10 Litre Nano Hitech With Utricularia Graminifolia

Bumblefish

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Bumblefish

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Thanks Chad!
That photo was a couple of months ago.
I've been struggling with the tank a little, to be honest. I have very hard water here at work (the tank is on my desk) and I dont really fancy bringing ro water to work to soften the water as, already, the fact that its on my desk hasn't gone down too well with the boss, hehe! Its doing ok but its not that lush, plush green carpet I was hoping for.
I initially had an 18w pc overhead but I felt it wasnt bright enough and switched to a much brighter LED and Ive been battling hair algae ever since. Plus, Ive been trying an all-in-one fert for simplicity/desk space. Probably will switch to separate ferts like all my other tanks and make little bottles of each. This all-in-one macro/micro offers very little control and this small tank with only UG is especially unforgiving (for me at least).
Still, its all part of the challenge and is one if my favourite tanks even with its hair algae!
 
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Bumblefish

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The reason I left algae to grow on the glass was (and Im not sure if it was such a good idea), was to compete with the hair algae as it is far easier to remove.
Thoughts?
 

Kyalgae

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With a shallow tank like that it’s easy to overload on the light. If there is lots of hair algae it means you need to increase your CO2.
 

Bumblefish

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With a shallow tank like that it’s easy to overload on the light. If there is lots of hair algae it means you need to increase your CO2.
CO2 checker is yellow green.
How far can I push it?
Also the UG is pretty pale.
Could it be that my water is simply too hard?
Or that my light is simply too bright?
Light is 1750 lm and is 2cm above the surface.
Tank is 16cm deep. Approx 10cm water and 2cm air from light to substrate level.
 
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Kyalgae

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The UG is struggling, you’re right. It looked pretty happy in your first picture. I’m guessing after you added the new higher power fixture things started to go off? The ug is pale most likely, because the nutrients and CO2 aren’t matching the light output. When something is limiting, be it nutrients, or CO2, the plants can’t resist the algae.

You’re going to have to remove all the hair algae, and then try lowering the intensity of the light, or even going back to your old light. A toothbrush might make your life easier, have you tried using that when you’re removing the algae? An easier way to measure your CO2 would be with a pH probe, you measure the pH when the tank is fully degassed, and then shoot for a 1.0 overall pH drop to start with. If your tank reads 6.8pH degassed it should read 5.8pH maybe an hour after lights on with the CO2 running.
 
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Bumblefish

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The UG is struggling, you’re right. It looked pretty happy in your first picture. I’m guessing after you added the new higher power fixture things started to go off? The ug is pale most likely, because the nutrients and CO2 aren’t matching the light output. When something is limiting, be it nutrients, or CO2, the plants can’t resist the algae.

You’re going to have to remove all the hair algae, and then try lowering the intensity of the light. A toothbrush might make your life easier, have you tried using that when you’re removing the algae? An easier way to measure your CO2 would be with a pH probe, you measure the pH when the tank is fully degassed, and then shoot for a 1.0 overall pH drop to start with. If your tank reads 6.8pH degassed it should read 5.8pH maybe an hour after lights on with the CO2 running.
Thanks for your great post. Ill see what I can do to decrease the light. I changed the light because I had a diatom bloom that would simply not go away. After increasing the light, the diatoms left in a big hurry, only to open the door to a much worse foe!
Do you think that my old 18watt power compact would have been bright enough for the UG? Could the persistent diatom bloom have been caused by something else?
I dosed peroxide last week for 3 days at 3.5ml of 6% peroxide. It hit the hair algae quite hard. Ive been using a bamboo skewer, interdental brushes and The Force to remove what didnt dissolve! Not an easy job!
 
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Kyalgae

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Diatoms are normal for a newly setup tank, Tom Barr did do a whole newsletter on them. It’s here: https://barrreport.com/articles/diatoms-bacillariophyta-and-aquatic-macrophytes-volume-3-issue-4.12/

I was trying to steer you in this direction: How to deal with spirogyra

back to back Syn.

