Potential algae problems?
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Potential algae problems?

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Potential algae problems?
Old 05-12-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
 
Potential algae problems?

Thanks for reading guys and/or helping me out. I truly appreciate all knowledge and patience given.

I am concerned about a potential algae problem after doing some research. I'd love to buy a lot of 20 RCS from Redchigh, but then a few concerns arose during my information excavation. I discovered that shrimp and copper are a fatal combination. However, the plant fertilizer I use (Aqueon Plant Food) does not contain any copper. This was a relief and gave me hope to add RCS to the tank once again. After sending a PM to Angel079 about RCS, she seemed to think that I may have an algae problem and that RCS or algae eating fish should not be used to mask an algae problem. So the question is before adding RCS or algae eating fish - Do I have a (potential) algae problem?


The algae that are visible in the tank:

BROWN ALGAE is naturally occurring within the tank. It is not inherited from LFS. The new tank is slightly over a week old and is cycling; NH3/NH4 has spiked and is now 0; NO2 has spiked and is on the decline, tested today at 0.5 ppm; NO3 is something I cannot test, but will be taking H20 sample to LFS for results soon. I know that brown algae occurs in new tanks and should clear out in month.

LIGHT GREEN HAIR ALGAE is inherited with a plant purchase from a LFS. Growth of the hair algae spreads, but slowly. I think it can be easily removed via vacuum or by hand. It is long and very thin.

DARK GREY/BLACKISH HAIR ALGAE This is also inherited. It is from a different LFS. It came in on the leaves of Wendti's Crypt, Micro Swords, and Dwarf Sagitaria. It seems to be localized to these plants only. These were all added on Friday of last week. I would describe the algae as a dark grey, short hair type. It is a bit thicker than the green hair algae.

TANK INFO
10 gallons
AquaClear Mini
LifeGlo 15 watt 6700k with photo period of 11 hrs/day (on at 7AM, off at 8PM)
Fertilize 5ML every 3rd day of Aqueon Plant Food
pH = ~7.0
Temp = 75-77 F
NH3/NH4 = 0ppm (for 3 days)
NO3 = 0.5ppm (spiked 3 days ago)
NO4 = Cannot test

Inhabitants:
Snails (probably MTS) inherited from roots of LFS Crypts, Micro Sword, and Dwarf Sagitaria.

-EDIT- Planning to have a school of 7+ Galaxy Danios (Danio Margaritatus). Maybe,but not determined on having, a male Betta and/or oto cats.

Last edited by Aqua Jon; 05-12-2010 at 12:56 PM.. Reason: Added information
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:39 AM   #2
 
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Well, if the tank is still cycling you'll have had the standard new tank algae issues. I wouldn't worry about algae problems (especially not minor ones like it sounds like you're dealing with) until they've persisted past the completion of the cycle. How are you cycling the tank? Fish food or shrimp will also add other nutrients to the tank which could contribute to algae issues, but once the cycling is complete that should no longer be an issue.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:24 AM   #3
 
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Here's a few more things coming to my mind apart what I send you in PMs already....

The fert you're using I donno it but appears safe for the RCS from what you say; even Flourish Comprehensive (what I'd rec for plants) has a trace amount of Copper something like 0.0001% and that's safe as well, high amounts or hardcore dosed tanks is a issue for them thou but not if you follow the label's instructions.

The Diatoms (brown algae looking like someone sprinkled cinnamon over your tank decor/ plants) just wipe it off by hand before you do a weekly w/c and then suck it up with the vacuum, it'll be gone in no time once the tank starts establishing.

The Hair algae just take a non-used toothbrush and twist it up in there and take it out, will also subside once established from my experience, often seen to subside QUICK when you add fish as you're adding co2.

Now the one you ref to as black/ gray: Does this more look like a slime coat over plants & gravel OR does it look more like small bunches of short hair mainly along the edges of plant leaves?

Last but not least what I'd do was this my tank, let it fully finish cycle. Then add the fish you want, monitor parameters as they slightly may rise again (NO's) once they have been checking out with 0's for at least 2 week (pers I'd rather do 4 weeks) then I'd add the RCS. Why would I do this? Cause all shrimp not only RCS are VERY sensitive to new set ups a small spike in NO's has been known to kill a whole group flat out in a few hrs and you come home to a bunch dead RCS and you'd not wanna do that; so to be rather safe then sorry let the tank run a few weeks with fish only, gives the plants time to develop and the algae time to subside cause once you add shrimp in there you'd def NOT wanna handle any "algae-chemicals" ever in that tank.
While the algae you describe are often seen in new set ups they disappear quick too, if they don't you need to make adjustments (eg less fert may be needed for the amount plants you have in there so you "starve" out the algae as the plants will take up the ferts provided).

