Identifying Algae Outbreak , Holes And Fertilizer Question

DirtyEw0k

Member
So I hope this post in the right section. I have been getting some really bad algae issues that just keep getting worse. I need help on how to fix this problem. I was thinking it could be from too much ferts or it could be a deficiency because of the holes. I did read a possible phosphorus deficiency on another thread? Gonna buy a test kit later today to check this and rule it out.

My plants are growing like weeds! Some of them stick out above the water on water change day which is tomorrow because they have grown so tall lol I have shaded plants on the left like Java Fern and Anubias and have my frogbit and Salvania above them separated by a self made divider out of tubing over fishing line tied to suction cups. I need to cut the roots of my frogbit tomorrow and take a bunch out. they are growing way to fast and long haha. I put my Cryptocoryne WendI "green" in the middle because i've heard mixed reviews about if they should be shaded or sunny. all my highlight plants are on the right. where they aren't shaded.

Algae identification:
So i've had some really bad fuzzy green algae on all of my plants that can't be scrubbed off and it is causing a lot of my leaves to have really bad holes. i've cut off a lot of the leaves that basically had nothing left inside them from so many holes. can anyone tell me what kind of algae it is and how to control it?

For fertilizers is there any I should be adding or taking out to help with the holes?

About my tank: Started May 5 2017

Aqueon 36 Gallon Bowfront: 30"L x 15"W x 21"H
Finnex Planted Plus 24/7 SE on the Cycle
AquaClear 50 on left with 2 sponges, and BioMax Media. I don't use Carbon.
AquaClear 30 in right holds Crushed Coral (I have 0 kh/2 gh in tap water without it)
AquaTop CAF-25 spnge filter in the back in the middle
Tropica Substrate

My Fertilizer & Cleaning Routine:

Wednesday:
I do 25% water change and add 3.5 ML Prime
gravel clean left side, every second week I clean the right side

Thursday:
3mL Flourish
9mL Flourish Trace*

Friday: 9mL Flourish Advance*

Sunday: 9mL Flourish Trace*

Tuesday: 9mL Flourish Advance*

*bottle says to add Trace & Advance twice a week so that's what I do. Too Much?

Fish Stocking:
7 Rasboras
6 Danios
2 Nerite Snails
4 Amano Shrimp
1 Cherry Shrimp (haven't been able to find 2)


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AquaticJ

Member
It’s beard algae. Likely caused by the fact that you don’t dose CO2, so the plants can’t utilize the ferts as fast and as efficiently as the algae.
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
AquaticJ

oh so you think I should start adding some c02? I don't really know much about it. I'll have to do some research on that. any good links you know of?
 

Bryangar

Member
I don’t see any BBA?

It looks more like deficiencies. The flourish line isn’t the best ferts to use, they’re too diluted and have small amounts of nutrients. Look into a better all-in-one fertilizer like Thrive.
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
bryangar said:
I don’t see any BBA?

It looks more like deficiencies. The flourish line isn’t the best ferts to use, they’re too diluted and have small amounts of nutrients. Look into a better all-in-one fertilizer like Thrive.
Unfortunately all 4 stores in my area don't sell that. they all sell flourish products. the store that is an hour and a half away also only sell flourish. its the product they like out here I guess

If it a deficiency what is it a deficiency of? I posted my fertilizing scedule above
 

Bryangar

Member
DirtyEw0k said:
Unfortunately all 4 stores in my area don't sell that. they all sell flourish products. the store that is an hour and a half away also only sell flourish. its the product they like out here I guess
You can order it online. I think they ship to canada too.
 

AquaticJ

Member
His plants are growing like weeds and they only have holes in them because the algae is making them. I think the only deficiencies are the CO2.

Minnowette
 

Ravenahra

Member
DirtyEw0k said:
AquaticJ

oh so you think I should start adding some c02? I don't really know much about it. I'll have to do some research on that. any good links you know of?
When in researched co2, I got confused and intimidated by the co2 systems out there, especially as I want to stay low tech.

I found some articles on co2 booster from API which seemed a lot easier. I've been dosing my aquariums with it every day and my plants seem healthier and it has pretty much stopped my the brown algae that started coating all my plants in my smaller tank.

