#1   Report Post  
Old 07-04-2003, 11:20 PM
WhiskerFish
 
Posts: n/a
Default Need help Nitrates/ Algae

Hello All

I am still having problems with a 55 gal setup and need some advice.

This is a 3 month old setup that was originally plastic plants.
About 4 weeks ago I took it down and changed out the substrate to pure
flourite. I also added 110 watts of light ( 10,000 K) and a "bunch"
of plants. I saved the water and kept the filter going in the temp
containers as to preserve the cycle. Everything went well. Since
then:

PH has been stable at @7.0
AM has been non existent
NO2 has been Non existent
GH has fluxed 70-90
KH around 35
NO3 has been off the scale.


I have been doing way too many water change outs trying to get and
keep the Nitrates low and have not been sucessfull. Algae is almost
completely out of controll. Water change outs seem to halt it's
growth for a couple days then it takes off again. I have done 4 50%
water change outs in the last 10 days and again today my Nitrate is in
excess of 80 PPM. When it gets that bad I can not tell the difference
between the shades of red on the indicator card.

Fish loading is heavy but not excessive I think. Plant loading in my
interpretation is Moderate to Heavy. I have cleaned the tank
repeatedly and there is no wasting organic matter. I also do not
believe I am overfeeding. I have little ( 30 watt) 3000k Compact
flourescents on for about 17 hours a day and the big lights ( 110
watts) for about 11 hours each day.

I have read a bit about CO2 and think that may be part of the
problem, but I hate to waste a bunch of money if it is not required.
If CO2 is the only way the wife says get it today!! She is tired of
me doing water changes every other day in her livingroom!
So my questions a

Is it possible to get this under control with out CO2 injection??

Is ther anything else I should be doing/ thinking about??

Thanks

Steve





  #2   Report Post  
Old 08-04-2003, 12:44 AM
Colin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Need help Nitrates/ Algae

You could try reducing your lighting - 17 hours is way too long for most
tropical plants. I'd shoot for 12 hours max, maybe 11.5 hrs main lights and
15 mins either side for the small lights.

Also, you say 'small lightS' so I'm assuming at least 60W of PCs, plus 110W
of standard - that's a LOT of light for a non-CO2 injected tank 3W/Gal plus.
Generally (big generalisation) you'll need CO2 at anything over 2W/Gal in
order to stave off algae, in my understanding.

Try DIY CO2, if cost is an issue - lots on it at the krib. Shouldn't cost
much (maybe 20$ at most, though I'm in the UK...). You'll need two 2L
bottles for that size tank, changed in rotation once per week each, so it'll
be some work - but a lot less than big water changes! If it works - go for
the pressurised system, much much much less hassle, I've not touched mine in
months. With 3W/Gal and CO2, you'll then need to make sure that your plants
have enough trace elements (iron, 'fertiliser') and macro elements
(magnesium, potassium, phosphate (yes, really!)) to keep growing and sucking
up that nitrate. Plenty on it on the web, search for 'PMDD'...

Hopefully, this lot should get your plants growing faster, which will help
use up the nitrates. Sounds like a heavy fish load, plus possibly high NO3
concentration out of your faucet (you have tested the tapwater, haven't
you?) are the culprits.

Hope this helps...

Colin

"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
news
Hello All

I am still having problems with a 55 gal setup and need some advice.

This is a 3 month old setup that was originally plastic plants.
About 4 weeks ago I took it down and changed out the substrate to pure
flourite. I also added 110 watts of light ( 10,000 K) and a "bunch"
of plants. I saved the water and kept the filter going in the temp
containers as to preserve the cycle. Everything went well. Since
then:

PH has been stable at @7.0
AM has been non existent
NO2 has been Non existent
GH has fluxed 70-90
KH around 35
NO3 has been off the scale.


