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First sign of algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Franko, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Franko

    Franko New Member

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    Ok so my scape is now 2 weeks old.
    Last night I noticed some fuzzy stuff on the driftwood wich I take to be algae. There's not much, and it's only appearing on the driftwood so far. Nowhere else. My question is what action should I now take to prevent it spreading and try to reduce it.

    It's exactly the same colour as the dark brown wood. Hard to see. It almost looks like the edge if the driftwood is a bit mushy. Does not rub off easily, but I did manage to get some off with a fingernail.

    My setup:
    70l tank
    Ada aquasoil (used a whole 9l bag)- probably s bit too much)
    Pressurised co2
    Eheim 2215 containing 2l ceramic, about 0.5l carbon and some pads.
    2x 60cm t5 tubes

    Contains:
    Lots of dwarf hairgrass. Covers all of foreground and mid ground on one side.
    1 bunch vivipara
    Microsorium about 15cm in diameter.
    3bunches of stem plants (one of which still in pot)
    Floating plants as temporary measure.
    No animals except some tiny hitchhiking snails who made it in with plants. They seem happy.

    Regime:
    Week 1:
    1 tube of light for 4 hours daily
    Co2 injection
    Daily water changes. (some omissions)

    week 2:
    Suface plants seemed to be blocking light so increased to 2 tubes for 6 hours
    Co2 injection
    Daily water changes. (some omissions)

    Can anyone suggest next action?
    Should I reduce or increase the light? ( this morning I switched back to 1 tube)
     

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  2. Franko

    Franko New Member

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    By the way, heres a pic from day 1 when I set up the tank so you can get an idea.
    Still looks pretty much the same though. Sorry for the bad photography. Iphone :(

    also I forgot to mention: no added ferts yet and I have not trimmed any plants yet, as I was thinking to let them get settled in first. Hairgrass seems to be putting out one or two roots now so I was thinking to trim it soon.

    Also I'll be switching to lily pipes and glass intake soon. :)
    day1.JPG
     
    Cecska likes this.
  3. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

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    Hi Franko,

    First off, I'm no expert when it comes to algae - although I should be because I've been battling the crap for years. The one thing that jumped out at me though is that you aren't using any fertilizers yet, because you want to let the plants get "settled". Maybe there's something I don't know about plants that you do, but from what I've learned, plants need fertilizers, period -- especially if you're injecting CO2 and have good lighting. And, using CO2 and strong lighting without any ferts is a recipe for growing algae. Keeping algae from growing is all about keeping three parameters in balance with each other - lighting, CO2, and ferts. Having too much or not enough of any one of those, and you're likely to get algae. I actually thinking that dosing fertilizers (along with CO2 and good lighting) is the best way you can help your plants get settled.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
    -Brian
     
  4. Franko

    Franko New Member

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    Aaah. Ok thanks. I was wondering when i should start fertilizing. The reason i hadnt sarted yet s because the aquasoil is still so fresh i thought the plants would be getting plenty of nutrients through their roots.
    (When i said letting the get settled i was referring to not trimming them.)
    Any suggestions for a ferts regime for this setup?


    I just added 2 otos and 5 amano shrimp.
    But a bit annoyed withmyself as i left he filter switched off after changing thecwater his morning....
     
  5. Stickling100

    Stickling100 Aspiring Aquascaper

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  6. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

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    Franko - I agree with Stickling. The EI method, or Estimative Index method, is a cheap and easy way of adding fertilizers to your tank. It allows you to add everything your tank needs without having to worry about having excess. A few months ago I did the calculations for my 29 gallon tank, then bought everything I needed (mostly from Green Leaf Aquariums) - which included the micro and macro nutrients, bottles, and a digital scale -- for about $40. The supply will probably last at least eight months.

    As far as waiting to do any pruning, I think there are a few different schools of thought there. One of them is that by pruning the tips of your plants, you're actually encouraging and stimulating new growth. Some plants, when pruned at the tips, will send excess energy down into the root system for more growth there. I'm sure there is WAY more information about this than what I know, so definitely do your research. But don't just assume that by not doing any pruning that you're doing the best thing for the plants.

    Regarding not doing ferts b/c of the new substrate - I'm not very familiar with how new ADA aquasoil works in the aquarium with regard to providing nutrients. I've heard it can provide ammonia, though! So that's another thing to do research on. Though I will say that I've never heard anyone mention on this forum that they're waiting to dose fertilizers because their aquasoil is new.
     
