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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background info: well established 10 gal tank. Pressurized CO2, 18w T5HO x 2, Entire Seachem line at my disposal but apprehensive on correct dosing.

This is a pic taken at night; notice the algae that has built up on the Taiwan moss:
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What I don't get is, when I went to Europe for a month this summer, I left the lights on a timer but on reduced time with a siesta (same as now) but with reduced total time to 7 hours of light (now its 9 hours). I also ran out of CO2 before I left, and I didn't have time to refill before we left. So the tank was sans CO2 or nutrient supplements.

And would you believe when I came back, my thread algae (thats what I suspect it is) was almost ALL gone. The cherry's and snails were fine when I got back (was away for 4 weeks), but the algae was in check.

When I came back and settled in, I decided to get rid of my HC and Hygro (left some crypts) and got a whole bunch of UG and Taiwan moss. So, I refilled my CO2 and began dosing again and then...whammo! This stuff came back with a vengeance within a week!:help:

So I bought a SAE in the hopes of him eating this stuff. I know he'll grow, and I'll have to get rid of him soon, but at this point I"m desperate. If I can't get a control of this algae problem, I may abandon the planted tank genre...:icon_cry:

Please advise on the ID of the algae and weather you think the SAE will eat it.
 

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It looks like Spot Algae, it tends to grow on glass even even on plants under high light conditions. This type of algae is considered to be normal for planted tanks. You can remove it mechanically using a cloth pad or maybe a razor blade. True siamese algae eaters will eat almost every algae type, not really sure about this one tho. If im not mistaken SAE grow up to 15cm and they tend to get a bit aggresive while they age getting a bit territorial chasing other fish. Kinda hard to catch aswell in a well planted hardscaped tank , these guys are really fast,smart and sneaky :p i had some trouble removing mine without damaging any of the plants. Hope i helped a bit :)
 

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LOL, no one's reading as far as the second line:

This is a pic taken at night; notice the algae that has built up on the Taiwan moss:
It's hair algae. I hear SAE sometimes eat it, but you never know if yours in particular will.

That's an awful lot of light over a 10G, unless it's suspended. I get high light in a 10G from 2x 23W spiral bulbs in an incandescent hood, similar to what you were running before (except mine can mount in the middle, instead of the back). But T5 is a lot more efficient than spirals. Can you raise the light or drop back to one bulb?

I'd expect the excessive light and CO2 combined is causing plant uptake of some other nutrient to crash. Though light is probably the main issue, you might be short on your dosing as well. List your Seachem dosages and schedule, water change amount/frequency, and post a picture of your complete tank so I can see what's in it; I'll be happy to check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ DarkCobra

I researched some tanks on here and some other sites, and I've seen similar setups (T5HO lights and High-tech CO2 systems), and they are something out of Takashi's new "coffee table" book. I've put up the money (much to my wife's chagrin) but I can't get things rolling!!...:angryfire

As for dosing; yes it is short... very short. NIL, in fact. For some reason I get the feeling (and some others have also stated) that my nutrients may be feeding my algae. How true that is, I don't know. Maybe, I really am not dosing enough, or need to dose tremendously higher than Seachem can provide. But that's a whole different ball game. I live in Canada (Toronto), and dry ferts are hard to find; at least for me they are. I haven't tried "hydroponic stores", but am a little apprehensive about doing so.

Besides, I'm not very chemically inclined (though very mechanically), and really don't have THAT much time on my hands to figure that stuff out.

I wish some of the "ready-to-go-mixes" available in the US were available here....

DarkCobra (and whoever else is reading), would you recommend that I start heavily dosing with Seachem? If it does work in preventing the spread or propagation of new algae, what can I do with the existing algae?
 

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Cento,

First of all - don't panic! ;)

The fertilizer nutrients we add typically don't feed algae. The only time I've ever seen them seem to do so is when there's some other problem. Like too much light, for example.

So you gotta fix that light. Run it no more than 8 hours a day. Raise it to 20" from the substrate, or disable one of the two bulbs. If neither of those is possible, swallow your pride, and go back to the incandescent fixture with 2x 26W spirals. Any of those options will reduce your light from excessive, to high light, like you originally wanted.

The next puzzle piece is to provide the nutrients plants need to be healthy and grow, because nutrient deficient, unhealthy plants attract algae.

I use EI. I'm sure you can get dry ferts in Canada, one way or another. As far as I know, Green Leaf Aquariums now ships to Canada. And if you need help making dry ferts into more familiar (but much cheaper) liquid solutions, me or someone else will help. I even wrote up how to clone Seachem's products with dry ferts some time back, and could look that up if you need; although it's more convenient to combine the nutrients into just two solutions, macro and micro.