I have been doing way too many water change outs trying to get and
keep the Nitrates low and have not been sucessfull. Algae is almost
completely out of controll. Water change outs seem to halt it's
growth for a couple days then it takes off again. I have done 4 50%
water change outs in the last 10 days and again today my Nitrate is in
excess of 80 PPM. When it gets that bad I can not tell the difference
between the shades of red on the indicator card.

Fish loading is heavy but not excessive I think. Plant loading in my
interpretation is Moderate to Heavy. I have cleaned the tank
repeatedly and there is no wasting organic matter. I also do not
believe I am overfeeding. I have little ( 30 watt) 3000k Compact
flourescents on for about 17 hours a day and the big lights ( 110
watts) for about 11 hours each day.

I have read a bit about CO2 and think that may be part of the
problem, but I hate to waste a bunch of money if it is not required.
If CO2 is the only way the wife says get it today!! She is tired of
me doing water changes every other day in her livingroom!
So my questions a

Is it possible to get this under control with out CO2 injection??

Is ther anything else I should be doing/ thinking about??

Thanks

Steve






  #3   Report Post  
Old 08-04-2003, 01:44 AM
WhiskerFish
 
Posts: n/a
Default Need help Nitrates/ Algae

The Tap Nitrates are Zero. The small lights are 2 15 watt Compact
flourescents for a total of 30 watts. Being as the 30 watts are so
far out of the sunlight spectrum I did not figure them to be part of
the problem, they are in the 3000K range. Kind of thought they were
harmless?? Thanks for the quick response Colin



On Mon, 7 Apr 2003 23:41:41 +0100, "Colin"
wrote:

You could try reducing your lighting - 17 hours is way too long for most
tropical plants. I'd shoot for 12 hours max, maybe 11.5 hrs main lights and
15 mins either side for the small lights.

Also, you say 'small lightS' so I'm assuming at least 60W of PCs, plus 110W
of standard - that's a LOT of light for a non-CO2 injected tank 3W/Gal plus.
Generally (big generalisation) you'll need CO2 at anything over 2W/Gal in
order to stave off algae, in my understanding.

Try DIY CO2, if cost is an issue - lots on it at the krib. Shouldn't cost
much (maybe 20$ at most, though I'm in the UK...). You'll need two 2L
bottles for that size tank, changed in rotation once per week each, so it'll
be some work - but a lot less than big water changes! If it works - go for
the pressurised system, much much much less hassle, I've not touched mine in
months. With 3W/Gal and CO2, you'll then need to make sure that your plants
have enough trace elements (iron, 'fertiliser') and macro elements
(magnesium, potassium, phosphate (yes, really!)) to keep growing and sucking
up that nitrate. Plenty on it on the web, search for 'PMDD'...

Hopefully, this lot should get your plants growing faster, which will help
use up the nitrates. Sounds like a heavy fish load, plus possibly high NO3
concentration out of your faucet (you have tested the tapwater, haven't
you?) are the culprits.

Hope this helps...

Colin

"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
news
Hello All

I am still having problems with a 55 gal setup and need some advice.

This is a 3 month old setup that was originally plastic plants.
About 4 weeks ago I took it down and changed out the substrate to pure
flourite. I also added 110 watts of light ( 10,000 K) and a "bunch"
of plants. I saved the water and kept the filter going in the temp
containers as to preserve the cycle. Everything went well. Since
then:

PH has been stable at @7.0
AM has been non existent
NO2 has been Non existent
GH has fluxed 70-90
KH around 35
NO3 has been off the scale.


I have been doing way too many water change outs trying to get and
keep the Nitrates low and have not been sucessfull. Algae is almost
completely out of controll. Water change outs seem to halt it's
growth for a couple days then it takes off again. I have done 4 50%
water change outs in the last 10 days and again today my Nitrate is in
excess of 80 PPM. When it gets that bad I can not tell the difference
between the shades of red on the indicator card.

