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Keeping algae at bay?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Laurystevens, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    As suggested by lots of you guys I've changed the way my tank runs to try combat the algae growth problem I've been having. The changes I have made are:

    • Using my AquaRays as my source of plant light instead of T5's (full time) aswell. T5's are currently used for 1 1/2 hours mid Aquaray period
    • Mass water change of 80%
    • Use of HR Carbon for a week prior to all major changes
    • Cleaned off as much algae as possible
    • Cleaned gravel
    • Rid of any algae infested plants/leaves
    • Reduce fert dosing
    • Clean filter (found a dragonfly larve inside :eyeroll:)
    • Add more flow to lower levels (Nano 1600)
    The Hydor Koralia Nano 1600 does a good job of adding limited flow to the lower levels without blasting the surrounds plants but in my tank (5ft long) obviously doesn't reach the far end which I was fully aware of. I'm thinking of getting another to add to the other end of the tank just to improve circulation more, it'll also get rid of any "dead spots" for muck to gather up in if I have more then one directional flow.

    Since reducing the T5's by over 80%, spot algae hasn't come back near as bad. Hopefully this well continue to decrease. I will watch all types of algae closely. I am also dosing Excel as recommended by Seachem + 50% during normal days but avergae after a water change.

    The tank looks great since having a huge water change and a good clean, it's amazing what a few hours can accomplish :)
     
  2. Rhay80

    Rhay80 New Member

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    That's really good to hear that you have tackled some of your issues.

    Increasing circulation will help,but reducing your fert dosing will not likely help the algae issues. as you have probably read loads of times it is normally due to co2/lighting issues and not enough of the right ferts.

    what is your co2 regime and photoperiod? Also what is your fert dosing regime?
     
  3. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    As an update my tank was a bit cloudy (like a bactiria bloom) the next mornign but was crystal clear by the time I had gotten back from work. Today the fish seem SO lively. The flow has also improved on the filter as it had a big clean (the inlet pipe seems to get stuck with rotten plants alot)

    I dose excel in my 400 litre tank at 15ml per day for 6 days and at 50ml after a 25/30% water change. I own all of the Seachem Flourish fert range but may probably benefit better from a highly recommended all in one to dose along side the Excel I think?

    My 3 GroBeam Aquarays (LED's) are on for a total of 8 hours per day. I haven't totally eliminated the use of the T5's so at current use them for 1 and a half hours mid way through the LED photoperiod.
     
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    To save money I highly recommend checking into EI dosing with dry salts. For what you spend on the seachem flourish line once you could probably dose your tank for more than a year!

    Then you will be able to save some money for that pressurized CO2 ;)
     
  5. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Souns good to me :) Have you got any more info on these "salts"?

    Yeah hopefully ;) Then maybe put the T5's back into some heavier use eventually then!
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Aquarium Plant Fertilizer | Green Leaf Aquariums where I purchase my ferts also has info on EI

    EI light: for those less techy folks - Aquarium Plants info on EI style dosing

    Regarding your T5's the issue more than likely is not dosing, it is CO2. Excel is just not the same as real CO2. I would not put the T5's into full use, if at all, if it were my tank. Probably not even with pressurized CO2.

    Think of it like this: If your tank was a car, the gas pedal or throttle would be your light; the oil is CO2; the gas tank is your ferts.

    If you drive really fast without enough oil (or the right kind of oil) your engine will seize (plants will grow poorly, stunt,etc.). You will be back where you started. The only way to drive fast, which with the plants you have in your tank is not necessary nor advised, is to have a full tank and a well oiled engine.

    Get what i'm saying?
     
  7. CatfishSoupFTW

    CatfishSoupFTW Aspiring Aquascaper

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    flourish excel solved my black bearded algae issue :D
     
  8. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello, Seeing as you are in the UK one of our sponsors sells dry ferts. They are UK:

    Dry Salts

    And the above advice is very good. NEVER reduce ferts in any reason because you get algae. Only ever reduce ferts because you were overdosing or because you want to reduce them.

    I would also knock the T5s out totally. If not for ever then at least until you get a handle on the algae. There's no point adding the extra light until you know you can master it.

    Like the car analogy. Best to drive a smaller slower car first, then when you get more skilled/experienced move onto a larger faster car and if you get really good then drive for an F1 team :)

    In other words stay at a safe limit like <2WPG (<1WPG for LED) this will still achieve everything you could want but at a slower more manageable rate. The only difference using light above this is speed of growth really.

