Spirogyra....ugh.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
TexasCichlid
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Spirogyra....ugh.


After my last large trim, I began seeing spirogyra develop. It came at me with a vengeance and spread very quickly. I pulled out my HC completely, which is where most of it was and cut my blyxa down to the nubs to get the spiro off. Planted tropica 49 in place of the HC. I went in with and pulled the stuff off the rocks and glass where I could grab it, and hit the rest with concentrated H202. I also did a 4 day blackout, upped my CO2, cleaned out my filter, reduced ferts to a PPS style bare minimum daily dose and have been doing my normal glut dosing as well.

All this in the span of the past few weeks. Despite the limited photoperiod ( down to 5 hours ), good plant growth and lean dosing the spirogyra is starting to spread vigorously again. It is very frustrating and is beginning to spread to my new tropica 49 as well. I have tried everything I know and humbly ask for assistance.

Part of me thinks I should just let it go, turn the lights back up to my 8 hour photoperiod, let my plants grow and they will begin to outcompete for nutrients but with the rate in which the spirogyra grows ( 4 inch strands overnight seemingly ) I am terrified to do so.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #2
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Doesn't sound fun.... You attempts to cut it out maybe worsyening the problem. Being your filament algae can reproduce by segmentation. Do you have any inverts in the tank... I know thesealgaes are especially susceptible to copper. But you wouldn't want to kill shrimp if you had em
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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I have nerites and shrimp. I could relocate them temporarily though.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:25 AM   #4
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I'd use algaefix if you can netr out the inverts and shrimp, it will kill the shrimp.

Copper will harm the plants as well, so algaefix has had the best experience as far as fish and plants.

Like over doing Excel or H2O2, people have kiloled their fish.
Follow the label and watch the fish close.

Do the old water change before/after and clean things up really good before using it. It'll take about 4-5 days for it to die off.

I may use it to selectively kill the low grade fire shrimp in my 120 Gal.
I tried it a couple of tanks recently, but I knew the root cause for the issue, no algae killers cures the root cause.

Most greens are CO2 and /or current in some way or the other.
I was able to go back and confirm this in 3 tanks later.

I have never treated the 120 Gal which got the same algae, but I was able to get rid of it with good trimming and CO2 adjustment alone. My 180 gal never got it even if I placed infested plants in the tank, light, sediment, fish load, filtration, are all the same including dosing of ferts, water changes etc.

I placed dozens of plants in the 180 Gal over a couple of months, never once did any algae make it take a hold. I also tried cleaning up moss with algaefix and it worked really well in a small bucket with a sponge filter outside on the porch out of direct sunlight.

My CO2 ran out and I got some in my 70 Gal tank(my hands are often out i natural systems with lots of algae, and tank to tank transfers occur often enough, but do not take hold unless something is wrong............)

So I caught the shrimp and then tried it. Works just like the bottle label stated and no harm to any fish or plants.

Also seemed to kill Caldphora I found on some wood in a stream. Not sure about BBA, likely kills GSA, mostly greens, GDA also perhaps.These tend to be more pesky algae, so the selectivity is excellent.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:56 AM   #5
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Yah I'm trying to fight the algae by just growing plants. I had an ammonia spike a few weeks ago after adding some Amazonia to fill out some slopes and the spirogyra started up then. Seems like once it's started, it's game over as the "root cause" has already occurred and spiro likes the same thing that normal plants do. I trimmed the Blyxa down to the nubs and replanted clean ones and trimmed down my new tropica 49 as well. The problem is there are tiny pieces that are almost impossible to see attached directly to the substrate and to the glass. Now the plant nubs are infested again.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:24 AM   #6
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Off topic a bit... but we looked at spirogyra under a microscope in my botany class. It looks so cool!
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCichlid View Post
Yah I'm trying to fight the algae by just growing plants. I had an ammonia spike a few weeks ago after adding some Amazonia to fill out some slopes and the spirogyra started up then. Seems like once it's started, it's game over as the "root cause" has already occurred and spiro likes the same thing that normal plants do. I trimmed the Blyxa down to the nubs and replanted clean ones and trimmed down my new tropica 49 as well. The problem is there are tiny pieces that are almost impossible to see attached directly to the substrate and to the glass. Now the plant nubs are infested again.
Yep, once it gets established, it is a PITA to beat and remove, but few folks have it for more than a couple of months typically, you can prune your way out of it and CO2 tweak. I did that recently on my 120 Gallon tank.

So once the ecosystem state is disturbed, it makes it ripe for algae blooms.
The effort required to return it to the original state is much higher however than the initial disturbance.

This so called germinating factor/induction of the algae bloom...........is a critical thing to learn and try to understand.

The other critical thing is what stops the adult established algae from growing and producing more spores which settle and land on other plant leaves etc.

These are 2 different things.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCichlid View Post
Yah I'm trying to fight the algae by just growing plants. I had an ammonia spike a few weeks ago after adding some Amazonia to fill out some slopes and the spirogyra started up then. Seems like once it's started, it's game over as the "root cause" has already occurred and spiro likes the same thing that normal plants do. I trimmed the Blyxa down to the nubs and replanted clean ones and trimmed down my new tropica 49 as well. The problem is there are tiny pieces that are almost impossible to see attached directly to the substrate and to the glass. Now the plant nubs are infested again.
Yes, nubby stumps are prone to get it.
Hard to trim off the algae with those plant species. And.... keep up with new growth of algae.

I did a lot of work to fix the 120 Gal, but it was a CO2 issue ultimately, even I refused to take my oft spoken advice

As soon as I fixed the CO2, new growth stopped on the algae.

Even several months later, I would find adult spirogyra, but.........it stopped spreading and growing aggressively, it was hanging out in the dark untrimmed sections like moss.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
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Thanks again Tom. I've already raised my CO2 to the point where my fish are unhappy and at the surface and then backed it off some. I will relocate my inverts and give the algaefix a shot.
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