The various articles stated that it has only about 60% of the effectiveness of a co2 dispersal system but it's cheaper and easier so that's what I go with.
 

Inactive User

Member
Close up, macro photos of the affected leaves would help.

But insofar as I can see from the 5th photo, it looks like an accumulation of green spot algae (GSA). This is generally associated with a phosphate deficiency.

The distinct pinhole pattern of necrotic spots is typically associated with a potassium deficiency.

The issue with dosing Trace, Advance and Flourish is that they are all micronutrient fertilisers:

Trace: boron, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, rubidium, nickel, vanadium
Advance: phosphate (0.04%), potash (0.45%), calcium, magnesium
Flourish: nitrogen (0.007%), phosphate (0.01%), potash (0.37%), calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, zinc

As you can see, there are only very trace quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which comprise macronutrients. I think a more comprehensive fert regimen ought to be applied to see whether they can promote plant growth over algae.You could purchase three separate bottles of Seachem Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, but I think NilocG Thrive is much cheaper overall. More convenient too as it contains macros and micros in one bottle, dispending with the need to use either Trace, Advance or Flourish.
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
Unfirtunately I gotta take pics on my tablet which doesn’t zoom in clearly but I think I got a few decent pictures


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Ravenahra said:
When in researched co2, I got confused and intimidated by the co2 systems out there, especially as I want to stay low tech.

I found some articles on co2 booster from API which seemed a lot easier. I've been dosing my aquariums with it every day and my plants seem healthier and it has pretty much stopped my the brown algae that started coating all my plants in my smaller tank.

The various articles stated that it has only about 60% of the effectiveness of a co2 dispersal system but it's cheaper and easier so that's what I go with.
Yea I find c02 a bit intimidating myself. I know my lighting stays on longer than it should. I was thinking about buying obe of those powerbar timers. That might help a bit because the finnex cycle is way too long and I don’t always remember to do it manually since I tend to be away longer then needed and i’m not going to ask others to do it when its not their tank.

I’ve tried using excel before I had shrimp but I heard its not really shrimp safe. Am I wrong? I did use that when I first got my tank. It did help with diatoms back in the day. The constant tank cleaning to get rid of that was fun ****
 

w3amz

Member
Do you have a test kit capable of measuring phosphorus level? I use phosphorus, iron and copper tests to give me the best clue possible what the fertilizer levels are in the tank. And you didn't happen to omit by accident you have a pleco in the tank right?

Additionally, you can get a guesswork CO2 level in your tank by measuring the Calcium hardness (KH) and Ph level.
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
Minnowette said:
Close up, macro photos of the affected leaves would help.

But insofar as I can see from the 5th photo, it looks like an accumulation of green spot algae (GSA). This is generally associated with a phosphate deficiency.

The distinct pinhole pattern of necrotic spots is typically associated with a potassium deficiency.

The issue with dosing Trace, Advance and Flourish is that they are all micronutrient fertilisers:

Trace: boron, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, rubidium, nickel, vanadium
Advance: phosphate (0.04%), potash (0.45%), calcium, magnesium
Flourish: nitrogen (0.007%), phosphate (0.01%), potash (0.37%), calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, zinc

As you can see, there are only very trace quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which comprise macronutrients. I think a more comprehensive fert regimen ought to be applied to see whether they can promote plant growth over algae.You could purchase three separate bottles of Seachem Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, but I think NilocG Thrive is much cheaper overall. More convenient too as it contains macros and micros in one bottle, dispending with the need to use either Trace, Advance or Flourish.
I do have nitrogen and potassium alone but I never know how much to dose. Thrive I haven’t seen in any stores. I’d have to ship it in from amazon and I hate having to do that because half the time its not on prime and gets way too expensive. I am going out to a not so lfs today that tends to carry stuff that all my lfs doesn’t so i’ll see if they have it there. In the long run it sounds a lot more cost effective.

w3amz said:
Do you have a test kit capable of measuring phosphorus level? I use phosphorus, iron and copper tests to give me the best clue possible what the fertilizer levels are in the tank. And you didn't happen to omit by accident you have a pleco in the tank right?

