How To Find The Cause Of Algae

jake37

Member
I have a 120 gallon tank that has been setup for 3 1/2 months. Very recently (last week or so) algae has begun to grow on stem plants (it is hairy green stuff) so something is a bit out of balance but i'm not sure how to figure out what.
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I do water changes once or twice a week - 25% or 30 gallons. I have two fluval 3.0 lights (one 36 and one 48) the lights start at 8am and reach full intensity at 9am; conversely they start to dI'm at 4pm and go off at 5pm (or 7 to 9 hours depending how you count).
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I put in a small amount of flourish excel and thrive+ once a week - usually 3 cap full of excel and 6 pumps of thrive+. I also use some random number of root tabs once every 4 to 6 weeks (around 6).
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Is there an easy way to quickly identify the cause of the algae (what is out of balance).
 

Salem

Member
I would first test to see how many nitrates you have, anything above 10 will promote algae growth. I doubt it would be your lights if youve been using them the whole time. You could also try seeing if it calms down if you use less of the fertilizer
 

kallililly1973

Member
Pics would help to see what type of algae is showing up.
 

Nick72

Member
I suspect it's a combination of medium to high lighting, combined with low and fluctuating nutrient levels, and low CO2.

I'd suggest your lighting is fine, but would be interested to see how you have arranged the two lights.


The Excel is fine as an algaecide but would work better if used daily in smaller quantity, but it's no substitute for CO2.

I would dose with Thrive+ at least three times a week.
 
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jake37

Member
I'll take a photograph later when the lights come on - the tank nitrate run between 15 and 20ppm due to heavy water changes. The tank population has not changed in 2 months but it is fairly high at:
4 clowns (2.5 to 4 inches)
5 zebra (striata botia)
10 kuhli
1 upside down
7 otto
2 bn pleco
6 sterbaI cory
3 guppies
2 swordtails
21 cardinal tetra
3 head/tail tetra
4 angel fishes
2 visible frys (who knows what else is hiding where)
 

leftswerve

Member
  • Moderator

ryanr

Moderator
Member
Hi,
Treating algae can be a difficult task.
The first step is to identify the type algae, then from there, you can identify the likely cause(s).

The following website is a great resource for identifying and treating the causes of many common algae Aquarium Algae ID (updated May6th '10 Surface Skum)
 
  • Thread Starter

jake37

Member
Here are two pictures - the first is the entire tank the second shows the algae on one of the stem plants. The algae is mostly just on the stem plants and on the right side of the tank; the stem plants on the left side are algae free. The plants in the pot are for a new tank that was delayed being setup and the green thing in the middle front is a fry net with 2 frys I found in the canister filter:
 

Chanyi

Member
Too much light - Reduce to 5 hours per day or turn them down to 50-75% output.
Too little CO2. - Not much you can do about this unless you purchase a pressurized system. Nonetheless, without CO2 you can't run that amount of light off the get go, 3.5 months is still a relatively new tank.
Too little amount water changed. - Go with 50% weekly or greater.
Varying nutrient levels. - Dose Thrive as recommended with a 50% water change.
Improper use of of Excel. - Dose the "after water change" rate daily.
 
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jake37

Member
Does excel truely replace injected co2 and if not what is the cheapest (safe for fish) non dyI way I can add co2 ? Also if I reduce light which spectrum ? One change I made recently with the fluval software update is added 3 hours of blue light to view the fishes (at 10%) could it be this blue light that is causing the algae ?
 

DoubleDutch

Member
Nick72 said:
I suspect it's a combination of medium to high lighting, combined with low and fluctuating nutrient levels, and low CO2.

I'd suggest your lighting is fine, but would be interested to see how you have arranged the two lights.


The Excel is fine as an algaecide but would work better if used daily in smaller quantity, but it's no substitute for CO2.

I would dose with Thrive+ at least three times a week.
Uhhhh Excel is a substitute for CO2 Nick.
It is a different kind of Carbonsource used by plants.

OP, did you check the phosfates as well?
 

Nick72

Member
jake37 said:
Does excel truely replace injected co2 and if not what is the cheapest (safe for fish) non dyI way I can add co2 ? Also if I reduce light which spectrum ? One change I made recently with the fluval software update is added 3 hours of blue light to view the fishes (at 10%) could it be this blue light that is causing the algae ?
There is only one reliable way to add CO2 - a pressurised CO2 system.

