Weird Algae in 55 Gallon - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-11-2012, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
Cool Weird Algae in 55 Gallon

I have a 55 gallon tank for about 2 or more months now. Lightly planted with red ludwigia, rotala indica, lots of java moss and 25% of the surface covered in frogbit. Anyway, the tank at first was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over stocked with an adult pair of convict cichlids and many many many babies. This weird black algae grew all over the plants and pots in the tank. It looks like slimy and looks like a form of hair algae i guess. Its not brushy like black beard algae. But feels like strings and slimy. weird and has branches. Anyway, i redeced feedings and sold all the largest fish in the tank except the newborn fry and double dosed flourish excel and it went away in a week.

The wattage in the tank is 100 watts total. 6700K

now its coming back quickly.

what is this and how do i get rid of it?
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-11-2012, 07:35 PM
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Guess in my opinion, a little algae is normal! But I can understand how one can think it would be unsightly. You seemed to have done all the obvious remedies; reduce feedings, reduced the bio-load... If you notice it consistently recurring, then maybe you can purchase a pleco or school of ottos that would feast on this nuisance? They would definitely keep it under control. It would be like an "all you can eat" buffet for them!

A couple questions that may help us get to the bottom of this...

What type of filter are you using?
How many hours are your lights on for?
Does your tank receive natural sunlight?
What are you water parameters? (phosphate, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, temperature...)
Your water may just be high in phosphates, that's why I listed that first. If you can, definitely check your phosphate levels which may be contributing your your increased algae growth.

Algae needs two things to grow essentially (other than water), light and nutrients, so regardless of what you do, there will most likely always be some algae growing. The algae is likely to be kept more at bay if you own fish like plecos and ottos that are natural clean up crews.

Last edited by JouteiMike; 03-11-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-11-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
oh yes, i have years of experience with aquariums. And have some other successful tanks. Ive never had any algae problems so this is a bit of a surpise for me, however this is the largest tank ive ever had. The lights used to be on for 8 hours but i reduced it to 7. There isnt any natural sunlight getting to the tank. And its a whisper powerfilter
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-11-2012, 08:23 PM
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From the photo it appears to be Staghorn Algae. See photo attached.

Apparently this can occur with higher ammonia levels as from overstocking and organics, and low CO2. You previous experience with CO2 (albeit Excel the liquid form) and mention of the large biomass from Oscars would seem to bear this out.

This algae frequently appears close to the light source and no where else; so light seems to be a factor too. The 100w of light is a lot. Am I correct in assuming this relates to two 48-inch T5 HO tubes? If yes, that is part of the problem, a large part. You don't mention CO2 diffusion, I am assuming not if you used Excel, so this is out of balance. I would certainly reduce the light period, but without CO2 I would want to half the light intensity first.

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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; 03-11-2012 at 08:25 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-18-2012, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
sorry, i never got an email notification for this and getting old...
anyway, we've found alot of dead debri in the tank and is working hard to remove it, and so far the staghorn appears to be going away a little bit. Im also lowering the length of time the lights are on to 7 hours instead of 8
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-22-2012, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
well it seems that whatever im doing, the algae seems to be going away. I did a somewhat larger water change and found some dead leaves scattered throughout the tank and removed it all. Also found that some of the led ludwigia, on the bottom of the stems where the roots are, they have blackened and i guess rotted. So we removed that dead parts
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