Green hair algae discussion

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Beastije

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HI, thanks for the very detailed reply. I have three tanks and where in every one of them some form of the algae exists, this is by far the worst tank. According to my water supplier pH is 7,9, but all my tests put it at 7,4 and in the tank with lot of driftwood it is more 7 than anything above, so I dont trust them.
The water is soft, 1,17 mmol/l and calcium content is 32 mg/l, iron less than 0,02 mg/l according to their site at my location.
I did a drop test for both hardness values and in the overall hardness, I didnt get above one drop, so very low, hard to say precisely, our LFS dont do water testing here and tests are not that accurate.

The fertilizer is FeDTPA 0,15 ppm, MnEDTA 0,08 ppm no other information for the other elements.
I never had too many plants in any tank, they never did any good and I never used fertilizer before, since I also dont have CO2 or difficult plants so I thought the feeding and water changes will do the trick, but with feeding less in this tank, it is way worse.
 
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Beastije

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I just want to put it out here, that I am not specifically interested in this tank, because I will be remaking it in autumn, but I want to use the filter sponge, which is now covered in algae, the sand most likely and some plants, though not all, havent decided yet.
I also want the new tank to be river stream, more flow, which means less floating plants, less hornowort which doesnt do in a flow. It will be more of a cryptocoryne, bucephalandras and the anubias / moss I guess.
I just dont want to reuse the tank or something in case I bring the algae to the new tank and will have horrible experience again.
 

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HI, thanks for the very detailed reply. I have three tanks and where in every one of them some form of the algae exists, this is by far the worst tank. According to my water supplier pH is 7,9, but all my tests put it at 7,4 and in the tank with lot of driftwood it is more 7 than anything above, so I dont trust them.
The water is soft, 1,17 mmol/l and calcium content is 32 mg/l, iron less than 0,02 mg/l according to their site at my location.
Yes very soft water so you should use a GH booster. Some GH boosters contain chloride salts while others have sulfate salts. plants need chloride and sulfate However your water as soft as it is I would look for a sulfate based GH booster. Your tap water likely has chloride and plants need more sulfur than Chlorine.

Your PH is is close to the limit for iron DTPA So trying to reduce it a little probably a good edea. Sometimes PH of tap water changes it it is allowed to sit in a bucket before use. Take a gass of tp water measure the PH and let it sit for a day and recheck PH. If it goes down then you probably want to let your water age before use. The other option is to mix in some pure water with the tap to reduce the PH. Pure water can be rain water, RO water, or distilled water. Once the pH gets to high with iron DTPA the DTPA separates from the iron and the iron rusts and becomes unavailable for plants.

The reason I asked about the fertilizers the CuSO4 and ZnSO4 don't last long. You might get better results by taking your weekly dose and breaking it up into multiple smaller doses EDTA versions of Cu, Zn, and Mo would last longer. So it might be helpful to experiment with the dose.
 
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Beastije

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Ok, I did all the things, did a water change, removed the algae manually, put in fertilizer in the changed water, waited a bit for it to settle, moved the nozzle of the filter so it is more surface facing to maybe promote oxygenation, though will read on that theory.
I cant put an air hose to this filter, since it only works if the filter is fully opened and mine is 80% throttled, otherwise it would create a whirlpool. Will be a great filter and I might add the air hose to the new tank, longer and with fish that like flow, unlike these :)
 

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Watching this with interest as my new setup has anubias now covered with streaming hair algae. I got rid of it in my last 75 ltr tank but that's more heavily planted than this one.
I'll try days of no artificial light as there's some natural day light from another room opposite. Not a lot but at least the fish will still have sufficient to see in. The Armano Shrimp may also get cracking on it after I've cut off all that I can.
 
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Watching this with interest as my new setup has anubias now covered with streaming hair algae. I got rid of it in my last 75 ltr tank but that's more heavily planted than this one.
I'll try days of no artificial light as there's some natural day light from another room opposite. Not a lot but at least the fish will still have sufficient to see in. The Armano Shrimp may also get cracking on it after I've cut off all that I can.
Btw a question. Does your tank have a moss ball? My algae issues started with moss balls :)
 

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Excel is great for controlling hair algae. Also I agree with the above, I think you need more fertilizer and perhaps less light if your plants are ok with it. In my experience lots of water changes combined with adding enough fertilizer makes the biggest dent in algae. Also, just a thought, driftwood can sometimes fuel algae by adding organics to the water. Not sure if you’re seeing a difference in tanks with driftwood and without.
 
