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Old 09-25-2004, 09:42 PM   #1
TheSmJ
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Green thread algae


First O'll start with my tank params:

* 29 Gallon tank
* 5 Ottos, 9 Dwarf Puffers
* 2 Amazon swords, a bunch of Anacharis (and I mean a BUNCH), 2 Thilantra bunches, 2 big Water Sprite bunches, Mondo grass, Dwarf grass, and Java fern.
* 55W CF light (12 hours on, 12 off)
* A very limited amount of DIY CO2 gas. I'm using a crummy home-made "bell" diffuser, and I may as well remove it until I get a Hagen ladder).
* Eco-complete substrate

* Water params:
~10 PPM Nitrates
~0 Nirtites
~150 PPM water hardnes
~Alkalinity (KH) around 100 PPM
~PH 7.4
I should also mention, the light and substrate have been in the tank only for around a couple of weeks.

Now my problem: green "thread" algae. It's covering the tops of a few of the plants (mostly the Anacharis) and the substrate that's within around 2 inches of the front of the glass. It's also covering a plastic plant attached to an ornament, but I can easily brush it all off.

I'm wondering if the Algae problem will take care of itself once I get a better CO2 diffuser, thus allowing the plants to suck up more of the nutrients. Would this fix the problem, or just make it worse?

Is there anything else I could do to get rid of the algae? I can't use snails or shrimp cause the puffers would eat them. I just added 2 Ottos to the 3 I already had (the first 3 are eating constantly -and very fat- yet unable to keep up with the algae growth)
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Last edited by TheSmJ; 09-26-2004 at 02:42 AM..
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:10 AM   #2
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I'm battling thread algae also, I could remove a golf ball size daily. I have started overcoming it in the last week. Remove all you can by hand; I even pulled out two bunches (baby tears & java moss) of plants that had it so bad that I could not remove enough by hand. After you remove as much as you can do a 50% water change then dose your ferts to get things back in balance. Then 3 days later do another 50% water change, dose ferts and if you still see anymore thread algae remove it.

Do you know what your P04 reading is?
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Old 09-27-2004, 04:39 AM   #3
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Trenac, I had the same experience. Had to pull out some plants as well! Eventually this problem went away when I started dosing nitrates and stopped feeding bloodworms daily..
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:26 AM   #4
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Hmm, how do you measure P04?

I'd stop feeding bloodworms if I could, but the fact is that bloodworms are just about all these puffers will eat (aside from snails, which make more of a mess than the worms). I could try feeding less and see if that fixes the problem.

As for nitrates, this tank's nitrate level has been stuck at 10 ever since it finished cycling, and it's been cycled for the past 6 months. I also don't believe a rating any higher than that would be very good for the fish....
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:54 AM   #5
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There is a tests to measure P04 in the water; I use the Seachem brand test. If your nitrates are at 10ppm then you will need to keep P04 at 0.4ppm. There is no need to stop feeding bloodworms just cut back on the amount you are feeding to about half untill things get balanced out.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:41 AM   #6
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Oops, misread your nitrate readings, thought it said 0. How is the plant growth? I know anacharis will thrive at up to a PH of 7.5, but the preferred range is 6.5-7.0 and a Kh of 3-8. To survive at upper threshold, they will require co2. Considering that you have a moderate amount of light I believe once you have injected more co2 you should see your nitrate level go down along with the algae. Do you see any other algae forms on your plants?
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:22 AM   #7
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No other forms of algae, just the green thread stuff. It's also mostly concentrated in one area of the tank, which is a clump of Anacharis and a plastic plant which is going to be replaced as soon as my new Myriophyllum Mattogrossense (what's it's common name?) I just won on Aquabid gets here.

Once the plant gets here, I plan to take out both the effected Anacharis and plastic plant, clean them both off, reposition the Anacharis bunch behind the new plant and throw the plastic one in the rather large plastic plant pile that has developed in the basement over the past month.


Overall plant growth has been great, especially since I removed the rockwool plugs some of the rooted plants came in and planted them directly in the eco-complete. All of the Anacharis clumps have been pearling as well (especially the new shoots I bought from Petsmart a couple of days ago), which I suspect to be a good thing.

As for finding a PO4 test, I checked Petco, Pet Supplies Plus, and Bigalsonline. None of them seem to have such a test, unless I'm looking for the wrong thing.
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