BIG Algae Problem - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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BIG Algae Problem

I have a 20g long tank that has readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 25 nitrates. Lately I've been having HORRIBLE algae problems. It's like a brown muck that attacks pretty much everything but the fish themselves. It's on my decor, gravel, live plants, walls, filters, etc. It's everywhere. My pleco won't eat it either. It's the hardest thing to vacuum up off the gravel. There is no way that I can get it all unless I take everything out and redo the tank. It is attacking one of my amazon swords pretty bad too. It's actually starting to die. :( I have no idea what to do or what I'm doing wrong. I was told by a friend I was most likely over feeding....

...help.
...please.

Coral...<3
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doppsterjr View Post
I have a 20g long tank that has readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 25 nitrates. Lately I've been having HORRIBLE algae problems. It's like a brown muck that attacks pretty much everything but the fish themselves. It's on my decor, gravel, live plants, walls, filters, etc. It's everywhere. My pleco won't eat it either. It's the hardest thing to vacuum up off the gravel. There is no way that I can get it all unless I take everything out and redo the tank. It is attacking one of my amazon swords pretty bad too. It's actually starting to die. :( I have no idea what to do or what I'm doing wrong. I was told by a friend I was most likely over feeding....

...help.
...please.
hey there!

do you have your aquarium in front of a window? what is the wattage of your light? you know I wanted algae in my aquarium so I could have otos but I have never seen algae in my aquarium :l

please watch and share with friends and family.
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-19-2011, 07:30 PM
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Can you post a clear photo of some of this? While it might be diatoms, I would consider that more of a film rather than brown muck. Would help to see it.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-20-2011, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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My tank is not in front of a window. It's actually on the other side of the room and the shades are usually closed. I don't know the wattage, but my light is 6500k for live plants and such.

Byron...
I could post a picture, but it would just be of the decor and plants. I worked hard on the gravel today and kinda mixed it all up. But it is more of a film I guess you could say. It looks like one big sheet of brown on the gravel at times. It's pretty nasty and slimy to the touch..

Coral...<3
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-20-2011, 12:35 PM
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On the assumption it is diatoms, here is what I posted only yesterday in another thread on this issue:

Diatoms are an unicellular type of phytoplankton. They occur due to any combination of low light, the presence of silicates, excess nutrients and organics, and excess iodine.

Silicates are a type of mineral, about 30% of all minerals are silicates. Quartz, glass, and silica sand (sound familiar?) are some silicates. Silicates may be present in tap water. Iodine is an ingredient found in many aquarium additives. The excess organics and nutrients comes into play mostly in new aquariums where the water has not yet stabilized, and diatoms usually appear before more common green algae which itself will often limit the diatoms.

Maintaining good water quality (regular water changes) is recommended. If diatoms persist in low-light areas it may mean silicate in the tap water, usually 3-4 ppm will cause diatoms; check with your water supply board who should have a list of substances in the water and see if silicate is included. Phosphate removers also remove silicates, as does RO (reverse osmosis).

Live plants help by keeping more stable water conditions. Increasing the light may help, but if the cause of the diatoms is organic/nutrient this will often result in green algae in brighter light. Some snails and "algae" fish like otos eat diatoms.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-23-2011, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Some of my plants actually seem to be dying from the stuff covering them. And my mystery snail and otos will not eat it at all. They don't go near it. =/

Coral...<3
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-23-2011, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doppsterjr View Post
Some of my plants actually seem to be dying from the stuff covering them. And my mystery snail and otos will not eat it at all. They don't go near it. =/
Then it is not diatoms. I rather suspected this. A photo of this "stuff" would certainly help.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-02-2011, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Here are some pictures... It's some pretty nasty stuff. It's ALL over.
IMG_20110430_184419.jpg

IMG_20110430_184428.jpg

IMG_20110430_184435.jpg

Coral...<3
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-02-2011, 12:37 PM
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That looks more like cynobacteria than algae, most likely due to excess organics (poop or food) in the tank.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-02-2011, 01:26 PM
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I too think it is cyanobacteria. It is slimy, and easily rubs off of plant leaves with your fingers, correct? That is an organics issue. Do you know your nitrate level? And what is the pH? Also, how long is the light on daily, and can you tell us the type [please be specific, watts, kelvin, number of tubes, etc.].

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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