Hair Algae Consuming Moss / HC, advice? - The Planted Tank Forum
 8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 49
Hair Algae Consuming Moss / HC, advice?

Hey all,

I've been fighting a losing battle with hair algae. I feel like I've dug through the depths of the internet to find a solution and whatever I'm doing doesn't seem to work. I've been manually removing it for now. I've reduced the light period to 6 hours, co2 on 1 hour before lights on, and goes off 1 hour before lights off.

Tank Info
•Size: 20 Gal Long
•Light: Finnex 24/7+ SE Planted Plus
•Co2: DIY dual stage reg w/ Rex Griggs Reactor
•Filter: Eheim 2217
•Ferts: Thrive+, (have GLA EI ready to go, when thrive is used up)
•Fish: Some tetras / red cherry shrimp / ottos
•Plants: HC / DHG / some bacopia
•Substrate: Controsoil

Water Params
•pH: ~7.5 co2 off / ~6.6 co2 on
•ammonia: 0 ppm
•nitrite: 0 ppm
•nitrates: 40-80 ppm
•KH: 4
•GH: 125.3 ppm
•Water change 50% a week / currently topping off w/ distilled water until RO system arrives (I know this will affect GH levels but they seem to be OK



My bonsai tree started out as a tree with fissidens fontanus, but is now almost a complete algae tree.

I've tried raising the lights ~3" and the results seem to have helped slightly, however the HC seems to be suffering from less light. I plan to bring it to ~2" and see if this improves. I'm currently dosing Thrive+ every other day along with some flourish excel.

Algae doesn't seem to be letting up. I purchased an RO water system, but I think its not related to the water... moreso a nutrient imbalance somewhere that I cannot seem to pinpoint. Perhaps I should switch over to EI earlier?

Thanks for any advice!
changaroo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 07:40 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
mgeorges's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 1,283
Your HC will suffer more being choked out by hair algae than from receiving less light. I would double up on that Excel daily and start doing more water changes. Manually remove whatever algae you can. This stuff really sucks. Your moss may die dosing high amounts of Excel, but the rest of your plants will love it. Honestly, I would consider just removing that moss. I'm seeing some dead spots in it, that's just going to add to your organics and feed the algae.

Other option - the one two punch (H2O2 + Excel).

Can you post a full pic of your tank please? Thanks
changaroo and changaroo like this.
mgeorges is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 07:43 PM
Planted Member
 
MultiTankGuy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 183
change...

Your nitrates are some of the problem. Algae thrives in water with high levels of this form of nitrogen and the phosphates in some fish foods. If you feed a bit more like when you have fry in the tank, the uneaten food dissolves and adds to the problem. Some algae is a fact of life and some is a good water filter and supplement to your fishes' diet. Change more water and do it more often. A 20 G tank needs at least a 50 percent water change weekly. Twice weekly would go a long way in keeping added nutrients out of the tank water and will help control the growth of algae.

M
changaroo and changaroo like this.
MultiTankGuy is offline  
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2018, 08:10 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 813
If it's just green hair algae and not mixed with rhizoclonium, the one-two punch will wipe it out. I have a moss tree in my tank and it became infested with hair algae, rhizo and BBA. My nitrates were also very high due to the organics in the water column. The moss acts as a filter pretty much, collecting all sorts of waste. I was successful with the one-two punch at ridding the moss of hair algae but the rhizoclonium came back a few days later. I got sick of dealing with it, so I just removed the whole tree and dunked it in a 5 gallon bucket of water and placed it in a dark room for 3 days. All the algae died after that and the BBA turned red.

My amano shrimp have finally went to town on the dead algae but they have also pulled a great deal of the moss out of the tree. I just crammed the moss in the branches without CA glue, fishing line, thread, etc. Glad I did, now i can just keep stuffing fresh moss in there as it thins out, as well as pulling infested moss out of there without hassle.

I have pretty much just accepted the fact that moss will be a magnet for algae when water parameters get the slightest bit out of whack or the substrate gets disrupted. I consider the moss expendable.
changaroo and changaroo like this.
madcrafted is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 04:09 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Axelrodi202's Avatar
 
PTrader: (37/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Morris County, NJ
Posts: 3,329
Hair algae is 100% a problem of import. Manipulating conditions will not eliminate it. Even if you reduce it, it will always be lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike.

