Thread: Black Alge?
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:10 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
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Default Black Alge?

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

Evidently chloride ions don't build up because the outdoor plants thrive.

This is an assumption, plants assimilate and take up Chloride, if you
remove any leaves etc, this exports Chloride out of the system as well
as any water changes, Seepage into the pond hydrosoil etc, dilution
from rain etc also influence this.

Well I guess they're salt-water pond plants then, as they're thriving as
seen on my website. ;-)

I do not do any water changes on my dad's pond, I add 35-40% surface
coverage Hyacinth and the water is forever gin clear, this weed grows
and is scooped out to maintain roughly 30-50% coverage throughout the
growing season.
The plants export the salts, the nutrients etc.
Happy fish, happy plants.

If I did not remove the plants, they would over grow and choke the pond
and stop O2 exchange and kill the fish.

Water changes would have taken care of any buildups I believe.

No. Do the math.

What math?

It's an infinite series. Look it up.
The APD also did some backgound on why the ppms never buld up if you do
water changes.

Basically if you do weekly 50% water changes and dose nutrients, say
NO3, if you dose 20ppm per week, the max build up possible will be
40ppm, that assumes no uptake by plants and no denitrification from

You already said fertilizers don't build up with massive 85%
water changes.

Nor 1/3 or 50% weekly changes, you have a wider range with less % of
the total tank volume obviously, but 2x the total is a decent working %
to use.

You add Greg's products then do weekly water changes which
prevent build-ups. That's changed now to water changes don't prevent
build-ups? That even when removed the fertilizers build up?

Ahhh, not sure what you are saying here.
Semantics perhaps.......

Richard sez:
Incorrect. Plants do better in hard water. And Tom's estimative index
link has been posted here many times gives you the correct amounts.

I saw no estimate index for 55g tanks and 10gs with different fish loads and
different Hardness and PHs. Odd that soft water, acid water plants do
better in hard alkaline water for you.

This is no surprise at all since most submersed plants are carbon
limited and hard water has more total carbon available to provide the
plants with.
So soft water has little HCO3, which the plants can use if the CO2 is
low and is normally the case.

If you add CO2 to hard water, the plants will use that first though.

Bowes and Van (UF) did a nice study that showed 3 submersed plants grew
at a faster rate at harder KH's and higher pH's.
Their conclusions was what I mentioned.

I believe you also said you only have a few small fish in your tanks.
are at capacity and goldfish produce a lot of waste.

Hence the ammonia hence the algae. No surprise here.

What ammonia? These are cycled tanks. Are you claiming all test kids are

Perhaps, but overloaded tanks clearly have lots of algae. You can add
everything else that fish waste produces, NO3, K, PO4, traces etc and
never induce algae.

The only thing missing is the urea(which is quickly converted to NH4 in
water) and NH4.
These big old turds the fish produce might not measure anything in the
water column, but down on the gravel sitting there, it is a nice rich
place and also where the algae spores are waiting for some nice rich
NH4 to get started to grow well.

So the NH4 is used up before the test kit can measure it often times,
and after the fact as you see the aftermath of the algae bloom and are
not monitoring it prior to the then the algae has
goobled up most of the NH4 and the bacterial colony has increased in

This is why you cannot use fish waste alone to run a much faster
growing tank using CO2 and good lighting etc, the tank has too much
NH4, not so much that harms fish, rather, enough to induce the algae

Once they are germinated, much like a weed, they will hang on and use
NO3 and other nutrients.

High nitrates and phosphates don't cause algae. Ammonia does.
If there was high ammonia in the tanks the fish would have suffered

Well, inducing algae spores and fish health NH4 levels are quite
Do not confuse the two.

Fish will die depending on their life stages and species over a wider
range, algae need little NH4 present to start germinating to produce a

Not true. They are remarkably tolerant. Try Amano shrimp, THEY'RE
completely intolerant of ammonia, that is, by the time it registers on
a kit, they're dead already.

No thanks. All I can get here are unattractive feeder shrimp.

You do not need them to grow algae free tanks full of weeds.

So nitrate alone (with phos removed) caused the algae?

No, the NH4 did.
Low PO4 will stop the plant growth, it will not stop the algae growth
which will not be limited until you get down to the parts per billion
ranges of 20ppb or 10ppm or so, and that range is subjected to a error
of 10ppb............

You do not own a test kit nor use a methid that can do this, no water
quality lab is even capable of this as a rule, a few places at research
centers can measure this low and they still have errors of 3-8ppb.

So you cannot limit algae via PO4 even if you wanted to when you have
aquatic plants present.

The plants temselves are huge sources of PO4 and store lots in tissues,
which if they are stunted and not growing, are decomposing, leeching
and rotting, giving off small amounts of NH4/PO4.

High nitrate and
Phos together does not cause algae - only Nitrate alone - what about the
ammonia? Did the POTASH cause the algae then? Where does the ammonia
in and what was the ammonia readings on your test kit when the algae
appeared? Mine always reads zero ammonia and around 20ppm Nitrate. I
no idea about phos levels since I don't have a kit.

See above.

No, higt nitrate and high phosphate do NOT cause alage, they prevent it.

I see. Then the biologists that had Phos' removed from detergents were all
wrong about Phos.