There seems to be a lot of accounts, myself included, that if you run high light without enough co2 you’ll get hair algae. It’s a lot easier to meet co2 requirements on a lower light setting. I would try the lower light for two weeks and see what happens. Worst comes to worst you can always change it back. It’s your work tank, so that would be the simplest treatment option, you don’t want to have to fiddle with it a lot at work. Lower light, rich co2, and moderate ferts, as Tom suggests is a very hassle free option. That’s exactly what I run, and I haven’t had an easier time. The plants grow a lot slower, but they stay algae free, so it doesn’t matter to me. If you find that method works you could always push things at a later date by bumping your light and CO2 when you feel ready.
 
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Bumblefish

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Thanks for your advice and the links, especially the newsletters, which I have never seen before. They're excellent. I am very new to forums.

I will lower the light and report on progress.
Thanks again.
 

Bumblefish

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Diatoms are normal for a newly setup tank, Tom Barr did do a whole newsletter on them. It’s here: https://barrreport.com/articles/diatoms-bacillariophyta-and-aquatic-macrophytes-volume-3-issue-4.12/

I was trying to steer you in this direction: How to deal with spirogyra

back to back Syn.

There seems to be a lot of accounts, myself included, that if you run high light without enough co2 you’ll get hair algae. It’s a lot easier to meet co2 requirements on a lower light setting. I would try the lower light for two weeks and see what happens. Worst comes to worst you can always change it back. It’s your work tank, so that would be the simplest treatment option, you don’t want to have to fiddle with it a lot at work. Lower light, rich co2, and moderate ferts, as Tom suggests is a very hassle free option. That’s exactly what I run, and I haven’t had an easier time. The plants grow a lot slower, but they stay algae free, so it doesn’t matter to me. If you find that method works you could always push things at a later date by bumping your light and CO2 when you feel ready.
Finally! The tank is under control. All the hair algae is gone and the UG is much greener and is putting out broader 'leaves'! I increased CO2 and increased aeration. I reduced ferts a touch and I'm now adding daily instead of biweekly. I put in a cover glass and expect that has reduced the light by a few %. Also, I added some baby ramshorn snails which seemingly have done a great job cleaning up the hair algae lodged deep in the UG. It's crazy how quickly this has resolved itself.
20180209_161658.jpg
 
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Bumblefish

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Questions... Could it be that the UG went into shock after upgrading my light? And now it has simply acclimated?

If yes, what happens to plants physiologically during such a phase? Do they stop photosynthesising etc?
 

Kyalgae

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Finally! The tank is under control. All the hair algae is gone and the UG is much greener and is putting out broader 'leaves'! I increased CO2 and increased aeration. I reduced ferts a touch and I'm now adding daily instead of biweekly. I put in a cover glass and expect that has reduced the light by a few %. Also, I added some baby ramshorn snails which seemingly have done a great job cleaning up the hair algae lodged deep in the UG. It's crazy how quickly this has resolved itself.View attachment 12096

You added a cover glass, I’m willing to bet that keeps more CO2 in the tank. How much of the top gets covered? And the condensation of water on the glass would also help bring down the amount of light getting to the plants. There was this tank I looked at one time, it had 450w of led lights on it. They were ecotech radions, and the guy who was looking after the tank was wondering why he was pulling fistfulls of hair algae out of the tank every week. Without a par meter it’s hard to say but I think the glass reduced the light on your tank more than you might guess. I’m glad the nightmare is over for you!

Questions... Could it be that the UG went into shock after upgrading my light? And now it has simply acclimated?

You could test it and see if it was light related, just take the cover glass off, and bring the light back to the level when the problems started happening. See if things repeat themselves. I can’t speak what might be happening physiologically, but it could be a neat little experiment! Then you’ll know for sure.