Additionally, you can get a guesswork CO2 level in your tank by measuring the Calcium hardness (KH) and Ph level.
I am going to buy a phosphorus test kit later today. I’ll look for copper and iron tests as well

My KH Sits at 3 GH at 5
Ph 7.6
 

w3amz

Member
Also I see you have shrimp. You definitely need to know your copper level in the tank if feeding the tank ferts with copper. This would only normally be a problem if the copper isn't getting used by the plants but does need occasional checking with inverts.

Reference:
 

Ravenahra

Member
DirtyEw0k said:
Yea I find c02 a bit intimidating myself. I know my lighting stays on longer than it should. I was thinking about buying obe of those powerbar timers. That might help a bit because the finnex cycle is way too long and I don’t always remember to do it manually since I tend to be away longer then needed and i’m not going to ask others to do it when its not their tank.

I’ve tried using excel before I had shrimp but I heard its not really shrimp safe. Am I wrong? I did use that when I first got my tank. It did help with diatoms back in the day. The constant tank cleaning to get rid of that was fun ****
I'm honestly not sure if it's safe for shrimp because I've never had shrimp. I did a quick search and found some said it's fine and some said it's ok at a 1/2 dose and some said it killed their shrimp so...maybe write apI and ask them directly?

For the lights, I bought some wireless power strips with timers on Amazon that work with the tuya smart home app and I love them. I can control them from anywhere on my phone, I was able to give each power strip and each plug on that power strip a distinctive name and program the timer on each plug individually. My power strips are named 20 gallon and 5 gallon and my outlets on each strip are named light, filter and heater. As long as I don't plug the wrong thing into the wrong outlet, I never have to worry about what I'm turning on or off and my lights are only on for 8 hours. And these power strips were cheaper than the mechanical ones that my lfs sells.
 

w3amz

Member
CO2 = 15.65 * 3 * 10^(6.35 - 7.6) = 15.65 * 3 * 10 ^ -1.25 = 2.64 CO2 ppm

One issue you have with the plants is your water is soft at a KH of 3. Not sure if you really need that for your other species or not. This causes the CO2 ppm to be low which it does appear to be based on this calculation.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Tell you what, take a look at all the photos I post of the plants in my aquariums. Then make your decision.
I use Seachem: Flourish, Equilibrium, Excel, Iron, potassium and root tabs. No Co2 injection.

But I also have very good lighting.

I also have shrimp. Ghost and amano.
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
Ravenahra said:
I'm honestly not sure if it's safe for shrimp because I've never had shrimp. I did a quick search and found some said it's fine and some said it's ok at a 1/2 dose and some said it killed their shrimp so...maybe write apI and ask them directly?

For the lights, I bought some wireless power strips with timers on Amazon that work with the tuya smart home app and I love them. I can control them from anywhere on my phone, I was able to give each power strip and each plug on that power strip a distinctive name and program the timer on each plug individually. My power strips are named 20 gallon and 5 gallon and my outlets on each strip are named light, filter and heater. As long as I don't plug the wrong thing into the wrong outlet, I never have to worry about what I'm turning on or off and my lights are only on for 8 hours. And these power strips were cheaper than the mechanical ones that my lfs sells.
that sounds cool. could you link one on amazon so I can see what your talking about?

w3amz said:
Also I see you have shrimp. You definitely need to know your copper level in the tank if feeding the tank ferts with copper. This would only normally be a problem if the copper isn't getting used by the plants but does need occasional checking with inverts.

Reference:
oh okay. people have always told me that ferts don't have enough copper in them to worry about with shrimp but I'll definitely take a look at that link. I know I have a lot of trouble keep cherry shrimp alive...either that or they are just really good hiders lol Amano shrimp on the other hand I have never had a problem with, They disappear for a few weeks and right when I am convinced they are dead they will all line up at the front of my tank muchin on zucchinI I put in for my nerites and i'm like yup they are all live lol
thanks for the heads up!

w3amz said:
CO2 = 15.65 * 3 * 10^(6.35 - 7.6) = 15.65 * 3 * 10 ^ -1.25 = 2.64 CO2 ppm

