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mosspearl 04-03-2013 04:07 PM

what is this?
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I first saw this stringy stuff that you see attached to the leaf in one of my planted jars. Easy enough to remove there... it was on a few small rocks. I removed them. Now I see it growing rather thickly in one corner of my 10g. It's on my cryptocoryne undulata, on the rock behind it, and on my marsilea minuta. What is it and how do I get rid of it?

The 10g does get some indirect light from a window in the morning. I'm now covering it with a blanket in the morning so that is stopped. I don't turn the light on in the tank until mid afternoon. It remains on until late evening, so it gets about 7 hours of light with a daylight CFL. I don't do cO2 and the only livestock in the tank at the moment are snails.

Water params last week during my last testing were:
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 0ppm
TDS: 161
GH: 6.7
KH: 2.2

Plants and snails are doing well.

Wasserpest 04-03-2013 06:50 PM

This is staghorn algae. In my experience, if you do everything right to get your plants growing, staghorn is a temporary nuisance, and disappears all by itself after a few weeks.

To get plants growing, they need nutrients. One important one is NO3, so if your nitrate levels are zilch, your plants will have issues, now or down the line.

mosspearl 04-03-2013 07:08 PM

I'm dosing with Flourish three times a week. Is there any other way to build up the NO3? I've read some of the posts in the water and ferts section and I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around it. :P I didn't do too well in chemistry.

The marsilea has spread nicely, the crypts are putting out new leaves several times a week, my moss is growing like crazy and I've thinned out my floaters twice already in a month. The floaters do grow extremely long roots, and I've learned that's due to low nutrients in the water column. Will it help to use osmocote caps or other ferts in the substrate?

Wasserpest 04-03-2013 07:19 PM

Flourish what? What we usually call Flourish around here refers to Flourish Comprehensive, a micro mix that does not contain nitrates.

Depending on your light levels, your plants need macro nutrients (NPK). Some Osmocote caps can help your Crypts, sure.

mosspearl 04-03-2013 07:28 PM

Yes, I think that's what it is. It's Seachem Flourish -- Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. Guess I need to find additional supplementation. I've only done planted aquaria since Feb of this year. Obviously still have a lot to learn. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

mnemenoi 04-03-2013 08:44 PM

Add to your bioload! don't be stingy with the fish food either, lol. Nitrates levels of 10-20ppm are good readings in planted tanks. Just add some fish or inverts and feed them, instant source for Nitrates

mosspearl 04-03-2013 09:06 PM

Thanks, mnemenoi! I'm planning on adding shrimp to this tank... but I need to wait until my budget is a little more flush. Gotta pay the bills first. I do have some fish flake I can start with in the meantime. :) The snails are already populating the place with abandon.

The tank is a month old. I had been waiting for it to cycle before adding more than the snails. If I add fish, I have nowhere else to put them while the shrimp build their numbers. Don't want them eaten until they are numerous enough to fend for themselves.

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