Brown hair algae - advice appreciated!

Holy Samosa

Junior Poster
Dec 1, 2009
4
0
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After going over a year without seeing nearly any algae in any of my tanks, I've become algae stricken!

The affected tank is an established tank, however I pulled out everything except the substrate about three weeks ago and completely rescaped the tank. Just before the rescape, I saw the first signs of algae however I excel dipped the couple of algae affected plants that I chose to keep in the new scape. Not enough of a prophylactic, I guess.

(As an aside, this has convinced me of the value of pretreating plants before introducing them into the tank. I was compulsive about bleach dipping everything before and never had a bit of algae even during periods of tank neglect with no CO2 and dosing. I added some untreated plants from an auction and BAM!)

So the tank is now riddled with this brownish algae. Clearly there are some diatoms in the tank, however most of the algae seems to be a brown hair algae along with a bit of fuzz algae on the leaves of my blyxa japonica. There's a bit of surface scum as well. The algae is mostly on the gravel, HC, manzanita and Blyxa japonica. Although it's not obvious in the photos, some of the algae also forms long undulating ribbons as hair algae typically does.

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Tank specs:
46 gallons
96 watt power compact (initially about 10 hours, cut down to 7)
Pressurized CO2 (4 deg KH drop checker greenish yellow)
CO2 comes on about an hour before the lights
Eheim 2224 - there seems to be good flow throughout the tank.

EI dosing:

Due to the lighter plant load, for the first two weeks I dosed as follows:
+/- 1/8 tsp KNO3 (N) 3x a week
+/- 1/32 tsp KH2PO4 (P) 3x a week
+/- 1/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
+/- 1/32 tsp (2ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

This week I upped the dosing:
+/- ¼ tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- 1/2 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
+/- 1/16 tsp (5ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change

I've been dosing excel for the past two weeks, initially at normal levels and have ramped up to 1.5x normal levels. (30ml at water change, 7.5ml daily thereafter). At first the algae all turned white and I thought victory was mine, however it quickly seemed to acclimate to the Excel. The tank has Blyxa japonica and HC, so I've hesitated to overdose too strongly.

My Boyu diffuser isn't diffusing as well as it was, so the bubble level is a constant stream kept as high as possible without causing the canister to airlock. A new diffuser is on the way.

I haven't introduced fish as I've been keeping the CO2 level in the danger zone. I do have about 10-12 ottos and one SAE ready to go and will be ordering 15-20 Amano shrimp. (Think the SAE will munch the HC? Mini pellia?)

I'm manually removing as much algae as possible 1-2 per week.

Any advice? Should I lower the CO2 a bit and introduce the algae crew? Should I try upping the Excel?

Thanks!
Jeremy
 

Holy Samosa

Junior Poster
Dec 1, 2009
4
0
1
In an unexpected-yet-welcome turn of events, over night a couple of nights back about 90% of the algae disappeared. I'm having trouble believing that the SAE and about 7 ottos I added that evening demolished the algae so rapidly. I'm wondering if surface agitation and increased O2 are responsible. The CO2 level was still a bit too high after I added the fish so I raised the outflow above the water surface creating quite a bit air bubbles being pushed under the surface. I left it this way overnight. Next morning I woke up and it was like Christmas-- but instead of leaving toys Santa collected my algae for his reindeer....

think the movement of the outflow is responsible?