That's anything from $120 to $300 to install, and about $30 USD a year to keep running.

Excel is an algaecide. It adds no CO2.

Blue light is notorious for growing algae.

I leave my Fluval Plant 3.0 on the manufacture settings for a planted tank. Around 20% blue light. But my light is on for 8 hours, the other 16hrs it's completely off.

IMHO you don't have an algae problem, you do have a nutrient problem. Most of your plants are showing signs of nutrient deficiency. Sort this out and your algae will sort itself out.

DoubleDutch said:
Uhhhh Excel is a substitute for CO2 Nick.
It is a different kind of Carbonsource used by plants.

OP, did you check the phosfates as well?
Sorry DoubleDutch we are going to have to disagree here

The whole Excel CO2 thing is the biggest marketing scam in the hobby.

It's a simple algaecide and a good one. It does nothing to contribute CO2
 
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jake37

Member
So more feritilizers or more fish and turn off the 3 hours of 10% blue light.

Nick72 said:
There is only one reliable way to add CO2 - a pressurised CO2 system.

That's anything from $120 to $300 to install, and about $30 USD a year to keep running.

Excel is an algaecide. It adds no CO2.

Blue light is notorious for growing algae.

I leave my Fluval Plant 3.0 on the manufacture settings for a planted tank. Around 20% blue light. But my light is on for 8 hours, the other 16hrs it's completely off.

IMHO you don't have an algae problem, you do have a nutrient problem. Most of your plants are showing signs of nutrient deficiency. Sort this out and your algae will sort itself out.
 

Nick72

Member
jake37 said:
So more feritilizers or more fish and turn off the 3 hours of 10% blue light.
That would be a good starting point.
 

Chanyi

Member
Yep, I agree, Excel is not a carbon source. It is an algaecide + it helps break down protein films growing on plant leaves allowing them better access to atmospheric CO2 levels dissolved in equilibrium in the water.

Next myth, excess nutrients cause algae. No. Sky high NO3 or the presence of PO4 does not = algae. Imbalances of these nutrients / inconsistencies + too much light and too little CO2 is the recipe for algae. Excess organics is another huge factor. Eliminate them, clean the heck out of the filter and substrate during each / every other water change. A clean tank + filter + substrate / strict maintenance schedule is a very good habit to get into for keeping on top of algae.

Organics dissolve into plant nutrients yes, but it also feeds algae, especially ammonia. If we remove all the organics before we allow them to dissolve, we can easily dose fertilizers for pennies to feed the plants, not the algae.

Ill plants / sick plants / stunted or poor growing plants are algae magnets. The decaying plant tissue is a buffet for algae spores. Remove them by trimming dying tissue or removing these plants. (meaning filter cleaning because dead / broken off plant tissue gets sucked into the filter).
 

DoubleDutch

Member
Nick72 said:
Sorry DoubleDutch we are going to have to disagree here

The whole Excel CO2 thing is the biggest marketing scam in the hobby.

It's a simple algaecide and a good one. It does nothing to contribute CO2
Ahhhh okay. Not gonna jump in that discussion cause I don't know enough about it. I was always told it was a carbon-substitute, a side-effect of an insecticide sprayed into seacontainers to kill bugs.

Never used it and never will.
 
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jake37

Member
Would simply adding more root tabs solve the problem ? Rather not add co2 - not so much cost but concern of goofs.
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I don't have any way to test for phostate. I have apI kit (nitrate, nitrite, amonia, ph) and a hardness kit. I also have a tds meter that sez reads around 130 (+/- 10).
 

Dechi

Member
What intensity do you use on your Fluval ? Without CO2, you shouldn’t go more than 50%-65% for the whites at the brighest part of the day, and no more than 4-5% blue light. And maybe 15% red light.

I just started getting a little bit of green algae after 3 months. My settings were at 50% for a long time, then a month ago I set it to 65%. Yesterday I brought it down to 52% and reduced lighting hours a tiny bit.
 

