Hello! I'm a first time planted tank owner, and I've spent a ton of time planning out my tank, but now I'm encountering a problem with a capital A--Algae!
Three months ago I started my planted tank and eventually added a cherry shrimp. There are now a couple baby shrimp in there and some baby snails that hitchhiked. Otherwise, no fish yet, because I have been taking my sweet time figuring out the plant and algae situation.
The Algae Issue:
*I had brown algae for awhile, but that's gone
*I think i have green dust algae. I scraped it all off my glass before I realized I'm supposed to let it just die off in 3 weeks. Letting it grow back now. (See photo of where I am letting it grow on a rock--along with the shrimp poo)
*It's possible that I have green spot algae instead of green dust algae. I'm not sure at this point. (See photo below of a little bit on the glass)
*The Big Problem: Long, green hair-like algae.
It's taken over! Is it hair algae, thread algae, or even blanket weed? At first when i was dealing with it, I noticed that it had prongs coming off it, so I thought it was blanket weed. It's also relatively fibrous, and feels like hair. However, over time as the problem became worse, what I notice now is that the algae grows in long strands with no branches. It attaches to everything seemingly. It might just be another kind of algae altogether.
I know different algae need different techniques to take care of them, so I'm hoping someone will have advice on how to take care of the hair-like algae specifically.
The Mess of hairy algae
Hair-like algae out of the tank
The green dust algae + poo
Green spot or green dust algae
My water parameters look fine I think, although my water is hard (around 9 dGH). My lighting is super low, in my opinion, although the people over at the Aqua Forest Aquarium in San Francisco said this light was "medium" and fine for a low tech tank. It's this
7.56W light, and I have a 11.4 Gallons/43.2 Liters tank. I wonder if the fact that's it's an LED light means that it's more concentrated light or something. Color temperature: White lamp (7000k~8000k). I keep the lights on 9 hours a day. The tank is mostly away from daylight, although a little bit of soft light may hit the side during the day.
A week or two ago I removed the carbon filter, because I was under the impression it would remove all the nutrients my plants needed, and some plants aren't doing so well. However, I think my hair-like algae became worse at that time too.
I change ~40% of my water once a week. I started using a capful up Excel with each water change because I heard that low CO2 can cause algae issues.
Does anyone have any advice on how best to handle the long hair-like algae, and better yet, do you know what type of algae it really is?
Does anything actually eat that kind of algae? Amano shrimp? Otos? Nerite snails?
Should I decrease light? Try blacking out an hour midday? But I already have such low light wattage I'm afraid of hurting the plants. Should I put the carbon filter back in? Increase water changes?
Any help in identifying this algae and getting rid of it would be appreciated!