One issue you have with the plants is your water is soft at a KH of 3. Not sure if you really need that for your other species or not. This causes the CO2 ppm to be low which it does appear to be based on this calculation.
that co2 calculation made no sense to me lol like I said gotta do some reading but i'm sure I'll understand soon enough ****

well without crushed coral my KH is actually at 0 and my GH is at 2. I can raise that up more with crushed coral. That's completely controlled by me. I've just always been told 3 is perfectly fine whenever I ask and that I just gotta watch my GH for my snails and shrimp. YUou should have seen my tank around last christmas. half my plants died because of the sudden KH drop that never came back. they redid the pipes so i'm guessing that's what did it. I test it every water change just to be sure.

on water change day my parameters are always the same

ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 5.0
KH 3
GH 4
 

w3amz

Member
DirtyEw0k said:
that co2 calculation made no sense to me lol like I said gotta do some reading but i'm sure I'll understand soon enough lamo
CO2, Ph and KH are proportional to each other. Knowing what two of these measurements are gives you the other within about a 20% degree of error. If KH is constant and CO2 goes up, Ph must be coming down. You'll find if you add CO2 to your tank your Ph will go down.

This article explains how it works

In particular look at the section called Drop checker, which is a way to measure the CO2 in your aquarium.
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
w3amz said:
CO2, Ph and KH are proportional to each other. Knowing what two of these measurements are gives you the other within about a 20% degree of error. If KH is constant and CO2 goes up, Ph must be coming down. You'll find if you add CO2 to your tank your Ph will go down.

This article explains how it works

In particular look at the section called Drop checker, which is a way to measure the CO2 in your aquarium.
ohhh okay. yea I have read that about co2 back when I was still trying to figure out my kh and gh. my ph went down to 6.6 suddenly after they redid the all the city piping around my house (not sure if this is a coincidence or not. never found out) My main tank's ph was down and we were cycling a 20 gallon for my husband and it wouldn't cycle. that's when we realised out tap water had 0 KH in it. It always sat at a perfect 7. I was worried about it being up at 7.6 with the crushed coral but everyone said it would be fine and to not stress over the ph as long as everything stays steady with no swings. I think that was the most stressful time in fishkeeping I ever had. I almost quit but said NOPE i'm going to learn this lol

I'll definitely read that like you posted. thank you so much!
 

Ravenahra

Member
DirtyEw0k said:
that sounds cool. could you link one on amazon so I can see what your talking about?
Here you go

WifI Smart Power Strip Surge...
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
Okay, The store didn't have any Copper or Iron tests in stock so i'd have to buy those online but I did buy my phosphate test.

Phosphates are sitting at .25 what should they be sitting at?

tested the whole tank while I was at it:

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5.0
ph 7.6
KH 3
GH 5

Water change was due for tomorrow

Oh, btw I looked for thrive. They didn't have it. No store I have called in Vancouver, BC and their suburbs carry it from what I can tell. I'd have to buy it online which of course don't have prime avalable from these sellers or free shipping so it'll be like $40 and take a month to get here lol Even called Aquariums west way out in Vancouver that specilizes in plant sales. Theirt tanks are absolutely gorgeous and they use co2 in the tank they hold their plants in as well. But all they sell is Tropica fertilizers and Seachem as well lol

Some days I hate living in Canada. Normally I could ship it to my husbands uncles house in the states which is an hour drive away but I can't get out there till November so that wouldn't help me either. I'll just have to figure this out with my Seachem products for now.

I have flourish, thrive, advance, potassium, iron, nitrogen and excel in my cabinet at the moment. Though some of those haven't been used for a while.
 

Inactive User

Member
DirtyEw0k said:
Unfirtunately I gotta take pics on my tablet which doesn’t zoom in clearly but I think I got a few decent pictures
Thanks for the pictures! Definitely green spot algae, and I'm definitely leaning closer towards a phosphorus and potassium deficiency.

DirtyEw0k said:
Am I wrong?
I've never read of livestock being susceptible to Excel. It does have biocidal effects (specifically algicidal and herbicidal) as its active ingredient is glutaraldehyde, but the concentration is far too dilute to result in ongoing issues to livestock.

w3amz said:
Also I see you have shrimp. You definitely need to know your level in the tank if feeding the tank with copper. This would only normally be a problem if the copper isn't getting used by the plants but does need occasional checking with inverts.
As an alternative perspective, Tom Barr challenges the notion the copper from ferts can induce copper toxicosis in shrimp:

I keep high grade CRS SSS and lots of Fire shrimp, I bred and sell them.
I've seen no evidence at any very rich dosing of CMS+B of any negative impacts to CRS SSS inbred high grades.