RHONDA PIMENTEL

Member
I had similar probs in one of my tanks recently. Blue/green algae and hair algae. Tank was cycled for a year. I got a phosphate tesdt kit from Amazon for 12.50. I thought I had a phosphate problem, well I did, but it was because I had almost no phosphates in Tank! Balance was way off. I just manually removed most of the algae and did big water change, adjusted my ferts and viola! No more algae. Its just a matter of balancing act, get a test kit to see where you sit, it's worth it imo anyway.
 
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jake37

Member
I use the default setting for plants. This is a tall tank (24 1/2 inches). I turned off the 3 hour of 10% blue (for night viewing); which I think is when the algae started so let me give it a week. I also added a bit of thrive+ - twice what I normally added but 1/2 of what they recommend for 120 gallon. This weekend I'll replace the root tabs with a new set (i've been using flourish which recommend once every 30 days but the new set will be thrive (ngo?) - so I'll update this thread in 2 weeks to see if these changes have helped - the biggest issue is how to tell if the plants are under nurished. One of the poster said that in the it was obvious that the plants needed more fertilizer but I don't know how to tell - or what he saw that trigged that opinion. THe weird thing is the plants are doing much better in the 29 which has only been setup for 25 days and has had almost no feritlizers or excel and very low fish load (4 very small kuhli, 2 snails and a gold ram). The 29 has one 24 inch fluval with the same settings and no algae and very fast plant growth - (the bulbs were purchased at the same time as those in the 120 if you want to compare the ulvaceus - in the 29 they have that magical swirl and in the 120 they are small leaves with holes - I think the holes might be from the clown loaches) - I normally don't change the water in the 29 (well 5% to 10% once a week - to vacuum the surface of the sand) but this morning I did a 50% change because the gold ram is unhappy (too many bloodworms yesterday ?)

Turns out I had a seachem phosphate kit. In the 29 I get around 1 and in the 120 (the one with the alage) I'm getting close to 2.5 - does that mean too much fertilizer ?
 

tjander

Member
IRT Seachem Excel as a CO2 source. I found this on there website
FAQ: Is Flourish Excel a replacement for CO2 in a planted aquarium? – Seachem Laboratories

It’s sort of is a substitute but as the article reads. It’s only 60-70% effective as CO2.
 

Nick72

Member
tjander said:
IRT Seachem Excel as a CO2 source. I found this on there website
FAQ: Is Flourish Excel a replacement for CO2 in a planted aquarium? – Seachem Laboratories

It’s sort of is a substitute but as the article reads. It’s only 60-70% effective as CO2.
If you take this at face value, then yes.

I know many, including myself, don't. Seachem are pushing a lot of pseudo scientific claims for Excel.

They claI'm it contains photosynthetic intermediates (which would still require CO2 no matter that Seachem claI'm otherwise) and later they pull back and say the chemicals in Excel are 'quite similar' to photosynthetic intermediates'.

I wouldn't replace the C02 in my pressurized system with a gas 'Quite similar' and expect the same results.

Putting the science to one side - there is plenty of evidence on this board and others that CO2 injection is the way to go.
 
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jake37

Member
CO-2 injection might be the way to go but right now I'm not sure I want to spend $300+ for a decent system - it isn't just about the money - it is also lack of understanding why I'm having the issue (i.e, throwing money at a problem without understanding the problem). Also when I read up on these injection system most of them seem to be a headache - that doesn't mean there isn't a good one out there but I don't know where they are - anyway I'd like to first identify the current issue and why the 29 is doing well and the 120 is falling apart. I did mention above that the phosphate in teh 120 seems pretty high relative to the 29 so maybe that is the problem - but then why is it that high and how to lower it (I'm doing 50% water change a week - 2 30 gallon changes) and i'm not really prepared to do more than 30 gallon per change for a lot of reasons (one of which is that it takes 2 hours just to pump the water in and out and each time and I have to pay attention to avoid spillage making it a bit tedious). Yes I envision a future tank with water connections below the tank and a trickle system to change the water - but that is tomorrow - today this is what I have and it isn't something I can change until I move.

Nick72 said:
If you take this at face value, then yes.

I know many, including myself, don't. Seachem are pushing a lot of pseudo scientific claims for Excel.

