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Old 12-11-2002, 11:09 AM   #1
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Algae, Algae, Algae!!!!

I finally got a digi camera, more pics of my planted tank will be up when I'm happy with things.

HOWEVER, the algae problems I'm having are driving me nuts.

Cyanobacteria, I won that battle.

Green water, defeated it also.

Current problem, 2, maybe 3 types. Staghorn or black beard algae, not sure which, looks like dirty Santa Claus beard, and clings to leaves and substrate horribly. UGLY stuff!! Also green thread algae, doesn't cling much, but grows so fast you can't believe it. Threads of this crap can grow 6 inches or more in one day. . Currently pretty depressing.

Also, I researched alge eating fish till my eyes were ready to fall out. Decided on Siamese Algae Eaters, supposed to be top-notch. Well, they would rather eat flake food which p*sses me off to no end!


I WILL WIN these battles, but it could take some time. When things are more under control, I'll post pics, but not until I'm happy with the tank.

I've been doing my water changes, I don't overfeed, lights are on for 10 hours.

Doing more reserch now on properly balancing nutrients so that plants thrive and alge doesn't, but it aint easy folks, not easy at all.
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Old 12-11-2002, 11:17 AM   #2
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Shi*, sounds like your having a right old time of things !! I presume your not too close to a window or anything like that, it seems like an awful lot happens to your poor tank/s !
Anyway, keep on researching, it'll be worth it in the end. 8)
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Old 12-11-2002, 11:25 AM   #3
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algae

Have you looked at a couple of Flying Foxes? Sorry, haven't got the scientific name right now. They are good algae eaters. I have a 55 gal at a doctors office that had an algae problem. Water changes and two of these guys have it pretty well in hand. I don't know if they'll touch the beard algae though. I have had this stuff before and it's TOUGH. Here is what I found in one of my books on this stuff. I don't doubt that you already have this info, but here it is anyway.
Beard algae: Fertilization with c02 and iron will help with it. Also might try peat moss in the filter to lower pH and water hardness. According to this book, nothing eats it and you can't get it off the leaves without damaging the plant.
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Old 12-11-2002, 11:51 AM   #4
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Flying foxes are a very close relative of the Siamese Algae eaters, SAE's are supposed to be better, but who really knows. The guys i have are good for some things, they clean the glass crystal clear, and work hard on the plant leaves, but like you said, nobody eats the beard algae.

Also. I'm beyond frustration with my Co2 system. I have now leaked out FOUR bottles of the stuff, (my house plants are growing like mad)! One bottle should last A WHOLE YEAR, something is very wrong. At 12 bucks a refill, its really starting to cost me.

I have checked, rechecked, and triple-frreakin' checked every connection there is on the needle valve, regulator, and tank connection, CANNOT find a leak.

Anybody got a good site for how to work high-pressure Co2? Specifically for finding leaks?
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:17 PM   #5
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I've never really had any algae problems in any of my tanks. How long do you leave the lights on? How often do you do water changes?
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Old 12-11-2002, 07:29 PM   #6
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8 week old tank, flourite substrate, 440 watts of VHO flourescent, 10 hours a day.

Filter eheim 2218, cleaned weekly, 25 % water change every 2 weeks.

Co2 injection (when it works)

0 fertilization at this point. I was told not to fertilize for 2 months minimum.

1 gazillion snails of several varieties.

3 angels, medium sized. 5 dannios, 4 cory cats, 9 SAE's. light feeding regimen, so as not to spoil algae eaters, not working out that way.

Sorry for whining.

The Good news part:
Approximately 45 plants in the tank, prolly 30-35 varieties. They are thriving like mad! Almost all of them have tripled in size, at least. And when I look up through the bottom of the tank, the roots are getting very well established. Lost 1 dannio while cycling, otherwise all fish are health and happy.

I wish there were more plant people here, I feel like a pioneer!
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Old 12-17-2002, 09:47 PM   #7
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Update.

Beard algae is slowing down, not growing as much. I take not much credit, because other than a water change last weeked, I have only done some pruning and manual removal of some algae and affected leaves. For many plants, loosing a few leaves is no big deal, they just grow new ones in a week or so. Other plants, like Java Fern, grow so slowly that leaf removal is fairly detrimental, or will kill them.

The plan at this point is to do some more work on it this weekend. Some of the badly affected plants will have to be pruned down to gravel level, we'll see if they come back. other places, not so severe, and some plants need to be moved as they are too tightly spaced.
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Old 12-18-2002, 12:20 AM   #8
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c02 leaks

How are you checking for leaks on the C02 system? If you haven't tried it already, mix up a solution of dish soap and water and either brush or spray it on all the valves, fittings, and lines. Anywhere it's leaking, you'll get bubbles. Are you using regular air line tubing anywhere on the C02 system? If so, C02 will go right through this stuff...you have to have the tubing that is rated for use with C02. I think icemaker tubing will also work, but I'm not 100% on that. Anyway, just some thoughts.
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Old 12-18-2002, 08:32 AM   #9
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Logan,

First, Holiday season has not left me the time to do everything I want with my tank, frustrating, but that's life.

I have CO2 safe tubing, no prob there. The soapy water didn't work for me. I even bought some leak detector fluid from the place i buy co2 from, no results either. Good suggestions though, appreciate it.

My plan at this point is to use the old bicycle flat tire trick. In other words, I'm going to fill up a bucket with water and submerge the whole dang system, just for a few seconds, don't want to ruin my regulator and needle valve. That has GOT to show me where the leak is coming from. Right now, I have a full tank, but its totally unhooked untill I get the problem worked out.
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Old 12-18-2002, 08:44 AM   #10
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leaks

Yeah...I can understand about the holidays making for little time. Strange that the soap trick didn't work...I have found some really tiny leaks in LP gas systems with that one. Is it a fairly new tank? I once had an 02 tank on my torches that leaked down. Turned out it was seeping where the valve screwed into the tank...scary thought when you think about how much pressure is on that thing! I guess the submerge it and see is about the only weapon left to you. Good luck with it and let us know what the end result is.
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