String-like Algae issues - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-10-2010, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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String-like Algae issues

Hi All,

I have a 29 gallon tank with good readings-

7500k lighting, plants, sand substrate, Aqueon QuietFlow 30, Heater

1 German Ram
5 black phatom tetra
4 panda cories
6 zebra danios
and ghost shrimp - multiple

I have been having issues with string-like algae for some time now. I got rid of diatoms and then the strings started forming when I planted my tank, I'm guessing it came in from the store with the plants.

It looks like this, but much shorter and not AS nasty:



I've been manually scrubbing my plants with a brush to rid them of it, but now it looks like the algae is deciding to attach my glass. Any suggestions on how to get rid of this stuff? I got Otos, but they didn't touch the stuff, EVER! Even when I had a school of them, it was weird.

Think I should go buy a 6500k light? The algae would still have plenty of light with a 6500k though. Also I think I might have to treat ICH, I can't tell if my Ram has it, b/c of it's coloring and I can't get a good picture to show!

Any help is MUCH appreciated!

Thanks!

Pat

ON IOWA! GO HAWKS!
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-10-2010, 07:22 PM
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Starting with the possible ich: do not treat a tank of fish with medications unless you are certain of the disease and it is serious enough to warrant treatment. Medications can severely stress out and weaken fish, and all of those mentioned in your first post except the danios are very sensitive fish to chemicals and meds. Healthy fish in suitable surroundings (water parameters and quality) can usually fight off ich. If they have been weakened it may take a stronger hold and require treatment, but make sure it is first.

To the algae. Otos will only eat common green algae and the brown (diatoms). They will not touch anything else; few "algae" eating fish will, though a couple are selective. From your photo, it looks like cladophora algae, which resembles a moss. Apparently CO2 will handle it, but I would not go that route; remove it, consider reducing the lighting (intensity or duration, see following).

On the light, how long is it on daily, and what is the intensity (T8 or T5, watts, number of tubes)?
Is the tank well planted? And are you dosing any fertilizer, and if yes, which and how often?

When we know this, we should be able to offer some suggestions.

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]

Last edited by Byron; 10-10-2010 at 07:29 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-11-2010, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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I have a 7500K T8 tube, only one.

Tank is not "heavily" planted, but it has quite a few in it.

I use API Leaf Zone when I do my PWC weekly and I add one more dose mid week.

Lights are on for 10 hours.

I was back at the LFS yesterday, and noticed that the plants did have the same algae, shame on me for not rinsing my plants in a warm salt bath before adding them to my tank!

Also I DO have ICH! So I am currently treating with a half-dose of Aquari-Sol.

Thanks!

Pat

ON IOWA! GO HAWKS!

Last edited by PRichs87; 10-11-2010 at 09:31 AM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-11-2010, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRichs87 View Post
I have a 7500K T8 tube, only one.

Tank is not "heavily" planted, but it has quite a few in it.

I use API Leaf Zone when I do my PWC weekly and I add one more dose mid week.

Lights are on for 10 hours.

I was back at the LFS yesterday, and noticed that the plants did have the same algae, shame on me for not rinsing my plants in a warm salt bath before adding them to my tank!

Also I DO have ICH! So I am currently treating with a half-dose of Aquari-Sol.

Thanks!
Nothing too far out in this, so my suggestion would be first to get a new tube. I didn't ask how long the present tube has been running, but they do lose intensity as they burn, and algae frequently (= always) takes advantage and will increase or be more of a nuisance with less intense light. T8 tubes should be replaced about every 3 years.

But aside from this, I am intrigued by the kelvin of 7500K which is rather unusual. If it were me, I would get a daylight tube with around 6500K. Measure the length of the present tube (excluding the end pins) and that is what you want in a "daylight" or similar; GE, Sylvania, Phillips all make these, whatever they may individually call them. They are not expensive, a couple dollars at hardware stores. Algae will survive (whereas plants may not) under any light, which is one reason the actinic (blue) lights of marine tanks do not work well with planted tanks. The 7500K may be assisting the algae a bit.

I would replace the tube, remove the algae manually as best you can, and see what happens. I would not at this point reduce the light period. But one other suggestion would be to change fertilizer. Here again, algae can manage with anything (or none except natural organics in the tank), whereas plants have specific needs for 17 nutrients. API Leaf Zone only contains iron and potassium (according to the info on their website), and it is unlikely the others will all be available in sufficient quantity solely from the tap water, fish food and waste organics. I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium as the best in my experience. I think you will use less of it than you are with Leaf Zone; 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of Flourish once or perhaps twice a week in a 30g is it. It is highly concentrated.

Dose the fert a day after the water change; conditioners that detoxify heavy metals will detoxify the heavy metals in a fertilizer, and some of these are important plant nutrients (iron, copper, zinc, manganese). Conditioners generally lose their effectiveness after 24 hours, so dosing the fert the day following a water change is recommended. If a second dose is deemed necessary, 3 days after that works to spread them out.

Aquari-Sol is fine for the ich. At half-strength it should pose no problems, but if you notice stress esp from the corys, do a partial water change. I have had corys and some catfish react very negatively to Aquari-Sol, though that was at full strength.

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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post #5 of 7 Old 10-11-2010, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron! I recently bought the light about 2 months ago, didn't cost too much and I actually work for a hardware store, so I'll be able to get the light for next to nothing!

Pat

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post #6 of 7 Old 09-08-2011, 05:26 PM
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beneficial bacteria

Has anyone tried adding a little bacterial like they use in ponds? Something like these guys are talking about? It's supposed to be fish safe, but I'm scared to try it...
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-09-2011, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janealvarado View Post
Has anyone tried adding a little bacterial like they use in ponds? Something like these guys are talking about? It's supposed to be fish safe, but I'm scared to try it...
This article is a bit misleading, as it is dealing with ponds and that is vastly different from a closed aquarium system. Bacteria are many and varied.

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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