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Discussion Starter #1
=== My Quick Help Info ===================

Tank Stats
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Size of Tank (Gallons / Litres): 55
Running for how long: 18 Months

Water Params
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Temp: 80
pH: 7.2
Ammonia (ppm): 0
NitrIte (ppm): 0
NitrAte (ppm): 80
KH (degrees):
GH (degrees):
Ferts you are using (what and how often): Flourish and Iron 2 or 3 times weekly
CO2 (Type & Level):

Lighting (Wattage & type of bulbs): 5wpg
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Fish In Tank: Catfish of all type
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Plants In Tank:hygro, Java moss, Crypts, Swords, Bacopa mint, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Bacopa australis, Java fern and some others
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My hair algae wont go away. Above is my tank info. Any ideas how I can remove it with out doing a dip? The dip caused me a lot of grief by killing my other plants.
 

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First of all with 5WPG you need to be using C02. Adding two DIY C02 pop bottles will help greatly. Make sure your KH is at 3 before doing so.

Second nitrate levels at 80ppm is way to high. These need to be at around 10ppm. Bring these down by water changes and using a nitrate remover like Algone until desired levels are meet.

Also do the following for two weeks...

1) Decrease lighting period by 2 hours daily

2) Stop all ferts

3) Increase waterchanges to 50% weekly

Also add some fast growers like Hornwort, Anacharis, WaterSprite, Wisteria.

Adding algae eating shrimp (Amano, Cherry, Tiger) will help, they love hair algae.

One last thing keep P04 at 0.4 ppm along with N03 of 10ppm. This is most likely what is causing the hair algae.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I will try that. Do you think my plants will hold up without any ferts?hygro, Java moss, Crypts, Swords, Bacopa mint, Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Bacopa australis, Java fern and some others
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I cant really find any DIY CO2 that doesn't leak co2 or last very long for that matter. It is rather frustrating. I've worked so hard on this tank and nothing seems to go right. Ok enough whining. I'll give it a try.
 

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I know to some that it can seem like a lot of money but please consider pressurized CO2 with 5wpg of lighting. You can now get the JBJ regulator with solenoid valve, needle valve, and bubble counter for between 70-120 bucks complete. I got mine for $88.
As far as CO2 tanks are concerned call around to your local fire extinguisher, home brewing supplier, welding suppliers, etc and you should be able to pick up a 5lb or 10lb tank between 40 & 75 dollars. Add a hardware store timer and you've got a very complete and easy to use setup.

If you want a few sources for the JBJ regulator let me know and I can point out a few. Get the CO2 tank locally for sure it's TON's cheaper!

Anthony
 

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another fish that loves hair algea is the Florida Flag Fish. They love it and devour it very quickly. They also will eat your more delicate plants so they should be removed if you have issues with that. Of course this is just to clean up the mess after you fix your water quality/Co2 issue. I had some hair algea all over and I placed 3 in my tank. Within a week it was all gone. I leave 1 in there just in case now. No hair algea noticed for 4 weeks now.
 

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What recipe are you using for DIY CO2? Mine usually lasts about two weeks. 2 cups sugar, 1/4 tsp yeast and a 2 liter bottle.
 

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At 5wpg you are definately gonna need CO2 along with a regular dosing schedule of individual Macros (Nitrates, Phosphates, Potassium). I don't see any listing for your phosphates (PO4). What are your PO4 levels? How much Flourish and Iron do you dose?

I personally would not discontinue fertilizing as the plants need fertilization to help them grow. I would begin doing water changes (several 50-75% WC's) to reduce the nitrates and reset the tank. Once you have zero KNO3 I would begin fertilizing.

When I had a 55g at 4wpg, I used Tom Barr's Estimative Index (do a Google search or search this site), and this is how I fertilized:

CO2 - I kept it a 30ppm or more.

MACROS - Sunday (Water change day), Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday add:
Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) - 1/2 tsp 4x a week (Green Light Stump Remover)
Phosphates (PO4) - 2ml Fleets Enema (easy to find source of PO4)
Potassium (K) - (included in the KNO3 dosing)

MICROS - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Flourish - Start with 5-10 ml (depending on what you are using now) and increase it from there. I used 15ml on the 55g and could've probably increased it to 20ml. I switched to CSM+B since this amount of Flourish can get very costly (20-60ml a week!)

I never added iron individually since it is in the CSM+B and my flourish didn't last very long enough to add it separately.

I tested for NO3 and PO4 weekly before my water change. This allowed me to know how much NO3 and PO4 my tank had used during the week and also how large of a WC I should do to reset the tank.

I dosed about 40ppm of KNO3 and 5ppm of PO4 a week in an established heavily planted tank.

Once you start increasing the ferts, keep an eye on the levels for the first week or two as the plants may not use alot of ferts at first. You don't want to run out of anything but you also don't want too much!

Just remember as you add more CO2 to the tank the plants will grow faster and begin to use more ferts so you may have to adjust your dosing accordingly.

This is just my experience and these values may differ depending on your water source and plant load. I have found the key to keeping algae away is not to run out of any MACROS and keep the CO2 levels at 25-30ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you so much for the detailed info! I will try this schedule and post the results. I just did a bid water change today and plan to do another tomorrow. Not as large just some vacuuming and that.
 

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Just a thought, you may want to give your filter(s) a good cleaning. They could have decaying plant matter/fish food in them and that could also be adding to your high NO3 readings.

I wouldn't go as high on the macros/micros as I suggested until you get some good CO2 going in that tank. Remember less CO2 = less nutrient uptake, more CO2 + more nutrient uptake.

That is just what worked for me with pressurized CO2.
 

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