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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After turning the corner of BGA and filamentous diatoms, my tank has never looked better at 7 weeks. I was so overjoyed with how the last week has gone. Until tonight.

I noticed some weird green single strands hanging off my buce. Upon closer inspection I noticed strands here and there throughout the tank. Nothing wild (yet) and I really have to look hard to see. I realized my buce multiple strands especially deep in the rhizome so I removed it and did a bleach dip although I don't think I will be putting it back in anyways. I trimmed and discarded any plants I could see at the time with the strands.

They grow only as single strands, pretty much the exact width of a strand of hair maybe a bit finer. No branches or anything just a straight thread. It feels quite similar to actual hair as well, in my fingers it breaks into tiny segments instead of disintegrating like softer algae. Please tell me this is thread algae and not clado.....
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After turning the corner of BGA and filamentous diatoms, my tank has never looked better at 7 weeks. I was so overjoyed with how the last week has gone. Until tonight.

I noticed some weird green single strands hanging off my buce. Upon closer inspection I noticed strands here and there throughout the tank. Nothing wild (yet) and I really have to look hard to see. I realized my buce multiple strands especially deep in the rhizome so I removed it and did a bleach dip although I don't think I will be putting it back in anyways. I trimmed and discarded any plants I could see at the time with the strands.

They grow only as single strands, pretty much the exact width of a strand of hair maybe a bit finer. No branches or anything just a straight thread. It feels quite similar to actual hair as well, in my fingers it breaks into tiny segments instead of disintegrating like softer algae. Please tell me this is thread algae and not clado.....
View attachment 1035213
Looks like regular hair algae to me. Cladophora grows in pretty dense little tufts, typically in carpeting plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like regular hair algae to me. Cladophora grows in pretty dense little tufts, typically in carpeting plants.
Thank God. I'm having a hard time telling the difference. I think some websites use pictures of the two interchangeably and its hard to tell which is which especially because there's different forms of each. I'm reading that clado is the only form of filamentous algae that isn't soft however. Can some thread algae be hard and brittle like this?

I also read some others saying clado doesn't anchor to anything. Some websites says it does. I'm noticing this stuff anchors underneath leaves and is impossible to pull off because it will just break at the shaft. It doesn't seem to have a light or flow preference as I've seen it in the upper and lower regions of the tank. I'm praying to God my amanos will eat it. It seems to have grown enough to be noticeable over the last few days when I upped the lighting and co2 and my plants began to grow healthier again.

Oddly enough whatever this is shrivels a bit the moment air hits it. It almost seems sentient to me, I was watching pieces of it swaying around next to a plant root, and the plant root swaying in the water flow was moving in a different direction than the green thread. Perhaps this is a micro pest?
 

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Thank God. I'm having a hard time telling the difference. I think some websites use pictures of the two interchangeably and its hard to tell which is which especially because there's different forms of each. I'm reading that clado is the only form of filamentous algae that isn't soft however. Can some thread algae be hard and brittle like this?

I also read some others saying clado doesn't anchor to anything. Some websites says it does. I'm noticing this stuff anchors underneath leaves and is impossible to pull off because it will just break at the shaft. It doesn't seem to have a light or flow preference as I've seen it in the upper and lower regions of the tank. I'm praying to God my amanos will eat it. It seems to have grown enough to be noticeable over the last few days when I upped the lighting and co2 and my plants began to grow healthier again.

Oddly enough whatever this is shrivels a bit the moment air hits it. It almost seems sentient to me, I was watching pieces of it swaying around next to a plant root, and the plant root swaying in the water flow was moving in a different direction than the green thread. Perhaps this is a micro pest?
When I had cladophora it was always in dense tufts. I’ve had filamentous hair algae that is hard to get off completely because it breaks off.

These two pics are pretty much exact representations of what it looked like in my tank:

What’s your water change schedule and lighting schedule like? Just so you know, I was able to completely eradicate the cladophora just by being consistent with my maintenance and water changes, manually removing as much as possible, and dosing with excel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I had cladophora it was always in dense tufts. I’ve had filamentous hair algae that is hard to get off completely because it breaks off.

