Hair Algae/Green Spot suggestions

Gunz05Gunz

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Dec 18, 2008
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I'm a member of another forum and brand new to this one. I have a newly setup 55g planted tank and recently had an issue with my co2 and now I have hair algae and a little bit of green spot algae. Here are my tank specs:

55g
1x54w t5 HO 6,700k
2x65w coralife PC 6,700k
Marineland C330 canister filter
CO2 @ 25ppm
Was liquid dosing, now on dry ferts (basic dosing since I'm still learning)


My question is what would be the best way to get the algae under control now that things have stabalized again. All of my plants have some hair algae on them. Should I remove the plants, clean them and replant? Do a blackout?

I'm thinking remove all the plants and cleaning them and replanting. Would this be an ok way to go?

Also, I don't have any surface agitation whatsoever and no powerhead. Would a powerhead be a good inverstment?

Thanks all. :)
 

Mooner

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More information will be needed.

How long has the aquarium been running?

Has the aquarium been stable up to the point where CO2 was a problem?

What dosing schedule are you using with the dry ferts?

How often are you changing water and have you disturbed the substrate lately?

How are you diffusing the CO2?
 

Gunz05Gunz

Junior Poster
Dec 18, 2008
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The tank has been stable for 2 months. Things were growing fairly slowly, but steadily without issues.

I said I was on dry ferts, sorry not yet. I have them, but havent started because I was going to get an opinion first. I was using Excel Flourish(recommended dosage divided into daily dosages). Am switching to dry ferts but have not done that yet (Hoping it may help). Here is the schedule I'm going to start:

+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
+/- 3/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
+/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
50%-60% weekly water change

I am currently doing 50% water changes with a standard python gravel vac. I do a light vacuuming around the sword and anubias plants but more thouroughly elsewhere.

I'm running the Red Sea Pro system with it. Its at 3-4bps at the moment with the dropper at a light green colour. Its sitting at the bottom corner currently and the flow is going towards the filter intake. Here is the info on the whole system. RedSeaFish


GH-180ppm
KH-7
Ph-7
CO2- 25ppm
NO2-0
NO3-0

I'm guessing its just a nutrient imbalance and maybe a lack of water movement.

And my plants are pearling again.
 

Mooner

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I would start dry dosing now per your chart

Your GH is good so might skip the GH Booster or just test CA and MG levels to determine amount needed.

Excel dosed double on WC day only and 1-1.5x for daily per 55 gal calculations

2x week WC plus dosing until improvement is seen. No more that 10 hrs for lighting.

Circulation will become an issue as the biomass fills in.
 

Gunz05Gunz

Junior Poster
Dec 18, 2008
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I'm going to start the 2x water changes and the dry ferts tomorrow. The lights are on for 10hrs per day now. And will get a small powerhead for future use.

Thanks alot for the advice. I'll post back in a few weeks to update the progress.
 

VaughnH

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You also have about twice the amount of light that it takes to grow the plants at a reasonable rate of growth. The extra light makes it easy for algae to establish itself in the tank, and hard for you to get everything else about the tank just perfect, so algae won't start up.

The Red Sea drop checker is a good one, but you can't make it work if you follow their directions and use tank water in it. That just makes it a slow acting pH meter. To make it tell you about how much CO2 you have at the location where the drop checker is mounted, you need to use 4 dKH, distilled or deionized water in it. So, you may be very short on CO2 concentration.
 

Gunz05Gunz

Junior Poster
Dec 18, 2008
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Ok, ill look into it. I've read that before and never really considered it. The light is high, but I have some high light plants as well. I may cut the t5 down to 4 hours a day then,

Thanks a lot for the advice. Much appreciated.

VaughnH;31772 said:
You also have about twice the amount of light that it takes to grow the plants at a reasonable rate of growth. The extra light makes it easy for algae to establish itself in the tank, and hard for you to get everything else about the tank just perfect, so algae won't start up.

The Red Sea drop checker is a good one, but you can't make it work if you follow their directions and use tank water in it. That just makes it a slow acting pH meter. To make it tell you about how much CO2 you have at the location where the drop checker is mounted, you need to use 4 dKH, distilled or deionized water in it. So, you may be very short on CO2 concentration.
 

Gerryd

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Hi,

The light is high, but I have some high light plants as well.

I think once your c02 and nutrient levels are stable and sufficient, you will find you need less light than you think, even for 'high light' specimens.

Remember that light is the driving force behind plant growth and the more light, the higher the c02 and nutrient demand.

I have Limnophila aromatica growing well (but more slowly) using 60 watts of normal flourescent lighting 7" above the water surface with no c02 or additional fertilizer other than the fish.

I find that I can keep raising my MH on my 180 and still get great growth, pearling, color, etc. It is now 14" above the surface (started at 8") and am slowly raising it 1.5" every couple of weeks to slow growth and look for that 'optimal' growth rate where I am not pruning weekly :)

Follow the advice already given and give it 2-3 weeks to guage the response and let things get better.

BTW insufficient/unstable c02 (combined with high light) is usually the biggest culprit for algae and poor growth.

You may as well get the powerhead now, no sense waiting. The extra circulation will help and it is easier to guage flow patterns with less plant bio-mass. You can then see how it changes as the plants grow and fill in.

Best of luck.
 

Gunz05Gunz

Junior Poster
Dec 18, 2008
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Alright, so It sounds like I will be cutting down on the light until I get things under control and possibly keep it that way. Why mess with what works well. I'm going to start the dosing and get a powerhead as soon as I can. We've had some snow storms up here so I cant really get to a LFS at all.

