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Guest Hughie

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Im very new to the planted tanks, this being my first serious go at it. Anyhow I planted a 4'18' standard tank about 4 weeks back, the plants that survived the still look green but not as lush as when I first got them. about a week back I only just started to notice regrowth in the form of tiny leaves.

Anyhow now im noticing large amounts of brown hair algie. super thing and many strands. Its even in my java moss!

So in short how can I eliminate and keep it away?

If I use some of the products that kill algie, will my plants stuffer as well. What are the recommended products?

If I use UV will it remove hair algie as well?

I also hear that Siamese Flying Fox will eat it? will 2*small ones take care of a 4foot tank?

thanks peoples.

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Hey Hughie, welcome aboard :cheer:

UV can only kill what it touches, so it will help eliminate free-floating things, not what it already established. A friend of mine is having great success with flying foxes. You can still see the algae on some rocks, but the plants are mainly clean (anubias etc)

Is it growing in tufts or as a sort of fluffy carpet? Does it come off easily with your fingers? does it look like fungus or hair?

What area are you in? Are you using tank or town water? Any additions or treatments?

What lighting do you have?

What fish are in the tank? What plants?

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I think I have to go looking for flying foxes this weekend.

Im using a dual T5 54W probably on for about 5-6hours a day from the time I get home from work till the time I go to sleep. Oh one tube is blue the other is white if that matters.

The algie is growing in really fine fluffy carpets hanging from the leaves mainly, it comes off easily when using your fingers but it seems firmly attached. Not at all like a fungus more like hair. u can see the single fine strands.

the tank is stocked with 5 tetra, 6 betta pk's youngens and 2 pakastani loaches

Filtration is 1 sponge and one corner air driven filters(will start looking for uv, any recommendations)

Now I havent put anything into this tank except for straight melbourne tap water with some aquaplus in it. I have been looking for a fertilizer but havent baught one yet. The only thing I can think of that I added recently was the driftwood which came from another tank(with a pair of BN around 4-5cms).

Also do you think it would help if I did daily water changes over a few weeks? not sure how this would help but had to ask.

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5-6 hours a day is insufficient for the higher plants to photosynthesise properly, so they're barely growing... lower plants, like single cell algae, etc, manage quite well on the short light, and thrive... Put your lights on for 10-12 hours a day, and you should see the plants taking up more nutrients than the algae, and the algae will starve out...

Do not add 'fertiliser' yet - or you'll help feed the algae too... right now, you want trace elements and micro nutrients to encourage your plants to grow - Seachem Excel would be a great idea too, as it combats algae AND encourages plant growth...

What plants do you have in there?? If you have some fast growers, you can soak the nitrates away from the algae a lot quicker than with moss and ferns, etc... bung in some wisteria/hornwort/foxtail/elodea/water sprite - something that can use the nutrients in the tank rapidly, without worrying too much about the light conditions, until you address the 'blue' bulb - your 'blue' bulb may be actinic - if so, it's great for all the coral you have in your tank, but useless for plants - they can't use that light - in which case, the other T5 is probably only giving you a low light tank at best, which again, combined with the short photosynthesis period, will stop the plants from growing, but encourages the algae...

Don't run the lights for more than 14 hours, btw - thats more light than plants can use, and will help *another* algae along...

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Blue as in marine actinic? If the tube has writing on it, check what it says. Blue tubes will generally send freshwater tanks to fuzzy pea soup. Even purple-hued FW tubes can be problematic given the right combo of other factors.

How old are the lights? older than 6 months? The output of fluro tubes changes over time, and after about 6 months (based on 12/12 time) the output has changed to something that provides more benefit to algae than plants. Often just refreshing the tubes can cut back in problems.

Grab yourself a timer for your lights (bunnings, about $10) and get a good regular rhythm going, plants and fish appreciate it :lol:

Is the tank stable and cycled? Algae loves ammonia :lol:

I would go back to basics. Manually remove as much as possible, small regular water changes, change the tubes if they aren't the right type/are old, add stem plants as Stuart suggested, and see if you get a reduction in algae or not.

I don't think a UV is going to do much at this stage, perhaps it might help with controlling it later down the line, but the UV light can only kill what it comes into contact with, and this is probably spreading by small strands at the moment rather than microscopic things. You'll need to do a big manual removal beforehand anyway, and it would be a good idea to change the envoronment so it was less conducive to algal growth, so I'd spend some time sussing out a UV if you want, but I'd leave purchasing it until you have the smaller things sorted so you get the most benefit.

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I read somewhere that one way to combat algae was to break up the on/off times of the light. As Stuart has said, the plants will need 10-12 hours of light. The article I read suggested plants are able to use light immediately while algae takes a while to react to the presence of light. Under that theory they suggested breaking up the 10 hours into smaller chunks during the day rather than having the lights on continuously for 10 hours. I tried this with one of my algae riddled tanks. I only broke it up into two. Timer went on in the morning for about 5 hours then off for about 3 hours, then on again for another 5 hours. So the plants are still getting the 10 hours light that they need but the algae is isn't. The algae did die off eventually but it took more than a month. A side benefit of timing the lights in this way is that the tank was lit early in the morning when I'm having breakfast and getting ready for work, and also lit later in the evening so I could enjoy it more.

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