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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear All!

I would like to ask you some help. Please give me any tips how to fight against "Hair, Thread, Fuzz, etc" /by James Guide/ . Please help me!

The problem: Green Hair/Thread algae attacked my plants (hm cuba and parvula mini) and my rocks (seiryu).
My aquarium is ugly. I tried a lot of tips i found on the internet, but none of them helped.
Tips tried:
added additional phosphate, lower the light, add more co2 (now: 3 bps), adding bacteria (starter) after water change, cleaning the gravel(i just made chaos with trying/doing this), lower the light (4x39w -> 2x39w)
The technics:

  • tank: 180L br: 130-140net optiwhite aquarium
  • filter: Tetra ex 1200plus filter
  • filter materials: Seachem matrix, Seachem purigen, matrix trop, ceramic rings, foams, perlon cotton
  • light: Odyssea 4x39W (now 2x39w because of the algae), ~25-30 cm above the tank, from 8am til' 17pm
  • substrate: topica substrate, jbl manado
  • plants: java moss, parvula mini, hm cuba
  • co2: 3bps from 6:30am til' 16pm
  • water change: 50% once a week with RO water
  • nutrition: micro/macro nutrition as it is described on the bottle (7-7ml) + 3.5ml easy carbo
  • + nutrition: powder based phosphate, iron (just because of the algae)
  • fish feed: frozen artemia, cyclopse (not too much, fishes eats all of the given food)
  • water parameters: are fairly good (gh/kh: 8/9(drop test), ph 6-6.5(drop test), phosphate 2(drop test), nitrite/nitrate ~0(test paper)
History of the tank: I started the aquarium a half year ago. In the first few weeks, i do not have any fish/shrimp, just added starter bacteria to the water. After 5-6 weeks i brought some shrimps(amano and yellow fire). After 2-3 weeks i put 3 small algae eater in. After another 4-5 weeks 6-7 rasbora, after 3-4 weeks another team of shrmips, after 3-4 weeks another team of rasboras (6-7) after 3-4 weeks another team of rasboras.
I tried some tips against the algae found on the internet (or heard in tank-shop), but none of them is helped. I saw some improvement only with the following (heard in a local shop): dose the easy carbo directly on the plant. I tried it on a hm cuba "bush". It is growing better, and the algae is diminishing. (but i cant do it on the other plants because i can add only 3-4ml of easy carbo and almost all of my parvula is affected with these algae).
The parvula is spread a bit but it is not thick. Almost everywhere ther is a "thread".

One more detection: As i noticed, algae starts growing where the flow is s stronger.

Please help me! I will try every advice!
Please help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I give a very small amount of frozen food. 1/4 cube of artemia and 1/4 cube of cyclopse. It is 100/30/4 = 0.8g. It seems too much? They instantly eat all of the food and they always hungry. every 3d day i give no food.
 

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0 nitrite is good, but you should never have 0 nitrate in a high light co2 injected aquarium, it should be 20-30 ppm. What exactly is in your "micro/macro nutrition"?
 

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Nine hours might be too much light. Maybe try a split photoperiod? Say, three hours in the morning, off for at least four hours, 3-4 hours in the evening.

One thing I notice is that your plants are all slow growing plants. Moss, HM Cuba, hair grass. With lots of light and CO2, you probably need some faster growing plants in there.

And livingword is correct, something is wrong with your fertilization regimen if nitrates are 0.
 

