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Re: BBA, Fe, NO3

>> Plants like both P04 and N03. Not just one. So do algae.
> Yes, but plants will utilize more PO4 if there is a good measurable amount
> of No3 in the tank, I've always come up roughly zero, and I know this is
> true because I've verified the test kit, and if I don't dose Nitrate
> regularly, alot of my plants such as jungle val and swords will be
> completely red and dont change back until I add nitrate.

Well that is zero readings on the test kit. Limited and absent are two
different conditions. Yes your correct in saying the PO4 is not getting used
in this situation. The thing is not to be absent but limited. Low NO3's are
fine. Keeping them low but not absent is a key element. Moderate
fish/critter loads will help with decent feedings. You said your plants are
red which is a function of low/absent NO3's. In some PO4 limited tanks this
can also happen to a lesser degree.

>> I had BBA a long time ago and hated it.
> Well, it's impossible for me to dose more co2 in the system, since it's
> already 35ppm+

Is it stable? Or is this one reading after someone redid the yeast brew or
is it canned CO2?
If not, you just have any NO3's. There's some in there but way to low for
the plants to do well(and you to test for) but enough so that algae creep
in, but slowly. 
I thought you said you did not add much CO2?
You said:
> I have had BBA at 7.6+ pH, as far as I can tell it doesn't benifit from CO2,

You mean now it's less than this? You'd need some serious KH to do that
otherwise. And has it been this high for some time or did you recently do
this? You still use sunlight for a lighting and it's still balance of
nutrients, CO2 and lighting. Mess any one, two or three of these up enough
you'll have algae of some sort or another. BBA just hangs on longer when
passing through. You've got the one issue, the NO3, working on and you say
your CO2 is now at 35ppm, so what about that lighting? If you just recently
upped your CO2 it may tank some time but it should take care of it.
Measurement errors? pH? KH? Was this one single reading or a continuos
reading or several through the day?
> I tend to not vaccuum the gravel, and try to do as less water changes as I
> can since I breed gourami's in the same tank, I think I vacuumed once after
> 3 months or so, and water changes bi-weekly, however the water looks like a
> greyish yellow and I know I dont have nutrient deficiency's cause i'm dosing
> a pretty high dosage of kent, but I've never really gotten plants like java
> moss to grow.

Greyish yellow water? You don't have nutrient deficiency but you cannot grow
these two plants? Ask yourself what you are saying.
 Go back and look over the levels and try to deduce what's going on.
Something's up. 
> Well, I'm showing Iron deficiency's w/ adding 2 ppm of kent fw daily,
> basically colorless leaves.

You don't have iron deficiency. Your assuming it is which it likely is not.
Unless your tank is really growing, like faster than mine, and you have no
gravel amendment/flourite etc there's no way unless measure error(big) is
the cause.
I thought you mentioned you had "very red" plants? Could be if they get
somewhat translucent that it's NO3. Not iron.

> So low or high levels of Co2 cause BBA then?

Unstable levels cause algae, not just BBA. Low levels tend to cause BBA. Why
do think folks with DIY yeast often are the ones with BBA? The folks with
gas tanks can simply turn up the valve to add more. Not as easy with the
yeast. Many don't want to pay for gas and use yeast on a 75 gallon tank and
are always fighting to keep their CO2 levels up. Yea, it's fine for awhile
but after a week or so....BBA also hangs on longer than other algae. Yeast
is fine on smaller tanks. Absent does not help the plants and helps the
algae even though they need the NO3 also. They are much "faster" at
rebounding and existing in bad conditions. Algae can handle water 5 times
saltier than the Ocean...-20C to +80C. Can grow a foot a day. Tough stuff.
> I dont notice to much algae at this point, just little growth and iron
> defieicny's with overdosing 2ppm of iron daily, and the growth of any of the
> plants does not seem very much, ie. not everything grows, no plants have
> even reached the top after 2 weeks.

Adding a bunch of micro's is not going to add much mass to the plants. CO2
and Macro's are. Lighting is the other part.
> As I understand it from the krib, red algae's flourish in conditions with
> limited nitrates and excess phosphates not used by the plants. How much more
> co2 are we talking about? I already have 35ppm.

You sure? Not at pH of 7.6. Do you have DIY CO2? Don't believe everything
you read. If red algae "flourishes" at limited NO3 and high PO4's where's
mine then? Something else must be the cause. I don't have it and have been
growing plants without any of it for many, many years. But I did have it in
the past. My NO3's are limiting and have been for a few years. I have good
reliable test kits. These have referenced against the local utilities and
other kits. My PO4's are in excess but for *some reason* my plants are using
> No, I'm saying that algae grows a lot differently under artificial
> conditions, infact I've noticed that they grow ALOT more under artificial
> conditions, atleast in my experience, and I believe this to be due to the
> fact that light is never a true balance in nature.

Algae will grow either way. Lighting has less to do than most think.
Relative to the CO2 and nutrients, lighting can grow all sort of algae and
plants, artificial or not, 3000K to 10000K etc. Artificial lighting is more
consistent/user controllable. The balance between lighting, and the
nutrients, O2 and the others is the key to adjusting to different lighting
types/set ups/ more wattages etc. Algae (say one species) may dominate more
in a more stable environment(even lighting cycles).