And just out of curiosity what's your hardness with the pH 7 do you know? Being neutral that's a good start for the shrimp I had found they breed better with less hard water thou and I know breeding them was also one of your thoughts.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:53 AM   #4
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthebatman
How are you cycling the tank?
I did use fish food to cycle kick off the cycle, but that led to a fungus, thanks to Byron's advice it was removed from the tank. The remaining cycle elements came from LFS tank plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
Now the one you ref to as black/ gray: Does this more look like a slime coat over plants & gravel OR does it look more like small bunches of short hair mainly along the edges of plant leaves?
It is the later of the two you described. small bunches of short hair on the edges of plants and leaves. Absolutely no slime coat and not on gravel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
And just out of curiosity what's your hardness with the pH 7 do you know? Being neutral that's a good start for the shrimp I had found they breed better with less hard water thou and I know breeding them was also one of your thoughts.
I don't have a test for this personally. I had used some Jungle Test Strips, but really don't trust them. The water report as of June 2009 says that the tap water hardness is ~256 (227 -300ppm)


Overall it looks like either way I will be waiting for those RCS. Now knowing that all shrimp are extremely intolerant of NOs, there is no point to subjecting them to a possible massacre or my wallet either. I will wait until after the fish are well established and my readings show many zeros for weeks (probably will wait the 3-4 as best advised).
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:06 PM   #5
 
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Alright so you're dealing with Black brush algae that's better then the other one described that's mainly thriving of low co2 (meaning no fish in there which is the case for you) and/ or poor water flow which I doubt based of the filter you told me you had.
Cycling with fish food only is what I always do unless I seed the tank IMO its far better then cycling with fish (and safer for the fish too).

Serious and pls don't be offended but ... dump these test strips they're as accurate as me telling you over the internet what your parameters are you can find inexpensive LIQUID test kits by Tetra or API just see locally what's cheaper at your stores walmart has a Tetra test kit online you can ship to store site for free for like ~$15 and that incl all you will need (now & later) on the tank. AND these are extremely accurate

So in degrees that's around 15dGH then if I done the math correctly which is rather on the harder end for shrimp BUT I'd not wanna read too much into it until after you'd have tested this hardness with a liquid test kit. Just ask a few of the lil stores around you if they could test your water with a liquid test kit for hardness, most stores will do it and then have them give you a NUMBER not something like "its ok".


I know its a patience game, trust me I was hurting to wait to add shrimp to my new farms but there's really no point on a brand new set up to add fish & shrimp, have a NO spike just enough to make your fish dizzy and all shrimp are dead that just ain't cool (and not too cheap neither). So just let it finish cycle, stock your fish and once it checks out at least for a solid week with 0's then consider shrimp.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:50 AM   #6
 
I will be patient :) I promise.
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:34 AM   #7
 
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Just keep up a weekly good maintenance remove by hand what you can and see what happens over the next 2-3 weeks but it shouldn't get worst so just keep an eye on its development/ growth.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:45 AM   #8
 
Just thought I'd let you hear the progress. I have been doing the Ciesta approach for 3 days now. I have lights off form noon to 1 and they are on 5 hours before and after the ciesta. Since starting, I have already seen a significant decrease in the amount of diatoms, the hair algae is still going , but the black algae has stopped growing. And guess what?! The plants are taking off like crazy!!! The Hygrophila difformis (water wisteria) has nearly quadrupled its leaf production, same is true of the Anubias nana, Red Lugwigia, and Hornwort! I have started dosing 3 drops of Aqueon Plant Food in between major doses. It seems to supply the demand of the plants well. The Crypts are going through a melt still, but seem to be slowing that process down a bit and the new leaves are sprouting.

The only thing I'm worried about now is the Java fern. I removed 3 leaves yesterday because they had black spots all over the leaves. The spots are about 1-2 mm in diameter. Can too much direct light be wrong for the Java fern? Also is not taking root to the driftwood. I just used a few strands of Java moss to attach it to the driftwood and hopefully that will secure the plant.

Thank you all for so much of your help, you guys and gals all rock!

P.S. Ammonia has held zero for over a week. Nitrites are dwindling and should be holding zeroes soon Need to buy a Nitrate test kit.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:09 AM   #9
 
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I have heard about too much light being detrimental to java fern but I've never seen it for myself. Then again, none of my tanks have very intense lighting so that could account for that.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
 
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True, light can cause problems for JF, I've had this. But this could also be a nutrient issue (too much). Being a slow growing plant, nutrient requirement is minimal, and I notice in this thread talk of multiple dosings of fertilizers. Can you explain exactly how much (the amount and how often a week) and of what product you are dosing?

Could you maybe post a photo of the Java Fern, preferably a clear shot of a leaf with the spots?

Byron.
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