Why can't I eliminate this algae?!
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:30 AM   #1
drewsuf82
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Why can't I eliminate this algae?!


OK so my 10 gallon wild type tank has been getting hair and staghorn algae and the whole SLEW of other types of algae and I just can't for the life of me seem to beat it! I've done massive trim backs, pulled out the hair algae, h2o2 treated, excel treated, new filter, new rocks, less light (currently lighting 4 hours a day), light excel doses, I just don't know what to do with it ><

My readings as of tonight:

PH - 0
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - Between 0 and 5 PPM
KH - 8
GH - 13
TDS - Not sure my meter will be here tomorrow

Ferts: Flourish Once a week at recommended dosages.

Light - Simple T8 Bulb - Currently on 4 hours a day - ZERO direct sunlight
NO CO2

Living Things - I estimate ~60-80 super small nearly impossible to catch pond snails >< and 4 Tiger Shrimp (3 females and a male I believe but they're near impossible to find half the time which makes me think theres something off in the tank)

25% water changes weekly.

Between the KH and GH I'm actually getting deposits on the filter and the exit on the filter...I'm planning on going RO/DI (actually ordering stuff tonight) to help allievate my filter killing water

I'm so frustrated that I'm literally within inches of breaking down the entire tank, throwing everything out and starting from scratch. The even more frustrating part any of the moss that I pull out of here and put into a growing tank within a week the algae is gone and you would of never even known that it had been in that tank, It's maddening!

My 10 Gallon PFR with almost identical everything (instead of snails, theres about 30 PFR and a 1.5" Albino BN Pleco) and the very worst I get in there is a very light coating of Green Dust on the glass every two weeks or so that comes off with a simple clean of the glass.

Here's some pictures tonight, mind you I just pulled out a golf ball of Green Hair Algae yesterday and didn't see any left at all and today I come home to this again.







This tank was so beautiful! Now no matter what I do I just can't win and it's driving me insane!!!
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:37 AM   #2
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Before you go insane, take another look at both of your tanks - you have actually put the answer right in your post

Assuming everything is 'identical' between the two tanks otherwise, there is one biiiiig difference - a pleco in the 'good' tank.

Plecos eat a lot and poop a lot: That guy is feeding your plants for you.

In the tank with algae you still have minute quantities of nutrients: not enough for plants but plenty for algae.

You have 2 distinct approaches to get that tank back on track: either eliminate food for algae or let the plants to outcompete it.

The first approach is doable but impractical.

The second approach could be counter-intuitive: either add more hungry plants or feed the existing ones better. Combination of both is the shortest path.

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:46 AM   #3
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Hi OVT

Thanks for your reply, I didn't even think about the BN pleco -- they won't go after green hair or the staghorn though right ?

As for plants in the tank I currently have what I'm 95% sure is xmas moss (all the moss you see) and Wysteria.

Do you think that the setup with the rocks are high as they are can be contributing to the problem ?

I threw some RRF in there but it seemed to dry up and disappear, now that I'm thinking about it those love nutrients

Yea the differences are: This tank has 4 more medium size rocks in order to build up the platform, no driftwood (but cholla wood with moss growing on it), about 15 or so less shrimp and minus a pleco, however this tank has the pond snails while the other does not

Do you think that increasing the ferts would help a bit with it maybe twice a week then as well ? -- I'm really thinking about rescaping as well to open up the center for some plant life I can throw in there and see if I can get them out competing the algae...I just really liked how this looked with the rocks and the moss
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:25 AM   #4
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Hi Hi

No, BN do not eat hair algae. Most likely he is going for the food you are putting in anyways.

Can't really answer the second question as I do not see the rocks and I am now getting confused which tank is which. I do can tell you that hair algae does like higher flow and decent surface agitation.

You like the scape. Then if you change too many things at the same time you will not know what actually made a positive/negative impact. Not the best way to learn how to have ANY type of tank you want.

My personal advise is to prove to yourself if my 'advise' is good or worthless. Um

10g is not that big and is a good size to experiment with: the results of good and bad changes will be apparent pretty quickly.

Temporary, in the tank with algae, add as many fast growing healty, young plants as you can: some floaters, some water wisteria and sprite, some Hygrophilia of any kind, Mayaca, Ambulia, and so on AND start feeding them (look up EI in the Fertilization section of this web site). Help the plants to get an upper hand by removing the algae that you can by hand.

Give this a try for a month and see what happens. My bet is that the algae will start to disappear.

If that works, slowly start replacing the plants you do not want with the ones that you do.

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Old 06-24-2013, 04:30 AM   #5
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definitely the Pleco, I have three Calico BN Pleco in my 36 gallon. If I feed them algae waffers everyday they will not eat the algae that grows nearly as much as they do if I don't feed them, and the algae grows like crazy if they don't eat it. I would put a Pleco in the algae tank and watch the algae disappear.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:34 AM   #6
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^^^ Actually, not a bad idea :thumbup:
Just move the pooper over.

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Old 06-24-2013, 04:38 AM   #7
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As for the surface agitation that is one thing that I def do not have really in this tank. I decided to try for a in tank filter because I felt that the spray bar would get circulation over the moss to try to keep the hair algae at bay.

