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Green Algae Id?

Discussion in 'Algae Removal' started by BeckyCats, May 4, 2016.

  1. BeckyCats

    BeckyCats Member

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    Is this green hair algae? It is in my 10 gallon tank. It has been on a piece of driftwood ever since I bought it months ago. It has grown a bit but I never saw it anywhere else until recently. It is on a Java fern plantlet root. If this is hair algae, do you think I can remove it by hand?
    Thank you.

     

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  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Could be hair algae, with maybe some green beard as well.  Cladophora algae also comes to mind.
     
    Regardless, the way to deal with this or any algae is by establishing or restoring the natural balance involving light (intensity and duration factor in) and nutrients (fish load/feeding, water changes, plant fertilizers).  Remove what you can, and consider the balance.  Without knowing all the factors I can't offer much more now, but will try if asked.
     
    Byron.
     
  3. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Cladophora / blanket weed is what am thinking as well.
     
    A stubborn algae to get rid of to be honest, but as Byron already mentioned its establishing a balance of lights, co2, flow, nutrients that works for your tank, that will likely help minimise or get rid of this algae with a bit of luck.
     
    To start with I'd manually try to remove as much as you can of this stuff from your plants, will pull off from the plants and will take a while, repeating this removal on a regular basis will help.
     
    And would ensure your flow or circulation in your tank is good as low flow in certain spots in your tank is usually what starts algae of all sorts.
     
    Then take it from there.
     
  4. BeckyCats

    BeckyCats Member

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    10 gallons
    Nitrates almost zero (this is typical for me)
    Nitrites 0
    Ammonia 0


    The biggest differences now from when I first set this up 5 or 6 months ago, are that there is now only one Betta fish in this tank (10 gallon), and because of the Betta, I adjusted the flow to be quite minimal. All winter, some southern sun made it into the tank because the sun was lower in the sky in the afternoon. Now that the sun is getting higher in the sky and staying longer, I have not yet observed how that impacts how much light hits it.

    Charlie, I will do as you say and remove what I can. I don't think I'll be able to improve the flow, unfortunately, because of the betta. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Byron, as always, I am interested in your opinion.
    Oh, also, the aquarium lights are LED, and are on about 10 hours per day.
     

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  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Light is probably the factor here.  The tank light seems bright in the photo, esp for LED, and simply reducing the duration may be all that is needed.  I would also get some floating plants.
     
    I would not worry about the flow.  Water flow is often mentioned as the source of problem algae, but the truth is that flow is rarely if ever the direct cause.  I have found quite the opposite...algae is most often present around the filter return.  I tend to look at lights and nutrients, individually and in balance, first.
     
    You don't mention fertilizers, so I will assume none are being added.  As for nitrates, that is ideal.  My tanks are in the 0-5 ppm range, except the one 90g which has been at 10 ppm, and not surprisingly it has an organics/algae issue that has gone on for nearly two years now, and which I am at long last getting resolved (I hope).
     
    I will just relate my experience with ambient daylight, since you mention the sun.  This can have a much larger impact than we might tend to think.  I have my 8 tanks in a dedicated fish room, and a few years ago I noticed that brush algae became troublesome; I reduced the light duration by an hour, algae went away.  But it returned, and the following summer.  It then occurred to me that the daylight entering the room was more intense and longer in duration during the summer.  The next year, I covered the windows with blinds and heavy drapes that were kept closed the entire summer (being a dedicated fish room with nothing else in it, this was easy to achieve).  No problem brush algae, and now, some four years later, I have had no algae issues in the summer.  It sometimes only takes something like longer days or brighter light to overthrow the balance, and give the advantage to algae.
     
    Byron.
     
  6. BeckyCats

    BeckyCats Member

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    I agree about the lights being bright in that aquarium. The photo looks a little worse than it really is, but they are bright. The banana plant is trying to help with the overhead lighting by shooting up lily pads. If this one is as happy as the ones in my 55 gallon, I'll have 4 - 5 lily pads soon. I also have some Brazilian pennywort that has in the past, grown so tall that it bends over and grows across the top of tank, effectively acting as a floating plant. Unfortunately, I divided it into too many pieces while trying to spread it around and it was growing very slowly. I think it may have recovered though because it is starting to grow more quickly again. Hopefully these will help. I am always happy to get more plants though, so I'll keep my eyes open.

    You are correct that I am not using fertilizer in this tank. I have some, I just never thought to use it in this tank. The substrate is gravel, which I vacuum a portion of (~25%) each week when I do the water change. The weekly vacuuming is probably overkill since there's only one fish, but it seems gross not to.

    I won't be able to do much about the sunlight I don't think. It is in the main living area, so I can't block the light. Would turning the tank lights off when the sun is bright help?
     
  7. Byron

    Byron Member

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    On the last question first, yes.  Things are not at all "bad" from the photo, but lessening the tank light duration (I usually do this in hour increments) can offset overly bright daylight to some degree.  So long as the sun is not directly hitting the tank, as this is detrimental in more ways than one.  Using a comprehensive liquid fertilizer once a week, on the day following the water change, and perhaps not even a full recommended dose, might help; the plants may be able to use the light more, which will lessen the opportunity for algae.
     
    Brazilian Pennywort makes an ideal floating plant, I have this in my Amazon blackwater set-up with hatchetfish.  Just let the stems float freely on the surface.  I find that periodically cutting off the cut end of the stem will keep it within reason once it begins to grow, which can be rapid as you say.
     
    Byron.
     
  8. BeckyCats

    BeckyCats Member

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    I looked up the different algae types mentioned and it does look most like Cladophora. Thank you, Byron and Charlie for the diagnosis.
     
    I hand-removed as much of it as I could. We'll see what happens...
     

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