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Re: Highway to algae hell

I said:
>> Sounds good to me:)The P will help. GH of 20 is fine. I got a GH of 24. I
>> don't play with it or RO/DI no nothing. I add it right into my tank with
>> some Amquel/prime and your done. I have soft water fish. They are doing
>> quite well. My plants are doing super.
> Sorry, should also have mentioned that I went to RO/DI to get rid of the
> buffer Denver city water adds.  I could run tap water in the tank at 30ppm
> of CO2 and not get the pH below 7.5.  Not bad, but not where I wanted it.
> That, and I was planning a salt tank, which our tap water is horrible for,
> due to the phosphate problems.  Maybe I just got spoiled by Seattle water.
> BTW, could someone send me about 200 gallons of that?  Water here tastes off
> after having lived on Seattle water for 18 years...:-)

Did you say GH was 20 and not the KH? These are not being confused are they?
Few places have KH's of 20 which about is what your saying here based on the
pH and CO2. Why would a city buffer the water when it's rock hard already?
If anything, they'd soften it. Folks/consumers like soft water over hard if
given a choice. Stalagmites on your faucet doesn't install much confidence:)
We have to dry our dishes and pots right away otherwise they get the
You said GH here. Is this why your softening? There is no need to soften the
GH. Mine is higher and it does not cause ANY problems. I would say it helps
in most cases even. Crypts especially. It's got to be "something else" that
is causing the problem. Your GH is not it.

> -All tank water is RO/DI, reconstituted with Kent R/O right (went to RO
> after discovering that Denver city water has a GH of about 20 and is prone
> to phosphate spikes).

My waters at 7.0 or so. My KH is 8. You think a level of pH 7.5 is going to
cause that big a difference? This is assuming that your KH is 20. Is there
some rule that says you have to have soft water to do well with plants?
Rubbish. If this is the case why are mine doing very nicely in my hard
water? Is a little more a breaking point?

I hear complaints all the time about this(my water's hard or there's PO4's
in my water ahhhhhhhhhh!), yet my water is harder or has more PO4's etc. If
these are "certain" causes and lead to algae/bad plant growth where's mine?
I don't and haven't had algae issues for many years.

I need to add phosphate, more than many would think. I have low NO3 and feed
heavy. But I do have some NO3 in there and a fair amount of P. I even feed
the snails:)I've had different tap waters and dealt with super soft/RO water
to the the other extreme. Same for Phosphates. Some have lots of P and some
have none. Plants do much much better with it, than without, the reverse
with algae. Every tank, every time. My P levels have dropped daily by over
0.2ppm so all that P is going somewhere and I have no algae so........
But GH will not affect your plants. It's that plain and simple. I suppose
something over a GH of 24 might but not many folks have GH's above that.
Lack of GH on the other hand will cause problems.....(less than 3 or so)
>> Try overfeeding then. Fish food is good fertilizer(adds some N and P). You
>> do good maintenance and all, sounds like.
> I've been concerned about hair algae, but I may give that a shot.  Anyone
> know why my tank would have made such a sudden switch from one algae to the
> other?

CO2. Lack of nutrients. That's all there is:) If there's a problem always
check the CO2 first and double check it. Then check it again:) Then all
that's left is **nutrients**. No voodoo. Just nutrients.
>> Get a good test kit and see. Quit guessing. NO3 was zero which is not
> good.
> My understanding is that even if a tank has zero measurable nitrate, it may
> not be nitrate limited.  Additions of KNO3 seemed to exacerbate the hair
> algae problem, rather than add to plant growth.  Am I wrong in this?

Yep. If your NO3 is 0 and your not adding lots of food etc and have good
fish load you running too low on N. Get it to about 2-5ppm and keep it
there. Want to try going lower that's fine but you will need to add a small
amount each day or two etc and/or feed heavy.
Check the CO2 again. I think something there is the source of some of your
problem but the nutrients do play a role.

If the plants are NO3 limited they take some time to get "back on their
feet". Algae have the edge since they can reproduce much faster in new
environments than the plants can in this situation. So upon seeing your
algae bloom a little at first, you back off and never let the plants get
back to good health. It takes time for this situation to shift to the side
of the plants dominating the nutrient use. Once this happens the algae goes
on the run. You need fast growing healthy plants to stop algae. If they
hurt, it doesn't matter what you do, you'll get algae.
This why I say **3 weeks**or so of basic nutrition and upkeep- not over
night. Patience and upkeep on attacking algae with; algae eaters, manual
removal of algae, additions of nutrients in a good range and good CO2 levels
will help this. You do this and algae will go away. Use every weapon you can
attacking the algae and keep the nutrients in a good balance.
Don't freak out if the first few days you get even more algae. After the
first week this starts to back off and the plants pick up growth.
Just keep after the nutrient levels and manually remove the algae.
Eventually the plants will win.

I don't have any "secret","Voodoo" or a special trick. It 's basic stuff
over and over again. Takes work and patience.
Tom Barr