I do have an airpump and a sponge filter that I can put in there I'm not really sure if that would really promote surface agitation and circulation though.

Currently I have some Pennywort, and cabomba for fast growers and maybe about 3 stems of that that I could move over, I've got a lot of new tanks that I'm trying to fill in. I also have one strand of hornwort somewhere that I could throw in there.

I've always really done medium-slow growth plants because that's usually what all seems to be available locally. I've won a few raoks with riccia and mosses and such but nothing background/stemmy -- TBH IDK what I would even put in there outside of the 4 or 5 stems that I have growing in my 55 of cabomba, even my 55 has swords and jungle vals for the back and those are root feeders so that wouldn't help me :\ besides the last babies that I broke off and moved to a 10 gallon melted and have semi started coming back after 4 or so weeks re-establishing their roots.

These are both set up as low tech tanks I know that I can throw anything in my 55 because it's high tech but this is such a challenge and learning process for me that I'm always here reading and browsing and trying to gain more knowledge

I put some RRF in there but they disappeared so IDK if the snails destroyed them or if they just weren't happy. I've got duckweed but I only want that type of floater in one tank otherwise it gets crazy out of hand

TBH I'm thinking now that I like the idea of the rocks more to the side anyway that would really open up the center and give a lot of room for the shrimp to roam...

It really had such promise and then this issue started showing up so I was letting the mosses really run at it and growing and the pennywort got unhappy and passed and the green plant that I got that was a fast grower melted quickly as well I'm just starting to feel that this is the tank of doom

January 26:

Last edited by drewsuf82; 06-24-2013 at 05:01 AM.. Reason: to make better sense
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Shrimp View Post
definitely the Pleco, I have three Calico BN Pleco in my 36 gallon. If I feed them algae waffers everyday they will not eat the algae that grows nearly as much as they do if I don't feed them, and the algae grows like crazy if they don't eat it. I would put a Pleco in the algae tank and watch the algae disappear.
Yea I need to get some wood in there for them to get their wood fix with
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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TDS is running about 240
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:37 AM   #10
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Once hair algae gets into your moss it becomes a real pain to remove it.

With shrimp in the tank you can't use most algae removing chemicals so you're limited to manual removal/fixing the existing issue causing the algae.

If you'd rather save the tank than scrap it you can just try numerous things at once and hopefully they all pay off in some way.

Oto will help keep brown algae off your walls, some floating plants will help reduce the lighting intensity and soak up excess nutrients, maybe a large trim of the moss and remove all the infected areas you can.

I had something similar happen in my 10g and I just ended up removing all the moss and adding fast growing floating plants(duckweed, anacharis, guppy grass, frogbit etc..) The algae disappeared completely only to be later introduced by some plants I added(I didn't learn my lesson the first time)

I took all the livestock out and added a flagfish(eats hair algae but aggressive toward other fish and shirmp), hes now happily munching algae in the "algae tank" haha.

Keep in mind that moss is a very slow grower so its easily out competed by hair algae, and once you have it its an ongoing battle that is almost never won, it will always slowly come back if you don't completely remove it. You can try excel dosing but it hasn't been very effective for me and with h2o2 if you use too much you could possibly kill the moss also.

Mine was introduced from plants I put in the tank, it didn't randomly appear in the tank. Before it was introduced I had no hair algae whatsoever.

Another thing is tds of 240 is a little high depending on what your tap water is. For example my tap runs 50 tds(seems to be low for tap water) so I try to keep it between 50-140(just preference..). As water evaporates(and minerals are left behind) and you do top offs your tds will continually increase so its better to do a larger water change to bring things down and keep them closer to your tap water range(maybe lower using a mix of ro/tap depending on what you are keeping).

OH CRAP 5AM ITS BEDTIME! Ill be back..
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
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My tap water is a train wreck LOL I'm in the process of converting to RODI

I've rescaped the tank, pulled out the moss and have it in blackout with algae fix trying to clear that up, hoping it'll kill some snails along the way as well

TDS is now down to 202 I've been working it down slowly to not shock the shrimp that are in there, Once I get my other stuff in I'll be moving a bn over as well
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:24 AM   #12
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Careful with algaefix and shrimp. Some places I read to not use it with shrimp at all and other places I see that its its fine.

Sounds like a good start to clearing things up though.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:01 PM   #13
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So I've rescaped the tank and pulled out the moss. I can't believe how much was in there. I took it, put it in a bin with some algae fix and into the closet for 4 days with no light.

I pulled it out today, opened it and the smell was horrible! I took to rinsing out the bin and there were at least 200 pond snails in there! I rinsed 3 times, pulled out any dead chunks and rinsed again, put in algae fix and now IDK if I should put the moss under light for a day to let it have some photosynthesis or if I should just cover and put it back in the closet for a few more days...

There's tons of hair algae in it. I took it and spread it out and removed about a golfball of it but there's still plenty of it.

ANy help and tips would be very welcome! I'd like to get the moss out of treatment I feel like I'm killing it

Last edited by drewsuf82; 07-01-2013 at 05:16 PM.. Reason: edit
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