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post #21 of 26 Old 03-04-2008, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
Remove about 2"-2 1/2" of your substrate. Beef up the filtration by adding a ugf with reverse flow power heads and a power filter. Use the Marineland 660r power heads. Also add a power filter, something along the lines of a Marineland 350.
I did not follow this advice and have no intentions of doing any of this. I think this is just wrong and perhaps some of the worst advice I've received after posting this exact thread on 5 different forums.

Pull all plants and decorations and rinse them thoroughly under clean warm tap water. No soap. While everything is out of the tank perform a heavy sweep of the tank with your siphon draining 50% of the water. Add an algaecide, I use AlgaeFix, per the directions.

I hate to inform you that you will need to spend money to fix the problem, but the tank will be better for it. And you will have pretty nice set up, too.
And again, nope, there is no need to spend a lot of money to figure this out and solve the problem. I'm not trying to be unappreciative, I just really think this is wrong. It will certainly be my last resort, if all else fails.

I found a very good link regarding algae, emailed the author who identified the Algae for me and referred me to this link:
Rhizoclonium (Algae) - How to get rid of it by Tom Barr

After following some very helpful advice here's what the tank looks like now.

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post #22 of 26 Old 03-04-2008, 11:22 AM
First of all, I did not only recommend the thinning of your substrate for the just the plants sake. The weight alone of the gravel will lead to compaction. When the substrate compacts two things happen. One is the roots cannot spread easily. The second thing is bacteria die off. When this happens, deadly methane can build up in the substrate. This can not only cause the death of plants and fish, this stuff BLOWS UP!!!! As in KA-BOOM!!! EXPLODES!!! I have never had it happen, but I've never tested that theory either. Nor do I want to. I know of no fishkeeper, and I know a couple or so, that has ever used a substrate as deep as 5" over the entire bottom of the tank. 3" is more than sufficient. Especially using a product as good as Eco-Complete. Complete and total overkill. Oh, you can do gravel sweeps more often than I do to prevent the compaction, but wouldn't that upset the root growth of the plants? (just thinking out loud here) You might have to do it every 2 weeks. I sweep and stir mine about every 4-6 months.(it's twu it's twu)

Also, by adding the filtration, and using carbon to filter out any excess nutrients in the water, you pull food from the algae. And sweeping the tank, you pull any unwated plant growth(algae, again) from the tank. not to mention the nutrients in the water column will be dillueted with the new water added. And the carbon has a two fold purpose by adding carbon to the water column. Maybe not to the extent of some liquid products on the market, but rather in smaller quanitities. The filters would also clear your water allowing more light to reach your plants, enhancing their growth cycle. A neat concept, is it not? Cleaning you decorations, substrate, and plants of unwanted material(algae, maybe) will force the algae to start over thus lessening the available nutrients. (could this really be true?)

So, bad advice? I hardly think so. I have never, let me repeat, never, ever had the experience you've just gone through in my tanks. Not even once or a little bit. And I've set up a few new tanks as I have been hanging around the hobby a little longer than most. I think that I can attribute my good fortune to common sense, good aquarium basics, good filtration, good lighting, good substrate, practicing what I've learned, and a little patience.
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post #23 of 26 Old 03-04-2008, 11:57 AM
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That is some pretty big improvements for less than 4 days. What did you do to correct it? That is your tank again right? Just a big change is all.

Tom Barr is good at what he does, he is the one who got me to dose EI. I chatted with him many times and he helped me through figuring it all out. Excess of all nutrients to allow the plants to thrive and outcompete the algae. I have also tested this theory as he has and the only way I could induce algae was to let something bottom out as far nutrients. Nitrates, phosphates, calcium, Mg iron or whatever it was always led to some sort of algae if I didn't dose it for a week.

I think it works 2 ways, minimul dosing to make sure there is just enough for the plants and if something runs out then there is so little of anything else that algae doesn't go crazy or excess dosing of everything to make sure that nothing ever runs out so the plants can outcompete the algae so that algae can not thrive.

Just shows that there is more than one way to grow plants in this hobby.

As for 5 inches of substrate, I have never seen this either. Not sure if Mr. Barr would recommend it or not with Eco complete. If I did have that much I would have an army of Malaysian trumpet snails to prevent anarobic pockets of methane and sulfur gases from forming and potentially doing some really nasty stuff to the fish and possibly myself.
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post #24 of 26 Old 03-04-2008, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
Herefishy: I just think your advice is a little bit along the lines of something like this:

I have an 4-wheel drive F150 Ford and it makes a noise when I crank it.

Oh, you should get rid of it and get a Toyota. That's what I have and I never have problems with it.

As for 5 inches of substrate, I have never seen this either. Not sure if Mr. Barr would recommend it or not with Eco complete. If I did have that much I would have an army of Malaysian trumpet snails to prevent anarobic pockets of methane and sulfur gases from forming and potentially doing some really nasty stuff to the fish and possibly myself.
Well first of all, it's not 5" it's probably 4", and it's not 4" of Eco-Complete, it's probably 60% Flourite and 40% Eco-Complete.
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post #25 of 26 Old 03-04-2008, 12:22 PM
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FYI, rhizoclonium algae is also refered to as hair/thread/beard algae.

The substrate might work. Just make sure to keep it stirred once in a while to prevent the worst case scenario. I never had sulfur gas pockets either in my tanks until they were well over 6 months old and I didn't know to stir the substrate for oxygenation. Now I never have to worry about that rotten egg smell blasting me in the face and almost knocking me out ever again. And that was using expoxy coated LFS gravel not Eco complete with all the organic matter it has in it to start with.

As for the Ford truck, if I had a noise like that I would try to fix it before it won't start in the middle of the forest after dark in 100mph winds in a blinding blizzard with no phone reception and no food depending on the truck to keep me warm.

An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of treatment.
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post #26 of 26 Old 03-04-2008, 12:40 PM
This thread is going nowhere fast. Thread locked.
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