How to Kill off Algae?? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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How to Kill off Algae??

My tank was recently taken over by some sort of algae. Not sure what kind, but it is a dark green and very thick and slimey looking. I tried to scrape it off and pull all of it out, but that did not seem to do anything. It all grows back in less than 24 hours. It was on the tops of my vals near the surface and on my driftwood. I did a huge cleaning and trimmed all of the vals to get rid of the algae on them. I took the driftwood out to let it dry and kill the algae. My question is, how long before the algae is dead? The wood has been dry for more than 72 hours, but the algae is still green. I would have thought it would turn brown by now.

Advice for anyone new to the hobby: Do your research!! Before you do anything to your aquarium, take some time to research it. It has made a huge difference for me

S.A. Flooded Jungle (20 gallon)
A heavily planted tank. Inhabitants include: 7 Lemon Tetra, 1 Whiptail Catfish, and MTS.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bigfish93 View Post
My tank was recently taken over by some sort of algae. Not sure what kind, but it is a dark green and very thick and slimey looking. I tried to scrape it off and pull all of it out, but that did not seem to do anything. It all grows back in less than 24 hours. It was on the tops of my vals near the surface and on my driftwood. I did a huge cleaning and trimmed all of the vals to get rid of the algae on them. I took the driftwood out to let it dry and kill the algae. My question is, how long before the algae is dead? The wood has been dry for more than 72 hours, but the algae is still green. I would have thought it would turn brown by now.

I wouldn't try to kill it. Less light is a good start. Try keeping your light on for only 6-7 hours. Other than that, keep your water clean, and scrape off what you can. What do you let your nitrates get to before you do a water change? That could have something to do with it.

Gwen

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 07:21 PM
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sounds like cyanobacteria, did it stick together when you pulled it off? did it have a musty/swampy odor?
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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sounds like cyanobacteria, did it stick together when you pulled it off? did it have a musty/swampy odor?
Yes! it stuck together and I was able to pull it out in clumps. It smelled exactly like a musty/swampy odor and was starting to stick up my room. After removing most of the "stuff", the smell is now gone. Is cyanobacteria harmful? I have been keeping up with my tank mataince and water changes. I was getting lazy with my fertilizer dosings the past couple weeks and thought the "green stuff" was occurring because my balance was all messed up. Thanks for the help guys

Advice for anyone new to the hobby: Do your research!! Before you do anything to your aquarium, take some time to research it. It has made a huge difference for me

S.A. Flooded Jungle (20 gallon)
A heavily planted tank. Inhabitants include: 7 Lemon Tetra, 1 Whiptail Catfish, and MTS.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 09:15 PM
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Yes! it stuck together and I was able to pull it out in clumps. It smelled exactly like a musty/swampy odor and was starting to stick up my room. After removing most of the "stuff", the smell is now gone. Is cyanobacteria harmful? I have been keeping up with my tank mataince and water changes. I was getting lazy with my fertilizer dosings the past couple weeks and thought the "green stuff" was occurring because my balance was all messed up. Thanks for the help guys

Balance being messed up, would cause it. I don't think it's harmful however.

Gwen

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 09:29 PM
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 09:31 PM
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Only harmful if allowed to smother the plants as far as I know. I had this a while back, first I used erythromycin with good initial success, but it came back, had better luck with Chemiclean by Boyd enterprises, it hasn't come back since.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 09:34 PM
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I don't think the stuff on the wood is algae, I would guess some sort of fungus
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-02-2012, 09:57 PM
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I don't think the stuff on the wood is algae, I would guess some sort of fungus
What do I do about it? Pull the wood off and scrape it off?
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-03-2012, 02:53 PM
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bigfish93, if it is cyanobacteria, it is not harmful per say but it will kill plants via suffocation of the leaves, and it indicates very bad conditions which will eventually take their toll on the entire aquarium including the fish. Cyano is not an algae, it is a type of bacteria. I wrote on length about cyanobacteria yesterday, here is what I said copied over.

Cyanobacteria is always and solely an organics issue. Reducing light including blackouts, treating with antibiotics, removing it by hand--the cyano will (or may) dissipate but will always come back (as you've noticed) unless the cause (organics) is fixed. For one example, I just had a bout of this in my 70g. I hadn't really noticed it at first, until one day while feeding I saw that about half the Pygmy chain sword were darker green, and looking closer I saw they were covered with cyano. It flashed across my mind that the canister filter on this tank had not been cleaned for about 6 months [won't get into all that]. I disconnected it, cleaned it, new pads...removed the cyano by hand during the water changes over the next two weeks (once weekly, no more)--end of cyano. For 3 weeks now, crystal clear. Organics is the cause, nothing else.

Insufficient water changes, overfeeding, overcrowding (fish) and all cause a buildup of organics. Waste in the substrate should be broken down by snails (Malaysian Livebearing will help here) and bacteria, but this has to be balanced with the needs of the system (plants use some of these, other types of bacteria use the nitrates). Weekly partial water changes of 40-50% of the tank volume should keep this balance. Fish do not need more than one feeding per day (except fry), and can mis a day or two a week with no harm, so going above this may contribute.

Never use antibiotics to deal with cyano. Yes, they work--after all, cyanobacteria is just what it is named, a bacteria, and we all know that antibiotics kill bacteria. But they kill other bacteria than the cyano, which can be just as dangerous. They can affect fish. And organisms do build up immunity to antibiotics as we all know ourselves. And they can kill some plants. Never use any antibiotic in an aquarium except specifically to target a bacteria that is harming the fish.

This was the other thread:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...acteria-94935/

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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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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