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What will eat this algae?

This is a discussion on What will eat this algae? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Thzayt's looking nice; as the plants grow in, it will fill up nicely. I see I didn't answer your Excel question, sorry I missed ...

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What will eat this algae?
Old 03-16-2011, 01:24 PM   #31
 
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Thzayt's looking nice; as the plants grow in, it will fill up nicely.

I see I didn't answer your Excel question, sorry I missed it. No, I do not use it or recommend it. Excel is a carbon additive, and leaving aside the issue of its difference from CO2, I do not recommend adding carbon by either method in a low-tech or natural method system. Maintaining a balance betweeen light and nutrients is the key to any successful healthy planted aquarium, and once you start increasing one specific part of that equation, like carbon, you are upsetting the existing balance and moving it to a higher level which means increasing light and other nutrients to maintain a balance. Keep it simple.

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Old 03-16-2011, 02:31 PM   #32
 
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Byron, I was going to get the Excel and get rid of my big 16.9 fl. oz bottle of Florish Comrehensive as I noticed when I used it the algae got worse on my tanks glass. You said that this stuff if the best but how much of it should I be using? I have a two 3 gal, 6 gal, 10 gal, 20 gal, 30 gal. size tanks.The directions say 1 cap for every 60 gal, so my 30 gal. would be 1/2 cap not sure about the small ones maybe 1/8 tsp. It says once or twice a week. Should I use it when doing my weekly water changes or once a month. I'm just not sure and was going to craigslist it or take to my fish club auction. I have 1 15 watt bulb and all low light plants and on a timer for 7 hrs a day for light. I also do a 20-25% water change at the end of each week.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:43 PM   #33
 
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You purchased a T5HO and you have a 15 gallon? Perhaps I missed something on the tank size and light reading your thread, if so, I apologize
If this is so, you still have a lot of light. The T5HO bulbs are much higher output than some other types. You can't really use the watts/gallon calculation for T5 bulbs (for T5HO you'll need to multiply by about 1.8 X wattage for the"translated" watts/gallon equivalency). It depends also, on the depth of the tank and/or the distance above the tank the light is suspended.
I do use Excel, and am happy with it, but it does add complexity to managing the balance to which Byron refers. It also adds cost and some plants don't seem to care for Excel at all. On a related note, the active chemical in Excel is actually pretty nasty to human health (lungs, specifically), but the Excel concentration is only about 1.5%

Last edited by DKRST; 03-16-2011 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:02 PM   #34
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
Byron, I was going to get the Excel and get rid of my big 16.9 fl. oz bottle of Florish Comrehensive as I noticed when I used it the algae got worse on my tanks glass. You said that this stuff if the best but how much of it should I be using? I have a two 3 gal, 6 gal, 10 gal, 20 gal, 30 gal. size tanks.The directions say 1 cap for every 60 gal, so my 30 gal. would be 1/2 cap not sure about the small ones maybe 1/8 tsp. It says once or twice a week. Should I use it when doing my weekly water changes or once a month. I'm just not sure and was going to craigslist it or take to my fish club auction. I have 1 15 watt bulb and all low light plants and on a timer for 7 hrs a day for light. I also do a 20-25% water change at the end of each week.
Eileen, Excel is simply carbon, nothing more (in terms of nutrients), so it is not a general or comprehensive/complete fertilizer. As you undoubtedly know from my many posts, plants require some 17 nutrients, of which carbon is only one, albeit a macro-nutrient. Unless all 17 are available, plants can't utilize more carbon, or more light, etc. That balance again.

There is a lot more carbon from CO2 in most aquaria than many realize; fish obviously produce it during respiration, but so do plants--and so does bacteria, and there is more CO2 from bacteria than the fish and plants combined. Provided the other nutrients are also present, and the light is adequate (in intensity, spectrum and duration), the plants will be thriving. Slower growth, yes, but I see nothing wrong with that if it means dumping less stuff into the fish's environment.

I use Flourish Comprehensive twice weekly, and I pretty much have to or my swords begin to yellow. I set up my 70g two weeks ago with Flourite substrate, the first time I have used an enriched substrate; it will be interesting to see if the swords (this tank is my flooded Amazon forest, full of Echinodorus species) do better and also if I can go down to once weekly. Anyway, they recommend what amounts to 2.5 ml or 1/2 teaspoon Flourish for each 30 gallons; I use a plastic 1/2 tsp measuring spoon. In my 33g I use a full spoonful per dose. For my 10g I use almost a full spoonful. For your smaller tanks, I would use a 1/4 teaspoon and not worry about it. Probably once a week will suffice; you have to observe the plants' response and if yellowing leaves appear go to twice weekly.

Definitely use it weekly; it is not going to last a month, unless perhaps overdosed, but that could cause other problems. And a day after the water change, as conditioners that detoxify heavy metals will negate the micro-nutrients that are heavy metals (iron, zinc, nickel, manganese, copper) if used consecutively, according to Seachem.

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Old 03-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #35
 
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Thanks Byron, I have been putting plant tabs at the bottom of my sword plants. My tanks all have pool filter sand and I do not vacumme the sand ever. If the sand gets algae or looks dirty I rub small sections in my hands and it comes clean.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:19 PM   #36
 
Ok, still cyano free and added my first round of Flourish today. Let's see how this goes! :)
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:33 PM   #37
 
I am finding that excel + Flourish comprehensive is useful for getting plants to grow rapidly in a small span of time. When i use the combination on my tanks, my plants get established faster, and i get less of a "plant melting" period. However, in an established tank, I need to add additional iron and potassium if I use excel and flurish comp.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:49 PM   #38
 
Update:

The cyano kept coming back, though much more slowly, despite the awesome advice. I had given up on it and for other reasons changed my substrate. That was a good 6+ months ago and not a shred of cyano since.

A bit more research suggests the issue may have been too much iron. My old substrate was 'black beauty' which I understand is often created from ironworks slag. My new substrate is EcoComplete. According to some sources, cyano thrives in the presence of iron.

I wanted to share this update in case others have a similar situation: check for iron sources in the tank. :)

P.S. My plants look fabulous now!! :D
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