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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank has been up about 3 months. I haven’t use pressurized CO2 before and this algae started growing (see picture) primarily from the dying Bolbitis Heteroclita Difformis. I tried a four day blackout and stopped all fertilization. The algae might have turned a little grayer. We now had to leave for a bit and now it’s spread quite a bit.

When I had some hair algae in the past I bought 12 Siamese Algae Eaters and it just disappeared. I don’t want to overstock and SAEs were quite frenetic fish actually and not the sort of environment I was looking for.

I did have quite a big die-off of Cardinal Tetras, but the nitrates haven’t seemed to spike.

I wonder if anyone had any suggestions for what may be the underlying problem and how to cure it?

54 gallon corner bowfront
119 watts T5HO[censored]
Eheim 2217 their media[censored]
Magnum 350 (with carbon)[censored]
Pressurized Co2 sent thru a Jebo Filter as a diffuser (lime green ?)
Tank cycled with ammonia 2.5 months up

Temp - 79 degrees F
Amm - 0[censored]
Ni - 0[censored]
Na - 5ppm (currently using Carbon)
PH - 6.6 (RO water from store machine)
dKH 1-2 (17.9 - 35.8ppm)
GH - 2.1 (35.8ppm)
TDS - 70 ppm (?)

Substrate - Eco-complete[censored]
Mixed each fert in quantities below into 250 ml distilled water and dose alternate days in a week:[censored]
KNO3 (3 tsp) x 3 times 5ml
KH2PO4 (1.5 tsp) x 3 times 2 ml
K2SO4 x 3 times 1/4 teaspoon dry
CSM+B (3 tsp) x 3 times 3 ml

Leopard Vallisneria[censored]
Staurogyne Repens[censored]
Manzanita with Java Moss[censored]
Dwarf Sagittaria[censored]
Echinodorus Martii[censored]
Mayaca Fluviatilis and Sellowiana
Juncus Repens
Bolbitis Heteroclita Difformis
Some external pothos roots at top
Slate

Otocinclus catfish (6)
Cardinal Tetra (37 added; took 14 dead out, down to maybe 7)
Amano Shrimp (10 added; only see 3)
Rummynose Tetras (9)
 

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By the looks of it, Staghorn algae.

The method I use to get rid of staghorn algae is to make sure my plants are growing healthy, co2 levels are good, ferts are correct, and then I attack areas that have it with a syringe and hydrogen peroxide directly into the algae using as little force as possible on the syringe so that the hydrogen peroxide can stay on the algae bit as well as possible.
I do this every day to the same area until all the staghorn algae is red and then I move to another area and repeat. You'll want to turn off any pumps and your filter while you do this and let the hydrogen peroxide sit for around 30-45 minutes before turning them back on.

The reason I split the tank up into areas is because you want to stick close to the recommended dose of the peroxide as possible to not cause other damage.
You'll want to use 1ml's of hydrogen peroxide per gallon that your tank holds.

Your setup getting staghorn algae aligns with the timeframe my tanks get hit with it, I believe through observation of my own tanks that it has something to do with unstable parameters which are at play this early in a tanks life cycle such as random ammonia spikes that can't be caught by the existing bacteria in the system yet.

The main and only way I've been able to push the staghorn algae on its way out the door is by getting my plants growing correctly and then killing it where ever it shows up again, nothing else has ever worked for me with this algae.
By getting the plants growing and eating up the nutrients they provide competition to the algae.
Cutting off the nutrients to the plants only allows the staghorn algae to happily grow without being challenged, meanwhile the plants are unhealthy.
 

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The reason I split the tank up into areas is because you want to stick close to the recommended dose of the peroxide as possible to not cause other damage.
You'll want to use 1ml's of hydrogen peroxide per gallon that your tank holds.
Hi @Quesenek. Do you have any further info of why you dose at 1ml per gallon (and is that US 3.8 litre gallon, or UK 4.5 litre gallon) please? I've been using 1.5ml per 4.5 litres in my shrimp tanks (based on this page and Mark's H2O2 video on Youtube) and this seems to be a "safe" dose for shrimp, trumpet snails and mosses. It's not enough to kill detritus worms or hydra though unfortunately.

Mark's experiments suggested an upper limit where shrimp started acting erratically was 2ml, so he backed it off to 1.5ml per UK gallon. At 1.5ml, H2O2 works well for getting rid of hair algae so maybe you could up your dosing for faster treatment? Or do you have reasons / evidence for limiting to 1ml? Thanks
 

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Hi @Quesenek. Do you have any further info of why you dose at 1ml per gallon (and is that US 3.8 litre gallon, or UK 4.5 litre gallon) please? I've been using 1.5ml per 4.5 litres in my shrimp tanks (based on this page and Mark's H2O2 video on Youtube) and this seems to be a "safe" dose for shrimp, trumpet snails and mosses. It's not enough to kill detritus worms or hydra though unfortunately.

Mark's experiments suggested an upper limit where shrimp started acting erratically was 2ml, so he backed it off to 1.5ml per UK gallon. At 1.5ml, H2O2 works well for getting rid of hair algae so maybe you could up your dosing for faster treatment? Or do you have reasons / evidence for limiting to 1ml? Thanks
US gallon.

1ml per gallon is to stay on the safe side, the idea is to keep coming back each day to kill the algae in smaller batches so the amount used will add up over time in the war against this algae.
If you see nothing adverse happening to your livestock/plants using more than 1ml/gallon it should be fine, I just like to play things safe when using things like H2o2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the detailed responses..

I recall trying a hydrogen peroxide dip on new plants a long time ago and it absolutely scorched them, so I probably had the ratio wrong.

I do have amano shrimp (I put 10 in and used to see 3 but now only 1). Since I never see them, I probably won’t miss them if something happened.

The stem plants have been growing like gang busters.

I will try the hydrogen peroxide solution. And, I’ll restart the fertilization routine. I had added some additional lighting (42 watts) to my 3 foot 78 watt unit, because I thought the deeper tank might need it, but I’ve since turned those off.

Thank you again.
 
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