Unless someone can show otherwise............it really questions the claims that copper at the ranges we use, even at the higher ends, poses any threat of any type.

I would NEED to see the test I suggested prove me otherwise.
I'd be skeptical even then, since the results I have falsifies this claim.

I dose up around 1-2ppm of Fe as proxy for CMS+B, this is about 0.4ppm per dose for Fe, the copper is still only about 0.01ppm so maybe.........assuming zero uptake and binding.........still well below the LD threshold.

And that's the worse case scenario............and assumes no uptake........but plants will suck up copper real well/fast.

So both food and water.......I have a very difficult time accepting there is ANY risk. Based on the dosing ratios, evidence and experience, vs the shrimp zealots belief, I feel pretty good about the debate position I have.

So does one need this much dosing above? I'd say 90% or more of tanks do not. Many are okay with 1/2 or less even. Now it's an order of magnitude less than the LD 50 suggestions for even the more sensitive species. (Source: this thread at planted tank)

DirtyEw0k said:
Some days I hate living in Canada. Normally I could ship it to my husbands uncles house in the states which is an hour drive away but I can't get out there till November so that wouldn't help me either. I'll just have to figure this out with my Seachem products for now.
Ah, my mind glossed over you living in Canada. I should say that there's nothing wrong with using Seachem Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Their chemical composition is essentially identical to any other fert on the market (just that they're highly dilute). If you wish, you can also purchase dry ferts (out of which all commercial ferts are made): potassium nitrate (KNO3), monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4) and potassium sulfate (K2SO4). K2SO4 is, generally, optional, as KNO3 and KH2PO4 typically supply more than adequate potassium when dosed according to nitrogen and phosphorus requirements. Dry ferts are generally very cheap, but they do require a little preparation to due (measuring, mixing in a bottle, etc.; they can also be used dry and dosed directly into the water column).

One of the issues (or, depending on your perspective, the benefits) of Flourish is that the iron compound it uses (in both Flourish and Flourish Iron) is ferrous gluconate: highly available for plant uptake, but otherwise highly reactive and so will generally oxidise and/or precipitate out of the water column within 24 hours. This necessitates that Flourish Iron be used on a daily basis. Most iron compounds in micro mixes (e.g. Thrive, Plantex CSM+B, Rexolin APN) are chelated iron, either EDTA or DTPA. They are less available for plant uptake, but they're much more stable over time, obviating the need for daily dosing.

seems to be Canadian (I would hope so if "canadian" is in their web address!) and stocks a full range of dry ferts and micro mixes. You can certainly continue to use Flourish and just dose a separate chelated iron fert to remove the need for daily doses of Flourish Iron. In particular, their iron is chelated with DTPA which should be much more stable at your pH.

As for whether one needs to test iron, phosphorus and copper concentrations to adjust their fert dosing. No, I don't think it's necessary. It's important to note that the underlying principle of the EI method of dosing (which is generally used across most of North America) is to dose ferts in excess of plant requirements, thus obviating the need for testing.

As for how much Seachem NPK to use, I would recommend the use of the nutrient calculator at rotalabutterfly.com to calculate your fert doses according to the EI method. I would suggest dosing half of the calculated dose once a week, and increasing it up to one (full) dose once a week over several weeks in response to whether your plants exhibit continued deficiencies.

For example, inputting your paramters into the nutrient calculator for Flourish Phosphorus:


I7Lyp6x.png


I would suggest 22.1 ml (half of 44.2 ml), about 4 and a half bottle caps, once a week, then gradually work up to 44.2 ml if continued green spot algae issues persist or if plants exhibit phosphorus deficiency.
 

adagona

Member
Sword plants and crypts are heavy root feeders. Do you have any root tabs in the substrate? I also like to use seachem equilibrium to provide more potassium, magnesium and calcium too. I also add seachem phosphorus to my tank as my tank have very low levels of phosphorus
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
adagona said:
Sword plants and crypts are heavy root feeders. Do you have any root tabs in the substrate? I also like to use seachem equilibrium to provide more potassium, magnesium and calcium too. I also add seachem phosphorus to my tank as my tank have very low levels of phosphorus
Thank you for all this info! Its really helpful. I’ll look into these dry ferts. For root tabs yes I do use flourish tabs in all my rooted plants. I readd them every 3 months. Equilibrium huh? My gh is at 5 doesn’t that raise gh? What levels should my kh and gh be at?
 

