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Planted Tank Question--"Hair" Algae

1870 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  macclellan
Before I get to my question, here are the parameters of my tank:

110g Tall, 48"W x 18"D x 27" Tall. I am using the Coralife 2-lamp, T5 light fixture with (1) 28W 10,000K lamp, and (1) Actinic Blue lamp. The lamps are on from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM, and 5:30 to 10:30 PM each day (timer). Nitrates are at 20-40 in the last test today, with 8.2 pH. All other parameters are golden.

Right now I have roughly 22 fish all around 3-4", and to BN Plecos and a Tiger Pleco.

My issue is this: I have 4 Anubias in the tank, and have had a significant build up of reddish/black algae on the lace rock that has "hair" associated with it. There are also black spots & "hair" on the Anubias leaves themselves. The leaves also seem to be less than whole, "bitten". There is also a fair amount of green algae on the lace rock as well.

I have to say, I LOVE the green algae on the rock, and I also am warming up to the reddish/black stuff on the rock as well. But, if it is bad for the tank and causing my Anubias to have this stuff on it, I'm open to taking steps to remove it. I have Flourish, and have not been dosing it with regularity.

To get the Anubias growing and looking "green" again, what do I need to do? I already suspect I am underlighting as it is.

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If I'm reading your post correctly, you a tall, large tank with 28W?? You basically have NO light in your tank. While anubias is low-light, it should be getting at least 1.5 watts per gallon, which means 165 watts for your tank. You also have a tall tank, which means it's even more difficult to get light down to the bottom, where your plants are. In fact, all your lights really are doing are growing algae . . .

Some thoughts:

Get more appropriate lighting (wattage)
Once you get more wattage, get some additional low-light plants, such as java fern, crypts and maybe a few more anubias. You need the plants to "outcompete" the algae for resources.
I definitely would NOT be using Flourish in your current conditions, as it will only be feeding algae. Your anubias are not getting enough light to be able to use the ferts up. You could start with Flourish Excel, though, which has some algae-fighting properties. Definitely use Excel when you increase your lighting. As the lighting increases, the plants will be able to photosynthesize and they'll need the carbon in the Excel to do this. Eventually you might consider pressurized CO2, but may not need it if you stick to low-light plants.
You can remove the algae from the anubias by taking them out of the tank and dipping the affected leaves in a solution of 1 part Excel to 5 parts water. (I believe you can also use a bleach solution, but I've never done this.) The solution will kill the algae. Do not use Excel straight onto the leaves (it will kill the leaves) and don't dip the roots. You can put the anubias directly back into the tank after treatment.

Finally, siamese algae eaters will eat black brush algae and hair algae. As will amano shrimp.

In my opinion, your nitrates are too high, which is also contributing to your algae growth. It's like fertilizer for plants, but since your anubias can't really use it due to the low light, it's helping the algae. My planted tanks are around 5-10 ppm nitrate.

Hope this helps!!
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That was incredibly helpful, thank you! Acutally, there was 56W's (I originally thought they were T5 HO, 54W....big problem there). I have added another strip to my set up, and begun dosing with Excel. At my next big water change/re-aquascape, I will try your suggestion on the dipping method. Right now, three of the four Anubias are naturally "attached" to the lace rock, and in all cases, the four are at the mid to top-level of the water column.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is the full name for the Crypts?
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