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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve had my tank set up since December, it’s a heavily planted 20 gallon tall. I have c02 injection and am using a dry fertilizer regime. I just tested my parameters and they’re perfect, no ammonia, no nitrates and very low nitrates. I have a Fluval 3.0 and I had the light going from 10am to 10pm but after this algae appeared I cut the light down a couple hours though I don’t know if that’s the issue.
I need help identifying this Algae and figuring out how to get rid of it. Here’s a pic of my tank and a close up pic of the algae.
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This algae is on most of the plants, it’s on the tops of some of the stem plants and around the edges of the leaves on some of the root plants but this plant in the picture has the most amount of algae on it.
Any help or advice would be very much welcome, I’ve done a lot of reading and watched a lot of YouTube on the subject even so I haven’t been able to 100% identify this stuff, it doesn’t quite look like staghorn algae nor does it 100% look like black beard algae. It kind of looks like hair algae but not definitely to me, so my first step is identifying it. The main thing that comes up when I read stuff about algae is the water parameters but since mine are so good I don’t understand where the cause of this could be coming from so I’m not sure where to start to get rid of it.

thanks in advance!
 

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Too much light and not necessarily too much ferts but imbalance of ferts is usually the cause. Not saying that's your case, though, but 12 hours daylight is quite a bit. It looks like thread algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Too much light and not necessarily too much ferts but imbalance of ferts is usually the cause. Not saying that's your case, though, but 12 hours daylight is quite a bit. It looks like thread algae.
Thank you. What do you think the light schedule should be, given the amount of plant mass I have in my tank? I’ve also lowered the intensity of the light.
 

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Plants don't need more than 9 hours for growth, anything more than that is pretty much just feeding the algae. If you want extended viewing opportunities you can try splitting up the time by shutting off the lights on the middle of the photoperiod for a couple hours and then turning them back on. I knew this worked in practice but I just learned why- algae needs hours to photosynthesize, plants not so much. I am working through and almost done my algae battle in my 40b and I run a 9 hour photoperiod (3 hour ramp up, 3 hour 50% max full spec photoperiod, 3 hour wind down- though I started at 25% after I did a 3 day soft black out and excel overdose). It's always better to start with less and work your way up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Plants don't need more than 9 hours for growth, anything more than that is pretty much just feeding the algae. If you want extended viewing opportunities you can try splitting up the time by shutting off the lights on the middle of the photoperiod for a couple hours and then turning them back on. I knew this worked in practice but I just learned why- algae needs hours to photosynthesize, plants not so much. I am working through and almost done my algae battle in my 40b and I run a 9 hour photoperiod (3 hour ramp up, 3 hour 50% max full spec photoperiod, 3 hour wind down- though I started at 25% after I did a 3 day soft black out and excel overdose). It's always better to start with less and work your way up.
Thanks. I’ve adjusted my light period it’s way less and it lowers intensity for a decent period during the day and for extended viewing near bed time I have it slowly ramp down to 5% then all the way down to 1% and I keep it at 1% for the last few hours since that usually aligns to when I’m in bed and want to see my tank and have ambient light from it. Hopefully that will do the trick. I’m also going to pick up some Amino shrimp when I can find them. Thank you for the advice I really appreciate it, hopefully my tank will get back to being relatively algae free
 

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Plants don't need more than 9 hours for growth, anything more than that is pretty much just feeding the algae. If you want extended viewing opportunities you can try splitting up the time by shutting off the lights on the middle of the photoperiod for a couple hours and then turning them back on. I knew this worked in practice but I just learned why- algae needs hours to photosynthesize, plants not so much. I am working through and almost done my algae battle in my 40b and I run a 9 hour photoperiod (3 hour ramp up, 3 hour 50% max full spec photoperiod, 3 hour wind down- though I started at 25% after I did a 3 day soft black out and excel overdose). It's always better to start with less and work your way up.
I run 15 hours between "moon lighting" with long gradual tapers. I do a long "late evening" (low lights but not off) for viewing, an "overcast" couple hours in the afternoon and hit two max peak as points (I don't have the lights go to max and stay there, they build to max and then immediately start back down). I do get GSA on my glass that has been an issue but have never had another algae issue. I control growth and algae by increasing/reducing the two peaks as needed.

I can't see spending all this time on an aquarium then have it in the dark most of the time, I like to see and enjoy it through the evening. But everyone has their priorities, if I was making a contest/show tank perhaps I would feel different.
 

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Lol, I understand completely, if you're not all that concerned about perfection (trust me I feel you there) as long as the algae isn't on your plants and killing them and you can clean it manually and don't mind doing that there's really not a problem with keeping lights on extra. I have a south facing windows problem with my "algae machine" I'm cleaning algae every week, I'm okay with it. I know what's causing it and it can't turn off the sun so I just play the algae game. As long as you can find a balance that keeps your plants and fish happy algae shouldn't really be a detrimental problem, just an eyesore sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree and I’m okay with and expect some algae (I don’t even scrape the back of the tank since you can’t see it) but I’m afraid the Hair algae is taking over some of my plants and even though I’ve cut the light time by four hours the hair algae is still growing strong :/ I plan on picking up some ameno shrimp but they’ve been out of stock at all the local pet stores...other than that I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure if it’s a growing pain of the tank or if it’s a sign that something is wrong. My water parameters are perfect my fish and other plants are healthy and thriving I’m just lost how to move forward
 

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I'd consider adjusting ferts next, usually it's an imbalance with nitrogen and phos. I have found excel beat back my normal algae after I got over my initial set up bloom and dialing back on amount of times I dose ferts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd consider adjusting ferts next, usually it's an imbalance with nitrogen and phos. I have found excel beat back my normal algae after I got over my initial set up bloom and dialing back on amount of times I dose ferts.
I’m dosing daily with a dry fert regiment and water changing weekly (in accordance to the fert plan) should I dose less or should I dose less often?
Like maybe half the dose I’m doing now daily or the same dose but every other day?
 

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I can't really tell you what the best option would be considering I don't know the full picture of what's going on chemistry wise in the tank. If you have the availability to get testing for phos, iron, potassium etc, etc you can get very specific on your fert routine. If you're like me and in a very rural area where it's a head trip and a half to try to get a delivery and the nearest actual fish store and not a petco is over two hours away you make due. I usually try to aim lean on ferts for this reason. If you're going to do the blind testing of ferts I'd suggest starting by dosing every other day and keep it up for a week and reevaluate the situation at the end of that week. It's tricky but can be done.
 
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