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Can DIY fertilizer cause algae?

Arturosito

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Joined
11 Sep 2020
Messages
33
Location
Mexico
I'm trying to rule out every possibility for my thread algae. I have a high tek, good lighting, new RO system, good soil, and using no-brand fertilizers for aquarium (NPK). So I'm wondering if the fertilizers could be responsible and I should just buy seachem or something? What are the chances?
 

Shuster

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2020
Messages
33
Location
Israel
It's possible to get alge due to unstable / immature planted tank .

I am using diy macro
Kno3
Kh2po4
Kcl

Got my tank a bit out off stability due to argue with my mate regarding "how to get bba?" LOL

Now I am on stage of "how to fix the root cause"

fd7df7b230a87357cc3569d9f68610d2.jpg


After maintenance
fb1a2a7184dba75eff58daa66855685b.jpg


All you want to get is a lovely "picture" from your tank I think.
And it's up to you and your tank needs how to achieve this.


FYI
Soil DIY
Npk DIY
Macro plantex+b
No RO

Sent from my GM1913 using Tapatalk
 

Arturosito

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Thread starter
Joined
11 Sep 2020
Messages
33
Location
Mexico
Thanks. You also mention inmature planted tank. My tank is a little over 3 months old. Can we assume algae is due to lack of maturity? If it is possible, how long to achieve that maturity/stability?


It's possible to get alge due to unstable / immature planted tank .

I am using diy macro
Kno3
Kh2po4
Kcl

Got my tank a bit out off stability due to argue with my mate regarding "how to get bba?" LOL

Now I am on stage of "how to fix the root cause"

fd7df7b230a87357cc3569d9f68610d2.jpg


After maintenance
fb1a2a7184dba75eff58daa66855685b.jpg


All you want to get is a lovely "picture" from your tank I think.
And it's up to you and your tank needs how to achieve this.


FYI
Soil DIY
Npk DIY
Macro plantex+b
No RO

Sent from my GM1913 using Tapatalk
 

Shuster

Member
Joined
14 Apr 2020
Messages
33
Location
Israel
Hi,

It's not related to time but to stable water parameters.

Unfortunately, I never go "by the book"
Never done a "cycle" in any of my tanks...

It will be best to wait for someone with more experience then me.

Have a good luck anyway

Sent from my GM1913 using Tapatalk
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,470
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
So I'm wondering if the fertilizers could be responsible and I should just buy seachem or something? What are the chances?
It is a question that comes up quite a bit, the simple answer is "none at all", but it does need some explanation.

If you think of the all the photosynthetic organisms as "plants" you have the ones you planted ("plants") and the plants that have just grown ("algae"), but they are all plants.

You can see that if you provide nutrients for the plants you want, you also provide nutrients for the plants you don't want. If you add a fertiliser, and you get a sudden flush of algae, it just means that one of the <"essential"> plant nutrients <"was limiting before, and now it isn't">.

All <"ions, of an element, are the same in solution">, a potassium ion (K+) doesn't know where it came from, it is the same <"as every other potassium ion">. Branded products should offer ease of use, but they are <"an expensive option">.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
It's not related to time but to stable water parameters.
Never done a "cycle" in any of my tanks...
A lot of us do the same, just plant up the tank and let it grow in, once you have a <"reasonable plant mass"> (in active growth) <"your tank is "cycled">.

@Arturosito may be interested in our recent thread <"Dr Timothy Hovanec's comments.......">.

The growing in period varies. I like at least six weeks, but I'm <"pretty risk adverse">.

I like a floating plant, it has access to <"aerial CO2 and light">, which means that you can also use it to diagnose nutrient deficiencies. I called this technique the <"Duckweed Index">, but really you just look at plant growth and leaf colour. There are some details in <"The scientific background to the ........">.

cheers Darrel
 
Joined
20 Dec 2019
Messages
459
Location
South Carolina
A lot of us do the same, just plant up the tank and let it grow in, once you have a <"reasonable plant mass"> (in active growth) <"your tank is "cycled">.

I think that’s the perfect explanation. I think the time it takes to find balance has a lot to due with the health of the plants when they are planted and the “hotness” of your substrate. My tank had an inch of soil AND aquasoil, not to mention a crummy supply of CO2 due to my own failure. I think having a stable supply of CO2 early on is the most important time to have your CO2 dialed in. A time where plants are transitioning and attempting to recover from possible damage, their most desired nutrient is carbon. It’s been beaten like a dead horse around here, but until you see it for yourself you don’t realize.
 

