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Old 20-06-2006, 03:57 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
Jolly Fisherman
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Default Black Brush and green algae problems - wire algae

On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 22:55:33 -0500, Ki-L 1[email protected]1. wrote:

*Note: There are two "Koi-Lo's" on the pond and aquaria groups.

"Jolly Fisherman" wrote in message
.. .
On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 21:08:06 -0500, Ki-L 1[email protected]1. wrote:

but all the new plants either failed or are failing despite the Seachem
additives (micro-nutrients, Excel, iron etc) and extra light fixtures on

Perhaps its too much light?

I can't possibly see how four 40w fluorescence can be too much light over a
standard 55g tank. The old faithfuls improved with more light and

I have a 55 gal tank with 2x65 watt compact fluorescent. It is far
too much for some of my more delicate low to mid light plants. I know
that sounds weird, as it's not really considered "a lot" of light.


Well there is no way I can physically handle more vacuuming and partial
water changes.

I'm not suggesting that.

I've improved the lighting and all the supplements plus
bought the plecos and otos. I feel there isn't anything more I can do at
this time.

It still seems the plants aren't getting exactly what they need-
missing nutrients (despite best efforts), too much light, etc. Are
the plants showing particular deficiencies or calcification?

No calcification but the swords show signs of potassium deficiency. I add
extra potassium but it doesn't help, so something else must be missing.

to the gravel? Swords need to absorb a lot of their nutrients from
their roots.

Again to say something that might seem weird about light- I have
swords that are a cross between the E. schlueteri & E. barthii. They
were absolutely devastated by obvious light damage from my mere 2.36
watts/gal without CO2. They are slowly recovering under partial dwarf
lily shade. I may be wrong but I think this light level is probably
border line when certain species start to require extra care and
perhaps CO2. But it depends on the species. Most swords are medium
light species which puts you about on target.

sags rotted away at their bases and the bases weren't covered in gravel.
The water wisteria, ludwigia, rotalia, and gygrophlia got paler and paler
until they all but faded away in the 55s.

I assume you mean they got yellow & glassy & disintegrated. This
symptom, usually called iron chlorosis, can come from over or under
fertilization, potassium deficiency, high carbonate or total hardness
or pH over 7. Also look at Iron levels & perhaps Magnesium in the

Meanwhile sharing the same two
55s these are thriving; American vals, anubias, a few crypts, elodia,
hornwart is making a comeback after a major dieoff last winter.

very hearty, easily adaptable plants

The giant
hairgrass is all but gone in one 55 and just hanging on in the other.
They're partly covered in an ugly black algae.

Giant hairgrass needs a very rich substrate & fertilization & probably
higher light.

I'm not 100% sure Flourish is truly equivalent to CO2 fertilization.
At least I've been reading conflicting things.

It's probably not but did perk up the plants, especially those that were
doing ok to start with. Or maybe it was the micronutrients that made them
darker green. The frustrating thing is I ordered more of these products
then the effects wore off. I added extra potassium but that had no effect
either. My sags are about dead and the Amazon swords look pretty shabby.

I believe the main ingredient of Excel is Polycycloglutaracetal an
isomeric form of glutaraldehyde, a very powerful disinfectant. Seachem
claims it is less reactive and more easily utilized by plants as a
carbon source. However one wonders if it has some algaecidal
properties. It is dangerous to aquatic life if overdosed. Frankly
I'm not excited about even handling water that has been treated with

I'm not exceeding the recommended amount.

No no. I'm just voicing a little suspicion about a "carbon
fertilizer" derived from a disinfectant that is closely related to

I have been having very strange
die-offs of healthy goldfish as I've mentioned here several times. I
wonder........ healthy fish one minute and hours later dead on the bottom.
:-| I never made note of how many hours after adding these supplements
they died.

That IS suspicious. however I haven't heard of them being THAT toxic
before. I think normally you have to go above 5 or 6x the recommended
dosage to have problems.

