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Discussion Starter · #1 ·




Can anyone advise on what I should be using fertiliser wise to combat this hair algae? It’s growing on the slower growing plants and I can’t get rid of it, I remove as much as I can and cut off badly affected leaves every week when I water change. Also my tiger lotus are more brown than red although growing very well. The tank has co2, 7 hrs of light and I use 12ml of TNC complete once a wk, tank is about 120 litres. I do have a bristlenose pleco in there but he’s more interested in lolling around than eating algae, although he does keep the back wall mostly clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Getting algae out of moss is very difficult. I'd suggest manual removal as much as possible each water change and getting some amano shrimp. For the tiger lotus, it looks decent, assuming your nutrient level is good etc then I'd look at how strong your light is at the tiger lotus.
Yes it’s almost impossible, any pulling removes the moss as well. I have 1 amano shrimp left in there and loads of blue shrimp, maybe I will add some more amano then. The biggest tiger lotus is right up to the surface now, should I be adding anything else nutrition wise?


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I've never used TNC before so I really don't know. I use Nicolg Thrive. I don't know if they sell it outside of the states though. If you are in the UK you probably have access to tropica ferts which I think are more popular in europe. I think they have a macro / micro system. Either way you definitely need to be doing 50+% water changes per week if you are dosing that much in ferts. I usually aim for 75%. Hopefully this helpful.
 

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My tiger lotus always performed best when I was generous with the root tabs. Like, take the recommended number and increase by 50% kind of generous. The roots on those things are crazy once established.

If you don't want it to become green floating lily pads, make sure to pinch every single stem that reaches towards the surface. Once one leaf hits that sweet atmospheric carbon, every single stem will bolt for the sky.
 

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Tiger lotus feeds mainly through it's roots. If you are only dosing the water column, that is why your lotus is lacking nutrients and why you have extra algae.
 

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Tiger lotus feeds mainly through it's roots. If you are only dosing the water column, that is why your lotus is lacking nutrients and why you have extra algae.
This advice is somewhat incomplete. I'm pretty sure sticking a root tab under a lotus is not going to make the algae in the moss go away. Plus there are many folks here that dose only through the water and get tiger lotuses looking quite nice. What matters is balance, there are many ways to achieve balance including limiting the nutrients in the water column by using root tabs under substrate, but it is just one more path to victory, not the only path.
 

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Even though your anecdotal experiences with feeding heavy root feeders through the water column is true. It does not change the fact that plants that have very strong root systems, including crypt, lilies, swords, etc feed mainly through their root systems. A plant like java moss can readily accept micronutrients from the water column because of it's cellular structure. Thick stemmed plants are physiologicslly different and thus cannot asborb nutrients as easily through the column. A root tab would provide those nutrients more reliably than heavily dosing the water column--which leads to competition in the water column and thus algae.

You could do heavy micro dosing and do big water changes regularly, or you could stick a root tab under your rooted plant.
 

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Even though your anecdotal experiences with feeding heavy root feeders through the water column is true. It does not change the fact that plants that have very strong root systems, including crypt, lilies, swords, etc feed mainly through their root systems. A plant like java moss can readily accept micronutrients from the water column because of it's cellular structure. Thick stemmed plants are physiologicslly different and thus cannot asborb nutrients as easily through the column. A root tab would provide those nutrients more reliably than heavily dosing the water column--which leads to competition in the water column and thus algae.

You could do heavy micro dosing and do big water changes regularly, or you could stick a root tab under your rooted plant.
It's a myth that plants with large root system feed mainly from the roots. Many strong rooted plants such as Crypt and Sword grow in fast moving stream or seasonal water that need strong roots to hold on to the substrate. All aquatic plants can feed from the water column, including Tiger lotus with huge roots.
 

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Do you have source material debunking the myth? I'd like to read it, if I'm wrong I will need an update.

It's my understanding that all plants absorb nutrients through their leaves and roots, with variance between certain species. Some plants don't even have roots. Wouldn't fast growing plants without roots and algae consume the available micronutrients before the slower growing rooted plants could metabolize a fair share?

Anyway, thank you for the info
 

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Do you have source material debunking the myth? I'd like to read it, if I'm wrong I will need an update.

It's my understanding that all plants absorb nutrients through their leaves and roots, with variance between certain species. Some plants don't even have roots. Wouldn't fast growing plants without roots and algae consume the available micronutrients before the slower growing rooted plants could metabolize a fair share?

