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Spirogyra

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by JamesC, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. JamesC

    JamesC Lifetime Charter Member
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    I seem to have developed a problem with spirogyra in my 55 gallon tank after moving some plants around and buying some new ones. Am 100% sure it is spirogyra as I checked it under a microscope. No other algae is present in the tank, even the small amount of cladophora I had has now vanished. The spirogyra isn't too bad at the mo but I can see if left unchecked it may start to get out of control.

    Lighting is 3.5wpg of T8 and CO2 is as high as I dare go before getting the fish annoyed. Using Hoppy's drop checker method I'm getting a light green colour with a yellow tint to it. Dosing is EI adding 8ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 on alternate days and 10ml Tropica traces on the other days. Water is mainly Ca so add some Mg and also some K at 60% weekly water changes. Plants love me for it and are growing like weeds.

    I have been able to knock the spirogyra back by lowering NO3 and PO4 but then I get reddening of leaves, reduced growth rates and GSA so this isn't the answer. It seems that good growing conditions for the plants is also good growing conditions for the spirogyra. I have thought about some Rosy Barb's but have quite a few cherry shrimp in the tank and wasn't sure if they would become dinner.

    Just wondering what thoughts people might have on this and if anyone has successfully managed to get rid of it.

    Thanks
    James
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Hi James,

    I've no experience with spirogyra (I think) but from what you say it seems you are doing everything right.

    I wonder how it would respond to spot dosing Excel? If you switch off the filter prior to dosing, then use a pipette to target the algae.

    I don't think you have any Excel sensitive plants do you? i.e. vallis, egeria.

    All the best mate.

    George
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've found Spirogyra appears after you did something, about 1-2 weeks ago, that was related to NH4 or a slow down etc.

    Once it starts growing, it's very much like a higher plant in CO2 enriched systems.
    Pick it all out as best you can, water changes are your friend, trim the infested plants way back also, use a comb or toothbrush to remove also.

    I'm not too sure Excel will do much to this one or Cladophora, I've spot treated and ended up killing the plant as well in small test wells.

    A good method is to use small cups and change the water daily and add the infested plant/algae and add Excel at various concentrations.

    Cheap, many concentration levels and many replicates and no risk to the existing tank. This allows a rapid assessment of various concentration levels of a product on the algae and the plant.

    It's not like the in situ tank though, it just shows you a rough idea where to start. It may also be used to treat specific plants like Anubias, ferns etc(or black outs).

    But back to the Spirogyra....... it can be tough to remove and it's very long stranded, but finer and tougher/stronger tensile strength than Rhizoclonium which is a different color of green, slimy, and has many filaments in a mass, rather than the clearer distinction between the filament strands of Spirogrya


    IME excel at higher levels does not really help all that much, daily dosing at full labeled strength and water changes often seen to do the best job.

    It is also somewhat a seasonal alga as well I've noted.
    I've recently gotten a little in 2 tanks, generally something related to NH4.
    I added some root tabs with NH4 and had 3 new but now dead shrimp under some rocks where I could not see them.

    Both of these tanks had a good source of localized NH4 and Spirogyra appeared after 1-2 weeks time even though good nutrients/CO2 etc was done.

    I know I've seen it here and there in the past, NH4 and large uprooting/pruning seem to correlate and also spring winter time as well.

    There was never any correlation between nutrient dosing levels, light and CO2 etc . It will grow best under high light also.

    Here's an intense killing algae routine:
    3 day black out + daily water change for the 3 days(50-80%) + excel daily afterwards each time+ dosing back after the water change, no CO2, added current, manual removal, pruning taller plant groups etc.

    Generally this will beat back most every species of algae, I have not tried it with this specific alga, but it will certainly beat it up good.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    There you go James. Sounds like the re-scape is the cause! A blip in NH4 uptake.
     
  5. JamesC

    JamesC Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Tom for that detailed reply. And it does make sense as it started to appear about 1-2 weeks after I moved everything around and disturbed the substrate. Luckily it's not too bad and is just long strands scattered around the tank. I tend to pick it out when I see it.

    I'm curious when you say it is seasonal. I remember reading a while ago that it often appears in lakes during spring and then dissappears come summer. Does this hold true in regard to our tanks also? Is there any chance that it could be temperature related?

    James
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Generally we have the same temps year round, but spores and other vectors can come in with the air etc from outside.

