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Old 02-23-2007, 09:11 AM   #1
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about to throw in the towel...

i have a 20 gallon planted tank. 65W lighting, 2 DIY CO2 bottles going, dosing with greg watson ferts, weekly 50% PWC's.

i have either hair or fuzz algae covering nearly half my plants plus some black looking algae on a couple of plant leaves.

i really am about to give up and pull all the plants out. i'm 9 months pregnant, i have a cold and i'm chasing a two year old all day. i don't have the time, energy or money to keep fighting with the aquarium. at what point do i give up and just buy silk plants?
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:16 AM   #2
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I would surely say that you have your hands full.

A couple of things come to mind. 1) What color is the hair/fuzz? Is it on the edges of the leaves and more on the slower growing plants?

2) Can you do a KH and PH test to help determine the amount of co2 you have?

3) How long do your lights stay on each day?
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:38 AM   #3
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oh i forgot to add that no matter what i try, my CO2 levels are too low. they're about 6... i've tried everything to raise the levels, tested all the equipment - i'm at a loss.

my light are on only 9 hours a day at this point. the algae is a light brownish colour.
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:46 AM   #4
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I would say that lack of co2 is definitely a contributing factor to your problem. Take a look at this site and see if you can identify what you have. This will help determine treatment.
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:55 AM   #5
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thanks - i'm pretty sure it's fuzz algae although it doesn't look exactly the same as the pics. i've spent hours online looking up photos to compare. i have two oto's in my tank but they've never seemed interested in this type of algae.

i was also considering getting an SAE to see if that helps.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:24 PM   #6
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The SAE might help but it's doubtful that they will be able to get all of it taken care of. There are plenty of people on this forum that have been using DIY co2 and could maybe chime in here to give you some suggestions.

My belief is that you are suffering from lack of carbon, and that maybe your diy setup is not able to keep up. You could try to start feeding excel along with your co2 to help bring the carbon level up. I'm guessing that you may need to increase your co2 production in order to get your tank in better shape though.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:30 PM   #7
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Can you describe your DIY setup (size of bottle, amount of yeast and sugar, steps to mixing it up)? Also, have you checked for leaks around the top of the bottle?
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:33 PM   #8
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With 2 bottles running you should have more than 6 ppm, are you running a biowheel or air stone, or something agitating the water?

Have you considered using Seachem Excel? It is pretty cheap to use on a 20 gallon, you could get a 2L for like $25 that will last you probably a year.

That is a lot of light for what looks like mostly swords and dwarf sag... I would cut back from 9 hours to something like 7 or 2 4 hour periods, at least until you get it under control.
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:58 PM   #9
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Another thing to consider is increasing water movement in the tank. Adding a powerhead to increase circulation could really help... if you can get the CO2 numbers up a bit. How are you diffusing the CO2 into your tank?
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:56 PM   #10
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thanks for all your responses...

i have checked for leaks on my CO2 bottles. i actually have three bottle - one is the Hagen CO2 system, another 2 litre bottle that is hooked into the hagen with a T-valve so they are both using the ladder system to disperse the bubbles. the third 2 litre bottle is feeding the bubbles under a piece of driftwood. i know i need a better system for that one.

any suggestions? i can't seem to find a CO2 bell at Big Als which is where i shop.

also can you suggest what type of additional powerhead i could add? right now i've got an HOB - penguin 250 (or 350 i can't remember and i'm too sick to get up and look right now)

Thanks for all your advice!
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:20 PM   #11
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Penguin 350 has a biowheel. You will never get DIY CO2 to work with a biowheel.
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argblarg
Penguin 350 has a biowheel. You will never get DIY CO2 to work with a biowheel.
i removed the biowheel months ago...
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:20 PM   #13
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how much surface agitation do you get, and how far is the waterfall coming out of your hob?
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:08 PM   #14
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Are the bubbles shrinking much at all before they exit the top of the Hagen Ladder? Perhaps the best thing you could do is switch to a better diffusion method. A powerhead would not only increase water movement but could be used as a part of a powered reactor. You could do an inline reactor or the mist method.

How often do you change out the bottles? What mix are you using. Both of these can be tweaked to give you better output.
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Old 02-23-2007, 09:41 PM   #15
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You could plumb the CO2 directly into the HOB as well. I find that to be all the diffuser I need on 3 tanks.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:47 AM   #16
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i use diy co2 and get levels up to about 45ppm on a 50gal tank. the way i diffuse it is to have all co2 bottles connected together, with the tube going into a airstone in the tank directly underneath the intake of a powerhead. the PH then chops up the bubbles really finely and sprays them all over the tank - very effective, very simple. this is called the mist method, and is by far the best you'll get using diy co2, imo.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
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You could plumb the CO2 directly into the HOB as well. I find that to be all the diffuser I need on 3 tanks.
i've read about doing this but am a little confused as to how to go about it?
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:34 PM   #18
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Put the tube into the intake (or directly below it in the tank) so the bubbles get sucked into the filter.

BA Used to sell a "Bell Reactor", it is a Jungle Labs Kit that uses the silly little pellets (Alka-seltzer?)

Here is a link

For the cost, it's best to just use a powerhead.. (Or the intake of you HOB)
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:19 PM   #19
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On my tanks I just make sure the tubing has a connector or a smaller tube inside the CO2 tube so the slots on the intake don't pinch the tube shut. On one tank I think it's the end of a plastic sucker stick. On another its a fitting for a Hagen CO2 ladder. Any hard plastic tube that fits inside the CO2 tubing will do. Then just stretch the fins of the HOB's intake and stick the fitting in there so the fins hold it in place.

I know it sounds "ghetto" or at least dirty south but it's free and does just as good a job as any diffusor I've seen. It's great on a canister too "cause you get CO2 burps sometimes for mist method diffusion.
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