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A little research into algae growth from the wesite:

http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4800&context=etd

When the light intensity above a certain value, continue increasing in light intensity
level will decrease the microalgae growth rate actually (Figure 2.2.). This is called
photoinhibition phenomenon. Microalgae become photoinhibited when light intensities a
little bit higher than the light intensity at the specific growth rate peaks. Because of excessive
light source, photoinhibition phenomenon will cause generally reversible damage to the
photosynthetic process (Rubio et al., 2003). Avoiding photoinhibition can help to increase
the daily growth rate of microalgae biomass. (Chisti, 2007)
Figure 2.2. Effect of light intensity on specific growth rate of microalgae. (Chisti, 2007)
2.6.3. Temperature
With the light intensity changing, temperature is an environmental factor which
indirectly affects growth of microalgae (Huang et al., 2008). According to Takemura’s study
on the effects of temperature on the maximum rate of photosynthesis of microalgae in Lake
Kasumigaura, the results shows that when the temperature of water lower than 4 °C the
photosynthesis of microalgae was completely inhibited. When the temperature is between 4
12
°C to 11 °C, photosynthesis is substantially inhibited. After temperature is higher than 11 °C,
the relationship between temperature and growth of microalgae is linear (Takemura et al.,
1985). Temperature determines the activity and reaction rates of intracellular enzyme, which
will have an influence on algal photosynthesis, respiration intensity, affect the growth of
microalgae and to limit its distribution (Tan et al., 2009).
2.6.4. pH and salinity
Water pH related to growth of microalgae tightly. Through photosynthetic, the pH
will be changed, which is already discussed in photosynthetic part. The pH value will also
affect the growth rate of microalgae, it will be easier for microalgae to capture CO2 in the
atmosphere when the growing condition is alkaline, which can produce more biomass (Zang
et al., 2011 & Melack, 1981). With the increase of pH, CO2 into water transferred into HCO3
- which is the mainly existing formation of carbon in weak alkaline. And this also can be used
by microalgae majorly. But according to Liu’s study, the content of chlorophyll of
microalgae will decrease when the pH value goes from 8.5 to 9.5 (Liu et al., 2005).
Microalgae has its own system to adjust salinity range. Generally, seawater
microalgae can tolerate higher salinity rather than fresh water microalgae (Zhu et al., 2003).
Studies showed that microalgae has its own optimal growth salinity, when salinity higher or
lower than this will be harmful to algal growing rate. For example, when in the low salinity
growing condition, it will be helpful for algal growth with the addition of NaCl and NaSO4
but when the salinity higher than 6g/L, the growth rate of microalgae will be prohibited (Liu
et al., 2006).
2.6.5. Mixing
13
Shading is a problem in growth of microalgae, it will prohibit microalgae to absorb
light effectively, and it will affect biomass production. In general, microalgae grow well in
lake or stream because of the dynamics of water (Wang, 2006). When design the PBRs for
microalgae, dynamic is also important. Gas mixing can be treat as water dynamic for growth
of microalgae. Gas mixing in the PBRs can promote every microalgae cell to obtain equal
light source and nutrient.
 

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Hair algae is not a micro algae. The study was done in the wild, with sunlight, and all the available nutrients that are provided by nature. there is no way you can compare aquarium lights with sunlight. Most algaes in the aquarium are caused by an imbalance between: Co2, fertilizers and light. When there is more available light than available nutrients and co2, then the nutrients or co2 have become the limiting factor, and that is what causes undesirable algae in the aquarium. I have just defeated Black Beard Algae for the first time in my 7 years of planted tanks. This is my first low tech aquarium with no carbon source being added. I defeated it by raising my light, and keeping my NPK where they should be. I also killed off a bit of Staghorn with a little extra NP, and shortening my photo period. Light always has to be the limiting factor in the plants growth, to keep algaes under control.
 
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Hair algae is not a micro algae. The study was done in the wild, with sunlight, and all the available nutrients that are provided by nature. there is no way you can compare aquarium lights with sunlight. Most algaes in the aquarium are caused by an imbalance between: Co2, fertilizers and light. When there is more available light than available nutrients and co2, then the nutrients or co2 have become the limiting factor, and that is what causes undesirable algae in the aquarium. I have just defeated Black Beard Algae for the first time in my 7 years of planted tanks. This is my first low tech aquarium with no carbon source being added. I defeated it by raising my light, and keeping my NPK where they should be. I also killed off a bit of Staghorn with a little extra NP, and shortening my photo period. Light always has to be the limiting factor in the plants growth, to keep algaes under control.

