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Re: same old questions:algae

> I could use some help. I know that for many of you these are the same old
> questions, forgive me for asking them again.

Don't worry you will not be the last and then you will have to answer the
very same questions to new folks one day:)

> I had gone through a year of differing algae problems, mostly the hair type
> algae.  I threw out all of the java ferns in desperation as  the algae seemed
> to live so well on the java fern, despite my constant hand removal    I also
> used a full time carbon filter on my tank during that time. I began cleaning
> much more often and concentrated hand removal of the algae. One the algae was
> under control I then got a 'bloom' of cyanobacteria.  Through constant
> harvesting and adding a power head low in the tank I was able to abolish it
> (so I thought) from the tank. Once that was under control I added more light,
> several faster growing plants, a DIY CO2 system and starting adding iron and
> minor element (FloraVit) to the tank.  I can tell that I'm needing some else,
> assuming potassium at least.  The plants are really happy with the CO2, big
> increase in growth. I do see pearling (I was so excited to see what all of
> you were talking about). I know that I have to take out some of the slower
> growing plants (crypts have grown like crazy in my tank, I have a small field
> of them) to make room for faster growing plants. I also know that when I pull
> the crypts I'm probably going to release a bunch of nutrients into the water
> column.

Do a 50% water change right after then.
> With the changes thus far a new course of cyanobacteria started, I opted to
> try erythromycin. I'm finding conflicting information about how long to add
> it, and whether to add it half or full dosage. It is definitely receding
> quickly (very little visible now),  as I started treating the second day I
> saw it.  Now I'm seeing some type of algae on some of my plants (it looks
> like small 'bunches' on the plants growing from a small spot and 'branching
> out into hair like strands).

Most likely Entromorpha, staghorn algae.

> Two days after starting treatment with
> erythromycin I also found ich on a few of my cardinals. I haven't had ich in
> this tank for 2 years, all new fish are quarantined and I hadn't added
> anything new recently. There are so many areas of this I could use help on,
> but I mainly need suggestions for:
> What nutrients I need to add to my tank

CO2 stability is a key component. DIY CO2 can be rough if you do not keep on
top of it religiously(20-30ppm).
NO3 is the next Achilles Heel(5-10ppm).

> How long to treat with how much erythromycin

Just follow the directions on the bottle.

> What fish might help with the hair algae

SAE's, shrimps, Rosey/cherry barbs etc.
> How to treat  ich with the tank already being dosed with erythromycin

I don't use medications for algae control. I do not recommend it either.
Regular ich meds are fine but some use the milder stuff for catfish and
tetra's. If you keep up on nutrients and have good plant growth you never
get sick fish. It's been over a decade since I've used any meds. Healthy
plants will give you healthy fish.

> Tank:
> 5o gallon (4 inches of gravel substrate so maybe only 40 gallons of water)

Your at the upper reaches for DIY CO2. Need 2 bottles going. Change every
10-14 days and stagger the changes.

> Phazer double light fixture with 2 - 8500K bulbs (these are T-8s, so I think
> its 32 watts each)
> Parameters: (last two weeks, haven't tested since I started the erythromycin)
> Nitrite undetectable
> Ammonia  0
> pH  8.5 <maybe slightly lower than last weeks test>

Well there's your CO2 problem.
You need to use CO2 gas to drop the pH down to 7.2.

Call the tap water company to see what the PO4 and NO3 levels are in your
tap water.
Tom Barr

> gh 12
> kh 10
> iron not detectable
> Thank you in advance for any direction you wish to share,
> Sue