Inactive User

Member
DirtyEw0k said:
What levels should my and gh be at?
Your KH and GH are fine.

Some people use magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) as a magnesium supplement (which will raise GH) in response to an identified magnesium deficiency. Most people purchase the compound as epsom salt (magnesium sulphate heptahydrate, MgSO4.7H2O).
 

w3amz

Member
I think one of his major problems is the low CO2. His comes in around 2.4 ppm (+/- 20%) For keeping plants they recommend around 15 ppm CO2. He has a presence of Phosphorus in the water at 0.25 ppm. That means phosphorus is available for use by the plants.

My planted tanks have a minimum of 6 ppm and normally sit around 12-15 even without CO2 injection. But my water is much more hard at 10 KH deg.

As for the MIA shrimp that why I suggested checking the copper level in the tank.
 

Inactive User

Member
w3amz said:
I think one of his major problems is the low . His comes in around 2.4 ppm (+/- 20%) For keeping plants they recommend around 15 ppm CO2. He has a presence of Phosphorus in the water at 0.25 ppm. That means phosphorus is available for use by the plants.

My planted tanks have a minimum of 6 ppm and normally sit around 12-15 even without CO2 injection. But my water is much more hard at 10 deg.
This can definitely be the case, but its identification can be rather difficult (due to overlapping presentation of symptoms) and working from the basis of nutrient deficiency (far easier to identify) allows, at least, a process of elimination.

I should mention that the use of the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation to estimate static concentrations of CO2 (as you've done) is fraught with issues when used in planted tanks. This is mostly due to the effect of non-carbonate buffers (mostly organics) that renders the calculated CO2 concentration highly overestimated. For e.g. Avril (2014) sampled 761 temperate/tropical water ecosystems, and they compared the measured CO2 concentrations with calculated CO2 concentrations determined using pH and total alkalinity (i.e. KH). They note that calculations were more than 10% higher than measurements in 60% of samples, and more than 100% higher than measured concentrations in 25% of their samples. They attributed this overestimation to the high proportion of non-carbonate based buffers.

Most people use the pH-KH-CO2 relationship as a basis for gauging a relative CO2 concentration increase based on an in-situ relative decrease in pH: generally a 1.0 pH drop approximates an increase in 30 ppm CO2, and people will increase/decrease CO2 injection in response to livestock stress/plant growth.

As for the "optimal" CO2 concentration, that's a matter of contention. Tom Barr suggests 30 for EI dosing, Edward (the developer of PPS) suggests 15 ppm for PPS (note that both have suggested 0 KH as acceptable for planted tanks). Walstad tanks can run on latent 5-10 ppm CO2.

w3amz said:
He has a presence of Phosphorus in the water at 0.25 ppm. That means phosphorus is available for use by the plants.
There is a relationship between nutrient concentration and nutrient uptake in plants typified by the "half-saturation constant" (this is mostly used in enzymatic/bacterial kinetics in the form of the Michaelis-Menten equation). Essentially, plants will require a certain nutrient concentration before nutrient intake can be induced. Many aquatic plants (in comparison to algae and other microphytes) have a relatively high half-saturation constant, that is, they require a much higher nutrient concentration before achieving half of their maximal nutrient intake. More information can be found in this edition of the Barr Report.

So a low reading of any given nutrient might indicate that it's present, but it doesn't suggest that it's otherwise being taken up by plants in a way that's conducive to good growth.
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
Minnowette what is Seachem NPK? is that my Sechem Flourish and Flourish Trace?

Also do you think I should add excel? I really don't have the money for co2 right now but I do have excel in my fish cabinet
 

Inactive User

Member
NPK is an abbreviation for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. By Seachem NPK I was referring to the three separate products: Flourish Nitrogen (N) Flourish (P) Phosphorus and Flourish Potassium (K).

