"angel hair" algae?

HowardM

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Mar 17, 2009
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About one week ago an algae appeared that looks like the angel hair that people put on Christmas trees. It is very "wispy" and can stream 3-4 inches off plants with the current flows within the tank. It may have a slight green tinge, but very slight. My camera is not working at the moment so I cannot take a picture.

Tank is 75 gallon, very light (12 inches) animal load, various plants, EI dosing, 50-60% water changes weekly, regulated CO2, about 3 bubbles/sec, drop checker shows slightly less CO2 than reference, recently (4 weeks ago) cut lighting from Coralife 2 x 96 watt to a Coralife 50/50 combo 1 x 96 watt. Added some plants shortly before algae appeared, so it likely came in on the new plants although there is no sign of any at the local fish store tank where it was purchased.

Will increasing the CO2 to match the reference color in the drop checker solve the problem or is other action required? At present there is one pleco for algae consumption in the tank and he/she does not seem to nibble on it at all.

I have looked at quite a few pages of pictures of algae and I just have not found a match.

Ideas, thoughts, comments will be appreciated.

Howard
 
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HowardM

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Mar 17, 2009
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Thanks for the reply, Dan. No, the algae is much much finer than shown in those pictures. I have borrowed a camera and am trying to get some pictures and then will try to figure out how to post the pictures.

Howard
 

HowardM

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Mar 17, 2009
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angelhairalgae006.jpg


I hope the image arrives in this reply post. Note the substance slightly streaming from the heater top bracket. I will try to get a better picure as I am having problems keeping the reflections out of the camera.

Howard
 

Philosophos

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Hard to tell if its hair algae (Pithophora?) or staghorn (Compsopogon) from that picture. Either way, the response is pretty much the same.

As you've mentioned the CO2 needs to go up; if I'm at reference level (6.6 pH) with a 4KH solution, my CO2 is too low just about every time. I keep a lime-yellow drop checker in as many places around the tank as I can.

The next point would be to hit the stuff with excel; spot treat with the filter off, turn it on after 5 minutes. I'd go for say 30ml at a time in a tank that size, 45 if you absolutely need to (it'll keep you well back from toxic levels). Odds are your pleco will feel differently about eating it after that. Some otos might do a better job getting in close on some of the more delicate stuff. Either way, I've found loricaridae tend to jump on algae they'd normally never eat about the time it starts decomposing.
 

Tom Barr

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It's a filamentous diatom, like Melosira of a Rhizocolium etc(tends to be greener and slimy feeling through).

Many species will eat it.
Good cleaning etc, outta take care of it.
Then dose, add CO2 etc correctly, work on that etc.

Water changes will help.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

HowardM

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Mar 17, 2009
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This diatom is spreading rapidly. I have increased the CO2. I am thinking that it is time to do another of the 3 day blackouts that Tom had recommended before when I had a BBG problem e.g. 50% water change, KNO3 dosing, filter cleaning, CO2 off, etc. Will the blackout work on this filamentous diatom?

When the blackout is finished, should I continue the lighting with the 1 x 96 watt coralife 50/50 combo or go back to the original 2 x 96 watt?
 

Philosophos

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So being a diatom does this mean that silicates are playing a certain role in causing it? Withholding/removing the silicates would screw up frustule formation and create limiting conditions?

If so, temporarily using 50-75% RO water and some micron filters would probably help to clear the problem up. No substitution for proper parameters, but it'll speed up recovering the tank.
 

Tom Barr

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Please note, BO's do not address the root issue why you got the algae to start with, generally, less light, more CO2, good current, clean filters, more often, more water changes, cleaning of equipment, feed carefully etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr