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  1. #31

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by dman
    What do I need to supply this? I thought I covered this before with another post, but I have been dosing Flourish once a week as per directions, and excel every other day. I was doing Leaf Zone once a week too but stopped because I wasn't sure if that was causing this problem or not because it seemed to start around the same time I started that. But I am guessing now it is unrelated. I know when I test the water, I never have any nitrates, even after a week or so, then I end up doing the PWC anyways. Does it sound like the plants are using it all up and I need more? If so, what is a product that supplies that? Thanks.
    I've read this entire thread and there is a few things that haven't been discussed.

    How often do you do water changes and how much?

    How often do you vacuum your substrate? What are you using for substrate?

    What are your water parameters? By saying you don't have nitrates is vague.

    Here's the rub that I don't understand. You say that you don't have nitrates, but yet you're dosing with ferts. Why? Ferts are more concentrated than nitrates from fish food. poop, ect. If you already have enough Iron in your water and you're adding more Iron via ferts, this is going to cause a imbalance. The same can be said about any other mineral or vitamin found in ferts. Too much of anything is a bad thing. Unless you know for sure that the ferts you are putting in are being used up immediately by the plants when you put it in, you're chasing your tail using such methods.

    Are your plants showing symptoms of being Iron deficient or are you just adding them because you think they need it? Red Sea Master Test Kit and I'm sure a few others have Iron tests in them. You can also test for Phosphates, Calcium and a number of other things.

    I'm the square peg trying to fit into a round hole when I comes to Excel as it's highly overused and makes people lazy as opposed to dealing with actual problems, but it makes no sense to me to use ferts when you don't know what your plants are using and or need.

    I'm presently battling a Phosphate problem in my 55 gallon. I do not use CO2, Excel, ect. It's a low tech tank and I had hunt and get a few more gray hairs before I figured out the cause which was the fish food I was using. I've been battling with Diatoms which continue to improve as Phosphate levels slowly come down. It's a lightly planted tank but the plants I have were not able to soak up the gobs of phosphates that was being dumped in voa fish food on a daily basis so I had to deal with source of the problem which in my case, was the fish food I was feeding.

    Odds are I'm completely off base here, but this concept of using ferts in place of nitrates which naturally occur in a tank makes no sense.
    Last edited by Zilla; 04-07-2010 at 02:38 PM.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  2. #32

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    I do water changes every 7-10 days or so and usually about 40-50%. I vacuum the substrate each time I do the changes, and pretty much cover as much of the substrate as I can, which usually takes up about 50% of the water. I am using flourite for the substrate. I don't have a phospate test as the previous poster mentioned so I guess I should get something to test for that. When I test, the pH is around 6.6-6.8, and ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are always 0. I guess I dosed those ferts because when I started the tank, I asked for some advice in the forums here and thats what I came up with. So yeah, I guess I am doing it because I thought they were needed. I'm not sure if the plants are showing signs of iron deficiency, all I know is they appear to be doing well. The anubias have grown a lot since I have planted them, and new leaves have formed. The Amazon sword has grown a lot, and the red melon sword has new leaves growing up from the middle that aren't very tall yet, but I would imagine it is because of the light. I have 2-25 watt 36" tubes that are overdriven on a 4 bulb ballast. I leave the lights on for about 9 hours a day. So would say it would be a good start to stop dosing the ferts and test for phospates to see if I have too much? Dosing excel it still ok to do though right? Thanks for all the advice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zilla
    I've read this entire thread and there is a few things that haven't been discussed.

    How often do you do water changes and how much?

    How often do you vacuum your substrate? What are you using for substrate?

    What are your water parameters? By saying you don't have nitrates is vague.

    Here's the rub that I don't understand. You say that you don't have nitrates, but yet you're dosing with ferts. Why? Ferts are more concentrated than nitrates from fish food. poop, ect. If you already have enough Iron in your water and you're adding more Iron via ferts, this is going to cause a imbalance. The same can be said about any other mineral or vitamin found in ferts. Too much of anything is a bad thing. Unless you know for sure that the ferts you are putting in are being used up immediately by the plants when you put it in, you're chasing your tail using such methods.

