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Re: Algae problems

> I am having algae problems with my recently setup plant 120G plant tank.  The
> tank has been having problems with thread algae and green water.  The tank
> setup is as follows:
> - 2X250W 6500K Iwasaki metal halide w/spider light reflectors (~12" above
> surface) on 10.5 hours
> - Profile substrate with First layer laterite
> - azoo 200W substrate heat cable on/off cycle every 30 minutes (mech. timer)
> - Dupla reactor S CO2
> - Temp 77F
> - 5 dKH
> - 6.5 - 7ph
> - Fe - ??? - Lamotte kit hasn't arrived yet :(
> - heavily planted - Rotala Indica, Italian val, Stargrass, sagittaria, and
> ech. tennellus
> - 3 SAE, 5 cory julii, 4 small ancistrus (1"), and 2 med angels
> - Weekly 30% water change wih addition of 25ml TMG
> The tank has been set up about 2 months now and the results have been less
> than outstanding. The plants have not been growing fast at all, although the
> Rotala has been getting a nice pink tint on newer leaves (assume due to good
> light intensity). Also, the plants do tend to bubble vigorously in the
> evening.  The green water tends to vary in intensity but doesn't go away.  The
> thread algae continues to be prolific.  One item that may be an issue is that
> the room the tank is in has a large SW facing window and gets some morning
> light (but not directly).

Well you have nice stuff. I assume this has a Gas tank CO2? Better, if your
using all that and a dupla reactor. The pH is about right. Fast growing
plants, enough TMG. Hardly any fish though. What kind of Filter set up? Good
even movement? Rather than the iron kit I'd worry more about the nutrients
that are used far greater in mass than something like iron which the profile
and the laterite will supply. I personally would have spent the extra money
on flourite since you are spending a load of cash on this. Not that what you
have is bad. The cables are unneeded in this set up. They are more suited
for regular gravels rather than the porous larger grained clays, like
profile and flourite etc.
It appears like the macro nutrients are/might be the main issue here. NO3
and PO4 specifically and adding some K+ would help just about any tank(K2SO4
or KCL).
Lamott kits for PO4 and the NO3 would be a good thing to get if you can. GW
can be dealt with a  number of ways. This choice is your but here they are
by effectiveness: UV(a 8 to 15 watt would do well), a micron style
filter/diatom cartiage-filter (Magnums or Diatom or System 1 etc), black
out, 100% water change, flocculants can help, Daphnia(water fleas).
You can use a magnum with a UV or a powerhead and a UV together. A large
water change before using any of these methods helps.

Afterwards.... make sure your CO2 is good, filter flow stays steady, some
slight surface movement/current is good, good flow in the tank, and make
sure you have enough NO3 in there most of the time! You can add more fish or
add KNO3. Your choice there.
The thread algae is getting fed well since the plants are stunted from lack
of macro's. The algae can concentrate and exist on less N-P-K-Fe etc than
plants can. If the plants are not getting enough nutrient they are not in
top shape. The algae have a much easier time getting a foothold therefore.
Try for about 5-10 ppm of NO3 and .2 or higher on the PO4. Watch these to
see what's being used up. These will be a much better indicator than iron
ever will be for plant health. They are used more/greater amounts and they
exist in higher amounts in most folk's tanks. KNO3 and KH2PO4 or H3PO4 can
be used or good fish feedings/loads. Little to no harm will done if iron is
missing from the water column for up to 3 weeks. No so with N and P. Most
thread algae issues are related to too much trace mixes but I think your
traces are fine but the other nutrients are not there for the plants so the
algae is being fed instead of the plants. It's great to have all the
coenzyme metals around but they do no good if there's no N, P,K.

If you get the magnum and or a UV run it just for about 2-3 days then shut
it off and see if it comes back or not. As you add the UV or/and the micron
add some KNO3/KH2PO4 and test to see how much you have. After two or 3 days
the plants should be bouncing back well and the algae will be getting
roasted and removed from the tank. Adding KNO3 and KH2PO4 has never produced
any algae when using these GW methods ever. Even at much greater amounts
than here stated(20ppm of NO3 and 1.5+ ppm of PO4). After you see a nice
clear tank wait about 2 days then disconnect stuff and start adding KNO3 to
5-10ppm and PO4(if needed, do not let it go to zero). Add the iron back in
the tank at this point as well.
Tom Barr   
> Any ideas?
> Will