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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My tank is about 5 weeks now and I cannot get rid of this hair algae. I am lost on what to do. I have tried manual removal and added 10 cherry shrimp. Here is my setup.

Tank = 20G Nuvo Fusion
Light = Chihiros WRG2 scheduled at 50% and 6700k for 7 hours a day
Co2 = Fzone dual stage
Soil = amazonia 2 with the power sand under it
Plants = Eleocharis Belem and peacock moss. Both growing well. Started with barely any hairgrass and its carpeting pretty well.

Live stock
Cherry shrimp started with 10 but 1 just pulled one dead one out of the tank stuck to the filter. I see 5 our moving now and the other seem to be hiding. I saw a bunch out 2 days ago.

Tank parameters
Temp 73
PH 6.6
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 10-20
Gh = 6
Kh = 2

1029444


Any ideas or help would greatly be appreciated.
 

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Cut back your photo period. Spot treat with excel and manually remove with filters off. Much like me your plants mass isn't quite filled in enough to keep up with your nutrients and lights schedule. I'm scaling back to 5.5 hours light/ day currently. I'm at 1 month to the day from start up.

Edit- forgot to add- vacuum and small water changes are useful too
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Few other things would be helpful to know:

Filter?
Ferts?
Maintenance schedule?

Im not sure about cherry shrimp as im not a shrimp person but ammano shrimp are usually know for their algae appetite. Might throw in a few of those.
The filter is built into the back of the tank. I am running two different sponge sizes that I clean weekly by shaking them in water. I also used a whole liter of matrix in a sock bag and there is a phosguard bag in there also.

For ferts I have been using is Thrive 2 pumps twice a week. link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DSFMNHQ?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

I have been doing manual removal every 3 days and water changes every 3-5 days.
 

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I'll echo the shortning tyour photo period. You could also get some temporary fast growing floater plants, like guppy grass. That stuff sucks up nutrients like crazy. I like to get a cheap Pothos from some place like Lowes for 4 dollars. Flush/rinse off all the soil and bits. Then hang it out of the back or side of the tank with the roots inside. They alo eat up excess nutrients, if you don't want them in there long term, just put it back in a flower pot.
 

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biOrb LIFE 45 L, planted, EI dosing, CO2 injected; ADA Cube Garden 45F, planted, EI dosing, low tech
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Shorten photo period and get some amano shrimp - they like to chow down on the soft stuff like this. You can also try liquid carbon (I use Easy-Life EasyCarbo) which doesn't do much in the way of providing carbon for plants but which can be a highly effective selective algaecide if dosed correctly. You can comfortably go with a daily dose of 2 ml per 50 L of water without stressing plants, fish or shrimp. I had algae way out of control at first (Green spot algae | Fireplace aquarium) but the combo of liquid carbon and biological cleanup crew fixed it pretty swiftly. 5 weeks is still pretty new so your tank is still sorting itself out so things will get better if you keep plugging away at it.
 

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Hey, just saw your PM. I think there is some good advice above. I actually just fought some off too. Quite annoying...

The CO2 really needs to be dialed in well and be consistent. I shoot for a 1.3ish drop in pH. Using a digital pen will help, as it is more accurate than the test kits.

I am not sure how strong those lights are at 50%, but both the strength of light and time you may want to dial back on.

As to ferts, I have never used those liquid ones, but with lower NO3 numbers you posted it seems like you should be okay there. And you said the tank is 5 week old? And no NH4? Just wanted to be sure that is accurate. Never used the soil, so not sure if that version leaches out ammonia.

Have you tested PO4? Low PO4 could cause that also, specifically if the soil is absorbing most the PO4 you add to the tank.

Just a few thoughts!

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If this was my tank I would remove the phosguard right away. You want phosphates in a planted tank. Your ferts have them in there because plants need them.

If you have co2 make sure the ph drop of 1+ is happening before the lights come on and stay relatively stable during the photo period. If you do have co2, target 20 ppm nitrate from thrive per week followed by a 50% water change weekly. If not, target 5-10ppm nitrate per week.

If both of those things are being met then reduce your light intensity. I don’t think your photo period is an issue at all but your intensity is the likely culprit. I have grown a dwarf hairgrass carpet with a stingray which was about 30 par on that tank so intense lighting with grass and moss shouldn’t be “needed”.

Shrimp and other animals can be good at eating algae but what they are best at is preventing algae by consuming organics that will lead to algae due to inadequate tank husbandry.

Best of luck!


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Even at 50% brightness the wrgb for 7 hours is too much unless your co2 is dialled in and your nutrient dosing is spot on.

I would reduce the lighting to 4 hour max and observe if this reduces the algae bloom. Once your co2 and dosing is dialled in slowly increase the photo period.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I tested my PH today before my co2 kick on and it was 7.5. I tested it an hour later and it is 6.8. Does this mean I should turn my co2 bubble count up? I used the stick tester.
 

