens.( Can't get any worse. LOL )
Andy
 

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I suspect CO2 might well be an issue. Very hard to control with DIY.

If you PM me your address, I will send you enough K2SO4 to tide you over until Greg is delvering again.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Andrew I really appreciate the offer.
I'll PM you shortly.
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update

Well, I went one week without adding any ferts. Two nights ago NO3 was still at 10ppm, PO4 .5 and iron 1ppm.
Did a 50% water change yesterday using 60% RO 40% tap.
This am NO3 5ppm, PO4 .25ppm, iron .25.
Best of all my KH & GH are finally back were they should be.
PH 6.4, KH 5.0, GH 8.9
Water is still a bit cloudy but the infamous white haze is gone.
I started with reduced light intensity and shortened photo period today to see if that might help over the next few days.
Dosed 1/4 tsp KNO3 this am and will redo tomorrow if needed as well as adding K2SO4 and PO4. I'll start trace the day after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think I got it beat!

Another week gone by, another 50% WC, this time using only RO.
Tank looks even better. Now I can actually see the Vals in the back.
Still a light haze, but I think another WC next weekend my finally clear it up.

 

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That's good news.

These problems that crop up now and again with seemingly inexplicable cures are befuddling! It would be nice if nature told us what had happened so we could learn how not to get into that hole again in the future! ;-)

Andrew Cribb
 
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