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Beastije

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Excel is great for controlling hair algae. Also I agree with the above, I think you need more fertilizer and perhaps less light if your plants are ok with it. In my experience lots of water changes combined with adding enough fertilizer makes the biggest dent in algae. Also, just a thought, driftwood can sometimes fuel algae by adding organics to the water. Not sure if you’re seeing a difference in tanks with driftwood and without.
So for now, the tank with most driftwood most fish and most plants almost doesnt have the algae.
One with shrimp, no driftwood but a mossball has loads of hair algae. The latest one now has hair algae, black beard algae in the filter sponge and green algae on the sand, all in the span of the last two weeks when I added more fertilizer and plants but did no water change.
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I am going to softly restart it today, do a gravel clean to get rid of the algae, remove the driftwood and the leaves, since I removed the large snail that it was there for, remove the dead parts of the plants, remove the algae. The question is, do I do something else as well, like adding hornwort, adding fertilizer or reducing lighting or just do this and wait for results?
 
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Beastije

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Is that an African Cichlid with a Harlequin?
Yep, it is my leftover tank, the cichlids are bred by me, have been with the harlequins for the past 4 years, the harlequins are four year old now and only two left, same with the cichlids, unknown age and only two females left. They have been together and in this water for ages, I slowly removed all the limestone from the tank some time ago. I also had a topic here if I should put them down, rather than keep them in less than ideal, but hey, they are still doing fine, no ilnesses, I feed them, they have shells... it is not ideal and I understand it but am not killing them just cause. I tried to rehome them, but no luck, noone keeps them here anymore
EDIT: the multies must be at least 2-3 years old, that is when I last had babies
 

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So for now, the tank with most driftwood most fish and most plants almost doesnt have the algae.
One with shrimp, no driftwood but a mossball has loads of hair algae. The latest one now has hair algae, black beard algae in the filter sponge and green algae on the sand, all in the span of the last two weeks when I added more fertilizer and plants but did no water change. View attachment 165348View attachment 165347


I am going to softly restart it today, do a gravel clean to get rid of the algae, remove the driftwood and the leaves, since I removed the large snail that it was there for, remove the dead parts of the plants, remove the algae. The question is, do I do something else as well, like adding hornwort, adding fertilizer or reducing lighting or just do this and wait for results?
I think you should reduce the lighting and add some ferts …in my past experience just removing algae doesn’t do much because the conditions are still there to start up a new crop. Besides the obvious of doing a good solid water change getting rid of as much dirt as possible. I do think the lighting may be the biggest issue here.

When you say your “hardness” is low do you mean GH or KH?

GH is calcium and magnesium both of which plants need (albeit in small amounts). So if you’re getting no reading on GH at all I would suggest adding some calcium chloride and Epsom salts or a GH up that includes both calcium and magnesium. In small amounts, you don’t want to shock the fish. You can add enough to get at least 10ppm of each and your fish shouldn’t care.

Here‘s a calculator you can use to determine how much to add...be sure and use actual gallons of water after accounting for substrate etc, not your nominal tank size.

 
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Different tank, same algae and it got way worse in past month. I played around with fertilizers, with light schedule but it is getting worse.
I removed all the mossballs from this tank recently and all riccia from the surface. This tank has had an explosion of plant growth and somehow, hand in hand, algae growth.
I think it is current related. Even at highest flow of the filter, I dont think the flow reaches the end of the tank, because of the algae and algae covered moss.

Since the moss is the worst, should I remove it? I already have some strands on windowsill to try to grow new culture.
Should I remove all the naias? The moss was there for the ember tetras, but noone and nothing can live in it now.
This tank took such a turn for the worse algae wise....
The filter was cleaned (and broken, and restarted) yesterday, so max flow should be a whirlpool, and instead it isnt.
 

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Byron

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In my experience and research, the water current has little or no impact on "problem" algae. You need to get the balance of light and nutrients settled for the plants. Floating plants can help as they use a lot of nutrients and shade the lower tank.
 
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Beastije

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The moss was in the upper part of the tank, and the tank also has duckweed and frogbit. It has so many nutrient eaters I am surprised the algae is still there, but in the naias it is not so bad, fish can swim through it.
The moss however is a clump, so I took it out. Now what do I do with it. It is sitting in a bucket, I keep periodically removing the algae from it but otherwise no idea. It is freakishly large clump of moss/algae and might be waste to throw it out.
I have three options:
  1. cram it in a 3l jar on a windowsill and hope for it to work the algae out
  2. put it in an established small tank with the hair algae and flow (the one pictured in the initial post)
  3. put it in a new tank I will be setting up, but risk bringing hair algae to that tank, and I am not sure how well mosses do in a new tank.

In my shrimp tank half of the moss (split before algae incident) is simply georgeous, growing individual stems and it has doubled in height already in just two months.
 

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