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So I tested my PH today before my co2 kick on and it was 7.5. I tested it an hour later and it is 6.8. Does this mean I should turn my co2 bubble count up? I used the stick tester.
Not necessarily, you could turn the CO2 on a little earlier.
but if you turn the CO2 up a little you will get that 1.0 pH drop they are talking about, you are correct in your thinking.



I got your PM, I would say make sure you're doing the appropriate water changes for the soil. I have never used it but I know you have to do a lot of water changes in the beginning, like daily during the first week and then it goes down until you're at your normal weeklies, I want to say about 3 months out. So if you are doing 3-5 you may need to be on every 3 days right now.

I say this first because algaes grow when there is an excess of a nutrient. If there is a lack in one nutrient it will cause a spike in other nutrients because they are generally used up in tandem. there is generally a ratio that they use, so if there is no Phosphates for example then the Nitrates will spike and then an algae will come in and eat up all the Nitrates and explode in growth because nothing else is taking the Nitrates.

Having said that, I would probably also remove the Phosgaurd, assuming that removes Phosphates. With the amount of water changes you will be doing and even at a weekly change your Phosphates should almost never be an issue. At least in my experiences.

The lighting, take it down. go to like 30%, just looked up the specs on that light that you use. I have a Fluval 3.0 at about 50-60% on a 30 gallon, but the light you have looks to have much higher Wattage so I would assume you're going to have a higher PAR as well. If your grass is already carpeting then it will be okay with less light until you get it figured out. The moss is moss, it will be fine with whatever you do. Not really, but with-in reason that statement holds true.

So, take out the Phosgaurd, drop the lighting to 25% or 30% and double check your suggested water changes for aquarium soil.

Lastly, this hobby takes a lot of patience, you shot for the moon with your set up so you can always go up, so start low. Again in line with the patience bit, try and do one change at a time so you know what it does. If you do three changes (to lighting, dosing or just whatever) all in one day or in two days, you won't know exactly what each change did. So if you can, make one change every week. This is why I suggest starting low especially with the setup you have.

Oh, one more thing. If I were you, I wouldn't touch the CO2 right now; work on the lighting and the nutrients first. Leave that CO2 at the 7.5 to 6.8 drop it's at now, 0.7 pH is a pretty good drop for dialing everything else in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I lost 2 more shrimp

Ammonia still at 0 and nitrites still at 0. Algae seems to be getting a little better. I have a purigen bag in there not phosguard. I had listed it wrong earlier.
 

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I lost 2 more shrimp

Ammonia still at 0 and nitrites still at 0. Algae seems to be getting a little better. I have a purigen bag in there not phosguard. I had listed it wrong earlier.
When I first set up my present tank I had trouble keeping shrimp alive. I was migrating from a 25g tank to a 75g. I put in a couple shrimp periodically as test pilots. They would get the zoomies and usually only last a day or so. I then put in both Purigen and also carbon. Within a few weeks all was good and now I have probably 100+ shrimp. I thought that either one of my driftwood pieces was tainted or perhaps a rock. Between water changes and the Purigen/carbon the tank eventually settled out. For some early hair algae I found dosing Excel both by using a syringe directly on the spot and also just dosing the tank eliminated it. I have since pulled both the carbon and Purigen.

As described above, also I use Pothos and also Anthurium .
 

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I honestly think your fertz are too high. Are you doing any water changes? That fertilizer is based on the EI method so if you’re not at least doing weekly water changes (~50%), I’d expect this algae growth to go along with your good plant growth. That being said, Amano shrimp love hair algae and a squad of 10 could probably take it down in a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
4th shrimp died but I took a closer look at the shrimp. It seems to be a molting issue. They have have a white ring around them right before their tail. Anyone have an idea on what I need to solve something like this?
 

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For the record- I have 0 first hand experience in keeping freshwater shrimp but I've been eyeballs deep in researching keeping them. That being said- there's potential your water is too soft for them to properly molt. I completely understand if you don't know but do you have a tds reading?
 

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Hmm. I'm aiming on the soft side (my water is battery acid out of the tap) between 150 and 180 for the set up I'm currently working on and this is making me rethink. I'm interested in what others have to say because I have a feeling I'll be running across this very scenario soon. Sorry I can't help more.
 

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The filter is built into the back of the tank. I am running two different sponge sizes that I clean weekly by shaking them in water. I also used a whole liter of matrix in a sock bag and there is a phosguard bag in there also.

For ferts I have been using is Thrive 2 pumps twice a week. link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DSFMNHQ?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

I have been doing manual removal every 3 days and water changes every 3-5 days.
Why are you using phosgard?
 
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