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treating bga with maracyn?

This is a discussion on treating bga with maracyn? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Unrulyevil Actually carbon lowers amount of Nitrates, Nitrites in aquarium there for having direct impact on bba or bga remember ... ...

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treating bga with maracyn?
Old 05-20-2009, 03:51 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by Unrulyevil View Post
Actually carbon lowers amount of Nitrates, Nitrites in aquarium there for having direct impact on bba or bga
remember ... no food no grow! Bottom line is that carbon detoxifies your water leaving less food for your algae... any algae.

Cyanobacteria: phylum of prokaryotic aguatic bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis. They are often referred to as blue-green algae, even though it is now known that they are not related to any of the other algal groups, which are all eukaryotes. Cyanobacteria may be single-celled or colonial. Depending upon the species and environmental conditions, colonies may form filaments, sheets or even hollow balls. Some filamentous colonies show the ability to differentiate into three different cell types. Despite their name, different species can be red, brown, or yellow; blooms (dense masses on the surface of a body of water) of a red species are said to have given the Red Sea its name. There are two main sorts of pigmentation. Most cyanobacteria contain chlorophyll a, together with various proteins called phycobilins, which give the cells a typical blue-green to grayish-brown colour. A few genera, however, lack phycobilins and have chlorophyll b as well as a, giving them a bright green colour.
Unlike bacteria, which are heterotrophic decomposers of the wastes and bodies of other organisms, cyanobacteria contain the green pigment chlorophyll (as well as other pigments), which traps the energy of sunlight and enables these organisms to carry on photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria are thus autotrophic producers of their own food from simple raw materials. Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria need only nitrogen and carbon dioxide to live: they are able to fix nitrogen gas, which cannot be absorbed by plants, into ammonia (NH3), nitrites (NO2) or nitrates (NO3), which can be absorbed by plants and converted to protein and nucleic acids.
Lots of useful info here, but a couple of comments. I wasn't aware (or more likely have forgotten in my advancing years) that carbon removes nitrates. I expect that is why all planted tank enthusiasts recommend against carbon in the filter system. I also don't think it is prudent to tamper with normal biological processes except of course when something goes wrong and needs attention.

I am a bit curious though, since several authorities indicate that low nitrates cause cyanobacteria, not high nitrates, so if carbon filtration removes nitrates it would actually serve to improve conditions for cyanobacteria. There is info on this at the Aquatic Gardeners site Aquatic Gardeners Association and the Krib Cyanobacteria (Blue-green Algae) where there are 27 individual postings on cyanobacteria. The concensus is that it occurs under low nitrates, not high. Regular partial water changes are also the recommended way of keeping it minimal. There is considerable discussion as well on the use of maracyn and other antibiotics. I still do not support this, as it is better to provide a healthy environment for the fish and the experience of many shows that cyanobacteria does not become a problem under good maintenance.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:17 PM   #22
 
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I do agree with you that carbon is not too good for planted tank since it reduces amounts of "nutrients" that can be otherwise absorbed by the plants. With that said..one has to find a balance between plants and their ability to consume, use all of the available nutrients so that nothing is left for algae. Agreed? Now.. if you are starting out and your plants are not up to the challenge of using their dose of nutrients or.... your nutrient overcome plant intake you might need to scale back on them.. one way is to carbon filter your tank to make sure there is no excess .. and on top of that water changes are a plus!

My own example: 29 gal tank. with 130w lighting, no ferts, no co2.
With carbon... poor plant growth .. but algae needs cleaning ones every 3 weeks and only one 10% water change.
With no carbon... good plant grow..but requires water changes every 3 days of about 40% + algae comes back easily.