    Given you re did the tank, 1-2 weeks later you have the alga, sounds like that's more the issue.

    Any time you move things around a lot, do large water change afterwards, really large. Bringing up a lot of decaying matter that's releasing NH4 slowly down there if left undisturbed, the fish feces that have settled deep in there etc, adds a nice spike of NH4.

    A more insidious thing is that with small localized packets of NH4 surrounding the feces, this provides a very high concentration of NH4, while you may not test any in the water column.

    When these feces and matter are deep in the gravel, bacteria, plant roots , and fungi are chomping away at them. They are not available to the algae spore because there is no light.

    The spores are also buried deep in many cases, so you bring them up, the NH4 and add lots of light suddenly.

    That = algae blooms.

    I'm not sure why other folks in the hobby have not thought much about this nor seen the relationship.

    Neil Frank and I talked about this some 10 or more years ago now.
    But I've only heard confirmation since then about this relationship and correlations with algae and the NH4.

    Using a stable isotope like 15N and enriching 15NH4 and adding that to a tank or fish food could follow the path of the Nitrogen as it goes from fish food, to fish feces waste to algae, plant uptake or bacterial oxidation to lysis and subsequent uptake by plants or algae or water change removal.

    Otherwise it's very hard to follow the pathway of various forms of N through such systems. You could also label the Hydrogens with 2H isotopes and follow those, but I'm not sure if that would be better/worst etc.

    I've threatened to do this, it does not cost that much really to do it, but who knows.

    It would answer some questions and resolve some things, but it would not answer everything certainly. I'd want other experiments to support the findings besides just isotopes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr








    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. tetrax

    tetrax Junior Poster

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    Hello! I am new this way, does there be some advance in this thread?? I suffer also of this algae, I need ideas, in order to be able to begin fight. I am Spanish forgive my language. I do the 50 % weekly changes of water, wc with osmose, illumination is hqi 3x150w, the tank is of 375 liters, very planted, I dissolve the co2 with a reactor aquamedic1000, connected to the way out of a filter of 1200 liters hour, illumination of 8 alone hours with hqi. I add kno3, kh2po4 and Profito, to have 10ppm of No3 and 1ppm of Po4. Why does this algae go out? do I not understand it, bad circulation of co2?? The ph this one in 6.3 and the kh in 5. greetings.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Hola Tetrax,

    Another canister filter would be helpful.

    GH? Ca++ and Mg++? Do you add these?

    This alga is very long, tough hair, no branching.
    It can be tough to get rid of.

    I would suggest:

    Clean out as well as you can, reduce the lighting by raising the HQI up.
    That will help.

    After a week or two of good pruning and removal, it'll go away if you stay on top of the routine.

    Plants that can catch fine strands of algae should be pruned well.
    Excel had little effect on this alga at normal dosing.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. tetrax

    tetrax Junior Poster

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    Hello, Tom ... I do not make a contribution neither Ca neither Mg, right now q the wc's water comes out of 22 dgh with a hardness, mix it with osmose to leave her Previously tapeworm in the tank at 5 dgh and 3 kh. another filter in the deeply felt opposite was one 2224 of eheim, right now I carry a month with this algae, you have reason the mayaca picks up a lot of suchlike algae, you recommend sticking at me macros and micros or do I suspend leaving alone the hqi and the co2??
    One thing of her than me the die counts he is than the pogostemon doesthe helferi have new white leaves, to that it is owed??, Also have I indicated that the plants like h.polisperma and crassicaulis wrinkle the leaves, pannier a lot of potassium and a little Ca? Alone fertilizer with Kno3, the wc's water right now comes out of no3 with 5ppm greetings.

    P.d.:If something you do not understand it attempt forgives to translate with a translator the best than am able to thanks.
     
  10. tetrax

    tetrax Junior Poster

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    Add excel and kill L.aromatica......................The solution.............................H2O2...............thanks......:D
     
  11. JamesC

    JamesC Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just to update on how I've got on. Three day blackout and water changes hit the Spirogyra hard but it slowly returned. Three times overdosing excel didn't work. Lowering the light levels a bit affected it as it only grew in the central part of the tank (where the light is brighest) and only at the upper levels on stem plants. As I didn't want to lower the light any more I decided to start dosing excel at the normal dose. This seems to have done the trick as it has now almost completely vanished.

    James
     
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