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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I need some advice.
I currently have a planted 60l tank.
I pretty much did water changes every other day and noticed that when I dont do the water changes, i start to have hair algae.
I recently converted this tank to a shrimp tank.
Since i cant do water changes as often as i used to (i would rather not as well), im starting to have terrible hair algae.. on the aquarium glass and plants.
I have tried reducing the light from 8 hours to 6 hours ( gonna try 4 hours after this)
I dose 2 hr apt complete (1.5ml daily).
My drop checker is constantly green. Ph drops from 7.4 to 6.4 (approx). Tested this for 3 days.
Nitrates are never over 10 and ammonia and nitrites are always zero.
The filter is a fluval206
What do i do?
Im actually quite confused as some websites say might be lack of nutrients, some say too much. Some say increase lighting some say decrease.
The constant advice online was increase co2 but i am afraid to because of the shrimps. Plus my ph drops a point and my drop checker is always green.
I really do want a planted shrimp tank and do not want to pick one or the other.
Can someone help me understand whats going on and how to actually get rid of the algae?
 

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First, understand that a high tech planted shrimp tank is HARD. Shrimps don't like changes, and sometimes, doing what is better for plants is the opposite of what is better for your shrimp.

Increasing light I would argue is generally NOT the way to combat algae, as light acts as the driving force behind both plant and algae growth. So I would say, do NOT increase light if you are dealing with hair algae.

As for a plan:

1. Physically remove as much as you possibly can. Cut off infected plants/leaves, scrape it off glass and rocks, etc.
2. Reduce your light, either by raising it or if you have a fancy one, control the intensity. You are on the right path with reducing the duration of the photoperiod as well, 4-6 sounds good to me.

Now for the more difficult to implement stuff. (I may revise this if you can share some photos of your tank so that we can get an idea of if you have 1 leaf of anubias or a jungle inside the tank haha)

3. Cut your fertilization in half. The order of operations is going to be Lights => CO2 => Ferts. Lights drive CO2 demand, which drives fertilization requirements. So my suggestion here is to reduce ferts since my guess is that though you think you have your CO2 dialed it, 9/10 its not. Drop checkers are slow to change, and titration/color checkers are hard to read. My point here is, even though you wanna believe you got your CO2 on lock, you may not.

The reduction of ferts just is to help prevent an excess of nutrients in the tank, almost to shift you to more to a lean dosing program.

4. Increase the frequency of water changes. Sorry to say, but you're gonna wanna keep your water changes schedule consistent. I would say, 2-3 times per week for the next month minimum. And since you have shrimp, consider changing less daily, but more frequently. Don't worry about ferts that much on each water change, but cutting the ferts back a bit in #3 will assist in this.

When you water change, look to remove dead organic material. Remove more algae, remove dead leaves, blow up sediment from the substrate and get it outta there. High effort? Yes. But you wanted a solution right? Plus, this stuff is free and generally a good habit to get into. This is your best friend when it comes to keeping a healthy tank.


Final nuke:
5. Step 5 here is ONLY if you really must, but ive done this multiple times with pretty good success each time.
Perform a 3 day Blackout. 0 light, black trash bags covering every inch of the tank, drop in an airstone. No light. and prepare to do a 50% water change after you're done with it.

Hair algae (the green long strands is what I presume you were talking about having) gets hit pretty hard with this IME. Few strands are left, especially if you removed a ton of it before the blackout.



For the record with drop checkers, if I had one in my tank, it would definitely be yellow, but so long as you have good flow, and oxygenation in the tank, it's no problem. I mention this to again hammer in that these visual indicators are really not a good way to measure things in your tank.

Hope this helps!

Can you provide some photos if your tank for us to get a better idea of what you are dealing with? I should've asked for this first tbh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the replies.
Here is a shot of of tank
Plant Plant community Rectangle Botany Wood


First, understand that a high tech planted shrimp tank is HARD. Shrimps don't like changes, and sometimes, doing what is better for plants is the opposite of what is better for your shrimp.

Increasing light I would argue is generally NOT the way to combat algae, as light acts as the driving force behind both plant and algae growth. So I would say, do NOT increase light if you are dealing with hair algae.

As for a plan:

1. Physically remove as much as you possibly can. Cut off infected plants/leaves, scrape it off glass and rocks, etc.
2. Reduce your light, either by raising it or if you have a fancy one, control the intensity. You are on the right path with reducing the duration of the photoperiod as well, 4-6 sounds good to me.

Now for the more difficult to implement stuff. (I may revise this if you can share some photos of your tank so that we can get an idea of if you have 1 leaf of anubias or a jungle inside the tank haha)

3. Cut your fertilization in half. The order of operations is going to be Lights => CO2 => Ferts. Lights drive CO2 demand, which drives fertilization requirements. So my suggestion here is to reduce ferts since my guess is that though you think you have your CO2 dialed it, 9/10 its not. Drop checkers are slow to change, and titration/color checkers are hard to read. My point here is, even though you wanna believe you got your CO2 on lock, you may not.

The reduction of ferts just is to help prevent an excess of nutrients in the tank, almost to shift you to more to a lean dosing program.

