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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the java moss tied to a rock in my shrimp tank. It currently only has 20 something FRCS, rocks and a roughly 3"x6" mat of HC being weighed down by rocks and fishing line (not rooted, there's no substrate yet). I moved the moss over to my main aquarium to starve the hair algae of nutrients (other plants in there) and hopefully give the java moss a better chance. I find it weird though since I'm not dosing anything into the shrimp tank (obviously) and my nitrates are EXTREMELY low in the shrimp tank right now...so what gives? How did it even get there? I run a 2x24W 24" T5-HO fixture on it for about 11 hours a day just so the tank has some lighting. Should I just leave the light off until I set everything up Tuesday or will the HC mat and fissidens (a 1"x1" patch tied to mesh) in there suffer? Should I just move the fissidens over to my main tank? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well yes, I understand there's too much light but what's the algae even got to grow off of? There's no other nutrients in the water...can it literally just grow off of light and no other food source?

Also, what about the fissidens, java moss and HC mat?
 

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If the shrimp are surviving, there are nutrients in there. They have to be eating and excreting something. The algae can survive on much less than your other plants can. Is this tank cycled? How long has it been set up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Been setup since Tuesday. It's not cycled as far as I know, I just couldn't keep juvie FRCS in my 20g tall with my striped raphael....he'd be eating too well. :p I preform small water changes every couple of days on the shrimp tank and it has a HOB filter hooked up to it right now with some fissidens for the shrimp to graze on. They also very much enjoy that patch of HC. It's more or less just a very spacious holding tank for right now. It'll have powersand+aquasoil and get planted this coming up Tuesday as well as a much better filtration system.
 

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Whats your ammonia reading? I doubt your shrimp will survive a new tank cycle. Have you have put some filter media from your other tank into this one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ammonia right now is 0 or so low that I can't distinguish it with the test kit (using API master test kit, liqiud). The current HOB has some filter gunk from my other eheim 2215 in it...mainly just stirred up the ehfisubstrat and poured it behind the filter. The shrimp are the only critters in there. I plan to move them to a large tupperware container or something with an airstone and moss while the tank cycles.
 

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There's no other nutrients in the water...can it literally just grow off of light and no other food source?
There are always some nutrients. But when they're limited and light is excessive, algae copes far better than plants.

Starving the algae out is not an option. The plants starve too, so they sacrifice older growth and partially strip it of nutrients to support new growth. The old growth then decomposes. Decomposing organic material just happens to be algae's *favorite* food, attracting algae to your plants like a magnet. Parasitic algae makes the plant even more unhealthy, giving the algae even more food; in what quickly becomes a self-sustaining and hard to break cycle.

You'll have to reduce the light to eliminate algae's initial primary advantage. Ideally, you should add some ferts and CO2 with the goal of making the plants/mosses as healthy as possible, rather than a preferred food source for algae.

But like I said, once this cycle starts, it's harder to stop than to prevent from starting in the first place. If light/CO2/ferts are kept perfect and you're lucky, the hair algae will slow, stop, or maybe even shrink back, while the moss grows rapidly; allowing you to eventually discard the old infested growth. For most plants it's advisable to first trim away unhealthy growth and algae, but good luck doing that with java moss and hair algae. :) So instead, I deal the algae an initial blow by another means:

1) Add 1ml Algaefix to 9ml water. Shake well.
2) Discard 9ml of the solution.
3) Add the remaining 1ml to 1G dechlorinated water in a Rubbermaid container. Stir.
4) Add java moss.
5) Set aside in a dark closet for three days.
6) Discard water. Rinse container and moss thoroughly. Soak moss in a copious amount of dechlorinated fresh water for a few hours to remove any lingering traces of Algaefix (it's very bad for shrimp).
7) Put moss back in an aquarium with good parameters for its growth that will lead to rapid recovery.

If all goes well, both moss and algae will appear to be completely unaffected. But the moss will be alive and the algae dead. The algae will decompose slowly over a week or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do have some AlgaeFix laying around. Would it be fine to take the natural approach and just let the algae die down in my main tank? It's running on a single T8 right above the water with ferts and CO2...algae free in all forms.
 

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I do have some AlgaeFix laying around. Would it be fine to take the natural approach and just let the algae die down in my main tank? It's running on a single T8 right above the water with ferts and CO2...algae free in all forms.
There is nothing wrong with the natural approach. With patience, good tank parameters, and a little luck, it usually works. The worst that can happen is that it doesn't, and that's not necessarily a loss; because everything is an experiment that teaches you more about your tanks.

I just like exploring more experimental and aggressive approaches, and sharing those that I find useful.
 

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Just like most aquatic plants can grow without one fertilizer or the other. Rather poorly. Algae is a simple organism it can survive with almost nothing. It can grow even when nitrrates and ammonia are at undetecable levels.. keep that in mind. Healthy plants means no algae! So fertilize properly and let the plants duke it out. They dont out compete for nutreints. My tank now stays at 20ppm of nitrates and 5ppm phosphates.. no alage but i have healthy plants.
Well my ssword actually has hair algae but it was unhealthy i had to fix an imbalance. Its getting better now
 
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