Blue Green Algae, Hair Algae and Mayaca Fluviatillis

Asmack Arabia

Banned
Nov 1, 2012
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Saudi Arabia
hello,

i hope someone can help me sort this out. i have a few BGA forming on the sides of the aquarium, just above the gravel and surrounding the base of the vallisnerias. i also have some hair algae forming on the Mayaca Fluviatillis. and some new growths of the Mayaca Fluviatillis are somewhat pale - light yellow to whitish with some red streaks.

from what I've read, BGA is normally caused by too much nitrates and phosphates while mayaca is a good indicator of iron deficiency. and I'm not sure, but is hair algae mainly caused by too much iron? the scenario seems contradicting to each other - if the pale growth of the mayaca is due to macro deficiency, why the BGA? and if the pale growth is due to iron deficiency, why the hair algae? can you please help me on this?

my ferti dosing are as follows:

approx 90 liters of tank water

everyday

1 squirt (0.2ml) of Dennerle AI Daily
2 ml of Seachem potassium
1.4 ml of Seachem nitrogen
0.5 ml of Seachem phosphate

every water change (every week)

half tablet of Dennerle white iron
1 capsule of Dennerle plantagold (growth hormone)

thanks a lot for your help.
 

dutchy

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One of the reasons BGA forms is a nitrate deficiency, not because it's there too much. (What is too much?)
I have around 40 ppm of NO3 and 4 ppm of PO4 in my tank, but no BGA. So if this was true, then why don't I have it?

BGA will crawl up out of the substrate near the glass even with healthy tanks. You can prevent this by making sure the sides of the substrate against the glass are not exposed to light. Also good circulation with high O2 help prevent this.

Hair algae can be brought into the tank by inoculation through new plants. It will grow well with a combination of relatively low CO2 with high light. Fe doesn't play a role here. I'm using around 1 ppm of Fe at all times, but there's no hair algae. But I can induce it when I use more light without adding more CO2. It can be a pain though to get rid of it. Good CO2, manual removal and not too much light helps. Even so I had to use a chemical to get rid of it. It didn't come back. It's important that you correct the issue, or it will return.

You basically already concluded yourself that you probably have an Fe deficiency. So if hair algae would have been caused by too much Fe, than why do you have it?

Always when you get algae, ask yourself what is missing, not what is there too much.
 

Asmack Arabia

Banned
Nov 1, 2012
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Saudi Arabia
thanks a lot dutchy for your looking into this.

ok, so even in healthy tanks, BGA can still come up. there's not much really, actually it's only a few. same with the hair algae, it's only a few strands here and there. it's just that, it really annoys me to see any algae forming in my tank.

probably, my course of action would be to increase my co2. i am afraid to lower further my lighting levels especially since by next week my order for glossostigma will arrive.

but how about my ferti dosing? is it enough, low or high?

also, i think i would need to get out all those test kits and do the testing once and for all. :(
 

dutchy

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I don't know if it's enough, because I don't know the concentration of nutrients from that product. Anyway, If you aim for a theoretical value of 20 ppm NO3, 2 to 3 ppm of PO4 and 0,5 ppm of Fe, you're ok.

Since you just lowered your lights give it two weeks to see how it goes, your plants need that time to adapt.
 

Asmack Arabia

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Nov 1, 2012
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i was reading different sites as well about BGA and certainly there are contradicting statements about the primary cause of this algae. in 1 website, it says it is due to excess of nitrates and phosphates. in another site, it is saying the same thing as what you wrote above. and in another site, it says thread algae is primarily caused by too much iron. quite confusing stuff, actually.
 

dutchy

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That's the problem with the internet. Everyone who can write, can write his own truth. That doesn't make it easier.

But the truth is out there.....uhhh...here ;)

So if those sites claim that BGA is caused by high nitrates and phosphates, my tank should be covered with it. But there's no BGA. So, these claims are easily falsified.

The problem is that people don't see the real connection. They add PO4 and get BBA. So they claim that high PO4 causes algae. Seems logical, but it's wrong. Because of the PO4 addition the plants started to grow faster and they ran out of another nutrient, mostly this is CO2. The CO2 deficiency caused BBA. If they would have added more CO2 at the same time, no BBA wold occur.

This is also conform Liebig's law. The nutrient that is the least present will determine the rate of growth.

That's why I told you always to ask yourself what's missing, not what is there too much. Concentrate on growing plants, not fighting algae. If you do that well, algae is not much of an issue.
 
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Asmack Arabia

Banned
Nov 1, 2012
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Saudi Arabia
it sounds logical. and i like the Liebig's law. besides, it's already a law, so we cannot really refute it. :)

i must admit i was a bit skeptical before with the approach that to combat algae, you need to add more nutrient/s or co2. for the uninitiated, it's really a rather ridiculous, if i may say, measure to solve the problem. but i do understand now that by adding these insufficient nutrient/s or co2, you get to help the plants grow well which, in turn, will help starve the algae of the available nutrients. as you said, focus on growing plants, not fighting algae. very well said, indeed.
 

Tom Barr

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Basically you are focusing on growing plants, not killing algae.
That as the original goal to begin with after all.

So focus there, then algae.....not such an issue.
 

Asmack Arabia

Banned
Nov 1, 2012
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thank you Tom for your comment. i'll keep that in mind and should be my overriding principle in dealing with plants and algae.

it also got me thinking that, it is important to note as well that a good percentage of the plants should be fast-growing species. but what is a good percentage?