Algae I.D. - please help - **Update: It's Staghorn Algae
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Old 03-20-2004, 05:08 PM   #1
unirdna
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Hello,

This morning, what was a few hairs, here and there, turned into a lot of hair. It grows on old val leaves and hairgrass. My tank has been set up for about a month. There has been no 'attack' on any of the new growth; just the shabby looking blades and leaves that were on the plants when I bought them. Any thoughts on how to get rid of this stuff? It's not too unsightly right now, but I'm afraid of it getting out of control.

Specs:
4.2 wpg
20-25 ppm CO2
5ppm NO3
.5 ppm PO4
20 ppm K
6KH
6GH

Plants:
Lots of stems (ambulia, cabomba, ludwegia, etc)
Amazon sword
Microsword
Dwarf Hairgrass
Baby tears
Apotomogeton(sp) Crispus
Vals (3 kinds)
Sag (2 kinds)

Fish:
4 Amanos
4 Ottos
2 SAE's
8 Rasboras

Thanks for your input.

Ted
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:16 PM   #2
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I am not an expert but I will gues it is staghorn algae.
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:18 PM   #3
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It most definitely is staghorn algae. It appeared in one of my tanks after about 1 month also. Remove what you can physically and then work to keep nutrients in order...
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Old 03-20-2004, 11:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unirdna
Specs:
4.2 wpg
20-25 ppm CO2
5ppm NO3
.5 ppm PO4
20 ppm K
6KH
6GH
The tank specs look good. I take it the pH is roughly 6.7-7.0?

The only other major parameter that comes to mind is Fe. Is the water column (or substrate) receiving supplemental iron in any form?

Are you dosing with any commercial micronutrient/trace element products?

That's about all I can think of, LOL.

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Old 03-20-2004, 11:27 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. 'Staghorn' eh? Ok then, how do I kill it :twisted: .

My SAE's pick at it, but they only chomp down a thread once in a while.

Plantview,
pH floats around 6.9. I dose with flourish once or twice a week, but haven't used any specific iron supplement yet. All my plants are growing well except my amazon sword. Only one new (small) leaf in 2 weeks.

Do flagfish eat this stuff? I hate to look impatient , I'm really not. I'm just trying to make sure I'm not heading for disaster. Sometimes it seems like all the 'algae stuff' is a luck-of-the-draw system. I'm sure that this stuff was hitching a ride on the dwarf hairgrass. I saw it when I bought the grass, but didn't think anything of it.

Do you suppose a bit of Flourish Iron would help balance things out? Orrr.....do I just need to cool my jets and give the tank some time 8) ?
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Old 03-21-2004, 01:08 AM   #6
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Years ago I dosed with traces and iron based on recommendation from the fish store (the one I don't shop at anymore because they know only what the manufacturer tells them, and are generally useless). I got a huge case of staghorn afterwards, and only got rid of it after I did a couple major water changes to dilute out the iron and get the rest of the nutrients in the water column lower. Since then I have heard of excess iron causing problems especially with this algae species.

-Laura
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:09 AM   #7
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I have some in my tank on anubias and java fern, it doesn't look like anything touches the stuff
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:59 PM   #8
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So the staghorn started to get really bad. Six-inch hairs were flowing off my dwarf hairgrass...ugh! A few branches of the stuff showed up on my lovely java fern, and I knew that I had to do something.

I had been keeping my Nitrates around 0-5 ppm because I was afraid of - yep - algae outbreaks. In the past three days, I have upped my nitrates to 5-10 ppm. I also upped the bubble rate on my CO2 by about 20% - keeping my CO2 around a hearty 30 ppm.

Day1: Algae continues to grow
Day2: Algae growth slows - some starts to break free
Day3: Algae growth stops - greyish tuffs of fungus-looking stuff shows up on the algae.

Anyone have any experience with the "rise and fall" of staghorn? Am I winning, or is this the calm before the storm?
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Old 03-23-2004, 03:24 PM   #9
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The lazy aquarist that I am, I always waited it out, and it has always dissappeared. I haven't seen it in years so I don't know what in particular triggered it or knocked it back. I just know that I never tried to get rid of it.
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Old 03-29-2004, 05:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMurphy
The lazy aquarist that I am, I always waited it out, and it has always dissappeared. I haven't seen it in years so I don't know what in particular triggered it or knocked it back. I just know that I never tried to get rid of it.
Yeah, as I watch this stuff croak off, I'm starting to think that the changes I made had little to do with it's demise. I went away for the weekend; NO3's and PO4's dropped to 0 ppm, and still, the staghorn is all but gone. So maintaining 'optimal' levels of nutrients doesn't seem to have been the magic bullet. Just needed to 'wait it out' .
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Old 04-16-2004, 04:37 AM   #11
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I had the same algae before. The phosphate is what the algae really wants. As long as the phosphate is very low, the staghorn algae wont multiply. The existing ones continue to grow though. From my experience, once phosphate is there for the algae, they grow and multiply like CRAZY! I'm actually very scared of dosing phosphate because of it and have since only dosed phosphate with a few drops instead of a ml. All other parameters are fine in my tank with nitrates at 10ppm and dosing all other fertilizers. I am getting good growth on all my plants and keeping phosphate down to a minimum. The plants still need phosphate to grow so I just give very limited amounts. I would suggest introducing the ferts very slowly. Took me about 2 months to get back on track.
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Old 04-23-2004, 12:59 PM   #12
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I got a bad case of this when I overosed Flourish and Flourish Iron.
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