The iron in flourish is bound to gluconate, a carbohydrate. Seachem
claims this is an additional carbon source. It would seem it is also
accessible to bacteria and converted to sugars & CO2.
Basically these types of nutrients are beneficial to plants, but it's
easy to miss key nutrients or for them no not be as effective or
exactly as advertised IMHO.

Maybe I'll just start to add Miracle Grow or Peter's to the tanks as I do
the fishless pond plant tanks outside. Those plants are going crazy. It's
a heck of a lot cheaper as well. :-) I got a huge 5lb container of MG
Bloom Booster with micronutroents at a close-out sale for $2.99 a few weeks

Stick some in the grave around the plants. Planting chelated iron
supplements like osmacote, Lilipons brand pond lily tablets, Security
brand iron plus chelate may help. It depends on your own knowledge
and calculations about what is safe around GF.

It's funny how fast the price jumps up as soon as the word "Aquarium"
gets involved. It's like the word "wedding." But I digress.

Maybe slower release substrate fertilization may be of help for
certain plants?

I just don't have the time and energy to tear these two 55s down and
them. This is the busiest time of the year here.

Take a look at:

I'll definitely will check this out tonight. Thanks.

I think this type of thing is very important for swords esp. When
there's nothing for the plants in the gravel, they depend on
absorption for nutrient uptake which is less efficient. Swords don't
do that very well.

....... Then I bough
some new and different plants to experiment with for a change-of-scenery.
Shortly afterward the black sooty algae reared it's ugly head and from
it's history.

These were already cycled tanks (without plants). Perhaps biobugs are
out competing the plants as well.

No, I meant the 10g were cycled. After the 55s ran for a few days I added
the plants, then the fancy goldfish.

Expensive supplements, Excel, serious gravel vacuuming, water
changes and more water changes, more lighting..... Oddly the water
is thriving in a 10g and has wasted away in the 55s. A small ASword is
doing ok in a 10g but the ones in the 55s will be gone soon I'm sure.

It might be damaged by such strong light with no real CO2.

It may be but only two 40 watt fluorescence over these 55s are pretty dim
and make diatoms grow - like the stuff in toilet tanks. :-(

I was thinking more like 3 instead of 4 (if possible) or maybe some
slight shading- else some plants are craving a little extra real CO2.

I have 2
compact 40s over each 10g and the some plants are doing better in them than
in the 55s.

That's very interesting. Not my (limited) expereince with 40x2 grow
lights over a 10g.

Some that are failing are not covered in algae. Since I stopped feeding
plecs the algae tabs they did remove some of the wiry algae and this
I noticed the plants are "cleaner" if that's the word that fits. After
is said and done I think I'll stick with the "tried and true" as you call
them. :-)

_how_ they are failing might give you useful information- if you still

OK, they're edges have black algae that is not effected by Excel. Those
that had red tops or tips have lose their red color. Some rotted off at the
gravel line and or never rooted in at all. The swords show signs of
potassium deficiency. The sags are either rotting off at the bottom (crown)
and one is rotting away from the end of the leaves towards the center. Now,
while the above are near dead or obviously dying, the vals, crypts, anubias,
elodia, Java moss and hornwart are healthy and growing just fine. The
wisteria in the 10g with the platys is doing great. So I don't understand
what's going on here. It seems some of the plants are getting what they need
while the others are not. ?!?!?!?!!? As I said, I may experiment and add
some Miracle Grow to the 55s and see what happens. I don't believe it's
toxic to fish in small amounts. I often find fry in the plant prop' outdoor
tanks. Any suggestions are welcome.......

Of course algae is often related to plant health. I think I agree
this is more of a nutrient problem than an algae problem at this
point. If you just have ordinary plain, unfertilized gravel this may
be the problem. Some plants are better able to absorb the nutrients
in the water than others. Maybe that's why some are getting what they
need from your dosings while others are still suffering. Cutting back
on fish food right now and planting solid fertilizers might be another
avenue to try/add.