High phosphates and hair algae covering my planted tank
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:41 AM   #1
jamey
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High phosphates and hair algae covering my planted tank


I have had my planted tank with cherry shrimp for a while now and I started getting hair algae. little fury hairs all over my plants. So after reading up on it I tested my phosphates. They were off the chart. I did a 50% water change and my phosphate were still off the chart. I have a 29 gallon cube with aqua clear 110 filter and a new light. The light (125 watt florescent bulb, 5 watts per gallon) is on for 10 hours a day (now). before I discovered the hair algae I had the light on for 12 hours. So here I am. I know I can get a honest opinion of what might be going on.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:47 AM   #2
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are you using tap water? If so, you may have phosphates in there.

I would also cut back to 8 hours a day of lighting.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:14 AM   #3
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I had tons of hair algae issues when I was using tap water, once I switched to RO water +RO Right, everything got much easier with less algae issues. Just my experience though.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:34 AM   #4
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Yes I am using tap water. I have a really cheap tap water filter. I tested the tap water and it was way below my reading that was off the chart. I haven't lost any shrimp. Should I keep my light on for 8 hours from now on or just until the hair algae is gone? Also do you know if the R/O Right Water Conditioner is safe for Cherry shrimp? Thank you all. I am open to all suggestions and comments on anything I am doing wrong.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamey View Post
Yes I am using tap water. I have a really cheap tap water filter. I tested the tap water and it was way below my reading that was off the chart. I haven't lost any shrimp. Should I keep my light on for 8 hours from now on or just until the hair algae is gone? Also do you know if the R/O Right Water Conditioner is safe for Cherry shrimp? Thank you all. I am open to all suggestions and comments on anything I am doing wrong.
A lot of people who keep shrimp like to use R/O water mixed with tap or they use straight R/O with a re-mineralizer; I like Equilibrium from Seachem, but there are also other brands or re-mineralizers for R/O or distilled water.

It is a little more money, but depending on your tank size, it is worth it to use reverse osmosis water that you know will be consistent (and phosphate free) each time you do a water change, especially if you have shrimp.

I would try to run your light about 6-8 hours per day, then you can adjust gradually to more light later on if algae does not continue to grow. Your plants will be fine with 8 hours of light
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:44 AM   #6
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I suspect that your phosphate test kit isn't giving you correct results. And, a 125 watt fluorescent bulb? That would be about 10 feet long which wouldn't fit over a 29 gallon tank very well. Or it could be a compact fluorescent bulb, but it would be about 6 inches in diameter, also hard to use over a 29 gallon tank. Something doesn't compute here.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamey View Post
Yes I am using tap water. I have a really cheap tap water filter. I tested the tap water and it was way below my reading that was off the chart. I haven't lost any shrimp. Should I keep my light on for 8 hours from now on or just until the hair algae is gone? Also do you know if the R/O Right Water Conditioner is safe for Cherry shrimp? Thank you all. I am open to all suggestions and comments on anything I am doing wrong.
Definitely 8 hours. 10-12hrsis far to much in most cases. That will give you algae nearly every time. I would hope you don't have 125 watts worth of light over a 29g. Even with the old watts per gallon rule that is far too much. I came up with 4.166 watts per gallon though. I assume your not running co2. If you are there is definitely an imbalance there that needs to be solved. If your not using co2 you should be with that amount of light or downgrade the lighting.

Are you using a timer for your lights or are you manually operating them?
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Back when PMUDD was IT and phosphate was evil I had a monster green water siege. The water had a moderate amount of phosphate in it so I bought phosphate removing resin. That worked fine but the GW remained. It turned out the water had zero nitrate so the plants couldn't use phosphate. Added a bit of nitrate, phosphate level dropped and best of all GW vanished.

Moral of the story? Are you dosing the tank? At the very least you need to add some potassium and micros to the water and you might need a bit of nitrate as well.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
It turned out the water had zero nitrate so the plants couldn't use phosphate. Added a bit of nitrate, phosphate level dropped and best of all GW vanished.
Good advise.

Everything in life needs balance, including the planted tank.
Excercising keeps us healthy...
Excercising without eating...it won't last long.

I'm guessing the 125W rating is the incadesant equivalent not the actual watt usage.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:01 PM   #10
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I run the RO right additive with my RCS and they do well and breed quite a bit.
Cheers
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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Default High phosphates and hair algae covering my planted tank

I don't share the opinion about that high phosphates cause algae. The lack of other nutrients or co2 if you have excessive light are more likely to be the cause.

As noted before by other member, the law of the minimum may be the best thing to understand, lack of a nutrient will stop the plant mass from consuming the rest of the nutrients thus you will see a buildup and algae will thrive.

Also, less light is less fret.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:20 AM   #12
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Are you using any ph "powder" or "liquid" that may contain phosphate???
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:19 PM   #13
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Yes is use the pH reducer that is in a powder form. i dont use CO2 and do dose the tank. I can take the reflector off the light to see if that helps? Its on a timer. My shrimp are avid breeders. My plants grow like crazy so I know they are ok its just the algae that is over taking them. I reduced the light an scrubbed everything and hasn't grown back as fast as before. I am dosing with Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for Planted aquariums.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:24 PM   #14
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ph reducer is called neutral Regulator by Seachem. Thank you so much for everyone's help
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
jamey
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You were right. it is the neutral Regulator by Seachem that is giving me high phosphate readings. Thank you. I wouldnt have even thought about this being a problem
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