JBL AquaCristal UV-C: Does the ultraviolet light destroy active ingredients of my aquatic plant fertiliser?
UVC light degrades the chelators in the fertilizers, which prevent the precipitation of trace elements such as iron, among others. Therefore, when using a UVC water clarifier, it is advisable to change over to daily fertilisation. The standard dose needs to be converted into a daily dose at the beginning. It may also be necessary to increase the fertiliser dose slightly. Iron should be detectable in traces at least prior to each subsequent application of fertiliser. Vitamins and other higher grade organic compounds may likewise be broken down. Therefore, when using vitamins, it is advisable to add the fertilizer with the food twice a week.
I would like to fertilise my plants with your product and change over completely. How do I go about doing that?
Generally, one should never change plant fertilizers abruptly. The fertilizers from different manufacturers have somewhat different compositions in terms of trace elements. This may cause temporary nutrient changes. It is best to change over in 3 steps:
1) Reduction of the old fertilizer by 1/3; replace this with 1/3 of the new fertilizer. Wait approx. 3-4 weeks and observe the reaction of the plants.
2) Reduction of the old fertilizer by 2/3; replace this with 2/3 of the new fertilizer. Wait approx. 3-4 weeks and observe the reaction of the plants.
3) Complete discontinuation of the old fertilizer and change-over to the new fertilizer.
It is important to observe the reaction of plant growth and, in addition, to check the iron content of the water at least 2x weekly. Whereas the value should never drop to 0, it should never exceed 0.2 mg/l if possible. However, short peaks are no cause for concern.
These measures should generally be carried out on a weekly basis, ideally right after a water change. This achieves better results than fertilizing in large doses at longer intervals.
Where did my algae come from?
Algae problems in an aquarium can never be traced to just one factor or general condition, and instead, are always the result of a combination of different factors, which include light, fertilization, water changes – specifically, how often and how much – feeding, fish population and, of course, the specific water parameters.
According to analyses that were performed over a course of a number of years, red algae, at least the common brush algae and beard algae, occur in descending order at the following parameters:
1) too little carbon dioxide (in relationship to 100 % of the measured tank); the pH level should be in the slightly acetic range, depending on the carbonate hardness, in every case.
2) elevated phosphate levels (over 90 %); phosphate limitation by means of JBL PhosEx ultra is often helpful here.
3) too little and too irregular fertilization (there should always be traces of iron at least).
4) insufficient water changes; a weekly water change of over 30 % is recommended for algae problems.
5) not enough fast-growing plants.
Should the amount of fertiliser be reduced when there is algae trouble ?
A comprehensive answer to this question cannot be provided, as this would require a comprehensive analysis of the water, the fertilisation, lighting and the carbon dioxide supply, plus regular water care.
Although algae can be attributed to an excess of nutrients - particularly phosphate and nitrate in this case, - in many cases, they are also the result of a lack of so-called micronutrients, of which iron is the best known. Very often, this is the deeper cause of the algae problem.
When algae growth occurs, it is generally highly advisable to increase the amount and frequency of water changes, make sure there is a sufficient supply of fast-growing plants and fertilise these with JBL Ferropol or JBL Ferropol 24 in accordance with the instructions.
What’s the best way to deal with brush and beard algae?
1. Increase the volume of water changed each week to about 30-50%.
2. Fertilise regularly after each water change, e.g. with JBL Ferropol.
3. If necessary add a daily dose of Ferropol 24.
4. If algae promoting nutrients (especially phosphate) are present in higher quantities, use e.g. JBL PhosEx ultra to keep them under control.
5. Most important is carbon dioxide. Beard and brush algae are always a sign that there is too little carbon dioxide in the water. If a CO2 system is in use, increase its dosage. Alternatively consider installing a CO2 system like JBL ProFlora u401 or m601.
6. Put in fast growing stem plants as nutrient competitors.
7. If there is strong current, reduce it slightly.