Severe case of hair algae - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Severe case of hair algae

well my 75 is just about 3 years old and I have always had the odd problem of hair algae, too little waterchanges, dead fish co2 running out ect.

But its just horrible now the entire tank is covered, In the past i have used H2O2 to kill it but i need a more perminant soloution now. One of my 54 watt T5 bulbs died and that was the start of my problems. Now i have 3 54 watt t5's on there so the plants immediatly where unable to use as many nutirents i was doing WC weekly and dosing this 3 times a week.

1/2 KNO3
1/8 CSM+B
1/8K2SO4
1/8KH2PO4

Then once the problems started i stoped dosing for about 2 weeks this helped but the plants started to suffer
so i starterd dosing this but only once a week

1/8 KNO3
1/8 CSM+B
1/8 K2SO4
1/8 KH2PO4


Always dosing just caused a major algae outbreak My co2 is at a good level as plants are always pearling and bubbiling madily

When i tested my nitrare was low :O so I added another 1/8 and it got to about 10 ppm.

I am hoping for some insight from some of the guru's on here as i know many of you have struggled through these problems as well. thanks for the help.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 09:15 PM
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With dosing, water changes are very important or the parameters will drift out of whack. In an older tank, you're not likely to need as much phosphate and excess will fuel algae. I'd keep dosing low levels of NO3, but stop dosing phosphates for a stretch and see if that helps.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtG View Post
With dosing, water changes are very important or the parameters will drift out of whack. In an older tank, you're not likely to need as much phosphate and excess will fuel algae. I'd keep dosing low levels of NO3, but stop dosing phosphates for a stretch and see if that helps.
I agree and disagree with this statement. I do not think that too much phosphate will lead to algae growth. I do, however, know that it will adversely affect some plants.

Water changes are important when dosing ferts into a high tech tank. It serves to reset the parameters balancing out having too much of the different ferts in the water column. I don't personally think that the ferts are the source of the algae problems though.

The first things I would look at are:

How often is the filter cleaned?
How long is the photoperiod?
Is there any plant or animal waste that has built up over time and is now decaying in the tank?


Two of the biggest things that have helped me get algae under control were cutting back my photoperiod to 8 hours a day and bumping my CO2 a little higher. Doing these two things have put the algae on the run in my tank. I do also keep up with keeping the tank clean of decaying plant debris, weekly water changes, quarterly fliter cleanings, etc. It does make a difference.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 10:00 AM
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A dirty filter, decaying matter, or dosing are all sources of nutrients in a nutrient cycle. You need to consider all when managing your tank. In this case, I believe that organic matter in the tank or filter are providing for a source of P. Phosphorus tends to be recalcitrant than nitrogen in aquaria.

We both gave ways to get the nutrient ratios back in track. I'm not sure how effective just cleaning will be in an older tank at this point. I think it will also require managing the inputs (less P) in the near term. It is really about the ration of N:P:K (and CO2 and light in aquaria) and which nutrient is in excess to the others.

There are studies which show that limiting P (in tanks & freshwater ecosystems) where other nutrients are in excess that plants tend to outcompete algae. Conversely, in saltwater systems, nitrogen tends to be the limiting nutrient.

We both agreed that CO2 and routine water changes are also important in getting this under control.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 10:25 AM
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KurtG - We do agree on most points, but I disagree on limiting Phosphates as a way to combat algae growth.

I have dosed 4 times the reccomended amount of phosphates for my tank size for an extended period of time. My goal was to erradicate GSA. It worked like you wouldn't believe. As of now, I have no GSA in my tank. During this duration, I suffered no other algae outbreaks of any kind as a result of dosing more phophates than what is reccomended. Some of my plants did suffer though.

Maybe dosing too much Phosphate with other things out of balance does cause problems as you suggested. I have not tested this particular aspect. My findings are that excess Phospate in and of itself is not enough to cause algae to grow more.

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