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What is this and how do I get it under control?

1244 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CarissaT
I have several tanks, all with some beginner-level live plants. I don't have the best water; it's super high in iron and super hard so we have to put it through a water softener. I'm using caribsea torpedo sand substrate. I've tried fertilizing with Thrive liquid and root tabs following directions, and also tried barely fertilizing at all in an attempt to control the algae. I used to run my lights for 8-10 hrs, but now I leave them mostly off only keeping them on for about 4 hours in the evenings. My tanks are in a north-facing room so there is no direct sunlight. Not sure what other info to provide. So...

What is this stuff? Originally, I noticed the stringy algae, and I was removing by twirling it around a toothbrush. I don't see much of it anymore. The other is more hairy and has been increasing over the last 4-5 weeks. It's like it's embedded in the plant. I can't rub it off or pull it off. It started on my vals but is starting to move to others.

Any advice on what to do?

I'm new to fishkeeping (no surprise) - have only had my tanks since April 2019. I did cycle them without fish to start with but now have fish and snails (mystery and nirites, and now a growing population of bladder snails)



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Keep removing what algae you can. You probably have too much light over your tank. You can reduce it by moving the lights up a foot or cover your tank.
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A verity of String algae. A quick fix is either sea chem excel or a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. I use a dropper to squirt a small amount, 1ml, on effected areas of the plants you can safely use 2ml per 10 gallons but spread out in the aquarium. Turn off filters, bubblers, powerheads for ten or fifteen minutes. Algae will die and vanish in a mater of days. Doesn’t damage any of my plants.

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I think you need a combination of more nutrients and less lighting intensity. Too much light combined with not enough nutrients causes plants to weaken and algae moves in on them taking advantage of the light. Healthy plants generally won’t get algae on them. Think of your nutrients as the gas in the tank and the light intensity as how hard you are pushing the gas pedal. If you run out of gas your plants weaken and start to die, and algae, which are less demanding of various nutrients than plants are, will move in on them like mold on a rotting piece of fruit.

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