P.S. I do know that my biological cycle is a little messed up, I'm working on it right now :)
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:57 PM   #23
 
then according to this data, to be sure it kill off all of the bga, even the weakened dormant ones, i need to dose my tank? Cuz otherwise there's no sure way to kill off the remaining bga. Also, my tank water has NOT been changed for over 4 months before i came home and the bga was all over. My nitrates should have been through the roof because my plants werent growing and the bga was everywhere so im a bit cofused about teh whole nitrates and bga growth. Also, as i said before, my carbon hasnt been changed in over 4 months also so they werent cleaning my tank of nitrates either.

in the Krib, one of them mentions that cyano contributes to low nitrates, does that indicate that bga may, in a way, be beneficial to the aquarium?
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:11 AM   #24
 
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then according to this data, to be sure it kill off all of the bga, even the weakened dormant ones, i need to dose my tank? Cuz otherwise there's no sure way to kill off the remaining bga. Also, my tank water has NOT been changed for over 4 months before i came home and the bga was all over. My nitrates should have been through the roof because my plants werent growing and the bga was everywhere so im a bit cofused about teh whole nitrates and bga growth. Also, as i said before, my carbon hasnt been changed in over 4 months also so they werent cleaning my tank of nitrates either.

in the Krib, one of them mentions that cyano contributes to low nitrates, does that indicate that bga may, in a way, be beneficial to the aquarium?
There is nothing confusing, you got it right.. your nitrates were through the roof, promoting algae grow.

But! in the long run.. algae has saved your tank from becoming a swamp, by eating excess nutrients.

#1-Lower your nitrates by doing water changes.
#2-Keep them low (tricky park) several options here.
#3-Remove effected plants, keep aquarium clean.
#4- Light ..depending how many wpg you have should stay on no more than 12 hours. More than 4.5 wpg light can stay on for 9 hours a day, less than 4 .. around 12.
#5-Make sure you invest in to timer.
#6- If you want to have self efficient planted tank.. remove carbon out of your filter.. at this point it does not do anything.. and please do water changes 50% every 3 to 4 days.
#7- Add new plants and start supporting them with Co2. (DIY Co2 will do the job)
Success of your tank depends on you,until your tank stabilizes it self.. you need to keep closer eye on it. You can also invest in to new plants! and NO dosing! it's like throwing gas in to the fire!

ohh.. and one more thing.. you will NEVER EVER get reed of algae 100%.. so dont try... get some ottos! :)

Stop putting chemicals in to your tank! you killing it! There is no easy fast solution for problems associated with planted tank... takes time and lots of patients!

Last edited by Unrulyevil; 05-21-2009 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:40 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Unrulyevil View Post
I do agree with you that carbon is not too good for planted tank since it reduces amounts of "nutrients" that can be otherwise absorbed by the plants. With that said..one has to find a balance between plants and their ability to consume, use all of the available nutrients so that nothing is left for algae. Agreed? Now.. if you are starting out and your plants are not up to the challenge of using their dose of nutrients or.... your nutrient overcome plant intake you might need to scale back on them.. one way is to carbon filter your tank to make sure there is no excess .. and on top of that water changes are a plus!

My own example: 29 gal tank. with 130w lighting, no ferts, no co2.
With carbon... poor plant growth .. but algae needs cleaning ones every 3 weeks and only one 10% water change.
With no carbon... good plant grow..but requires water changes every 3 days of about 40% + algae comes back easily.

P.S. I do know that my biological cycle is a little messed up, I'm working on it right now :)
Your problem here is without any doubt too much light. You have 130w over a 29g tank which is way too high without CO2. It's no wonder you have problems with algae and need to resort to carbon and massive (by comparison) water changes and still have algae problems. Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying--I do not know anywhere near all there is about this, and I am not a biologist-- but I have read a great deal of info from reliable sources and have 15+ years experience with planted aquaria. Without CO2 addition, 1-2 watts of light per gallon is all that is necessary.

I have approximately 1 watt per gallon, being two 40w tubes over both my 70g and 90g tanks, and if you look at the photos under my "Aquariums" tab I think you will agree the plants are thriving and you can see very little algae. I experimented with liquid fertilizer (knowing some would be needed to supply trace elements and minerals not in the tap water or aquarium) and have worked it out to twice weekly with Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive; once a week and the plants begin showing yellowing leaves. The light (which is on for 13 hours a day, plus there is a large west-facing window with blinds to control the daylight) balances the CO2 produced by the fish and the nutrients so the plants utilize the light and nutrients before the algae is able. There is some algae, as in every aquarium that is biologically matured and balanced, but it is under control and only once has cyanobacteria appeared and that was a month ago and only on one plant stem.

