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Green hair algae in a 6 week old tank


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Hi all

After advice on best approach to take. New planted tank, green hair algae starting to take hold and I want to nip it in the bud before it gets to be a problem. Tank is an AquaStyle 620, it's now fully stocked, when it was set up I used seeded media from the LFS and have monitored the water quality pretty exhaustively - I work at a lab so am able to throw in the occasional test for more random things. Early on had two tiny (<0.5 ppm) ammonia blips, never seen nitrite, and nitrate sits around 1-2 ppm. Phosphate is pretty much non existant at 0.07 ppm (lab test). Total nitrogen (NH4, NO2, NO3 and organic nitrogen - another lab test) is currently 1.9 ppm.

I'm using stock LED lighting, which I know isn't super powerful, and was just using the built in trickle filter, which admittedly is working very well, but I have since added a small 5V usb powerhead to add an extra 200lph of flow to the tank.

I have a few Anubias, a marbled leaved sword, a big clump of java moss, several small java ferns, several crypts, and then a reasonable amount of water wisteria and willow leaved hygrophila. Everything is growing, which I'm surprised at as I thought the lighting wouldn't be powerful enough. 

My thoughts on the algae are that I need more phosphate/nutrients in the tank as the plants are limited, or cut photo period (I did have them on at 0630 off at 1000, on again at 1500 and off at 2100) - I'm just concerned dropping the photoperiod will impact the plants? 

Any ideas?

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Hopefully, as the plants grow, they will out-compete the hair algae and it will disappear as the tank matures since all your parameters seem OK. It particularly likes slow growing, wide leaved plants like Java fern and Anubias. Perhaps adding more fast growing plants might help, like more wisteria. I used to plant some and leave the rest floating. I don't remember reduced lighting having much effect when it came to limiting hair algae.

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