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
I think having a stable supply of CO2 early on is the most important time to have your CO2 dialed in. A time where plants are transitioning and attempting to recover from possible damage, their most desired nutrient is carbon
I'm pretty sure that is it. "Active growth" is what you need, and plants will be carbon limited because they gone from 400 ppm CO2 to less than 5 ppm CO2.

You can get around it as an issue by using floating plants (which have access to aerial CO2), but any plants you've bought, that have been grown emersed, will need to transition to submerged growth.


While your Cryptocoryne spp. etc <"are melting">, they are adding to the bioload and are net oxygen users, rather than net oxygen producers.

cheers Darrel
 

Arturosito

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Thread starter
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11 Sep 2020
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Location
Mexico
So ok, here's the thing, the no-brand fertilizers I'm using are being applied in the suggested amounts for EI dosing. So my understanding is that with this dosing system, plants have more than they can use. Therefore, what kind of nutrient imbalances could I be having? I mean, many people don't even dose nitrogen in order to keep red colorations, how come they have no algae then.

I have 2 tanks, both with thread algae. The only thing that is the same is the RO water and the ferts I'm using. The big tank has pressurized co2, and the nano has DIY yeast and sugar. My DIY co2 mixture in the nano lasts me 2 weeks keeping a bit excesive co2 levels if I were to believe the tester. This nano has no fish or inverts, still algae. This is why I'm suggesting it has to be the RO water or the ferts, and if it would be the ferts, I would like to understand why before I buy No3 and PO4 tests.
 

milla

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3 Sep 2007
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369
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Leeds
Every tank has algea oncce it matures what you are trying to achieve is a balance your happy with (non to lots everyones different). Ferts don't cause algae they feed it and if your following EI then you have ruled out ferts as a limiting factor.

So you just have Light, Co2 and plant mass to balance to achieve the results your aiming for.
Try playing with them and stop worrying about ferts.
 

Arturosito

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Thread starter
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11 Sep 2020
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Location
Mexico
Every tank has algea oncce it matures what you are trying to achieve is a balance your happy with (non to lots everyones different). Ferts don't cause algae they feed it and if your following EI then you have ruled out ferts as a limiting factor.

So you just have Light, Co2 and plant mass to balance to achieve the results your aiming for.
Try playing with them and stop worrying about ferts.
Thank you, I just realized it could be the light as well. I will tell you why: I successfully kept planted tanks with less algae problems more than 20 years ago when compact fluorescents were the latest technology. Then I moved on to reef tanks using t5, MH, and LEDS. As you know, light requirements for corals are much higher. In fact, we could say that plants in general are low light if compared to corals. So with that in mind, I think my approach to lighting might be a bit overkill. For my main tank which is a 25 gal, I have a clip lamp (HIRO AQUATICS 50w) which I bought from amazon. It is a little known brand, but so far the lamps' capabilities have been more than enough for my plants which look very healthy and growing fast and colorful. Now, if we think about let's say TWINSTAR. A lamp for my tank would consume about 30w, so my lamp is more potent. Also, my tank is kind of shallow for its dimensions: 24" cube x 12" tall, and the substrate is raised as a slope. I planned all of this with the coral mentality (no light is enough). So if I'm suppling plenty of CO2, EI fertilization, and RO water and the plants are healthy and growing fast but so is the algae, then I think I might just have abundance of light for plants and algae to coexist together.

I came to this conclusion since my 3.5 gal nano is having similar algae problems. Like I said, this one uses diy co2 which according to the drop checker is more than enough, and same water, same ferts, and a 30w LED lamp, which would be also overkill since the tank is 8.5" tall also with a slope layout. So what I'm experimenting now is to lower the light intensity. My 50w lamp is now at 75% intensity, and the 30w about 63% intensity. I will be reporting. What do you think?
 
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I only have one of those drop checkers. I'm not adding minerals back to the water except for ferts
This is potentially your problem. Straight RO water that is completely stripped of all minerals is not a healthy environment for fish or plants and makes your tank susceptible to unstable swings. I’ll let someone else chime in with more experience but I have a strong feeling this is the reason for your instability.
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Location
Nottingham
This is potentially your problem. Straight RO water that is completely stripped of all minerals is not a healthy environment for fish or plants and makes your tank susceptible to unstable swings. I’ll let someone else chime in with more experience but I have a strong feeling this is the reason for your instability.

Thats definitely a problem for you @Arturosito - unless they are included within your no-brand ferts, you will be critically missing both Calcium and Magnesium, both of which are needed by your plants (and also by some livestock).

There are plenty of pre-made off-the-shelf remineralisation products (e.g. Salty Shrimp or Seachem Equilibrium etc) if you don't fancy doing it with DIY salts.
 
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