They claI'm it contains photosynthetic intermediates (which would still require CO2 no matter that Seachem claI'm otherwise) and later they pull back and say the chemicals in Excel are 'quite similar' to photosynthetic intermediates'.

I wouldn't replace the C02 in my pressurized system with a gas 'Quite similar' and expect the same results.

Putting the science to one side - there is plenty of evidence on this board and others that CO2 injection is the way to go.
 

Nick72

Member
Vishaquatics - are you able to provide any input on this?
 

Vishaquatics

Member
Nick72 is COMPLETELY correct. This is a lighting and CO2 imbalance entirely. Too much light and not enough CO2 being injected. Reduce the light significantly or start CO2 injection. I’ve written a member article on algae and how to battle it properly without the use of algaecides. Please take a look at it to understand you why you need CO2 injection

Just a side note too: excel is not a CO2 substitute in any shape or form. It’s a biocide. It’s quite diluted, but that’s why sensitive organisms like algae will die if it is used in high enough doses consistently. Pressurized CO2 is irreplaceable in the planted aquarium. There is no product I’ve found that will substitute the effects of CO2 even up to 10%.
 
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jake37

Member
Is there a cheap reliable non-diy method of adding co2. Most of the system I see on places like amazon have horrible reviews. Also does ThriveC serve as a CO2 subsitute as they suggest on their website ?

Vishaquatics said:
Nick72 is COMPLETELY correct. This is a lighting and CO2 imbalance entirely. Too much light and not enough CO2 being injected. Reduce the light significantly or start CO2 injection. I’ve written a member article on algae and how to battle it properly without the use of algaecides. Please take a look at it to understand you why you need CO2 injection

Just a side note too: excel is not a CO2 substitute in any shape or form. It’s a biocide. It’s quite diluted, but that’s why sensitive organisms like algae will die if it is used in high enough doses consistently. Pressurized CO2 is irreplaceable in the planted aquarium. There is no product I’ve found that will substitute the effects of CO2 even up to 10%.
 

tjander

Member
IMO, a DYI CO2 system is not a good idea, mostly due to the lack of control of the gas. Too much CO2 and you kill your tank, too little and your doing no good.

I personally have been in aquatics for 20 years and have never done CO2. That is not to say I have not wanted to nor do I think that my tanks would not benefit from it.
I just don’t have time to setup the system and monitor it as required. To me It adds a new level of complexity to the hobby. I therefore have elected a low tech setup no CO2. A lot of aquatic plants do not need CO2, chose the right plant for your setup.

IMO to tell someone who is having an algae problem the only way to solve it is with CO2 injection is putting that person’s aquatic life at risk. CO2 injection is not for beginners, and a lot of research is required before going down that path.

I stand by the fact based on personal experience that Excel when used as directed can and will aid your aquatic plants. Also Algae problems can more then likely be traced back to over feeding, poor tank maintenance, over stocking, too much light, wrong type of light, tank placement ( direct sunlight )
 
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jake37

Member
Well I change the water and the tank is not near the sun so that's two down. I might be overstocked - not sure - the clowns are in the 2.5 to 3.5 inch range and I think as long as they stay small I'm ok. I might be over-feeding. I've been feeding three times a day because the angels were small - they are now nearing adult size and I should cut down to once or twice a day - it is really hard to tell if I am over/under feeding. The food all gets eaten and quickly but that isn't a great indicator. I sort of feel like if the cardinals come to the top to feed i'm under feeding and if they wait for the food to drop i'm ok or a bit over. The sterbaI are good at getting into the floating plants and sniffing out food that get trapped in the plant jungle (left side which has no algae). That jungle at the top probably also helps control light. I'll wait a week with the correction i've already taken and then see what happens. I would do co2 if I had to but prefer not to.
 

tjander

Member
I feed my fish once a day every other day. You do know that clowns will get much larger 5-6 inches. Angles will more then likely go after cardinals at some point.
I am sorry I realize stocking is not your main concern, I just wanted to point it out.
You might want to go lights out for a few days to see if that helps the algae issue.
I had problems early on, after I got eliminated the algae, I started off with lights on for 3 hours and increased the time they are on by 30 minutes a week until I found a good balance of lights on to algae growth or lack of it better put.
 
