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Can't control hair algae, please advise (long)
I have a 70 gal tank that has been a nightmare with hair algae. The tank
has been up for 4 1/2 months and I can't find that balance that causes the
hair algae to die back.
Here is some info on the tank:
4 40W bulbs powered by a IceCap 660 ballast
3 Aquasun, 1 Corallife Trichromatic
CO2 (from a cylinder) at 1-2 bubbles/sec is injected into an Eheim 2215
Substrate Gold is used in half of tank (back and sides) and is covered with
Estes Deep River gravel.
PMDD from the Sears-Conlin paper
Initial planting was
15-20 E. berteroi or E. maior,
15-20 E. bleheri,
50 E. tennelus,
20 Cabomba caroliniana,
10 Bacopa monnieri,
5 Eleocharis sp.
1 Gold nugget Pleco
6 Blue Rams
15 Silver hatchetfish
30 Cardinal tetras
5 Corydoras sp
The larger swords were planted in the substrate with the Substrate Gold.
The E. tennellus was planted in the foreground which didn't have the
Substrate Gold. The bunch plants were grouped throughout (some had the
enhanced substrate, some on the fringe area and some in regular gravel).
pH - target 6.5 +/- .2
The initial planting went fairly well for awhile. The Cabomba especially
was growing very vigorously and needed to be thinned and replanted at least
1x/week for the first month or two. Eventually the E. tennellus carpeted
the remaining unplanted foreground as planned. The larger swords were of
suspect quality and slowly produced new leaves but smaller (6-8") than the
original (10-12") leaves. They never really grew with the vigor I have
experienced in the past.
Hair algae started on the older leaves which would have been expected.
About a month after the tank was started something triggered an outbreak of
Ich and instead of treating the tank I raised the temp to 86°F. The Ich
disappeared in a week or so, but the hair algae exploded and I haven't been
able to control it since. The hair algae eventually spread to entire tank
and suffocated the bunch plants. They were replaced with Cabomba since that
grew the best initially. Within 3-4 days hair algae was growing on the new
About 1/2 way through this ordeal I doubled the K2SO4 and noticed the algae
start to thin out and die back but it never completely disappeared and came
back with a vengenance.
Here is some recent water test data (ppm)
Fe NO3 PO4 PMDD K2SO4
.08 2.4 .1 6ml 12ml
.11 2.2 6 12
.14 2.3 4 8
.13 1.7 .1 4 8
.12 1.7 4 8
.11 2.1 3 6
.09 2.2 .1 0 0 20% WC
.07 2.0 .1 0 0
Other than the fish load being high, is there something that I'm missing?
I also have a 55 gal that has been up for 3-4 years and doesn't have a touch
of hair algae. I have 300 W of light via 4 florescent tubes, CO2 injected
into a Fluval 203, and I add a splash of PMDD every day or every other day.
Both tanks based on the Sears-Conlin paper.
What is the limiting factor here? Is there too much K2SO4 which is impeding
Any advice on how to take control of this mess?