Fish loading is heavy but not excessive I think. Plant loading in my
interpretation is Moderate to Heavy. I have cleaned the tank
repeatedly and there is no wasting organic matter. I also do not
believe I am overfeeding. I have little ( 30 watt) 3000k Compact
flourescents on for about 17 hours a day and the big lights ( 110
watts) for about 11 hours each day.

I have read a bit about CO2 and think that may be part of the
problem, but I hate to waste a bunch of money if it is not required.
If CO2 is the only way the wife says get it today!! She is tired of
me doing water changes every other day in her livingroom!
So my questions a

Is it possible to get this under control with out CO2 injection??

Is ther anything else I should be doing/ thinking about??

Thanks

Steve






  #4   Report Post  
Old 08-04-2003, 11:45 PM
Colin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Need help Nitrates/ Algae

Hm, I see your point, but even then you're running over 2.5W/Gal for 11
hours, and 0.5W/Gal for an additional for and extra six. 2.5W/Gal is a
'moderate to high' light tank: without CO2, you *will* get algae at that
much light (The extra six hours of low-level light is not going to help
plants, correct, but the lower life form (algae) will be able to utilise
it). It's annoying to have to have the tank dark for some of the period
you're awake, yes, but for less algae it's worth it! I do 12 hours lighting
total at just over 2W/Gal.. Also remember that plants *need* downtime just
like the rest of us...

(It does sound possible that the plants can't use the extra six hours
particularly well, but I've heard that it's us that are far more concerned
about spectrum than the plants! Certainly though, if the plants aren't using
it, the algae can...)

Basically, if there are nutrients and light and not enough CO2 for plants to
fix their carbon from, algae will grow (read some of Tom Barr's posts on
fins.actwin.com). The basic premise (a bit modified from the Sears and
Conlin paper that started off 'PMDD') seems to be that the lighting should
be the limiting factor, so provide enough nutrients and CO2 - then the
plants will grow at the expense of the algae. With your tank, CO2 is the
limiting factor, and you have lots of light - the plants can't grow, but the
algae can.

DIY CO2 is cheap and easy - worth a try. If you want to try something even
easier (but more costly), then Seachem do Flourish Excel, which is a non-CO2
carbon source - just tip a bit in. I've not tried this, but it is supposed
to work.

I've been battling BBA (black brush algae - what type are you getting?) for
ages and I am, slowly, winning - keep going!

Good luck

Colin


"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
...
The Tap Nitrates are Zero. The small lights are 2 15 watt Compact
flourescents for a total of 30 watts. Being as the 30 watts are so
far out of the sunlight spectrum I did not figure them to be part of
the problem, they are in the 3000K range. Kind of thought they were
harmless?? Thanks for the quick response Colin



On Mon, 7 Apr 2003 23:41:41 +0100, "Colin"
wrote:

You could try reducing your lighting - 17 hours is way too long for most
tropical plants. I'd shoot for 12 hours max, maybe 11.5 hrs main lights

and
15 mins either side for the small lights.

Also, you say 'small lightS' so I'm assuming at least 60W of PCs, plus

110W
of standard - that's a LOT of light for a non-CO2 injected tank 3W/Gal

plus.
Generally (big generalisation) you'll need CO2 at anything over 2W/Gal in
order to stave off algae, in my understanding.

Try DIY CO2, if cost is an issue - lots on it at the krib. Shouldn't cost
much (maybe 20$ at most, though I'm in the UK...). You'll need two 2L
bottles for that size tank, changed in rotation once per week each, so

it'll
be some work - but a lot less than big water changes! If it works - go

for
the pressurised system, much much much less hassle, I've not touched mine

in
months. With 3W/Gal and CO2, you'll then need to make sure that your

plants
have enough trace elements (iron, 'fertiliser') and macro elements
(magnesium, potassium, phosphate (yes, really!)) to keep growing and

sucking
up that nitrate. Plenty on it on the web, search for 'PMDD'...