Anyway, thank you for the info
 

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Even though your anecdotal experiences with feeding heavy root feeders through the water column is true. It does not change the fact that plants that have very strong root systems, including crypt, lilies, swords, etc feed mainly through their root systems. A plant like java moss can readily accept micronutrients from the water column because of it's cellular structure. Thick stemmed plants are physiologicslly different and thus cannot asborb nutrients as easily through the column. A root tab would provide those nutrients more reliably than heavily dosing the water column--which leads to competition in the water column and thus algae.

You could do heavy micro dosing and do big water changes regularly, or you could stick a root tab under your rooted plant.
I not sure why you are anti water column dosing but it is undeniably what the majority of the hobby uses and success is very possible. I myself am currently only dosing the water column in my 3 tanks and have no algae issues.

Like I said, a person can definitely be successful using root tabs, but it won't do much to help an epiphyte like moss. That's a sign that something is out of balance and sticking a root tabs in is not going to get rid of the algae.

Anyway either plants (including tiger lotus) absorb ferts from the leaves just fine or dosing the water column gets ferts into the roots as well because there are way too many healthy 'heavy root feeders' out there in my tanks as well as other folks on this website just being fed from water column dosing.
 

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I'm not anti-column dosing, I use both methods. I gave that article a good read and learned something new. In my experience, an imbalance of nutrients in the water column is commonly caused by overdosing, lack of water changes, or excess light. To avoid a long and drawn out response, I attempted to shorten "use root tabs to feed your lotus instead of dosing the column so heavily because the rate every plant in your tank uses nutrients varies so the root feeding plants might not be receiving their fair share of nutrients before the other plants use it up."
You mentioned they could accomplish balance by measuring and dosing their liquid nutrients in timed intervals and doing regular water changes to reset the column, I am not arguing against that at all. EI dosing has proven to be very successful even in keeping heavy rooted plants healthy. This method requires some effort and has a learning curve to it.

They have a few options available to them, I suggested what seemed to be the simplest solution in my head. It was poor communication on my part, so I apologize if my tone was misconstrued. I did not intend to offend or derail the subject.

If I were to rephrase my advice, you could try to reduce the amount of nutrients you dose to combat the nutrient imbalance, reduce the photoperiod, do water changes to reset the column, as well as try root tabs to fertilize plants that grow slowly or need some root nutrition. Plants like algae and mosses use nutrients in the column more readily than your lotus. A slow release nutrient tab in the root system gives it a direct feeding.

However, like it was mentioned, there is also the EI dosing method, it requires a lot of research so I won't go into explaining it here. Good luck with the algae!
 

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Manual removal is pretty much a must. I’m battling it to it’s very hard to get rid of. Have you tried to shorten your light cycle or maybe try a black out for a few days?

nutrients in the water column will feed plants like duckweed mosses any floating plants and algae. water changes help reduce the nutrients in the water column so it should help at least slow down the growth. Any alittle bit helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of the replies, lots of info to digest. I confess I’ve never gotten into macro dosing, it seems time consuming and I really don’t want to be dosing ferts every day, but the algae growth with the complete food is really annoying. The lotus have grown so fast though so they are obviously getting something out of it. I will try cutting out the liquid food for a while or maybe lowering the dose and try some root tabs, does anyone have any recommendations? The last tabs I used were TNC ones which shed little yellow balls all over my dark substrate


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A lot of folks like osmacote (inside little gel pills so it doesn't make a mess). I've used flourish tabs with success, but they are mostly micros & iron (though the iron will help turn the lotus redder).
 

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Thanks for all of the replies, lots of info to digest. I confess I’ve never gotten into macro dosing, it seems time consuming and I really don’t want to be dosing ferts every day, but the algae growth with the complete food is really annoying. The lotus have grown so fast though so they are obviously getting something out of it. I will try cutting out the liquid food for a while or maybe lowering the dose and try some root tabs, does anyone have any recommendations? The last tabs I used were TNC ones which shed little yellow balls all over my dark substrate


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I believe (based on their website) that TNC complete is an all in one fert including macros.

If you were in the states I'd recommend nicolg thrive or aquarium coop products for either liquid fertilizer or root tabs. I am less sure what you have available in the UK. I know you can get seachem root tabs but they are a bit pricey. Tropica also has root tabs, not sure about the cost. If you are anywhere near Aquarium Gardens you could swing by their store and see what they recommend. I have never been there but have seen many tours online and they have a pretty amazing setup.
 
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