Originally Posted by Laurel
Thank you kymmie and byron for that very warm welcome. Always nice to be well received :D
So it's hair algae is it? Unfortunately its spreading to my big java fern, and it doesn't look very nice :( so any help you can offer to remove it would be appreciated.
My tank is a 96 litre tank (minus rocks, substrate etc). The strip light is (as far as I am aware) just a bog standard light, nothing special as memory serves. Its been a while since I last replaced it. I have it set to a timer to turn on at 15:00 and off at 22:00. Strange times I know, but these are the times I want to enjoy the tank. Of course, this means that the tank is subject to ambient light during daylight hours. I use Nutrafin Plant Gro once a week. Instructions say 5ml per 38l, so I add 10ml at a time.
Thanks once again for your help.
A few suggestions from this. First, the light, 7 hours is not sufficient for good plant growth, esp plants like Vallisneria (or Sagittaria, they look very similar and have the same requirements). At least 10 hours of overhead light, and 10 hours of total darkness (meaning no room light or daylight). Schedule doesn't matter, I have my lights on a timer suited to my viewing schedule; just ensure there is 10 hours of complete darkness--plants and fish need that rest. Second, the tube may need replacing; measure the length from end to end not including the prongs, and visit your hardware store for a T8 ("T" refers to the diameter, T8 are smaller than T12 and better tubes) in a daylight/full spectrum with a kelvin rating around 6500K. GE, Phillips, Sylvania all make these and they are much less expensive compared to "aquarium" tubes in fish stores, prob 1/4 or 1/5 the cost.
Plant-Gro is prob OK, I have looked into it for others here but not personally tried it. When it is finished, I would switch to Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium
. It has all nutrients in proportion to what the plants need, and I (and many others) have had very good success with Flourish. Make sure it is the Comprehensive, they make several products in the Flourish line. You will use less of it, 2 ml treats 100 litres, once a week. Sometimes a second weekly dose is needed, determined by the response of the plants.
Algae occurs when light is beyond what the plants need in balance with nutrients. It may therefore sound odd my suggesting more light, but the case here is that the light is insufficient for the plants and the excess nutrients are not being used so algae is taking direct advantage. We all have some algae, the aim is to have it under control.