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Old 07-22-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
pandamonium
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algae ID and how to get rid of it


Hey everyone,

So this algae started on my Java Moss and I removed it since taking the picture. I don't know what kind it is. It's almost like a brown hair looking kind of algae. Any clues as to what it is? It has spread a little since I have the Java Moss issue. I increase circulation and added CO2 and that has slowed it some. But it is still present. When i pulled it out of the water, it clumps up. It is definitely hairy though. Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:19 AM   #2
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I can't tell from that picture if it's a wadded up ball of hair algae, a nasty outbreak of staghorn algae, a rough patch of cladophora algae, or a bunch of slimy rhizocionium algae.

Can you describe what it's like when you try to remove it and what it feels like when you touch it? Also, a FTS would help to see where the algae is located in the tank which can help is determining which kind it is.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:49 AM   #3
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Can you just get rid of the affected plants (it could be all of your plants), restart with healthy stems, lower lighting and photoperiod, monitor nitrates and do partial water changes.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispino Ramos View Post
Can you just get rid of the affected plants (it could be all of your plants), restart with healthy stems
This may not be necessary, depending on the condition of the plants. Often H2O2 and/or Excel can kill the algae which then just melts right off the plants, leaving them as if nothing had ever happened.

However, there is something that caused the algae to grow in the first place. So that must be addressed or any algae cleared out will just come right back.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
I can't tell from that picture if it's a wadded up ball of hair algae, a nasty outbreak of staghorn algae, a rough patch of cladophora algae, or a bunch of slimy rhizocionium algae.

Can you describe what it's like when you try to remove it and what it feels like when you touch it? Also, a FTS would help to see where the algae is located in the tank which can help is determining which kind it is.
When I removed it, I used a metal stick and almost twisted it like you would with spaghetti noodles. It wrapped around it and broke off quite easily. Out of the water it was a dark brown and slimy to the touch. Mollies ate it in my other tank but sadly my last molly died a week ago (had a colony for 4 years, continuously breeding). The algae started on the Java moss and so far has had trouble rooting on other plants. When my frogbit was not moving, the algae got onto the roots but after I adjusted the flow, the algae remained only on the moss.
A full tank shot (is that what FTS is?) is in my tank journal. Just took a pic of the tank a few days ago. The algae is on the Java moss on the right hand side. Branch of the driftwood. I thought that increasing circulation would do the trick. It stopped it I think but did not kill it outright.
I hope that helps Vicki. This problem is making me pull my hair out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispino Ramos View Post
Can you just get rid of the affected plants (it could be all of your plants), restart with healthy stems, lower lighting and photoperiod, monitor nitrates and do partial water changes.
I got rid of the most prominent strands of moss that were afflicted. However, the other pieces were hard to get to. I may try lower lighting and water changes. Though my nitrates were always between 5-15ppm.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:54 AM   #6
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You did a great job of describing it. And what you are describing sounds like rhizocionium algae ("rhizo") (that was also my first inclination when I saw the pic, but didn't want to jump to conclusions too quickly). I have never had rhizo, and from what I've read about it, I hope I never do. It's supposed to be very difficult to get rid of.

Since it's isolated to the moss, I'd get the moss out of the tank. You don't want rhizo to spread throughout your tank. I don't know if H2O2 or Excel has any effect on rhizo, but I'd give it a try and find out. You can treat the moss in a bowl. Just change out the water with fresh tank water each day until you either get rid of all the rhizo or you give up and toss the moss (no pun intended! LOL!).

As far as the causes, take a look at the rhizo section on here to see if anything applies to your tank. If so, then that's what you need to work on correcting so it won't take over your entire tank. http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
Though my nitrates were always between 5-15ppm.
The page I linked above listed as one of the causes of rhizo: "Low nutrient levels"

Are you dosing ferts? If not, maybe it's time to start. Low CO2 can cause it, as well. Or you could lower your lighting to better match the low nutrient/CO2.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
You did a great job of describing it. And what you are describing sounds like rhizocionium algae ("rhizo") (that was also my first inclination when I saw the pic, but didn't want to jump to conclusions too quickly). I have never had rhizo, and from what I've read about it, I hope I never do. It's supposed to be very difficult to get rid of.

Since it's isolated to the moss, I'd get the moss out of the tank. You don't want rhizo to spread throughout your tank. I don't know if H2O2 or Excel has any effect on rhizo, but I'd give it a try and find out. You can treat the moss in a bowl. Just change out the water with fresh tank water each day until you either get rid of all the rhizo or you give up and toss the moss (no pun intended! LOL!).

As far as the causes, take a look at the rhizo section on here to see if anything applies to your tank. If so, then that's what you need to work on correcting so it won't take over your entire tank. http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

The page I linked above listed as one of the causes of rhizo: "Low nutrient levels"

Are you dosing ferts? If not, maybe it's time to start. Low CO2 can cause it, as well. Or you could lower your lighting to better match the low nutrient/CO2.
Oh crap. My tank just can't catch a break. I had ich, neon tetra disease and now this. No fish have died from it but hopefully I can get rid of this eyesore. I will remove the java moss from my tank. I guess the rhizo hitched a ride when I got it from my LFS. No more moss then. Or if I do, it will be treated already. The rhizo I think spread to my myrio, but just a small portion. It hides out in frogbit roots too but I think its to small to cause issue there.
I dose micro ferts 1 time a week and macro I just depend on my fish to poop it all up. and decaying matter as well. I have yeast CO2 but am upgrading to pressurized CO2 soon. Should I start dosing 2 times a week?
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:07 AM   #9
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You have some fast growing plants and some plants known for sucking up nutrients. I'd definitely dose more than you are now. If you can go with full EI dosing, that would be best. For sure when you get pressurized CO2, you'll want to dose EI ferts.

