Algae IS taking over and I'm at the end of my knowledge
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Algae IS taking over and I'm at the end of my knowledge

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Algae IS taking over and I'm at the end of my knowledge
Old 12-11-2009, 05:38 PM   #1
 
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Algae IS taking over and I'm at the end of my knowledge

My "beloved" 55g started out with a FEW hair algae and cloudiness. I was bothered but not concerned at first since the milky/ cloudiness is very common due to bacteria bloom in new tanks, same as the hair algae, very common.
So apart from the large w/c after the ick attach and Cardinals death, I kept up my regular w/c and left the algae matter alone. And the hair algae actually did subside some....
However what first was hair algae is now turning into 2 other types of algae (IMO therefore pictures to help ID attached):
For one I think I'm dealing with blue-green smear algae around gravel areas. To me this type is really only kown to rep poor water quality but all my reading are great - So what's going wrong where?
I have spot algae all over the glass, however i *think* these are fairly common in planted tanks even if I never had this issue before (and don't now in the other planted tanks).
Now algae no3 which I can only call brush algae is litterly taking OVER and coating ALL my plants (fast & slow growing, ALL) and it appears to rapidly increase within 24 hrs. See the pictures with his almost black looking fuzz on any plants there!

Now at first I started dialing the lights down some, which IMO only INCREASED the algae growth. When I first set up the tank, my plants were doing GREAT, growing real nice, no signs of nutrients deficit, nothing. After the ick attch, maybe few days later it appeared as if they slowed down, which I blamed on the ick meds. After the large w/c and adding the carbon to the filter when everybody died it looks as if the plants just came to a complete STOP (all plants) and that's when the hair algae subsided and these others took over in like 2 days now.
At any stage there was no significant Ammonia, NO2 or 3 spike (NO2 is 0.05, KH4 pH7.2) and like I said I dialed the lights down to be on 10hrs/day.

This is really killing my plants and I do NOT know what to do any more, I never had such a algae attach and all them being different types - What do they all have in common that apparently goes WRONG in this tank???
I am no fan of any chem's y'all know this - But some places suggest use of copper to eliminate the matter???

This is really turning into my nightmare tank here and I am clueless by now what to do since the w/c and light obviously do not help...
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:18 PM   #2
 
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I was reading up some more trying to come up with SOME KIND of solution to this before loosing all plants...
I read several times now to use a bleach solution to bath the plants in (1 part bleach to 19 parts water) and do that for 2-4 mins (depending on plant) then give them an immediate bath in conditioned water for a while before allowing them back in the tank and its supposedly doesn't harm the plants but will kill off the algae

Anyone ever heard about this or done it? I'm just kinda worried some mix that kills algae wouldn't it also kill the plant?
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:29 AM   #3
 
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I cant speak from experience as I never tried it on my live plants when I still had some, but I have heard many many times that the use of seachem flourish excel, while not labeled or intended to do so, can do wonders for controlling algae growth. IMHO, it cant hurt to google it :)
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:46 AM   #4
 
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Algae occurs in new tanks (during the first 3+ months) due to unstable water conditions resulting from the nitrification cycle, biological processes getting established, etc. Normally in a planted tank the plants are using the nutrients with the light from day one and algae may be minimal. I suspect the medication for ich impacted; not sure what you used, but most ich remedies contain copper and copper is highly toxic to fish and plants so the increase in copper may have set back the plants.

I would work to regain the balance,or establish it, between light and nutrients. Interestingly, reducing the nutrients usually backfires because it robs the plants of the nutrients they need and algae just increases. If you are not fertilizing, I would suggest using a balanced comprehensive liquid fertilizer.

Reducing the light may help; I would suggest the siesta approach rather than drastic reduction in the photo period. Many claim a 2 hour period mid-day of no light will inhibit algae but not affect the plants; there needs to be 5-6 hours of light before and after the 2-hour darkness.

