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Help HELP - To reduce dosing or not

Joel Armstrong

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  • Help please..

    I've got some hair algae happening in my tank, it's really getting to me..

    I'm trimming, physically removing hair algae and replanting, and this is working.. i need to pull a lot more plants and repeat the process though, as I'm not getting on top of the problem yet. I'm planning on pulling all of the affected plants and complete the trimming and algae removal process.

    My question is, because I'll be reducing the amount of plant mass, should I decrease dosing, or keep it the same?

    I've been dosing new water to a target of 24ppm of NO3, 8ppm of PO4 and 32ppm of K.

    Thanks for any help, it will be greatly appreciated.

    Joel
     
    Hey @Joel Armstrong -

    I start any algae help responses with the usual - "don't get frustrated, it will be fine." We all go through some algae we can't figure out.

    First, let's see how we may have gotten to this point. What do you think happened to cause the hair algae in the first place?

    Second, have you identified the algae? Is it cladophora or another type of hair algae?
     
    I agree with art. It’s going to be alright. Every time I got hair algae it had to with my filters and substrate being dirty.

    Took me a number of years to realize that because my tanks would be free and clear of it for 3-4 months then boom hair algae.

    Cleaning my filter, big water change with dosing, vac 1/3 substrate with big water change and dosing a few days later. Repeat that until the substrate is all vacuumed up, over the course of a week then finish with a light filter cleaning.

    That is what works for me when I get hair algae. My conditions might be different but I just wanted to mention what works for me. Been a while since I’ve had it since I have reminders built into my phone to clean the filters. GDA on the other hand, I can’t quite figure that one out…..
     
    I would not change dosing, your dosing is fine and the fewer things you do to stress out your plants the better—basically you want as much strong clean, new growth as possible in the tank which will be very resistant to the algae, specifically among the plants most afflicted. Changing dosing would force your plants to possibly recalibrate themselves.

    I agree with the advice on cleanliness. You should keep up with at least 2x a week water changes while the algae is bad. Also, if you haven’t cleaned your filters in at least a month, definitely do that. Up surface agitation if you can too and CO2 a bit and dim your lights back either in intensity or reduce your lights to 6-7 hours max. Can you get your hands on API Algaefix? It’s awesome for hair algae. I just had a hair algae outbreak and it’s completely demolished it, along with good husbandry. Tom Barr has done a lot of testing with it and I got the idea to use it from his recommendations. Only thing it is harmful for is shrimp, so if you have them you may not want to.

    If you do use the API Algaefix, I’d recommend only using it right after a water change just to be safe. I believe it does lower the oxygen content a little bit in the tank like ich meds do, so having extra surface agitation and the extra oxygenation from a water change will help not stress your livestock out.
     
    Hey @Joel Armstrong -

    I start any algae help responses with the usual - "don't get frustrated, it will be fine." We all go through some algae we can't figure out.

    First, let's see how we may have gotten to this point. What do you think happened to cause the hair algae in the first place?

    Second, have you identified the algae? Is it cladophora or another type of hair algae?

    Hey Art,

    I think there could possibly be several reasons to be honest. I experimented with higher light at one stage a while back, I also used root tabs which have been coming to the surface when uprooting plants, I went on holidays and had someone else "help out" while I was away, I also came back from holidays to find a couple of dead fish. So there's several possibilities for the cause of hair algae.

    I'm not entirely sure exactly what algae it is, long green threads, that break apart easily.

    Cheers
     
    OK thanks. You've had a lot going on. What you need is stability for a while to let things settle.

    Take some of the algae with your hand and smell it. If it has a strong odor, it's likely cladophora. In the past, I've successfully done the one two punch to get this type of algae under control. I know some have used API AlgaeFix successfully. I believe @Dennis Wong has a new algaecide out that would seem also to work.

    Let us know what you end up doing.
     
    I would not change dosing, your dosing is fine and the fewer things you do to stress out your plants the better—basically you want as much strong clean, new growth as possible in the tank which will be very resistant to the algae, specifically among the plants most afflicted. Changing dosing would force your plants to possibly recalibrate themselves.

    I agree with the advice on cleanliness. You should keep up with at least 2x a week water changes while the algae is bad. Also, if you haven’t cleaned your filters in at least a month, definitely do that. Up surface agitation if you can too and CO2 a bit and dim your lights back either in intensity or reduce your lights to 6-7 hours max. Can you get your hands on API Algaefix? It’s awesome for hair algae. I just had a hair algae outbreak and it’s completely demolished it, along with good husbandry. Tom Barr has done a lot of testing with it and I got the idea to use it from his recommendations. Only thing it is harmful for is shrimp, so if you have them you may not want to.

    If you do use the API Algaefix, I’d recommend only using it right after a water change just to be safe. I believe it does lower the oxygen content a little bit in the tank like ich meds do, so having extra surface agitation and the extra oxygenation from a water change will help not stress your livestock out.

    Hi 👋

    Thank you for your advice. I will keep dosing at the same levels, and continue with maintenance 2-3 times per week.

    I did get hold of some API algaefix. I've been hesitant about using algaecide, and I haven't used any algaecide at all during the 13 months of the tank being set up, cycled and planted.

    My job is quite busy at the moment, and finding enough time to spend on the tank is difficult, so, I'll try API algaefix along with cleaning etc.

    Cheers
     
    Take some of the algae with your hand and smell it. If it has a strong odor, it's likely cladophora.

    I've taken some algae to have a smell, I can't say there is really much of an odour.. It's bright green, stringy and can be removed reasonably easy.

    Joel
     
    Well, the tank is now free of hair algae! 😊

    I've pulled affected plants, trimmed, manually removed any visible hair algae, replanted healthy tops, and dosed 3 small doses of API algaefix. I initially tried APT Fix the week prior, but I didn't notice any affect on hair algae, but perhaps it was just a combination. A couple of days after treating with API algaefix, what hair algae was in the tank, changed colour and broke apart into small pieces which I syphoned away.

    I've kept dosing the same.
     
    Glad to hear you got things back on track Joel. You got lots of good advice above. In most cases dosing has little to do with algae, unless someone is doing far too little.

    | suspect the dead fish had a lot to do with it. And ammonia spike is a great way to bring on all sorts of algae.
     
    Glad to hear you got things back on track Joel. You got lots of good advice above. In most cases dosing has little to do with algae, unless someone is doing far too little.

    | suspect the dead fish had a lot to do with it. And ammonia spike is a great way to bring on all sorts of algae.

    Thank you Gregg,

    I didn't think my dosing was the cause of the algae issue. It's just that I had considerably reduced plant mass by trimming and replanting and was more curious about whether or not I should keep dosing the same considering the reduced plant mass. I'd read some conflicting advice elsewhere, and thought to post in this forum, because, as you've mentioned, there's some great advice here from the members of ScapeCrunch. I'm appreciative of the forum, with such knowledgeable people who are willing to help others newer to the hobby, like myself.

    Thanks again
     
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