Temporarily relocate the livestock and treat with API Algaefix until all the hair algae has turned white and died. Otherwise you will be fighting it forever.
changaroo and changaroo like this.

O_o
/ /_______________________________
| BWAAAH IMA FIRIHN MA LAZER!!!!!!!!!
\_\
Axelrodi202 is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 12:41 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 1,155
Glut (Excel or Metricide) treatment:

Stop the regular dosing of Excel.

This treatment may kill your moss, but the once-per-week treatment I have found to not harm plants normally killed by Excel. I suggest starting at 1.5 ml of Excel per actual gallon (not tank rated gallons) and increase it by 1 ml / gal each week until all the hair algae responds.

This is only for red (hair-type) algae. Other types, such as GSA and GDA, are not significantly affected by glut. For hair algae, it’s a matter of hitting it with a sufficient quantity of glut and most people are terrified of doing this. I completely kill it within four days using the correct levels of glut. If you don’t feel comfortable with these levels, start with whatever dosing you feel comfortable and, after waiting a week, increase the dose each week until you prove it to yourself.

The key is finding the right amount to do the job as a function of the biomass and to do it once a week ONLY until the hair algae no longer returns (via recovery of the plant balance). For example; due to my current biomass, I found (after three weeks of increasing dosages beginning at 1.1 ml / gal), that 2 ml / gal of Metricide in my 26 gallons of water was needed, which is the equivalent of about 3 ml / gal of Excel. It used to be lower when my biomass was smaller. Since plants love glut, they will consume a lot of the dose within a few hours, thus the need to find the optimal level to kill the hair algae over a ~6-hour period.

This is far, far, above accepted limits and people tell me that I might as well detonate a nuclear bomb in my tank. However, not a single fish (wide range of community types – including corys), Amano, plant or BB has shown any sign of distress. I even have thriving anacharis in my tank, which melts under regular glut dosing but, again, it is the single dose that allows them all to withstand it. Regular dosing kills anacharis even at recommended levels. I should also note that none of my fish have grown two heads. The hair algae will turn the characteristic orange-brown in about four days, indicating that it has died.

Preparation: maximize oxygen. Glut is a reducing agent and will lower oxygen levels. At high doses, such as above, oxygen depletion may be high enough to be deadly to fish. I maintain a heavy surface rippling (two Hydor Koralia 240 GPH pumps pointed at the surface) all the time. In my case, this is enough gas exchange to compensate for any O2 reduction that may be caused by the glut. Turn off UV sterilizers on treatment day. It is also better if pH is below 7.0, as glut becomes more troublesome to fish as pH increases.This only has to be done the first day.

Some may be concerned about glut killing the BB in a filter or substrate. While I have never experienced this, you can simply shut the filter off for 6-8 hours to eliminate any concern.

Last edited by Deanna; 01-10-2019 at 07:57 PM. Reason: add
Deanna is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
Your HC will suffer more being choked out by hair algae than from receiving less light. I would double up on that Excel daily and start doing more water changes. Manually remove whatever algae you can. This stuff really sucks. Your moss may die dosing high amounts of Excel, but the rest of your plants will love it. Honestly, I would consider just removing that moss. I'm seeing some dead spots in it, that's just going to add to your organics and feed the algae.

Other option - the one two punch (H2O2 + Excel).

Can you post a full pic of your tank please? Thanks
Heres a FTS, tank has seen better days ... please ignore the plants on the right, admist a iwagumi -> dutch style transition to try to increase biomass.




Quote:
Originally Posted by MultiTankGuy View Post
change...

Your nitrates are some of the problem. Algae thrives in water with high levels of this form of nitrogen and the phosphates in some fish foods. If you feed a bit more like when you have fry in the tank, the uneaten food dissolves and adds to the problem. Some algae is a fact of life and some is a good water filter and supplement to your fishes' diet. Change more water and do it more often. A 20 G tank needs at least a 50 percent water change weekly. Twice weekly would go a long way in keeping added nutrients out of the tank water and will help control the growth of algae.

M
Thank you. I will try to increase the water change levels, I am currently doing it once a week but I will try to squeeze in another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madcrafted View Post
If it's just green hair algae and not mixed with rhizoclonium, the one-two punch will wipe it out. I have a moss tree in my tank and it became infested with hair algae, rhizo and BBA. My nitrates were also very high due to the organics in the water column. The moss acts as a filter pretty much, collecting all sorts of waste. I was successful with the one-two punch at ridding the moss of hair algae but the rhizoclonium came back a few days later. I got sick of dealing with it, so I just removed the whole tree and dunked it in a 5 gallon bucket of water and placed it in a dark room for 3 days. All the algae died after that and the BBA turned red.

