What Algae Is This?

live4wetsleeves

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Looks like green hair algae to me. Best way to rid your tank of any algae is reduce nutrients and daily light time. Green hair algae is the easiest to get rid of IME, you can manually remove it or you can do what I do and just always keep species of fish that will eat it. Don't ever add fish just for troubleshooting, especially if it doesn't fit your stock. There are however some cases where it will work. Like I said, reducing nutrients and light is your best way to fix the imbalance. Green hair algae is almost always caused by an imbalance in the tank.
What fish do you have in the tank and what are your nitrates at?
 

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Looks like Compsopogon sp. To test this, get a sample and soak it in pure alcohol. If they turn red they are Compsopogon sp..
Do you dose ferts? Do you inject CO2? They usually appear if the nutrients are not in balance.
Target spray them with Excel can kill them. With a syringe spray them every day until they turn white/pinkish in appearance, at that point they are dead.
If only a few leafs are effected, cut them off.
However they will appear again unless you address the imbalance of nutrients.
 
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JaymesG

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live4wetsleeves said:
Looks like green hair algae to me. Best way to rid your tank of any algae is reduce nutrients and daily light time. Green hair algae is the easiest to get rid of IME, you can manually remove it or you can do what I do and just always keep species of fish that will eat it. Don't ever add fish just for troubleshooting, especially if it doesn't fit your stock. There are however some cases where it will work. Like I said, reducing nutrients and light is your best way to fix the imbalance. Green hair algae is almost always caused by an imbalance in the tank.
What fish do you have in the tank and what are your nitrates at?
Just did another water test today so I could report that:

pH: 7.6 (High, I know. I added some regulator).
Phosphate: 0.25 - 0.50
Nitrate: 5 - 10
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
 

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JaymesG said:
Just did another water test today so I could report that:

pH: 7.6 (High, I know. I added some regulator).
Phosphate: 0.25 - 0.50
Nitrate: 5 - 10
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
What's your CO2 level? Not enough CO2 should be ruled out first because a lot of tell tales of CO2 deficiency could be misinterpreted as nutrient deficiencies.
 

live4wetsleeves

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JaymesG said:
Just did another water test today so I could report that:

pH: 7.6 (High, I know. I added some regulator).
Phosphate: 0.25 - 0.50
Nitrate: 5 - 10
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
I can say with confidence that unless you're keeping fish that need acidic waters, 7.6 is far from being high. My water usually sits around 8.1-3 and I've never experienced issues, but I've never kept something like discus to avoid said issues. You're phosphate is within the healthy range as well as your nitrates. After further inspection I'd say that resembles black hair algae more than green, the methods for getting rid of it are basically the same though. Remove infected leaves, and in the case of black hair algae, increasing flow sometimes helps. The guy who posted after me originally was spot on in terms of removal methods. What is your current stocking? Because Amano shrimp work wonders for hair algae IME.
 
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JaymesG

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Baba said:
Looks like Compsopogon sp. To test this, get a sample and soak it in pure alcohol. If they turn red they are Compsopogon sp..
Do you dose ferts? Do you inject CO2? They usually appear if the nutrients are not in balance.
Target spray them with Excel can kill them. With a syringe spray them every day until they turn white/pinkish in appearance, at that point they are dead.
If only a few leafs are effected, cut them off.
However they will appear again unless you address the imbalance of nutrients.
Yes I dose both fertilizers and CO2.
Do you have any tips on how I can balance my nutrients? I started my nutrient dosing by following the recommendations on the bottles but even then I was getting this algae (as well as diatoms on the sand portion of the tank which I'm still battling). Recently I have been using the following dosing schedule (40 gallon long breeder tank):

