Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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trukgirl 04-18-2010 12:55 PM

Hairy algae?
Hello again plant-ees. :)

All my plants in my 10g are doing GREAT. I had to switch a few out between my 55g since my 10g obviously has better lighting, had to grow out some of the Ludwigias in the 10G for them to do better in the tall 55g.

However, I got rid of my CAE in the 55g. And now I seem to have these black hairs growing on all my plants... WTH! Any clue??

I am also having probs with my water wisteria and some of my sword plants, and even parts of one of my corkscrew vals constantly being brown in the lower leaves. The highest (which are getting the most light) are bright green. I know you guys are going to ask me for my water params... will get later, my band is playing at a party this afternoon. I can tell you however that my water is on the hard side and about 7.6 ph. I have been using the Flourish but not much. MAYBE every other week. And I've barely used it at all in the 10g. But root tabs still seem to be very necessary for my argentine swords and a few others.

ETA: Oh... and a surprise must have come from one of my plants... I now have 1 confirmed snail LOL!

Byron 04-18-2010 05:17 PM

Can you post a photo of the black hairs (prob either brush or hair algae)? The CAE wouldn't eat either of these. There are a couple fish that would, but they get large. But let's see what it is before going down that road.

The Wisteria having lower leaves browning (and falling off I expect) is probably light; stem plants frequently do this, they are fast growers and when they reach the surface they will continue across it, blocking out light, and the lower leaves die off. Pennywort is about the only stem plant I have had that does not do this, at least not anywhere as much. I also have Wisteria in my SE Asian setup and I let it grow across the surface deliberately and the lower part of the stems get bare, although if left a wider form of leaf will grow from the roots. This plant has varying leaves according to the light intensity; lace-like are higher light leaves, wider thicker leaves are lower light leaves.

Another problem could be nutrients. Flourish every other week is not likely sufficient. Fast growing plants need nutrients. As do swords. Substrate ferts probably help but I need to dose Flourish twice a week to maintain good plant growth and I have very low light.

When (if) you can post some photos of the algae and the plant problems, I may have more.

Pep 04-18-2010 07:19 PM

I have the same issue I suspect as trukgirl with the brushy looking dark algae. Would MORE fert help get rid of it? Wouldn't that just give more for the algae to feed off?

Byron 04-18-2010 07:33 PM


Originally Posted by Pep (Post 365209)
I have the same issue I suspect as trukgirl with the brushy looking dark algae. Would MORE fert help get rid of it? Wouldn't that just give more for the algae to feed off?

All algae requires light and nutrients, it is just another plant. If the nutrients are in excess of what the plants can use due to the light, algae may or may not appear; but if the light is in excess of what the plants can use in balance with the nutrients, algae will definitely appear. Maintaining a balance is essential to controlling algae. Many planted tank aquarists advocate increasing nutrients (fertilizer) to combat algae on the premise that the higher plants will use those nutrients to out-compete the algae; of course, this assumes the light is balanced too, and the fish load, etc.

We don't yet know if this is true brush algae. I don't want to suggest reducing light or nutrients until we have this confirmed. Messing around with either can tip the balance and make things worse.


trukgirl 04-18-2010 08:11 PM

Ok Byron.. I will get a pic asap. Tried getting one earlier but it was too bright. BRB w/a pic.

trukgirl 04-19-2010 09:36 AM

Sorry Byron... the kids and I passed out early last night!! (the little one has been keeping me up, she's cutting molars lol) I'm working on editing the pics I took so you can see them better.

trukgirl 04-19-2010 10:01 AM

Well, these are the pics I took last night. I just could NOT get a good pic of the dang hairy algae! I guess I'll have to try again... but here is what I have so far. The algae is dark brown or black (I can't really tell) and it just looks like the plants are growing hair... you can see the conditions of the plants though.

trukgirl 04-19-2010 10:03 AM

I forgot to add Byron... I did DIY upgrade my lighting to 4 - 15w daylight 6500k CFLs, with an aluminum reflector.

ETA: I'm pretty good (I think LOL!) at gardening outside... should I be clipping the brown leaves off the water wisteria, or any of the swords or vals?

Byron 04-19-2010 01:21 PM

Thanks for the photos; they help. Light is probably not the issue in my view, nutrients I suspect may be.

Increase Flourish Comprehensive [I assume your Flourish is the "Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium" and not one of the other products in this line] to twice weekly, only the amount specified on the label. Which I believe will work out to something like less than a 1/4 tsp for a 10g, twice a week. The first a day following a water change (water conditioners that detoxify heavy metals will render the metal nutrients ineffective so no point in wasting the Floruish), the second three days after that. The Wisteria will benefit more from liquid than substrate; it is thick in my 70g (have a look at the photos of my present SE Asian 70g setup, that is full of Wisteria) on low light and Flourish once a week.

How long is the light on each day?

And what are your water parameters, from the tap? Hardness and pH is what I'm after. Might have a bearing.


trukgirl 04-19-2010 05:41 PM

Thanks again Byron. You're such a wealth of aquatic plant info!!! :) :) :)

Yes, that is the exact kind of Flourish I am using.
Like this:

Off topic, but have you seen this??

The liquid test kit I just bought a few mos ago does not have a hardness test. :( I can tell you that our water is VERY hard here out of the tap. We installed a whole-house filter last month, and I have been filtering the water myself through a PUR water filter as well (I bought specifically for the fish, sounds silly but its a lot cheaper than buying RO water from the LFS all the time!!) Not sure how all my filtering is doing as far as the hardness since I ran out of test strips that had the hardness test on them before we did all of that. The PH is about 7.6.

Since it takes a day to filter it all that way, the water sits for a day in my old RO water containers with the water safe in it before I put it in the aquarium. I use Tetra Aquasafe. And I probably overdose the Aquasafe because of how hard the water was.

The water has had a bit of a green tint to it since my last water change but I thought it had something to do with my big Gold Gourami dying. (I found him in the morning, no clue how long he'd been that way.) I'm almost due for a WC.

I try to have the lights on 12 hrs, but honestly a lot of times it probably ends up more like 14. I like to turn one on and a half hr later or so turn the other on so it doesn't shock my nocturnal fish. At night I do the same turning them off.

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