Hair algae even though plants are healthy

PhilipS

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When peroxide zapping isnt effective, try zapping directly with excel (glutaraldehyde). Clado tends to thrive when plants thrive.
 

Apprentice

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Co2 not necessarily at optimum levels with lime green drop checker or approximately 30ppm. The optimum level will vary from tank to tank. Depends on light level (PAR) , what types of plants ( fast or slow growers) and how densely planted the tank is. My tanks is currently about 55 to 60 PPM with a 5 DKH drop checker that is color of mountain dew.


Better to adjust till fauna show slight stress and then back off by .2 PH for a margin of safety.


Drop checkers are also rather slow. Delay about 2 to 3 hours.


PH KH charts never accurate. According to them my Co2 is 97 PPM! Not likely.


I find best to calculate by PH drop.


A drop of 1 PH approx: 30 PPM then move up slowly from there. My ph drop is now at 1.5 Was at 1.3 6 months ago but more growth and added some faster growing stems.


Keep us updated.
 
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easternlethal

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Yup. Ph charts not being accurate and my inability to decipher colours accurately when it goes greenish means I cannot really tell what my CO2 level really is, which is why my personal EI approach to Co2 is just to blast as much as possible without making the fish look uncomfortable.


I have seen, however much much bigger tanks maintained by pros with my exact Co2 setup achieve better results with less Co2 that I am blasting...
 

Apprentice

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have seen, however much much bigger tanks maintained by pros with my exact Co2 setup achieve better results with less Co2 that I am blasting...

Yes maybe some have less but may have different plants (less demanding on co2) or may have less surface agitation ( less out-gassing of Co2). May also have more


light but require more maintenance.


If got rid of my HC carpet in my tank I could probably get by with less Co2. I could also go with higher light and less co2, but this would make maintenance higher ( more trimming and water changes to keep algae at bay). I like easier myself.


I like more surface agitation also. Wastes a bit more Co2 but also more oxygen in water. Better for fish, plants and good bacteria. Co2 equipment is expensive, but gas is reasonably cheap.


Here is link to You-Tuber Dennis Wong. He has some great videos on Co2, lighting and aquascaping. Maybe some ideas to help make more efficient. [h=1]Optimizing CO2 in a planted tank:

[/h]
 

easternlethal

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​So into the fourth week of adding new flow and more co2 and into my second week of dosing dry ferts, I'm getting better growth overall. They are certainly loving the extra nitrates. But.. as you can see clado is still there.


In fact it seems to be benefitting from my changes just as well as the plants and are starting to sprout in certain parts of my driftwood. I think it's because the tank hasn't adapted to receiving such large doses of ferts yet compared to before. So I will give it a few more weeks and just keep manually removing the clado for now.


clado still growing in my parvula


and over the hc, (undergoing some serious trimming)


Tank looks good overall though.
 
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Apprentice

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Good to know your plants are starting to grow. Just continue doing what your doing with Co2 and ferts.


I would start daily manual removal of clado. Spot dose with h202 or excel where you can. Give hair grass a good mow. When you trim stem plants, replant tops to increase overall plant mass. Keep in mid as plant mass increases you will probably need to adjust Co2 a bit higher. Light gravel vacs, extra water changes and remember to dose ferts afterwards. All these things combined will help the plants to out compete the algae.


Small algae infestations may just disappear when correcting root cause. Larger ones usually need some additional form of manual removal or eradication.


A little bit every day or whenever you can spare some time. Not to hard. Just persistence and patience. Eventually you'll win and can focus just on scaping. and not algae
smile.png



Regards, Rob
 

Julia Adkins

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I don't understand why you are dosing with 3-4 times the recommended dosage. You are providing nutrients for the algae with all those extra fertilizers. Your plants can only use so much at a time. If your red leafed plants are not red then they need more iron but only a little bit. You can get that from Nutritrace CSM or one of the three available iron compounds: iron chelate 10% with EDTA; iron chelate 13% with DTPA or ferrous gluconate. These are available at aquariumfertilizer.com.
 

easternlethal

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Julia Adkins said:
I don't understand why you are dosing with 3-4 times the recommended dosage.
I'm just following the rotabutterfly.com recommended EI dosages. Before switching to EI I was advised to see whether or not my previous regime was really providing enough ferts because I didn't know whether I had reached my max plant uptake. I can see now that I had not because the plants are growing even better with the new regime. However you're right that switching to full EI is probably too much for what my plants need, so I am dialling down my micros. I believe they are accelerating clado growth.


I have also tried adding iron but that doesn't seem to be working. I think its because I'm using medium light (35 par). After adding a red bulb to my leds the tips of my rot alas are turning a little red.
 

easternlethal

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Just discovered today that I had miscalculated my light levels and was actually operating at 21 par. No wonder all the good work I was doing with the flow and co2 wasn't working. At full E.I. I was definitely overdosing. Luckily my fish did not complain. Although during this phase I did lose one amano shrimp and one panda loach so maybe... D'OH!


Today I doubled the lights and am getting a nice 37 par at the substrate so.... let us see!
 

easternlethal

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6 weeks into EI and things got worse algae-wise now with bba and gsa all joining my clado!


