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Discussion Starter #1
This algae has been haunting me for a while now. It can easily be removed with a toothbrush - basically combed out from hairgrass or Java Moss:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=127

My tanks are 2-3 wpg, CO2 is at least 20, I dose Fe and Traces but no P and N. Not many fish.

The tanks get very little algae on the front glass but the algae pictured above are always present.

Any experiences?

--Nikolay
 

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Cladophora,
It's fairly tough to remove without doing it manually, I've had Amano shrimps in large densities remove it.

If you are adding Traces and CO2, why not N and P since you have few fish?

I think your tank will do better if these are added especially w/o many fish.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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There's really two ways to solve this problem

1) Find algae eating shrimps ASAP. However to clear the tank from this algae sooner, this shrimps might need a helping hand. You might have to pull some out with your hand. See if this does the trick.

2) Make sure all areas of your tank has some sort of water flow. If not, increase the water flow so that every area in u'r tank has new water circulating through. Lower the amount of light the tank gets each day. For me, I eliminated my staghorn algae problem by dropping 12 hours a day to 10 hours a day and increasing water flow.

Actually

A third option) WATER CHANGES.

Constant water cahnges always helps.

If these dont' work, then u might have some serious algae problem. But you won't kno until maybe two weeks down the line. Good luck with u'r combats.
 

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algea

I am only getting this algea on my riccia. This is also closet to the light. I just put in a bunch of cherry, bumble bee and pearl shrimp. Hoping this will help. I tried to pull out as much as I could but I started to pull the riccia out with it so I left it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies.

I did think that was Cladophora. I had the same algae about a year ago, nice and tidy on a piece if wood. It actually looked very nice and never spread anywhere else. Grew very slow too.

Shrimp... It will be pretty costly to me to put enough shrimp in 3 tanks, one of which is 180 gals. Only a few shrimp won't do, I know that well.

I do have enough water flow in all the tanks. At least I like to think so. I could add a powerhead and see what happens though.

Water changes don't seem to harm this algae. It's my view that this algae benefits from all the things that benefit plants and does not really like what other algae like.

--Nikolay
 

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Niko: Try some cherry red shrimps, just get a few and have them reproduce and just sit back.

Gomer had a lot of experience in this, perhaps this could be an option of not having enough shrimps?
 

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That is Cladophora, probably one of the most difficult algaes of all to eradicate.

Here is my experience:

A) Keep all nutrients in adequate supply. Don't slack on your dosing regime. If the plants are doing well, this algae will slow down considerably IME.

B) Pick at it mercilessly. Go in there every time you have a chance and pick out all the strands you see. You will notice that as you pick off strands, you will lift up pieces of substrate along with it.

C) I don't know how many Tom had in his tank, but I had a dozen in my 20g long and they didn't do much of anything against this algae. SAEs, snails, and otos also pretty much ignored it.

I got rid of this algae slowly and never completely. It's very persistant, but its rather slow growth helps keep it unnoticeable without closer inspection. I eventually beat it back into my christmas moss, where it happily did well since I didn't have the heart to rip off all my moss.

Good luck! This one is a nuisance.

Carlos
 

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That is Cladophora, probably one of the most difficult algaes of all to eradicate.

Here is my experience:

A) Keep all nutrients in adequate supply. Don't slack on your dosing regime.

B) Pick at it mercilessly. Go in there every time you have a chance and pick out all the strands you see. You will notice that as you pick off strands, you will lift up pieces of substrate along with it.

C) I don't know how many shrimp Tom had in his tank, but I had a dozen in my 20g long and they didn't do much of anything against this algae. SAEs, snails, and otos also pretty much ignored it.

I got rid of this algae slowly and never completely. It's very persistant, but its rather slow growth helps keep it unnoticeable without closer inspection. I eventually beat it back into my christmas moss, where it happily did well since I didn't have the heart to rip off all my moss.

One quick way to identify this species, other than the wiry texture, is to smell it. It should smell distinctly like iron.

Good luck! This one is a nuisance.

Carlos
 

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Is this algae really that bad? It responds very well to a 3-day blackout for me. BBA is the one that won't die.

...or am I totally mis-identifying this species of Cladophora?
 

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That's Cladophora?! I thought Cladophora was epiphytic?

Anyway-- That one comes into my tanks occasionally from new plants. I pick it out and it never comes back. I must be lucky.

I have much more trouble with Utricularia...
 

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No, not all Cladophora is epiphytic, this one actually is not epiphytioc at all, it gets entangled, but I've never found it truly attached to a plant.

If you are killing it with blackouts, It's not this alga, it's likely Vaucheria or Rhizoclonium.

There are a few algae that look close to this one.

If it's only in the Riccia, Heck toss the Riccia and pick off a tiny piece to re grow the Riccia without it.

Harassment works also, removal of the plants that allow it to stay entangled will help.

It will attach to gravel and sometimes wood etc and likes flowing water, if it's unbranched and soft, it's often Rhizoclonium, if tough and unbranched, often Dicotomosiphon. Vaucheria needs an iodine test for starch negative.
There are others.

