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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aquarium Algae: Hair algae

After reading that I was kind of bummed to find out there really isnt a solution.

My 20gal tank that originally had some plants in it developed this algae quickly.
About 2 months later I added several more plants, fast and slow growing. Which have now been in my tank for about a week and a half, which are now starting to grow the same algae, even on one of the fastest growing plants. Hornwart.

20gal.
diy co2
no fertilizers
2 x 65W CF (Only run one 8 hours a day) 6700K
natural black tahiti sand substrate, or something... (got it from petsmart. I bought this before i knew about planted tanks)

Assuming it is the green hair algae. I am not 100% sure. I also have another kind on the javafern, I will probably just remove the leaves that have alot on them.

Here are some shots of the tank.









 

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I have a Black Molly that loves to dine on the algae in your first four pictures. My Dwarf Gourami also liked to pick at that algae. Your bottom picture is a different story! I have never had algae like that. Various posts suggest using Seachem Excel directly on the algae. Increasing CO2 would help, but that may be difficult with a DIY CO2.
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How exactly will co2 help? Does that cause the plants to grow faster meaning they are taking more of the nutrients in the water causing the algae to starve or stunt?
 

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20gal
diy co2
no fertilizers
2 x 65W CF (Only run one 8 hours a day) 6700K
it's pretty obvious you have too much light,
even if it's only for 8 hours.
you should be running 1x65 for 8 hours
especially since you only have DIY Co2

now that the damage has been done,
it's also too late for moderate solutions
such as excel, peroxide, or more Co2,
and don't even think of doing a blackout.

an army of algae eating shrimp might
reduce the light green stuff, but that
gray&white algae is old and tough so
nothing will eat that anymore.

so IMHO you really MUST do a bleach dip on
ALL your plants & ALL immersed plastic parts
and dispose of any surface gravel with algae.
then scrub your glass and silicon with an abrasive
vacuum your gravel throughly, rinse all your
filter media and even filter tubing for your tank.

this drastic action will set your tank back
a few weeks, but the plants will recover
and the BBA will dissolve away as long as you
keep your light down to 1x65 from now on.
you should also start dosing Flourish Excel
from now on as a minimum fert that will help
protect your tank from another BBA invasion
by providing the traces and carbon needed for
your plants to out compete any new algae for
nutrients, so the algae can't reassert itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
spypet: Sorry if I wrote that confusingly.
I have only been running one bulb for 8 hours and never turn the other on.
So I am still confused to what is cause such a fast algae growth.

edit: It seems that even one bulb for 8 hours is to much light. I didnt think so with all these plants.
What if I run one bulb for 6 hours a day? Or add more co2?
 

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you need to fertilize your plants with food :)

To reiterate: that's a lot of light with DIY co2 and no food for the plants.

Quickest way to combat the algae...get in there and manually remove as much as you can...prune it away siphon it away...peroxide, excel, etc. Get the tank clean as possible...replant if you've had to cut away most of your biomass (look for a RAOK plant package and restock).

Take a good read at the EI dosing schedule in water parameters forum and ask questions about how to dose it.
An army of algae eating shrimp will only make a dent.

The BBA...trim the infected leaves off, or squirt directly with excel or as Spypet mentioned, a 20% bleach dip will work (dip the leaves, not the roots, and watch closely until the bba turns orange). Orange = dead.

Above all...have patience.
 

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Do you mean 20%, or 1:19 (1/20) = 5%?
oops...meant the 1:19...its been a long morning...

Be careful with the bleach though. It is still pretty harsh. IME, I've only managed to recover hardier species like Anubias and some stems. The stem species will generally drop 90% of their leaves...but will bounce back. The key will be to replace any treated biomass with fresh stuff.
 

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I had the same problems....hair algae and BBA. The way I combated the problem was to add ghost shrimp (in theory to eat the hair algae) and use Excel (usually Big Al's has the best deal) to fight the BBA. The Excel knocked out the BBA...literally in four days it was all pink. I followed the directions on the bottle for the first day and doubled the recommended subsequent doses. Some of the tougher BBA growing on the plants still survived....I fought this with the bleach dip (only leave in plants for 60-90 seconds) and trimming the plants I couldn't actually remove from the tank. Everything at this point seems to be in check. Do not beach mosses, hornwort, or other delicate plants...they will dissolve in the tank a few days later and make a royal mess...I think it is better to try to salvage the "cleaner" parts of these types of plants and just leave them in with everything else during the Excel treatment.

There is a good thread for Excel treatment experiences (I am going to post this experience there as well!) http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/algae/20172-excel-treatment-bba-experiences.html.

Hope this helps some....you can PM me for questions...

Lastly, mistergreen...I think the rule states that unless you have had BBA you can deem it "cool" or even "kinda cool."
 
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