These two pics are pretty much exact representations of what it looked like in my tank:

What’s your water change schedule and lighting schedule like? Just so you know, I was able to completely eradicate the cladophora just by being consistent with my maintenance and water changes, manually removing as much as possible, and dosing with excel.
This stuff seems to respond to light and does not die from 2 and a half minute 1:19 bleach dip. I grabbed the cup of the affected buce (I have it sitting in a cup overdosed with prime, already put some different buce in the tank to replace it so this will not be seeing my tank again) I put a flashlight to it to peek around and sure enough the moment the flashlight hit it it started to bend upwards. The cup was in a stationary counter so there was zero water movement. Whatever it is it acts like a plant for sure. It was a similar reaction it made when exposed to air.

I haven't observed this long enough to know if it will grow into clumps like yours it's possible I'm noticing in the very very onset of whatever this is. Although clado seems to have some sort of branch look to it right? There's are single threads individually although I did see one or two growing off the same anchor point.

I do weekly 30-50 water changes and run RO. Kh is 1 gh is 5 stocking is a betta and some amanos. Tank is 5 gallon shallow running the drop checker to yellow and I just upped the lighting to 100% intensity and added an hour to the photoperiod to make 7 hours on (did this 2 days ago). I dose APT complete but have been fiddling around tweaking the fert dosing since startup which was definitely contributing to my algae problem. I'm seeing some signs of phosphate and potassium deficiency so starting this week I'm going to supplement some p and k ontop of the apt complete and see how my plants do. The alternanthera species are the only plants showing deficiency other than some spots of GSA on older leaves. I limit nitrate, it's anywhere from 0-5.
 

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This stuff seems to respond to light and does not die from 2 and a half minute 1:19 bleach dip. I grabbed the cup of the affected buce (I have it sitting in a cup overdosed with prime, already put some different buce in the tank to replace it so this will not be seeing my tank again) I put a flashlight to it to peek around and sure enough the moment the flashlight hit it it started to bend upwards. The cup was in a stationary counter so there was zero water movement. Whatever it is it acts like a plant for sure. It was a similar reaction it made when exposed to air.

I haven't observed this long enough to know if it will grow into clumps like yours it's possible I'm noticing in the very very onset of whatever this is. Although clado seems to have some sort of branch look to it right? There's are single threads individually although I did see one or two growing off the same anchor point.

I do weekly 30-50 water changes and run RO. Kh is 1 gh is 5 stocking is a betta and some amanos. Tank is 5 gallon shallow running the drop checker to yellow and I just upped the lighting to 100% intensity and added an hour to the photoperiod to make 7 hours on (did this 2 days ago). I dose APT complete but have been fiddling around tweaking the fert dosing since startup which was definitely contributing to my algae problem. I'm seeing some signs of phosphate and potassium deficiency so starting this week I'm going to supplement some p and k ontop of the apt complete and see how my plants do. The alternanthera species are the only plants showing deficiency other than some spots of GSA on older leaves. I limit nitrate, it's anywhere from 0-5.
Just so you know in case you don’t, amanos are known to munch on alternantheras.

Doing an additional 30-50% water change while you’re still getting nuisance algae will definitely help clear things up. You changed two variables at once with the lighting, so it’s not surprising you’re seeing some adjustment especially given that your tank is still maturing. FWIW I have grown ar mini with apt complete with no deficiencies, and from what I have heard from a reliable source one thing APT complete does well is grow ARs really well. I’m in LA though using tap water with lowered KH, so we almost certainly have quite different parameters and maybe your tap is clashing with the APT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just so you know in case you don’t, amanos are known to munch on alternantheras.

Doing an additional 30-50% water change while you’re still getting nuisance algae will definitely help clear things up. You changed two variables at once with the lighting, so it’s not surprising you’re seeing some adjustment especially given that your tank is still maturing. FWIW I have grown ar mini with apt complete with no deficiencies, and from what I have heard from a reliable source one thing APT complete does well is grow ARs really well. I’m in LA though using tap water with lowered KH, so we almost certainly have quite different parameters and maybe your tap is clashing with the APT.
I didnt know that they ate AR thanks for that info! However the new leaves are growing crumpled, I'm assuming because of a nitrate or co2 deficiency. So I upped the co2 since I upped the lighting, so I definitely did change some variables in the last 2 days but other than the AR my plants have never looked better. My macandra mini butterfly is planted in the same area is the AR and is finally starting to grow redder and without crumpled stunted leaves. The AR mini isn't crumpled but does show signs of potassium deficiency, pinholes in older leaves and the red on the underside of the leaves is turning pale in patches.

