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Re: Hair algae

At the risk of sticking my nose in where I'm not wanted...

> > fish. You got some CO2 issues going on I'd bet.
> Not enough?  Going by the KH, pH, CO2 chart, though not 100% accurate would
> put me in the general range.

With a KH of 1 and a pH of 6.5 your CO2 would be a tad under 10 ppm. 
Keep in mind that when a kit reads 1 degree KH that 1 degree is the
highest value you can have.  Any lower concentration will give you the
same result.  So your CO2 content would be *no more* than 10 ppm, and
could be quite a bit lower than 10 ppm.  You probably do need to
increase KH so that you can safely boost the CO2 content.

Are you using RO water?

> > CO2 and macro's(NPK) and they will. You may need more Traces.
> I had thought of that but that would also raise the iron and that has been
> thought to be a culprit for algae growth.

No one nutrient is going to cause an algae problem.  Certainly not iron.

> > > Here is some recent water test data (ppm)
> > >
> > > Fe        NO3        PO4        PMDD        K2SO4
> > > .08        2.4        .1                6ml              12ml
> > > .11        2.2                            6                  12
> > > .14        2.3                            4                   8
> > > .13        1.7         .1                4                   8
> > > .12        1.7                            4                   8
> > > .11        2.1                            3                   6
> > > .09        2.2         .1                0                   0  20% WC
> > > .07        2.0         .1                0                   0
> > Is this weekly readings or daily? Looks too stable to me. Nothings growing
> > (being used up) it seems.
> Daily.
> My thoughts exactly.  Can't figure out why I can't drive the photosynthesis?
> >Yet algae is growing on plants in 3-4 days fast? >Something is not right
> here. I'll you figure that one out.
> Ideas?

Cool numbers.  Your iron dropped 0.02 ppm/day when you weren't dosing. 
I asked the whole list for iron usage numbers like that a little while
ago and got two (2) responses.  This isn't exactly what I asked for, but
it works for me.

You are adding iron and nitrate on most days with PMDD and the levels of
iron and nitrate are not rising.  Additional nitrate is added by feeding
and nitrification.  That means that iron and nitrate are being used or
lost at a rate that's about the same as the rate you add it.  I don't
see a problem in these readings.  Unfortunately, apparently a big part
of the nutrient uptake seems to be by the algae instead of by the
Photosynthesis is a pretty simple thing.  If you have enough light and
enough CO2 and plants that aren't literally on the brink of death then
you should have photosynthesis.  If the plants aren't dying and you
aren't happy with the rate of photosynthesis then you have only a few
places to look for the problem; temperature (too warm) light (too dim)
and CO2 (to low).  Lack of evident growth is something else again.
> > point? I think a qualitative approach to your iron would be a better
> method.
> > I use a factor of 10 times more iron(as a base for micro's, I use TMG and
> or
> > SeaChem) and P than you do.
> > And I don't have algae issues..........
> What are you suggesting as a target iron content?
> TMG?

0.1 ppm total iron from EDTA should be plenty.  In fact, at your low pH
0.1 ppm total iron may be more than you need.
> > CO2, NO3 and K. I bet if you added some KH2PO4 to that tank it would grow
> What is KH2PO4?

Monobasic potassium phosphate or potassium dihydrogen phosphate.  Take
your pick.
I couldn't help but notice that you planted your tank rather heavily
with medium-sized sword plants.  Those plants were probably grown
emersed and had to adapt to submersed conditions before full growth
could kick in.  That lag in growth by the swords may be part of your
problem.  The second problem with being so dependent on these plants --
particularly in a new tank -- is that they are heavy root feeders.  They
really need to be fed by root.  My experience is that they may barely
hang on if they are fed only in the water column.  Further, sword plants
in general are sensitive to calcium deficiency. Your low KH makes me
suspect that your hardness is also very low.  You may need to dose
calcium up to at least 2-3 degrees GH before you can get healthy growth
from the swords.

I don't know if any of that will help.  You can remove as much of the
hair algae as you can, then add a school of young Rosey Barbs.  American
Flag fish work, too.  Both of these fish can behave badly.  Flag fish
have been discussed at length on this list and the results are in the
archive.  Rosey Barbs are voracious little fish, but they're also busy
fin-nippers.  Keeping them in a good-sized school (say 6 or so) may
reduce their tendency to trim the fins off other fish.  You may want to
make sure you can unload them after they do their job.  I recall that
you have a fairly high fish load even without adding some to eat the
hair algae.

Roger Miller