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Old 09-05-2017, 05:05 PM   #1
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Brown Algae and Cobwebs on Dwarf Hair Grass?

I seem to have an issue with brown algae currently. I'm still in the process of fish less cycling my tank and noticed the brown algae 2 days ago. It seems to be covering a lot of my sword leaves and has spread to my baby tears and I think my dwarf grass. I'm wondering if I got this from the swords I bought 6 days ago. They did have some brownish color to some of the leaves when I brought them home.

Anyway. I've been noticing some cobweb like stuff on my hair grass. Is this bad? Should I be removing it? I also notice gray(assuming dead) strands of grass. I attached some pictures so you can see what I mean. The grass has some runners that have spread a bit, but I feel like I keep seeing new brown/gray strands and the cobweb like stuff. I'm going to assume that's just decaying plant matter, but I don't know.

This is my first time cycling a tank and having plants in general. I rubbed some of the brown stuff off the sword leafs, but I'm wondering what I can do long term. I was running my diy c02 and running the air stone at night. My parameters are crazy at the moment so I did a 25% water change. Very high in Nitrates currently. 5ppm Nitrite and 2ppm Ammonia.

Again I'm cycling without any fish or inverts and have been using the occasional bit of fish food to feed the bacteria. I've also been using Sea Chem Stability(recommended by a LFS guy).

Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:45 PM   #2
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You'll struggle to grow the hairgrass with your lighting, the cobwebs is hair algae and the brow algae is diatoms.

Diatoms are normal in a new setup and will fade out over a few months.

Hair algae can be removed with a toothbrush and is most likely caused by the hairgrass dying.

There is a lot of conflicting info on hairgrass, classifying it as a "low tech plant". I disagree with this and free it's miss leading for people getting into the hobby. Hairgrass is extremely hard to grow without good lighting and preasurised co2.

Even with co2 and high lighting I struggled to grow it when I first started. It can be done without co2 and lower lighting but I feel it's more for the experienced aquascaper in a low tech environment.
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:43 PM   #3
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My Anubius came from another tank and had black beard algae on just the tips of a few leaves. I soaked it in a 10% bleach solution for 6 minutes and then rinsed(in treated water) and dried it. After that I planted it in the substrate(not the rhizome just the roots). I feel like I had that cob web stuff before I put that in though. It's almost always around the hair grass and never anywhere else. Could it just be that the hair grass isn't getting enough light and is dying off?

My goal for this tank is to have Red cherry shrimp. I know they eat algae, but I can't put them in until I get my tank fully cycled.

So 16 watts of LED @ 7000k isn't going to do the trick? I know there's the wattage per gallon rule, but I figured it's LED so that doesn't exactly apply(since they use less power).

What light would you recommend for a 10 gallon? I went cheap and bought a $30 amazon light. Do they have something that could also work on a 40 gallon breeder tank? If this works out I plan to move things over to a larger 40 gallon breeder that will house fish and plants. This is a year or more away, but I'm totally willing to spring for a nice light if you think that will solve the hair grass issue and will work on a larger tank. Breeders are not super tall so I would assume it's down to how wide the light is? My end goal is to have some 10 gallons to breed shrimp in and have a nice high tech planted 40 gallon breeder. Only if this 10 gallon works out though. I would hate to be terrible at this and waste a bunch of money. I suppose I could just use this light on those 10 gallon shrimp breeder tanks. They will be sideways with tops that slide back. I currently have to remove my light before being able to take off my diy acrylic lid.

If I'm basically screwed...I'm ok with replanting baby tears once they start to grow more(unless it's going to be the same story with those). I've noticed the baby tears seem to be growing(I can't say the same for most of the other plants except the runners the hair grass seems to have put out(not many). I also just got the swords so they haven't had time to do much.

My main focus is to get the tank cycled so I can put shrimp in it.
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