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Old 07-09-2007, 11:53 AM   #1
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Staghorn and Beard Algae

Hi, I have a ~30g tank that is pretty heavily planted and they are all growing well, but I have a small problem with some staghorn and beard (long green strands?) algae, and I usually pull it out during my weekly WC and clean up... BUT I was wondering how I could sort it out!!! Or what may be causing it . I dose with TMG.

Latest tests:

NO3 = ~10
NO2 = 0
NH3 = 0
PO4 = 0.5-1.0
pH = 7.6

I also have a slight issue with some BGA but it only appears between the gravel and the glass at the front of the tank?! I also have some brown algae that covers most of my 3D rock background but as it kinda adds to the effect its not so bad, but it also sits on my driftwood which is a bit pants

Any ideas anyone?!!!

(Also could anyone tell me how to get pictures on here as I can't seem to do it, thanks!)
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Old 07-09-2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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OK lots of possible things here:

-long green strands are hair/thread algae, not beard. Hair/thread algae normally is easily removed (not connected to the plants its growing around/on). Staghorn is a nasty black algae that is practically glued onto the plant leaves and will not come off without damage to the plant (we normally just recommend clipping the affected leaves and removing them from the tank). BBA is a very fuzzy looking algae with tightly packed bristles that like staghorn will not come off easily (again most recommend just clipping off the affected leaves). In both BBA and staghorn a fluctuating level of CO2 is normally the culprit. Are you injecting CO2 with a DIY setup? That is one of the most common symptoms.

-your BGA tells me one of two things, either you have a dead spot in the tank where the flow is low (a common occurrence in heavily planted tanks, which can be remedied by adding a PH or changing the location of the HOB or canister filter intake/outputs), OR, you have low nitrAtes. The nitrAte test kits we have are very inaccurate at low readings (10ppm and below). This could be responsible for both some of the other algae and the BGA. I would recommend increasing the dosing of your nitrAte and see if that alleviates some of the issues.

-the brown stuff sounds like diatoms. If your tank is less then 6months old its not a problem, just let it go. It will slowly kill itself when it runs out of food. In the meantime you can keep your plant leaves clean by gently rubbing them. I only recommend this for slow growing plants with few leaves (like anubias), as the faster growing normally don't get diatoms or more damage is caused by trying to clean them then its worth.

-Lastly for pictures I recommend an outside source to host the images. I personally use www.photolocker.net as it was recommended to me by a member on here and I've never had a problem with it. Once you setup a free account you upload your pictures to the site and then right click on the picture and select PROPERTIES. You'll then see the url (http://picture). You copy that url into the img tags here and it will display in the post. So for example I have a picture called fish.jpg. I upload it to photolocker and right click and display the properties (or even easier if you have a "copy image location button when you right click, sorry I use Firefox and don't know if your browser has this option). It says the picture is located at http://photolocker/mypictures/fish.jpg. I then post my message on aquarium advice and where I want the picture I push the Img button next to the List= and URL buttons (along with bold, italicize, etc.).

So your message should look like this:

I really love my fish. Here's a picture:



I added an extra space after .jpg so it would show you what I typed but when you want to actually put a picture in you don't want any spaces between the [img][/img]

HTH
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:05 AM   #3
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Hi there, thanks for all the help. I def have staghorn and probably hair/thread algae - i did some tests and the ammonia is slightly raised which it hasn't been since startup, but I did recently change one of the filters at the bottom of my Juwel filter, so maybe its just due to a lack of good bacteria which I took out with the sponge? I'm guessing it may settle down again, is there anything I can use to help replace the bacteria? (Maybe cycle or something?).

I shifted around the pipe that the output goes through from the filter to try and sort out some more flow in the dead space so maybe that will help.

The diatoms I believe like silicates? Unfortunately my tap water is very high in PO4 so maybe that is the cause? I use a phosphate remover which should also remove the silicates but it doesn't help when I do a WC!

I also took out all the dead/dying/decaying leaves last night in the hope that it will stop leaching rubbish back into the water - it all looked very nice once I'd done it

Thanks for the info re pictures, will give it a go!
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle
Hi there, thanks for all the help. I def have staghorn and probably hair/thread algae - i did some tests and the ammonia is slightly raised which it hasn't been since startup, but I did recently change one of the filters at the bottom of my Juwel filter, so maybe its just due to a lack of good bacteria which I took out with the sponge? I'm guessing it may settle down again, is there anything I can use to help replace the bacteria? (Maybe cycle or something?).

I shifted around the pipe that the output goes through from the filter to try and sort out some more flow in the dead space so maybe that will help.

The diatoms I believe like silicates? Unfortunately my tap water is very high in PO4 so maybe that is the cause? I use a phosphate remover which should also remove the silicates but it doesn't help when I do a WC!

I also took out all the dead/dying/decaying leaves last night in the hope that it will stop leaching rubbish back into the water - it all looked very nice once I'd done it

Thanks for the info re pictures, will give it a go!
Until you sort out the ammonia issue I would not have the lights on in the tank. Removing all the dead/dying material should help this but why did you replace the filter? We normally don't recommend removing filter parts until they literally fall apart (YEARS). What I and many others do is simply wring out all the gunk into USED TANK WATER (NOT TAP!), and the filter should work like new. This way you don't seriously compromise your biological filtration, and you also save money on replacement costs.

I'm not a fan of "removal" products. High phosphates will not cause algae, just think of it like one less fert you need to dose.

If you do indeed have staghorn clip the affected leaves. They are weakening the plant and the staghorn will spread to unaffected leaves.

To speed up the cycle process you really only have 2 options:

1. Biospira (hit or miss and not cheap)

2. Biomedia from an established tank

Cycle and all those other chemicals have no actual bacteria in them and so it won't really help. I would just say keep the lights off for a day or 2 and check the ammonia/nitrIte levels then. If you only removed some of your bacteria the remaining will quickly multiply to take care of the additional food. I'd also recommend NOT feeding your fish for a day or 2. That will cut down on the ammonia production.

HTH
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
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Ammonia is all sorted out now , I tested it again and its 0. Still have a little staghorn, so need to clip leaves tonight during weekly clean-up. What is the cause of hair/thread algae? I don't have alot but it is still there despite me removing it.

I believe the brown diatoms are slowly getting better now

Thanks
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle
Ammonia is all sorted out now , I tested it again and its 0. Still have a little staghorn, so need to clip leaves tonight during weekly clean-up. What is the cause of hair/thread algae? I don't have alot but it is still there despite me removing it.

I believe the brown diatoms are slowly getting better now

Thanks
I think the hair/thread algae is normally attributed to high levels of dissolved organics. Basically water that has a lot of junk in it. This normally comes up when people don't do regular water changes, when they have a lot of plants rotting in the tank, or when their filter is clogged with gunk that is slowly decaying.

Like most algae's, PWC's are your friend.
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