Hopefully, this lot should get your plants growing faster, which will

help
use up the nitrates. Sounds like a heavy fish load, plus possibly high

NO3
concentration out of your faucet (you have tested the tapwater, haven't
you?) are the culprits.

Hope this helps...

Colin

"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
news
Hello All

I am still having problems with a 55 gal setup and need some advice.

This is a 3 month old setup that was originally plastic plants.
About 4 weeks ago I took it down and changed out the substrate to pure
flourite. I also added 110 watts of light ( 10,000 K) and a "bunch"
of plants. I saved the water and kept the filter going in the temp
containers as to preserve the cycle. Everything went well. Since
then:

PH has been stable at @7.0
AM has been non existent
NO2 has been Non existent
GH has fluxed 70-90
KH around 35
NO3 has been off the scale.


I have been doing way too many water change outs trying to get and
keep the Nitrates low and have not been sucessfull. Algae is almost
completely out of controll. Water change outs seem to halt it's
growth for a couple days then it takes off again. I have done 4 50%
water change outs in the last 10 days and again today my Nitrate is in
excess of 80 PPM. When it gets that bad I can not tell the difference
between the shades of red on the indicator card.

Fish loading is heavy but not excessive I think. Plant loading in my
interpretation is Moderate to Heavy. I have cleaned the tank
repeatedly and there is no wasting organic matter. I also do not
believe I am overfeeding. I have little ( 30 watt) 3000k Compact
flourescents on for about 17 hours a day and the big lights ( 110
watts) for about 11 hours each day.

I have read a bit about CO2 and think that may be part of the
problem, but I hate to waste a bunch of money if it is not required.
If CO2 is the only way the wife says get it today!! She is tired of
me doing water changes every other day in her livingroom!
So my questions a

Is it possible to get this under control with out CO2 injection??

Is ther anything else I should be doing/ thinking about??

Thanks

Steve








  #5   Report Post  
Old 09-04-2003, 03:08 AM
WhiskerFish
 
Posts: n/a
Default Need help Nitrates/ Algae

Well I am shutting off the small lights now and will run them
only about 1/2 hour each side of the big lights. I have also backed
the big lights down to 10 hours with the small ones on for about 11
hours total now. I hope that slows the Algae until I can get a CO2
system up and running. Spent most of the last 24 hours reading about
CO2 systems. I think I will go ahead and take the plunge. I have a
friend in the welding buisness so I should be able to get a 20lb tank
pretty easy. I will spend some time in the next few days and get
smart on the rest of the system and start ordering parts. I did pick
up 3 Plecos today as well, none of the LFS's have any true SAE's at
the moment. The stuff I have is mostly bright green carpet looking.
Very slimy and very hard to get off the plants. I have a few long
threads as well. With a green scrubbie it is pretty easy to keep the
glass clean but everything else in the tank is fairly coated. There
are spots where it has gotten heavy and it turns brown there. So I
am not sure if I have different kinds or just a bad case of one type.

It is fine that I do all this now as eventually I hope to
convince the wife that a 80 Gal is what is needed for the living room.
That way I will have things pretty well set up for that project and
hopefully I will be smart enough to get it right the first time! I
ordered a CO2 test kit today and I guess in the coming weeks I will
need to start getting smart on the PMDD and macro nutrients and such.
So much more to learn!

Steve

On Tue, 8 Apr 2003 22:36:20 +0100, "Colin"
wrote:

Hm, I see your point, but even then you're running over 2.5W/Gal for 11
hours, and 0.5W/Gal for an additional for and extra six. 2.5W/Gal is a
'moderate to high' light tank: without CO2, you *will* get algae at that
much light (The extra six hours of low-level light is not going to help
plants, correct, but the lower life form (algae) will be able to utilise
it). It's annoying to have to have the tank dark for some of the period
you're awake, yes, but for less algae it's worth it! I do 12 hours lighting
total at just over 2W/Gal.. Also remember that plants *need* downtime just
like the rest of us...

