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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
Looking for advice on identifying some algae, as well as general plant care advice.

Can someone help me identify this gray cloudy stuff that covering the sag grass? It doesn't come off very easy, and kinda feels slimy. You can see it best on the right side in the first photo below. And is that green thread algae covering the java fern?

The tank is 3 months old. The first couple of months, the Salvinia was growing like gang busters. It was amazing and I was taking some out every week. But since then, the tank has cycled, and Salvinia growth has dramatically slowed, and these other algae started making an appearance. I've been using the same light since the beginning. I'd like to understand why salvinia growth has slowed down, as I was hoping this fast growing plant will outcompete the algae. Is it because the tank is cycled so the bacteria are competing with the Salvinia for ammonia? I noticed that the tank never had ammonia spikes even early on, and I assume the Salvinia was absorbing all the ammonia. Nitrates have always been 0 and remains so today.

Other info: it's a 7.5 gallon freshwater tank with a single betta and two green caridina type shrimps. There's a HOB filter. I have salvinia floating up top, java fern, and a few sag grass and annubias. The light is a white LED, about 15W. I think it's adequate lighting for a planted tank without CO2. Lighting might be a bit lower than ideal for the grass plant. I dose a few drops of Seachem Flourish once a week when I do 20% water change. I only feed the betta, and haven't fed the shrimps very much. I'm a medium feeder I think.

What can I do about the gray slime and the hair algae? I have room to add a snail or amano shrimp, and I would enjoy having them. I'd welcome any other advice or observations you'd like to make.

Thank you.


1026980


In the tank image below, I clean the algae off the front glass. But I've left the algae on the side walls alone and I've never cleaned that in the last 3 months I've had the tank. That algae, and the green hair algae and the gray slimy stuff are the only nuisance stuff I've had so far.

I think the roots on the Salvinia has also grown more brown. I remember they used to be more white. Not sure if that means anything.

1026981
 

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Hi there! You should be dosing more than just micronutrients (Flourish). Macro nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) are actually more important than micronutrients. What you are experiencing is due to an imbalance of nutrients. The algae has what it needs to grow, but the plants do not. This also explains why your Salvinia growth has slowed down. Start dosing macros and manually removing the algae. Shrimp and snails will only help once the plants start outcompeting the algae, thus weakening it. Shrimp/snails tend to have an appetite for dying algae, rather than it being healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there! You should be dosing more than just micronutrients (Flourish). Macro nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) are actually more important than micronutrients. What you are experiencing is due to an imbalance of nutrients. The algae has what it needs to grow, but the plants do not. This also explains why your Salvinia growth has slowed down. Start dosing macros and manually removing the algae. Shrimp and snails will only help once the plants start outcompeting the algae, thus weakening it. Shrimp/snails tend to have an appetite for dying algae, rather than it being healthy.
Thank you. Is there a single fertilizer you'd recommend that provides macro nutrients? Does Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium get introduced by water changes or come from the fish food I add? Would adding more fish food or water changes help? I use tap water for water changes.

I thinking was that by providing my plants with the micro nutrients, their growth wouldn't be constrained by lack of micros, and they'd consume as much of the macro nutrients as they can, there by starving the algae of macro nutrients and also improving water quality for fish (less nitrates in water). I thought adding more nitrogen and phosphorus would just give nutrients to everyone, including algae?
 

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Seachem offers the Macro nutrients individually based on what you are short .. or there is the E.I. technique (Google "EI Plant Feeding") which seems widely used. I'm about to start it myself.

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