Flow to combat Staghorn?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
Bunfoo
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Flow to combat Staghorn?


I recently got a bit of staghorn problem when I got stuck in another city for 3 days, and my tank light was on the whole time. It's mostly just invaded the java moss that is closest to the light, and my largest sword plant. A friend told me a good way to combat it was to treat with hydrogen peroxide, and buy a powerhead and increase flow around the affected plants. I did buy the cheap powerhead, haven't done the hydrogen peroxide yet as there are baby fish in the tank and I'm not sure what a safe dose for them is.

Do you figure the flow alone and cutting back my lighting will be enough? I did have a staghorn problem in some vals a while back, but have since removed the vals and my tank was fine until the 3 day lights. This powerhead also has a way to add a tubing onto it, I was told adding c02 will also help kill the algae, but I only have diy, and I'm not sure how much the levels will fluctuate from the day and night, temps can change more than 40 degrees between day and night here, so I'd probably make it worse.

I am manually removing what I can. Any other tips?
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:51 AM   #2
Ptyochromis
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CO2 isn't going to kill algae. The DIY CO2 sure ins't helping, it's not nearly as stable as injected CO2, and fluctuations in CO2 will favor algae growth. Stable CO2 favors plant growth, but if your tank is out of balance CO2 will make things worse. Not to mention swings in CO2 when you are trying to find the right amount that will work for your tank

Hydrogen peroxide may work but it is a toxin. No idea how it will affect your fish/plants/bio filter. Staghorn algae is a food source for lots of fish, like rosy barbs, Florida fag fish and many others. Just remember depending on your stocking adding a new fish my not be the best idea.

What type of lights do you have? And how deep is your tank? My thought is that you have too much light. IF they are T8 remove 1 bulb T5 remove 2, depending on depth. Also, limit the light no more than 8hours per day.

Edit: flow is always good in a planted tank. Helps deliver nutrients to the plants. This fluctuating CO2 business is the reason I swear by low light/low tech heavily planted tank, letting your fish produce CO2, and maintaining some surface movement is a fail safe way to keep steady CO2 levels.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:41 AM   #3
Bunfoo
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Thanks!

I don't and haven't had the diy c02 for quite some time, I recently doubled the size of that tank (I moved all the plants, inhabitants) and so now it is a 20g, my current stock is a female dalmatian molly, and a suspected guppy/molly hybrid, 3 male endlers livebearers/guppy hybrid, 5 neon tetras and two female guppies. There were guppy babies in the tank but I was finally successful in (i think) catching them all and moving them to a fry tank. I will be moving out the neons to a different tank shortly however.

The dalmatian does seem to "pick" at the staghorn, but doesn't seem to be successful in getting any, if anything she is just ripping apart the moss and creating a mess. . none of the other fish pick at it. I had pretty decent flow from my filter and a strip airstone running for circulation, but the powerhead definitely helps circulate much more strongly. From the time I posted this though, it seems some green hair algae is taking advantage of the extra flow and has really taken off. I am going to reduce my lighting and try 4 hours in the morning and 4 in the evening.

I was told the hydrogen peroxide will decompose into water and oxygen after dosing, but didn't want to tank any risks just yet.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
xmas_one
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Spot treat with h2o2, use a little syringe. I've gone as high as 3ml per gallon with no ill effects on shrimp or fish, but 1ml per gallon would be a super safe dose.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #5
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Alright, thanks! I'm just worried the h202 will also kill off the moss. So far it has died back a lot on the sword (as well as I trimmed some leaves), but is persisting on the java moss. I'm worried perhaps the light is just too close to the moss (sits on top of the tank) so I will try raising it a few inches and hope that doesn't kill off the plants at the bottom.
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