Ease up a bit, I was simply putting some information out there and if you would have taken the time to read the website, light is just one of the limiting factors in algae growth, both an increase in brightness and a decrease in brightness, and the spectrum of light provided. The post was intended for informational purposes only not as a (here is the answer) post. Understanding biology and how it works will always lead to ways of dealing with problems with in an aquarium setting.
 

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Ease up a bit, I was simply putting some information out there and if you would have taken the time to read the website, light is just one of the limiting factors in algae growth, both an increase in brightness and a decrease in brightness, and the spectrum of light provided. The post was intended for informational purposes only not as a (here is the answer) post. Understanding biology and how it works will always lead to ways of dealing with problems with in an aquarium setting.

I'm not sure what makes you think I am uneasy. I actually did read the thesis. And while I do agree that there is always room for improvement, and indeed ever changing ideas about whats best, I still have to say that the experiment in the thesis contained very little, if any, usable information that can be applied to the aquarium setting. There is no vast area of water for surface gas exchange, not runoff from the rain, no self replenishing anything. The aquarium is a little slice of nature contained in glass. There are some people who have pioneered the ways to have successful and beautiful tanks with appropriate balances of light and nutrients. Read the stickeys at the beginning of the lighting forum and the fertilizer and water parameter forums. They really do work, if they are followed. Par, for lighting, NPK or macros (Nitrogen Phosphates Potassium), and micros for fertilizers, and co2. Both co2 and fertilizers are dependent on the amount of par in your aquarium. Keep the three balanced and your golden. Granted, its not always as easy as it sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all of your replies!
Unfortunately i measured the nitrite/nitrate level with a paper test (which has a colour scale :/ ) so it is not a proper value. I will looking for a drop test for nitrate.
The micro/macro i use is the following(7-7ml of these):
Macro:
(NO3) - 49 g/l
(PO4) - 7 g/l
(K) - 49,2 g/l
Methyl Paraben (E218) - 1 g/l

Micro:
(Fe) - 2 g/l
(Mn) - 1 g/l
(Cu) - 0,052 g/l
(Zn) - 0,29 g/l
(B) - 0,4 g/l
(Mo) - 0,075 g/l
HEEDTA
Methyl Paraben (E218) - 1 g/l
 

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Most young tanks IMO get algae because the algae spores are always present and become active with too much light and some ammonia. Most don't take redundant precautions to prevent it. Like short light duration, carbon and other organic removal media, religious water changes, biofilter seeding and obviously heavy fast growing plant load. If you do ALL these things algae has rarely been an issue for me. You might see a little but not enough to be a problem that is obvious. If you just have ground like an Iwagumi it's even more important to do all these things because the biofilter (plants and media) will have a smaller impact on the organic load.

At this point I would do multiple things as others mentioned reducing lighting to 5-6 hours, add more plants (even if temporary), and make sure you remove and trim and dying leaves. Those just add more food for the algae. And of course dose NPK so there's no shortage.
 

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Thanks for all of your replies!
Unfortunately i measured the nitrite/nitrate level with a paper test (which has a colour scale :/ ) so it is not a proper value. I will looking for a drop test for nitrate.
The micro/macro i use is the following(7-7ml of these):
Macro:
(NO3) - 49 g/l
(PO4) - 7 g/l
(K) - 49,2 g/l
Methyl Paraben (E218) - 1 g/l

Micro:
(Fe) - 2 g/l
(Mn) - 1 g/l
(Cu) - 0,052 g/l
(Zn) - 0,29 g/l
(B) - 0,4 g/l
(Mo) - 0,075 g/l
HEEDTA
Methyl Paraben (E218) - 1 g/l

First, I assume you mean mg/l instead of g/l. Assuming that, there are several ways to dose. The Estimative Index, or EI dosing is explained here:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/21944-_dosing-regimes_.html


But that won't really work with fertilizer mixes, although you might be able to adapt your fertilizers and use them similarly. I agree with you about the strip tests, they are notoriously inacurate, so if you can, get some liquid test kits as soon as you can. You really need to know whats in your tank. After a while you can back off on testing, because you have developed a system. If I understand what your tank is, then it is about 18" tall. According to this chart:




which is listed on this thread:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10-lighting/184368-lighting-aquarium-par-instead-watts.html

you have "high light" with only 2 bulbs running. Try just leaving the 2 on for now.