Filter Rinse: Monthly (3 days apart from water change)
Water Change: Weekly (Roughly 15 gallons) ~35%
Prime: 4mL with each water change
Excel: (Not used on days with Iron) 4mL every 3 days
Flourish Iron: (Not used on days with Excel) 15 mL every 2 days I increased this because I have several red plants in tank that haven't been very red. They have improved after increasing the amount of iron.
Flourish Supplement: (Not used on days with Trace) 4mL weekly
Flourish Trace: (Not used on days with Supplement) 10mL every 3 days
Flourish Potassium: 7mL every 3 days
Root Tabs: Replaced 4 or 5 spread out, every 2 months

I am using a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 version 2 light. I have it set on 24 hour mode and I understand that this may be helping with the algae (also diatom) issue, but I really love the effect it gives to my tank. Its the second version so at night time it goes completely black (whereas the first edition would never shut off completely and would have dim blue lights on in the wee hours of the morning).

I was running my CO2 to start at 11am and end at 5pm. It would take a good 3 to 4 hours for my drop checkers to turn green. This week I refilled my CO2 tank and have set the schedule to start at 8am and end at 4 pm with the idea of giving the tank 8 hours of CO2 with noon (when the light is brightest) in the middle of that 8 hours; I use bubbles at night and have a circulation pump that collects the water from the outtake and pushes the water along the front of the tank to the other side where in intake is. I use a UV sterilizer and have about 42 inhabitants which is pushing the limit I know but I feel it is okay with the frequent water changes:

Killifish: 1
Honey Dwarf Gourami: 6
Black Phantom Tetra: 5
Silver Hatchet Fish: 4
Cherry Barbs: 4
Panda Cory Cat: 5
Kuhli Loach: 2
Bolivian Rams: 2
Glass Catfish: 4
Nerite Snails: 9

Water test results from today (which is pretty consistent besides the pH):
pH: 7.6 (Added some regulator to balance pH)
Phosphate: 0.25 - 0.50 ppm
Nitrate: 5 - 10 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
The tank is about 2.5 to 3 years old and the fish seem very happy and I haven't had any deaths in quite awhile. Please see attached image of what the tank looks likes today. (I have removed some of the sand as I plan to replace it with a different sand that has larger granules and is less compact.) Any recommendations or suggests are welcome. Thanks.
 

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JaymesG

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Baba said:
What's your CO2 level? Not enough CO2 should be ruled out first because a lot of tell tales of CO2 deficiency could be misinterpreted as nutrient deficiencies.
How do I check my CO2 level?
 

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JaymesG said:
How do I check my CO2 level?
With your drop checker in the upper left corner What's the color of the indicator?
I think you need more plants to go by the recommended amounts on the bottle. I would decrease it maybe by half and see how the tank develops (CO2 at 30ppm provided)
 

live4wetsleeves

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Baba said:
With your drop checker in the upper left corner What's the color of the indicator?
I think you need more plants to go by the recommended amounts on the bottle. I would decrease it maybe by half and see how the tank develops (CO2 at 30ppm provided)
That was my initial though too, I see a lot of fertilizers and not a lot of plants. The ADA soil on its own should provide a significant amount of nutrients for the plants and replacing root tabs every two months seems excessive. In my mind, it's no wonder the algae is starting to pop up. I definitely agree with cutting down on fertilizer use. I have a heavily planted tank that EXPLODES with growth and literally all I do is run an aerator at night, occasionally dose some liquid ferts (half dose maybe 1-2 times a week or less), and add DIY osmocote root tabs every 4-6 months.
I don't see a need for root tabs if you have the ADA providing nutrients. My other question is how in the world has that tank been set up for nearly 3 years and the plants have only grown that much? Those smaller plants as well as the grass (I assume its spiralis or a related species) should've nearly carpeted by now, especially with the amount of fertilizers and meticulous care they receive.
 
