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Re: [APD] algae and critters, me too

On 1/9/07, John Hess (johnfhess at comcast_net) <johnfhess at comcast_net> wrote:
> well, I guess in my old age, I'm learning to be patient.

Hope you are patient with people's attitudes, too.  :)

  I set up a 55g tank 2 days before xmas.  It had water in it for a week,
> just to see if everything worked, then I inserted plants from an internet
> order. After a few days, I bought some shrimp from the local store (clear
> but not specifically algae eaters) and 12 black neons from Capital Aquarium
> in Sacramento.  With the plants I bought, I got some snails.  In the past
> 2-3 weeks, algae has built up on the glass, some on the driftwood and other
> places.  I don't think it's real bad, but it's there and easily noticeable.
> Most of it is string alage, but there are a few perfectly round green dots
> appearing on the glass. I'm trying to not over-react and just get the hang
> of things.  Some of the shrimp died and contributed their bodies to the
> overall tank nutrient supply. To address the algae, I bought 6 Otos and
> threw them in.  On Sunday I did a 20% water change (first one) and added
> plant food.  I'll probably try plant food !
> 2x a we
> ek, just to see what's going on. (have a three bottle set of liquid plant
> food purchased from O St Aquarium in Sac).

The otos won't do much for your (I'm guessing hair) algae.  That sounds like
hair algae -- remove as much as you can and use a good fertilization scheme.
Snails will help with green dust and green spot algae.  It might take a
while to achieve a balance.  When your brown algae recedes you'll want to
give your otos some spriulina wafers to munch on.  On place with pics to
help ID algae is http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/algaefinder.php

What brand of plant food did you buy?  It should have directions on how much
to use, and depending on the brand it could be great stuff to use or not so
great stuff to use.  Try their routine first and see what happens.

Before water change, KH 12, ph 7.2 (ph meter controlled CO2), no ammonia
> detectable, no nitites either.  Davis uses well water, so I use 50:50 Davis
> water and purchased drinking water. Light is 2x 54W T5 Tek lights, on 11
> hours/day.  CO2 automatic.

I don't know what your pH is coming out of the tap, but if your controller
drops the pH by about 1 unit then you should have approximately 30 ppm of
CO2 in the tank -- the concentration that is generally considered ideal.
While you have algae growing you might want to drop your light back to 8
hours per day and increase it (if you wish) to 10 hours after the algae is

 Fish feed 2 or 3x per day, dry flakes.  I see some bubbles from plants,
> some plants are growing and some seem to be losing leaves (turning yellow
> and then brown). One plant is flowering!  It's a weird brown tuber thing
> with short leaves has flowered 2x and sent up new longer leaves, I guess
> it's happy. Since I got a plant assortment, I don't know what many are, but
> I'm happy watching things and seeing what's happening.

Since you got a plant assortment we don't know what you have , either.  :)
If you purchased a beginner's plant assortment or a "hard to kill"
assortment it is probably mostly low light plants.  The flowering plant is
an aponogeton -- I'd guess it is an A. crispus.  If you would like to take a
shot at identifying your plant you might look at
http://www.aquahobby.com/e_garden.php or at
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/plantfinder/index.php.  It's
likely that nearly all of your plants are listed as "easy" or "very easy"
under the hardiness category on the plant finder.

Hope this helps a little.

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