*** Many *** folks do not adjust their CO2 and nutrients to compensate for
this. They then get algae and erroneously assume the lighting or spectral
output etc as the cause. They are use to using say 2 watts a gallon then
when they move up to 5 watts the nutrients are all removed much faster, CO2
use is up etc. They are not use to running things at this "speed". So it's
the lighting's fault they say. It's not single thing, it's the balance. you
may not have needed to add KNO3 to one tank but at a high lighting level you
might now need too. You might need to add more CO2 etc. Many folks are use
to their same old routine or at least the one that works best for them. When
one of these elements is changed they don't/won't adjust and then look for a
scapegoat when the real issue is themselves. They are in complete control of
the tank. Not some "algae fairy":) You can't change one(CO2, nutrients and
lighting) too much without changing the others to make up for it. You'll
find more natural systems with algae and plants, not just plants alone.
But stabilizing one element like lighting can let one specific algae gain a
foothold wereas in nature it would/might not. But you can control this much
much more with artificial light/CO2 injection/fertilize tank.
Car analogy:
You have to steer a car(nutrients) and put your foot on the
accelerator(ligthing) and have some fuel(CO2-literally after gasoline is
burnt) to go somewhere. Not enough fuel you won't make it. Can't steer, you
crash. Can't take the foot of the pedal, crash, get an algae ticket, don't
make that last turn quite...etc
These all have to work together, not just one by it's self to get you where
you want to go.
As you've seemingly found out, a junk car cost a good sum of $ in repairs,
reliability and looks.
Go slower and you get more MPG and therefore need(burn) less CO2. Steering
is easier and you don't use so much "leadfoot". Less maintenance (again
literally). But folks want to get there faster or "in style".... so they go

>> You can get all the N and P you need with fish load. I'd limit the Fe way
>> way back. Like add *none* at all to the water column. Add iron deep in the
>> gravel bed instead. Consider Diana Walstead's book. Her approach would
>> better suit you I think. And it works. I know, I've done it a long time ago
>> but didn't realize a number of things then. I approached again about 4-5
>> years ago and used kitty litter then went to 100% flourite to see if that
>> helped which it did.  A low fish load and a number of algae eaters add to
>> he tank and the tank will generally do very well. I only have to clean the
>> lass once every 3 months or so. That's good because I'm known not to like
>> o clean glass:)
> Add no iron with iron defiency's already present?

You don't have iron deficiency... unless your test is fried.
> The otto's have sunken bellys, and the SAE is about 3", I Feed one zucchini
> once a week sometimes two, and the SAE is LAZY.

when did you get your otto?
> Well, Anachris does use up a lot of nutrients, I had to double the dose
> within 2 months.

And do you think it grew without NO3 during this time? It's faster growing
than the other plants and perhaps the algae as well but why?

>> It is this variation we hope to minimize and allow plants to have the
>> competitive edge. CO2/lighting/nutrients. You don't have 2 of the three.
> I dont have which? I have Co2, I have sunlight, and I have Kent FW.

You don't have the macro's, NO3 and the lighting is not the most consistent.
I'm suspicious of your readings and CO2.

> hehe, if you only knew how much money I've spent on a single 10 gallon fish
> tank... I probably could have bought a playstation 2 twice.

I have 6 SEA's in a 20 gallon. They are not lazy. They work. The shrimps and
snails work also. They all get fed well once a day. Otto's just do their
thing. No hollow belly. I'd try some other types of block/sinking food or
next time buy fish that have been at the shop for awhile and acclimate well.
This is a 10 gallon tank?!:)
DIY CO2? Natural lighting? 2ppm of iron? Spent lots of money? Wonder why you
have algae? 

Well the car analogy: you have a car that can only turn right turns only,
water in the gas tank and you tap dance on the accelerator:)

Want to fix it? Keep up on the Yeast, add CO2 to your filter intake rather
than air stone/bell methods, add iron rich balls clays.plant tabs like
SeaChem's etc to gravel or replace with all flourite etc. Quit adding all
that liquid iron. Get some shrimps if you can(they may eat the eggs of the
fish though). Get another 1-2 SEA's. Feed well. Add a surface/floating plant
of some sort. Do less water changes.

Just *simply* add 2x15 watt bulbs(I use a triton and cool white), flourite
to about a 4 inch depth, feed CO2 into a mini Hagen filter(1/4-1/2 teaspoon
or so yeast to one cup sugar/6 cups of water and change once 10-14 days. A
few grains of KNO3 if the tank is indeed NO3 limited or feed well. I have
set up a number(5) of these semi low tech semi cheap tanks. They get abused.
They have very minimal problems, many are in high P04 tap waters. Some don't
use CO2 much but plant mass is very high and shrimps, snails and otto's and
SAE's are present. The folks who own these tanks tend to be fish feeders
only ...and heavy at that. They don't do water change very often (maybe
every 2-3 month) often I'll see the tank missing 3 inches from evaporation
losses. These folks couldn't grow cactus in the desert. These are some the
most algae free tanks I've seen. Not just one or two or by one person but
several folks.
Some plants are pale but look good over all. They add no iron and the
macro's/nutrients are supplied from the food. I often will put some water
sprite as a floater or some Egeria najas (similar to Anacharis) in there.
Plant choice and fish choice is semi limited  but this is due to tank size
Tom Barr