I don't know what you might mean by "algae needs cleaning" but in my setups I scrape the front glass every week when I do the weekly partial water change of 40%. I almost never see algae when I do this, but I do it because from experience I know that there will be minute spots that I can't see but if not removed will become large enough to see before next week. I have brush algae on the wood, and I leave it alone. Sometimes it spreads to a plant leaf, and when I consider it too much for the good of the plant I remove the leaf. This has been by maintenance program for years.

I would suggest that you seriously consider reducing your light. I'm attaching a photo of a former tank that I dismantled last November when I moved the rockwork and plants into my 70g. This was a 33g so similar to your 29g, and I had one 20w full spectrum tube on for 13 hours a day, which is not even 1 watt per gallon. The plants are low light, anubias and crypts, with floating fern, but I couldn't keep enough algae growing to satisfy the Farlowella (they are excellent algae eaters by the way, as are Ottocinclus).

P.S. Forgot the photo and can't add it by "edit" so will post another.

Last edited by Byron; 05-21-2009 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:50 AM   #26
 
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Your problem here is without any doubt too much light. You have 130w over a 29g tank which is way too high without CO2. It's no wonder you have problems with algae and need to resort to carbon and massive (by comparison) water changes and still have algae problems. Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying--I do not know anywhere near all there is about this, and I am not a biologist-- but I have read a great deal of info from reliable sources and have 15+ years experience with planted aquaria. Without CO2 addition, 1-2 watts of light per gallon is all that is necessary.

I have approximately 1 watt per gallon, being two 40w tubes over both my 70g and 90g tanks, and if you look at the photos under my "Aquariums" tab I think you will agree the plants are thriving and you can see very little algae. I experimented with liquid fertilizer (knowing some would be needed to supply trace elements and minerals not in the tap water or aquarium) and have worked it out to twice weekly with Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive; once a week and the plants begin showing yellowing leaves. The light (which is on for 13 hours a day, plus there is a large west-facing window with blinds to control the daylight) balances the CO2 produced by the fish and the nutrients so the plants utilize the light and nutrients before the algae is able. There is some algae, as in every aquarium that is biologically matured and balanced, but it is under control and only once has cyanobacteria appeared and that was a month ago and only on one plant stem.

I don't know what you might mean by "algae needs cleaning" but in my setups I scrape the front glass every week when I do the weekly partial water change of 40%. I almost never see algae when I do this, but I do it because from experience I know that there will be minute spots that I can't see but if not removed will become large enough to see before next week. I have brush algae on the wood, and I leave it alone. Sometimes it spreads to a plant leaf, and when I consider it too much for the good of the plant I remove the leaf. This has been by maintenance program for years.

I would suggest that you seriously consider reducing your light. I'm attaching a photo of a former tank that I dismantled last November when I moved the rockwork and plants into my 70g. This was a 33g so similar to your 29g, and I had one 20w full spectrum tube on for 13 hours a day, which is not even 1 watt per gallon. The plants are low light, anubias and crypts, with floating fern, but I couldn't keep enough algae growing to satisfy the Farlowella (they are excellent algae eaters by the way, as are Ottocinclus).

P.S. Forgot the photo and can't add it by "edit" so will post another.
Here's the photo mentioned above. I hit "Submit Reply" too soon last time! B.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 33g-Nov 17-08.jpg (111.8 KB, 19 views)
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:53 PM   #27
 
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Originally Posted by Unrulyevil View Post
There is nothing confusing, you got it right.. your nitrates were through the roof, promoting algae grow.

But! in the long run.. algae has saved your tank from becoming a swamp, by eating excess nutrients.