I try to keep my tank at 5 mg/l of nitrate, .5 mg/l phosphate, and 5 mg/l potassium. But for a high tech tank you could run 30-3-30 and do well. Or you could try to adapt to the EI method. Either way, it is going to take some testing in the beginning to get to know your tank.
 

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Thanks for all of your replies!
Unfortunately i measured the nitrite/nitrate level with a paper test (which has a colour scale :/ ) so it is not a proper value. I will looking for a drop test for nitrate.
The micro/macro i use is the following(7-7ml of these):
Macro:
(NO3) - 49 g/l
(PO4) - 7 g/l
(K) - 49,2 g/l
Methyl Paraben (E218) - 1 g/l

Micro:
(Fe) - 2 g/l
(Mn) - 1 g/l
(Cu) - 0,052 g/l
(Zn) - 0,29 g/l
(B) - 0,4 g/l
(Mo) - 0,075 g/l
HEEDTA
Methyl Paraben (E218) - 1 g/l

First, I assume you mean mg/l instead of g/l. Assuming that, there are several ways to dose. The Estimative Index, or EI dosing is explained here:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/21944-_dosing-regimes_.html


But that won't really work with fertilizer mixes, although you might be able to adapt your fertilizers and use them similarly. I agree with you about the strip tests, they are notoriously inacurate, so if you can, get some liquid test kits as soon as you can. You really need to know whats in your tank. After a while you can back off on testing, because you have developed a system. If I understand what your tank is, then it is about 18" tall. According to this chart:




which is listed on this thread:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10-lighting/184368-lighting-aquarium-par-instead-watts.html

you have "high light" with only 2 bulbs running. Try just leaving the 2 on for now.

I try to keep my tank at 5 mg/l of nitrate, .5 mg/l phosphate, and 5 mg/l potassium. But for a high tech tank you could run 30-3-30 and do well. Or you could try to adapt to the EI method. Either way, it is going to take some testing in the beginning to get to know your tank.
Thanks for the responses for everybody!

The description of the micro/macro says:
"Components in 1l aqeous solution". And after thebvalues i wrote(g/l).

Update:
(With droptest)
Nitrite <0.3
Nitrate 25
 

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What works for me,though I'm not using co2,is keeping hornwort in my tanks.It really seems to help with my algae problems.

Whether it's from the hornwort using excess nutrients or just blocking out some of the light,I don't know.
 

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Hornwort is a great stabilizer. Put in lots of it! It's very cheap. Let it float around. The top guys let it soak up the bad stuff in their tanks. It can be removed when the dust settles. The more stem plants the less algae. Plants are more advanced than algae. Algae grows when it has no competition. It also likes growing in dead spots where the water flow is poor to static. Big water changes add fuel to the fire, unless you go for a 100%, but the problem will soon return. You can also do a total blackout of your tank for 2 days. Your fish/plants will survive. This should reduce the algae significantly, but is not a long term solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dear ALL!

Thanks for all of your replies!

Unfortunately almost all of my parvula's are dead because of the algae. The stones are disgusting. I remove the algae from the glass but in 1-2 days, the algae is there again.
I got to a very frustrated, sad, stressful, disappointed and angry condition so i will restart the whole aquarium with the help of all of your advice (light, nutrition, plants), with more kind of plants, and less difficult layout.
Thank you very much! I will keep all tricks you mentioned in the future!
 
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