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Thread: Understanding String Algae

  1. #111
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    The temp change from October to November hasn't been so pronounced to make such an impact in nitrate. But my earlier reply wasn't quite accurate. It may be that a month ago I had modified my bottom drain exit to the sump, such that it has become a very effective swirl or radial flow filter. Plenty of waste has been settling, and I have been using a siphon 2x a week to suck out the waste.

    Its impact would be that there would be much less waste as source for ammonia generation. But it does not explain how my existing nitrate levels would drop to a quarter of it in a month's time. For that to happen, I would have to change a lot more water than I've been doing. I only change at most a pond's amount of water a month. At that rate of dilution, I should see nitrate levels of only 40, assuming no new ammonia being generated by the pond ecosystem.

    So there has to be some nitrate sink in the pond that is consuming the nitrate.
    From October to November my water temperature has dropped already by 1 degree celsius. It may not mean much to some hobbyist but that one percent drop is so significant to me because my water temperature has now reached 25.5 which is much closer to the optimal condition. From 10ppm nitrate I have now close to zero nitrates. TDS levels has also dropped slightly. Because of this I have increased feeding by 15%. thereby increasing nitrate and tds slightly.

    However you are correct in the sense that the mere one degree drop will not bring down nitrate levels from 80 to 20. What really brought it down is the fact that you have been doing extra effort like sipponing waste from settlement chamber before it disintegrates further by the bacteria supplements you put in the water and creates an overactive filter.

    Take note that regardless you are able to bring down nitrate levels to 20, there is still no substitute for old fashio water change.

  2. #112
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    From October to November my water temperature has dropped already by 1 degree celsius. It may not mean much to some hobbyist but that one percent drop is so significant to me because my water temperature has now reached 25.5 which is much closer to the optimal condition. From 10ppm nitrate I have now close to zero nitrates. TDS levels has also dropped slightly. Because of this I have increased feeding by 15%. thereby increasing nitrate and tds slightly.

    However you are correct in the sense that the mere one degree drop will not bring down nitrate levels from 80 to 20. What really brought it down is the fact that you have been doing extra effort like sipponing waste from settlement chamber before it disintegrates further by the bacteria supplements you put in the water and creates an overactive filter.

    Take note that regardless you are able to bring down nitrate levels to 20, there is still no substitute for old fashio water change.
    It makes me wonder now. How much percentage of ammonia production is from the gills and how much is from the decomposition of solid wastes? If indeed more is coming from solid wastes, the more important the role of waste reduction, containment, and removal is. The problem with its frequent removal is that most systems are designed in a way that requires throwing away plenty of water.

  3. #113
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    It makes me wonder now. How much percentage of ammonia production is from the gills and how much is from the decomposition of solid wastes? If indeed more is coming from solid wastes, the more important the role of waste reduction, containment, and removal is. The problem with its frequent removal is that most systems are designed in a way that requires throwing away plenty of water.
    Since different heterotrophic bacteria perform different function, I do think your EM1 decomposes organic waste faster but weaker in removing nitrates. In warmer water temperatures the bacteria organic decomposer are more active. It could be possible by removing the waste faster, waste are not easily dissolve into organic compounds such as nitrate that the heterotropic bacteria in EM1 cannot remove as efficiently.

  4. #114
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    Since different heterotrophic bacteria perform different function, I do think your EM1 decomposes organic waste faster but weaker in removing nitrates. In warmer water temperatures the bacteria organic decomposer are more active. It could be possible by removing the waste faster, waste are not easily dissolve into organic compounds such as nitrate that the heterotropic bacteria in EM1 cannot remove as efficiently.
    I'm not sure I understand your last sentence. Can you rephrase?

  5. #115
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    The temp change from October to November hasn't been so pronounced to make such an impact in nitrate. But my earlier reply wasn't quite accurate. It may be that a month ago I had modified my bottom drain exit to the sump, such that it has become a very effective swirl or radial flow filter. Plenty of waste has been settling, and I have been using a siphon 2x a week to suck out the waste.

