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Water Circulation to prevent GBA

This is a discussion on Water Circulation to prevent GBA within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Why do you think an additional filter is needed? Just so you know, I have battled cyanobacteria. With 7 aquaria running presently, it has ...

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Water Circulation to prevent GBA
Old 04-06-2011, 06:00 PM   #11
 
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Why do you think an additional filter is needed?

Just so you know, I have battled cyanobacteria. With 7 aquaria running presently, it has appeared in only 2 of them. The 10g in the window was no surprise, and it was deliberate; I was encouraging algae with strong sunlight in order to provide food to my Farlowella fry that only eat fresh algae. The old 70g was a different problem. It appeared in October 2009 and lasted until the following January; every week I removed as much as I could manually, vacuumed the substrate well, reduced light and fertilizing. Every week the same, then suddenly, gone. With near-identical conditions in 7 tanks I've no idea why cyano occurs only in one, just as I can't explain why brush algae will only appear in another.

Here is some useful info on cyanobacteria, written by Dusko Bojic. My only caution is not to jump into "cures," as these can sometimes cause other even worse problems. The antibiotic mentioned for instance will harm some plants to the point of destroying them. It is always better to find the cause and fix that.
Blue-Green Algae even though called algae, is not classified anymore as one. This "algae" is actually cyanobacteria. It forms slime, blue-green, sheets that will cover everything in a short time. It can be removed mechanically but will return quickly if the water quality is not fixed. It can be treated with Erythromycin phosphate, but this might effect the nitrifying bacteria in the gravel and filter. When the BGA gets killed by the algaecide it will start to rot and through that process it will reduce Oxygen levels in the tank. Since the nitrifying bacteria needs O2 to transfer ammonia/nitrItes into nitrAtes the nitrifying process will slow down. If algaecide is used, make sure to test the ammonia/nitrite levels. Remove all the visible algae to prevent it from rotting in side the tank. Some aquarists use the black-out method, where black bags are wrapped around the tank for 4 days and held in complete darkness. It is advisable to raise NO3 levels to 10-20ppm before starting the black-out period. All visible algae should be vacuumed before black-out and after the black out.Egeria densa (Elodea) and Ceratophyllum demersum are good plants to have in a tank. These plants secretes antibiotic substances which can help prevent Blue-Green Algae. Establishing, lots of healthy, fast-growing plants from the day you start the tank + dosing the nitrAte levels to maintain 10-20ppm (in planted aquariums) and vacuuming the gravel (in non-planted ones), is the best way to prevent this "algae". The BGA can be found in aquariums with very low nitrates because it can fix atmospheric nitrogen. BGA seem not to like very low pH and high CO2 levels. BGA doesn't prefer strong water currents. Excess organic loading is the real cause in many cases. Try removing decaying plant material and prune old leaves that are leaking organic nutrients back into the water column.


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Old 04-06-2011, 06:27 PM   #12
 
i am asking for more filtration because my current one is not pumping out water with strong current. It is more like slow waterfall. I could be enough. Every week I am doing 25% change and vacuuming the gravel as possible.

CO2 should be on the high side and ph is 6.6 so I do not know why blue green algae is present since it does not like that.

I will try to add some hornwort and see how it goes. What do you think?
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:36 PM   #13
 
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Yes. I would change more water though, 50-60% weekly. There is no doubt from anyone that cyano is due to organics, and low nitrate [have you tested the nitrate?].

If the filter is rated for the tank size, it is adequate.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:47 PM   #14
 
nitrate is 25.

filter is rated up to 600 l and i have 450l. eheim 2075
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:00 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migdem View Post
nitrate is 25.

filter is rated up to 600 l and i have 450l. eheim 2075
I wouldn't expect nitrate at 25ppm in a planted tank, but I suspect you are dosing it. The filter is adequate in my view.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:03 PM   #16
 
my water supply has a nitrate of 25 ppm so I stopped dosing extra nitrate.

Is this good that I stopped dosing extra nitrate because I have it already in the water supply?
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:39 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migdem View Post
my water supply has a nitrate of 25 ppm so I stopped dosing extra nitrate.

Is this good that I stopped dosing extra nitrate because I have it already in the water supply?
Here we can have differing opinions. My view is that it is rather pointless to dose nitrate. Aquatic plants, unlike terrestrial, prefer nitrogen as ammonium. Scientific studies show that plants have to change nitrate back into ammonium before they can assimilate it, and that is extra "work" for the plant, which to me rather defeats the point of fertilizing it in the first place since the plant has to spend energy converting it rather than photosynthesizing (growing). Of course no one is going to suggest dosing ammonia, though in acidic water this would have basically no effect on the fish (ammonia changes into ammonium in acidic water). But it is also scientific fact that most of our aquarium fish live in waters with near-zero nitrate, in many it is undetectable it is so low. So subjecting the fish to nitrates of even 20ppm is not in the best interest of the fish.

If the nitrate is 25ppm in the source water (tap water presumably), and also 25 in the aquarium, the plants would not seem to be using it. I cant explain that.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:57 AM   #18
 
maybe they have enough nitrate / ammonium from fish waste and leave the nitrate of the tap water as it is?
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