    Andy
     
  9. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys :)

    Would the starter kit be ok for me? £18 and comes with everything?
    Would I be ok to mix them at the amounts given (bassically all of it together)?
    How much would I dose in my aquarium? It's 400 litres, to a fish keeper it's "heavily planted" to an aquascaper it's "lightly planted".
    How could I measure the PPM with this? Ta!
     
  10. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Yeah thanks, it's a great example. I'm just trying to keep certain species of plants alive in my tank using the T5's for an hour and a half to stop them getting too leggy, it'd be a shame to take them out because of lighting but I guess it's a possability. I'll have to use Excel until I can get a pressurized Co2 system but I figure that being a long while. Pennies are saving up :)
     
  11. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The LED will be enough light for carpeting on its own if it is indeed lightly planted or heavily planted as long as it is pruned regularly.


    I've not looked at the starter kit but if it were me I wouldn't buy anything that is a 'kit'. I would buy the ingredients so that I can mix them mmyself and include what I need.

    Something that says 'kit' often has things that aren't necessarily needed.

    All you need is KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate), KH2PO4 (Potassium Phosphate) for your macro mix and a trace element mix for the micro.

    Simple as that

    Then mix the recipes and dose as follows:

    macro=132g KNO3+7.2g KH2PO4+1 litre DeIonised water
    micro=20g trace powder+500ml DeIonised water

    Schedule:
    day1 40ml macro
    day2 20ml micro
    day3 40ml macro
    day4 20ml micro
    day5 40ml macro
    day6 20ml micro
    day7 water change 50% and dose nothing.

    Forget ppms. EI is Estimative Index. This means you 'overdose' the ferts. 'You add more than needed' and then 'reset' with the heavy water change. This ensures that you don't run short of anything in the tank. Only needs 1 thing to be short and the whole system fails.

    If you are indeed very lightly planted then halve the amounts above but still do the water change.

    Andy
     
  12. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Well the "kit" is actually individual dosing salts that you buy as a "kit" to make it easier to know what you're buying if I've got that correctly? So they are all separate salts, but they call it a kit because they give you all of them not just individual ones if that makes sense?

    That has really helped so thank you for the info on dosing. I'll probably be best dosing at half :) I'd would worry about getting it wrong though. Is de-Ionised water the same as Iron exchange? (Swaps readable Nitrate for "unreadable" nitrate in most tests)? I have an Iron exchange unit which works a dream, at full flow it only gives 2ppm Nitrate from 25ppm. Obviously less if the flow is at the correct flow. If not, how else can I get some? Our local aquatic shops sell R/O water but they are all contaminated (I've tested them all and some are actually GROWING bacteria rather then eliminating them, talk about a membrane change)!

    Ta! :)
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    distilled water is the same, you could check your local grocery store. Do not mix phosphate (PO4) and Iron (Fe) in the same container. Like Supercoley1 said, make a macro mix and a micro mix.

    Legginess can also be a CO2 issue, the plant struggles getting enough CO2 so shoots for the surface. CO2 is huge for planted tanks. They can be done without it, but only with the right plants. Some of yours would benefit greatly from Co2.

    Sorry I keep plugging away at the CO2 thing, but I really think it is the issue. The gorrilla in the room, in a manner of speaking.

    You will have to be patient with changes, could take several weeks for plants to adapt.

    Growing bacteria in their RO, huh, hmmm...seems your LFS is as clueless as mine. Their plant tank looks so sad. If anything has been in there more than a week it is half dead. I've made subtle suggestions before, but no luck.
     
  14. Laurystevens

    Laurystevens New Member

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    Distilled water it is then :) Note: Micro and Macro - keep in seperate bottles. Ahh...I never new Co2 contributed to legginess aswell :O I have to learn so much! Don't worry about it, I now know how important Co2 is thanks to you lot helping me, I just need to try get by with the Organic form (Excel) until I can afford it which will be a good few months at least :(

    A few weeks at least isn't for ever for me, I can easily wait to see about changes with regards to the plants :)

    Yeah, they had Nitrate readings of over 40ppm and one store had over 80ppm *smacks head* I couldn't get my tank that high using tap water and no W/C for a year even if I tried! So god knows how they're managing it with an R/O system, they must have some bacteria culturing somewhere in there.

    All our LFS have cr@p plants too...Frosts in Woburn sands are actually very healthy, considering how many they keep and the basics they use to keep them in, but it works, their prices are absolutely stupidly high though. Min price is approx £3.49 for a small Crypt plant :eyeroll:

    Thank you!!!!!!! You lot really are helping me! I could still do with some more links on cheap, reliable set ups for Co2 for a 400 litre tank, I need a goal :)
     

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