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-   -   What kind of algae is it? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/what-kind-algae-86635/)

Nyxxi 11-24-2011 10:40 PM

What kind of algae is it?
 
4 Attachment(s)
So i noticed a small green mat of some type of algae growing in one of my tanks. I left it in out of curiosity and over the last couple weeks its become quite large. It is also growing in another tank but not as quickly. Can anyone tell me what it is?

MinaMinaMina 11-24-2011 10:51 PM

I can't really see in the last two pics, but...

Hair?

Nyxxi 11-24-2011 11:12 PM

2 Attachment(s)
the last two pics are of a different tank where its not growing nearly as fast or as large i circled it in the last pic but you cant see it here are two more after i moved it

flowerslegacy 11-25-2011 12:11 PM

Hi Nyxxi - I'm on an algea ID quest myself when I ran across your post. I think it's beard algea, but look for yourself. Go back to "Aquarium Plants" then click on "Freshwater Plant Informations" then click on "Algea Guide". Lupin has a great list of algea's along with pics. He even has other links in there to rule out hair vs. beard vs blue green, etc. I'm a novice at all this plant stuff so someone else can direct you on how to deal with it. I'm working on that too. It's a combo of lighting vs. fertilizer vs. manual removal. Good luck!

Byron 11-26-2011 01:24 PM

I would suggest this is likely cladophora algae. It tends to grow something like moss, remaining in one spot, and usually on rock or wood, rarely on plants unless it is bad. Beard algae does not get much beyond 3 cm in length, and this in the photos appears longer than that.

As with any green algae, light is the cause. If the light is more intense or on for longer duration than what will balance the nutrients for the plants, algae will likely occur. There are many types and why some occur in this tank and no in another is something of a mystery.

As long as this is not on plant leaves, it will cause no harm. However, the cause (light) should be changed to keep it in check or it may suddenly take over or another algae may. If the light intensity is adequate for the plants, and the tubes are not too old, reducing the duration by maybe an hour might be advisable.

Fluorescent tubes become ineffective long before they actually burn out; replacing them every 12-18 months (assuming T8 tubes) is recommended.

flowerslegacy 11-26-2011 02:26 PM

Okay - Now I know that I don't have beard algea! I'm turning off my lights one hour earlier. Nyxxi - Byron is the expert you wanted to hear from!

Nyxxi 11-26-2011 05:07 PM

thanks guys. If i am reducing the light how much can i reduce it and not effect the lotus in the one tank. I know my crypts and anubias will be fine but i have lost several lotus plants before i increased the lighting a while back. The lights are older and i was using them for growing some terrestrial plants at one point but they haven't dulled or anything what effect does older florescent tubes have on an aquarium so long as they're not burned out.

Byron 11-26-2011 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nyxxi (Post 903751)
thanks guys. If i am reducing the light how much can i reduce it and not effect the lotus in the one tank. I know my crypts and anubias will be fine but i have lost several lotus plants before i increased the lighting a while back. The lights are older and i was using them for growing some terrestrial plants at one point but they haven't dulled or anything what effect does older florescent tubes have on an aquarium so long as they're not burned out.

Light has to balance the available nutrients or plants cannot photosynthesize (i.e., grow). As soon as something is missing, be it adequate light or any one of the 17 nutrients plants need, they will slow down and may even stop altogether. If a nutrient that is essential is no longer available and light remains, plants can't use it and that is when algae takes advantage. Algae can also use poor light that plants might have to struggle under if they can manage at all. Which brings me to the age of the tubes.

As fluorescent tubes burn, they weaken in intensity. And it is quite rapid. If the tubes are the standard T8 (the "T"refers to the diameter in 8ths of an inch, so a T8 is 8/8 or one inch diameter) they should be replaced every 12-18 months. Every year would be better. Even then, they are considerably less bright than they would be new. When you are used to the tube day after day, you don't notice this; but everyone who replaces a tube is always aware of the brighter light.

Sometimes algae will suddenly start to increase, and it is often because the light has lost so much intensity it is too weak for the plants. Algae can use any light, at any brightness; plants cannot. I noticed this in my tanks last year; brush algae began increasing, and I checked and saw that my tubes had been running for 18 months. I replaced them; the algae immediately stopped. This is one reason you should never leave tubes until they burn out; they are far too weak by then.

As for the duration, it depends upon the plants and available nutrients. As I said earlier, everything has to be available in balance. Some nutrients occur in tap water (and come in with each water change), some in fish food that end up in organic waste in the substrate. Sometimes we have to add some via liquid fertilizer or substrate tabs. One very important nutrient is carbon, available to most aquatic plants as CO2 (carbon dioxide) although some can use bicarbonates (in harder water). CO2 is often the first nutrient to run out. How long do you have the light on now? And are you using any fertilizer? This will help us suggest a suitable reduction time.

Last, but certainly not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum; I should have welcomed you previously, but didn't notice you just joined.

Byron.


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