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RE: SEVERE algae problem - HELP!

For now stop adding fertilizer. You've gone mad, bro! For serious, your
plants don't *need* all that- they may benefit, but it seems the drawbacks
are too much. IMO- Fertilizer is wayyyyyyyy overrated and leads to too many
problems. Remember: you are feeding the algae you are trying to remove.
Especially since you have an nutty amount of light, no wonder the algae is
blooming! :) You've got turbo amounts of light, boatloads nutrients and co2-
having an algae problem in a setup like that is almost guaranteed. I've
learned, through practice on my own 9 planted aquariums (ranging from 2.5
gallons to 55 gallons) that:

a) Fertilizer is bunk. I add the "daily dosage" of natural gold, but only
once a week, during the water change (1/3 volume). Some of my aquarium don't
get fertilizer at all. They still grow like mad, pearl bubbles all day long,
and all the plants have great color. Not a shred of alqae disturbs any of my

b) Frequent water changes help win the algae war.

c) Commercial c02 dispensers are a sham. (pure opinion here...hehe... grain
of salt and whatnot).

d) Don't use tap water if you have an easily accessable source of
RO/distilled water

e) Give your aquarium at least a month to stabilize. Keep up the water

I also wonder how long per day you give your aquarium light. Whatever it is,
if it's more than 10 hours per day, cut it back to that. Truck on down to
the store and buy a timer. You can even set the timer so the photosynthetic
(day) period is later- so you can enjoy your aquarium during the evenings
after work and whatnot.

My reply is definitely less scientific than you're probably expecting, but
practicality always wins the day! :) Good luck.


Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 12:59:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Cavan <millsman7 at yahoo_com>
Subject: SEVERE algae problem - HELP!

My tank:

30 gallons
1 96 watt AH PCF
2 Zoomed T8s    - 146 watts total

1 ml Flourish per day
9 ml Flourish Potassium per week
2 ml Flourish Iron per week

ph 6.8  -pressurized co2 fed into Duetto internal
1 additional Duetto for circulation

GH 7 dGH
KH 6 (currently- usually 5)

Currently using reconstituted distilled, but will
probably switch to a tap/distilled mix.

Tap water recently tested at 10 dGH, 3ppm nitrates
(Lamotte kit), 3d KH, and .5 phosphate (Red Sea until
I get a Lamotte)

I had been using two yeast co2 bottles.  The yeast
stopped working for some reason and thread algae
started in, so I upgraded to a pressurized co2 system.
 I had not been adding kno3 or phosphate.  After I
hooked up the pressurized co2, things grew like crazy
and pearled heavily for a while before stopping. 
Longer internodes, more algae, and a stringy, greyish
green slime crap.  Erythromycin did not kill the slime
strands, which look kind of like bacteria.    

Adding two Seachem acid buffer scoops of kno3 (.87
grams each) three times a week produced a reading of
zero using a Lamotte kit a day after adding the dose. 

For now, I only have the Red Sea phosphate kit.  It
isn't the best, but it's not totally worthless.  Algae
continued with about 2-3ppm added once every 2-3 days.
 Tank water was .1ppm before adding about .4grams of
discuss buffer.  Yesterday I added a new dose but
added too much and got maybe 1-2 ppm.  By that
evening, it was down to .5ppm.  .1 by the next
morning.  Is that even possible?    

I don't know if it's a nitrate thing or what, but man,
the algae is BAD.  A foamy green hair algae covers
most plants in the top half of the tank.  I can't even
see what some of them are anymore.  Lots of leaves a
bit further down are covered with hair algae with the
slime covering individual strands. 

I'm not sure what to do about the macros.  Can my tank
really be using up that much?  Even if I do get them
set, I can't see how I'll be able to avoid trashing
many of my plants.  I tried a bleach dip on some hygro
but that killed it.  I tried a hydrogen peroxide dip
on some more of it but that didn't do anything.  Could
the stuff be too old?  

Anything else I can do?  The algae is pretty much
impossible to remove.  All the herbivores in the world
won't fix this mess.  @$$%!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can barely
even bring myself to look at the tank.  Today I shut
off the co2, unplugged the lights and covered the
tank.  How long?  Will that help?  

I'm really poor right now so I don't know if I'll be
able to afford Lamotte kits.  Thanks to Tom Connors
for testing my water with his Lamotte no3 kit.  The AP
kit I have shows zero if I look through the side of
the tube and 5 if I look down through the top.  Which?
 Based on Tom's testing, I think it's the former.  

Thanks, Cavan