(It does sound possible that the plants can't use the extra six hours
particularly well, but I've heard that it's us that are far more concerned
about spectrum than the plants! Certainly though, if the plants aren't using
it, the algae can...)

Basically, if there are nutrients and light and not enough CO2 for plants to
fix their carbon from, algae will grow (read some of Tom Barr's posts on
fins.actwin.com). The basic premise (a bit modified from the Sears and
Conlin paper that started off 'PMDD') seems to be that the lighting should
be the limiting factor, so provide enough nutrients and CO2 - then the
plants will grow at the expense of the algae. With your tank, CO2 is the
limiting factor, and you have lots of light - the plants can't grow, but the
algae can.

DIY CO2 is cheap and easy - worth a try. If you want to try something even
easier (but more costly), then Seachem do Flourish Excel, which is a non-CO2
carbon source - just tip a bit in. I've not tried this, but it is supposed
to work.

I've been battling BBA (black brush algae - what type are you getting?) for
ages and I am, slowly, winning - keep going!

Good luck

Colin


"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
.. .
The Tap Nitrates are Zero. The small lights are 2 15 watt Compact
flourescents for a total of 30 watts. Being as the 30 watts are so
far out of the sunlight spectrum I did not figure them to be part of
the problem, they are in the 3000K range. Kind of thought they were
harmless?? Thanks for the quick response Colin



On Mon, 7 Apr 2003 23:41:41 +0100, "Colin"
wrote:

You could try reducing your lighting - 17 hours is way too long for most
tropical plants. I'd shoot for 12 hours max, maybe 11.5 hrs main lights

and
15 mins either side for the small lights.

Also, you say 'small lightS' so I'm assuming at least 60W of PCs, plus

110W
of standard - that's a LOT of light for a non-CO2 injected tank 3W/Gal

plus.
Generally (big generalisation) you'll need CO2 at anything over 2W/Gal in
order to stave off algae, in my understanding.

Try DIY CO2, if cost is an issue - lots on it at the krib. Shouldn't cost
much (maybe 20$ at most, though I'm in the UK...). You'll need two 2L
bottles for that size tank, changed in rotation once per week each, so

it'll
be some work - but a lot less than big water changes! If it works - go

for
the pressurised system, much much much less hassle, I've not touched mine

in
months. With 3W/Gal and CO2, you'll then need to make sure that your

plants
have enough trace elements (iron, 'fertiliser') and macro elements
(magnesium, potassium, phosphate (yes, really!)) to keep growing and

sucking
up that nitrate. Plenty on it on the web, search for 'PMDD'...

Hopefully, this lot should get your plants growing faster, which will

help
use up the nitrates. Sounds like a heavy fish load, plus possibly high

NO3
concentration out of your faucet (you have tested the tapwater, haven't
you?) are the culprits.

Hope this helps...

Colin

"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
news Hello All

I am still having problems with a 55 gal setup and need some advice.

This is a 3 month old setup that was originally plastic plants.
About 4 weeks ago I took it down and changed out the substrate to pure
flourite. I also added 110 watts of light ( 10,000 K) and a "bunch"
of plants. I saved the water and kept the filter going in the temp
containers as to preserve the cycle. Everything went well. Since
then:

PH has been stable at @7.0
AM has been non existent
NO2 has been Non existent
GH has fluxed 70-90
KH around 35
NO3 has been off the scale.


I have been doing way too many water change outs trying to get and
keep the Nitrates low and have not been sucessfull. Algae is almost
completely out of controll. Water change outs seem to halt it's
growth for a couple days then it takes off again. I have done 4 50%
water change outs in the last 10 days and again today my Nitrate is in
excess of 80 PPM. When it gets that bad I can not tell the difference
between the shades of red on the indicator card.