However I experienced a very interesting phenomenon with the clado. Previously it was only growing in my hairgrass but then I noticed it began to grow on my HC after I started to trim it. And the more HC I trimmed the more clado was growing on it! This led me to believe that it was attacking my newly trimmed plants. So I decided to replace a portion of hairgrass with althernanthera reineckii and the clado did not grow back. I was perplexed as to why my hairgrass not growing well since it was getting blasted with CO2 but came to the conclusion that perhaps it was the regular trimming that was attracting the clado.


So I decided to play around with the ferts and dialled down my doses, which seemed to help but then I started to wonder whether it's because my water is too soft, which I read on the forum might exacerbate things. I had not thought about increasing GH all this while so maybe it was time to look at that. Unfortunately I had to idea what my GH is (have trouble deciphering test kits) but I live in Hong Kong and the water here is reported to be very soft so..... this week I tried boosting GH during WC by adding about 1tsp of epsom salt and some K2SO4 and I did not experience a big algae explosion like I did before after adding my macros, so... maybe GH is really the key in my tank.


I am currently working on a GH formula but have no cacl or caso4 and am relying on eggshells, which I am not sure how to really use so I have posted another question up about it.


On top of all this, my female guppy gave birth so I have lots of fry now adding to the complication as I am feeding more.


Tank doesn't actually look this bad, but I have some gsa on the glass clouding the photo.


The leaves in my pogostemmon have exploded since EI and I have never seen such radiance.


 
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Apprentice

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6 weeks into EI and things got worse algae-wise now with bba and gsa all joining my clado!

BBA is almost always Co2 related. GSA can be low phosphate, but since you're dosing full E.I. then I would still think CO2 is likely culprit.

I was perplexed as to why my hairgrass not growing well since it was getting blasted with CO2 but came to the conclusion that perhaps it was the regular trimming that was attracting the clado.

I have dwarf hair grass in my tank and trim it weekly. No algae issues. In your case possible cause that trimming a plant that is already stressed (lacking some nutrient Co2 or GH) may cause it more damage than a fully thriving plant thus attracting algae. Also have HC and trim every two weeks. No issues either from trimming.

Unfortunately I had to idea what my GH is (have trouble deciphering test kits) but I live in Hong Kong and the water here is reported to be very soft so..... this week I tried boosting GH during WC by adding about 1tsp of epsom salt and some K2SO4 and I did not experience a big algae explosion like I did before after adding my macros, so... maybe GH is really the key in my tank.

A good idea to test GH to either confirm or rule out whether it's an issue. One trick I learned from the web to read GH at lower levels is instead of looking at vial from side, look at it straight down from the top. Also placing a white background underneath and using a desk lamp or similar overhead lighting will help.

Tank doesn't actually look this bad, but I have some gsa on the glass clouding the photo.
The leaves in my pogostemmon have exploded since EI and I have never seen such radiance.

I think you posted a photo, right? Not showing up in post.


Regards, Rob
 

Julia Adkins

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Your red leafed plants need more iron if the leaves are not very red. Why are you dosing 3-4 times recommended amount? If you are dosing more than your plants require then something else is going to move in and use the nutrients. I would reduce that and wait many weeks before increasing again. The plants will take 2-3 weeks to show the changes. Give them a chance to tell you what they need. Plants are much slower than us.
 

Apprentice

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Why are you dosing 3-4 times recommended amount? If you are dosing more than your plants require then something else is going to move in and use the nutrients

I can't say I agree with the idea that algae can be limited by a reduction in nutrient dosing. Algae can grow in very low nutrient levels. I myself have 30 ppm No3 and 2 ppm Po4 in my Co2 injected tank. Reduced to 15 ppm No3 and 1 ppm Po4 after 50 percent water change. No algae.


I work in semiconductor and service one tool that uses Di water to pump water thru cooling lines to maintain temps. These lines are exposed to very little light. Despite these conditions we still have to use an algaecide to prevent algae forming over time.


I can induce algae in my tanks. Lower nitrates when summer heat waves hits (i don't use AC) and induce BGA.


Eliminate PO4 and I will induce GSA.


Reduce my overall dosing in my Co2 injected aquarium and I get Rhizoclonium.


Reduce Co2 and get BBA.


E.I. is not written in stone. Tom Barr has stated many time before. You can reduce amounts. But until the OP sees healthy algae free results which I believe to be caused primarily by Co2 and possible lack of overall plant mass. Asking him to try and calculate dosing to just what the plants need and adjusting Co2 is rather hard. Kinda like learning to juggle and ride a unicycle at the same time. Many nutrient deficiencies are too similar to CO2 deficiencies.


A poster on another site promoting lean dosing regimes listed these stats taken from scientific papers.

