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fishy592 07-25-2013 02:10 PM

algae, ammonia remover, and melted crypt
Hi everyone,
I have a few questions regarding hair algae, the necessity of ammonia remover in a planted tank and a melted crypt that refuses to regrow.

Firstly, for the past month, I have been furiously battling dark green hair like algae growing all over my swords and spirilis crypt. As suggested in another thread, I decreased my lighting from 10 hours to 9 and blocked excess light entering the tank from the windows it sits next to (I know it wasn't the best location) but it is still a much larger issue than I would like. I also seem to have a fuzz like algae growing on my rocks, driftwood, and some plant leaves and stems. I fertilize 2x weekly with flourish comprehensive.

My second question revolves around Amquel ammonia remover. I started to use it as a water conditioner when I detected trace levels of ammonia in my tap water. Other than fertilizer this is all I add as I am using well water without chlorine and presumably no heavy metals as it passes through a softener. However, after I started to use it, my plants did not seem to be growing as quickly and my hornwort began dying off. I started to fertilize twice a week with better results (but not much hornwort) but am starting to wonder if the amquel is even necessary. My ammonia reading is consistently .25ppm using the API master kit.

Finally, I have a bronze wendtii crypt that has stubbornly remained half melted for at least a month. Is that normal, temperamental crypt behavior?

Thank you all and I'm sorry for the marathon length post!

JDM 07-25-2013 04:40 PM

I looked at Amquel once before, while I don't recall the details it does remove ammonia somehow. Basically, if you have plants, don't worry about it as they like the ammonia boost. If you are using Prime, then the ammonia is detoxed anyway and the plants will use it up before it re-toxes... or your nitrogen cycle will oxidize it, either way, not an issue.

Are the crypts showing any other new growth? If so, then all is well, crypts don't grow fast anyway.


fishy592 07-26-2013 06:17 PM

my other crypts (another bronze wendtii and the spirilis) are growing fine. my lutea crypt has grown about 2 new leaves but I read they were really slow growers...

should I not be using an ammonia remover at all then? or should I switch for Prime?

JDM 07-27-2013 06:30 AM

Switch to prime. A remover is better for tanks with no plants. I know when I add a bunch of fish (more ammonia production) my plants go through a growth spurt.

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fishy592 07-30-2013 11:49 AM

Then I guess my question is really should I be using a product to remove the ammonia from my tap water at all? Is it so little that the plants will take care of it? It feels backward though to be putting water with ammonia back into the tank after water changes... would I be better off putting fluval's ammonia chips in my filter? Prime does a lot of other things that my water does not require and I'm afraid of doing too much...

Thank you for your patience!

JDM 07-30-2013 01:36 PM

I don't know about ammonia chips and if they would be faster than the plants absorbing it.

I would expect that you could skip it altogether as the low level of ammonia should not persist very long... You can try it and see how long it takes to drop to zero after a change and decide yourself.

Keep in mind that if your tap is 0.25 and your tank is 0, if you do a 50% water change your concentration is now 0.125ppm or 0.0625ppm for a 25% WC (not that you can effectively measure the differences at that point and certainly not to four decimal places)

I vote for do nothing... smaller more frequent changes would be beneficial.

The other thing is the pH, the lower the pH the less harmful the ammonia is anyway (higher level of ammonium than ammonia... at 8 it is something in the neighbourhood of 10% ammonia)



fishy592 08-05-2013 06:03 PM

I will test my levels on Wednesday (a week after a 25% water change without using Amquel) and see what they look like. Thank you, I hadn't thought of doing more frequent, smaller water changes

also, my pH is around 7.5 from the tap. I considered adding a pH buffer as my KH is pretty low (around 3) but was worried that it would create more problems than benefits

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