Fish loading is heavy but not excessive I think. Plant loading in my
interpretation is Moderate to Heavy. I have cleaned the tank
repeatedly and there is no wasting organic matter. I also do not
believe I am overfeeding. I have little ( 30 watt) 3000k Compact
flourescents on for about 17 hours a day and the big lights ( 110
watts) for about 11 hours each day.

I have read a bit about CO2 and think that may be part of the
problem, but I hate to waste a bunch of money if it is not required.
If CO2 is the only way the wife says get it today!! She is tired of
me doing water changes every other day in her livingroom!
So my questions a

Is it possible to get this under control with out CO2 injection??

Is ther anything else I should be doing/ thinking about??

Thanks

Steve










  #6   Report Post  
Old 10-04-2003, 12:20 AM
Colin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Need help Nitrates/ Algae

You've no idea how familiar this all sounds ;-)

I have to say that after proving to myself that CO2 worked with DIY, going
to pressurized was well worth it. Far less hassle - just make sure you don't
overdose on CO2 and kill your fish! I predict your next questions will be
about regulators, needle valves and the best CO2 reactors, and which
electronic pH meters are the best... (none of which I can really help you
with, but the APD on fins.actwin.com can). Welcome to the long slippery
slope to hi-tech planted tank ownership! ;-) Great fun.

Incidentally, I'm now finding I'm spending less time looking at the fish and
more at the plants....

Loads of luck!

Colin

"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
news
Well I am shutting off the small lights now and will run them
only about 1/2 hour each side of the big lights. I have also backed
the big lights down to 10 hours with the small ones on for about 11
hours total now. I hope that slows the Algae until I can get a CO2
system up and running. Spent most of the last 24 hours reading about
CO2 systems. I think I will go ahead and take the plunge. I have a
friend in the welding buisness so I should be able to get a 20lb tank
pretty easy. I will spend some time in the next few days and get
smart on the rest of the system and start ordering parts. I did pick
up 3 Plecos today as well, none of the LFS's have any true SAE's at
the moment. The stuff I have is mostly bright green carpet looking.
Very slimy and very hard to get off the plants. I have a few long
threads as well. With a green scrubbie it is pretty easy to keep the
glass clean but everything else in the tank is fairly coated. There
are spots where it has gotten heavy and it turns brown there. So I
am not sure if I have different kinds or just a bad case of one type.

It is fine that I do all this now as eventually I hope to
convince the wife that a 80 Gal is what is needed for the living room.
That way I will have things pretty well set up for that project and
hopefully I will be smart enough to get it right the first time! I
ordered a CO2 test kit today and I guess in the coming weeks I will
need to start getting smart on the PMDD and macro nutrients and such.
So much more to learn!

Steve

On Tue, 8 Apr 2003 22:36:20 +0100, "Colin"
wrote:

Hm, I see your point, but even then you're running over 2.5W/Gal for 11
hours, and 0.5W/Gal for an additional for and extra six. 2.5W/Gal is a
'moderate to high' light tank: without CO2, you *will* get algae at that
much light (The extra six hours of low-level light is not going to help
plants, correct, but the lower life form (algae) will be able to utilise
it). It's annoying to have to have the tank dark for some of the period
you're awake, yes, but for less algae it's worth it! I do 12 hours

lighting
total at just over 2W/Gal.. Also remember that plants *need* downtime

just
like the rest of us...

(It does sound possible that the plants can't use the extra six hours
particularly well, but I've heard that it's us that are far more

concerned
about spectrum than the plants! Certainly though, if the plants aren't

using
it, the algae can...)

Basically, if there are nutrients and light and not enough CO2 for plants

to
fix their carbon from, algae will grow (read some of Tom Barr's posts on
fins.actwin.com). The basic premise (a bit modified from the Sears and
Conlin paper that started off 'PMDD') seems to be that the lighting

should
be the limiting factor, so provide enough nutrients and CO2 - then the
plants will grow at the expense of the algae. With your tank, CO2 is the
limiting factor, and you have lots of light - the plants can't grow, but

the
algae can.

