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Re: Algae help

> Similarly, there are discussions based on maintaining surplus nutrients,
> except a) Phosphate, or b) Nitrates, depending who one reads.

There's also iron as one as well.
> My broader issue, however, is:  if one doesn't win the algae fight, one will
> not likely continue in the hobby.

That's why I help folks.

> 2)  Is PMDD fundamentally the way to add nutrients for high plant growth and
> reasonable control of algae?

Why not just give the [plants what they want and quit the worry about the
algae and trying to limit this or that? I've been on this for a few and seen
so many worry and try to keep these narrow tolerances and ranges supposedly
to control algae. In the meantime I have a rich broth and healthy plants. I
've done the regular testing to see what's eaten by the plants and what's
not............. rather than seeing if there's algae or not. Healthy plants
are extremely good at prevention. So worry about the plant's food so to
speak. Light, CO2(good stable levels), and all the nutrients.

> 3)  For high plant growth and algae control, as a general matter, should
> nutrients be added to the water column, or to the substrate.  If the answer
> is "to the substrate", and PMDD or Dupla liquids are best (or other non-tab
> products), Florida Driftwood sells a clay ball substrate injection tool to
> do this: Substrate Nutrient Injector
> <http://floridadriftwood.com/substratefertilizernutrients.html>  .  Is that
> what it takes?

It depends on the lighting really. As you get more light the more you need
to depend more on substrate. And the reverse is the more light you need more
substrate richness(up to a point) to make up the difference for what you can
keep in the water column. But you can keep a large amount in the water
column and grow most everything and little in the soil. It's a bit less
flexible trying the reverse. Riccia and non rooted plants suffer were as
water column dosing lets no plant go hungry. But a combo of both is best.
> 4)  If a tank needs to be kicked into high gear, to enable plants to
> out-compete algae, what fast growing plants do you recommend?

Lots of stem plants are good.

> 5)  What test kits and from which manufacturers should one have if employing
> the recommended nutrient plan.  The newer hobbyist may do well to test,
> rather than rely on experience, plant characteristics, etc to ensure correct
> dosages.  However, most are not scientists.

SeaChem and Lamott are good.
> 6)  When employing all of the above measures, generally how long should one
> pause to see if the desired effect is coming, e.g. how long would it take to
> know if PMDD is working, if adding plants is working, etc.  This is
> important, because newer hobbyists may tend to act, or react, to soon.

3 weeks or so.

> Do you recommend Diatom filters for periodic use?  Vortex or System 1?

Magnums work but yes all of those do well.

> 7)  Other comments?

Relax and be patient:)

> 29g 30" tank.  110 w compact florescent (4w/g) w 2 full-spectrum bulbs 12-14
> hrs/day. 

Drop to 10-11

> Carbo Plus C02 at 66% (I have also read everything on the web
> about the Carbo Plus.
> there anything truly wrong with this way to adding C02?)).

No it works but you want a higher GH than that when using it since it relies
on Ca, which is the main general part of GH. Shoot for 5 or so. You should
be fine there. Check every so often though.

> KH 5, GH 2, PH
> 6.8 (prior to Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Acid Buffers: KH 2.5, GH 2, PH
> 6.4). 

Why do add buffers? Do you need too? Why acid buffer? Stop using that one.

> Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate undetectable.

Well there you go. Add KNO3 till you get 5-10ppm and keep it there.

>Temp 78-82.  Substrate 3"
> Florite w a box of Laterite below.  Whisper-2 filter.  A few Seachem
> Flourish Tabs and daily Seachem Iron.

I've never found ANY advantage to daily dosings.

> Prime with water changes.  Reasonable
> heavy planting, but by no means full.

Then 'fill it.

> For fish: Ottos, Cardinals and
> Coreys.  Not over-feeding.  Weekly 50% water changes.  Cycling was very mild
> due to high plant vs. fish load.

Replace 1/4 teaspoon of K2SO4 after water change. What's your tap's PO4's?
What's your tank's? What's the taps KH? GH? and NO3?
>  Daily and nightly growth
> observed.

CO2 levels should be scrutinized. Check in the morning and at night(the pH
vs the KH reading). Try to get them to stay somewhat close to each other.
> Likely due to poor treatment of plants, resulting in slow current growth,
> and compounded by current algae.  Many plants are doing poorly (after one
> week since final replanting).

Most folks love moving plants around in the beginning so don't be hard on
yourself about that.
> My current plan is as follows:  1)  Add 4-6 SAE, 2 Ottos (4 total), 6 Amano
> Shrimp, 2 Mollies and 2 Swords.  This will be done gradually to adjust for
> boi-load.  2) add 50%-75% more plants using quick growing ones.  3)  use
> PMDD as sole nutrient program.  4)  continue 50% weekly water changes and
> physical removal of algae (not easy without uprooting plants, so I'll err on
> side of little plant disturbance.  5)  give it time 2-3 weeks, and reassess.

sounds good.

> 6)  Keep my fingers crossed.  If plants grow and algae are under control, I
> will somewhat thin the algae-eating fish, add carpet foreground plants
> (Amano influence), and focus on Angles and Cardinals, with others for
> variety (glass cat, Hatchet, maybe a few Fancy Guppies).  I'll try to resist
> messing with the established plants too much, i.e. just let them grow with
> normal maintenance, until everything is very well seasoned (especially me).

Think moderate load and a good algae crew. IT sounds like algae has pissed
you off. Well keep after it and keep bugging us:)
Tom Barr