I dont use tap in this tank, just RO. Kh is less than 1 so my water is similar to yours. I found it odd too that I was seeing deficiency with APT complete. I'm dosing slightly more than the bottle directions, 1mL plus a few extra drops 4 times a week for 5 gallons and I'm getting GSA. The substrate is UNS contrasoil that is still active. I do have a tiger lotus in the tank though, perhaps it's outcompeting the AR.

@minorhero
Do you have any advice for me? I came across a thread you had dealing with clado. Does my description and picture match up?
 

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I don't think that is cladophora. Cladophora is different. It forms in clumps and acts more like a moss than other types of algae, hence the description you saw saying it's not soft. If you've ever seen the Marimo "moss" balls, they are actually just a species of cladophora algae. I've actually taken clumps of cladophora from my tank and rolled them into balls to make my own. You can also tell cladophora by the smell. It has a very distinct and unpleasant smell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't think that is cladophora. Cladophora is different. It forms in clumps and acts more like a moss than other types of algae, hence the description you saw saying it's not soft. If you've ever seen the Marimo "moss" balls, they are actually just a species of cladophora algae. I've actually taken clumps of cladophora from my tank and rolled them into balls to make my own. You can also tell cladophora by the smell. It has a very distinct and unpleasant smell.
There's not enough of it yet to be able to smell. Tonight I found about dozen- 2dozen single strands of it but they are so tiny there's not a good way to smell it. I really don't want to turn the light down since my plants are responding really well to higher co2 and lighting. Whatever it is I think I'm noticing it in the very beginning stages. I tested some peroxide on a strand in the quarantined buce and will check in the AM to see if it's dead.
 

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@minorhero
Do you have any advice for me? I came across a thread you had dealing with clado. Does my description and picture match up?
Nope, pretty sure it's just hair algae for you. If you touch it I bet it's soft, so soft you won't even realize you are touching it without looking and seeing you are touching it. Clado is rough and fibrous feeling and even one strand has a strong odor. It's also super rare whereas hair algae is super common.

There is saying popular in medical school. "If you hear hoofbeats, don't look for zebras." Clado is a bit of a zebra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nope, pretty sure it's just hair algae for you. If you touch it I bet it's soft, so soft you won't even realize you are touching it without looking and seeing you are touching it. Clado is rough and fibrous feeling and even one strand has a strong odor. It's also super rare whereas hair algae is super common.

There is saying popular in medical school. "If you hear hoofbeats, don't look for zebras." Clado is a bit of a zebra.
It definitely feels gritty when I rub it in between my fingers, like rubbing a piece of my hair. Then it breaks into tiny little fragments. Not slimy or soft at all
 

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Regardless of what it is, the "one two punch" will kill it. It kills anything, temporarily at least. Just search the forum for it. There are lots of posts explaining how to do it. It's always worked for me. But of course it will always come back given the same tank conditions, so finding the underlying cause is always the best idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
you're lucky. I met them once but didn't know it was Cladophora and didn't notice them, then my moss plants got sick and I had to get rid of them. It's best to change the water regularly and keep a few small shrimps that can eat Cladophora.
Did it have single strands like my picture? Or did it grow in branches
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: I realize now that due to the absence of branches this is most likely spirogyra which isn't any better than clado. Closer inspection of some pics I took last week revealed it was present before I noticed it, but luckily means it isn't spreading like a wildfire in my tank (yet). Amanos won't touch it, I've seen them try to much it but then spit it out. I noticed some tiny staghorn that appeared with it that leads me to believe there was a co2 deficiency despite my drop checker (fresh fluid) reading yellow-green and lime green at lights on. It would make sense though since this tank is so small and shallow with such dense stem planting, not to mention high lighting. I upped the co2 a tad which at this point drop checker is straight yellow and this is probably the highest I can go with my amanos. The plants are going crazy since though and pearlin a TON which I'm hoping will help offset the extra co2. I upped my already sufficient surface agitation as well. I'm going to see if having better co2 saturation may help the spiro and staghorn stay where it's at. If I noticed more growth forming then I'll have to take serious action before it becomes an issue which I'd like to avoid. Tom barr states the only thing that will knock out Spiro is API algaefix which would require me to remove everyone in the tank and then put my shrimp at risk after reintroduction to the tank. But I'd rather risk the amanos than have to tear my entire tank down after only 8 weeks and not be able to reuse any of my expensive and partially rare plants which would be hundreds of dollars straight down the drain. Ill update again in a few days.
 
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