Hair Algae Case Study- Long - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2004, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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I was hoping someone could lend some insight. I will give you a little history first.

My tank is about 10 weeks old. It is 75 gallons (60 gallons after displacement) with 260 watts per gallon and pressurized CO2 with controller. The substrate is Flourite with Duplarite G (their laterite) mixed in the bottom third layer. The tank is heavily planted. I have 7 true SAE’s and 12 Otto’s as well as 12 other small fish.. Up until 10 days ago I have only been adding some Seachem Flourish, Potassium, and Iron. I also put in Flourish Root tabs about 4 weeks ago. I use 100% RO water and reconstitute with Seachem Equlibrium and Alkaline Buffer, as my tap water is lousy.

My water parameters are Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate all are “0”. GH=7, KH=4, and PH=6.8.

Plant growth has always been good. I was nervous about adding N and P, as I was afraid of getting algae. I had a little hair algae but about two weeks ago but things changed.
I had made a mistake and was adding water with equilibrium in it for my evaporation water. I was supposed to add straight RO. The GH in the tank had risen to 12 dkh. So I did 15% water changes with straight RO for about 4 days to get the GH down. I was using the GH as my indicator level. I think though that by doing this I also cut down on the other trace elements in the Equilibrium mixture in my tank.

About 4 days later I saw hair algae really increasing (lack of nutrients from water change)?). So I bought N and P from Greg Watson. I was leaving for a business trip for 8 days and I didn’t want my wife trying to add using Chuck’s calculator and test the water (wasn’t looking for divorce). So I bought some Seachem N ands P and used their “beginners dose” for a couple days before I left. I added morning and night and I tested for Nit and Phos and all were zero. I then went away last Friday and had my wife add for a couple more days. She stopped on Monday or Tuesday.
I looked at the tank yesterday and it is hair algae city. The plants grew like crazy though even with the little bit of under dosing. One strange thing that I noticed was that some plants like Hygrophilia just started growing roots from the stems where they never did that before.

Is the hair algae from adding fertilizer or from not enough fertilizer? I hardly had any algae before I started with the series of water changes. If is due to not enough fertilizer than I will mix up the stock solution after a water change today. How much should I add per day at this pint?

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2004, 05:49 PM
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The hair algae like most algae is caused by a nutrient imbalance. For the amount of light you have your CO2 levels are a bit low. Also you need to get the rest of your nutrient levels where they should be. Read my FAQ for recommended levels of nutrients. And IMHO you should just dose the KNO3 dry. What are you using to dose traces and iron?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2004, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Rex,

Thanks for the comments. For trace I am using Seachem Flourish. I also use Seachem Iron. I am ssuming that KNO3 is Nitrate? Should I dose Phosphate too?

By the way how do I get the algae off the leaves. I use a toothbrush and it still stays.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2004, 06:31 PM
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I always get long green hair algae when I let nitrates go to zero.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2004, 10:17 PM
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KNO3 is a bulk inexpensive source of nitrates. And if you have no phosphates in the tank you really need to add them with your light levels. As for getting it off the leaves... SAE and Amano shrimp.
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