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  1. JamesC

    The Importance of GH Booster.

    Cool, probably wasn't potassium then. But yes GH Booster contains loads of potassium sulphate and depending what one you use it often has more potassium sulphate than the calcium and magnesium sulphate. Bit of a con really, at least Seachem call their one Equilibrium which is much more...
  2. JamesC

    The Importance of GH Booster.

    Great you got it sorted. Remember though that GH Booster contains quite a lot of potassium sulphate as well and it may be this that is causing your plants to suddenly pearl. From my own experience I've noticed that adding potassium has a greater immediate effect on plants than adding calcium or...
  3. JamesC

    has anyone read this? (sears-conlin article on algae)

    If you haven't already take a wander over to CAU - http://www.cau-aqua.net/ and look how the CO2 enriched tanks there are set up and also the dosing. Lighting is fairly high, CO2 is high but water column dosing is lean. Yes ADA AS is used but a lot of the scapes use moss, ferns etc that get all...
  4. JamesC

    has anyone read this? (sears-conlin article on algae)

    Couldn't agree more. I've got so fed up listening to the EI brigade that I no longer bother posting. James
  5. JamesC

    possible clearer algaue info.

    The article was talking about NON PLANTED TANKS. James
  6. JamesC

    possible clearer algaue info.

    Actually it makes a massive difference. Have high NO3 and PO4 in a fish tank with no plants and with lots of light can cause massive algae problems. Limiting PO4 and NO3 along with excellent filtering are the way to reduce the algae. Also light makes a large difference. Planted tanks on the...
  7. JamesC

    green dust algae :(

    I read the links a few weeks ago and found it quite interesting. For many using tap water it would be quite hard to control as calcium levels are already quite high and can't be altered easily. You have to leave the 'EI bubble' for it to make any sense. James
  8. JamesC

    algae ID please

    Thanks, I may add it when I get a mo. James
  9. JamesC

    algae ID please

    Cladophora. Looks quite pretty for an algae. If you want rid carefully remove it by the root and then check your CO2 levels and distribution. James
  10. JamesC

    Black Bushy Algae

    Sorry about that. I was going to say earlier that I've had to revert back to old 4 letter word searching because we had problems with the stability of the forum. Some of you may have seen the other day that the forum kept going down. It's a bit of a pain but I'm afraid we're going to have to...
  11. JamesC

    Does anybody here use glutaraldehyde?

    Depending on the concentration it kills most things. At the recommended dose it is an algaecide but also kills some plants as well so is a sort of herbicide. Keep upping the dose and it'll start killing more things. James
  12. JamesC

    Does anybody here use glutaraldehyde?

    Wikipedia to the rescue - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isomer. Basically a compound that has the same chemical formula but a different structure. James
  13. JamesC

    Does anybody here use glutaraldehyde?

    Seachem's Excel using an isomer of glutaraldehyde which they claim is a lot safer. More about it here - http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6854 James
  14. JamesC

    Does anybody here use glutaraldehyde?

    Here's one place - http://www.agarscientific.com/catalogue/action_catalogue.asp?spx=1&sat=2&saa=11&jumpto=14FIGL Out of interest how are you going to polymerize it? Is it just a case of using an alkaline buffer and leaving it to stand? I would have thought that depending on the polymer formed...
  15. JamesC

    Does anybody here use glutaraldehyde?

    When I searched on Google for it a while ago I found a few UK based places that sold it online. You need to create an account so I never bothered to take it further. It's actually fairly cheap and you can get it in 500ml quantities of 25% and 50% solutions. It does go off over time...
  16. JamesC

    Thread Algae

    If it's not green then that probably rules out spirogyra. Most likely going to be rhizoclonium. James
  17. JamesC

    Anubias and Greenspot

    TPN+ is very lean on PO4. You can always make your own Easylife Fosfo by adding 4.0g of mono potassium phosphate to 500ml of water. This is exactly the same except that it doesn't come with a pretty bottle. 10ml in 500 litres of tank water gives 0.1ppm phosphate. I would add 0.2ppm PO4 daily...
  18. JamesC

