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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I needed help identifying this algae. Is it diatoms or brown hair algae? Is there anything such as for brown hair algae?

This is a fairly new tank so I'm lead to believe that this is brown filamentous diatoms. It looks like slime when removed by toothbrush but when squished in between fingers it turns into dust mixed water basically. My lighting is two desk lamp fixtures with two 13 watt bulbs, DIY CO2 and EI method dosing of ferts. Task size 10 gal.


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Simple math. You have two of those lights...most have one.
I have seen them used in one of those clamp on lights from Home Depot that had the clamp taken off and the "shade" was painted black. Then the light was hung by the cord from a bookshelf bracket. The bulb needs to be about 6" from the water to get full coverage from end to end that way.
BTW the EI is designed for heavily planted tanks. I might(and in my 10g's I do) use
what they suggest when you look on that calculator which you used at the section
under"and I am dosing for" and then select "EI low light/weekly".
Actually I even reduce that just a tad as my 2 tanks are a lot different. One has Exel @ 2 x the normal doses/w 2 x T5 bulbs which is overkill to say the least but there is a method to my madness on that. The other has no Excel and 2 x T8 bulbs.
So the T5 tank as I refer to it gets 1/8 tsp KNO3...1/16 tsp K2SO4 which is 3/4 of the K that they suggest for a 10g. Then it also gets 1/32 tsp KH2PO4.
I have a good bit of hair algae in there(which is intentional/the madness) so if I cultivate it...I can remove it also.
Actually I learned to control it in the T8 tank. It has 2.8 WPG and no CO2/Excel
but also has no hair algae. Took me two years of changing bulbs to different kinds to do that and learning ferts too I should add. Two years at 3-4 month intervals.
Since you do have the DIY CO2, you might just change the light as I suggested to see if that's enough. No excuse for the .5 except some idio-cyncracy but both my tank have 7.5 hrs of light. And really I'm still learning those ferts.
 

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Ray has some good advice btw, so I would follow it. But you are looking at hair algae. The One - two punch does wonders for removing it (see dark cobras thread in this forum) but you need to address the root cause which looks to be too much light/fertz
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So it is brown hair algae and not filamentous diatoms? How do you distinguish between those two? For EI I dosed 1/16 of kno3 and 1/32 of everything else. Was that too low then since it seems lower than what you are recommending.

I've read about the one two punch. I won't do that yet because this algae is extremely easy to remove manually. But I will definitely experiment with lighting.

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Diatoms are typically brownish dust and if it is diatoms, they live off silicates and will eventually go away with enough water changes and after the tank is established. I do believe filamentous diatoms is more a salt water thing, but not %100 sure. What is probably the best term for this bug is "Rhizoclonium", which is typically a CO2/light/nutrient issue. James planted tank has some good info on this (link) but I originally thought my issue was diatoms, but when I max the CO2 the growth of this was stunted and excel helps kill it (which shouldnt affect diatoms).

I am not an expert on this by any means, but i have slowly been tackling my similar issues and by far the biggest help for me was cranking that CO2, much higher then I thought I needed to. Hope it helps

Edit: Ive been reading up on it more, this is a good thread. Only thing I dont like about the diagnoses is that "it will go away on its own after its established" but I have a 5 gal nano that has had this for months and a 29 gal(no CO2, high light) that has had this for years. So I really dont know, but again mine has be greatly reduced by cranking my CO2
 

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That is actually a filamentous diatom called Synedra (fresh and saltwater). It is really aggressive. Take some out, put peroxide on it, if it turns green then white it is Synedra. Also when you grab it with your hands and try to squish it, it will fall apart very easily.

The source of this is usually source water high in silicate/phosphate. I would change to RO/DI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes it turns green when you put peroxide on it and falls apart if you try to squish it. Didn't like the look of it so I just nuked the tank with peroxide. But I still need to solve the problem unless it is just my substrate and will go away after some time.

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That is actually a filamentous diatom called Synedra (fresh and saltwater). It is really aggressive. Take some out, put peroxide on it, if it turns green then white it is Synedra. Also when you grab it with your hands and try to squish it, it will fall apart very easily.

The source of this is usually source water high in silicate/phosphate. I would change to RO/DI.
Well maybe thats why Ive had it for so long, I live in a desert basin and a very good chance of having high silicates/PO4. Ive always assumed that CO2 didnt affect diatoms and Tom said that excel doesnt do anything to them. Maybe they were referring to a different type? Why i always thought this was hair algae..

Ive had my working pressure drop or some other CO2 issue and it exploded, but if I kept it up it seemed to keep it at bay? I thought diatoms werent affected by CO2? I will def have to look into getting RO unit.
 
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