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I can't beat the algae no matter how hard i try. I just about have given up hope of beating it. I HATE it!!!! I have had this tank for at least 8-10 months now and still cant figure out why. The algae is literally flourishing, it is growing fast and by the day if not by the hour. I am always. My signature has all my specs for my 20 gallon for the most part. My water parameters are 6.2 ph, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20 ppm from dosing, kh 3, and gh 9. Temp is about 80 to 82 degrees to keep my rams happy. I keep the lights on for only 8 hours a day and my drop checker is yellow when co2 is on. CO2 comes on about 2 hours before lights to get the co2 levels up before lights on. I dose KNO3, KH2PO4, and Plantex CSM+B according to EI for a 20 gallon. I do get gsa and sometimes gda on glass but easily can be scraped off and looks new again. But I have this brownish hair that grows on the bottoms of all the plants after awhile and takes over any kind of carpet plant i try. It kind of looks like a ball of hair or tumbleweed. I'm guessing hair algae. My otos dont touch it nor do any other fish. It grows on the substrate as well and i just cant take it anymore. It looks horrible and kills of the plants in my opinion. I follow the ei dosing with a 50 percent water change once a week. What is going on?!?!?!?
 

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I have the same crap growing in my tanks. Not sure what it is exactly, but I know H2O2 doesn't kill it. My nerite snails eat it happily though.

I am currently experimenting to see if phosphate dosing is to blame. It shows some promise, since I stopped dosing phosphates into my 29g I have not noticed any new growth of the crap(1 week in). I will start back up with half the EI dose next week.
 

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Your signature doesn't say how many plants you have, and that's an important little tidbit of info... It sounds like you don't have enough fast-growing stem plants in there. If you are starting your tank off with the end-scape you have in mind, then you really shouldn't dose the full EI routine until the scape fills in... otherwise, you should stock your tank to the brim with all kinds of stem plants and slowly swap them out with whatever you want permanently in the scape.

Hopefully that made sense.
 

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I am fighting a brown hair algae too. Just when I thought I was winning my DIY co2 quit when I went on 5 day vacation. I returned to a tank 1/3rd filled with algae. I spent hours cleaning it out and lost my HC and most of a bronze crypt. I have just tried adjusting my ferts a little - Less phos and I am trying lower light instead of less time on. I blacked out some of my light strip. This seems to have really helped. I just got 10 Amanos an they go right after it. I Think I am getting the upper hand now.
I also read someone suggesting 2 4hr light cycles instead of 1 8hr cycle.
They said algae can't adjust to it. I haven't tried that yet though.
Good Luck, I will keep an eye on this thread.
 

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how are your parameters and let me know how that experiment goes.
The only test kit I have is for nitrate and that's kept at 10ppm. What my phosphate actually is I have no idea(which is probably why I have problems in the first place...:icon_lol:). But hopefully the results will be evident enough to give me a decent grasp on the source of the problem. I am encouraged because my blyxa which was infested with it is growing in new leaves which are bright green and clean of algae.
 

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I'd be interested to know how your drop checker reads at the level of your carpet plants. I'm wondering if the CO2 is getting everywhere in your tank.
 

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I also read someone suggesting 2 4hr light cycles instead of 1 8hr cycle.
They said algae can't adjust to it. I haven't tried that yet though.
As usual, "they" are wrong. Algae can grow in any situation where plants can grow, and do it better. Algae require almost no nutrients, compared to the plant's demands, they can grow well with interrupted light cycles as well as plants can. They grow especially well with high light intensity, so reducing the light intensity is always a good step for stopping algae. But, doing very good routine maintenance, from cleaning, water changes, substrate vacuuming, to just "fluffing" the plants, and removing any bits of algae as soon as you see them, is something most algae have a hard time living through.
 

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my leaves will come in new and beautiful but them but when about a week passes, the algae starts on it.

Tex, good idea about the drop checker at substrate level. I actually have a second drop checker coming in the mail so i'll set that one up at the bottom of the tank.
 

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Hoppy has a point. A lot of my algae is on the substrate too. Maybe I'll try being more aggressive in keeping it clean. Thanks
 

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This is simpler than you think.

Keep your 65 watt bulb. But turn it on for only 1 hour a day. The rest should be very low ambient light or even better - complete darkness.

That alone will work wonders.

Another VERY important thing - fluctuating CO2 is a no-no when it comes to fighting algae. Amano introduced turning off the CO2 at night. That's probably good for a healthy tank, but not for a tank full of algae. I'm vaguely aware of the dark phase of the photosynthesis - it makes CO2 and it uses O2 (oh my!). But I'd like to see (and never will) a tank that is doing better just because at night the CO2 is turned off. So just let the CO2 run 24/7, don't turn it on and off.

To me your tank is a good example of how numbers do not grow healthy plants. So far you have been supplying food for the algae. So you should change something to see if there will be a change. Keep the CO2 going strong while reducing the light period to what may appear a ridiculously short time to you.

Logically, if you decide to follow my advice and illuminate for only 1 hour a day, you will need to reduce the fertilizers. As much as you are comfortable but don't do it all of a sudden (80% wate change or something). Plants don't like sudden changes.

In all this small (10%) and frequent (every other day) water changes will only help.

--Nikolay
 

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Try dosing Excel and since you getting GSA try increasing your phosphate, I know it sounds crazy but Iv been dosing about double phosphate and I have next to no green algae in my tank. I'd also look at upping your filtration I found that to solve a lot of my annoying algae issues, except for the BBA, but that was from laziness in getting my CO2 tank refilled.
 

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try lowering your wattage or raise your lights up.
it's too much.
Agreed.. that is alot of light on a smaller tank. if your light is raised up it will be distributed evenly throughout the tank. also I would cut back on your photoperiod, it will help alot. The higher the lighting the more fine tuned the tank needs to be. Any little changes can be disastrous. I would keep up with water changes, maybe 2x per week for now until you get it under control. Don't get too stressed. it happens to us all.

As usual, "they" are wrong. Algae can grow in any situation where plants can grow, and do it better. Algae require almost no nutrients, compared to the plant's demands, they can grow well with interrupted light cycles as well as plants can. They grow especially well with high light intensity, so reducing the light intensity is always a good step for stopping algae. But, doing very good routine maintenance, from cleaning, water changes, substrate vacuuming, to just "fluffing" the plants, and removing any bits of algae as soon as you see them, is something most algae have a hard time living through.
Great post! follow this ^

my leaves will come in new and beautiful but them but when about a week passes, the algae starts on it.

Tex, good idea about the drop checker at substrate level. I actually have a second drop checker coming in the mail so i'll set that one up at the bottom of the tank.
Do you have any pictures of this algae? It would be helpful if we could see what it is that you are dealing with.

Ken
 

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I have a question how often do you clean your filter/add new carbon? I clean my powerfilter inserts once a week, replace the carbon and inserts once a month. You have a sponge in your filter which I assume needs to be cleaned alot. The maintenance on those power filters is pretty extensive. I learned the hard way.
 

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I agree with niko. The way to fix this is to reduce light intensity (a 20 gallon tank is not very tall, so light is much more intense at the bottom then in a larger tank with the same bulb), and stabilize CO2.

1 hour seems like it might stress the plants out quite a bit. Try 3-4 hours and raise the light up more so it isn't as intense. Get compressed CO2, you won't look back - best investment in planted tanks you can make (other then lighting).
 
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