Seachem's Flourish Excel is a liquid carbon supplement that has for some people eliminated brush algae. That is the only type of algae it affects from what I have read. I believe Aunt kymmie used it effectively, so she could perhaps interject with the method she used, or someone else who has done this. It has to be continued for a specific period. Seachem acknowledges that Excel does sometimes reduce/eliminate brush algae, but they will not promote this as absolute because apparently it may not be in all cases.

Here's an informative article on algae written by George Booth. Aquaticscape.com

Byron.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:09 AM   #5
 
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QuIck Cure, Ingredients: Formalin & Malachite Green, so no Copper there.
I can honestly say after having the lights reduced Day 3 now, my result: Algae is thriving better then ever. And actually this AM when he lights came on the top of the water had "stuff" that I can only describe as algae dust on the surface.
The the reasoning for this hardcore outbreak would be my non-fert's usage, then the other 2 tanks would be infested too and they're doing picture perfect from day one.
Went over this article last night too...as all other places this one suggested chem's...so I guess hopping for chems it is...
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #6
 
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QuIck Cure, Ingredients: Formalin & Malachite Green, so no Copper there.
I can honestly say after having the lights reduced Day 3 now, my result: Algae is thriving better then ever. And actually this AM when he lights came on the top of the water had "stuff" that I can only describe as algae dust on the surface.
The the reasoning for this hardcore outbreak would be my non-fert's usage, then the other 2 tanks would be infested too and they're doing picture perfect from day one.
Went over this article last night too...as all other places this one suggested chem's...so I guess hopping for chems it is...
Malachite green is destructive to plants, not sure about formalin, so that explains the setback in plants.

I've never had to resort to chemicals for algae, I can't believe I'm just "lucky." I guess I just allow it to do it's thing. I had a bad (I thought) outbreak of brush algae years ago, I removed plant leaves that were heavily infected, in a couple months it was not a problem.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
 
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Malachite green is destructive to plants, not sure about formalin, so that explains the setback in plants.
I know which is what I think also the hair algae subsided - But then why the hardcore outbreak?

Quote:
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I've never had to resort to chemicals for algae, I can't believe I'm just "lucky." I guess I just allow it to do it's thing. I had a bad (I thought) outbreak of brush algae years ago, I removed plant leaves that were heavily infected, in a couple months it was not a problem.
I never had a issue in any of the 7 tanks neither, nor the 2 other new one's - Its just really that ONE tank that makes me wanna tear my hair out....
"Removing infested leaf's" uhm that's impossible that would then need to be rephrased to "Toss ALL your plants" trust me when I said hardcore infested outbreak - I mean that

So yea to tell you the truth the way its looking now plants would be suffocated over the next 48hrs easily, meaning I'd loose them all. So now I bought some stuff from API - At least that will ALLOW for a CHANCE I may have some plants left in this tank.
And the only reason I'm trying this is for the sake of the tank and the fact there's NO FISH in this tank (thou it claims to be fish safe).
To then promote growth upon treatment I got liquid ferts & root tab's.

Soooo let's see what tomorrow brings. But just between this AM when I left the house and now (4PM) its visibly gotten worst by quite some, this is CRAZY - I never seen nothing like this before....
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
 
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I know which is what I think also the hair algae subsided - But then why the hardcore outbreak?


I never had a issue in any of the 7 tanks neither, nor the 2 other new one's - Its just really that ONE tank that makes me wanna tear my hair out....
"Removing infested leaf's" uhm that's impossible that would then need to be rephrased to "Toss ALL your plants" trust me when I said hardcore infested outbreak - I mean that

So yea to tell you the truth the way its looking now plants would be suffocated over the next 48hrs easily, meaning I'd loose them all. So now I bought some stuff from API - At least that will ALLOW for a CHANCE I may have some plants left in this tank.
And the only reason I'm trying this is for the sake of the tank and the fact there's NO FISH in this tank (thou it claims to be fish safe).
To then promote growth upon treatment I got liquid ferts & root tab's.

Soooo let's see what tomorrow brings. But just between this AM when I left the house and now (4PM) its visibly gotten worst by quite some, this is CRAZY - I never seen nothing like this before....
It's a bit safer with no fish; but be forewarned, it sometimes kills plants too. Most algaecides contain copper or simazine, and both are toxic to fish and plants. Also, the dying algae can be toxic and kill fish (if there were any). Water changes afterwards shuld solve this, but then the algae may come back because of that.

I've been racking my brain trying to remember what if anything I did when I had outbreaks of various algae. I think I just left it and after a while it stops. I don't really mind it, only when it gets on plant leaves because that can kill the plant. Interesting thing I've noticed though, that the plant leaves that develop brush algae are alreading dying anyway; when I remove them the stem at the crown is browning, which is common with older sword leaves. Not sure which comes first though, the dying leaf or the algae.

Before I resorted to chemicals if it were that bad, I would do the siesta thing, as it may work and even if it doesn't, no other harm is done.

Byron.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:42 AM   #9
 
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The question really is with the various type of algae that are homy in the tank now: Do I black out or not??

This stuff from API does actually not note Copper as ingredients...so let's hope the plants (or some at least) will be ok.

So far this AM: Its not gotten worst, that's a plus. Last night after the 1st dose the Staghorn alage on the leaf's started bubbling, so I hope that's a good sign.

I figured I dosed it last night, directions say to do again in 3 days, so I figure I leave it alone today & tomorrow, then brush/ scrape off what I can, do a larger w/c and dose again.

I generally wouldn't mind neither, like I said when the hair algae grew at first, I wasn't bothered - But these various types of algae have seriously infested the tank in about a 48hrs range like CRAZY...Trust me Byron, you know me, I'm sure no fan of NO chem's period, but if you could see what I do, you'd try to get bottled help too, its been insanely quick growing.

Another thing that REALLY blows my mind: Fish dead, ick meds stopped 2 large w/c and carbon in the filter (this all happened around Thanksgiving) NOW before the algae treatment I tested the water not once but TWICE and I have a NO2 of 0.025 - HOWWW ???

This tank is really costing me the last of my nerves right now....
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:11 PM   #10
 
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The question really is with the various type of algae that are homy in the tank now: Do I black out or not??

This stuff from API does actually not note Copper as ingredients...so let's hope the plants (or some at least) will be ok.

So far this AM: Its not gotten worst, that's a plus. Last night after the 1st dose the Staghorn alage on the leaf's started bubbling, so I hope that's a good sign.

I figured I dosed it last night, directions say to do again in 3 days, so I figure I leave it alone today & tomorrow, then brush/ scrape off what I can, do a larger w/c and dose again.

I generally wouldn't mind neither, like I said when the hair algae grew at first, I wasn't bothered - But these various types of algae have seriously infested the tank in about a 48hrs range like CRAZY...Trust me Byron, you know me, I'm sure no fan of NO chem's period, but if you could see what I do, you'd try to get bottled help too, its been insanely quick growing.

Another thing that REALLY blows my mind: Fish dead, ick meds stopped 2 large w/c and carbon in the filter (this all happened around Thanksgiving) NOW before the algae treatment I tested the water not once but TWICE and I have a NO2 of 0.025 - HOWWW ???

This tank is really costing me the last of my nerves right now....
I've dealt with this before my own crash before. What I did was remove all the plants and put it in a 5 gallon bucket (physically scrubbed the algae off with a microfiber towel)-- then I took the tank with the fish in it, and just scrubbed the tank clean without any type of chemicals -- I waited about 2 hours for all the algae to get into my cannister filter or fall down on the gravel and then vacuumed it. (though I didn't do it aggressively, which may be why I got myself into some hydrogen sulfide mess) but if you did do it aggressively you should have clear water after a couple of days.

I did use a very small amount of algecide on the plants though and rinsed them in tapwater afterwards.

that's how I got rid if my algae problem --

To finish them off, I did a 4 hour cycle of light and dark to keep the algae from growing too rampant.

4-5 hours with lights on, then off for a couple of hours, then another 4-5 hours on and then off for the rest of the night.

I read on one of the threads that algae takes a long time to start it's photosynthesis process, but plants are immediate with it -- so it worked out well.
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