You can add Excel and it can definitely help growth (just don't expect miraculous growth).
 
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DirtyEw0k

Member
Minnowette said:
NPK is an abbreviation for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. By Seachem NPK I was referring to the three separate products: Flourish Nitrogen (N) Flourish (P) Phosphorus and Flourish Potassium (K).

You can add Excel and it can definitely help growth (just don't expect miraculous growth).
Oh okay thank you!
Well growth really isn’t a problem as it is some of my plants are almost growing out of the water they have become so tall. Lol do you know how they do when this happens? Will it effect their leaves? I might just trI'm it down. Its hard to believe 5 months ago they were only like 4” tall haha


2257958D-A210-4C8E-9869-0EA39E6FCCA9.jpeg
 

Inactive User

Member
The effect differs from plant to plant. But in general, I always prune if they're close to the surface.
 

bitseriously

Member
I haven't been following this thread (just found it), but have read up to this point.
I'll absolutely defer to the gurus as to what to use and how to balance, but my tank is similar in some respects, so I thought I'd share, for OP.
I'm also in canada, so I hear you on product options. I'll circle back to that later.
I agree with Minnowette the algae on the leaves is GSA. I think the holing in the leaves is secondary to that problem.
OP I'm agog (that's right, I used "agog") at the growth you have. But I think that's part of the problem. Light should always be your limiting resource, if you want to keep algae at bay. To get the growth rates you're seeing, in the absence of supplemental CO2, you're pushing what appear to my novice eyes to be pretty large amounts of ferts (except N & P) into the water. So the plants have lots of nutrients (likely can't use it all), lots of light, and CO2 is what's limiting them. And the more opportunistic algae are punishing you for it.
I agree, it's awesome when your plants really take off, and you have to trim/thin regularly. It makes me feel like I'm successful, or doing a good job. But, there's a downside too.
Maybe think about dialing things back a bit, and not aiming quite so high in terms of plant growth. Cut your lighting back somewhat (photoperiod or intensity), and cut your ferts back a bit, and tweak what product you're using to match the needs of your plants a bit better.
For my tank, I use a liquid mostly-micros mix that I get from a local aquarist who grows/sells plants, sets up tanks semi-professionally, etc (to my knowledge, he's not on FL ). It's basically micros + K, and I put 10mL into a 33gal twice weekly. I also dose Flourish N lightly (day after fert), because my tanks are not heavily stocked, and I change relatively large amounts weekly. And root tabs as needed. I have a strong light, but I run it at about 55%, to keep plants happier than algae. Finally, I (occasionally) keep track of phosphates with API test kit, just looking to make sure they're above zero, but not more than about 10% of the nitrate levels. So with just two liquid products, I've got everything covered.
By the time you buy multiple seachem products, and go through them faster because they're so diluted, you've already spent more than a single all-in-one product would cost, even if you're paying $10-20 in delivery to get it. In an Amazon Prime world, I agree it's tough to pay for shipping, but that's what it costs to work with smaller providers. Check out Angelfins.ca here in Ontario, they have the NilocG line, including Thrive+, and can ship anywhere in Canada (I think). It has great reviews, as does the seller.
Also, OP can you give a description of the mesh and tubing plant barrier, specifically how it's attached to the tank sides? It looks awesome!
 
