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Looking for a solution to algae problem


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I’ve had a 29 gallon tank set up for 3-4 months now, and for the last 2ish months, I’ve had significant algae growth. I constantly have to wipe down the side of my tank, and I’ve also had hair algae kill a lot of my plants because it blocked them from getting light.

 

I’m wondering if this has to do with how much I feed my fish (I feed once daily, enough pellets or blood worms for fish to eat in 2 minutes), or if it has to do with lighting (I have a proper light for a planted tank and keep it on 8 hours per day).

 

It’s become really difficult to manage, and I would really appreciate any help from someone who can help me out.

 

Thanks! 🙂

 

Erik

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I had a ton of algae issues in the first several months of my first planted tank. I ended up reducing the light intensity and and period and added some Otocinclus catfish and Amano Shrimp. I also use some Seachem Excel sparingly. After a while those solutions helped and the plant mass started outcompeting the algae. It’s never been algae free but it’s reached the point where you have to get  right up to the glass to find any. 

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On 9/20/2021 at 4:54 PM, Nooby said:

@Patrick_G I heard otocinclus are quite difficult to keep 

I’ve heard that too. @Cory’s recent video has some info in that regard. I’ve bought about ten total and only lost one. They’ve all gone into tanks that already had lots healthy algae. I think that makes a difference. 

 

 

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On 9/20/2021 at 6:39 PM, HH Morant said:

Hair algae is often caused by too much light.

I’ll second this. Perhaps try giving your plants a “nap” in the middle of the day where you turn off the light for 1-2 hours.

Another thing that I’ve heard can cause hair algae explosions is an imbalance of nutrients. Not sure which ones, but it’s something to look into. How many plants do you have? It’s possible there aren’t enough plants to use up the nutrients, which leaves plenty of extra for the hair algae.

For what it’s worth, once you have hair algae in your tank, it’s going to be almost impossible to get rid of 100%. Amano shrimp will help (and they’re really fun shrimp anyway!). But it’s a tough algae. Keep removing as much as you can by hand and try spot-treating with hydrogen peroxide (though be careful because it will kill any nearby snails).

Feel free to post a picture of your tank if you want! We may be able to give you more specific advice.

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algae comes from having too many nutrients, or too much light, or both. hair algae imo is almost exclusively from too much light. if it were me, i would cut the light hours back 50% for a couple of weeks until the hair algae is under control, then slowly ease it back up until you start to see growth again. that way you know how many hours a day you can run the light without growing it.

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On 9/20/2021 at 3:03 PM, erik.hueno said:

I’ve also had hair algae kill a lot of my plants because it blocked them from getting light.

 

I’m always a bit confused about the names of the different algae. When you say hair algae are you talking about the long filimentous type? Like this? 61617950-A361-4942-A404-EBD0DE4CCEB9.jpeg.1d3c79ec0bb39fff5331fa0fa8d1adb1.jpeg

Or short bristle algae like this 

DD83F60C-4E44-4E4A-AE09-3286F949A9D4.jpeg.c45c25564c2865ae6ef7739d2c3342ea.jpeg

The top one I find easy to remove manually. The bottom one is tough. I need to use light reduction and a cleaning crew to control it. 

On 9/21/2021 at 8:06 AM, lefty o said:

if it were me, i would cut the light hours back 50% for a couple of weeks until the hair algae is under control, then slowly ease it back up until you start to see growth again. that way you know how many hours a day you can run the light without growing it.

Thats a good plan, especially since it’s a stubborn case that is killing the plants. 

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Im not the most experienced at all, but when I had an issue with algea over growth it was definitely from. Too much light. I had been using a dinner planted plus for an 9 hour period, but didn't know that the intensity was far too high. Had to dim it quite a bit. 

I also started dosing easy carbon, which seemed to give the plants an extra boost before I realized the light issue. 

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