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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so no, its not really fun... :hihi:

I'm currently dealing with a rather large hair algae 'crop' in my 10g, and have been researching what the potential causes of this are and what potential solutions are available. So far, there seems to be a fairly common claim that this algae is caused by excess iron? Curious if anyone has had success combating this gently waving green menace?

Note, this is not my tank, but more or less exactly what my algae looks like, although much thicker in some places:

 

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I have/had hair algae in my tanks and I stopped dosing iron completely. It seems to have helped quite a bit. I use root tabs around the plants that need iron.
 

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Children Boogie
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I have song I'd like to sing.

---
lower your lights
so it's not too bright

up your C O 2
it might be a clue

make sure to dose
so your plants won't toast

but mostly,
lower your lights.

----


thank you very much. *bows
 

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I ♥ BBA!
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I have/had hair algae in my tanks and I stopped dosing iron completely. It seems to have helped quite a bit. I use root tabs around the plants that need iron.
Never had an issue with this type of algae and iron. It has always been one of three things (or every one in the list): too much light, not enough nutrients or too low co2.
 

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Are these real?
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I have song I'd like to sing.

---
lower your lights
so it's not too bright

up your C O 2
it might be a clue

make sure to dose
so your plants won't toast

but mostly,
lower your lights.

----


thank you very much. *bows
:bounce::bounce::bounce: APPLAUSE :bounce::bounce::bounce:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just came in to work today to find the algae had completely taken over the entire tank. I think I may know what the issue is. I'm using the DIY 'hagen elite' mini-filter co2 reactor/diffuser, connected to turn on/off along with my lights on a timer. I think the issue is that the filter fills up with co2 overnight when not running, and when the timer turns the lights on, the filter isn't powerful enough to clear out all of the built up co2 in the lower chamber, and never starts up. IE: over the weekend, my tank was running with the lights on as normal, but with ZERO co2... :icon_sad:

I'm going to try a blackout for a few days, combined with picking up some flourish excel and overdosing the tank to try to knock the algae back a bit. I'm also going to have to find a way to rig up the co2 diffuser so it will properly start up after being off overnight...

EDIT: As far as the too much light suggestions, I do think this is a factor. I'm going to cut back my photoperiod to 8 hours (from 9) to start, and possibly go shorter if that doesn't seem to make any difference.

As far as dosing, I'm dosing this tank via EI, so I don't think lack of nutrients is too much of a factor here.

RE-EDIT: Just to throw this out there, would there be any incredibly negative effects to only running the lights an co2 on this tank monday through friday, and simply leaving them off over the weekends?
 

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I just came in to work today to find the algae had completely taken over the entire tank. I think I may know what the issue is. I'm using the DIY 'hagen elite' mini-filter co2 reactor/diffuser, connected to turn on/off along with my lights on a timer. I think the issue is that the filter fills up with co2 overnight when not running, and when the timer turns the lights on, the filter isn't powerful enough to clear out all of the built up co2 in the lower chamber, and never starts up. IE: over the weekend, my tank was running with the lights on as normal, but with ZERO co2...
Your initial post gives very little info about the tank. Are you using DIY CO2 or pressurized? From the description above it sounds like DIY. In that case leave the filter/diffuser running 24/7 since there is no way to "turn off" the gas. You could hook up an airstone to a timer so that it runs at night to prevent gassing your fish though most DIY rigs won't generate enough CO2 to gas the fish overnight.

I'm going to try a blackout for a few days, combined with picking up some flourish excel and overdosing the tank to try to knock the algae back a bit. I'm also going to have to find a way to rig up the co2 diffuser so it will properly start up after being off overnight...
I have never found Excel to kill hair algae. What Excel is good for in a situation like this is "backing up" your insufficient CO2 with a second carbon source. Something is out of balance with your tank and most likely the culprit is too little CO2 for the amount of light. The basis of your problem sounds like it is your CO2 system. The first thing you need to do is straighten that out. The rest of your suggested "fixes" will not help if you don't straighten out what seems to be the primary issue light vs CO2 levels. Are you using a drop checker (filled with 4 dKH water) to monitor your CO2 levels? If not how do you know whether your CO2 is sufficient even when your filter/diffuser is running properly?

EDIT: As far as the too much light suggestions, I do think this is a factor. I'm going to cut back my photoperiod to 8 hours (from 9) to start, and possibly go shorter if that doesn't seem to make any difference.
You haven't told us yet exactly how much light is over the tank and what kind (PC, T5 etc.) Reducing photoperiod is not the same as reducing light intensity. It will help a bit but one hour won't make much of a difference. If you are going to cut duration cut back from 9 hours to 5-6 hours. It takes a few weeks for changes to fully manifest so cutting back one hour to "see if it makes a difference" before cutting back further is just going to make it take longer for your tank to turn around since you are setting yourself up for multiple rounds of "experiments" in pursuit of a resolution to your problem. If you are running a multi-bulb PC fixture you may be able to remove one of the bulbs, cutting intensity is much more effective than cutting duration.


As far as dosing, I'm dosing this tank via EI, so I don't think lack of nutrients is too much of a factor here.
There is no info in your post to evaluate this comment but generally dosing ferts EI style ensures that nutrients (with the exception of carbon) are not an issue. If you are dosing EI style are you doing the weekly 50% water change?

RE-EDIT: Just to throw this out there, would there be any incredibly negative effects to only running the lights an co2 on this tank monday through friday, and simply leaving them off over the weekends?
How are you going to convince the plants that you would prefer they pretend they don't exist on the weekend? Starving them for light and nutrients two days a week is not going to help them to get stronger.

