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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice regarding my 200l planted tank as I may have made too many changes at once and I'd like to catch things before they get even more out of control... :shock:

I've had the tank for years but last December I moved it and took the opportunity to completely "redo" the tank. I put in pressurized CO2 controlled by a pH controller, Dennerle Deponit substrate with gravel on top, 125W of lighting (5x 25W tubes) and started using Dennerle's fertilizing regimen.

Then towards the end of August I bought some Alternathera and realized that I was probably lacking in Ca due to stunted growth at tips (water was temporarily very soft out of the tap for some reason). Anyway, that woke me up to the fact that with Dennerle's fert system I had no control over the ferts and couldn't "tweak" things if I thought I needed to so I switched to dosing myself with an order from Greg Watson.

Over a one week period after dropping the Dennerle ferts, I got the parameters to the following:

Fe= 0.2, NO3=10, PO4=1-1.2

GH was at 9 and Kh at 7, temp at 28-29C (discus in tank), pH set to 6.9. 50% water change once a week.

Then in the middle of September, wanting to boost my lighting up for my newly purchased Cabomba furcata and E. Stellata as well as to get more light to my E. tenellus which was struggling, I added another 25W tube to the hood for a total of 150W over the tank (4x JBL Solar Tropic 4,000K 25W and 2x JBL Solar Natur 9,000K 25W).

Continued using KNO3, CSM+B, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 as ferts to keep the levels as above. Would dose around 18mg/l K at water change and then 3-4mg/l K added (through KNO3 and/or K2SO4) every other day.

Suddenly I started noticing that green "fuzz" algae was growing on the front glass quite rapidly. Whereas before I was cleaning the glass once a week at water change this was amazing: I could almost see the d**n stuff spreading on the glass! I clean it off at lights on and within a couple of hours its back! :evil:

First I lowered the photoperiod from 11 hours to 9.5 hours: no perceived difference. So I thought I would try to lower PO4 to 0.5 and NO3 to 5 and keep the Fe and traces up to see if that helped. So at last water change (27th), got the PO4 down to 0.5 and added enough CSM+B to get the Fe back up to 0.2 and KNO3 to get NO3 up to 5-7.5. K2SO4 also added to get total addition of K to total 11mg/l for whole tank (22mg/l in the new water). I also did a major pruning of the tank.

28th added 2ml of CSM+B (of 1tbsp CSM+B in 400ml of RO water solution), effectively adding 0.032 mg/l Fe. Yesterday added 1/4 tsp K2SO4=almost 4 mg/l K. Today added 2ml CSM+B solution.

No noticeable slowdown of this green "dust" algae. It's like a dust and comes off really easy. Can now start to see it on plant leaves as well...

I'm amazed at the speed of this stuff! Literally an hour or two after cleaning the glass I can already see a haze of it back on :shock:

So I assume that this may be caused by too many changes at once: adding 25W of light, new fert dosing regimen, phosphates out of whack for my tank, heavy pruning last week, etc. ? The plants are pearling quite a bit but their growth has slowed somewhat.

Do I just need to wait and hope the plants adjust to the new lighting?

Apologies for the length of this! Any and all advice welcome!
 

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Water change 1st.(larger is better)
Add nutrients back.
Check CO2, then check it again.

Clean filter, remove any dead leaves etc.

That generally will solve any lack luster growth issues.

Co2 is the main issue most times.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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balance

I had the same problem as you when i went high teck with my aquarium and this is what i did

1) 2 water changes of 50% per week
2) Brought Nitrates up to 10 ppm
3) kept phosphates in the range of 0.5 to 1.0 ppm
4) used H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) for any visible algea but never exceeded puttin in more than 20ml for a 300 liter tank a day and tried to do it a few hours before a water change.
5) started to add potassium after every water change according to chucks.
6) used PMDD only after water change at the rate of 3ml per 100 L

It now is slosly beginnning to balance out again and the algea is dissapearing from the plants. Sorry as I do not have a scientific explanation but just giving you what my experience has been and I hope it works for you. good luck
 

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You have so called green dust algae, when you scape off the alga, it swims around and reattaches, which is why it seems to grow back in 2 hours.

When you scrub off the algae, vacuum up or use a micron filter to remove very soon afterwards.

I think you might wish to use more KNO3.

Eustralis and Cabomba are two plants I hav extensive experience with.
Niether needs higher light than you already had, 125w over a 200 liter is fine, I've seen some very nice looking ES and C at that same light amount.

Both like NO3.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Always seems a bit counter-intuitive to add *more* nutrients when you have an algae outbreak! :?

I understand the reasoning behind it though :) .

Ok, tomorrow I'll clean the glass and other surfaces (yes Tom, it is "dustlike" and swirls around when I scrape it off) and immediately do a 50 % water change. Interesting about the 125W over 200l being enough for these two species... other sources I've consulted all say these require "high light". I guess it depends on one's definition of high light :? .

Will also then raise the NO3 concentration to 10mg/l while replacing the other nutrients. 10mg/l NO3 and 0.5 mg/l PO4 is an ok ratio?

Thanks to both of you for the inputs! :D

Will let you know what happens...
 

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Several folks have easily grown these species, myself included at 2 w/gal at 24" depths with plain old FL lights and good reflectors.