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jake37

Member
The clowns will be moved to a larger tank in 20 months; I don't think the angels will eat the cardinals as long as they are large (these were regular size cardinals but are approaching jumbo size as they age). I've never had angels go after cardinals but yes it is a concern as these angels are getting much larger than the last breeding pair I had (in the 1990's). Part of the reason I purchased the angels as small is i've heard if they are raised with cardinals they are less likely to treat them as snack.
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So to answer your question yes i've considered the issue of the clowns and the angels and I've hoped I have them addressed. In a rush I could move the cardinals to a 29 until I can rehome them in 20 months.

tjander said:
I feed my fish once a day every other day. You do know that clowns will get much larger 5-6 inches. Angles will more then likely go after cardinals at some point.
I am sorry I realize stocking is not your main concern, I just wanted to point it out.
You might want to go lights out for a few days to see if that helps the algae issue.
I had problems early on, after I got eliminated the algae, I started off with lights on for 3 hours and increased the time they are on by 30 minutes a week until I found a good balance of lights on to algae growth or lack of it better put.
 

Chanyi

Member
In summary for controlling algae:

Use Excel / Glute at the "after water change" rate or equivalent every single day. Excel has nothing to do with being a CO2 replacement, or a CO2 source (in any significance). It is a decent algaecide and also breaks down protein film on plant leaves allowing them better access to ambient CO2 levels naturally occurring within the water.

Clean the filter and substrate during every water change, or every other water change. Decaying organic material trapped in the filter and substrate are buffets for algae spores. Prune or remove all sick plant tissue, dead plant tissue or stunted plant tissue.

Fertilize. Plants require 16 essential nutrients, they need all of these to SURVIVE. They need all of these in a balanced and consistent manner to THRIVE. Healthy plants are key in reducing algae, and staying on top of algae.

Thrive, PPS-Pro and E.I. are dosing regimes to research into.

CO2 is a huge limiting factor in plant growth. The higher the lighting (PAR) the more CO2 is needed to satisfy plant growth. Without their CO2 needs filled, they suffer and algae takes advantage.

Plant growth is the same as a car engine. Light is the throttle, CO2 is the air, and nutrients are the fuel. If you floor it (high lighting), your engine (plants) needs more air (CO2) and fuel (nutrients) to accelerate (grow). I hope that makes sense.

Lighting. Run 5 hours a day max if you are having algae issues. Slowly over the course of a few months, ramp it back up some only when you are ahead of the algae.

Water changes are essential in removing old organic material, dissolved solids etc. etc. Minimum 50% weekly to keep things clean. I can't stress it enough, uber clean tanks are less likely to succumb to algae. And throw some effort into manually removing as much as possible whenever you can.

Spot treat with Excel / Glute / H2O2 once a day if you so wish.

Add all of these strategies together, and you should have no worries.

In your case, drop the lights down or invest in a CO2 system and follow what I've summarized here.
 
  • Thread Starter

jake37

Member
Is there any negative to using a phostate remover in my canister filter ?

Chanyi said:
In summary for controlling algae:

Use Excel / Glute at the "after water change" rate or equivalent every single day. Excel has nothing to do with being a CO2 replacement, or a CO2 source (in any significance). It is a decent algaecide and also breaks down protein film on plant leaves allowing them better access to ambient CO2 levels naturally occurring within the water.

Clean the filter and substrate during every water change, or every other water change. Decaying organic material trapped in the filter and substrate are buffets for algae spores. Prune or remove all sick plant tissue, dead plant tissue or stunted plant tissue.

Fertilize. Plants require 16 essential nutrients, they need all of these to SURVIVE. They need all of these in a balanced and consistent manner to THRIVE. Healthy plants are key in reducing algae, and staying on top of algae.

Thrive, PPS-Pro and E.I. are dosing regimes to research into.

CO2 is a huge limiting factor in plant growth. The higher the lighting (PAR) the more CO2 is needed to satisfy plant growth. Without their CO2 needs filled, they suffer and algae takes advantage.

Plant growth is the same as a car engine. Light is the throttle, CO2 is the air, and nutrients are the fuel. If you floor it (high lighting), your engine (plants) needs more air (CO2) and fuel (nutrients) to accelerate (grow). I hope that makes sense.

