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Algae problems 2 week old scape


15 Mar 2011
Hi all, it was all going so well until I messed up.

Monday I moved wiring around inside cabinet, and it's possible (although I don't recall doing it) needle valve on CO2 got knocked,

On Tuesday, the day before my two weeks of 75% water changes were up, I was too ill to do a change, Just before the lights were due to go out, I noticed two things.

1) The drop checker didn't seem as green/yellow as it did. As I felt awful and lights were about to go off, decided to fix in the morning.

2) A tiny amount of hair algae, what I first noticed was strings of pearling that appeared to be in just water, but on closer inspection were fine strands of hair.

I removed all those I could straight away

Yesterday (Wednesday) I did 75% change and also cleaned pre filter. I quickly checked the entire filter just in case something affecting flow rate, gave trays a quick wash in bucket of tank water but didn't really need it.

I then checked the bubble counter and increased it approx double the amount to 4 or 5 bubbles a second.

The CO2 comes on at 10am and goes off at 8pm.

The lights were coming on at 2pm and going off at 10pm (8 hrs), yesterday I changed that so they come on at 3pm and go off at 9pm (6 hrs)

And I happily went to sleep for the rest of the morning (still feeling bad)

Was sitting there waiting for the lights to come on at 3pm, they came on fine, but the bubbles were going straight up from the diffuser, you've guessed it, in my tiredness, I had forgotten to plug the filter back in.

There was a small amount of hair algae, I removed what I could (but every time I looked I could see another bit etc), was kicking myself for forgetting to turn filter on.

Today (Thursday) everything went smoothly in that I did 75% water change, remembered to plug filter in.

Every time I do a water change I wipe front glass with sponge to get rid of the water bubbles.

Lights came on at 3pm, I didn't notice it at 3pm (not saying it wasn't there) but I noticed at at 4pm, algae on the diffuser tube, algae on the right side of the glass, algae on the front right hand side (almost right in the corner) and algae at the bottom of the front of the glass.

I've included pics of the hair algae taken a couple of days ago and a vid I took today.

I've since cleaned the front and side glass thoroughly and the diffuser pipe (also cleaned diffuser with toothbrush), I started to clean the back of the tank, but uprooted a couple of plants, so am scared to do it until they are more settled.

Even with 4 to 5 bubbles a sec, the drop checker isn't going yellow

Do I need to do anything else? Bit paranoid at the moment lol, never expected glass top go green when having (apart from the one day)_daily water changes. I'm obviously continuing with daily changes for now, wondered if something else is wrong somewhere?

Any suggestions please?

Many thanks



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Thread starter
15 Mar 2011
Still having a daily hair algae problem, I’m keeping on top of it but it’s not getting much better.

Added 15 Amino and 15 fire cherries last week, while few seem to come out in daylight, the leaves that did look covered in algae now look perfectly green, so I presume they are doing their stuff at night ?

light comes on at 3pm and goes off at 9pm, co2 is coming on at 10am and going off at 9pm at the moment.

The hair algae doesn’t seem bad when light comes on, but by the time it’s getting to nearly lights out, I’m having to use a toothbrush to remove a few clumps here and there.

This tank came with a 10.6watt, 1120 lm, 6500k led,

but I replaced it with the Superfish Slim 74 which is 46watt, 2984lumen, 7300k.

I wondered if there might be a bit too much light on this new tank, and maybe if I temporarily switched back to the original light, this may help fight the algae? Or will that likely affect the plants too much?



20 Mar 2021
Channel Islands
I've been through pretty much the same thing. My first scape was planted 2nd March 2021 and is now 40 days in. It started with the thin spindly diatoms holding bubbles in suspension, which were then replaced by hair algae rapidly covering every leaf and infiltrating the moss. I was late getting the Amanos in and I was still getting to grips with my CO2 levels / timings / lighting. I was spending hours with a toothbrush trying to snare every piece of algae in sight, only to see it double the next day. I was beginning to contemplate using an algaecide, but I'm glad I didn't.

I increased my number of Amanos from 8 to 14 total (only a 60P tank). Went back to daily water changes (instead of every other day). Got the CO2 starting 3 hours before the lights to make the drop checker a decent green 2 hours after lights on - which I think means the CO2 levels were good at lights on. I also added a cheap tiny hob filter to supplement my external canister filter and stopped using Seachem Flourish Advance (but not sure if that had any affect?).

As of today the hair algae has significantly reduced to the point that you really need to go looking for it and the clarity of the water is looking far better too. This may all be down to the plants having grown in significantly and the tank maturing further, but I'm not sorry for putting in the extra work and maintenance. Keep at it !
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