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RE: Algae Wars

"John Pflum, Jr." <jpflumjr at pkgconsult_com> wrote about his algae wars:
> I am almost exactly one month into my new algae infested planted tank.  
> Ever since about the first week (when I over fertilized) I have had a ton 
> of algae in my tank.  First off, here are the particulars:
<<< snip >>>

Hi John,

You have my symphathy. I've fought my share of algae wars,
and I think I'm beginning to get a handle on the thing. To me
your tank looks like deficient in N and CO2. I've always
had algae problems when I neglect fertilization. When the 
nitrates are all used up, plant growth stalls and other nutrients
start piling up allowing algae to take over. To keep an eye on
the nitrates, I use the LaMotte nitrate test kit. A good level is
around 5 ppm NO3. That gives you a nice buffer in case you
neglect to fertilize the tank for a couple of days. I like to drive
close to the edge and I keep mine at 1-2 ppm, but then again,
I make sure to dose fertilizer every day. I'm still using DIY CO2 
on a couple of tanks (though not for long - it's just too much fuss! 
Pressurized CO2 is way better if you can afford the initial 
investment). For example, the CO2 fertilization in my 40G tank 
is 2 bottles, 1.5 liters each. I have a pretty efficient diffuser
and the setup gives me about 15-20 ppm CO2. I'd say 
you need at least 3 or 4 such bottles driving your 75G.
Reset the bottles in a staggered fashion (1 bottle each week)
to keep CO2 production stable. You can easily chain together 
several bottles with the airline T adapters. That's what I've done.
Keep the growing conditions good for higher plants and they
will start taking over and algae will start to recede. You know 
you've got it right when the plants start bubbling like crazy. That's
such a nice sight! You might want to do manual removal to 
speed up the process in the meanwhile. BTW: American-flag fish 
(some people insist on calling them incorrectly Florida Flag Fish) 
are great for thread and hair algae, so you might get some 
of those to help you. Get the females, they seem to be better 
able to concentrate on the job of algae removal than the males. 
I've got some green brush algae and they are not touching it 
though, so I don't know if they'll eat your attached types of 


Mr.  I L K K A   K A L L I O
San Jose, CA
E-mail: ikallio at innoveda_com
Mr Ilkka Kallio, Prosoft Oy, ilkka.kallio at prosoft_otm.fi, tel +358-8-5514383