  • Thread Starter

DirtyEw0k

Member
bitseriously said:
I haven't been following this thread (just found it), but have read up to this point.
I'll absolutely defer to the gurus as to what to use and how to balance, but my tank is similar in some respects, so I thought I'd share, for OP.
I'm also in canada, so I hear you on product options. I'll circle back to that later.
I agree with Minnowette the algae on the leaves is GSA. I think the holing in the leaves is secondary to that problem.
OP I'm agog (that's right, I used "agog") at the growth you have. But I think that's part of the problem. Light should always be your limiting resource, if you want to keep algae at bay. To get the growth rates you're seeing, in the absence of supplemental CO2, you're pushing what appear to my novice eyes to be pretty large amounts of ferts (except N & P) into the water. So the plants have lots of nutrients (likely can't use it all), lots of light, and CO2 is what's limiting them. And the more opportunistic algae are punishing you for it.
I agree, it's awesome when your plants really take off, and you have to trim/thin regularly. It makes me feel like I'm successful, or doing a good job. But, there's a downside too.
Maybe think about dialing things back a bit, and not aiming quite so high in terms of plant growth. Cut your lighting back somewhat (photoperiod or intensity), and cut your ferts back a bit, and tweak what product you're using to match the needs of your plants a bit better.
For my tank, I use a liquid mostly-micros mix that I get from a local aquarist who grows/sells plants, sets up tanks semi-professionally, etc (to my knowledge, he's not on FL ). It's basically micros + K, and I put 10mL into a 33gal twice weekly. I also dose Flourish N lightly (day after fert), because my tanks are not heavily stocked, and I change relatively large amounts weekly. And root tabs as needed. I have a strong light, but I run it at about 55%, to keep plants happier than algae. Finally, I (occasionally) keep track of phosphates with API test kit, just looking to make sure they're above zero, but not more than about 10% of the nitrate levels. So with just two liquid products, I've got everything covered.
By the time you buy multiple seachem products, and go through them faster because they're so diluted, you've already spent more than a single all-in-one product would cost, even if you're paying $10-20 in delivery to get it. In an Amazon Prime world, I agree it's tough to pay for shipping, but that's what it costs to work with smaller providers. Check out Angelfins.ca here in Ontario, they have the NilocG line, including Thrive+, and can ship anywhere in Canada (I think). It has great reviews, as does the seller.
Also, OP can you give a description of the mesh and tubing plant barrier, specifically how it's attached to the tank sides? It looks awesome!
Alright thanks for the advice. I only do my tank once a week 20%. I never see Nirates above 5 unless I dose nitrogen which I haven’t been doing. I got lazy. I gotta be nicer to my tank my poor anubias suffers when I don’t dose but i’ve had such a crazy work schedule I forget till the evening and its not going to do much good when the lights go out soon after lol

I have my husbands family in Washington State that is only about an hour and a half away. I was thinking about stocking up when I go down there for a couple days next month. I have seen it there. His dad just had a baby so I wanna ho down. Weird that hes got a baby brother at this age but hes so cute. Sorry getting off topic lol Omg I just went and looked at amazon its not prime but its showing as faster than before. Maybe I should get some. Before it wasn’t going to arrive till the end of October. Now its saying latest mid October. I’ll order a small one and get more when I go into the states

Oh and for the mesh I bought it on hanaquatics.com the metal ones are sharp which is why I cut open some tubing and used zip ties to hold it in place. You can buy them in plastic also. They will cut them to any length, width or shape you need. They are called floating plant guards. You can get them with moss on them too if you like. They make some cool stuff fir shrimp tanks.

The one that goes across the tank was self made. I just went to my lfs and bought those littke tubing holder suction cups and tied fishing line to it. I saw a video with that idea and thought it was brilliant. He left the fishing line exposed tho which I didn’t like so I just got a hanger and taped the fishing line onto the end and fed it through the tub. Its just your larger size tubing. Pick any color you want. Took me 5 mins to make.

Just popped onto hanaquatics.com and realised they sell thrive liquid and tabs. Their shipping was fast so I should see if they can ship it. You gotta email them tho if you live in Canada because their site only works for Americans but it was so simple and fast. They have a secured transfer and give you the shipping costs before they finish it.

Oh one more question I noticed they have all-in-one thrive, all-in-one thrive for low tech tanks and all-in-one thrive for shrimp. Which one should I be getting?
 

bitseriously

Member
Go for the low tech product, IMO.
And thanks for the tips on screens/guards etc. I'm always looking for improvements.
This one (Sharing My Self-adjusting Corral For Floating Plants) works really well from day to day, but during water changes when the water level drops, the floating ring can get hung up on plants or driftwood and stuff floats away under the ring.
 
  • Thread Starter

DirtyEw0k

Member
bitseriously said:
Go for the low tech product, IMO.
And thanks for the tips on screens/guards etc. I'm always looking for improvements.
This one (Sharing My Self-adjusting Corral For Floating Plants) works really well from day to day, but during water changes when the water level drops, the floating ring can get hung up on plants or driftwood and stuff floats away under the ring.
oh geez yea that one seems like a good idea in theory but it looks kind of bulky and not very sturdy
 
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