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[APD] BGA outbreak and Green Water

I have been trying to tackle my algae problems for a few weeks now, and
I'm starting to get frustrated. I have been playing with the PMDD doses
and other things to try to get my tank going well, but the problems seem
to keep shifting. The one constant is that the water is very green. For
the last week I've been dealing with a lot of BGA. 

For a couple of weeks I think I was overdosing the PMDD (50mls per day),
because my Nitrate, Phosphate and Iron readings were not really going
up. I've since figured out that the Nitrate test kit I was using (Red
Sea) seems to be garbage. And the Iron levels weren't testing out right
because I wasn't waiting long enough for the chelated iron to register.

My plant growth is very inconsistent. Some things, like Java ferns,
Nymphea lotus, the Ech. tenellus are doing really well (except now they
are covered in BGA), while others, like the Rotala macrandra,
Vallisneria, and the larger swords do not seem to be growing much at
all. Over the last few days I've noticed both kinds of Rotala, my Hygro
polysperma and even some Anubias have new growth that looks great. Most
of the old growth on these plants looks bad: algae covered, brown, and
just not healthy. Perhaps the lower PMDD level is helping them now. I
thought things were getting better, but the green water is just as bad
as ever. 

What's much worse is that I can't seem to shake the BGA problem. I added
about 6 oz H2O2 per day in my 265 for four or five days in a row, which
didn't make it go away, but did keep it from spreading. Then I stopped
two days ago, and left the lights off yesterday while I was out of town.
Today the stuff has spread all over the place. I have it on plants
throughout the tank, even plants that seemed to be healthy a couple days

I am currently running a Diatom XL filter almost 24/7, with changes of
the media every two to three days. When I turn that off the green water
gets worse right away. I have also done three 30% water changes in the
last 10 days. I have diligently been vacuuming up the mulm/crap at the
bottom of the tank using my Diatom and a gravel vacuum.

The water conditions seem fine: Phosphate .1mg/l, Iron .2, Ammonia,
Nitrite  and Nitrate all at the lowest reading on the test kits. My KH
is 3.5, and the GH 7.5. I keep the pH at 6.8 with CO2, so based on my
Tetra test kit chart (I know, I know... it's almost worthless), my CO2
is around 20mg/l. As I mentioned before, lights are 3x 250watt 5500k

My fish level seems reasonable, with about 75 neons, 20 otos, 4 clown
loaches, 4 apistos, 8-10 corys. 

My wet/dry filter has about 30 liters of biomedia (Hydroton -- clay
hydroponic pellets). I can add about 20 more liters of that to my
filter. Temp is still 82-84. I have cut back the lights to about 9 hours
plus 1-2 hours of afternoon sun that filters in. 

I'm starting to run out of ideas! I've even entertained the idea of
switching to African cichlids or something.  



-----Original Message-----

Message: 3
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 12:36:41 -0400
From: "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
Subject: [APD] RE: Green water
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com

> Magnum filter with diatom powder and it helps however does not come
> removing the green which seems to be getting worse on a daily basis. I
> been doing regular water changes etc. I dose 1/2 tsp KN03 3 x week,
> tsp KH2P04  3x week 15-20 mls of trace 3 or 4 x week. I'm not sure if
> should try increasing my ferts. , reducing or stopping them all

Fert's is not the issue, eg plant health. I suspect your plants are
thriving, but CO2?
Check that. If that does not do it, then add some more biological media
your filter, add more foam etc to the filter section.

Blackout will not work in your case. It's something that is still
overloading the NH4.
Low CO2 can do this at high light and so can too much NH4 fromfish etc.
if you have little biomedia OR low CO2, that will not remove as much

Bacteria should be your back up.  

> am considering ordering a U.V sterilizer or trying a 4 day total black
> as the next step.

UV alone will do the trick but you'll still get haze unless you use it
Try running the diatom filter for a few days, not just a few hours also.

Buy the UV only after you try the CO2, the biomedia and running the
for a few days. 

> Plants in the tank are growing well. Even though I dose
> KN03 3 x weekly my Hagen test kit still shows no reading of nitrate. I
> tried the kit with a stronger solution and did get a dark pink reading
> seems to work. Would adding more KN03 help this situation?. Anyone who
> overcome this type of problem, please advise. Thx. in advance.

How big is the tank?
I think you do not need more KNO3, although I do not think it'll hurt,
more an issue with bioload or CO2. If with bioload, it means there's
not enough CO2 to drive the NH4 uptake completely with plants. Or simply
too many fish which I think is unlikely if your case. 

Work these things:
Biomedia and then run that diatom/UV etc a few days , at least 1-2 for
measure after everything is gone. HOT mag's with diatom do not seem to
that well IMO.

Tom Barr

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