    Are your plants showing symptoms of being Iron deficient or are you just adding them because you think they need it? Red Sea Master Test Kit and I'm sure a few others have Iron tests in them. You can also test for Phosphates, Calcium and a number of other things.

    I'm the square peg trying to fit into a round hole when I comes to Excel as it's highly overused and makes people lazy as opposed to dealing with actual problems, but it makes no sense to me to use ferts when you don't know what your plants are using and or need.

    I'm presently battling a Phosphate problem in my 55 gallon. I do not use CO2, Excel, ect. It's a low tech tank and I had hunt and get a few more gray hairs before I figured out the cause which was the fish food I was using. I've been battling with Diatoms which continue to improve as Phosphate levels slowly come down. It's a lightly planted tank but the plants I have were not able to soak up the gobs of phosphates that was being dumped in voa fish food on a daily basis so I had to deal with source of the problem which in my case, was the fish food I was feeding.

    Odds are I'm completely off base here, but this concept of using ferts in place of nitrates which naturally occur in a tank makes no sense.
    50 gallon planted low tech tank with driftwood

    Inhabitants:

    3 honey gouramis
    11 harlequin rasboras
    9 cardinal and neon tetras
    4 otos
    5 sterbai corys
    1 bristlenose pleco
    1 bamboo shrimp and a whole bunch of red cherry shrimp!

  3. #33

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    0 Not allowed!
    It's your tank. If you want to use Excel, go ahead. However, do know that if there is a underlying problem that hasn't been dealt with, it's going to come back to haunt you once you take Excel out of the picture. I personally would rather see you deal with the issue so that you don't have deal with this again, but that's your call. I suspect that you're frustrated and want the problem fixed which is perfectly normal, but when it comes to problem solving one needs to have some patience.

    What type of tests are you using? If you are using strips, try a liquid test. I mention this because you're doing water changes once a week, which is great. You're also vacuuming which is also excellent, but since both are only being done once a week, there should be some nitrate. If you are already using a liquid kit, please check the expiration date. If it's bad, get a new kit.

    The word Flourite tends to be overused around here. Are you using regular Flourite or sand? If it's the regular stuff, you shouldn't need to dose with Iron as there is Iron already in it. It's always there and is only used when the plant needs it. Leaf Zone is a Iron / Potassium supplement or fert. If you have either or both of these in your water, adding more doesn't make for a better situation as the source is replenished when you do a water change.

    Here's a link to a page that explains what to look for when plants are showing problems or are having nutrient issues. This is one of who knows how many, so if you don't like this page, find one that you like. http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm

    How often are you dosing with ferts and how much?

    Since you are dosing with Iron and have no idea whether all of it is being abosrbed or not, I'd look into a Iron test kit. Your Swords are planted directly into the substrate, so unless they start showing signs of problems, they don't need anything else. If they start to look alittle off, they'll need a root tab once a month and they don't need anything else.

    I've read around here that Anubias need Iron. I don't know where that came from, but Anubias are slow growers as a general rule. Good lighting will help any plant to grow, but again, the question is whether you have excessive amounts of Iron kicking around in the tank. You won't know until you test for it and to keep dosing with Iron that may not be needed could very well be the whole problem. I don't know who told you that or why without confirming whether it was actually needed or not, but it was bad advice.

    Think about this for a second. If you have a slow growing plant and you keep tossing ferts at it which the plant will not absorb, where is all the excess ferts? In the water column. You also need to get rid of those nasty leaves. You said they were attached to the wood you have the plant tied to, but a good pair trimmers will take care of that.

    The advice you were given is not working. You can continue to do it and not get anywhere, or you can try something else...
    Last edited by Zilla; 04-09-2010 at 01:37 PM.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  4. #34

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    0 Not allowed!
    Not to bring this thread back from the dead, but there is a article in the May edition of Tropical Fish Hobbyist that may make for a interesting read. The article starts on page 13 and it's called "Black Fuzzy Algae".