My amano shrimp have finally went to town on the dead algae but they have also pulled a great deal of the moss out of the tree. I just crammed the moss in the branches without CA glue, fishing line, thread, etc. Glad I did, now i can just keep stuffing fresh moss in there as it thins out, as well as pulling infested moss out of there without hassle.

I have pretty much just accepted the fact that moss will be a magnet for algae when water parameters get the slightest bit out of whack or the substrate gets disrupted. I consider the moss expendable.
Thank you. Ive looked into the one two punch but havent done it yet. As far as I can see its just hair algae and maybe some BBA (maybe from the effects of raising the light? never had them before). I may gut the tree of all the algae / moss and start over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelrodi202 View Post
Hair algae is 100% a problem of import. Manipulating conditions will not eliminate it. Even if you reduce it, it will always be lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike.

Temporarily relocate the livestock and treat with API Algaefix until all the hair algae has turned white and died. Otherwise you will be fighting it forever.
I will do this as a last ditch effort, the only tank I have is a 5 gallon and I dont think 15+ tetras would be happy in it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Glut (Excel or Metricide) treatment:

Stop the regular dosing of Excel.

This treatment may kill your moss, but the once-per-week treatment I have found to not harm plants normally killed by Excel. I suggest starting at 1.5 ml of Excel per gallon and, increase it by 1 ml / gal each week until all the hair algae responds.

This is only for hair algae. Other types, such as GSA and GDA, are not significantly affected by glut. For hair algae, itís a matter of hitting it with a sufficient quantity of glut and most people are terrified of doing this. I completely kill it within four days using the correct levels of glut.

The key is finding the right amount to do the job as a function of the biomass and to do it once a week ONLY until the hair algae no longer returns (via recovery of the plant balance). For example; due to my current biomass, I found (after three weeks of increasing dosages beginning at 1.1 ml / gal), that 2 ml / gal of Metricide in my 26 gallons of water was needed, which is the equivalent of about 3 ml / gal of Excel. It used to be lower when my biomass was smaller. Since plants love glut, they will consume a lot of the dose within a few hours, thus the need to find the optimal level to kill the hair algae over a ~6-hour period.

This is far, far, above accepted limits and people will tell me that I might as well detonate a nuclear bomb in my tank. However, not a single fish (wide range of community types Ė including corys), Amano, plant or BB has shown any sign of distress. I even have thriving anacharis in my tank, which melts under regular glut dosing but, again, it is the single dose that allows them all to withstand it. Regular dosing kills anacharis even at recommended levels. I should also note that none of my fish have grown two heads. The hair algae will turn the characteristic orange-brown in about four days, indicating that it has died.

Preparation: maximize oxygen. Glut is a reducing agent and will lower oxygen levels. At high doses, such as above, oxygen depletion may be high enough to be deadly to fish. I maintain a heavy surface rippling (two Hydor Koralia 240 GPH pumps pointed at the surface) all the time. In my case, this is enough gas exchange to compensate for any O2 reduction that may be caused by the glut. This only has to be done the first day.
I will play around with the levels of excel. I learned the hard way, I sprayed some excel on the algae covered moss during a water change, and it killed the moss and not the algae lol.

Currently dosing 1 capful a day, but I can try the once a week method and see if it changes. I appreciate your input!
changaroo is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 02:35 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: PA
Posts: 1,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by changaroo View Post
I learned the hard way, I sprayed some excel on the algae covered moss during a water change, and it killed the moss and not the algae lol.
You may not. Strafing it with a direct shot is a very high concentration. Diluted in your tank may not be enough to affect the moss.
Deanna is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 03:01 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (73/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 5,942
The moss is especially vulnerable to algae since the wood/moss traps all kinds of organics and it's high up in the water column. You really needed to have a very short light cycle probably around 4 hours and only 1 hour or so of high intensity (if you could've done it with that light.)

If it's mostly the moss that's the issue, I personally wouldn't aggressively chase it with all kinds of chemicals. Plenty of people lost all of their critters/fish from that One Two Punch Thread.

