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Old 07-05-2008, 08:46 PM   #1
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Question aglaecide and moss balls?

Hello! New here, but I need to confirm my common sense deduction. I have a 55gal. planted tank and am experiancing a bloom of thread algae and was wondering how I elimnate it when I've just added some marimo moss balls. I'm assuming that I don't want to use an algaecide as moss balls are really an algae and that would kill them. (Trible-cide!) Is this assumption correct? Could I take them out, treat the tank and then add them back? It is an 'adopted' (second-hand) tank and I know I'm over feeding in an attempt to make sure the leaf fish that came with it get their fair share of bloodworms and the Syodontis cat that is rather elusive....always in his log cave with the loaches (5 angelic and 7 small clowns.) The 2 figure 8 puffers (also adoptees) aren't very aggresive and also seem to need babying at feeding time. (2x's a day) The 5 angels and sometimes the loaches are often more aggresive than the leaf fish especially, and the others. There is also 1 busshy-nose pleco. I have a 54x4 pc light, but only use one half at a time since I don't have added Co2. I tried with the Hagen Co2 canister (like a DIY model), but it leaked and I haven't tried since! There is a newly added MarinelandC-220 cannister filter and an Aqua-tech 30-60 that came with it, a heater, pre-filter sponges on all intakes (DIY w/Aqua Clear sponges) and all parameters read normal. There is sand (came with it) as substrate no special plant kind) and I fertilize it with tabs and add liquid (no phosphates) 1-2x's a week. I change 20-40% water 1x a week at minimum.
SOOOOO where do I go from here? Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:50 PM   #2
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If your thread algae is "hair algae", and it has established itself in the gravel, the easiest way to get rid of it is syphon all your gravel into a bucket, add bleach to it (20-1), then wait 24 hrs. Scrub your gravel well, rinse well and put back in tank. It will kill the bacteria bed in the gravel (will most likely cause a temporary bacteria bloom - mini cycle) but if you have a strong bacteria bed in your filter (don't change) it should be ok.
Winding thread algae on a fork or some other method usually will not get rid of it. All it takes is a few cells from one strand to get it going again (or allowing it to spread).
Be very careful of algecides in the tank. They will kill any invertebrates and possibly do harm to other plants.
High dosing of fertilizers is another way (but not sure-fire like above). Make the higher plants soak up all the nutrients and possibly starve the algae. It takes time... and the time it takes usually is enough to cause widespread algae.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:42 AM   #3
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thank you for the advice. The algae is mostly on my other live plants.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:45 AM   #4
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I have tried to pull it off, but it is anchored really well.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:54 AM   #5
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Perhaps I've mis-identified it. It is dark olive green to black in color and much more course than the light green "hair/thread algae" i've seen, which seems easy to remove in caomparison. This stuff doesn't let go easly!
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:51 PM   #6
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Lots of good info here, including pictures to help you identify which type of algae you have, as well as info about what causes that type of algae and how you can address it. I'm guessing it's black beard algae but can't say for sure without a picture, or a comparison with the pics below.
Aquarium Algae ID (updated)

In general, I am against any approach to algae that uses algae-killing chemicals. Too much chance of something going wrong. Plus the fact that, more likely than not, it is only a matter of time before the algae just comes back. A much better approach to aquarium algae is figuring out WHY the algae is growing, and then addressing the underlying cause.

Too much light? Too little? Too much nitrogen? Too little? Too much phosphorus? Too little? Lack of trace nutrients? Too high an organic load in the water column? Etc etc etc.

Once you can identify which type of algae you are struggling with, we will have a much better idea how to help you. 90% of the time, all it takes is adjusting either your lighting habits, getting your nutrients balanced by dosing the appropriate fertilizer(s), or both--sometimes helped by buying an appropriate algae-eating fish for your tank. Once you figure out your algae type, you might want to create a separate thread specifically asking about it, rather than "bury" a question in the midst of the "member introductions" forum here.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:04 PM   #7
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Thanks! That was very helpful! It appears I have staghorn algae! I will start a new thread! Thanks soooo much!!!
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