    Since no picture was provided, the article states that the mysterious algae cannot be indentified by description alone, they do however discuss several forms of algae that fall under the description and how to deal with it.

    Just a FYI...
    Last edited by Zilla; 04-11-2010 at 01:46 PM.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  5. #35

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    Sorry it took so long to post again, but I wanted to be sure to get back to you guys. First off, I am using an API liquid test kit and it is not expired. I tested today as it has been 10 days since I did a 50% water change. The pH was 6.6, Ammonia and Nitrites 0, and Nitrates 5. And I am using regular Flourite (black, not the sand). I haven't used Leaf Zone in a couple of months, and if too much Potassium can cause this algae, maybe that is what started it. It does seem that this algae started to grow after I started putting in the Leaf Zone. I didn't think that would hurt it, and I only did it once a week as per the amount listed on the bottle. Since I stopped, the beard algae has not multiplied, and in fact it seems it may even be slowly getting less. I have been using Flourish each time I do a water change (a capful), but I did not put in any this time if you think that may help. I have been using Excel (one capful every couple days) for awhile now. I was not using that as a quick fix, but as I thought the carbon supplement is good. When I asked if I can still use that, I didnt mean to use it to fix the tank, but because I thought it is good to use. I did put root tabs in for the swords a couple months ago too. I trimmed some plants down today as well. I know that I cut the leaves off the ones attached to the wood, that is not what I was worried about. I was just hoping I could remove the algae and keep the plants there as they have rooted nicely on the wood and didnt want to disturb them, but if I have to remove the whole plant and get a new one, then I guess I will have to do that. So just to make sure I am on the right page here, would the best thing for me to do next is get a test for iron and potassium? Thanks again!
    50 gallon planted low tech tank with driftwood

    Inhabitants:

    3 honey gouramis
    11 harlequin rasboras
    9 cardinal and neon tetras
    4 otos
    5 sterbai corys
    1 bristlenose pleco
    1 bamboo shrimp and a whole bunch of red cherry shrimp!

  6. #36

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    A fish for your AC Tank! - Northernguy   Chill Pill for sure.  :) - Lady Hobbs   here's a frontosa for giving good advice - Crispy   Thank you for all the advice - Cliff   You must be a member of the Gourami Mafia too! - Rhaethe   

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    I don't know and my thinking cap is hanging on a hook somewhere. This reply is just letting you know that I've read your response, but I can't wrap my brain around it.

    You asked about using Excel, but then you say you've been using Excel? I also get the impression that you've been using ferts, but are not really sure if you need them? I've said it before and I'll say it again. If the plants are not absorbing what you are feeding them, that would cause a imbalance.

    Maybe Dave or somebody will chime in. My response of there lack of is not about you or anybody here. My son almost found himself dead yesterday from being stupid on his bike. He'll be okay, but I will be putting myself in a time out.

    I've done further research regarding BBA on other forums. I landed on a thread on the Plant Geek forum that suggested that the causes for BBA were due to the following:

    1. Low Oxygen level
    2. Insufficient water circulation
    3. Organic build-up
    4. Un-cycled aquarium

    It's one of those issues that nobody seems to agree on. Some say that it can be caused just because light bulbs haven't been changed, it can come from cross-contamination, the things I listed above, ect.

    I guess it's pick one, try it for awhile and see how it goes. If it's organic build-up, that's simple enough to fix as is lack of oxygen and increasing water circulation. If the bulbs that you are using are 8-12 months old, replace them and see if that helps.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  7. #37

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    Potassium will not cause any problems. It is needed for plants to use the other macros but an overabundance will cause no problems.

    If the stoppage of ferts seems to be helping then I would remove the worst of the infected leaves and see how it goes. A reduction of the photo period can help as well.

