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Old 11-29-2015, 01:58 AM   #1
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Green hair algae becoming a problem

I am getting green hair algae attaching itself to leaves of some swords that are dying off. The swords have been declining recently and I'm not sure why. I added some root tabs, didn't seem to help much, at least not yet.

I have upped my liquid ferts over the last month or so. Could that be what caused the hair algae? Will show pics tomorrow.

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Old 12-05-2015, 08:55 AM   #2
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Hi, it could be. Would need more details on your light / tank setup, light schedule, ferts dosing and any co2 / glut dosing.
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Old 12-05-2015, 06:54 PM   #3
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Hi, it could be. Would need more details on your light / tank setup, light schedule, ferts dosing and any co2 / glut dosing.
20g setup with good amount of plants, current usa planted+ on for 9h a day, co2 injecting about 2 bps for 7h. I will admit my liquid dosing schedule is sporadic due to my travelling for work but typically I do flourish, iron, trace 2x a week and potassium 1-2x a week. I've got some API root tabs in but I just made a bunch of diy osmocoate tabs to try out. I do 25% wc roughly weekly. Will do a wq check today and provide details.
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Originally Posted by ericbrookey View Post
I am getting green hair algae attaching itself to leaves of some swords that are dying off. The swords have been declining recently and I'm not sure why. I added some root tabs, didn't seem to help much, at least not yet.

I have upped my liquid ferts over the last month or so. Could that be what caused the hair algae? Will show pics tomorrow.

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Old 12-07-2015, 07:36 AM   #4
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Hopefully the root tabs help.

I've found this link useful. I found that with liquid ferts I was completely under-dosing the potassium needed and switched to dry ferts dosing directly to the tank. My nitrates and phosphate levels have generally held up although I do light dose those.

A plant expert would know more here.

I have found root tabs useful and the clay in them should continue to be of use. If the tank is getting sunlight (even indirect), I've found this always encourages algae. Algae eating fish can be useful as well.

I've found that light, ferts and CO2 (plus good substrate) need to be in balance so the plants grow well and can just do better than the algae. I would cut lights back to 6 hours and in a split photo-period (which is meant to be better more for plants than algae). Keep up the CO2 and ferts to get the plants to recover. Then gradually increase light period.

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Old 12-08-2015, 08:51 PM   #5
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Thanks Delapool. Are you saying 6 hour photo periods 2x a day or split the 6 hours up?

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Old 12-09-2015, 12:31 AM   #6
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6 hours all up in total.


The split period may not be essential if plants are used to a single period. The idea is that plants can respond to the increased light coming on faster than algae or that in low CO2 tanks, it gives a period of time to recharge CO2 in water. Need a plant expert there.


Generally it's suggested to cut back lighting to 6 hours and then start working on the rest of the tank. Once all sorted, gradually increase lighting again. Lighting is the constraint and ferts/CO2 abundant. The other way around from what I can see, the plant has to rob parts of itself to match the light.


For BBA I did:


- reduced lighting to 6 hours and lower intensity.
- made sure my CO2 dosing was consistent/stable and it came on at least an hour beforehand. Goes off about 15mins before lights.
- picked up some algae eating snails / fish. The fish are ok still, the snails didn't work so well.
- glut (liquid carbon) dosing which I've found discourages algae.
- increased ferts dosing and added substrate ferts tabs.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:58 AM   #7
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Thank you for the detailed explanation. Makes sense now.

I'm pretty sure I'm under dosing liquid ferts which is why I'm seeing the deficiencies in the plants. I guess with this being my first planted I was afraid of harming the fish.

Will try out your suggestions for sure and report back.

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