    Green Spot after 2 weeks of EI

    Look at CO2 levels and flow as well. James
  19. JamesC

    Erythromycin

    If a blackout is ineffective then it's because light is getting in during the blackout. It only requires a small amount of light to ruin the blackout. If it keeps coming back afterwards then it's because conditions aren't up to scratch in your tank. Those are what you need to fix. Even if you...
  20. JamesC

    Erythromycin

    That is exactly the problem. If you really want some then you have to go to your local vet and get some on prescription. I can't see them being very helpful if you tell them it's for clearing up a bit of algae. Anti-biotics are very strictly controlled in the UK, and rightly so, so if you...
  21. JamesC

    Algae images required

    Nice piccies. For info they are more staghorn than BBA George, I'd like to help but all the photo's on my website are copyright and I don't have any as I never get algae :lol: James
  22. JamesC

    another "what algae is this" photo

    Looks like Rhizoclonium. James
  23. JamesC

    Identifying 'hairy' algae

    Cladophora is a branching algae that is rough if rubbed between your fingers wheras Spirogyra is single strands that feel slimy. http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm for photo's James
  24. JamesC

    Cloudy Water Conundrum

    I had exactly the same thing a few years ago except worse. Tank was like pea soup in the morning and yet by lights out time it was crystal clear and pearling away. Went on for days. Eventually got fed up with it and purchased a UV after which it never reappeared. James
  25. JamesC

    Newbie trying to understand Algae problem

    Can't see a day of low CO2 being too much of a problem as long as the rest of the time it is constant and stable during uptake periods. Takes plants much longer to shift their manufacturing processes. The semi permeable membrane and pH probe has already been thought of and made by Tom Barr. James
  26. JamesC

    Newbie trying to understand Algae problem

    Having short lived CO2 fluctuations won't do any harm, ie when doing a water change or replacing an empty CO2 bottle. Strange you say that your CO2 flow rate fluctuates with new or nearly empty bottles. As long as this doesn't happen too much and doesn't last long then you should be OK. If it...
  27. JamesC

    Erythromycin for BGA treatment

    Blackouts work 100% if done correctly. Things like bin liners do let a small amount of light so you have to make sure no light at all gets into the tank. If BGA comes back after a blackout the chances are it'll come back after using anti biotics as well. James
  28. JamesC

    Green Water - Whats Best?

    Once it's there it can be very hard to remove. Water changes don't normally help. The only 100% way to clear it is to use a UV steriliser/clarifier. Sometimes it disappears just as quickly as it appeared. I had an interesting case a few years ago when first thing in the morning the water was so...
  29. JamesC

    Algae starting to form, ID needed

    Rhizoclonium. Take a look at http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm for starters. James
  30. JamesC

    How can I get rid of this?

    That would be the best solution I'd think. James
  31. JamesC

    How can I get rid of this?

    I did have a mild case of spirogyra a couple of years ago after a major rescape but it didn't last very long and hasn't returned since. Suppose it could have remained dormant all that time? Dunno. What I still have growing looks 100% algae free. Hungry rosy barbs will soon clear it up and I...
  32. JamesC

    How can I get rid of this?

    uuuuuw errrrr - is that the stuff I sent you? It's spirogyra and and loves the same conditions as plants do. Often started a few weeks after doing a rescape or a lot of substrate disturbance. Cut your lighting back as it loves bright lights and it should hopefully should go. Keep pulling out as...
  33. JamesC

    Green Spot Questions

    Dosing EI and adding more PO4 does usually work against GSA. But if you are dosing leaner levels then adding more seems to make GSA worse. Not sure why but I'm not the only one to notice it. Plants require very small amounts of PO4 so as long as you provide enough to keep them happy there is no...
  34. JamesC

    Green Spot Questions

    Hiya, Which recipe are you using? If it's the PMDD+PO4 one then yes adding more PO4 does seem to increase GSA problems. The only real way to rid GSA off the leaves is to cut them off. But, if when you do a water change these leaves are exposed then you can mix 1:1 excel:water and use a sprayer...
  35. JamesC

    bga article

    Great read. Thanks for posting link. James
  36. JamesC

    Cyanobacteria (BGA)

    This just isn't the case and I'd be interested in seeing where you got that figure from. T5's are better but not that much better. The longer the tube becomes the less of an improvement there is over T8's. As a rough guide T5 tubes around the 18 Watt figure are about 35% more efficient than...
  37. JamesC

    Blue Green Algae linked to low/no co2?

