What is this stringy stuff (it is so soft it comes right off when i do a vacuum during water change

jake37

I started co2 about 4 to 6 weeks ago - about 2 weeks after I started this very soft algae would grow in certain places (mostly roots of floating plants - frogbits?) but also I had a tiny strand of hornworth that shot up and then became coated with this stuff. It is not clinging too tightly - i.e, when I do a water change if I run the hose over it it will suck right off. As of this week I have ceased to add fertilizer under the presumption there is too much nutrient in the tank.
q.jpg
 

mlash

If you just started injecting co2, I would think the last thing you would want to do is stop dosing ferts.
 

jake37

Yea but that moves me no closer to identifying that algae and why it is growing so fast....

If you just started injecting co2, I would think the last thing you would want to do is stop dosing ferts.
 

mlash

Probably just hair algae. Is your CO2 consistent? Are you getting a full 1ppm drop in your pH using the CO2?
 

Rev

It looks like a hair algae. I got it really bad in one of my tanks due to an excess of light and ferts. It grew all over my java moss. Having less time with the lights on and lower doses of ferts stopped more from growing for me. I don't know what you have in the tank, but shrimp can be very effective at cleaning it up as well.
 

jake37

I'll try reducing fert for now and maybe lights in a few weeks if that doesn't help. I have no shrimps - never dealt with shrimps but I think loaches love shrimp ? The co2 is consistent but on a timer - it goes on at 7:30 when the lights start ramping up (lights hit full at 8:30); and goes off at 5:30 when lights go off (they start ramping down at 4:30). The co2 was the only real change when I got the algae and it only seems to grow on select plants next to the co2 inject (hornworth and floating plants roots - I think they are frogbits). I have otto but they don't seem to go after it - and bn pleco aren't going to the top - it only grows at the top. The jungle val always grew well but now it is getting annoying dense - on the bright side the cripsus and ulvaceus now have leaves over 2 ft tall (the ulvaceus has been in the tank for 4 months but wouldn't grow till I added co2). On the negative co2 doesn't seem to impact the swords or anubias very much.
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I didn't adjust co2 by ph I adjusted it via dropper which went from blue to mid/light green.
 

Rev

Oh yeah, no go with the loaches that would be an expensive snack. I've heard Siamese algae eaters can eat it. But that's just another fish in your tank. More frequent water changes could help as well, diluting the nutrients in the water. It definitely looks like the CO2 is the tipping point. So less nutrients could lower the threshold for the algae to grow, either with less ferts, more frequent water changes or both.
 

mlash

Your co2 should be about 300ppm, a good indication of this is when your ph drops a full point from the level just about an hour before your co2 comes on (mine drops from 7.4 to about 6.2 during co2 cycle). I do have a dropper but I only use it as a indication that my co2 is still working. If it ever turns blue I will know to check my co2 tank. My co2 comes on an hour before lights on and goes off and hour before lights off. My lights are on 8 hours a day.
 

jake37

The ph drop is somewhere between .7 and .11 (the low range is easy to read - 6.4 the high range is a bit more ambigous (apI colour test) but I think around 7.2 - so for me I would rate it as close enough. I gave you a description of light - so my lights are on 9ish hours (depending at what point during the ramp up you want to consider them on). I'll report back in a week to 10 days if the reduce fertilizer has solved the algae problem. I will probably not increase the co2 - when it was higher the fishes disliked the bubbles - but at the current level plants are growing well enough (perhaps some of them too well) and the fishes don't mind the bubbles (injection is on one side of a 4 foot tank - the far side is likely getting less co2 but the fishes would move to the far side if the bubbles are too high).
 

KinderScout

Your co2 should be about 300ppm
oops - a typo?
Measure your KH - there's a direct relationship between KH/PH/CO2 as per this table - aI'm for 15 to 30ppm depending on the CO2 needs of your plants

CO2-Chart-1-1.jpg
 

jake37

The KH measured 4 (4 drops). With no CO2 (i.e, tap) it is 3. if my test is accurate and your table is accurate that puts me way over at 47.8. But since tap is 3 drops I'm way over if ph is accurate at 6.4. If I misread the ph scale (colour you know) and it is 6.6 then all is fine. None of my fish gasp but a few of them don't like the bubbles.
--
Or maybe I should be concern? Should I turn the co2 down a notch ?

oops - a typo?
Measure your KH - there's a direct relationship between KH/PH/CO2 as per this table - aI'm for 15 to 30ppm depending on the CO2 needs of your plants

CO2-Chart-1-1.jpg
 

mlash

oops - a typo?
Measure your KH - there's a direct relationship between KH/PH/CO2 as per this table - aI'm for 15 to 30ppm depending on the CO2 needs of your plants

Thanks for the correction. It is 30ppm not 300.
 

KinderScout

Maybe turn your CO2 down a notch - 4 drops - is that 4dKH? Tap water pretty irrelevant I this case. Your KH should stay constant (unless you mess with it). get your CO2 to between 20 & 30 (PH 6.6 to 6.8) and then note the colour of your drop checker for reference. Measure PH mid lighting period before a water change. Hope all comes out OK in the end - it took us a couple of months to get ferts/lights/CO2 balanced. The theory is more plant growth = less algae. If only it were that simple!
 

WetRootsNH

I would not lower your ferts. I would lower your light schedule or intensity.
Don't know if you are into automobiles or not but maybe try and look at it like this.
The light is your gas pedal, CO2 is the fuel and ferts are your traction.
If you floor it and have plenty of fuel but your tires are bald; your not going anywhere.
With less traction due to less ferts you need to let off the throttle so your tires can hook up. Maybe that's not the best analogy...
I'm a firm believer in E.I dosing. Always make sure there's enough ferts and CO2, light level is your adjustment.
If there are enough or even excess ferts and enough CO2 the plants will outgrow the algae. If there is too much light and not enough ferts or CO2, the algae will outgrow the plants.
An easy example of this in action is GSA (Green spot algea) 100% of the time I have had it, I up my phosphorus dosage (I don't even bother to measure it accurately, I just add more) and the GSA goes away.
 

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