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BIG Algae Problem

This is a discussion on BIG Algae Problem within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> UGH, another victim of bga... i had to nuke my tank to get rid of mine. Not necessary to do it that way, but ...

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Old 05-02-2011, 03:07 PM   #11
 
UGH, another victim of bga... i had to nuke my tank to get rid of mine. Not necessary to do it that way, but its a horrible algae to get rid of...
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:00 PM   #12
 
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Question...

Couldnt you clean the tank as best you can.. then get some floating plants in there to absorb a lot of the Nitrates? Eventually starving the Algae? Doesnt Algae feed off Nitrates anyways? I would like to see how you combat this issue.. I love seeing big problems others have with their tanks, before it happens to mine..
I am sorry tho.. that looks HORRIBLE! Really I'd just get a 5g and put all my fish in it for a short time.. and clean the tank out completely..
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:22 PM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Eshnon View Post
Couldnt you clean the tank as best you can.. then get some floating plants in there to absorb a lot of the Nitrates? Eventually starving the Algae? Doesnt Algae feed off Nitrates anyways? I would like to see how you combat this issue.. I love seeing big problems others have with their tanks, before it happens to mine..
I am sorry tho.. that looks HORRIBLE! Really I'd just get a 5g and put all my fish in it for a short time.. and clean the tank out completely..
I have had cyanobacteria, not as bad as this, but bad none the less. It has nothing to do with nitrates, my tanks all run under 5 ppm nitrate (because of the heavy planting). It is organics though (and often high nitrate equates to high organics, but not always), but oddly it seems to only occur in very specific setups. I never get it in my Amazon tanks, only in the SE Asian that have crypts. I've never managed to find the direct relationship...
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:24 PM   #14
 
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Aahh ok. So more water changes and cleaning would remove this algae? How fast does this algae spread? And is it in any way preventable? ALSO, would any kind of algae eater eat this stuff?
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:56 PM   #15
 
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Aahh ok. So more water changes and cleaning would remove this algae? How fast does this algae spread? And is it in any way preventable? ALSO, would any kind of algae eater eat this stuff?
Last question first, no. Nothing will eat cyanobacteria. As the name suggests, it really is not an algae, it is a bacteria. But due to its nature it is usually considered among "algae" problems.

Cyano is a photosynthetic bacteria, and it can occur in many colours besides the usual blue/green. It has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which is why I mentioned previously that it is not associated with high nitrates. In fact, many contend that it is more likely in low nitrogen situations. For instance, in cases of very low ammonia and nitrate, other algae forms are suppressed [similar to higher plants, for lack of nitrogen], allowing cyano to appear due to less competition. Phosphorus has been linked to cyano by some authors; if nitrogen is low and phosphates are present, cyano will take advantage. Apparently the spores are in the air, so getting it in an aquarium is rather likely at some point. Though it does seem to favour some over others.

Cyano often appears when maintenance has been allowed to lessen. Regular water changes help prevent it. There are varying opinions on water flow, CO2 and such preventing it. There is no doubt that it is organics-related; high organics will almost ensure an outbreak if these other factors are present.

The speed it spreads varies. Apparently there are 2 different types, one is fast, the other slow. Antibiotics are sometimes suggested to "cure" it, since it is bacteria. The danger with these is that they may affect other bacteria, such as nitrifying bacteria, and cause a mini-cycle. Some do affect some plants, even to the point of killing them. And of course the fish. The cyano will die quickly, and this can suddenly raise ammonia and then nitrite levels well above toxicity to fish, plants and bacteria.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:30 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Last question first, no. Nothing will eat cyanobacteria. As the name suggests, it really is not an algae, it is a bacteria. But due to its nature it is usually considered among "algae" problems.

Cyano is a photosynthetic bacteria, and it can occur in many colours besides the usual blue/green. It has the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, which is why I mentioned previously that it is not associated with high nitrates. In fact, many contend that it is more likely in low nitrogen situations. For instance, in cases of very low ammonia and nitrate, other algae forms are suppressed [similar to higher plants, for lack of nitrogen], allowing cyano to appear due to less competition. Phosphorus has been linked to cyano by some authors; if nitrogen is low and phosphates are present, cyano will take advantage. Apparently the spores are in the air, so getting it in an aquarium is rather likely at some point. Though it does seem to favour some over others.

Cyano often appears when maintenance has been allowed to lessen. Regular water changes help prevent it. There are varying opinions on water flow, CO2 and such preventing it. There is no doubt that it is organics-related; high organics will almost ensure an outbreak if these other factors are present.

The speed it spreads varies. Apparently there are 2 different types, one is fast, the other slow. Antibiotics are sometimes suggested to "cure" it, since it is bacteria. The danger with these is that they may affect other bacteria, such as nitrifying bacteria, and cause a mini-cycle. Some do affect some plants, even to the point of killing them. And of course the fish. The cyano will die quickly, and this can suddenly raise ammonia and then nitrite levels well above toxicity to fish, plants and bacteria.
Ok so how do you raise Nitrogen, and lower phosphates to a safe level? I would like to avoid this bacteria as much as possible.. even tho I have a tight lid (with air flow ) and change the water every 2-3 weeks. Would hate to see my babies (I raise fry) suffer from this horrible invader.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:46 AM   #17
 
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Ok so how do you raise Nitrogen, and lower phosphates to a safe level? I would like to avoid this bacteria as much as possible.. even tho I have a tight lid (with air flow ) and change the water every 2-3 weeks. Would hate to see my babies (I raise fry) suffer from this horrible invader.
The best thing is prevention by regular maintenance and ensuring a biologically balanced system. Forget fiddling with nitrogen and phosphates, that will more than likely cause other problems. The aim is to have an aquarium balanced naturally, biologically stable as we say. And the best way to do this is not to overstock with fish, have live plants, and do regular weekly partial water changes. Keep the light minimal to what is required for the plants.

Cyanobacteria occurs due to excess organics in the presence of light. The nitrogen or phosphates are somewhat irrelevant on their own, though their levels may impact the cyano. Organics are fish waste, decaying animal/plant matter, uneaten fish food, etc. Organics are unavoidable, we are after all dealing here with a natural system and organics is a big and very important part of life. But in a balanced system the organics will be balanced, and natural bacteria in the substrate along with plants will handle it. Bacteria break down organics into nutrients for the plants.

With respect to your 2-3 week water changes, this is inadequate in fry tanks. Fry more than mature fish must have clean water, and weekly water changes or more often are required. They (fry) need more frequent feeding to grow and develop properly, and that obviously means more "organics" getting in the water, hence we need more rigorous maintenance.

Some tap water may contain phosphates but this mineral largely comes in with fish food. Another reason to not overfeed mature fish. But fry as I said need food, so the extra maintenance balances things. And plants, which require phosphate as one of their macro-nutrients.
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