No, you are comparing apples and oranges.
What are we talking about here?
Shallow fully planted lakes?
You add PO4 to an other wise PO4 limited lake like that and you will
not get algae, you will get more weeds!

That's why aquatic weeds are such a serious issue!!!
They spend billions on dealing with them due to this very reason.

Search Bachmann,Canfield Hoyer and trophic status of Florida lakes
(1984 to 2005 or so, there are several papers), which....are BTW,
shallow, fully planted, subtropical(fairly warm and most of the year).

Adding PO4 also changes the native plants, such as the Jamacian grass,
Cladium to Typha(cattail) in the Everglades, no algae issues(less algae
actually) due to the increase in PO4 levels.

This is the center of the Evergalde restoration project which is a
Billions of $$$ project.
How do you remove millions of tones of PO4 and be cost effective with
the techonolgy you have? Not an easy question nor answer.

I am a Biologist BTW and I deal specifically with aquatic weeds in my
research and algae is also something I have a good understanding and
passion for.

It was really ammonia in these products that turned
lakes and rivers green with algae? Odd how when the phos was removed the
algae went with it.

Did these rivers, streams and lakes have plants?
Did they have 30-50% coverage or greater?
Did they freeze each winter?
You'll note the never said much about that:-)

If you leave that part out, you set yourself up for some very poor

The more basic method is to simply try adding PO to fully planted tank
with high levels of of the other nutrients nd see what ahppens under
limited levels of PO4 and then add say 2ppm PO4.

There is no algae induced.

I do not care if you believe me or do the research, simply try it and
see for yourself, then you'll know.

I think they should ban PO4 but they should also ban NO3 and fertilizer
run off from farms as well, that's killing the rivers, they can utilize
created wetlands along the MS river and reduce the load way down.

And the right thing is to buy all GregWatson's products and just start
them willy-nilly and the plants will thrive and the algae will go

Well, some users have trouble, but few.
Most are amazed.

Do you add fertilizers to the gardern(organic or otherwise) or if you
owned a farm?
If you want the plants to grow for more than a season or two you will.

I see no post with "formulas" for 55g and 10g tanks at capacity...... it's
not on my news-server. Nothing about how much to add depending on lightly
planted and heavily planted tanks or tanks with light or heavy fish loads.

Assume fully planted, the more plants, the less chance you will have
Less light, at leats down to a point, is better also.
This means slower more mangable growth, less CO2 demand, less NO3, K+
etc is needed.

Are you adding CO2 or not?
I can give you precise amounts if you say how planted the tanks are and
if you use CO2 or not.

You don't need any test kits.

Why, since you said above that massive water changes don't really remove
"build-ups" of excess fertilizers. How then do you remove any excess if
water changes don't remove them? How you know there even is an excess?

The water changes will prevent and build up. I think Richard and you
mixed that one up, I know Richard meant to say that large water changes
prevents a build up.

I do not know how much K+, NO3, PO4 etc will cause algae.
Fish die first at 120ppm + of KNO3, about 50% of the Amano shrimps died
after 3 full days of that. Fish where still fine though(Wild SA fish).

I already went that route then used the recommended products - Excel, the
mirconutrients, the iron......

You need to do it again, stop addking KCL and ass KNO3.

What do you mean do it again? I never stopped doing it.

Add KNO3 instead of KCL.

So you'e claiming
it all that ammonia that the test kits can't see nor can I stop unless I
remove the fish from the tanks causing the algae?

Well, let me ask you something .................would you enjoy being
packed into a bathroom with 10 folks and not flushing the toilet for a
Why overload a fish tank?

Be reasonable about your stocking levels, big dirty cichlids, flithy
dirt producing goldfish etc, they are not the same as a few

Reduced feedings, reduce stocking levels, happier place for fish and
happier place for the plants.

Larger tank etc.
You can add lots of filter etc, do lots of water changes like Discus
folks do........
Goldfish are tough animals........but does not mean you should abuse

Give them a happy home.
The base of the ecosystem is the plants, not the fish.

Just the opposite of what
scientists found to cause it in lakes and rivers. And ammonia still reads
zero. Geeze and I just started adding it (extra MofPo about 2 weeks ago).
The Seachem products and endless water changes had 5 months to work before
that and didn't do much more than turn some plants greener.

I'm a scientist and the lakes and river issue would be great if weeds
did not grow.......but they do and they grow extremely fast when
provided with rich nutrients..........but if you have no weeds there,
turbid water where no light can get to, frozen lakes, very low % of the
lake infested with the weeds, then algae will take up the slack.

Well, those are pretty weak ferts also.
You need more and CO2/Excel.

You are not adding nitrate. You need to.

How much nitrate per 55g tank of goldfish. A 10g tank of platys and 10g
tanks with 2 GF each. There is no message with the correct formula on my
news-server giving amounts depending on fish and plant load, etc. Also
since you said above that water changes don't remove excess fertilizers it
could be dangerous to the fish to overload the tanks.

I think there is some misnderstanding there.

Say if you use CO2 or Excel or not and I'll go from there.

Tom Barr

Aquariums since 1952.
My Pond & Aquarium Pages:
*Note: There are two "Koi-Lo's" on the pond and aquaria groups.
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