#1-Lower your nitrates by doing water changes.
#2-Keep them low (tricky park) several options here.
#3-Remove effected plants, keep aquarium clean.
#4- Light ..depending how many wpg you have should stay on no more than 12 hours. More than 4.5 wpg light can stay on for 9 hours a day, less than 4 .. around 12.
#5-Make sure you invest in to timer.
#6- If you want to have self efficient planted tank.. remove carbon out of your filter.. at this point it does not do anything.. and please do water changes 50% every 3 to 4 days.
#7- Add new plants and start supporting them with Co2. (DIY Co2 will do the job)
Success of your tank depends on you,until your tank stabilizes it self.. you need to keep closer eye on it. You can also invest in to new plants! and NO dosing! it's like throwing gas in to the fire!

ohh.. and one more thing.. you will NEVER EVER get reed of algae 100%.. so dont try... get some ottos! :)

Stop putting chemicals in to your tank! you killing it! There is no easy fast solution for problems associated with planted tank... takes time and lots of patients!
I certainly concur with all of the above except for two points on which I must comment because I am very much in disagreement, namely the excessive water changes and the amount of light. I sort of touched on this in my last post, but I think it needs reiterating and explaining a bit more. First let me say that the advantage of this forum is that aquarists can exchange ideas and methods that have worked for them. When I started out nothing like this existed, and what a series of failures I and others like me endured.

I will also say again that I am not a biologist; what I maintain is based upon my experiences over 15 years with planted aquaria and what I have read from those who are much more experienced in this field. I read every thing I can find on planted aquaria, even now; some of it I agree with, sometimes I don't. But this method works for me and many others, and it is less bother and certainly less expensive.

A successful planted tank is one where the light and nutrients (being CO2 and trace elements/minerals) are in balance to provide what the plants require and no more. Different plants require more or less light and nutrients, so that must be figured in as well. If the needs of the specific plants are met, and light and nutrients do not exceed that limit, you will not see excessive algae (for the purpose of this post I'll consider cyanobacteria in with algae to save re-typing it). It is only when light or nutrients exceed what the plants can assimilate in photosynthesis that algae has the advantage.

SinCrisis, I don't know what plants you had/want, but rooted plants generally can thrive with less light and no CO2. Stem plants [sometimes called bunch plants because they are sold in bunches and have no root systems at the base (cabomba, pennywort, wisteria...) like rooted plants such as swords and crypts] require more light and many don't grow well in tanks without it, and more light means added CO2 to balance. Within reason, plants will continue to photosynthesis according to the available light and nutrients [they can literally burn themselves out if these are excessive], and at some point one of these factors will be less than the balance and become the "limiting factor" for plant growth. The authorities I have read say that light should always be the limiting factor. Algae has a distinct advantage: if the CO2 is the limiting factor, and light is available, the plants cannot photosynthesize but algae is able to convert carbon from carbonates better than plants so it takes over. This is why Unrulyevil has problems with algae--there is way too much light over the tank and no CO2 added to balance it.

Rooted plants and some stem plants will grow very healthily with 1-2 watts of full spectrum light, no added CO2, and provided the trace elements and minerals they require are added in the form of liquid fertilizer. I doubt there is a water system anywhere that provides the necessary trace elements and minerals in sufficient quantity for aquatic plants to grow, so liquid fertilization is necessary. The amount depends upon the other factors in the balance, and the type of plants. Swords are heavy feeders, and will show yellowing or transparent leaves if certain minerals, especially iron, are not adequate. CO2 is provided by the respiration of the fish. But in most tanks the plants will use the available CO2 fairly quickly, so the light and trace elements/minerals must balance the CO2. And light should be the limiting factor, not CO2 as I mentioned above.

There is need for regular partial water changes in all aquaria, planted or not; I will not go into the reasons. But they can be restricted to once a week. It would benefit the fish to do a partial water change every day, but few of us have the inclination to do that. And it is important that whatever the schedule, it be maintained without fail. The reason is more balance--the fish require a balanced environment for many reasons, and subjecting them to widely-fluctuating conditions is not good in the long term. Most aquarists manage weekly water changes of 25-50%. I do about 40% weekly, and provided everything else is in balance, so will be the biological system.