I'll also put the correct water into the drop checker to ensure my CO2 levels are about correct.

On another note, I have the Hagen Glo t5 54w on there thats just sitting directly on the tank. The legs that came with it wont fit over the black casing on the top of the tanks glass. Any ideas on how to make it fit? I was thinking of cutting the plastic just enough so it will clamp on. I dont really want to hang it from the ceiling.

Thanks alot Gerryd. Much appreciated. I'll put all that info into action.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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You might want to use the single t5 for now.
Water changes, like every other day + Excel.

You can do a 3 day blackout, with a daily 50-60% water change and excel(at 7mls per 10 Gal) added after(no CO2, but add aeration). if you want to be aggressive.
You can also dribble the Excel or spray it on the infected rocks/wood etc or any non living things(It'll burn plants and kill them at full strength).

Still, once it's killed, you still have to deal with the issue of CO2 and nutrients.
Nutrients are easy.

The CO2 is bit more of an issue, particularly if you are new to using it.
It's part eyeball, part testing, part watching the fish and shrimp etc.

Once the algae is gone, you do not add more light, you only add more light once the plants are doing well. Consider adding more fresh plant biomass also.

Adding Amano shrimp, SAE's, Otto cats etc will help.

I'd do more frequent water changes and dose there after(2-3x a week 50%), until things settle down more. Then you can reduce to weekly etc.

You may also keep adding Excel as insurance against poor CO2.
Generally, after a massive water change(do these in the morning, about 1-2 hours after the lights come on), your tank should be pearling like mad maybe 2-3 hours after the water change. Keep that look and observation in mind, you want something close to that when your CO2 is hitting a good spot, maybe not quite as much, but something close.

You can be really aggressive or not so aggressive about it, really depends on you.
Many test kit happy people tend not to be aggressive with this, thinking every thing is N and P related, since they really cannot measure much else:rolleyes:
They also tend not to be interested in doing large frequent water changes. But some do, and most fish folks know that large frequent water change really make the tank good for fish.

A simple set up a DIY python type water changer pays for itself really fast, or a hard plumb auto or semi auto water changer is also somethign that pays for itself.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Gunz05Gunz

Junior Poster
Dec 18, 2008
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My CO2 turned out to be at 25ppm after I used the correct water in the indicator bubble.

I will do a blackout for 3 days as per your instructions to give the algae that extra kick in the pants. Following I will start with the reduced total light wattage and start my dry fertilizer dosing as well as the addition of a powerhead and 2-3 ottos. I already have 15 RCS and 5 Amanos (for the time being). And I do have a python and highly recommend them to everyone.

The water changes will stay at 2x per week @50-60% with excel.

I can't wait to get rid of this algae. The plants are all still healthy which is great, but I just don't want to be an algae farmer :)

Thanks alot for the advice Tom. Several things you mentioned I wouldn't have done...so thanks again!

I will post my results once things start rolling and again after several weeks.
 

Gunz05Gunz

Junior Poster
Dec 18, 2008
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Well, I finally did the three day blackout after the holidays.

I used garbage bags as well as towels to make sure no light got in. (Air on, CO2 off) After 3 days of patiently waiting, I uncovered the tank. The green spot algae was gone, and the hair algae was there but could be brushed off the plants just by touching it. The filter was also full of hair algae to the point it had no flow, so I had to dismantle it and clean it.

I ended up giving the plants a major haircut as well as replacing the sword plant with another sword. (Which happened to be 2 12" ones in the one pot that I purchased, and there was a runner with a baby sword on it). I also added 4 ottos to the already 3 present to help with the algae.

Next to all the algae is gone except some on the rocks and the odd little bit on select plants.

My lighting is on for 10hrs and am just using the one light.
KH = 4
GH = 9
CO2 = approx 30-35ppm (drop checker is also a very light green/maybe yellow[fish are ok])
pH = 6.6
EI dosing now

I am going to continue with EI (My plants pearled like crazy all day long today), as well as the 2x a week WC's.

The only hitch I encountered was after opening the tank and letting it sit for a bit, then doing a WC, two of my zebras ended up corkscrewing through the water and bit the bullet. No idea why, parameters seemed in check and the rest of the fish were ok. (Cherry shrimp, amano shrimp, angels, blue rams, gold nugget pleco, cory cats, other zebras).

So thanks for the help everyone, everything seems well as of now. I will post again with results again in a week or two to help anyone else with a similar problem to this.

Cheers
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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You might add some Excel for a 2-3 weeks till things settle down, make sure you keep on top of things till the plants fill in more.

Once they do, you can relax.

Regards,
Tom barr
 

Gunz05Gunz

Junior Poster
Dec 18, 2008
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The plants are growing like mad now, and generally pearling after about 5pm (lights on from 12-10).

However, I am still getting some algae growth (Slow, but still there). I reduced the lighting to the 2x65w and raised them as well (6in above the water).

The plant mass is desnse and growing at a quick rate. Even the anubias bateri is growing a leaf a week.

I just don't know why I'm still getting some algae growth. (Just some hair algae on the edges of leaves, and green spot algae on the driftwood)

I upped the CO2 and all of my fish are doing well.

Here are the numbers if it helps.

CO2- yellowish/light green on the drop checker (4kh)
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm
pH - 6.6
kH - 9
gH - 9

Doing 2x a week water changes with EI dosing. As well as 5ml of Excel a day.

Using some of the kH/pH/CO2 charts say that I have 60+ ppm of CO2. Not sure if I believe that but I'm not sure.

I reduced the lighting period to 9 hours today. Is this algae from too much light still? The plants are growing like crazy so I just don't know whats really the issue.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.