Lighting. Run 5 hours a day max if you are having algae issues. Slowly over the course of a few months, ramp it back up some only when you are ahead of the algae.

Water changes are essential in removing old organic material, dissolved solids etc. etc. Minimum 50% weekly to keep things clean. I can't stress it enough, uber clean tanks are less likely to succumb to algae. And throw some effort into manually removing as much as possible whenever you can.

Spot treat with Excel / Glute / H2O2 once a day if you so wish.

Add all of these strategies together, and you should have no worries.

In your case, drop the lights down or invest in a CO2 system and follow what I've summarized here.
 

MileyMorkie

Member
If the water is tinted with algae particles, has build up on the glass (this includes a clear-ish slime-like coat on the walls) or anything really just turn the lights off for several weeks or months. Use a glass scrub or your fingers to remove the algae, clean your filter once every <recommended times on manual> and do 30% water changes once every week, other week or 10 days or something. If you don't want to buy shrimp or more fish to fix it. Algae doesn't like flowing water, try using some aeration. Thrive+ and Flourish Excel doesn't JUST boost your plant growth it also encourages algae too.
 
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jake37

Member
There is not a lot of algae on the glass or in the water; just on the stem plants. I already do TWO 25% water changes a week (pail is 30 gallon - tank is 120 gallon).
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Is there any harm of negative to the plants/fish to do use a phostate remover in the filter ?

MileyMorkie said:
If the water is tinted with algae particles, has build up on the glass (this includes a clear-ish slime-like coat on the walls) or anything really just turn the lights off for several weeks or months. Use a glass scrub or your fingers to remove the algae, clean your filter once every <recommended times on manual> and do 30% water changes once every week, other week or 10 days or something. If you don't want to buy shrimp or more fish to fix it. Algae doesn't like flowing water, try using some aeration. Thrive+ and Flourish Excel doesn't JUST boost your plant growth it also encourages algae too.
 

MileyMorkie

Member
jake37 said:
There is not a lot of algae on the glass or in the water; just on the stem plants. I already do TWO 25% water changes a week (pail is 30 gallon - tank is 120 gallon).
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Is there any harm of negative to the plants/fish to do use a phostate remover in the filter ?
No there shouldn't be any issues but phosphor/phosphate is caused by overfeeding or excess food in the water (it's that foul stench and murk in the water you'll sometimes notice). Check the ingredients and look up if that branding, targeted tank size dosage, or ingredient can harm each species of fish. Since you've got ottos, you may loose them since they are not captive bred and not built to deal with some chemicals or medications. I'd look it up though just to be sure.
 
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jake37

Member
Confused. It is phosguard by Sachem - my understanding is water flow through it (in the filter) and it absorbs phostate - it doesn't actually add a chemical to the water.
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there is no foul smell or scum on the surface of the tank. The nitrate run around 15-25 ppm and the tds is 140. It is hard for me to tell if I am over-feeding - I do feed a lot but all the food is usually gone in 30 to 90 seconds (well most of it - some of the flakes escape but the cory and zebra loach seem to walk through the floating plants collecting missed food.

MileyMorkie said:
No there shouldn't be any issues but phosphor/phosphate is caused by overfeeding or excess food in the water (it's that foul stench and murk in the water you'll sometimes notice). Check the ingredients and look up if that branding, targeted tank size dosage, or ingredient can harm each species of fish. Since you've got ottos, you may loose them since they are not captive bred and not built to deal with some chemicals or medications. I'd look it up though just to be sure.
 

MileyMorkie

Member
jake37 said:
Confused. It is phosguard by Sachem - my understanding is water flow through it (in the filter) and it absorbs phostate - it doesn't actually add a chemical to the water.
Yeah it adds chemicals for sure, also double check those instructions because some products say to remove the internal stuff from your filter. I've never used Phosguard or any phosphate/phosphor remover product but I do know the precautions that come with these things are mandatory/required.

Edit: Nitrite is the good things because it's the BB. Nitrate is the stuff that is good for terrestrial plants but not good for aquariums.
 

Vishaquatics

Member
Phosphate is huge for plant growth and there shouldn’t be a phosphate remover.

