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Discussion Starter #1
Hopefully this post won't be too long. My 55g has been up for about 6 months and it has been mostly successful. I planned this as a "low tech" tank, with 2x55w PCs from AH Supply, weekly capfuls of Flourish, and daily capfuls of Excel. I don't have too many demanding plants: water sprite, water wisteria, java fern, anubias, java moss, red ludwigia, and rotala indica. The water sprite and wisteria grew so fast that I was trimming every week.

I had a battle of hair algae a few months ago when my Excel ran out and I failed to buy more. I repeatedly removed it by hand and resumed Excel dosing. I beat it in a couple weeks. I had to pull out a lot of wisteria and water sprite, but it grew so fast that the clippings attached to the hair algae were nothing more than a good prune.

Before Christmas, my wisteria slowly started nosediving until it was no more. I bought some more, but it hasn't really done much. My water sprite was still doing relatively well, and I had finally gotten it to grow around the plants the way I wanted, so things were good. Sometime in late January, I noticed I was getting more hair algae. I continued to dose Excel (when I wasn't traveling) and I pulled some out when I could.

Tonight was the last straw for my water sprite, however. I had to travel for the past 6 days and when I returned, the tank was it was a green, cottony mess. I attempted to siphon out what I could, but my Python doesn't have near the suction necessary, so I started pulling it out manually. It had completely engulfed my water sprite, entangled most of my moss, and created a small cloud over my rotala. I still have a fair amount of the stuff in my tank, but I'm unsure if I want to completely decimate my remaining plants by pulling it out.

I know diligence is part of it, but I'm just not here to care for the tank as much as I'd like. Weekly 20% water changes and my simple ferts apparently aren't enough anymore. I picked easy, fast growing plants so they could out compete the algae for nutrients, but that seems to be failing. My fiancee really doesn't want me to take the tank down, as she still likes it (and wants to keep our 5" angel who owns the tank). Any ideas for getting back at this stuff?
 

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Get some real ferts and learn to use them. Adding Flourish once a week doesn't count as a fertilization regime. It's nothing more than wishful thinking.
 

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i'm sry to hear that u had such a tragedy, especially after a travel (assuming it was for something good: eg. vacation)... i'm afraid that i'm too much of a novice to really suggest wat u could do or wat u should do, so maybe i'd pass on an inspiring quote ^^

"In the world of wins and losses only those who have experienced disappointment will become strong. All those who play on the field have tasted defeat at least once. There's no player in the world who has not lost before. However, the best players will give everything they've got to stand up again as fast as possible. Ordinary players take a while to get back on their feet. As for the losers, they will just remain flat on the field."


i like to watch anime and it comes from a series called "Eyeshield 21".

take care and good luck =)
 

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Isn't 2wpg a lot for a low tech tank with no ferts? If I were you, I'd add CO2 and more ferts, or reduce lights, say 1 fixture 10 hours and the second on for half the time.
 

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2 wpg of AH Supply lights is on the high side for low tech with no ferts. Ferts will help. CO2 would actually help a lot.
 

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No. You need to get nutrients to the plants so they can compete with the algae.

Mice/algae live on crumbs. Elephants/Plants live on food.

You are providing crumbs. Thus the algae grows like mad.
 

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I had a hair algae problem in my low light setup,96 watts over a 55 gallon.

It didn't start until I started dosing ferts into the water column. It appeared on my wisteria, brazillian pennywort, anabuis and african fern. The rest of my tank consists of Crypts for the most part.

I came to the conclusion that there weren't enough fast growers to suck up all the nutrients,thus the algae.

I lowered my lighting from 11 hours to 8 hours, stopped dosing, and the algae disappeared. I'm back up to 10 hours a day no ferts except root tabs and everything is fine.

I think since you have so many fast growers that without ferts the plants don't do as well and start to breakdown which gives nutrients to algae for growing. My 75 gallon, 130 watts,has fast growers and I dose dry ferts in to it with no algae problems.


Neither tank has CO2 though I do dose Excel in the 75 gallon tank.
Light levels don't decide fert need, plant needs decide fert needs.
 

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While you have a valid point, slow growing plants need less, lighting DOES determine most of the need for fertilization. Did you have CO2 on that 55?

The key is to not have any bottlenecks in your equipment/fertilization. You can't have a lot of one without the other.
 

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No, no CO2.
I'd suggest getting it. It will make a diff. I was batteling with all sorts of algae. Adding CO2 was the grand equalizer. removed GW and knocked down my Hair algae issue. manual removal and amano shrimp help alot too.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll see what I can find. The only LFS that carries a fair amount of shrimp is currently undergoing renovations and won't be open for a while. How many should I pick up? Are they known by any other name?
 

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In a 55 gal.. Amanos can be a tad cost prohibitive. But I'd start with at least 10 or so. see if you can pick some up here on the SnS. will be alot cheaper.

the real name is cardina japonica or soemthing like that. But they really should know them by Amanos.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Didn't see any FS in that forum. I'll cross my fingers the LFS can get them. $2-$3 isn't that bad. This is still loads cheaper than my reef tank. :)
 

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I would suggest that you actually test your water parameters. I too had a hair algae problem at one time.. it wasn't becuase I had too much of any fertilizer or nutrients.. the cause was that I didn't have enough! One of the forum experts told me that I might not have enough nitrate. he was correct! That was my problem all right. Now I add greenlight stump remover to my regime (it's 100% KNO3).. and all is good!

Of course that may not be your problem. But investing a few bucks in a variety of test kits is a good idea... For once a week testing, I use phosphate, nitrate, gH and kH test kits. (I have a pH controller so I don't have to test for pH). Usually nitrate is the nutrient that gets sucked up by the plants the fastest. If I ignore it and let it go.. when nitrate drops to 5ppm or less in my tank.. the hair starts to come back.

Just a thought... and a suggestion.. test!

I also have cherry and a few amano shrimp now.. but they won't control a problem like yours, they will help keep it under control though... AFTER you've got the main problem under control. The shrimp will kinda delay the 'bloom' if you get what I mean.
 
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