View Full Version : Hair algae and stunting
Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction
Ive always battled green hair algae in my tank, and Im getting very sick of it!
Here are updated stats for my tank. I have to go update my sig
I have a 46gallon bowfront acrylic tank (~174L) with 2x39w 6500K T5 bulbs on for 10 hours a day (12noon-10pm) with a 4hour midday burst (3pm-7pm)of 1x39w 6500K T5 and 1x30w T12 coralife plant lamp (dunno K rating)
Eco-complete substrate only, with some root sticks for my erios
10lb Pressurized co2 tank diffused through a reactor (approx. 3-4bps) comes on 1.5 hours before lights and goes off with lights
3 discus, 10 cardinal tetras, 1 corydora catfish, 1 queen arabesque pleco, 1 clown pleco, 1 otto
erios, toninas, rotalas, ludwigia pantanal, aromatica, a. reneckii, glosso...etc.
Ph is very low....around 6 (havent tested lately)
kh=1 (RO water)
gh=8 (Grumpy's GH Booster)
3ppm KNO3 daily, 0.5ppm PO4/week
seachem trace elements
3ml seachem iron
3ml seachem trace
1ml seachem flourish
Seachem excel 15ml daily
Im having problems with the a. reneckii stunting (curling), and my rotala vietnam and wallichii too
My erio sp. thailand is very unhappy. Its showing yellowing, and blacking on the leaves. I want to try to split this plant, but Im afraid.
My main issue is the green hairy algae that shows up on my slow growers...mainly tonina belem, pantanals and erio thailand.
I think its from too much iron, so I have since stopped adding the 3ml seachem iron daily. I think I get too much iron from the gh booster
The packages says:
"5 grams will add just over 2 dGH to 10 gallons of water and add 0.15ppm iron, 0.07ppm of manganese, 25ppm of potassium. 26.6ppm of calcium and 12ppm of magnesium"
I use the gh booster to add calcium and magnesium. At water change I add 30 grams of this stuff.....and an extra 5grams of potassium. I believe I add 4.35ppm Mg and 15.86ppm Ca, and 30ppm K (not including the K in the booster). The problem I believe is the iron content, and adding 30grams of this adds a lot of iron to my tank and so the green hair algae comes.
I dont feel the stunting issues has anything to do with the potassium or the nitrates.
Thanks very much for all your help
06-11-2008, 08:32 PM
That is a tremondous amount of light for that tank.
High light causes a high nutrient and co2 need by the plants.
How are you determining the amount of c02 in the tank? BBS is not an adequate measurement, nor is ph by itself. You should be using a drop checker to help estimate the c02 ppm value.
C02 is a huge factor and ensuring it is available AND throughout the tank via excellent flow and current.
I bet a lot of your problems may lay here.
The substrate has plenty of nutes and you are also giving water column ferts, so let's focus on c02 and flow for a bit.
Hope this helps.
Thanks Gerryd, I do have a drop checker with 4dkh solution in it. The checker is green by lights on, and yellow by the end of the photoperiod. Everything in my tank pearls.....tonina belems, erio setaceums, erio thailand, tonina fluviatilis, ludwigia pantanal, a. reneckii, vietnam, wallichii, L. aromatica, polygonum sao paulo, and kawagoneum. I know this isnt a indication of overall plant health, but I feel I have plenty of co2 in the water? I have a rena xp3 with spray bar for filtration, with TONS of ceramic rings, and the black bio stars or whatever they are called, and exhausted zeolite as bio filtration.
Then I took the pieces from my xp1 (outlet) in the tank and ran it into a pump that pushes water through my venturi reactor & hydor inline heater back into the xp1 powerjet, but the powerjet nozzle isnt used. A black piece of foam was placed over the inlet to slow the flow down
Here is a pic to show the return in the tank. Hopefully it will help make a lil sense of what Im trying to say. I can get a pic of under the tank too, if you would like?
I had really good growth in march, and now I dunno whats going on. I never really had great plant colors then tho, and so thats the reason for toying around with the midday burst
06-11-2008, 09:24 PM
It looks to me like you are badly under dosing phosphates. You give the tank 21 ppm per week of nitrates, but only .5 ppm per week of phosphates. Normally you would dose more like 5 ppm per week. Without adequate phosphate the plants can't use the other fertilizers. (Or, you made a typo?)
No VaughnH, you are correct, I am underdosing po4. I thought I had better plant colors with the lower po4. I was under the impression po4 is the driving force, next to light for the uptake of co2 and ferts? Also, you mention I would normally dose around 5ppm.....I thought anything over 3ppm was a waste? Also, I was shooting for about 18ppm no3 at the end of the week and given the fish load, I thought this would be sufficient, but I still have some stunting, and this green hair algae is more or less always in the tank somewhere. So I backed off the iron, but I thought the gh booster may be adding too much iron?