For example, here are some optimum values for different plant species (optimum concentration = external concentration of nutrients needed for maximal growth):
Pistia stratiotes = 19 ppm NO3, 8.9 ppm PO4


Salvinia minima = 23.5 ppm NO3, 8.9 ppm PO4


Vallisneria americana = 93 ppm NO3


Ruppia maritima = 6.8 ppm NO3, 0.2-0.4 ppm PO4, 0.08 ppm Fe


Lagarosiphon major = 3.7 ppm NO3, 0.37 ppm PO4


Elodea canadensis, Elodea nuttallii = 7.4 ppm NO3, 0.74 ppm PO4


Eichhornia crassipes = 22 ppm NO3, 1.5-3.0 ppm PO4


Callitriche cophocarpa = 19 ppm CO2


Elodea canadensis = 35 ppm CO2


Egeria najas, Egeria densa
= 44 ppm CO2


Potamogeton crispus = 66 ppm CO2


Hydrilla verticillata, Ceratophyllum demersum, Myriophyllum spicatum = 22 ppm CO2


Utricularia species = 44 ppm CO2


Hydrilla verticillata = 2.4 ppm Fe


Potamogeton gramineus = 0.9 ppm Fe


Potamogeton nodosus = 5.6 ppm Fe


Potamogeton pectinatus = 8.9 ppm Fe

So which ones should we aim for? EI aims to be in slight excess. Lot easier than trying to hunt down every plants optimum needs. Focus on Co2. Add more plants mass. This will eradicate algae.
 

easternlethal

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So far I have experimented dosing at these ranges:


NO3: 1 to 7.5ppm (x3 a week)


K: 1 to 7.5ppm (x3 a week)


PO4: 0.2 to 1.3ppm (x3 a week)


And they have not made any differences to the clado. Only to my plants. My max ppm in a week has been 22.5 for NO3 and K and PO4 is 3.9. So I don't think I am overdosing ferts by any means. In fact, since the plants are growing well and the algae doesn't seem to be affected I plan on increasing dosing NO3 and K to 30ppm a week.


re CO2 I am still tinkering but it seems I am already putting in a lot - going through a mini cerges 'pipe' attached to one of my outlets and sending mist everywhere. It's hard to tell because I don't have a reliable PH tester. I have a strip but just can't read it. Have the same problems with my GH tester too. Maybe it's time to stump up for a solid ph and gh meter. Any recommendations? Stay tuned...


But the algae is clearly attacking my weaker plants. For example, last week I nearly crushed a buce whilst physically cleaning the tank and sure enough the next day algae started growing on it. Now even BBA and staghorn is growing on it (not a lot and only on old leaves). I also propagated another buce by splitting off some rhizome and replanting it and algae started to grow on them both (also on old leaves). I know it's possible not to get algae whilst trimming - I have other tanks where this is the case, but it's certainly occurring in this tank. My HC is also growing very poorly with small leaves and looking very stringy. So clado is winning the war against them. I am starting to wonder whether it's because I have a bacterial imbalance/too much organic matter. I don't really do gravel vacs because I have shrimp so maybe there is something small in the substrate that's rotting I can't see. Everything else looks great though! Will post pics soon...
 
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easternlethal

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Apprentice said:
One trick I learned from the web to read GH at lower levels is instead of looking at vial from side, look at it straight down from the top.

I tried this too believe me. After putting in 1 drop it is orangey-green on its side and greeney-orange when I view it from the top. As I add more drops it everything just got orangier and orangier. Maybe my set is defective but I don't know...
 
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easternlethal

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During my WC yesterday I started doing a deep clean of my substrate, and this seemed to help quite a bit. In fact I did not get an explosion of algae even after adding EI level macros, which I added during my water change, and EI level micros, which I added this morning.


I am starting to realise that perhaps it really was just too much organic detritus after all.





Poor buce still fighting BBA even though covered by CO2 mist - but only because I split its rhizome in 2 in order to propagate it.


Clado still in my hairgrass (on the right) but not affecting ARs (on the left).

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IMG_20160320_183324.jpg
 
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Tom Barr

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Trim off the algae and the grass. Clado is tough to remove, like BLADDERWORT, or the red moss algae. Got to pick and hack the plants back. Clean new growth after removing the algae, that's what to look at/for.


Try something other than CO2 mist if it is persistent. CO2 reactor etc.
 

Pikez

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Organics and CO2. Work on both.


Handle organics by uprooting a quarter of the tank completely and vacuuming thoroughly under it. Then trim plants and replant. Do a quarter of the tank once a week. You'll be good in a month. Then keep up the water changes and filter cleaning. Get rid of algae-infested leaves. Be brutal. Remove affected leaves and plants without a second thought. Better to have a plant with just 2 good leaves than 2 good leaves and 2 leaky half-dead ones. If a leaf looks even slightly compromised algae or necrosis, trim it. You're not just physically removing algae, but you're removing leaky leaves that leach organics into the water. Be very diligent about scooping up floating leaves.


It's work. But you just gotta stay on top of these husbandry chores. Daily in the beginning and you can back off to once or twice a week after tank settles. I have a really stable tank but I still pick out floating leaves, compromised leaves and other sources of organics on a daily basis. Managing organics is a grossly under-emphasized part of high-tech plant tanks.


I am not a fan of blowing mist around with filter flow. Works for some. Not for me. At least get one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Sera-Flore-Active-Reactor-1000/dp/B0033GDCVC/ Or if you're handy, make one yourself. Much better way to go.
 
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