    People disagree with me, and they may be right, but I've noticed a trend with this type of BBA appearing in CO2 rich water flow and having a high KH. Not everyone gets it with high KH so it's not directly to blame. James
  38. JamesC

    Blue Green Algae linked to low/no co2?

    Ha ha, that has always confused me. You're not the only one to get BBA where there is water flow rich in CO2. Do you know the KH of your tank water? James
  39. JamesC

    Blue Green Algae linked to low/no co2?

    Just looks like in some of the photo's there is some muck mixed in with the algae. BBA always suggests low/poor circulation of CO2. James
  40. JamesC

    Blue Green Algae linked to low/no co2?

    The hair algae you have looks like rhizoclonium. See my algae guide to see some photo's for ID - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm. Having both BGA and rhizoclonium suggests a dirty tank or uneaten food. Poor circulation is also another factor. 3-4 day blackouts work very well against...
  41. JamesC

    bga

    Or you could use a dosing calculator to make up the solutions - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/calculator.htm. EI doses about 8ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 3 times a week. For the dry trace mix add 30g to 500ml water and dose at 10ml 3x a week for your 180 litre. If your tap water is low on magnesium...
  42. JamesC

    bga

    Yep, N:P ratio hasn't got much to do with it. But with high PO4, CO2 etc and pretty low NO3, then NO3 is going to become limited causing the BGA problem. Add 3x more NO3 and you should be OK. James
  43. JamesC

    bga

    Where did you get those dosing figures from as they are way out for Estimative Index? I calculate that at the moment you are dosing 2.8ppm NO3 and 3.5ppm PO4 three times a week. The figures for EI are about 8ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 three times a week. The low NO3 dosing compared to the high PO4...
  44. JamesC

    Thread Algae

    Garden Direct sell 2 trace element mixes. The first one is the Chelated Trace Element Mix - http://www.gardendirect.co.uk/chelated-trace-element-mix-p-887 and as ceg4048 pointed out it is lower in iron and a lot higher in copper. Before Aqua Essentials started selling traces I used this one and...
  45. JamesC

    algae please help

    HMA is Heavy Metal Axe I believe which is water that's gone through a heavy metal filter. I can see BGA, GSA and Diatoms in your pictures. Take a look at this guide which helps ID your algae more - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm In short your problems lie with not enough fast...
  46. JamesC

    Dusko's Algae Guide

    As there seems some interest in dosing with ammonia and urea I've started a new thread specifically on this subject rather than possibly taking over this algae article thread. New thread : http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=925 James
  47. JamesC

    Dusko's Algae Guide

    I looked at ammonia additions to tanks a while ago. A few notes for you. Seachem Nitrogen uses guanidine and potassium nitrate as their source for N. Guanidine is similar to urea. I think I'm correct in believing that plants can utilise the Urea but algae can't - may need to check on this...
  48. JamesC

    Dusko's Algae Guide

    :shock: Wow clive I'm speechless. That is truely impressive and for anyone that says Estimative doesn't work, this is the proof it does. Thanks for sharing James
  49. JamesC

    Brown clado?

    Patience I'm afraid. If you want to hit it hard then this method hurts most algae hard, but may not kill it. Remove as much as possible first. Three day blackout with large water changes every evening. No CO2. Dose with KNO3 and PO4 as normal dose amounts. After three days lights on and dose as...
  50. JamesC

    Brown clado?

    Yep, rescaping means substrate disturbance means ammonia spikes. Green filamentous algaes can sometimes be more problematic than types of algae. Good stable CO2 is important. Keep dosing well and large water changes should get it under control. A bit controversial but if it doesn't improve...
  51. JamesC

    Brown clado?

    It's rhizoclonium. http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm Usually down to neglect and ammonia problems. Shouldn't be too hard to clear with good CO2 and nutrients. Remove as much as you can whenever it appears. James
  52. JamesC

    Black Brush Algea

    There does some to be some correlation between high KH and problem BBA. It's something I've noticed for a while with people that have hard water. I think it could be something to do with fact that CO2 is linked to HCO3/CO3 when dissolved in water. James
  53. JamesC

    Guide for algae?

    Thanks for the compliment. I actually set it up as a reference for myself as at the time there was so much conflicting advice around. James
  54. JamesC

    Algae ID and Help!

