This is what I came home to after 12 days of vacation

mrsjoannh13

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So I just started this planted tank a few weeks before my vacation. It was doing great the first 2 weeks - no algae to speak of but then hair algae started to pop up. Obviously I have a lot to figure out with lighting and nutrients! 12 days gone and I came home to this hideous spectacle. BLECH.

30 minutes of manual algae removal + another 10 minutes of vacuuming with a siphon and it looks marginally better. But clearly I still have lots of work to do and tons of tinkering with the lighting level and fertilizer to get this looking decent and ready for fish.

Sigh.... so frustrating.
 

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PheonixKingZ

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That’s a real bummer. Happened to me during my summer vacation last year. Not fun stuff whatsoever. :/
 

Circus

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One of my tanks gets a lot of natural light and will get like this. I couldn't get it to stop and shuffled fish around to put my Florida Flag Fish in there. They love to eat the stuff.
 

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Usually the lighting is the no.1 factor.
How long did you turn on your light everyday?
What is your light wattage and your tank size?
 

Colin_T

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If you are adding fertiliser to that tank, you are wasting your money. Most of those plants are slow growing marsh plants and don't need much if any fertiliser when growing underwater.
 

Abaddon

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Yowza. Sorry you had to go through that. Maybe the tank was exposed to sunlight while you were gone? Algae will pop up almost instantly when they get some sunshine, especially if it's direct. I was gone for 2 weeks on more than one occassion and never had any algae problems (although the water quality did go downhill), but the tank is in a shaded area of the flat and I have a bunch of amanos which I'm sure helped d:D
 
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mrsjoannh13

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Usually the lighting is the no.1 factor.
How long did you turn on your light everyday?
What is your light wattage and your tank size?
The light was on a timer for 7 hours. I have a dimmer on it to crank it down to 50% since I have mostly low light plants. The light is a Twinstar S600. I am not sure of the wattage. It's a 20 gallon tank.
 
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mrsjoannh13

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Yowza. Sorry you had to go through that. Maybe the tank was exposed to sunlight while you were gone? Algae will pop up almost instantly when they get some sunshine, especially if it's direct. I was gone for 2 weeks on more than one occassion and never had any algae problems (although the water quality did go downhill), but the tank is in a shaded area of the flat and I have a bunch of amanos which I'm sure helped d:D
It's a fairly new tank and I started seeing the hair algae before we left. I was managing it by removing it daily and doing frequent water changes. I had the blinds closed in the room so it was not getting any additional sunlight.
 
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mrsjoannh13

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If you are adding fertiliser to that tank, you are wasting your money. Most of those plants are slow growing marsh plants and don't need much if any fertiliser when growing underwater.
Thanks for the advice, Colin. I might try reducing or eliminating fertilizer next. I'm trying to make one change at a time and give it a couple of weeks to see what factors are having an impact. It's turning out to be quite the science experiment!
 

Abaddon

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Hair algae is fairly normal in a new tank. I'd give it some time and wait until the tank matures and becomes more stable, see what happens. If your parametres are OK and you're not going overboard with fertilizers, the algae should disappear on its own in time. You can add some fast-growing plants like hornwort to compete with the algae. It's a ridiculously fast grower and will take up most of the nutrients that the algae use, plus it will provide some additional shade. Once the algae is gone you can toss it. It doesn't grow into the substrate so it's easy to take out of the tank.
 
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mrsjoannh13

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Hair algae is fairly normal in a new tank. I'd give it some time and wait until the tank matures and becomes more stable, see what happens. If your parametres are OK and you're not going overboard with fertilizers, the algae should disappear on its own in time. You can add some fast-growing plants like hornwort to compete with the algae. It's a ridiculously fast grower and will take up most of the nutrients that the algae use, plus it will provide some additional shade. Once the algae is gone you can toss it. It doesn't grow into the substrate so it's easy to take out of the tank.
Thanks for the advice - very helpful!
 

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