4. Increase the frequency of water changes. Sorry to say, but you're gonna wanna keep your water changes schedule consistent. I would say, 2-3 times per week for the next month minimum. And since you have shrimp, consider changing less daily, but more frequently. Don't worry about ferts that much on each water change, but cutting the ferts back a bit in #3 will assist in this.

When you water change, look to remove dead organic material. Remove more algae, remove dead leaves, blow up sediment from the substrate and get it outta there. High effort? Yes. But you wanted a solution right? Plus, this stuff is free and generally a good habit to get into. This is your best friend when it comes to keeping a healthy tank.


Final nuke:
5. Step 5 here is ONLY if you really must, but ive done this multiple times with pretty good success each time.
Perform a 3 day Blackout. 0 light, black trash bags covering every inch of the tank, drop in an airstone. No light. and prepare to do a 50% water change after you're done with it.

Hair algae (the green long strands is what I presume you were talking about having) gets hit pretty hard with this IME. Few strands are left, especially if you removed a ton of it before the blackout.



For the record with drop checkers, if I had one in my tank, it would definitely be yellow, but so long as you have good flow, and oxygenation in the tank, it's no problem. I mention this to again hammer in that these visual indicators are really not a good way to measure things in your tank.

Hope this helps!
Thank puopg!
So i will try these:
Manual removal as much as possible
Reduce ferts, lights
Will try to increase co2 slowly
Water changes minimum twice to thrice a week

i read online on switching off the lights in the middle reduces algae, eg 2 hours on,2 hours off, 2 hours on. Does this work? Will it help to reduce algae?
 

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Ok sweet, lots of fast growing stems and stuff. How long has this tank been running and the plants been in the tank?

Just judging on the growth of the plants, do you constantly top and replant or are these recently planted?

i read online on switching off the lights in the middle reduces algae, eg 2 hours on,2 hours off, 2 hours on. Does this work? Will it help to reduce algae?
That's called a "siesta". A break in the photoperiod. I used to do one, not anymore. The purpose of which was to allow CO2 levels to build up and remain higher. TBH, im not entirely sure if I believe that matters if you're CO2 injection is dialed in properly but, iono a lot of ppl like it. A biggest reason is that most of the time, we're not at home, and Id rather look at my tank with the lights on. With COVID, well, im at home haha. So i can work in front of my tank.

I wish i had my old APEX logs to show a graph of the pH over the day, but honestly I don't think it matters too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok sweet, lots of fast growing stems and stuff. How long has this tank been running and the plants been in the tank?

Just judging on the growth of the plants, do you constantly top and replant or are these recently planted?
I cut the top and replant only for these plants:
Plant Plant community Rectangle Branch Wood

The rest are very slow growing so did not need to cut and replant.
Its been running since mid October
 

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Gotcha, I figured as much since the stems seemed really straight.

As you increase your CO2, make sure you have good flow moving water from the top to the bottom. This will optimize your O2 levels in the tank so that your shrimpies dont give up on life. Unfortuantely, I have always struggled keeping nice shrimp in a CO2 high tech tank. Amano's generally were fine, but higher quality Fire Reds didnt seem like like it. But my current go at it I am trying to keep things more consistent so hopefully that helps
 

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4 hours of light in a high tech tank just isn’t enough, how much water are u changing every other day? 2hr aquarist ferts a pretty lean on nutrients. I would suggest removing as much algae as you can manually then start adding more fertilizer as your next step, leave co2 and lighting alone and continue with your water changes or just do 1 large 50% water change weekly if you have neo shrimp they will be perfectly fine with large water changes. Do that for a few weeks and see if it helps with your algae problem. Next step would be to start adding more co2 slowly until you see a yellowish green color in your drop checker keep a eye on the shrimp as long as they look comfortable and not pacing around the tank your co2 levels are fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
4 hours of light in a high tech tank just isn’t enough, how much water are u changing every other day? 2hr aquarist ferts a pretty lean on nutrients. I would suggest removing as much algae as you can manually then start adding more fertilizer as your next step, leave co2 and lighting alone and continue with your water changes or just do 1 large 50% water change weekly if you have neo shrimp they will be perfectly fine with large water changes. Do that for a few weeks and see if it helps with your algae problem. Next step would be to start adding more co2 slowly until you see a yellowish green color in your drop checker keep a eye on the shrimp as long as they look comfortable and not pacing around the tank your co2 levels are fine.
Initially i changed around 30% to 40% every other day.

so i am a bit confused.. do i increase or decrease ferts and light?
My hair algae is slowly increasing.
I have the lights on 2 hrs, off 2 hrs and then back on for another 2 hrs.
I have increased the co2.. its yellow but surprisingly my shrimps are okay but their number has reduced.
 

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Just a bit of conflicting advice. I find it interesting that you're being told to decrease and increase your light and as far as I can tell nobody even knows how much light you have! The level of light is controlled by both time and intensity. I believe the only thing you've revealed is time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a bit of conflicting advice. I find it interesting that you're being told to decrease and increase your light and as far as I can tell nobody even knows how much light you have! The level of light is controlled by both time and intensity. I believe the only thing you've revealed is time.
I have the chihiros a series..it comes with 7 light intensity.mine is set to 4..
Not sure if that explanation helps lol
 
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