    That is staghorn algae you have there. It is a member of the 'red algae' family which also includes black brush algae. Poor CO2 levels are the main reason but also overfeeding the fish, mulm buidup and dirty filters can cause it. It seems not too bad at the mo so cut out as much as possible...
  55. JamesC

    JBL Algol

    Nope, I just dosed the whole tank as instructed. It was a while ago now but I remember thinking at the time it was pretty powerful stuff and that it did affect my plants for a while so most likely wouldn't use it again. I'm not a great fan of algae killers and have never used any except this one...
  56. JamesC

    JBL Algol

    A while ago when I had a bad case of cladophora I decided to give it a go as it was said to not affect shrimp. Dosed as instructed. The cladophora algae was affected and growth almost stopped, but it didn't die. Fish and shrimp seemed to be unaffected. But the plants were affected big time and...
  57. JamesC

    Green algae.

    Keeping algae out of an unplanted tank is always going to be hard unless you limit the light. What Clive has said is good and to be honest I haven't really got much to add. If the algae on the glass is difficult to remove then it could be green spot algae rather than green dust algae wich wipes...
  58. JamesC

    what is this algae and how do i get rid of it

    The plants that I'm aware of that are affectd by excel are Egeria Densa, Riccia, Vallis and Fissidens. Some people find that they are affected with normal dosing and others don't. With overdosing they are very likely to be affected. James
  59. JamesC

    Fluffy Brown Hair Algae

    I had often wondered why I only got diatoms in newly setup tanks which then disappeared after a few weeks. I didn't totally buy the fact that silicates were the only cause of diatoms as they are present all the time from the gravel, tap water, etc. I did notice though that tanks setup with...
  60. JamesC

    what is this algae and how do i get rid of it

    Hi Ark, The algae you have is rhizoclonium and is normally caused by low CO2, low nutrient levels and lack of tank maintanence. Low CO2 isn't an issue in your case as you have a low light system but nutrient levels and tank maintanence most likely are. I would at least use something like...
  61. JamesC

    GDA - the best cure?

    Yep, don't touch it for 3 weeks. Then wipe clean and water change. Sometimes takes 2 applications and possibly 4 weeks of waiting. James
  62. JamesC

    Spirogyra and Amano Shrimp.

    Spirogyra is quite weak and is easily broken so maybe you have something else. I looked at it under a microscope to confirm. Fascinating to look at I think. Yep, the water changes are done at night when there is little light. James
  63. JamesC

    Spirogyra and Amano Shrimp.

    It is pretty resistant I found. Excel hurts it but doesn't kill it. One thing that Tom Barr suggested was to do a three day blackout and doing a large water change after each day during the blackout and adding NO3 and PO4 back that had been removed. This really hits it quite hard I found, but...
  64. JamesC

    Spirogyra and Amano Shrimp.

    Snap. I got it also when I did a rescape. Reason is because disturbing the substrate releases small amounts of ammonia. Took me quite a while to clear totally. Spirogyra thrives in high light so reducing the lighting may help. I cleared mine by lots of water changes and normal dosing excel and...
  65. JamesC

    Spirogyra and Amano Shrimp.

    Am afraid not. James
  66. JamesC

    Staghorn and Thread

    It sounds as though it is most likely due to substrate disturbance and/or overfeeding then. Pulling up plants, etc often causes ammonia to be released from the substrate as does over feeding and an unnoticed dead fish/shrimp. Follow any rescaping with a large water change. Let us know how you...
  67. JamesC

    Staghorn and Thread

    You shouldn't need to dose more than the recommended levels suggested by EI. The appearance of staghorn is often a sign of over feeding, dirty substrate, etc and also some filamentous green algaes appear due to ammonia spikes that are undetectable by test kits. Whenever doing work on the tank...
  68. JamesC

    Help me rid of this blasted stuff once and for all!

    Much easier to get some ottos. They love the stuff and will keep your tank clean of diatoms. James
  69. JamesC

    Help me rid of this blasted stuff once and for all!

    Looks like it could be diatoms to me as well. A characteristic feature of diatom cells is that they are encased within a unique cell wall made of silica which is why you often get them with new setups which have lots of silicates in the substrate. There is a possibility that if you have always...
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