They also said PO4 causes algae so if you want to believe the myth mill, be my guest:) I've been a chipping away at it for a long time.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They were growing ok before I added the extra 25w. However, they were growing a bit long and "scraggly" (is that a word? :) ) as if they were struggling to get closer to the light... that may also be because of the temperature of the bulbs?

Anyway I was also having problems growing E. tenellus: they kept getting BBA (I think it was BBA; or at least a very short haired version of it) algae on them and not looking nice and green.

So I thought that adding another 25w would improve both situations :? .

Anyway, today I changed about 55% of the water and dosed up to .1 mg/l Fe, 15mg/l K, 0.5mg/l PO4 and about 8mg/l NO3. Originally I thought that I'd cut back the lighting again but then decided to stick with it and see what happens when the plants pick up again.

Tank looks better but that may be because I just siphoned out a lot of the floating dust algae. We'll see tomorrow how it looks! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update...

Tank is still getting covered in this stuff and I'm noticing that its also building up on the surface of the water as well! :twisted:

The tank is pretty heavily planted but I thought it may need additional fast growers to help deal with this so I threw in a bunch of Hygrophila difformis.

Today did another water change (50%) and "skimmed" the surface layer of algae. This time I didn't add any PO4 (so it should be at around 0.25mg/l now) and only added a half dose of CSM+B (should bring Fe up to around 0.15).

Dosed NO3 up to about 7.5mg/l and K up to 20 mg/l in relation to the new water volume.

This stuff is starting to drive me insane! :roll: . I mean I only added enough light to bring the wpg from about 2.4 to 2.8!
 

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hi Laith, well i can only tell you from my learnings, the first time i set up my tank i had algae problems like no other, my water turned to pea green soup, a combination of errors led to this mistake, over feeding discus, too much light etc, but here is how i corrected it, i would carry out large water changes twice a week 50%, i am suprised that you havent opted for R/O water with a high tech set up, i think my R/O unit was the best tank upgrade i ever made, anyway i digress, my dealer/friend/local aquairist guru told me to go over the basics, i.e. is the tank on a timer for regular daylight intervals, he then told me to take it down to 4 hours light after a blackout period of a week, and to shut off the co2 for the first 2 weeks of low light, with all of the water changed it did work, and i still had hair great!
My tank was 180L quite similar to yours i imagine, i ran it 100% plant coverage under 3x30watt light tubes, instead of adding flour tubes, i would ensure the output of the tubes were high, e.g. changing every 12months. Tubes also should not be changed in one swoop, the sudden shock in brightness can stunt growth, and cause cryptos leaves to die back to the roots, or even kill them all together. That said i have recently re started my tank yet again and have recently gone to 4tubes now at 120watt power, and my cabomba is growing well. Since restarting i have had similar algae problems to you, to combat this i took my illumination time down to 6 hours from 8, and covered my tank in the morning, where it is situated it recieves the early morning sun, i have my tank timed for evening viewing for after work. 8-10 hours i have found to be the maximum for a tank, even the great man Takashi Amano doesnt light his tanks for any longer.
I have done some research on cabomba and it will grow in low light but with large spaces between its leaves, the brighter the light the denser the foliage, this plant hates high phosphate water, and hates having flake food touch it, if food touches a leaf it tends to rot.
Water chemistry is crucial, if you have R/O water you can have complete control. I would recomend going to your dealer and asking to check the conuctivity of the water i.e. the energy or fizz in the water, if they do not have the means to test then seek out a local discus breeder, for they may have a reader.
Also i am not slandering dennerle but i have used their products before and find them dissapointing to use, they are definetly the poorer sibling of the german manufacturers, i have since moved onto SERA and never looked back. I would recomend their new tube range, which had deeper lumens penetration than a T5 unit. well i hope i have helped albeit around the houses, and hope i dont sound to big headed. Best of luck.
 

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Laith said:
They were growing ok before I added the extra 25w. However, they were growing a bit long and "scraggly" (is that a word? :) ) as if they were struggling to get closer to the light... that may also be because of the temperature of the bulbs?

Anyway I was also having problems growing E. tenellus: they kept getting BBA (I think it was BBA; or at least a very short haired version of it) algae on them and not looking nice and green.

So I thought that adding another 25w would improve both situations :? .

Anyway, today I changed about 55% of the water and dosed up to .1 mg/l Fe, 15mg/l K, 0.5mg/l PO4 and about 8mg/l NO3. Originally I thought that I'd cut back the lighting again but then decided to stick with it and see what happens when the plants pick up again.

Tank looks better but that may be because I just siphoned out a lot of the floating dust algae. We'll see tomorrow how it looks! :)
You need more CO2 based on the tennellus issue.
Been there done that a few dozen times over the years.
EI will deal with the nutrients easily. The rest is CO2.
Add more iron/trace also, try 5mls/80 liter for target estimate.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Cabomba does like high PO4, mine's done super for 15 years at 1-2ppm of PO4.

I know of no aquatic plant that does not like that range or does poorly at these concentrations.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We restarting old threads?

My original post on this was 9 months ago and the issues I raised have long been resolved....

As mentioned, I stopped using the Dennerle ferts back in August...

Thanks for the further inputs though! :D
 
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