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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 30g tank that I increased the lighting from the standard 18w (I think) strip to double that so i guess a total of just over 1.2 WPG. The tank is well established and has many fast growing plants, wisteria, hygro and java fern. About 2/3 full of plants. The water is hard with pH 7.6 or so due to calcareous substrate.

The last couple weeks have shown the advent of hair or thread algae. Very fine hairs, light green and flowey on the leaves of the hygro. It is slimy. After a water change within a few days my tank looks 'fuzzy' all the plants are becoming covered in this film.

I have reduced the lighting from both lights for 12 hours to one light for 9 hours and both lights for 3. I am upping water changes to 2-3 x per week (20-30%) and hope to try and get a bit of gravel vaccuming done. I dose with micros and macros once per week after water change only.

The tank is well stocked and may be pushing it due to baby kribs. My feeding has been increased due to the babies too.

What else can I do? ANy other reccomendations? Will reduced lighting, more cleaning, less feeding get RID of the algae or only slow it's progression?

The tank is only short term; I am setting up a 55 g corner bowfront within the next month or so and have 2 x 65w lighting, pressurized co2 (hopefully) and ecocomplete substrate; all the plants and most of the fish will be transferred to there so I want them happy before the move.

Should I strip all the plants from the tank and do a deep clean, say 1/3 tank at a time?

Thanks, sorry for the long windedness, trying to avoid having to answer too many more questions :)

Cheers, kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I did a one/third deep clean last night and skipped the macros; still doing half light; will see how the algae does.
Probably do another deep clean in the next couple of days, once the fish have recovered from this one. My java fern has gotten huge!

kara
 

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Consider using some CO2. I found that with hard water, using CO2 really helps plants to grow, and suppress algae. Water changes too, very refreshing for plants and fish.

With hair/thread algae, the best solution is to keep a close eye on lights and nutrients. "Deep cleans" are not too useful, you can't really remove algae mechanically, there is always enough to grow back within a few days.

Fast growing plant make it more difficult for algae to establish. If your fast growers double in size every two weeks, they will outgrow the algae. You can then just remove the "infected" plant parts and replant the clean tops.

I would use the full light, to give plants an advantage. 1.2 watts, especially if it is coming from dim fluorescent lights without good reflectors, isn't really enough to keep them growing.
 

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Try some 50% water changes too. Once or twice a week. Algae is either from too much light, too much fert, or in your case maybe not enough light and too heavy of fish load. So push both lights like Wasserpest said, but up some water changes too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. i will get a phosphate test kit so that I can maximize the macros, the plants are quite thin skinned, prob from lack of ferts.

I will keep both lights on. Increase water changes. Increase ferts. See how it goes.

The algae is mostly on the top leaves of the plants closest to the light. Long thin strands, so I don't know about replanting the tops....

Kara
 

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What I meant was, get the plants growing faster, then the tops will be algae free, and can be replanted. :smile:

Don't overdo the fertilizers... there is not enough light, and without CO2 the plants won't take up that much. There is a possibility that things can get much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. It's been 4 days since the deep clean or so, and no more algae on the glass, just a little on the leaves, hopefully we'll see it in check untill the new tank stand and all the equipment arrives so that I can move some fairly healthy plants into the new tank.

Kara
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's been five days or so. I have done 3 water changes. Dosing with macros every 2 days 1/2 dose. Lights on 12 hours. The thread algae seems to have slowed down but now I see some small bunches of brush algae maybe? It is short, maybe 1/2 cm bunches of bright green bushy algae on some of the leaves. I've taken off the tops of the plants and discarded them due to their algae damage. The bottoms of the plants are growing well. Lots of new runners and leaves.

Urr. Anyways. just wanted to update this thread. I'll see to getting some pictures soon. I'm just trying to fight this untill my new tank is set up.

Kara
 

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I usually have a bloom of algae when starting up a new tank because I dose off the bat but after a week afte setting up it's gone....

Otocinclus
Amano shrimp
water change
DONE!
 

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Excess iron ( possibly from traces) is said to help promote thread algae. Deep cleaning older substrate can certainly help overall to prevent most algae. Sounds like that helped you out too.
 
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