Ready to surrender to hair algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Ready to surrender to hair algae

Hopefully this post won't be too long. My 55g has been up for about 6 months and it has been mostly successful. I planned this as a "low tech" tank, with 2x55w PCs from AH Supply, weekly capfuls of Flourish, and daily capfuls of Excel. I don't have too many demanding plants: water sprite, water wisteria, java fern, anubias, java moss, red ludwigia, and rotala indica. The water sprite and wisteria grew so fast that I was trimming every week.

I had a battle of hair algae a few months ago when my Excel ran out and I failed to buy more. I repeatedly removed it by hand and resumed Excel dosing. I beat it in a couple weeks. I had to pull out a lot of wisteria and water sprite, but it grew so fast that the clippings attached to the hair algae were nothing more than a good prune.

Before Christmas, my wisteria slowly started nosediving until it was no more. I bought some more, but it hasn't really done much. My water sprite was still doing relatively well, and I had finally gotten it to grow around the plants the way I wanted, so things were good. Sometime in late January, I noticed I was getting more hair algae. I continued to dose Excel (when I wasn't traveling) and I pulled some out when I could.

Tonight was the last straw for my water sprite, however. I had to travel for the past 6 days and when I returned, the tank was it was a green, cottony mess. I attempted to siphon out what I could, but my Python doesn't have near the suction necessary, so I started pulling it out manually. It had completely engulfed my water sprite, entangled most of my moss, and created a small cloud over my rotala. I still have a fair amount of the stuff in my tank, but I'm unsure if I want to completely decimate my remaining plants by pulling it out.

I know diligence is part of it, but I'm just not here to care for the tank as much as I'd like. Weekly 20% water changes and my simple ferts apparently aren't enough anymore. I picked easy, fast growing plants so they could out compete the algae for nutrients, but that seems to be failing. My fiancee really doesn't want me to take the tank down, as she still likes it (and wants to keep our 5" angel who owns the tank). Any ideas for getting back at this stuff?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 02:00 AM
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Get some real ferts and learn to use them. Adding Flourish once a week doesn't count as a fertilization regime. It's nothing more than wishful thinking.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, thanks for the help.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 02:32 AM
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i'm sry to hear that u had such a tragedy, especially after a travel (assuming it was for something good: eg. vacation)... i'm afraid that i'm too much of a novice to really suggest wat u could do or wat u should do, so maybe i'd pass on an inspiring quote ^^

"In the world of wins and losses only those who have experienced disappointment will become strong. All those who play on the field have tasted defeat at least once. There's no player in the world who has not lost before. However, the best players will give everything they've got to stand up again as fast as possible. Ordinary players take a while to get back on their feet. As for the losers, they will just remain flat on the field."


i like to watch anime and it comes from a series called "Eyeshield 21".

take care and good luck =)
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 04:04 AM
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Rex is correct. Do some research on ferts. It's not hard and makes a huge differance. A couple of places to looks are:

http://www.barrreport.com
Aquarium Plant Food - hobbyist taking care of hobbyist … | Greg Watson's Planted Aquarium Fertilizer

Good luck.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 05:51 AM
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Isn't 2wpg a lot for a low tech tank with no ferts? If I were you, I'd add CO2 and more ferts, or reduce lights, say 1 fixture 10 hours and the second on for half the time.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 11:49 AM
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2 wpg of AH Supply lights is on the high side for low tech with no ferts. Ferts will help. CO2 would actually help a lot.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Would cutting my photoperiod down help? I'm currently at 8 hours.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 01:16 PM
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No. You need to get nutrients to the plants so they can compete with the algae.

Mice/algae live on crumbs. Elephants/Plants live on food.

You are providing crumbs. Thus the algae grows like mad.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 02:36 PM
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I had a hair algae problem in my low light setup,96 watts over a 55 gallon.

It didn't start until I started dosing ferts into the water column. It appeared on my wisteria, brazillian pennywort, anabuis and african fern. The rest of my tank consists of Crypts for the most part.

I came to the conclusion that there weren't enough fast growers to suck up all the nutrients,thus the algae.

I lowered my lighting from 11 hours to 8 hours, stopped dosing, and the algae disappeared. I'm back up to 10 hours a day no ferts except root tabs and everything is fine.

I think since you have so many fast growers that without ferts the plants don't do as well and start to breakdown which gives nutrients to algae for growing. My 75 gallon, 130 watts,has fast growers and I dose dry ferts in to it with no algae problems.


Neither tank has CO2 though I do dose Excel in the 75 gallon tank.
Light levels don't decide fert need, plant needs decide fert needs.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2007, 11:04 PM
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While you have a valid point, slow growing plants need less, lighting DOES determine most of the need for fertilization. Did you have CO2 on that 55?

The key is to not have any bottlenecks in your equipment/fertilization. You can't have a lot of one without the other.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2007, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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No, no CO2.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2007, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatle View Post
No, no CO2.
I'd suggest getting it. It will make a diff. I was batteling with all sorts of algae. Adding CO2 was the grand equalizer. removed GW and knocked down my Hair algae issue. manual removal and amano shrimp help alot too.


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2007, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Will my angel eat the shrimp?
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2007, 08:35 PM
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hard to say. amanos can be kinda mean. nothing seems to bug mine. even tho ghost shrimps dissapear constantly.


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