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JaymesG

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live4wetsleeves said:
That was my initial though too, I see a lot of fertilizers and not a lot of plants. The ADA soil on its own should provide a significant amount of nutrients for the plants and replacing root tabs every two months seems excessive. In my mind, it's no wonder the algae is starting to pop up. I definitely agree with cutting down on fertilizer use. I have a heavily planted tank that EXPLODES with growth and literally all I do is run an aerator at night, occasionally dose some liquid ferts (half dose maybe 1-2 times a week or less), and add DIY osmocote root tabs every 4-6 months.
I don't see a need for root tabs if you have the ADA providing nutrients. My other question is how in the world has that tank been set up for nearly 3 years and the plants have only grown that much? Those smaller plants as well as the grass (I assume its spiralis or a related species) should've nearly carpeted by now, especially with the amount of fertilizers and meticulous care they receive.
Its a recent re-scape and so most of the plants are from cuttings / propagation of the old plants.
Soil is Fluval Stratum.
 
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JaymesG

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Baba said:
With your drop checker in the upper left corner What's the color of the indicator?
I think you need more plants to go by the recommended amounts on the bottle. I would decrease it maybe by half and see how the tank develops (CO2 at 30ppm provided)
I was running my CO2 to start at 11am and end at 5pm. It would take a good 3 to 4 hours for my drop checkers to turn green. This week I refilled my CO2 tank and have set the schedule to start at 8am and end at 4 pm with the idea of giving the tank 8 hours of CO2 with noon (when the light is brightest) in the middle of that 8 hours.
 
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JaymesG

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It's funny because I would have said that my tank was overly stocked with plants. I guess I didn't really have a point of reference. I definitely agree with you though and will lower my nutrient dosage. Any other suggestions? As far as CO2 I think the new schedule from 8am - 4pm should help as I have checked my drop checkers at noon and they read green. Whereas with the old schedule (11am - 5pm) the drop checkers would not turn green until about 2 or 3pm.
 

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JaymesG said:
It would take a good 3 to 4 hours for my drop checkers to turn green.
This is normal. They change very slowly. 3-4 hours lagging is not uncommon.
JaymesG said:
This week I refilled my CO2 tank and have set the schedule to start at 8am and end at 4 pm with the idea of giving the tank 8 hours of CO2 with noon (when the light is brightest) in the middle of that 8 hours.
I suggest turning CO2 on an hour after lights come on and cut it off a few hours (2-3) before lights go off.

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JaymesG

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Baba said:
This is normal. They change very slowly. 3-4 hours lagging is not uncommon.

I suggest turning CO2 on an hour before lights come on and cut it off a few hours (2-3) before lights go off.
The only problem with this is that my lights aren't on a timer, they are on a 24-hour mode. So in the morning they simulate the orange of sunrise and by noon they are on max brightness and then by dusk they are a blueish color. Then at night the lights turn off all together. I like this mode as the noon phase gives my plants the light they need but then at night when I come home the tank is already set to my favorite viewing color (the blue) and I can watch the tank fade into night while I'm watching TV.
 

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Yeah, you run the 24/7 cycle. I have version 1 and run 24/7 but on a timer because of the issues of not turning completely dark at night.
I also need to correct myself in the post above. I turn CO2 on an hour after lights come on.

Edit: Somewhere I found a PAR curve for the 24/7 mode V1. Maybe there is one for the V2 too. Based on that you can turn your CO2 on right before the curve goes up.
 
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JaymesG

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Baba said:
Yeah, you run the 24/7 cycle. I have version 1 and run 24/7 but on a timer because of the issues of not turning completely dark at night.
I also need to correct myself in the post above. I turn CO2 on an hour after lights come on.

Edit: Somewhere I found a PAR curve for the 24/7 mode V1. Maybe there is one for the V2 too. Based on that you can turn your CO2 on right before the curve goes up.
I think the lights function similarly. How big / tall is your tank? When do you turn CO2 on and off?
 

Baba

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JaymesG said:
I think the lights function similarly. How big / tall is your tank? When do you turn CO2 on and off?
I have a pretty shallow tank. Maybe 10-11" from light fixture to substrate. I turn on around an hour after light on (6am) and off sometimes in the afternoon. I would have to check specific time as I don't know out of the top of my head.
 
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