DIY CO2 is cheap and easy - worth a try. If you want to try something

even
easier (but more costly), then Seachem do Flourish Excel, which is a

non-CO2
carbon source - just tip a bit in. I've not tried this, but it is

supposed
to work.

I've been battling BBA (black brush algae - what type are you getting?)

for
ages and I am, slowly, winning - keep going!

Good luck

Colin


"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
.. .
The Tap Nitrates are Zero. The small lights are 2 15 watt Compact
flourescents for a total of 30 watts. Being as the 30 watts are so
far out of the sunlight spectrum I did not figure them to be part of
the problem, they are in the 3000K range. Kind of thought they were
harmless?? Thanks for the quick response Colin



On Mon, 7 Apr 2003 23:41:41 +0100, "Colin"
wrote:

You could try reducing your lighting - 17 hours is way too long for

most
tropical plants. I'd shoot for 12 hours max, maybe 11.5 hrs main

lights
and
15 mins either side for the small lights.

Also, you say 'small lightS' so I'm assuming at least 60W of PCs, plus

110W
of standard - that's a LOT of light for a non-CO2 injected tank 3W/Gal

plus.
Generally (big generalisation) you'll need CO2 at anything over 2W/Gal

in
order to stave off algae, in my understanding.

Try DIY CO2, if cost is an issue - lots on it at the krib. Shouldn't

cost
much (maybe 20$ at most, though I'm in the UK...). You'll need two 2L
bottles for that size tank, changed in rotation once per week each, so

it'll
be some work - but a lot less than big water changes! If it works - go

for
the pressurised system, much much much less hassle, I've not touched

mine
in
months. With 3W/Gal and CO2, you'll then need to make sure that your

plants
have enough trace elements (iron, 'fertiliser') and macro elements
(magnesium, potassium, phosphate (yes, really!)) to keep growing and

sucking
up that nitrate. Plenty on it on the web, search for 'PMDD'...

Hopefully, this lot should get your plants growing faster, which will

help
use up the nitrates. Sounds like a heavy fish load, plus possibly high

NO3
concentration out of your faucet (you have tested the tapwater,

haven't
you?) are the culprits.

Hope this helps...

Colin

"WhiskerFish" wrote in message
news Hello All

I am still having problems with a 55 gal setup and need some

advice.

This is a 3 month old setup that was originally plastic plants.
About 4 weeks ago I took it down and changed out the substrate to

pure
flourite. I also added 110 watts of light ( 10,000 K) and a "bunch"
of plants. I saved the water and kept the filter going in the temp
containers as to preserve the cycle. Everything went well. Since
then:

PH has been stable at @7.0
AM has been non existent
NO2 has been Non existent
GH has fluxed 70-90
KH around 35
NO3 has been off the scale.


I have been doing way too many water change outs trying to get and
keep the Nitrates low and have not been sucessfull. Algae is almost
completely out of controll. Water change outs seem to halt it's
growth for a couple days then it takes off again. I have done 4 50%
water change outs in the last 10 days and again today my Nitrate is

in
excess of 80 PPM. When it gets that bad I can not tell the

difference
between the shades of red on the indicator card.

Fish loading is heavy but not excessive I think. Plant loading in

my
interpretation is Moderate to Heavy. I have cleaned the tank
repeatedly and there is no wasting organic matter. I also do not
believe I am overfeeding. I have little ( 30 watt) 3000k Compact
flourescents on for about 17 hours a day and the big lights ( 110
watts) for about 11 hours each day.

I have read a bit about CO2 and think that may be part of the
problem, but I hate to waste a bunch of money if it is not required.
If CO2 is the only way the wife says get it today!! She is tired of
me doing water changes every other day in her livingroom!
So my questions a

Is it possible to get this under control with out CO2 injection??

Is ther anything else I should be doing/ thinking about??

Thanks

Steve












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