I'm lost... no really
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I'm lost... no really

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I'm lost... no really
Old 11-30-2009, 07:40 AM   #1
 
Unhappy I'm lost... no really

I got rid of the brown algae that plagued me a few weeks ago... only to have it come back as strong as ever.. which tells me something isn't right. I haven't bought the liquid water testing kit (I'll probably do that sometime this week) and outside of daily water changes (10%) and more conscious feeding regime I'm not sure what esle I can do.

As of my last test, the PH/nitrites were sky high.. I keep the water temp at 78 degree's and the hood light is on for about 9 hrs a day. As I've mentioned in prior threads I have a 29g with 5 African Cichlids. I've been told this is probably too small for that many cichlids (even though they are juveniles) so I am actively looking for a new home... could the overcrowding be an issue? I didn't think I was overfeeding before, but I've cut back a bit in the recent days.

Any ways.. any suggestions would help.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:11 AM   #2
 
PS.. in looking through pictures I think it's Diatoms/Brown algae. Should I just take everything out & clean it again (I just did this 2 wks ago)? I just don't want it to come back..
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:29 AM   #3
 
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Please test all your parameters and post them (ph, KH, NO2, NO3 Ammonia)
There's several factors that enhance brown algae growth which need to be either eliminated or excluded from the 'cause list' step by step for your tank.
One cause could be higher nitrates.
Another cause can be low light. Now this does not simply mean to dial up the lighting durance, but possibly exchange for better bulbs - So what type of bulbs do you have (full spectrum?).
It often occurs in new tanks due to lack of oxygen and abundance of nutrients.
So in ratio to your tank size, how many % would you say are covered in plants if any? Or maybe you can take a picture of the tank?

Brown algae or any other type for this matter is manly caused by an ecosystem within he tank that's out of level, meaning something is too high and other levels are too low. To permanently eliminate your issue, the cause must be found and eliminated.

Short term solution: If you have areas like the glass or decor covered: Take decor out and brush it clean. Use a sponge to clean the inside of your glass (careful: don't use any brush or sponge that previously was used with any cleaners or chemicals).

Hate to tell you, but to solve it we'll have to go through several different matters in your tank and eliminate 1 by 1 and this may take time and patience.

On a side note, yes the kids fit your tank right now, but as adults depending on the exact species you're housing you're looking at a size of anywhere form 2-4" per fish and their active behavior, that's why once they grow, they'll simply outgrow the 29g. But there's always the option of upgrading to a 55g and use your 29g for another smaller species of fish
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
 
understood.. I'll get that info & get back to you. Does sound like a fun process, but neither is cleaning the tank to this degree every 2 wks.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
 
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And you shouldn't have to. A tank should require PWC each week, yes. But not a weekly overhaul like you're seemingly doing right now. As I said, something in the tank is outta line, process of elimination will get to the bottom of this and be done with it.

Its always easier in my opinion to find the cause and eliminate it, rather then only treating the symptons or mask them with chemicals.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:34 AM   #6
 
agreed..

I'm curious to see the remedy you guys recommend once I provide further info..
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:15 AM   #7
 
ok so here's the lowdown:


Tank: 29 g
Water Temp: 78 degrees
Lights: Couldn't tell, but I bought my 29g as a kit so it's probably not a very expensive bulb.. I keep it on 9 hrs a days recently, but previously had it about 11.5
Filter - Power 30
Food: Pellets
Substrate: gravel
Live Plants: No, approx 3-4 plastic
Stock: 5 juvenile African Cichlids (again I understand the crowding issue)
PH: 7.5
Alkalinity - 180
Hardiness - 150
Nitrate/Nitrites - couldn't tell, on my test kit the strip indicator tabs were supposed to be a light (Nitrate) & bright pink (Nitrite), although both were grey
Ammonia - Ideal (it didn't give me a number)
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
 
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Wow some fairly hard water, that's pretty good for Cichlids.

You can unscrew the bulb and look, It'll have a name on it. But being a combo set I'm sorta sure its the 'standard' bulbs, which not having live plants is not too terrible atm but you may want to consider upgrading it to a full spectrum bulb. It appears as though certain spectrum's of light enhance algae growth while others don't.

So what I'd do if it was my tanks (and there's other opinions on this as well I'm sure, so let's hope the others join the discussion)
- I'd exchange the bulb
- Run lights some 10-11hrs/day
- Keep up weekly w/c of about 25%
- Feed either very little each day, or only feed every other day

Here's a few suggestions that I'd personally go for, but they will cost some $....If you can get a liquid test kit from API or alike. The strips are extremely inaccurate and while they show you nothing for NO2 & 3 it could well be you are having slightly elevated NO2 levels tested with the liquid set. They often (if not always) only then show readings at all when its pretty much on the verge of being too late already.
To counter the excess nutritious that the algae feeds off of and act as bio filter I'd add several fast growing stem plants such as Cabomba, Ludwiga, Vallis etc
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:35 PM   #9
 
any other thoughts/suggestions? Should I add a 2nd oxygen source?
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