You could dose EI with real Seachem products, but the amounts might surprise you, especially for phosphorus:

On days 1, 3, 5: Dose 5ml Nitrogen, 20ml Phosphorus, 5ml Potassium
On days 2, 4, 6: Dose 2ml Comprehensive
On day 7: No dosing, 50% water change

That's for a 10G, high-light, heavily planted tank. I haven't seen a complete picture of your tank; if it's not heavily planted, you could possible decrease that dosing.

Finally, what to do about the existing algae? Several options:

1) Three-day blackout.
2) Excel overdose. (May not be tolerated by the cherry shrimp, I'm no shrimp expert.)
3) Excel or H2O2 spot treatments.
4) Algaefix dip. (In a bucket, never use in your tank; ESPECIALLY with shrimp.)

Let me know anything you'd like elaborated on.
 

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I had the same algae, does it smell raunchy? It grows voraciously on mosses right? Sae wont eat it. Maybe I'm looking at a different pic than u guys but I see bba. You mention that u ran out of co2 and left it that way for a while which is a known cause of bba too. For me excel was not effective, blackout was innefective too. As a last resort I slightly overdosed h202 and it worked like a charm bba turns red and dies. No fish loss or plant damage. Dont know which but sae snails or amanos ate it and I removed it easily from the tank. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...Run it no more than 8 hours a day....

If neither of those is possible, swallow your pride, and go back to the incandescent fixture with 2x 26W spirals....

Green Leaf Aquariums now ships to Canada. And if you need help making dry ferts into more familiar (but much cheaper) liquid solutions, me or someone else will help....

You could dose EI with real Seachem products, but the amounts might surprise you...

Excel overdose. (May not be tolerated by the cherry shrimp, I'm no shrimp expert.)......
Less then 8 Hours, no problem.. I gather I can still use the siesta..

Swallow pride (and money)?..... NEVER! :biggrin: I'm gonna try to find a way to raise it. I was told the way these ballasts were built, you can't simply take out one bulb; it somehow disconnects or breaks the circuit loop...

I'll look into Green Leaf tomorrow... Though most places I've found, at the very best, tell you "we ship, it then becomes your problem at the border.."

I WILL try that Seachem dosage recommendation, if you think it'll help stop propagation. Its not that heavily planted anymore because I took out all the hygro polysperma, HC, and dwarf hair grass, and now just have lots of shoots of UG, some Taiwan moss, and some crypts.

I will probably try the "Excel-through-a-syringe" method just before a water change. I hope it doesn't affect my shrimp pop.

mr2 said:
I had the same algae, does it smell raunchy? It grows voraciously on mosses right? Sae wont eat it. Maybe I'm looking at a different pic than u guys but I see bba. You mention that u ran out of co2 and left it that way for a while which is a known cause of bba too.
It smells, but its not that pungent; Seachem Prime smells worse in my opinion, so I wouldn't say the algae smells awful. But it does indeed like small spaces. Its very very fine; finer then real hair. Its grows on any object, and has the ability to grow SUPER fast in a day.

As for the CO2 deficiency that i mentioned, that occurred just before I went away, and it actually seemed to get rid of the bad algae. I don't know if it was just all coincidence, but it all seemed to go away when there was light, but no nutrients and CO2.

BTW, thanks for the replies! :smile:
 

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Siesta is fine.

Most ballasts won't let you remove one bulb, but some do. No harm in trying. You might get a pleasant surprise.

If actually getting it across the Canada/US border is the problem, maybe there's a shipper already in Canada. Canadian Aquatics looks like a possibility, they seem to have it all in stock.

Sounds fairly lightly planted now. You can probably cut the Seachem dosages I gave you in half. Might be worth it to pick up a few cheap weeds, like water wisteria (Hygrophilia difformis) to put some more plant mass in the tank for the time being, especially if you can get that at a LFS. Even one of those will produce more than you know what to do with in a few weeks. The extra plants will clean up organic wastes, further curbing algae.

Excel spot treatment should be ok for shrimp at the normal daily dose of 1ml/10G, but such a small amount of fluid doesn't go far for spot treatments. 3% hydrogen peroxide, at 1 tbsp/10G daily, should be more useful. If you can easily remove/replace the moss from the tank, Excel/H2O2/Algaefix dips will let you hit it harder and faster, without concern for the shrimp.
 

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Another thing to point out (since there's not a FTS) how much planted are you? If you do have excess nutrients, yes it feeds the algae.
Slow growing plants consume less nutrients, a staple in all of my planted tanks is the Water-sprite. It is a very fast grower and will consume nutrients at a faster rate. Just something you might be interested in.
 
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