Algae...what a mess
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:59 PM   #1
joemomma
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Algae...what a mess


I've had my 10g low-tech (Walstad style) setup since August. I've started to develop a nasty sort of algae all over the place (leaves, wood, glass) - I'll try to get some pics up tonight BTW. It's long and flowing, I guess hair algae maybe? I don't add ferts or Co2, lighting is two screw in CF in the stock incandescent hood. There is about an inch of soil below the standard gravel. I was doing water changes every couple of weeks to get rid of the tannis from the driftwood, but haven't done one in several weeks. Plants are several apons, a couple of crypts, and two large bunches of hairgrass. What can I do to get rid of this junk?
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:33 PM   #2
cbennett
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pictures would be helpful, in the meantime try to describe it as much as possible. Color, etc.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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Sorry no pictures yet....a round of the awful stomach bug went through part of the house, so I was busy tending to the afflicted...
Anyway, this stuff is a dark green, covering everything. It's sort of flowy, I guess you could say. It's not like the spot algae that I've seen before, it's probably 1/4" to 3/8" long.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:29 PM   #4
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I would try to get some fast growing stems in there to try and absorb some of the nutrients.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:17 PM   #5
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As someone who is also battling the huge algae beast that threatens to consume the whole tank, I've gotta ask. What is a fast growing stem that is suited to low tech? I'm running no CO2 and about 1.5 wpg. I've had no luck whatsoever with anything on a stem. Yesterday, I added some hygrophila (the LFS finally got some in) and some rotala (which I'm taking a gamble on and suspect will die off within a month or so), so I'm hoping that will do the trick. And while I don't want too treadjack, I really want to hear what I can do that hasn't already failed.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:25 PM   #6
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They aren't the prettiest, but Hornwort, and Anacharis grew well in my 55 with 80 watts of light.

HTH
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:48 AM   #7
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OK, can't seem to figure out how to attach photos here, check this link

Algae troubles - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:24 PM   #8
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Cabomba grows well in low-light setups, maybe some val as well?
As for identifying this stuff, anyone have any guesses and the best way to combat it?
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:18 PM   #9
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Not sure on the algae, but for plant sugestions Watersprite grows really well in lower light, especially if you have CO2 addition, try giant hygro or hygro polysperma (if you can find it). Asian ambulia's not so demanding either. hygro diformis is easy too.

I have found cabomba very demanding in terms of light. It doesn't look very good if it doesn't get high light- a stringy mess- you can really tell its struggling IMO.

Do you dose any fertilizers? DO you have a test kit for nitrates or Phosphates?
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:00 PM   #10
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No, I don't add any fertilizers, the only thing that goes into the tank is fish food. My 4 year old has been known to dump a "slightly large" bit of food in there a time or two, because they were really hungry he says

As for test kits, I don't have any...please do not shame me! I figure maybe I should invest in some, or at least take a sample to the LFS, as they will test for free (I think). Maybe a couple of SAE's could clear this mess up?
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Old 12-30-2006, 04:25 PM   #11
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You said Maybe a couple of SAE's could clear this mess up?
I would not support this idea. SAEs grow to an impressive 15cm IME.
Even small ones deserve more place. Adding them for a couple of weeks will improve the Hear algae problem, but in long term it is better keeping a few Amano shrimps Caridina multidentata (aka japonica) or a few Red Cherry shrimps. Works like a charm IME. Controlling a bit of Java Moss (which can over-run the tank) is also a good nutrient peace keeper in small tanks IME.

Note that most of the algae eaters prefer young algae shots rather than the grown ones, so try to use a tooth brush to brush some away. They should be soft and easy to remove, if not you might have some sort of the harder Staghorn algae. In that case remove the affected leaves. If SA is in question I would suggest testing for ammonia/ammonium, since higher levels will cause that algae.

Do not underestimate the Red Rams-horn and the Malaysian Trumpet snail. They are great at algae eating and over all "cleaning"

Kind regards, Dusko.
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:20 PM   #12
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One thing that i can think of is the excessive food that do not get eaten causes too much nutrient for algae to take over. Regards, jC.
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Old 01-01-2007, 04:57 PM   #13
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I was just going to ring in on the SAE suggestion. I have 15 SAE's and none of them touch my hair algae. My suggestion is amano or red cherry shrimp. My shrimp tanks are the cleanest tanks ever. I never even have to clean the glass.
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:41 AM   #14
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try octo catfish, rubber lip pleco, bushy nose pleco?, flying fox.

it's the extra nutrients from the soil that the problem..
here's somebody with a walstad set up
125 gallon Walstad Natural Planted Tank

and if the light is medium, you can try hygro polysperma. They grow really fast and doesn't look too bad.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:18 PM   #15
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Roger that on the shrimp, gang. Thanks for the suggestions...it's off to the LFS for me!
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