Did something a little dumb... anything I should do to help fix this?

shrimpmama

Long story short I added some fertilizer (half dose Flourish, 400μL/10 gallons) to a tank which I had never used fertilizer in, no idea what I was thinking, didn't add any since. No surprise, two weeks later there's a fairly concerning algae problem. We've been picking it out when possible but haven't been able to get it off the plants, and don't want to disturb the plant roots or leaves. Now we're concerned. There are a few resident nerite snails but there has never been a big algae presence, at best there was a bit on the airstone and a lava rock. Asking these guys to eat all of this, and us to pluck it off the plants, seems iffy.

I've thought about temporarily relocating the snails and adding a low dose of algaecide, but is dramatic action necessary? Since there's no cause to expect the algae to return if we can get rid of it, I'm not sure if such dramatic action will really help of just upset the balance even further.


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Most of these plants we produced from trimmings, it's been only a few months since they were planted, I don't want to pull them out or uproot to get a better angle (tried to trim off the bulk with surgical scissors, no luck). They get 8 hours of light from two 17 W, 6500 K fluorescent tube lights. No nutrients added beyond 10-20% water change weekly. Over several months all the plants have sprouted roots and grown 3-5x their initial size. It's a 10 gallon tank and also home to a community of african dwarf frogs and corydoras.
 

jtjgg

do not use any algaecide, too many reports of mass fish die off.

do a large water change, and black out for a few days.
 
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StarGirl

That is staghorn algae I doubt it came from a half a dose of ferts. It was probably just coincidence. Dosing some Florish Excel may take care of it. It is more of a algaeside not a fertilizer.
 
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Fisch

Nearly is a bit thick for staghorn. May be black beard? You can try to spot treat with Excel or Peroxyde.
 
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StarGirl

Nearly is a bit thick for staghorn. May be black beard? You can try to spot treat with Excel or Peroxyde.
Its not BBA. It looks like little trees. Definitely staghorn ;)
 
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DerekO24

do not use any algaecide, too many reports of mass fish die off.

do a large water change, and black out for a few days.
Blackouts really do work. Back when I was struggling to get a tank dialed in I did a 4 day blackout and it made a difference
 
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Pfrozen

Flourish is just trace... blackouts will not help against red algaes such as BBA and Staghorn. IMO the issue is the tube lighting. Staghorn LOVES tube lighting for some reason. I know in my own tanks I don't ever seem to have problems with Staghorn under quality full spectrum lighting, only in my project tanks. The advice here is good, excel is effective against Staghorn

I should also mention that no ferts can also cause algae. Many common algaes thrive in low-nutrient environments if there is strong lighting. Fill a bare bottom tank with water and leave a light over it for a few days and you will see hair algae appear 9/10 times :)
 
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shrimpmama

Flourish is just trace... blackouts will not help against red algaes such as BBA and Staghorn. IMO the issue is the tube lighting. Staghorn LOVES tube lighting for some reason. I know in my own tanks I don't ever seem to have problems with Staghorn under quality full spectrum lighting, only in my project tanks. The advice here is good, excel is effective against Staghorn

I should also mention that no ferts can also cause algae. Many common algaes thrive in low-nutrient environments if there is strong lighting. Fill a bare bottom tank with water and leave a light over it for a few days and you will see hair algae appear 9/10 times :)

I came to that conclusion under the premise that algae can thrive when there is a sudden upset in ecosystem balance, so while we might have too strong a light, I jumped fast to sudden nutrient spike and decline since we' saw this in our shrimp tank early in the year when I started trying to fertilize and care for their plants. Now I'll speculate, since in both cases the algae growth was slow over time, but suddenly spread almost overnight (more accurately, perhaps a week). In both cases we had introduced some new plants a month beforehand, of which all were going strong but one turns out to be pretty much dead. In the present case, this happened 4 weeks ago (hornwort explosion) then 1 week ago a small bushlike plant (label was wrong, no idea what it was) completely fell apart. So, over time less healthy plants using nutrients from the water, more dead plant matter feeding algae, a little too much light. A few shrimp die, or in this case a few fish are relocated, water parameters are upset. Suddenly the tides are in favor of the algae. Around the same time, one of us decides to take better care of the plants, but this problem was waiting to happen?

This time around I had done some reading so I was pulling out dead plant matter every day, testing nitrate level every other day (always 0) and vacuuming the sand at least once a week. So, a bit surprising. Anyway an algae attack occured in the shrimp tank last week, all over a new amazon sword, and I had also supplied fertilizer to that tank then stopped. But, I dropped the light level down to 7 hours a day (from 9), there are 4 nerites in there, and the algae has since disappeared without any human intervention... I guess what I'm getting at is while I see the trends, it's still rather difficult to root out what to adjust.

If we black out the tank for a few days, what do we do with the fish? Will they not be bothered? How does a water change help, and will it upset the balance of bacteria? I will see about getting some excel.
 
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coolio3991

I came to that conclusion under the premise that algae can thrive when there is a sudden upset in ecosystem balance, so while we might have too strong a light, I jumped fast to sudden nutrient spike and decline since we' saw this in our shrimp tank early in the year when I started trying to fertilize and care for their plants. Now I'll speculate, since in both cases the algae growth was slow over time, but suddenly spread almost overnight (more accurately, perhaps a week). In both cases we had introduced some new plants a month beforehand, of which all were going strong but one turns out to be pretty much dead. In the present case, this happened 4 weeks ago (hornwort explosion) then 1 week ago a small bushlike plant (label was wrong, no idea what it was) completely fell apart. So, over time less healthy plants using nutrients from the water, more dead plant matter feeding algae, a little too much light. A few shrimp die, or in this case a few fish are relocated, water parameters are upset. Suddenly the tides are in favor of the algae. Around the same time, one of us decides to take better care of the plants, but this problem was waiting to happen?

This time around I had done some reading so I was pulling out dead plant matter every day, testing nitrate level every other day (always 0) and vacuuming the sand at least once a week. So, a bit surprising. Anyway an algae attack occured in the shrimp tank last week, all over a new amazon sword, and I had also supplied fertilizer to that tank then stopped. But, I dropped the light level down to 7 hours a day (from 9), there are 4 nerites in there, and the algae has since disappeared without any human intervention... I guess what I'm getting at is while I see the trends, it's still rather difficult to root out what to adjust.

If we black out the tank for a few days, what do we do with the fish? Will they not be bothered? How does a water change help, and will it upset the balance of bacteria? I will see about getting some excel.
I agree with doing the black out for a few days like they said. But try to not add anything abnormal to your tank. if your pets arent used to it because you've been using something else for so long a sudden change could affect the more sensitive animals. I used to use api ammo lock. But I found out it was slowing my cycle down so I one day stopped using it and started using api stress coat and several shrimp died. And a few fish started acting out. But the rest of my tank is fine now I've used the same declorinator for several weeks now and they are used to it. I also use fertilizer every day. I have algea but not much it's only on my hard scape like the sunken ship. And it's there because i want it to be. All my fish seam to like picking at it. And my shrimp love it. If the animals you have can go with shrimp and your tank is cy led then shrimp are a good natural option for your tank. I'm thinking of adding ghost shrimp to my betta craw tank to help with algea.
 
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