Nitrite is toxic in aquariums. Nitrate is fine for both terrestrial and aquatic systems as long as it doesn’t get terribly high (100ppm+)
 
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jake37

Member
Ok. I measured phosphate at 2.5 and thought perhaps it was too high. There is no nitrite; just about 20ish (15-25) ppm of nitrate (I have a range because the apI colour coding is not concise - and it drifts).
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Nick72 in post 13 said hte plants were undernourished (not sure how he could tell from the picture - post #9) and I should add more fertilizer but I was concern the excess phosphate was part of the issue.

Vishaquatics said:
Phosphate is huge for plant growth and there shouldn’t be a phosphate remover.

Nitrite is toxic in aquariums. Nitrate is fine for both terrestrial and aquatic systems as long as it doesn’t get terribly high (100ppm+)
 

Vishaquatics

Member
jake37 said:
Ok. I measured phosphate at 2.5 and thought perhaps it was too high. There is no nitrite; just about 20ish (15-25) ppm of nitrate (I have a range because the apI colour coding is not concise - and it drifts).
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Nick72 in post 13 said hte plants were undernourished (not sure how he could tell from the picture - post #9) and I should add more fertilizer but I was concern the excess phosphate was part of the issue.
2.5ppm phosphate is no where near excess. Excess would be 7-10ppm+ for lowtech tanks and probably like 20ppm+ for hightech tanks. I dose 15ppm PO4 per week in my hightech tanks with no issues whatsoever.

As for fert dosing, I'd say to stick with what you're doing right now and just adjust lighting and CO2
 
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jake37

Member
I had the phosphate units wrong - it is 2.5mg/l (seachem phosphate test kit for inorganic phosphate); max is 3.0 (for this test kit) -- not sure how you tell if there is 20ppm - tap is around 0.05 or 0.1.

Vishaquatics said:
2.5ppm phosphate is no where near excess. Excess would be 7-10ppm+ for lowtech tanks and probably like 20ppm+ for hightech tanks. I dose 15ppm PO4 per week in my hightech tanks with no issues whatsoever.

As for fert dosing, I'd say to stick with what you're doing right now and just adjust lighting and CO2
 

Vishaquatics

Member
jake37 said:
I had the phosphate units wrong - it is 2.5mg/l (seachem phosphate test kit for inorganic phosphate); max is 3.0 (for this test kit) -- not sure how you tell if there is 20ppm - tap is around 0.05 or 0.1.
2.5mg/l is the same as 2.5ppm.

I don’t necessarily determine 20ppm via testing, but rather 20ppm from what is doses into the tank via fertilizer. There are ppm calculators for aquarium ferts such as rotalabutterfly.com
 
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jake37

Member
It was suggested that the tank could use a little magnesium. What is the easiest way to safely put some in without harming the angels or loaches.
 

Chanyi

Member
jake37 said:
It was suggested that the tank could use a little magnesium. What is the easiest way to safely put some in without harming the angels or loaches.
MgSO4. Plain Epsom salts.
 

Nick72

Member
  • Thread Starter

jake37

Member
Is there a safe form from store that wont' have additive? For example this is listed as epson salt sulfate:

Walgreens Epsom Salt

Chanyi said:
MgSO4. Plain Epsom salts.
 

Nick72

Member
That's what you want.

Read down the page it says ingredients: Magnesium Sulfate USP - 100%

That's fairly definitive.

It also lists one of its uses as a Saline Laxative. It wouldn't do that if it had additives.
 
  • Thread Starter

jake37

Member
Ok. I try some tomorrow when I do a water change; hopefully it won't kill the loaches or angelfish (I'm sure they will both try to eat it).

Nick72 said:
That's what you want.

Read down the page it says ingredients: Magnesium Sulfate USP - 100%

That's fairly definitive.

It also lists one of its uses as a Saline Laxative. It wouldn't do that if it had additives.
 

Nick72

Member
jake37 said:
Ok. I try some tomorrow when I do a water change; hopefully it won't kill the loaches or angelfish (I'm sure they will both try to eat it).
Fully dissolve the Epsom Salts in a glass of tank water, then reintroduce the glass of water to your tank.

That way no fish will eat a lump of Epsom Salts
 

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