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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today I'm finally going to the fish store to pick up more ferts, fish food, and algaefix for my 10 gal with the spiro-hair algae problem. Should I remove the two neons that are in the tank during the course of the algae fix? My quarantine tank is still up and running too. Or would I be better off just leaving them in?
 

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Me vs. spirogyra was a battle that raged for several months. But once I dosed sufficient enough micronutrients (macros were taken care of), it eventually stunted and went away never to return. Anyway, I've never used algaefix so it's best to follow directions on the bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been doing dosing of both macros and micros, with a 40% water change every week, and it just keeps coming back. This tank never had ANY algae previously, and my moss and Anubias were growing fairly fast too. Would increasing my micro dosing help at all? I heard that since my spiro was from an ammonia spike, that dosing algaefix to get rid of any and all spores, should help keep it from coming back. I wouldn't mind scraping moss as it's insanely cheap at my LFS (about a pounds worth for $5), but the Anubias Nana Petite I have has gotten to be quite beautiful, and I'd be heart broken if I lost it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Assuming nutrients are sufficient, then it may be low CO2 or too much light. How long was it algae-free? What's in the tank?
Aside from diatoms for the first few weeks, I've had no algae since I set it up in April. Nothing has changed aside from plants getting bigger.

Only plants are boat loads of Willow Moss, an Anubias Nana Petite that has been shooting out new leaves every week, and an Anubias Nana that is also doing extremely well. As far as fauna, a good amount of hitchhiker bladder snails and two neons that survived 3 weeks of quarantine (I have terrible luck with neon tetras).

Lights are 2 13 Watt CFLs in one of those stock Aqueon tank kit lids, usually on 7 hours a day, but I cut back to 6 when the algae exploded. I used DIY CO2 for a month, but it was removed in May and the algae only just appeared about 2 weeks ago. No adverse effects occured following the removal of the DIY CO2.

I think aside from the ammonia spike, me not being here for 2 weeks to dose ferts in the tank led to problems, because otherwise, the tank has been very stable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So you have low-light plants and nothing else in a 10-gallon tank? It may be too much light and not enough plant mass.
I never had a problem before the shrimp died. Normally the moss is pretty crazy growth wise, and other then some algae on the glass if I don't do a water change, the tank is very very low maintenance. And the Bladder snails take care of the algae on the glass for the most part. It's been stable with no issues since I set it up.

If there was an algae problem before the shrimp had died while I was away, I'd suspect something was off balance, but there was nothing. Moss was flourishing, anubias were happy as can be, the tank was actually starting to become what I had envisioned, until the spiro showed up.
 

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I'm using two 13-watt CFLs on my 10 with very high plant mass, CO2 (~45ppm), and regular dosing. If I weren't running CO2 and have low-light plants, I'd change out the bulbs to something much lower output. The two 13-watts add too much light.

On my other 10, I'm only using one 13-watt CFL and the moss, java ferns, Bolbitis, and Ludwigia are all growing well. No algae except for GDA on the glass that I simply haven't bothered to scrap off. So one 13-watt bulb is sufficient for these plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Yes incredibly cheap reflectors though. There isn't much light in the basement for the most part other then from the 40 long from across the room. It's the standard hood that comes with the kits they sell at Petco, Petsmart, etc. I have the light covers on too if it matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I line the hoods with aluminum tape which increases light output quite noticeably. It also helps reduce heat since it's not absorbing the light.
Well I figure at this rate, I don't really need more light for what I'm trying to grow. I do notice the hood gets fairly hot, but my T5s get far hotter then it does. If anything I could always remove the reflectors if light is the issue, but I'm 99% certain the light is not the problem.

I do think after doing some research though, I might just move the neons to the quarantine tank for now. I'd rather be able to dose without worrying too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
So observation number 1: 1 minute into the dose, and all the hydra in my tank have instantly turned white and are floating around. I presume they are dead :hihi:

Also a question:
It doesn't say on the bottle, but should I be doing a big water change right before the second dose? I actually moved the neons to my 40 gal where they are supposed to be (and are very happy), instead of the quarantine tank. I bought a few things of AC carbon and also have my purigen recharging ATM to remove all traces of the Algaefix before the shrimp come in (along with multiple water changes). I also put a handful of filter pads in the 40 gal's filter, so I can toss the current filter pads to avoid any algaefix in the tank. But am I supposed to be doing water changes with the algae fix? I'm assuming the ammonia is going to spike from all the dead algae....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
IMO, I'd recommend water change every day. That dying algae is sapping oxygen from your system and can definitely affect fish and biological activity.

You also will want to remove all those spores that the dead/dying algae is certainly releasing, as well as the dead algae.
There are no fish in there right now (moved them), but I will start doing water changes every day. I got it from an ammonia spike, and god forbid the dying algae gives birth to more algae from an ammonia spike. Should I redose the algae fix after each water change?
 

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Personally, I don't like using algaecides at all. In my experience working at a pet store as well as a garden center in the water garden (pond) department, people who add algaecides have a harder time getting things to balance out naturally, which is ultimately what you're trying to do.

That said, they can be helpful at killing an initial outbreak, but care must be taken to remove the waste before it builds up and re-establishes.

Water changes and patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Personally, I don't like using algaecides at all. In my experience working at a pet store as well as a garden center in the water garden (pond) department, people who add algaecides have a harder time getting things to balance out naturally, which is ultimately what you're trying to do.

That said, they can be helpful at killing an initial outbreak, but care must be taken to remove the waste before it builds up and re-establishes.

Water changes and patience.
I have been doing a 50% water change every other day since the algae arrived, but it's driving me nuts, and my moss is starting to brown too. It was an ammonia spike that caused it most likely. I'm not a fan of most chemicals, but the spiro is driving me nuts. I tried H2O2 spot treatment, it laughed at me at best. I tried 1-2 punch, it laughed at me again. I put a garbage bag over my tank for a few days, and did a black out, my anubias wasn't happy, but the spiro looked better if anything.

I am reading 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites as of yesterday, but I just assume with such a light bioload in this tank, which is cycled too, that the dead shrimp caused such a severe ammonia spike, the spiro came in and took over. Which I also presume probably saved the neon tetra that was in there. I hope to mostly eradicate all of the spiro thats in there, I did a big clean up before I dosed the algaefix, as it's near impossible to get rid of all of it thats in the moss. Hopefully since I believe I took care of the problem (dead shrimp), that it shouldn't come back once it's fully knocked out. It's a very stable tank normally, aside from a little bit of dust on the glass, but even that is very minimal at best.
 
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