I've seen it go away in tanks not come back on several ocassions so there seems to be some trigger.
Aggressive attacks will help. Also, I've let other plants over shade and out grow it and then it's died back, this worked well with pearl grass.

It's more like a higher plant in many respects, it's large, thick walled, Chl a and B, starch reserves etc. Not too tasty either.
I had 50 Shrimp in a 40 gal. Took them two weeks but admittedly the tank was taken care of better but no algae removal was performed also.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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niko, could you give us an update? Did you get rid of this algae? Did you try shrimps? I've got same problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, an update on Cladopora:

I will sound like a broken record but the way to fight it is to make your plants happy. Cladophora is a stubborn algae but if the plants grow well its growth becomes limited to only certain areas. Also - when suppressed by the good plant growth the Cladophora removal is easier for some reason.

I'd say that from my experience the best approach in fighting Cladophora is meticulous (read "tedious, daily") removal and happy plants.

--Nikolay
 

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Using plants that do not have a tangling morphology like moss, Riccia etc will help. Save a little piece and pick it clean and return to tank later.

Rosey barbs will shred it, but they will alos shred anything furry, like moss/Riccia. They are some of the best hair algae eating fish IMO.

The algae on the wood is different than the algae entangled in the plants.
They are not the same species.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Hello, Tom, you said
If you are killing it with blackouts, It's not this alga, it's likely Vaucheria or Rhizoclonium.
why Cladophora resist the blackouts? I don't think it neither depends on the reserves accumulated, because its simple filamentous and thin talus, nor of the ecological abilities of the species I know, nearly all light-lovers growing on shallow habitats.
Best wishes. Maurici.
 

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The branched species in the above picture is not the fastest grower and is often found in darker areas in natural systems. Rhizocolonium can be beaten back with Blackouts.

Spirogyra does quite well when the plants are growing well.
Even if you pick at it. A bit like Utricularia gibba.

These are larger macroscopic green algae, there are even macroscopic BGA's such as Lyngbya. These are more similar to larger embyronic plants or larger green algae such as Charaophyceans.

That's why they are more pesky than many other species of algae in a well run tank. Pruning and picking works well for their removal because they are more like the plants.

Some species of filamentous green algae are very tough and live in high current areas.

the spcies that bug folks the most are the species that attach to the gravle and infest the Riccia and moss.

I've tried several approaches, but blackout works for some species pretty well, not so well for others. Less light in general helps control of most greens, rather than blackouts.

If you have hair algae and want to do a blackout, the procedure will be more effective if you have a tank with 2 w/gal vs 5 w/gal for green algae and others.

Plants and green algae often have close to the same ability to withstand blackouts, but something like BGA does not have much chance. But it can work on green algae, Rhizolocoloium especially. You'll have to do it longer for the others.

I can show you large green algae growing in deep water just fine in very shaded sections, the light intensity is 100-300 micro moles/m^2 of light, about 5-15% full sun. Lots of herbivores also but growth is slower than at higher light. I've pulled up greens at lower light intensities, Dictomosiphon has been collected much deeper, at around 10 meters in a deep spring shaft which only gets about 1-2 hours of light and not much light.
It'll also grow on my wood a cm below the surface but it grows much slower deep or with less light and hence much easier to control abnd beat back. Some spcies can be tough in many tanks.

Of all the algae groups, these are the toughest group. I've infested my tanks on purpose many times.

Spirogyra has proven to be one of the worst to remove manually.
The others are relatively easy.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Thank you for your lessons. Tom :shock: . I'm going to try to process this high amount of information. Yours sincerely.
Maurici
 

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I looked again at your algae picture, and I noticed a hydra attached to the algae. The algae looks a lot more "spread out" than the Cladophora that I know, which is very bushy. However, it does have more side branches than the other long tough hair algae that I know.

I use the bleach treatment to keep my plants and tanks free of hair algae. Hopefully, some time in the future, aquatic plant sellers will certify that their plants are hair algae free. In my opinion, that would increase the value tremendously.
 

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A little late maybe but I have fighting this same Stuff in another tank for 3 years now would like to use another word for it but as Family Forum will not.

Has anybody tried to use RO or RODI water to combat it?

I have an 25 gallon per day Kent one all I need to do is get a new Membrane as has not been run weekly for over 2 years.
Have all the other filters new and waiting.
Thanks for any replies.
 

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Sgtreef said:
Has anybody tried to use RO or RODI water to combat it?
RO water does not kill it.

The algae divides into small fragments on touch, floating and spreading all over the tank creating more infestation. Water movement is making the situation worse. One option to avoid spreading is to suck it with hose and dispose.

What about creating conditions for the algae to grow faster. High CO2 and Fe/TE. Then keep sucking it up until there is no single piece left. Anybody tried?

Maybe we will have to find a specific herbicide to remove this alien from our aquariums. This seems to be the last thing to make the hobby perfect.

Edward
 
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