This approach certianly works for me. Just look at the photos of my aquaria where the plants are growing well (but not as fast as they would with more light and added CO2) and algae is so minimal it is scarcely present. Algae occurs naturally, and I maintain fish that eat it (deliberately, I have a Farlowella in the 70 who is the sole algae eating fish and he spends all day grazing every surface in the tank and I give him algae/spurilina tablets to supplement, and a shoal of ottocinclus in the 90g). The full spectrum light of 1 watt per gallon is on 13 hours a day. The CO2 is provided by the fish. I add liquid fertilizer twice a week (in the past 5 months I have twice experimented, and without this the leaves of the swords quickly yellow). The tanks are in my view biologically balanced.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:39 PM   #28
 
first off, awesome tank byron. Im using some fulls pectrum t5 lights that came with the fixture but my lights are only on 8 hrs a day. However, the wattage on the lights are low so im actualyl only gettin a little over 1 watt per gallon. As i stated before, i use excel for CO2 supplment once every week or so, and flourish once or twice a week. My plants are bouncing back, as you stated, the bana plant grew new roots andis green again. THe swords are showing some new leaves, one of my chain swords turned to mush though. Java fern is sprouting new leaves (before tehy were jsut bare roots) and my coffeeolia is still strong as ever.

Farlowella! I saw a picture of those once and ive always wanted one but enver saw them in a lfs before...

One thing i must note about my tank though it is way understocked. The fish in there total out at around 25 inches and its a 46 gallon tank. My fitler is a canister deisgned for a 70 gallon tank so i think my water is pretty good. One of the things that amde me feel better about going to school and neglecting my tank was the idea that less fish will make the water messier much slower and reduce the nitrates that build up. I also added my plants to counter the nitrate buildup. since there are way more plants than fish and there would be no fertilization while i was gone.

Although you stated before that a balance between nutrition, light and CO2 is needed, even without the trace nutrients added, wouldnt my plants still continue to absorb the nitrates and keep my nitrate levels down?

In response to unrulyevil, i have 4 otos and an SAE to eat algae in my tank BGA is bacteria so they wont touch it.

On a completely seperate note, is 4 otos and 1 SAE enough to maintain a fairly algae clean 46g tank?
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:31 PM   #29
 
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Byron you have the most beautiful tanks I have EVER seen! With that out of the way I concur everything that you have stated above.

In the past I had beautiful 20 gallon planted where I had only moss, crypst and anubias. It looked some what like your 33 gallon only I did not have any landscaping done so it was just a plain gravel. I did not have any co2 but I had plenty of barbs around 20 of them so I guess there was enough co2 for plants. My lights where DIY 3 Incandescent light bulbs on for 8 hours a day. I do not know how or why but... everything was growing like crazy and no problems were in sight.

With that said.. I also read everything that I can get my hands on about aquarium and biology of cells specially in aquatic plants. But never mind that. Lets talk light.

How high was your 33gallon? I know for a fact that best tanks for the planted aquariums are those that have widths greater or equal to height of the tank. Meaning that ... for example 20 gallon long tank would be perfect. 30" x 12" x 12". Or... 40 gallon breeder 36" x 18" x 18"

My 29 gallon tank, hardly is the best tank for planted tank. 30" x 12" x 18". There are around 20 inches that my light has to travel to get to those plants on the bottom + there is semi dirty versa -top. Every book and website I red (including Dr.fosters website and Guide to Planted tank by mr.Hiscock) suggest that if you want to have a planted tank .. Don’t even think of getting anything less than 2 wpg. Meaning that 2wpg lighting will be bare minimum and you will not be able to grow more demanding plants like swords. I have little over 4wpg right now which..according to all the sources is good planted tank lighting. What kind of lighting fixture did you have for your 33 gallon tank? In the picture it looks like you have over 3wpg light. I cant believe that you had 40w of light for 33 gallon tank and had such a beautiful plants! ( I mean that it’s surprising not that I don’t believe you really)

You have stated so many interesting things that I think your comments and replies should be sticked on the forum here. :)
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:15 PM   #30
 
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by the way...
Do you think that this.. fixture here will be ok for plants?
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: All-Glass Twin-Tube Black Strip Lights

and if it will ... what bulbs would you use?
Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting: Eclipse Fluorescent Aquarium Hoods Compatible Standard Light Bulbs

thx
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