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Another Algae Problem?
Hello every one,
I've been lurking for a while now (I just can't seem to pull myself away:)
and I now find myself in need of some assistance. I'm seeking your help and
knowledge as I can't figure out this problem for the life of me. I've been
to the krib more time then I can remember and I've been hitting the book
(again and again) as well.
I have a 100 gal tank (72x18x20) which I would say was heavily planted
(aprx. 3/4) with relatively few fish at this point IMO. Cardinals Tetra
(5), Harlequins (5), some Beacons (5), a few corys (4) and Otos(5) and a
couple of SEA and Clowns for snail control. Plants include, Corkscrew Val
1/8th of tank, Various types of Hygro, Java Fern, Bacopa (doing well given
the water chem),Didiplis, various types of Enchinodorus, Alt Reinecki and a
couple of other mid-ground specimen plants such as Rotala nanjenshan and
Lobelia cardinalis and Ambulia.
To get to the point the tank has developed a very bad case of algae and
it's been changing types for a few weeks now. I back tracked my past
actions in and to the tank (Daily/weekly log, never keep tanks without
them) and found the probable origins of the problem, at least I think I
did. I had added a very thin layer of filter floss to a Fluval 403 canister
filter to try and keep the peat from moving into the foam media,
unfortunately it prevented more then just the peat from moving. It plugged
up the filter chamber to a point were it restricted the water flow to
almost nothing. (To make a long story short I went away for the X mas
weekend (which was a few days after the filter adjustment) and when I
returned the water chemistry was all shot to, well you know.) The problem
was also compounded I believe by the addition of some Root Tabs that were
added a week prior to the filter change.
I did have a slight problem with black bush algae growing on the roots of
some stumped Java Fern but it had been in check for around six months with
very little to no growth to it (very tight control on the fertilizing).
The bush algae was the first to get hold and with in days of my return
there was an out break,(did an extra few water changes and bleach
treatments to the anubus and C.nevilli and all filter parts to be sure, did
extensive root cutting to the Java Fern and trimmed some of my tennelus as
well as the pennywort but to no avail), next came the beard algae on the
Val and my stump, then the stag horn decided to move in, and now it's slim
(which I'm taking as a good sign BTW, hopefully it's resulting from the
deterioration of the other algae (wish full thinking). The chemistry is not
right IMO to promote new algae growth though. see below) I was able to get
a grip on most of the water chemistry with the exception of the Iron. I can
only assume that the tabs were leaching into the water column some how
resulting in the stag horn. In any case, the Fe count is now finally
between .1 to .5, phosphate was also high at the time 1-2 ppm? which
accounts for the bloom. (the food I switched to, and left for feeding, had
a high Po3/4, at least higher then the stuff I used to use)
Now what puzzles me is all current water readings are very close to what
I've posted here and they've been this way for a few weeks now. The bloom
does not seem to be subsiding, it's not gaining, but definitely not going
away in a great hurry. The E. tennalus is growing well but it's not losing
its new found coat, the same can be said for the E.latifolius
(magdalenensis) and C, nevelli (again). All plants are growing well given
the circumstances and my Alt.reinecki and Rotalia macrandra are holding
their own (still red although starting to go a little orange) My ambulia is
starting to go a little wirery on me too though, from the reduced lighting
as would be expected.
I suppose my question in the end is "how long does it take for this
unwanted stuff to die off" and what is keeping it going. I dread the
thought of a complete tear down. (so much so that I'm willing to fork out
the money for a U.V. unit if it'll help at all. I figure if it was on a
daily timer set for once or twice a week, 12-14 hrs per day, it might help
by preventing any further spreading and also by minimizing the free
nutrient build up from the dosing between water changes)
My other question was how come people don't post any responses to these
algae questions to the APD. I've seen a few others with similar Q's and
problems, but they never seem to get any public responses. Any reason? I'm
guessing it's to save space maybe. In any case, thank you for your time in
reading this and for any advice that you can offer and sorry for the length.
ph 7.1 +-.1 (does not want to hit 6.8 for some reason)
TH 14 (Any ideas on what the extra 2.5 dgh might be? Toronto water)
Fe .25 aprx.
No3 0. ? (triple checked, PMDD measures 80+ ppm per .1 ml)
PO3/4 .25 aprx ? (test starts at 0-.5ppm)
Co2 12-15 ppm (I hope) consistent result prior to the addition of peat
Lighting 245 wtts staggered over 11 hrs and over varying locations.
(Lately 150 wtts over 9.5 hrs limited to the back of the tank.)
Filtration, Fluval 403 (primary) and 303 (secondary with a 4ft T shaped
intake) providing mechanical and biological filtration plus peat.
Chemical filtration when needed via an external removable aqua clear.
(Carbon, Water Softener Pillow, Phosphate or Nitrate)
2, 201 Powerhead with 12 inch water uptakes and foam in the corners for
(planning on a bio load to 65-70 inches of fish when completed, then this
happened, Tank has been up for close to a year now problem free, with the
exception of this of course)
PMDD for fertilizer with the five or six Root Tabs every 30+- days where
All tests are Aquarium Pharm except for the Fe, it's Red Sea. The PO3/4
test is dry tab all other are liquid.
Thanks again if you read this far ;)
Oh water changes were 1/4 to 1/3 once a week, lately its been 1/4 every 4-5
Shennon ta:non Nariwiio