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Old 12-09-2003, 10:17 PM   #1
ginnie5
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ok the (I assume) hair algae has taken over my swords. These are not small swords either. They take up half of my 75g tank. I know what caused it...one word....neglect. This stuff is long and fuzzy. I pulled out everything that I could, even used a toothbrush on the leaves. It just comes right back. These are the only plants that still look bad. Some of the leaves I just cut off. If I cut the rest of these that are so bad off it will leave the plants with only 1-3 leaves per plant. Will they recover from a butchering like this? Some of the algae is maybe 1-2" long. it is green and very fine. I'm not sure on some of the water params. Need to get new tests. Ph though is 6-6.5, ammonia is 0. I have been fertilizing to try and get the plants growing good again. So should I just cut the affected leaves off? thanks!

edited to add: fert routine that I just started back on is
1/2 tsp kno3
5-10 ml traces
7 ml iron
1 tsp ks204
all of this 2x a week
this is what worked before when I was on top of everything with the tank. I have never added phosphates.
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:42 PM   #2
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A phosphate test is going to be the key...

Also is there alot of dead plant material in the tank... I had similar problems with my 120 gallon and I had a spike in phosphates and lots of dead plant material hiding under and behind my plants....

Water changes is the easy way to get the numbers down, plus adding plants that are nutrient hogs seems to help too...... Phosphates come from decaying material such as plants and are present (sometimes in high %) in flake and other fish foods...


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Old 12-09-2003, 10:42 PM   #3
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Don't you use CO2? You have an amazingly low Ph for somebody who doesn't use CO2. How much light do you have above your tank?
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:52 PM   #4
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If your swords are established you could probably get away with only leaving them a few leaves each as long as you put root tabs near them. They are heavy root feeders.
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Old 12-09-2003, 11:54 PM   #5
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I have well water that after it sits though is only at 7. 240 watts of light and I just changed the bublbs last week. I'll up my water changes to 2x a week and see if that helps. These swords have been in the tank since it was set up a year ago. The roots on them are massive to say the least. To remove them totally means a total teardown. I really don't want to do that. Course if I had to then maybe I could go with the eco-complete for substrate.....hmmm.
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:00 AM   #6
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So don't tear them out them, give them some root tabs do some big water changes and trim the affected leaves. Or if you're looking for an excuse to do eco-complete......
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:34 AM   #7
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ok all the algae covered leaves are gone. I didn't have to take off as many as I thought. There is a lot of new growth that these old leaves were covering up. So while the tank now looks kinda bare I'm not worried about the swords making a comeback. I'm going to do another water change tomorrow and clean the sponges real good and hopefully have this algae on the run. One advantage is that I can now actually see my driftwood again.
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:38 AM   #8
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Sounds good.... I would also keep an eye on the iron you are adding, as stated your plants are root feeders. What kind of substrate do you have? Unless you just have plain rocks/gravel your plants are probably getting enough fromt he substrate(assuming it is laterite,eco-complete,etc) I only start adding Iron when my plants start to show signs of needing it. Otherwise you can cause thread algea blooms.

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Old 12-10-2003, 01:50 PM   #9
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my substrate is kitty litter and sand. I know, I know, many people think that's crazy. I have had no problems with it though. Even after a year it still is not mushy. I did notice after I fertilized last time the algae really seemed to take off. Some of the leaves on the swords thoguh were looking kind of rough. Some had holes and some were getting transparent. The newer leaves all look good though. I'm ashamed to admit it but the tank has been really neglected the last few months. I got really bummed out over the fact that my apistos died and they are just too $$$ around here to keep replacing. So I just quit doing wnything with it. But I looked at it one day and decided either I get it looking good again or I take it down. I remembered that I really used to love sitting here looking at it so I started cleaning it up and got some new fish. But that algae was still around. I'm going to do another water change today. I got most of the dead plant stuff before but I see more now that I have done even more trimming so I'll get the rest of it today.
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Old 12-10-2003, 09:12 PM   #10
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I dont think it is crazy at all...

Remember when you make changes things take time... The algea will not disappear overnight, though it usually seems like it grew overnight... Now that you are getting things in order and back to a balance it will take time..... Keep/start monitoring phosphates, nitrogen, KH, GH, PH and using one of the many online calculators determine your CO2 levels(and fine tune your balance). Now I think with the kitty litter and sand your substrate iron level should be good. IME i would stop adding iron until your plants show they need it... I never add iron to my tank(well a dab of flourish once a water change which has some iron in it) and I have plants growing like weeds....


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Old 12-15-2003, 05:27 PM   #11
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If you want better plant growth, then provide CO2.
That is the limiting issue.

240w on a 75 is a lot of light for a non CO2 approach.

Eco complete is NOT a substitute for CO2 and does not mean you do not have to add it.

Adding CO2 is something that cannot be done via the substrate in any appreicable manner like they suggest.

Adding CO2 will always help plant growth, no matter what type of substrate you have. Eco complete also expensive.

I have non CO2 tanks with flourite, peat and mulm.

Kitty litter works quite well, but the tank will cloud when you replant unless careful. But Flourite, eco complete etc are all iron rich clays.

I'd also get some algae eaters in there, SAE's, Amano shrimps etc.

Regards,
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Old 12-16-2003, 12:24 AM   #12
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pressurized. I'm looking for algae eaters right now. I have some ottos but they don't seem to touch this stuff. One of the lfs stores is supposed to get some SAE's in tomorrow. Hopefully they will be the real things. All I've seen in shrimp are ghost shrimp. I've tried them before and not had much luck with them. I turned the co2 up and the algae seems to be retreating. Keeping my fingers crossed!
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Old 12-16-2003, 12:35 AM   #13
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I keep ghost shrimp for their visual appeal. Today I was watching one that was feeding on something, although I hadn't fed the fish in a day so there was no food. As I looked closely I realized that he was tearing off little bits of fuzz algae and ravenously stuffing them into his mouth.

Weird stuff
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Old 12-16-2003, 05:59 AM   #14
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Sorry to go off the topic but what's SAE
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Old 12-16-2003, 12:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace
Sorry to go off the topic but what's SAE
Siamese Algae Eater (fish).

More information: http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/Algae-Eaters/

Take care...

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