    Its impact would be that there would be much less waste as source for ammonia generation. But it does not explain how my existing nitrate levels would drop to a quarter of it in a month's time. For that to happen, I would have to change a lot more water than I've been doing. I only change at most a pond's amount of water a month. At that rate of dilution, I should see nitrate levels of only 40, assuming no new ammonia being generated by the pond ecosystem.

    So there has to be some nitrate sink in the pond that is consuming the nitrate.
    It does seem quite a dramatic drop. However, reading color charts is not precise. Perhaps it was 75ppm, not 80ppm. Perhaps it is now 22ppm, not 20ppm. The weekly water changes could be 28%, not 25%. Fresh water may have increased with the extra siphoning. Little things do add up. Still, the drop is significant.

  6. #116
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    But isn't the concept and implementation of an algal turf scrubber all about dealing with an overactive biofilter, and chiefly about reducing and controlling nitrate levels? Granted that it has seen much use only in aquariums, but is extending that application to a pond unimaginable and that hard to apply?
    The algal turf scrubber is about removing nitrogen from the water column and then from the system when algae is harvested. If the overall algae mass in the pond is not substantially greater than it was before, the reduction in nitrate is not due to nitrogen consumption by the algae.

  7. #117
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The algal turf scrubber is about removing nitrogen from the water column and then from the system when algae is harvested. If the overall algae mass in the pond is not substantially greater than it was before, the reduction in nitrate is not due to nitrogen consumption by the algae.
    We are referring to the string algae that is in the scrubber, and in this case, in the waterfalls, and not the carpet algae by the walls, right? There is buildup of string algae in the falls and by the two biofilter chambers, yet with a reduction in carpet algae in the pond walls. What can we deduce from these?

  8. #118
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    I'm not sure I understand your last sentence. Can you rephrase?
    I am just suggesting that it could be possible that the bacterial supplement are much active in warmer water temperatures in dissolving the organic waste and producing higher nitrate levels as compared when temperature are lower.
    Also, waste are less when water temperature are lower(27c compared to 25.5c) with quantity of koi food still same. Combined that with more frequent removal of waste thru siphoning might result in a more lower nitrate reading. Nevertheless a drop from 80 to 20 is impressive considering water change as you say remained constant.

  9. #119
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    We are referring to the string algae that is in the scrubber, and in this case, in the waterfalls, and not the carpet algae by the walls, right? There is buildup of string algae in the falls and by the two biofilter chambers, yet with a reduction in carpet algae in the pond walls. What can we deduce from these?
    I am referring to all algae in the pond. Without regard to location, all of it is consuming nitrogen. The population density may have shifted from the walls to the waterfall, but if the total mass is the same, there is no meaningful change in nitrogen consumption by the algae in the pond as a whole. It is one system. It can be hypothesized that the change in the angle of the sunlight and water temperature is benefitting the algae around the waterfall, and retarding algae on the pond walls... a seasonal change. But, I doubt there is any convenient way to establish whether that is the case.

  10. #120
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I am referring to all algae in the pond. Without regard to location, all of it is consuming nitrogen. The population density may have shifted from the walls to the waterfall, but if the total mass is the same, there is no meaningful change in nitrogen consumption by the algae in the pond as a whole. It is one system. It can be hypothesized that the change in the angle of the sunlight and water temperature is benefitting the algae around the waterfall, and retarding algae on the pond walls... a seasonal change. But, I doubt there is any convenient way to establish whether that is the case.
    We all agree that the nitrate reduction is significant. I can only attempt to explain it without losing my license to observe as a hobbyist. If I have to cloak every observation with a stamp of scientific validation, with the rigor of a statistician, I would feel straightjacketed. I rather prefer the swashbuckling way of Sherlock Holmes, with a bit of elementary flourish in addressing dear Watson

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