I would remove the wood and see if you could salvage any of the moss. Clean up the wood using some excel/met and then put it back in with some clean moss. Add some more plants if possible and then go to a 4 hour photo period. I've easily grown full rich carpets with just 4 hours of light. Do semi-weekly water changes, load up the filter with carbon (to soak up organics and keep the tank clean and keep fertilizing so nothing runs out with good co2.
houseofcards is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 03:38 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 813
You could also cut back on the intensity with that Finnex light as well, although it looks to be pretty low light at the substrate as it is. I doubt you're much over 30 PAR there. My moss tree was literally inches from my planted plus LED, so the hair algae/rhizo just thrived there. So the light didn't help any. It was the organics in the water that was the cause for me. I am much more diligent about rinsing my filter media every two weeks in my nano tank. I also do 50% water changes twice a week now but I have a high bioload and mostly carpeting plants.

I recently planted an anubias nana petite under my moss tree that receives barely any light and it still had a little hair algae forming on a few leaves. Damn stuff. I'm sick of it!!! I added a juvenile SAE to my tank for the time being and it has kept the hair algae in check. These fish work well as a preventative measure more so than an actual "clean up" crew. My tank is now algae free...for the most part.

Having said all that, I agree with the above statement... just remove the wood and add fresh moss... if it's just limited to the moss. You can salvage some of the infected stuff if you want by placing the moss in a container in a dark room for a few days, but moss is pretty cheap compared to other aquatic species of plants.
madcrafted is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 11:29 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Axelrodi202's Avatar
 
PTrader: (37/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Morris County, NJ
Posts: 3,329
Quote:
Originally Posted by changaroo View Post
I will do this as a last ditch effort, the only tank I have is a 5 gallon and I dont think 15+ tetras would be happy in it
Depending on the species they could be alright.

I do not agree with the suggestions to replace the moss. If hair algae remains in the tank, the new moss will just get reinfected and you will keep fighting the problem.

One-two punch will stress the algae. It may kill all of it, it may not. The reason I advocate for Algaefix is it's relatively gentle on plants (some like monte carlo don't like it, but won't outright die either) while specifically targeting filamentous algae.

I think it would behoove you to focus strongly on fully exterminating this algae from your tank. After doing this, it will not come back, even if tank conditions become very bad.

O_o
/ /_______________________________
| BWAAAH IMA FIRIHN MA LAZER!!!!!!!!!
\_\
Axelrodi202 is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 49
quick update... just noticed a ton of baby shrimp, this is going to affect my frequent water changes... any good tips on how to vac the substrate to get rid of fish waste without sucking up baby shrimp?

nothing else has changed, now noticing some black beard algae
changaroo is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 11:08 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 813
I just keep my siphon up a little higher and quickly wave it back and forth across the carpet and let the turbulence from that stir up detritus while siphoning it up the best I can. You could also use a turkey baster, gravel rake, scraper, hand, etc. while siphoning. Or you could just leave it be. It's all food in the end.
madcrafted is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 12:58 AM
Algae Grower
 
coronarex's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 19
I had hair algae really bad until I nuked my tank with 50/50 excel/hydrogren peroxide. Killed every single fish except one platy and one amano shrimp and 70% of my plants. Hair algae GONE!!! and I had that [censored] everywhere. it was on the pumps, heater, and all my plants. It literally killed me to see it in my tank. Fastforward 3 months later and I do have a few specs that are the size of the tip of a pencil, cant see them. I directly pipette those spots with excel. Just sharing my exp. Hate algae!!!

"My fish tank dope AF"

Last edited by coronarex; 02-06-2018 at 01:17 AM. Reason: English
coronarex is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-06-2018, 01:49 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (73/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 5,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by coronarex View Post
I had hair algae really bad until I nuked my tank with 50/50 excel/hydrogren peroxide. Killed every single fish except one platy and one amano shrimp and 70% of my plants. Hair algae GONE!!! and I had that [censored] everywhere. it was on the pumps, heater, and all my plants. It literally killed me to see it in my tank. Fastforward 3 months later and I do have a few specs that are the size of the tip of a pencil, cant see them. I directly pipette those spots with excel. Just sharing my exp. Hate algae!!!
So you killed 70% of your plants and pretty much all your fish, but you got rid of the algae because it killed you seeing it
madcrafted and madcrafted like this.
houseofcards is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome