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Staghorn Algae How do I find the route cause ?

Keys_Tanks

Member
Joined
25 Nov 2020
Messages
37
Location
Sheffield
Hi guys.
I have been struggling with Staghorn algae in my low tech aquarium.
Specs-

30x30x30 cube
hang on back filter
Asta 20 light
lightly planted.
shrimp only tank

regimes-

1 50% waterchanges per week.
1 pump of tropica specialised

live in a relatively hard water area.

TDS in tank 310
TDS from water supply 160

Previously this tank used to be essentially algae free. apart from the odd bit on the glass but that's when I used to have masses of salvinia and I slowly after 1 year with it I removed it but only recently I have noticed I'm struggling with the presence of the ugly staghorn.

what I've started doing to try and find the route to the problem at hand-

  • clean filter every 3 week
  • 2 50% WC instead of 1
  • remove all affected leaves
  • this isn't to find the cause but I have been spot dosing Easy Carbo this kills it off in no time on my Buce and anubias.
-turkey baster to disturb detritus during WC

what I am considering doing-

reducing photo period(unfortunately I cannot reduce the intensity as I have always set it at low. and I have fixed it to a shelf up above.

I will attach multiple photos could people please help me find find the cause I'm not bothered about just doing the easy carbo and rather have a healthy tank.

Thanks

Josh






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MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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1,990
Location
Minnesota, USA
In addition to what you're already doing, lowering the light intensity would be my first choice - If you cant dial it further down, perhaps you can cover up the light a bit with a few strips of black waterproof electrical tape or even better, cover the tank with a piece of frosted acrylic sheet and/or add some floating plants. Also make sure you have good flow/circulation throughout the tank.
1 pump of tropica specialised
How many times per week?

Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

ceg4048

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11 Jul 2007
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Almaty, Kazakhstan
Previously this tank used to be essentially algae free. apart from the odd bit on the glass but that's when I used to have masses of salvinia and I slowly after 1 year with it I removed it but only recently I have noticed I'm struggling with the presence of the ugly staghorn.
Hello,
This offers an insight into the root cause. This is primarily a CO2 related algae and the demand for CO2 is related to the light intensity. The salvinia helped to block some of the light, but it's removal increased the amount of light penetration.
Reducing the duration is only helpful if the intensity is also reduced. There are lots of ways to reduce the intensity as noted by MichaelJ. You can add any kind of obstacle between the lamp and water including thin sheets of cheesecloth.

Cheers,
 

Keys_Tanks

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25 Nov 2020
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37
Location
Sheffield
Hey @MichaelJ !

Thanks for the comment. seem to have forgotten to put the frequency for ferts. literally 2 twice per week of a pump of specialised.

I used to add more. but originally i thought it was a ferts related issue.

Thanks
Josh

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Keys_Tanks

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Location
Sheffield
Hey @ceg4048,

Thank you for commenting. I never really thought about the relation between light intensity and co2. obviously having the tank low tech there is very limited sources of co2 available to the plants and when I'm blasting light on them they are rapidly depleting the tank.

I will have to look into some form of light reduction. trying to avoid the salvinia it grows Crazy!!!

Thanks again

Josh



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MichaelJ

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Minnesota, USA
Hey @MichaelJ !

Thanks for the comment. seem to have forgotten to put the frequency for ferts. literally 2 twice per week of a pump of specialised.

I used to add more. but originally i thought it was a ferts related issue.
You can safely up that to what you did previously. The fertilizer you dose wont cause algae issues.
Cheers,
Michael
 

Keys_Tanks

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25 Nov 2020
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Location
Sheffield
Hello @dw1305
I have a mix of alpha grog & bio home ultimate.
the media isn't Dirty. and apart of maintenance is to put it into a jug with tank water and give a good toss to dislodge any stuck debris.

I think I need a more robust floating plant than the salvinia it grows great but the filter sometimes gives it a hard time causing some leaves go under and get stuck... decompose.. adding more organics into the water column what most likely will lead to more algaes.

maybe red root floaters might be the way to go... just cant find them from a reliable source/ snail free one Haha!

appreciate the help!


Thanks

Josh

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dw1305

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Hi all,
Why give up the chance for free algae eaters?
I'm a snail fan as well. Ramshorn snails <"definitely reduce BBA">, I don't tend to ever see in Stagshorn in the tanks, but I don't know whether that is snail grazing as well. My guess would be that it isn't and I just don't get Stagshorn outbreaks now for whatever reason.
I have a mix of alpha grog & bio home ultimate.
the media isn't Dirty
Probably not that then. HOB's usually are pretty good for maintaining <"oxygen levels">.
I think I need a more robust floating plant than the salvinia.....maybe red root floaters might be the way to go
Red root floater (Phyllanthus fluitans) isn't <"very robust">. I think that Amazon Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) and/or Nile Cabbage (Pistia stratiotes) are your best bet. I'm a <"Frogbit fan"> for the Duckweed Index, but Nile Cabbage works just as well.

cheers Darrel
 
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Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
I don't tend to ever see in Stagshorn in the tanks, but I don't know whether that is snail grazing as well.

That's my theory - I don't think algae in our tanks get a chance to ever get big enough to become visible, they get mown down by the snails like goats eat grass in a field. It's amazing how fast they move to find food - when I add a 1/2 thick piece of cucumber I generally can't see any of its surface within an hour or two, the snails have completely covered it.

The only place I tend to get algae - some tufts of what I assume is BBA (though it looks more greenish than brown) is inside the opening of the filter outlet spout - the one area the snails can't get to. But whenever I turn the filter off for half an hour whilst I feed the fish, there'll always be 4+ snails making their way inside that filter outlet - they must be able to smell it - amazing considering how hard it must be for them to get to.
 

Keys_Tanks

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Location
Sheffield
Why give up the chance for free algae eaters?
Hey @Wookii
so I was playing with my shrimp tank it's been set up 2 years or more and I removed all hard scape about 4 days ago and I've only had the few bladder snails here and there in it. now I removed a few good chunks of frodo stone and after I moved it I noticed i saw masses of snails that i cant exactly identify but look like trumpet ones.

the weird thing I have not added or removed anything until the rock just now around now and that's probably around 1 year since I have added anything.

I have removed them because they are everywhere it's such an eye sore. but are they even good for a shrimp tank? and was they just lying dormant underneath the stones?

crazy to me

Josh

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Djoko Sauza

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They look like Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Melanoides tuberculata. They live mostly in the substrate and come out at night. One of the best "pest" snails you can have since they are most of the time hiding and keep your substrate moving.

I see snails as a necessary evil. Do I like how they look? Mostly not. But if you think about it, they form self regulating colonies of algae and decomposing matter eaters. Who wouldn't want that in their tank?

I try to always keep 3 or 4 species so that they have to compete with each other and no single species is overwhelming present.
 
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Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
Messages
3,574
Location
Nottingham
Hey @Wookii
so I was playing with my shrimp tank it's been set up 2 years or more and I removed all hard scape about 4 days ago and I've only had the few bladder snails here and there in it. now I removed a few good chunks of frodo stone and after I moved it I noticed i saw masses of snails that i cant exactly identify but look like trumpet ones.

the weird thing I have not added or removed anything until the rock just now around now and that's probably around 1 year since I have added anything.

I have removed them because they are everywhere it's such an eye sore. but are they even good for a shrimp tank? and was they just lying dormant underneath the stones?

crazy to me

Josh

524a08589af93d561d314d8967d365cc.jpg


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@Djoko Sauza has already covered it, but yes they look like MTS, are harmless and only ever beneficial to your tank. Unless you feed too much fish food, or have have to much decaying plant matter you’ll likely rarely see them. They busy themselves with cleaning your tank and aerating your substrate without any intervention.
 
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