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Re: New tank..

Re: New tank.
Tom, thanks a lot for the pointers.  Some additional data and comments
below -

> From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
> Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 20:07:13 -0800
> > Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 10:47:26 -0800
> > From: "Arvind Goel" <arvind.goel at home_com>
> >


> > I have two categories of problems - plants and algae. Hoping some of you
> > experts have the patience to read all this and provide some pointers.
> >
> > A. ALGAE -
> > The tank had a bad case of brown algae before the CAEs. This was
> > cleaned off by the CAEs. However there are 2-3 other types still around.
> > 1. green brush-like algae on 2-3 rotala leaves.
> > 2. long strands of algae growing on 6-8 leaves (rotala and bacopa)
> > 3. numerous 1-2mm green spots on the glass - slowly increasing in
> > The CAEs don't seem to touch any of these.
> >
> > Overall question - how do I get rid of this unsightly stuff while still
> > growing healthy plants?
> >
> > 1. Rotala - was earlier covered with brown algae, is now doing better
> > the CAEs cleaned this off. Sprouting new leaves from top (pink, large)
> > bottom (green, small). Also a long root 1/3rd from the top of one of the
> > stems. The problem here is disfigured leaves from the old algae, and
> > # 1 and 2 listed above.
> > 2. Hornwort - seems to be growing very quickly. It hit the top of the
> > and is sprouting branches and new leaves all over. No problems here
> > trimming. BTW, I read that hornwort is supposed to suppress algae - is
> > true?
> > 3. Bacopa - had nearly died off due to low light and algae (before the
> > fluorescents, CAEs and CO2). The few remaining stems are sprouting lush
> > green leaves and copious amounts of roots. Still fragile. Has algae #2
> > some leaves.
> > 4. Pygmy chain sword - earlier covered with brown algae, is now green
> > thanks to CAEs. Does not seem to be doing much. Some old leaves are
> > off, but not much in terms of obvious new growth.
> > 5. Tropica sword - Is rapidly sprouting new leaves, which is great,
> > they're coming out nearly transparent and slightly torn. Too little
> > chlorophyll (iron deficiency??).
> > 6. Sagittaria - Newest addition. Some old leaves dying off, no obvious
> > growth.
> > 7. Water sprite - Some old leaves dying/breaking off. Some new green
> > is apparent.
> >
> > Overall question - how do I stimulate healthy growth and propagation
> > lots of algae?
> Good eyes and good question(s).
> >
> > Other details -
> > NH4, NO2 = 0, pH=7.2-7.4 (baking soda used for buffering)
> > Temp = 82F (too high?)
> > 2x15W fluorescent 5000K bulbs on 12.5 hours.
> > NO3 = 0-15ppm (test kit is unreliable).
> > O2 = 7-10ppm
> > Don't have phosphate, GH, KH, CO2 readings yet. The kits are expensive,
> > I'll go get some tests done at the LFS soon.
> > Aquaclear mini filter with 2 sponges. UGF removed.
> > No aeration (day or night).
> Honestly with a ten gallon tank, I find it's plain not worth it to fool
> complex notions on how to do it well.
> Your Temp is fine. Light is fine. I'd test the KH and pH only too see if
> your getting close to a good range( say Kh of 4 and pH of 6.8 etc check
> krib for more). You have fish and crittwers so just keep the load semi
> and feed well and that should take care of most of the N and P supplied to
> your tank.

Here's some more data -

Tank water -
Nitrate = 8ppm
Ionic Fe = 0. Chelated Fe = 0.75ppm. Too high, too low? Sample taken in the
morning *before* daily Kent drops addition.
KH = 6.2
GH = 5.6. Lower than kH possible? I had the lfs guy do this test twice to
be sure.
CO2 = 8ppm (lfs test). The water was kept in a plastic bag for an hour and
likely lost some CO2. Should be ~19 ppm according to the chart, based on my
pH of 7.0 (has dropped recently after I added a new recipe bottle that's
putting out more CO2 than the last one) and KH of 6.2. However I have high
phosphate so the chart may not hold?
Phosphate = 6ppm. Very high. Tap water is 5ppm+ and I was supplementing!
Along with the Fe, this probably explains my algae problems.
O2 = 13ppm. Nice and high, though home tests show 7-10ppm.
Potassium test not available. The Kent drops have 3% K2O and the aquarium
fertilizer tabs have K as well, so this may not be deficient.

Tap water -
Phosphate = 5+ ppm. Very high.  Probably my biggest problem.  What do I do
about this?
KH = 2.2. Hence the need for baking soda for buffering.
GH = 4.5
Nitrate = 2ppm

> I just add CO2 to the intake of the hang on filter. A 1/4 teaspoon of
> to 1 cup of sugar and the usual set upand I place the bottle on top of the
> hood so the heat warms the the brew keeping it going well. Change it every
> 2-3 weeks(hopefully). I use flourite and don't add much of anything else
> except fish food. A bag of flourite will be worth it on such a small tank.
> know you don't want to change it but it will help in the long run. The
> flourite will cost less than the test kits. It's not that bad on a small
> tank like this. Water changes, adding a few shrimps would help.

The CO2 is currently bubbling into the AquaClear intake.  Doing 25% H2O
change weekly.  Will shrimp eat hair algae?  The algae looks like
individual, relatively thick hairs - some curly - sprouting from numerous
locations on each leaf.  This has spread to my lovely tropica sword now :-(

> You could easily iron limit the water column and the flourite will provide
> most all of the iron needed for the plants but not the algae. They don't
> have roots but still need the iron. The pale color is often from lack of
> not iron. That's the easy long term way to help solve your algae problem.
> You can further optimize your tank later as you can afford the kits etc
> absorb more info. This will give you a good base to fall back on if
> something goes screwy.
> You can add trace elements(kent etc) after a water change which can likely
> go sometime in between.
> Regards,
> Tom Barr

Short of overhauling the substrate, how does the following sound?
- Treat water to remove/reduce phosphate.
- Cut out Kent drops to limit iron in water column. One less thing to add!
- No more aquarium fertilizer tabs, vacuum out whatever is left of the last
addition.  One less thing to add!
- Back off on gravel vac to let the substrate get enriched.
- Seachem Flourish tabs in the gravel for iron and other micronutrients
(have inserted already)

Thanks and regards,