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Re: [APD] CO2 algae and such

> My city water report says KH is due only to bicarbonate, and
> that the KH 
> is 18.  AP test kit confirms this value.
> Two different pH test kits agree my pH is 6.8.

I really do not trust colormetric cheapy test kits.
At a KH of 18, take a look at the differences between say 6.8
and 7.0 and 6.6

You can jump a 30-40ppm range for each 0.2 pH units. Especially
on the high end of things. 

The pH measurements are discrete, they are not continuous unless
you test the pH on say an hourly basis.
Most test after the CO2 has been on for 1 hour and then again as
the lights go off.

But I prefer to use a pH meter/pen and see how things move
around throughout the day and I know the darn thing is
calibrated and and the lights are not influncing the pH by
checking that also.

Then with a glance, I can tell what the pH is.
Not much work involved there.

> I find it difficult to come to any other conclusion than that
> my CO2 is 
> at or around 85 ppm.

It might be.
> Most all my fish are fine and happy but three that were
> probably already 
> weak were up at the surface.  I figured since the others were
> just fine 
> the CO2 was okay, but it was probably too high since it killed
> off the 
> weakest fish.

Then back off.
> Anyhow I have a bit of hair or thread algae, decent pearling,
> moderate 
> growth.. I would say I can't complain.. but yes, I can!

"Moderate" versus what?

I think given the nutrients dosing is correct, given you
maintain the tank regularly, given the pH(?), lighting is good
etc, you need to do something besides what you are to improve

Cleaning the filters, providing enough plant biomass for the
tank, decent tank current, herbivores, good algae removing till
the algae goes away, fluffing the tank, cleaning all the algae
off things that are not plants etc should be done agressively
till the algae relents.

I've done this 1000 times.
Clean, reset, repeat.

A few algae such as GDA, BGA, GW need other measures to kill
what is there, but the after treatement is the same.   

> Message: 8
> Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 16:43:51 -0800 (PST)
> From: "S. Hieber" <shieber at yahoo_com>
> Subject: Re: [APD] CO2 measurement
> To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
> True points. The margin of error with color comparison pH
> tests is rather wide for some of us. Some do rather well with
> them -- "spot on" reliable -- and some of us might as well
> throw dice as pick a color on the strip.

This is a real issue.
> Of course, rules of thumbs and measurements be darned,
> ultimately, one must follow the sage guidance to watch the
> plants. And, as a rule, I'd not recemmend otherwise.
> *However*, I would not want a newbie, dissatisfied with the
> rate of growth with a new tank set up to crankup up the CO2,
> assuming the measurements must be wrong. 

Agreed, do everything else _____first_____, when every possible
other issue is done and still having issues, cranking up the CO2
would dramatically improve things, if not....then it was not

I can get someone there with their nutrients rather easily.
The light is straight forward.
Plant biomass, cleaning, pruning, trimming and vacuuming old
gravel beds, filter cleaning, good current in the tank, proper
surface movement etc............these are more
elusive..........without doing these things, dosing/CO2 is not
going to help a great deal.

I prefer and suggest a more holistic approach and always have,
but many assume that one thing will cure everything, a silver
bullet, no, that is not the case often, especially if you have
trouble that appears to be unexplainable.

I get "unexplainable problems" from folks all the time.
Most get cured. 
It might take some fiddling and a few trails to see, but
generally, they do solve their issue.

A few are likely doing something else and we are not talking
about plant species etc, or overlooking something.

Newbies tend to miss a lot more things than the experienced
plant grower who has had a few bouts with each type of algae and
knows why the alga appeared and knows what to do to get rid of
it and not allow it to flourish.

Newbies sometimes let things go too long. Sometimes they over
react and freak when they see algae. 

I see algae, it means neglect of some sort.
Realingning the tank afterwards is not always CO2/nutrients,
it's actually trimming/pruning good, agressively, using several
things in our tool box, nutrients/water changes, blackouts,
UV's, Diatom filtration, good maintenance cleanign glass/rocks,
tubes etc, providing more plant biomass, switching some plants
till the algae goes away, adding 100's of Amano
shrimps/otto/SAE's/flagfish etc.

Then attack the algae manually, make sure the work you do is a
number of things. This will provide the best chance at
addressing any algae issue.

It does not hurt to re set the tank's nutrients and do water
changes, cleaning, adding more plants/herbivores and staying on
top of things, might be some extra work, but once you get over
the initial hump, the plants really take off and then the system
is very robust and no algae.

It takes some time and experience for most folks to learn all
this. I try to help, but over the web, it's not that easy and
takes a few post in some cases to address things. In person I'm
much better able to resolve things and do for local club

Tom Barr



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