Re: Bluegreens wipe out

>From: Paul Snuggs <psnuggs at btn_co.uk>
>Date: Thu, 29 Aug 1996 13:00:15 -0700
>Subject: Blue-greens wipe out - HELP Please !
>Hi everyone,
>I need some help. I am getting wiped out with blue-green algaes.
>I have a 48" by 20" high by 18" deep tank with a Dennerle CO2 system. I
>am changing so much water (am currently doing 50% twice a week) that I
>am currently using Dennerle fertilizer like there's no tommorrow - which
>is very expensive over here at 12 Fe tablets a week and 100 tabs for
>26ukp... I'm starting college as a mature student at the end of
>September and I need to find a cheaper (as less time consuming) way of
>fertilizing my tank. Does anybody out there know how to make your own
>fertilizer ? Can I use 'human' multi-vitamin tabs - or are the %'s all
>wrong? Does anybody know what the essential vitamins & trace elements
>are needed for good plant growth ? How much of each is needed ? Is
>Sulphate of Iron (cheap here) the same as the chellated Iron needed for

If you cut way back on the light, back to room light levels where no plants
can grow, bluegreens become attractive to snails, especially pond snails.
I have often got rid of bluegreens by turning off the light over the tank
and just waiting for the snails to finish up the job.  When I turn the
light back on, the bluegreens don't come back for a very long time.  Some
plants apparently make bluegreens go away.  I have seen it happen with
Ceratophyllum and Hydrilla.

Are you changing water at such a high rate in an effort to get rid of the
bluegreens?  If so, give it up and go back to a much slower rate of water
change.  That should save you a lot of fertilizer money.  You might even
want to cut back on fertilizer additions even more until you get the
bluegreen algae taken care of.

Plants don't need any vitamins, only mineral nutrients.  These are divided
into macronutrients (Plants need a lot of these) and micronutrients (they
only need small amounts).  Macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus,(P)
potassium, (K) calcium, (Ca) magnesium, (Mg) and sulfur (S).  Probably
potassium is the only one you have to worry about adding.  Feeding fish
provids a pretty good supply of N,P, & S, and the water, unless it is very
soft, should supply enough Ca and Mg.  The micronutrients include iron
(Fe), manganese (Mn), boron (B), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), molybdemum (Mo),
and chlorine (Cl).  You will have to worry about supplying iron, especially
if you don't have soil under the gravel.  (Consider laterite a type of
soil.)  You may have to supply a bit of extra boron if you grow a lot of
plants and don't change the water.  The other micronutrients should be in
pretty good supply.

So, if you have fish, you only have to supply Fe, K, and possibly a bit of
B.  The main expense will be getting some form of chelated Fe that will
stay in solution.   The others should be cheap.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174
In steamy Mississippi.