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Its....everywhere!!! Need algae advice
First....yes, I've read so much on algae the last few weeks I think it is
growing out my ears...
First a quick rundown of the tank and history, water peram etc.
pH and KH are pretty stable at 7.0 and 3, thanks do DIY CO2.
Tank was setup about 4 months ago, with an UG filter with quartz river bed
gravel (inert), and a Magnum 350, and a maxi jet 1000 in each corner for the
lift tubes and rapid water movement. Things were good, til I decided I
wanted to try live plants again.
So I got some, planted them and all was well for awhile, the Cabomba(sp)
grew like mad, my Ludwigia repens also did very well. My Aponogeton
boivinianus bulb also did very well and shot up about 4 new leaves pretty
quick. Somewhere in this time period I upgraded to a 260 watt PC light
fixture (3.5 watts per gallon) and added the DIY CO2. Those plants were
growing even better.
On the other hand, my micro sword, dwarf sag. And crypts were hardly growing
at all. So I added that, also around the same period I added some Seachem
sticks to the gravel, since it was setup inert. I thought perhaps the
water was moving to fast through the roots of the plants (maxi jet 1000 are
pretty strong for a UG filter in a 75 gallon), so I changed over to a pair
of Hagen 402's running in reverse flow. This greatly reduced my water
movement in the tank, but I figured it would be better on the plant roots
and seachem sticks. The magnum kept it up somewhat though.
This did not aid the non growing plants, really seemed to have no effect.
Someone reccomended Potash may be low, if those plants are not growing, so I
set out to find something with it. I found Tetra Floural Pride, 3% potash
and like .007% Iron I think. I did not notice the amount of iron, and also
fertilized heavily with SeaChem Iron, and 2 Kent fertilizer products, one of
which contained iron.
So to sum things up, my iron contect went upto close to 1.0, and I got a TON
of very dark green algae, which I determined to be staghorn algae. Once I
did some research on that, it showed I may have a high iron content, sure
enough that was it.
Mixed up some RO/DI, Freshwater Trace, and RO Right for the KH, and some
neutral controller for PH since RO is so low.
My iron level is down to .10 or less finnaly, it hardly shows color on the
chart now. Nitrate seems to be around 5-10ppm, its hard to tell on a salt
water test that has colors for 10-50 I think, possibly upto 100 anyways...
I then added a wet dry to the fish tank, with a screen around the overflow
box to keep fish out (tho it sure does collect algae etc). Its currently
run by a RIO 2500 pumping into a plenum around the top of the tank, there
are so many bends and 90's in the PVC I think the Rio is pumping like 100GPH
lol. Soon I plan to remove the UGF Reverse flow power heads, and leave the
plates in, perhaps adding a 7.5 watt heater to each lift tube for some
Now I have the staghorn algae, though it seems to of slowed down a bit,
theres still a lot I cannot get out, mainly on my micro swords, it seems to
grow a little but I may only be seeing reminients of before.
Somewhere in here, around the same time as adding the wet/dry, I also added
a small tray of sand/peat/soil mix (probaby 90% sand) and capped it with a
half inch to inch of quartz gravel, and burried it. Reason being to see if
the micro swords would grow any better. Above this tray of sand was the
first place I saw the new green algae, but it was very very minimal and did
not grow fast at all.
But worse! I have a new algae taking over, and its aking over worse, and
looks harder to clean. It's a very light looking, bright green algae, that
flows very nicley in the water. In all honesty, if I could keep it on the
back glass I and rocks I wouldn't mind it, but its EVERYWHERE, I assume this
is BBA from what I have found?
I am really at a loss, I cannot find test kits for P, K, etc to keep them
all in balance, and am not really sure what to use for ferttilizer since my
sustrate is inert. The mix of 2 kent products and the tetra flourish and
the seachem iron seems to be way to much of the wrong stuff.
Also, since the outbreak of the bright green flowing algae, my Cabomba is
about the only plant growing. The Crypts are growing as well, the big
leaves are covered in algae (staghorn and new) but I see a ton of small baby
leaves coming up, much more then before. Also the dwarf Sag seems to be
growing a little better, I see new sprouts from runners I never had before,
but again most of the plants are covered in staghorn or the new bright green
algae. The dwarf Sag and Crypts also had a 20lb bag of flourite added to
their side of the tank (didn't do much to my gravel depth maybe a little)
My Ludwigia repens has pretty much ceased to grow, and the plants in
shallower gravel (5" in the back 2" in the front) are all but dead, the
stems turned black and decayed away, and the ones in the deeper gravel in
back don't look so great either. Before they were putting out a new leaf or
2 every other day, and the leaves were getting HUGE and very very pretty,
now whats left are small. Before they were thumb nail sized, now pinky is
lucky. My Aponogeton boivinianus has also stopped growing, it hasn't sent
up any new leaves or grown the current ones longer.
The hair Algae is EVERYWHERE, EVERYHITNG is covered and I can't get rid of
it, its to the point I'm almost ready to break down the tank and start
fresh. Theres 30 fish in the tank and I really don't want to go that route
I know somethings amiss, I just am having a very rough time figuring out
what it is!!
My only upgrades in sight is to swap out the RIO 2500 for a Mag 9.5 to get
some more water flow and less dead spots in the tank, and remove the power
heads on the UG filter.
Theres 2 guppies, 4 swordtails, a ghost shrimp, and about 6 ottos to eat the
algae, waiting on the LFS to get in the SAE I ordered, and will add another
24 ghost shrimp (only 1 of the last 10 lived so).
I am tempted to try the new SeaChem regeim, it sounds pretty solid from what
I've read, if you get all 10 bottles or whatever it is. I am going to do
yet another water change tonight with RO/DI ad try to clean some of the
algae up, I'm sure it'll just be back in a day or 2 though :(
Please help if you have any suggestions please let me know or email me
Thanks in advance!
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