I suggest you work on getting your CO2 in balance with your lighting and even once you do that you will need to be vigilant about keeping the tank clean and pruned of all algae until the plants are back to full health.

Good luck!
 

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I have song I'd like to sing.

---
lower your lights
so it's not too bright

up your C O 2
it might be a clue

make sure to dose
so your plants won't toast

but mostly,
lower your lights.

----


thank you very much. *bows
Nice! :bounce::proud:
But is there any specific tune we should sing it to?
 

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You are too funny, mistergreen. :hihi:

To the OP, you are probably running too much light. I had this algae and upped my co2 and turned the lights off for an hour mid-cycle with the co2 still going. This actually helped and in a few weeks, I no longer see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are too funny, mistergreen. :hihi:

To the OP, you are probably running too much light. I had this algae and upped my co2 and turned the lights off for an hour mid-cycle with the co2 still going. This actually helped and in a few weeks, I no longer see it.
Thanks, will give this a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just figured I'd keep this updated in case any of the info is helpful to anyone else who runs into the same issue.

Heres what I've done so far, too early for results as I did most of this today, but will post once I see how this goes:

Mixed up a new second bottle of DIY co2. Now have both bottles marked with the day they were mixed, one a week apart from the other. Will be making sure to stay on a strict schedule and replace each bottle once its been running for a few weeks (trying to decide whether I'll go with every 2 weeks or every 3)

Tried treating the tank with 3ml/gal hydrogen peroxide (yesterday), didn't work in the slightest, algae had in fact increased when I came in today.

Original lighting was 2 x 26w spiral CF (6700k), stepped down to 2 x 18w for now, at least until I can get this cleared up.

Did as close to a total manual cleaning as I could manage. Removed a large (for this size tank) driftwood piece which seemed to be party central for the algae. Took the flame moss off the driftwood, soaked the driftwood (along with heater, filter housing, etc) in a STRONG hydrogen peroxide solution for an hour or more. Scrubbed down all equipment and the sides of the tank as best I could, pruned back the worst infested stems, and did a nearly 50% water change.

Will be cutting the photoperiod to ~7 hrs going forward.

Will post once I have any info on how this is working out to get rid of this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As of today, algae had actually grown again overnight... :confused1:

Will be picking up ~10 Amanos this weekend. I'm well aware this isn't an end-all solution or anything close to it, but hopefully they will at least add SOME level of cleaning.
 

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I can't belive anyone hasn't suggested this, or did I just not read it?

Anyways, do a whole tank blackout. Pull out the CO2 line, cover the tank in a towel or something that'll let NO light in. Turn off lights, only leave filter and heater running. Leave tank for 3 days, don't be tempted to touch it. After those three days, check if algae is gone. If not, leave blacked out for another three days. Maybe feed your fish when you check on it, but not too regularly.

I tried the above method and it worked great for my. No algae for me in under a week.

HTH, good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can't belive anyone hasn't suggested this, or did I just not read it?

Anyways, do a whole tank blackout. Pull out the CO2 line, cover the tank in a towel or something that'll let NO light in. Turn off lights, only leave filter and heater running. Leave tank for 3 days, don't be tempted to touch it. After those three days, check if algae is gone. If not, leave blacked out for another three days. Maybe feed your fish when you check on it, but not too regularly.

I tried the above method and it worked great for my. No algae for me in under a week.

HTH, good luck
Thanks for the suggestion, I may end up giving this a try. I tried a blackout for just one day, probably wasn't nearly enough time. Currently, I don't actually have any fish, so thats one thing that makes this at least a little bit easier.

To the person who commented about pressurized co2, I'm strongly considering it. Currently my top priority as far as throwing money at it is the 40 breeder I'm working on (which WILL have pressurized co2.) I am, however, trying to research putting together a (reasonably) budget pressurized system for this tank, so if you have any tips...
 

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I can't belive anyone hasn't suggested this, or did I just not read it?

Anyways, do a whole tank blackout. Pull out the CO2 line, cover the tank in a towel or something that'll let NO light in. Turn off lights, only leave filter and heater running. Leave tank for 3 days, don't be tempted to touch it. After those three days, check if algae is gone. If not, leave blacked out for another three days. Maybe feed your fish when you check on it, but not too regularly.

I tried the above method and it worked great for my. No algae for me in under a week.

HTH, good luck
I'm a bit confused with this. There's one guy that says keep the co2 running with less to no light and now you're saying lose the co2 and the light? I'm starting to notice signs of hair algae. I want to get to the bottom of this before it gets any worst.
 

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phan10ms...Plants don't utilize CO2 in the dark... doing a black out is different than reducing light intensity/photoperiod and increasing CO2

The one time I did a blackout it did not kill the hair algae but decimated my downoi, the rest of my stem plants grew tall and very leggy despite being kept in total darkness. I would be reluctant to try another black out despite claims that it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
phan10ms...Plants don't utilize CO2 in the dark... doing a black out is different than reducing light intensity/photoperiod and increasing CO2

The one time I did a blackout it did not kill the hair algae but decimated my downoi, the rest of my stem plants grew tall and very leggy despite being kept in total darkness. I would be reluctant to try another black out despite claims that it works.
Yeah, its a risk, but at least for this tank its only 10g, and the current plants in the tank are rotala sp. green, flame moss, rotala vietnam, and rotala wallichii. I'm leaving the lights off and the tank 'blacked out' today through Monday. Have flourish excel and a drop checker in transit and will be here next week. Buying some amano shrimp tomorrow to add to the tank, for the record, this is not just a measure to try to reduce the algae, I had planned for a while now to keep this an amano shrimp only tank. The algae issues just stepped up my time table.
 
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