  8. #38

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    Ok I will not dose any ferts and try to get rid of the stuff that is on there. I tried the hydrogen peroxide and it seems to be working on stuff that is on the wood but not the leaves. However I tried shooting excel directly on some leaves and that is going away. So maybe I will try that on the leaves that I don't want to cut and see if it works. Then hopefully it won't come back. Thanks again for all the help.
    50 gallon planted low tech tank with driftwood

    Inhabitants:

    3 honey gouramis
    11 harlequin rasboras
    9 cardinal and neon tetras
    4 otos
    5 sterbai corys
    1 bristlenose pleco
    1 bamboo shrimp and a whole bunch of red cherry shrimp!

  9. #39

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by dman
    When I test, the pH is around 6.6-6.8
    Did you state somewhere that you are injecting CO2?

    If your not, you have a big problem!

    There is no way you can have a PH of below 7.5ish without CO2 unless your KH is naturally very low or you’re using “PH Down”.

    Are you using tab water to fill your tank?

    Buy a KH test kit; they are very easy to use. The test kit will ask you to put 5ml of water into the test tube and add one drop of the regent at a time. Each drop equals 1 KH. The number of drops it takes to change the color of the solution equals the KH. You can also double the starting solution to 10ml. In this case each drop of regent equals one half a KH point, enabling you to get a bit more accurate reading.

    Test your tap waters KH and tell us what you get.

    You want a KH of at “least” 6-7, if you don’t get this add a teaspoon of Baking Powder to your full water bucket, mix and test. If the KH is adequate 6-10 then just continue doing this with every water change and over the course of 4-5 water changes your buffer will climb to a stable level. “Without Co2 injection” and a KH in the 6-10 range you will get a PH from about 7.5 to 7.8.

    You state you’re getting very low Nitrate readings, yes. Then 50% water changes in your case are totally unnecessary. 20-25%, water changes are far more then large enough to replace nutrients for seven days on a non Co2 injected tank. Do not add fertilizers and make sure you do the water changes once every 7 days, like clockwork. Not 7 to 10. Do them every 7 days!

    Use excel as directed on the bottle until you see the hair algae start to turn red, once this happens do one more water change with it, then stop using it with your changes.

    Buy a Phosphate test kit.

    If you really are getting low Nitrates then your plants are using them up. If this is the case and you have readable Phosphate, this is your problem. A Nitrate limited aquarium is a breeding ground for algae (this I have just proven, and Tom Barr has totally agreed with my findings on this). Nitrate is a far more critical nutrient to plant growth then Phosphate. If you can get Phosphate as your plants growth bottleneck and the other nutrients are not to far behind you’ll clear out all hair algae and only have to deal with subtle amounts of Green Spot Algae.

    My remedy for this situation would be to purchase a few more fish and up your tanks Nitrate production. With more Nitrates available your plants will be able to absorb more of the excess Phosphate and your algae situation will improve.

    Questions? Ask away.

  10. #40

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    Hi there. No I am not injecting CO2, and I use tap water with a dechlorinator. And I do not use pH down or any other additives. I just use stress coat to dechlorinate when I change the water, and excel now since I stopped using flourite. The reason I am doing 50% water changes is because I am using a python to vacuum the gravel and by the time I get all the surface, it usually ends up taking up that much water. I figured I don't need to do that much, but that doesnt hurt anything to take more water does it? I am not sure what you mean by I have a big problem. I don't know if this is too soon to tell, but like I mentioned, this beard algae has not been increasing, and not only is the stuff dying off that I shot with the peroxide or excel, but also some of the rest of it appears to be dying off. You mention hair algae in your post, do you mean beard algae, because I do not have any hair algae.

    I will get a phosphate kit though next time I go to the store and post the results (that is what a KH test kit is, right?). I also plan on getting a couple more larger centerpiece type of fish. I just can't decide and keep putting it off :) Thank you for your comments and when I test the phosphate, I will let you know.
    50 gallon planted low tech tank with driftwood

    Inhabitants:

    3 honey gouramis
    11 harlequin rasboras
    9 cardinal and neon tetras
    4 otos
    5 sterbai corys
    1 bristlenose pleco
    1 bamboo shrimp and a whole bunch of red cherry shrimp!

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