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Re: Algae

Karsten Klein wrote:


>Since about two weeks there is some long haired
>algae growing on my plants (especially on big leaves).
>It only grows in the upper (lets say quarter) of the
>tank, and a lot is growing on leaves which reached
>the water surface (too much light?).


>- - Fe: 0.2ppm (I am adding trace elements)

This is about double our target value for Fe, and in the presence of
bright light will inevitably result in an outbreak of green thread algae.
I had the same thing when I started...slimy, green filamentous algae
growing up near the lights and attaching itself to the upper leaves of
the plants.  Invariably due to overfertilization with trace element
mixes that contain chelated iron.  You don't have to live with this.
Step up your water changes and stop all additions of fertilizer  for
awhile.  Remember our  target values for Fe (0.1 mg/L) and nitrate
(about 5 mg/L but can be a little higher depending on plant load).  I
also found that floating plants, since they are closest to your lights,
can be used to act as a trap for this algae, thereby keeping it from
attaching to your rooted or stem plants.  I would recommend a fast
grower like Hydrocotyle (Brazilian water ivy) or Lemna (duck weed).
You can trim the Hydrocotyle and discard that part of the plant that
is covered with algae.  The plant regenerates itself very quickly and
continues to trap the algae until your problem clears up.  Same thing
for the duck weed.  Scoop out clumps of it and much of the thread
algae will come with it.  But remember,  you must cut down on the
fertilizer.  I am adding barely 3 mLs of Duplagan water conditioner
and  1.5 mLs of Kent's Aquatic Plant fertilizer once per week at
water changes for a 20 gal. tank.  If I miss a water change I add
*nothing* until the following week.


This is strange.  You should still have some nitrate residual,
preferably around 5-8 mg/L. You may have to boost your fish load, but I doubt
 If your Fe and NO3 values are on target you shouldn't have to worry
 too much about your phosphate values.
Just make sure that you don't add any target pH buffers to
your aquarium.

> Where can I get a low level nitrate test kit (0-10 or 0-20ppm)
 >which does not cost $50 like the LaMotte?

I can't help you with this one.  I am using the LaMotte kit and think
it's great.  Actually, I've reached the point where I don't have to do
that much testing anymore.

Good luck,

Jonathan in Maryland
Energetics, Inc
7164 Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
(410) 290-0370

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