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Help Newbie Algae

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by dutchtothetouch, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. dutchtothetouch

    dutchtothetouch New Member

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    Annoying algae, please help
    I'm new to the hobby and still learning

    My tank is 2 months old and this algae is very annoying, keeps growing back after I brush it off, very frustrated and confused.

    What algae type is this?


    I do 50% water change every 4-5 days (When I see buildup of debris) but this algae keeps coming back

    Here are my paramaters;

    NH3/NH4 : 0mg/l


    NO2 : 0ppm
    NO3 : 12.5ppm
    KH : 7ppm
    GH : 7.5ppm

    And here are my nutrient dosing
    Macros

    4ppm Potassium K (12ppm per week)
    3ppm Nitrates NO³ (9ppm per week)
    1ppm Phosphates PO⁴ (3ppm per week)
    1ppm Magnesium Mg (3ppm per week)

    Micros

    .1ppm Iron Fe (.3ppm per week)

    For trace I use flourish trace accordingly

    My co2 is at 3bps with a green indicator color

    For lights, I use a lux meter then convert it to the relative par equivalent
    It reads at 90PAR on substrate level

    My tank size is 40l


    Here I'll attach some pictures of the algae


    20191018_165402.jpg

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    20191018_165643.jpg

    20191018_165702.jpg

    20191018_165736.jpg

    20191018_165910.jpg

    20191018_165916.jpg

    20191018_165921.jpg

    20191018_164847.jpg

    Screenshot_20191018-174241_Gallery.jpg
     
  2. unay

    unay New Member

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    Hello, I think it’s staghorn.
    Maybe you are adding too much Mg. I would improve the CO2 and probably try to reduce Mg
    Nice setup by the way :)

    cheers
     
  3. Allexx46

    Allexx46 New Member

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    The algae is commonly called “hair algae” and looks more specifically as Staghorn algae. You will never get rid of algae completely. You must eliminate the food source for it. It grows on dead or dying plants or the secretions and debris of such plants that have entered the water column and land on the surface of your hard scrape. Bottom line: You need to grow healthy plants at a rapid rate to remove the food for this algae. Evaluate plant selections and eliminate anything labeled hard to grow, or advanced. Add these back after you balance your tank.

    To maximize plant growth you need to balance light (intensity and day length), CO2 and Fertilizer. A key parameter missing in your puzzle presented to us are pH CO2 duration and light duration . You need to be running pH 6.5 at lowest level during CO2 and lights on and 7.2 max at end of lights out with no CO2. Most fish and shrimp need the pH to be in these levels. Plants drink their food and nutrients are most soluble in these levels too. The other thing that is essential is water circulation. You seem to have a lot of tubes and devices in your tank perhaps to address this. Look for dead spots where the plants are not moving and debris accumulation and try to adjust flows to eliminate them. You need to make sure the debris is in the water where it can be eliminated with your filter.

    Since you already have a massive infestation you need to address it. It appears that you have a small tank with nano fish. My suggestion is to invest in Amano Shrimp to eat the hair algae that you have. Aquatic Arts is my preferred source of shrimp and snails. I would get at least 5 of them and add 4-5 Nerite snails. Most fish that would eat this hair algae are schooling fish and need multiples to be happy. It looks like you have at least one otocinclus but at least 3 are needed. Another is the Siamese (not Chinese) algae eater where at least 3 are needed. Your tank may not be large enough for this fish load especially if you intend to add colorful fish to the tank as most of us do. The Amano shrimp are amazing at eating the hair algae. I would add those first before adding the others mentioned and they may eat most of it. Someone more experienced with fertilizer than I might see a problem with your application. I am not a specialist for the many nuances of fertigation.

    For beginners I recommend skipping the discussions on this element or that element and simply use an all in one. I personally like SeaChem Flourish as I have seen the best results after trying many of them. Be careful of root tabs as they can over fertilize the tank. They are absolutely required for tanks with low fish load and rooted plants. Later with fish load the fish poo will enter the substrate and reduce the need for nitrogen for the rooted plants thus reducing the need for root tabs.

    I have touched on basics and am not interested in discussing the technical aspects of altering basics as can result from such a post.
     
  4. dutchtothetouch

    dutchtothetouch New Member

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    Hey!, Thanks for the feedback


    Since then, I've cleaned the tank, brush all the algae from the wood, rocks, and tubes.


    My plants were grown emersed, but now they have new submersed tips, I usualy cut the submersed tips and replant them(I think this is a factor to why the plants were infested with algae)


    I've also recently started dosing Flourish excel to the tank, currently waiting results


    I turn lights for 7 hours a day and my PH shows 6.7 during co2 period


    For livestock, yes, I have one otto and a dozen of rds shrimps


    you mentioned that I should add a number of fishes, shrimps, and snails. But, is there a way I can adjust this issue without adding more livestock?


    Here is a picture of the tank now

    20191022_151849.jpg

    20191022_095926.jpg
     
  5. Allexx46

    Allexx46 New Member

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    The tank looks a lot better. Not sure what you are doing. But keep doing it. Back to the problem if is still exists: Basically you have to grow the plants. If you do not, they start to die and the sugars in the dying plants are released and the water and this is the food for algae. Reality is that things are always growing and always dying (balance). When the growing swings positive the dying still needs to be cleaned up. The fact that you have shrimp is your lifeline for cleaning up the dying mess as you grow your plants. You need something to get rid of or kill the hair algae because it is hard to get rid of once you have it. Your shrimp will do this but not like Amano shrimp will. Minimally I would add 2-5 Amano shrimp, one nerite snail and another Otto to complete your cleanup crew. Your pH is good. Excel is great but can cause complete melting of soft plants if you overdose (it is easy to overdose). Read up on it and the plants that are sensitive to it. Use it as a tool to solve a problem and not the norm. It basically is an algicide that lets the plants use the nutrients that they algae need.

    You are at the sweet spot with your tuning of the tank. Once the plants are growing faster than they are dying you can go into a holding pattern and let the tank mature. Leave the fertilizer alone and tweak the CO2 delivery times and Day length. Basically start the CO2 delivery 1-2 hours before lights on and stop it 1 hour before lights off. Adjust day length to maximize plant growth and minimize the food left over for the algae. Key to this is the removal of dying plant material or engineer your cleanup crew to do it for you.

    In my tank I learned the Excel danger the hard way. I have Anacharis in one of my sumps to eat the nitrogen from my massive bio load. The plants were pearling and intensely green. I was removing 2 gallons of healthy anacharis every 2 weeks. No algae on glass to the point I had to supplement the snails and amano shrimp to keep them alive. I was dosing with Excel and injecting CO2 like you. I was tweeting CO2 and day lengt. I felt I had it. No clue anacharis was sensitive to Excel. I got up one morning and over night the glass was so green that I could not see through it and the anacharis was brown and defoliating. I read up on what could kill anacharis and found out about Excel. I removed all the dead plants and did several massive water changes and added back healthy anacharis. Within 2 weeks the algae completely cleared up almost like magic because the anacharis is growing again. My tank has two of these chambers with the other being filled with Jungle Val (also sensitive to Excel) but had built up resistance. That chamber stayed without algae.

    The fun with these tanks is the tweaking of the growing conditions. Enjoy.
     
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