Thanks very much for the reply....I will go shoot another 1ppm PO4 in the tank now, and see how things go. Im currently not using the midday burst, so Im only running the 2x39w T5s.
Im going to shoot for about 18ppm NO3 and 3ppm PO4 at the end of the week, any other suggestions as far as the iron, or booster goes?
Thanks again very much:)
PS....no green spot algae on the glass anywhere...usually only green dust, but my UV seems to have taken care of that?
06-11-2008, 10:33 PM
The Stunting might be due to the filter, that's too much/very heavy fish load.
Still, CO2 is the issue more than likely.
GW and high light and NH4.
R wallichii should grow like a weed.
If not, then you are likely not doing something in the CO2 dept.
Excel will not help, it might prevent worse algae, but it's not going to resolve the issue.
with 3 large discus in a 46 gal tank, there's also a reluctance and fear about over dosing CO2, rightly so.
So be careful.
Watch and add more current in the tank.
Add a small power head near the surface etc.
This should improve O2 exchange and reduce high slug doses of CO2.
Add more PO4, this is a myth about low PO4 inducing colors.
It will however, slow growth rates without doing too much to morphology.
The species you have I do as well.
They all grow with reckless abandon.
I also have softer water, KH is from 1-2, I add GH booster, about 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gal 1-2x a week and the Gh is about 2-3 from the tap.
I use ADA AS, but Ec ought to be fine. I will say that all these plants do better with the dosing + the ADA AS vs EC and dosing. You can get good results without ADA AS also, but it is easier and dosing is more forgiving.
But.........you still have to deal with CO2 no matter what.
Add more PO4.
Thanks very much Tom! I appreciate the response, and I will def. get on to fixing these things up. I have since added 2ppm PO4, and plan to add 1ppm a day, and I do clean the filter with every water change...so once a week, Im in there! It doesnt seem to do much in the algae department. The green hair algae is always there, and that is why I was thinking it had to be the iron content in the booster....but I guess not. I have turned co2 up some as well.
Thanks again, I will keep you guys posted!:)
06-11-2008, 11:50 PM
I notice that you say you are shooting for 18 ppm of nitrates at the end of the week. Don't you really shoot for something far less, since you want the plants to be using it up as you dose it? If you are dosing correctly you shouldn't build up much concentration of any of the fertiizers. With EI, since it means overdosing to be sure to have enough, you will always have some build up, but nowhere near 7 times the daily dosage.
Why slow down the flow from the powerhead? You would get better water circulation by doing no more than spreading that flow out a little, then letting it make all of the water in the tank move in response. It is possible to have high CO2 concentration where the drop checker is mounted, but low concentration elsewhere. That is good, when the upper levels are the areas that are lower in CO2 - that means you have good gas exchange at the water surface. But, it isn't good down in the tank near the bottom.
Yes VaughnH you are right, when I say I shoot for 18ppm, thats as far as what I add to the tank. I add 3ppm KNO3 per day, which ends up being 18 for the week, given the plants dont use any, and with my fish load I should have enough nitrates?
I like your idea of not slowing the flow down on the return of my co2, so I have removed the black foam and replaced the whole thing with original powerjet nozzle and flow control that comes with the rena filters, and I can def. tell water is moving now.....I have the flow set all the way down, and I can see microbubbles coming out of my return and hitting the opposite side wall. My belems down in the middle of the tank have a "slight rocking" to them now too, so I think the circulation is better. I will put up pics tomorrow. I agree tho, that I may not have had good co2 and/or circulation towards the bottom of the tank. My belems that are rather short, and my erio thailand that is close to the substrate are usually the plants that have the algae on them :(
As for the drop checker, it is down near the bottom of the tank, but on the same side as the co2 input. You can see it in my pic a lil. Like I said I will put up new pics tomorrow, but is there a problem with where it is? I used to use the red sea drop checker on the left side wall (opposite the bell checker) in conjuction with the bell checker, and they both always read about the same. The red sea is easier to read with its white background inside it, but I always felt if there were to be a dead spot it would be where the bell drop checker is now?
Thanks again for the response, I really appreciate it! I hope things come around
06-12-2008, 06:01 AM
You also do not appear to have very much plant biomass, I have 2-4X that amount in most every tank.
Thanks Tom, I did a water change and a lil bit of a trim job on monday, so things are a bit small. Also, I was having issues with the vietnam and wallichiis so they got hacked in half to promote new growth that hopefully wont be stunted this time around. I have an order placed with "lowcoaster" as well, so the biomass should pick up very shortly.
Things look better today already....thanks everyone for your help!
I will post some pics soon:)
My photobucket isnt working right today, but here are three pics.
Also, I refreshed my drop checker solution and put the red sea checker in as well. They are on each side of the tank down near the bottom.
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