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Old 08-26-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
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'Tis a dark time in the land

Once upon a time, a planted tank became a CO2 injected planted tank. With a plant friendly substrate, 3 wpg and a pressurized CO2 injection it was destined for greenness. Sadly over the past few weeks, the plants have become over grown with what can only be described as a greenish scum. Obviously an algae of some sort, the fairly inexperienced plant keeper found himself powerless to fight it. It covers everything in the tank and can't be healthy for the plants but is (fortunately) easy to remove. The question is how to fight the stuff long term. Water is changed in the tank at least twice a month. No ferts are dosed as it is unclear to the keeper of the tank what ferts to dose and when. Any help to rid this kingdom of such a scourge would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:26 PM   #2
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With that kind of setup, you need to find a fert schedule to use. High light and CO2 without ferts is a recipe for algae as you already know.

A lot of high tech tanks use the EI routine as outlined by Tom Barr.

http://www.barrreport.com/estimative...test-kits.html

http://www.barrreport.com/articles/1...ive-index.html
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Old 08-26-2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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As rkilling has already informed you, without proper fertilization your aquarium is currently a recipe for algae. From your description, I suspect that you are dealing with a form of BGA (actually cynobacteria) which often shows up when there is a Nitrate deficiency.

You really have two options. Learn about fertilization and implement a fertilization routine, or reduce your lighting so that the demands for fertilizers are less. There are many people that would be happy to help you understand fertilization if that is the route you choose.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:32 AM   #4
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I suspected ferts were my problem too. I'll read the links that have been left for me and you'll probably see me back here with questions.
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:31 AM   #5
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CO2, NO3...most likely culprits. I have noticed that every time I either eliminate or reduce dosing NO3 in my low light tank, BBA will always reappear.
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:03 AM   #6
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I'm also thinking BGA/Cyanobacteria as a result of bottomed out nitrates. As said above, you should be on a fert schedule.

I don't see a mention of your tank size, but here is a thread over at Plantedtank that I use for my dosing schedule. I think its basically EI, but it breaks it down into tank sizes. You may need more or less than it recommends though and should tweak it accordingly.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/wa...-regimes_.html

It works very well for me....
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:29 PM   #7
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It's a 75g tank. Thanks to the articles you gave me I went over and ordered Potassion Nitrate, Potassium Sulfate, and Mono Potassion Phosphate. I figure I can pick up a bottle of Flourish Excel somewhere locally for trace elements and save on shipping. Do these sound like the right kinds of things to pick up?
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:45 PM   #8
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Yep, those are good macros. You might want to grab some micro nutrients as well just to be on the safe side.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulkamaniac
I figure I can pick up a bottle of Flourish Excel somewhere locally for trace elements and save on shipping. Do these sound like the right kinds of things to pick up?
Excel is a CO2 suppliment and not for dosing Micro's. You want Seachem's Flourish and NOT Flourish Trace or Excel.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:31 PM   #10
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Since you are injecting CO2 you don't necessarily have to dose Excel. Its good for algae control though and overdosing it can kill some types of algae. I'd work on dosing the macros and micros first though and then if you still have some algae, perhaps it would be a type that would respond to Excel.

You are well on your way to a balanced tank! Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:48 PM   #11
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The problem with BGA is once you have it, it's very hard to get rid of even if you do start dosing correctly. I found that I had to resort to a 5 day blackout to completely eradicate mine in my 120. I also got it in my 29, and didn't do a blackout - took several _months_ for it to disappear from the 29, even with regular cleaning. Even a little fragment left in the gravel can explode into a new infestation.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by src
The problem with BGA is once you have it, it's very hard to get rid of even if you do start dosing correctly. I found that I had to resort to a 5 day blackout to completely eradicate mine in my 120. I also got it in my 29, and didn't do a blackout - took several _months_ for it to disappear from the 29, even with regular cleaning. Even a little fragment left in the gravel can explode into a new infestation.
I had BGA in my 46 gallon tank before and a 4 day blackout killed MOST of it, but it just came back. I ended up using one treatment of Maracyn and it completely destroyed it within one to two days.
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1
Quote:
Originally Posted by hulkamaniac
I figure I can pick up a bottle of Flourish Excel somewhere locally for trace elements and save on shipping. Do these sound like the right kinds of things to pick up?
Excel is a CO2 suppliment and not for dosing Micro's. You want Seachem's Flourish and NOT Flourish Trace or Excel.
Ok, thanks for that info. To clarify, the stuff I got is what I need and if I add Flourish to it for micros, I'll be fine (hopefully)?
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:11 PM   #14
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rkilling1, I heard the Maracyn may affect Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria (those responsible for the nitrogen cycle in the tank and filter) and cause ammonia spike. How is your fish doing during the treatment?
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gu2high
rkilling1, I heard the Maracyn may affect Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria (those responsible for the nitrogen cycle in the tank and filter) and cause ammonia spike. How is your fish doing during the treatment?
I only did one treatment and never had any problems. I think the biggest problem you will run into is, when the algae/bacteria breakdown, they consume large amounts of oxygen and thus take it away from the 'good' bacteria.

If you go this route, ensure you have plenty of surface agitation and monitor the tank for about a week afterwards.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:48 PM   #16
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I did some search and found out that plants Ceratophyllum and Hydrilla can stop bluegreen algae (cyanobacteria) growth and slowly make it go away over a month or two. The Ceratophyllum is a cheap and common plant. They are all intrisive plants and some states want to erase them.

Coincidently, I picked up a Ceratophyllym submersum at my local park river in NJ when the tide is very low last Wednesday. There were tons of plants (mainly 2-3 kinds, another one maybe Hydrilla verticillata or Egeria densa) under the deck on the river beach and I just picked up one Ceratophyllum and several Hydrilla verticillata (not sure of it yet) to try in my tank and the Ceratophyllum grows very welll and is beautiful.
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gu2high
I did some search and found out that plants Ceratophyllum and Hydrilla can stop bluegreen algae (cyanobacteria) growth and slowly make it go away over a month or two.
AKA allelopathy.

Here is a great article on allelopathy:

http://www.tropica.com/article.asp?t...aristic&id=531

Just a couple of quick quotes from that article:

"A natural question to pose would be: Can allelopathy be used to control algae growth in the aquarium? The answer would be NO! One would have to advocate lowering the water exchange, which would be controversial during an algae plague! Only by a very modest water exchange programme, would the toxic chemicals be able to build up to a significant concentration level required to pose a toxic effect."

"Hopefully, this article has provided you with sufficient knowledge so that you are naturally skeptical next time you meet these allegations on miraculous algae control by means of allelopathy. The best algae control will always be a densely planted aquarium with a limited stock of fish combined with frequent water exchange. In particular the last point probably prevents allelopathy to become important in planted aquaria since the toxic chemicals never build up to significant concentration levels and therefore the effect, if any, will never materialize."
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by src
The problem with BGA is once you have it, it's very hard to get rid of even if you do start dosing correctly. I found that I had to resort to a 5 day blackout to completely eradicate mine in my 120.
This is going to sound crazy, but after I introduced EI to my 2.5 gallon, the final straw for the algae was several days of leaving the lights on... (Went on vacation, work tank doesn't have a timer so I left the light on. Leaving it off can result in an ammonia spike in my unfiltered 2.5.) I've never heard of anyone else having luck with this method though.
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