What type/brand ferts are you using right now? If you're using dry ferts, then you're good. If you're using liquid ferts, then you're dosing mostly water.

Remember, even with all the problems you've been dealing with, the goal is to grow the plants. That's the only way out of the mess. So while you keep knocking down various issues, keep your focus on how well the plants are growing. In this case, it appears the message is to add more nutrients, so do what it says. Just watch what your plants do (including any algae), and they'll tell you what to do.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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You have some fast growing plants and some plants known for sucking up nutrients. I'd definitely dose more than you are now. If you can go with full EI dosing, that would be best. For sure when you get pressurized CO2, you'll want to dose EI ferts.

What type/brand ferts are you using right now? If you're using dry ferts, then you're good. If you're using liquid ferts, then you're dosing mostly water.

Remember, even with all the problems you've been dealing with, the goal is to grow the plants. That's the only way out of the mess. So while you keep knocking down various issues, keep your focus on how well the plants are growing. In this case, it appears the message is to add more nutrients, so do what it says. Just watch what your plants do (including any algae), and they'll tell you what to do.
Yeah that I do. They grow very quickly. I just pruned my frogbit today after a week or so. I have looked at EI dosing and it seems very water change intense. I will look into doing that but while I am at school it will be a problem since my dad has to watch out for my tank.
I am on liquid ferts now since I didn't find out about dry until after. I will dose those then. Probably just micro ferts?
I'll keep an eye out for plant growth and algae too. Right now the growth looks good so I'm not too worried. Algae though. I will kill it.
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:55 AM   #11
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How are you doing your water changes? Do you have a python style water changer? If not, then you need to get one. It makes water changes a breeze.

I think you should dose micro and macro even if you continue with liquid ferts. At the very least, add root tabs.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:28 PM   #12
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How are you doing your water changes? Do you have a python style water changer? If not, then you need to get one. It makes water changes a breeze.

I think you should dose micro and macro even if you continue with liquid ferts. At the very least, add root tabs.
I have a siphon that I installed into my canister inflow. So I shut off the canister and then open the valve and my water goes in from there into a bucket. To fill, I have a pump that I use from the bathroom to my room. It's almost like a python but a little more work, which I don't mind much.

Ok I will have to see where to get macro ferts. I know GLA sells plantex csm? That is micro right? And right now I am using osmocote plus fertilizer in the substrate. Is that the same as root tabs?
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:48 PM   #13
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Yeah, the osmocote is working as root tabs. All that's meant by "root tabs" is that it's some kind of solid form of fertilizer that's put in the substrate where the plants' roots usually take it in — as opposed to fertilizers that are dissolved into the water column where the plants' leaves take it in. So a root tab refers to the form of the fertilizer, but not what's actually being dosed.

Macro ferts are known as the big three: N-P-K.
N: Nitrate (KNO3)
P: Phosphate (KH2PO4)
K: Potassium (K2SO4)
Micro ferts are a combination of many elements in trace amounts.
Plantex CSM + B (includes iron)
So to ensure your plants are getting everything they need, you need to dose macros and micros. It doesn't matter what form you dose them as long as you dose them in sufficient quantities so that your plants don't run out. To make any dry fert into a liquid fert, just add water.

Here's the whole package of dry ferts at GLA: http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquari...rtilizers.html

For any fert you want to mix with water before putting in the tank, you may want to also get a dosing bottle like this one: http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquari...nser-16oz.html. They have a larger bottle, but I generally prefer to use the smaller bottles since you can mix the ferts in any concentration you want, and I like to clean out the bottle and mix it fresh every couple of weeks.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:48 AM   #14
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Oh ok got it. I put in my osmocote maybe 3 weeks ago so I will probably add more in about 3 weeks. I heard that it lasts about 2 months in water. My plants are enjoying it so thats good
On the algae issue, I pruned my tank and took out as much as I could by hand. The Java is being experimented on to see if I can kill it. If not then I'll toss the Java. I had to throw out some M. mattengrossense because it got a little too intense and the leaves died.
I will look at that GLA fert pack when I have the money. Don't get paid til the end of the month
I like that dosing bottle haha but now it's given me an idea. I'm making my own! I think it's pretty doable. 2 bottles linked with a tube. It should give me something to do in my spare time
So when dosing the ferts, I should mix before putting it in the tank water? Some people say they just throw it in the tank which is why I ask.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:56 AM   #15
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So when dosing the ferts, I should mix before putting it in the tank water? Some people say they just throw it in the tank which is why I ask.
Most definitely keep the macros and micros separated. When they are combined, the iron is precipitated out. That's why EI dosing has macros and micros dosed on opposite days.

As far as mixing all three macros together (NPK), to be honest, I'm not sure. Long time ago, it was suggested that you not do it because there was some kind of chemical reaction where they combined or something, but now I hear it's okay. At this point, I can't honestly say if it's okay or not.

Once you put them in your tank, they become extremely diluted so then the problems of mixing them go away. So all the issues regarding mixing them is only when they are in a concentrated liquid form.
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