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beanbag

Dealing with hair algae with shrimp in tank

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beanbag

Hello folks,

I have a tank that has been cycled and has shrimp (Taiwan bee) for about 3 weeks now.  Since adding the shrimp, I haven't dosed any fertilizers, so nitrates are zero.

Water parameters are:

GH 5 KH 0 TDS 110 pH 6.0

Plants are: A little moss, S repens, monte carlo, DHG, and Ludwigia [something]

The tank has been slowly growing hair algae that is getting on the walls (in regions of high flow) and plants.   The s. repens has a short fuzz algae on the leaves that darkens its color.  It has mostly stopped growing - not sure if due to lack of nutrients or leaves being blocked by algae?

The Monte Carlo has also stopped growing and is mostly covered with the algae.  It seems hard to remove this algae without pulling out the plants.

What is a good way to reduce the algae while still being safe for the shrimp?

a) the lights are already "dim" but I can either turn them down by even more, or shorten the photoperiod even more (8 hrs now).  I prefer not to completely black out the tank, since I still want to see the shrimp

b) H2O2 dose of 1ml per gallon should be safe for shrimp?

c) add some fertilizers to help the plants grow?

d) add some fast-growing floating plants, which I can take out later?

I don't want to add any other animals to the tank right now.

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sdlTBfanUK

I had the same when I re-setup my taiwan bee tank. I didn't do anything and it has now vanished completely on its own so I assume it was part of the cycle/settling of the new tank setup! I don't use fertilizers but wouldn't that actually make things worse maybe?   

I would just wait it out a bit longer as it sounds the same as happened with mine! If it has stopped growing that would also be a good sign that maybe it will start to reduce? I can't see anything that is different to my setup, my light is strong and probably on 10-12 hours a day. Messing with things may cause other problems????

I considered getting a few Amano shrimps but it cleared up before I got round to buying them?

Simon

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jayc
11 hours ago, beanbag said:

a) the lights are already "dim" but I can either turn them down by even more, or shorten the photoperiod even more (8 hrs now).

What do you mean by dim? Light intensity? or length of photoperiod?

If it was me, I would shorten photoperiod to 6 hours, but give the plants full light intensity, ie. 100% brightness. 

Dim lights benefit the algae.

 

H2O2 at 1ml per gal is ok.

I wouldn't use fertilisers, except for maybe root tabs, and even then only a very small piece deep into the substrate. Any other ferts will benefit the algae as much as the plants unless you take out as much algae as possible.

Floating plants can't hurt.

And as Simon said above, give it some time since this is a new tank. The plants in there have not rooted in yet. Once that happens, they should out compete the algae.

Got a picture of the tank?

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beanbag

Here is a picture of the tank from about 2 weeks ago, or 1 week after I added shrimp.  The tank took about 3+ months to cycle, mainly because I wasn't watching the pH, and every time I added ammonium chloride or fertilizer it would drop the pH and stall the cycle.  But during the cycling time when I added nutrients and lots of light, the s. repens and Ludwigia grew quickly.  But now the s. repens growth has stalled (no more ferts).  Same for the monte carlo.

The peacock moss is growing very slowly, and it is also stringy and not highly branched, so there is something wrong with the growth parameters also.

Regarding the light: it is programmable, so I can set the brightness to whatever, but since I don't have a light meter, I can't say absolutely how bright it is.  But currently it is set so that it is at least visually dim compared to other aquariums I have seen, and the light is on for approx 8 hrs a day. (It ramps up and down)  I will try what you suggested and make the light brighter but shorter duration.

Anyway, I had read that the way to out-compete algae was to have the plants grow even faster, but so far they aren't growing much. 

shrimptank.jpg

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sdlTBfanUK

That is a clever idea separating into trays like that! Thanks for the picture!

With the shrimps now in place producing waste and (per JayC) once the roots are settled in I am sure you will start to see the plants starting to grow better as time goes on? There is one big advantage of coarse to the plants growing slower and that is less maintenance/trimming/getting overgrown?

Simon

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jayc
22 hours ago, beanbag said:

make the light brighter but shorter duration.

That's the way to go I reckon.

 

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beanbag

ok.  2 more questions:

During "lights out" period, I have actually set the light to 1%, i.e. very dim.  Mainly so the shrimp aren't stumbling around in pitch blackness.  Should I have the lights turn completely off?

Should I remove the hair algae that is growing on the glass?  It seems the shrimp aren't eating it after all.

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sdlTBfanUK

I did nothing qith the hair algae and it just disappeared eventually, but if it easy to get to it without disturbing anything I would remove it just for aesthetic reasons, otherwise just leave it alone for now?

My lights go off completely, as I imagine most peoples do so I would have the light off completely! I think JayC stated that dim light helps hair algae, though 1% may be too low for this?

Simon

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jayc
1 hour ago, beanbag said:

Should I have the lights turn completely off?

Should I remove the hair algae that is growing on the glass?

Yes to both questions.

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beanbag

Ever since I did the complete lights out and only 6 hrs lighting, the hair algae has been slowly going away.  It grew quickly on the glass, but was easy to remove.  The algae on the Ludwigia is slowly crumbling off.  The algae on the s. repens and MC have stopped increasing, but they are kind of harder to remove.

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