  7. Franko

    Franko New Member

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    Thanks both. Thats great. Actually i started reading about ei just today. Lots of backers of that method it seems. My only concern about it is that im still doing water changes every 2 days because of (as you mention) the ammonia that the aquasiil gives off. After 2 weeks i'll probably switch to weekly water changes. Still, ill read up on ei and see if i can work around that.
     
  8. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    Algae is a co2 thing, increase the co2 and keep doing daily water changes. Test the water for ammonia and look into adding ottos and shrimps once levels are tollerable, usually around the two week mark.

    The other thing is that the hairgrass will brown and die, get the scissors out and trim it level with the substrate before it becomes an algae magnet.
     
  9. Franko

    Franko New Member

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    Thanks Garuf.
    I have started fertilizing now with a daily squirt of stuff from the LFS, but I will get my chems in and start doing EI as soon as possible. The only issue is that KNO3 is illegal here in Singapore! So I'll need a replacement...

    Added some Otos and Amano shrimp. The Otos are ripping up the brown algae so far. I've increased the CO2 a bit and they seem happy but I have very soft water so I'm a bit worried about overdoing it for the animals.

    Kh tested at 1 (or less than 1 - I got yellow with the first drop)
    Ph tested at 5.5, 30 mins after CO2 went off.
     
  10. abhradip1986

    abhradip1986 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    well you can go to a nursery and buy agriculture based foliage type KNO3..buying KNO3 is also illegal in India but one can buy the agro based one..it's a bit lower grade in comparison to the lab grade ones. I personally use all ferts (EI based requirements) which are of agro based, never faced an issue with plants/tank mates alike..:) plus it's even cheaper than the lab grade ones.
     
  11. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    KNO3 is control item regardless the grade. You need to apply permit to purchase and keep it. You can replace KNO3 with CaNO3.
     
  12. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    You are using ADA Aquasoil, ADA Aquasoil will reduce your kH, so forget about measuring your kH. Also no need to worry much about pH swing due to low pH because ADA soil will buffer your pH. You pH is 5.5, seems like you have not fully cycle yet. Once cycle completed your ph roughly stay around 6-6.2
     
  13. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    It's illegal because it's the main ingredient in bombs... Something I have to admit I'd never considered, we're a nation of gardeners (or at least were in the past) in the uk so things we take for granted I can see being an issue.

    The difference between lab grade and agro grade typically is that agrograde tends to be radioactive because of containments when I asked my old science teacher.

    In regards to the co2, the shrimp will feel it before the otto's so watch for "drunk" behaviour senseless pinging about the tank, if you see this you've gone too high, do a water change and reduce the co2, you now know roughly what your tanks current top limit is.
     
  14. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    Ouch... I hope it still within safety level :LOL:
     
  15. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    Presumably, I came across it again when researching about organic growing. Presumably it's safe.

    Did you know, in the UK you can't use lab grade pure synthetic ferts on an organic farm but you are allowed to use strip mined phosphates and nitrates + all the added containments and still call yourself organic... Madness. And just think of all the extra damage strip mining and transport must do compared to synthetic ferts and they still claim organic is somehow better. Off topic I know but just thought I'd share that bit of insanity.
     
  16. abhradip1986

    abhradip1986 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    well I did not become neither hulk nor Dr. Manhattan..so guess the agro based ferts are fine..;) best part - the stock pile (unused stock) is stashed in a air tight box under my bed..hehehe..:D
     
  17. Franko

    Franko New Member

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    Oh I just spotted that you're in Singapore like me! Can i ask your advice on suppliers for ferts? (such as the CaNO3 you suggest above?
    Finding suppliers has been the biggest battle for pretty much everything so far. I gave up trying to find a shop that supplies curved scissors that dont cost $100 and went on ebay. Most shops seem more interested in fish than plants.
     
  18. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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  19. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Is Dr Mallick's still around in SG??
     
  20. Franko

    Franko New Member

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    Brilliant. Thanks for that. I've heard of C238. Will check them both out.

    Plantbrain i dont know Dr Mallick but when i googled it i got some results. Will investigate.

    However, yesterday i got a reply from a retailer i had emailed about KN03 and to my surprise they can supply in solution.
    Here si what they wrote:

    "Hi Nick

    I don't know the gramme (of KNO3 in 1 litre of solution).

    10% concentration KNO3 is 100,000 ppm of KNO3."

    Just wondering how to calculate for my EI using this solution as all the references i have seen use grammes or tsp as a measure.
    Can anyone work this back into grammes if its a 10%concentration?

    The same shop has the other ferts i need too.
     

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