Make it go away... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 35 Old 04-04-2014, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
sprmankalel's Avatar
Make it go away...'s all over and trying to manually remove it doesn't help. There's too much.

A quick about my tank

50 gallons
5 Angels (I got a new one)
3 Albino Cories
8 Black Neon Tetras
1 Cat Shark (Columbian Shark)
3 (but I can only see 2) Otocinclus
Lights were 12 hours. Today I bumped it to 10 hours.

I feed everyday with TetraColor Tropical Crisps. I probably feed a little too much because I do let some go down for the cories and the cat shark. I feed every 3rd day 1 Aqueon bottom feeder tablet for the cories and cat shark. The angels pig out on this too. I also feed with some freeze dried bloodworms 1 a week and tubifex worms 1 a weeks or so.

Read more: Plants and NitrAtes
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post #2 of 35 Old 04-05-2014, 01:29 AM
Sylverclaws's Avatar
Oh yeah, looks like Staghorn Algae. That stuff is a real pain in the butt! I had an issue with it as well, but not in a long time. For about a year it plagued me and my plants. I got a lower powered light and stopped over-feeding, also got mystery snails and a bristlenose pleco...though I have no idea if they're the ones who fixed it or not...One day it just started going away and never came back.

You have to manually remove as much as you can, on leaves where it just wont come off, you should remove them.

Try a light with less power too.

Check your water parameters, high nitrates can sometimes cause it. Make sure you don't have any ammonia or nitrites in there, or high nitrates.

The problem aside from the light power, is also...well, you have five angelfish in a 50 gallon tank with several other fish as well, usually you'd need a 75 gallon for five, maybe more...for space reasons more than anything.

So, how often and how much do you clean? With that stocking you'd need to do a bit extra. A bit of extra filtration can also help with that. If you have normal filtration, I suggest you get a second filter, one for a twenty-thirty gallon or so.

This algae often happens in tanks with too many fish and/or with too much food being fed. You said you give extra so it falls to the ground for your other fish. You can put it on the bottom without over-feeding the tank, start doing that instead. I have one spot in the tank where I used to partially bury food for my cories and loaches, they love to sift through the sand and dig it up, and then I'd be sure to clean that part of the sand every other day or so, that way nothing is missed to rot and draw algae or hurt the water quality.

Lessen your lighting hours to 6-8 hours a day until you have this covered, then typically better to not have them on more than 10-11 hours a day. That's pushing it for some tanks, I think it really depends on lighting and maintenance.

Siamese Algae Eaters will also eat this stuff, however...they can be dangerous to have in a tank sometimes, not recommended to be in a tank that already has that many fish for its size. They may turn to feeding on your fish if there isn't sufficient food, and once that happens they become addicted and often ignore food put in for them, or growing in there that they'd normally eat. They can get big, and can jump out of the tank too.

You're best off trying to manually remove it, as much as you can, keep the tank clean, lessen light, make sure your filter doesn't have a build up of yuck in it, and don't over-feed your fish. Suck up all uneaten food you find, poo too(I use a turkey baster to do this after every feeding).

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 04-05-2014 at 01:35 AM.
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post #3 of 35 Old 04-05-2014, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Uggggh...this tank. A quick story. I had it for a few years then I couldn't keep it any longer so I afraid had it and 4 years later it came back to me. I've never had so many issues.

0 ammonia and, unless my test kit is faulty, 10ppm nitrate. This is why I am baffled.

At one point I did not do any WC for 3 weeks because I wasted to keep my ferts in. I was not having good plant growth. I changed my lid and things started to look up. I changed lights to a 6700K and 10,000K. Bad decision? Though I noticed this stuff starting to grow when I held off on WC in which nitrates got to 60ppm. Others suggest to dose with Excel. I use FlourinAxis which is basically the same. At last water change on Thursday I added 5ml/50gallons and started 6 drops per day yesterday to slowly increase concentration. I will do 6 drops for a week then 8 then 10 then 12. Product says that dosing can be increased/decreased according to plant growth. I did 6 drops/day for 3 weeks and plants grew better but not heavily. I will stay with the 5ml/50gallon dosing of the FlourinMulti and start the daily dosing maybe on Monday.

I have the patience for this stuff to go away on its own but I just want to do it right.
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post #4 of 35 Old 04-05-2014, 05:41 PM
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Well, the likelihood of it going away on its own is pretty low. You gotta manually pull the junk off, keep the tank clean and watch that light. Unfortunately once you GET it, it's very hard to get rid of. Likely it came from that three week period of not cleaning.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #5 of 35 Old 04-06-2014, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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So sad. I hate trying to get it off. I feel like I could be in there all day and not make a dent. If I take the plants out and remove the stuff well would it just re-populate? I'd be willing to do that but I am just not happy about pulling up all the plants. Unless you think I should vacuum the gravel heavily too.
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post #6 of 35 Old 04-06-2014, 04:44 PM
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I think you should vacuum heavily too, yes.

As for taking it out? Best to just pull off what you can see, but you can remove them for it. It'll be stressful for the plants and may murk up the water.

Ah, I know your pain. When my pa was in the hospital and getting a lot of check-ups done, I had a several day period where I had left my tank lights on for about 15 hours a day when it was previously only about 8-10. When I did my weekly clean and moved some taller plants out of my ten to my twenty and fifty five gallon tanks it cause a major algae bloom and it would -not- go away no matter what I did. lol My saving grace came when some fry were born, a lot of fry, from my swordtail and I had purchased some ghost shrimp. They took care of it by the day after.

I had a couple BN plecos that liked to eat Staghorn algae. If it was lower on the plants, on their cave or where they could access it, they'd eat it. I'd trade your otos in for one or two Bristlenose plecos, honestly. They're big enough to go with your angels, or should be....depends on your angels, the otos may become food later...again, depends on the angels.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #7 of 35 Old 04-06-2014, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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I tried this afternoon getting it off. It's difficult while reaching in to the tank. I guess I will all the plants out and remove what I can. It is pretty easy to remove from the leaves. I really on have to rub it and it comes right off. I guess tomorrow I will uproot the plants and clean them off and do a real good gravel cleaning. Hopefully it won't shock the system. It'll also give me a chance to replace the root tabs. We'll see what happens.
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post #8 of 35 Old 04-06-2014, 09:22 PM
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Well, just clean the gravel where they plants go really well. A Halfy should be ok, and then a light one for elsewhere. So long as you have a cycled, stable tank and don't mess with the filter, it should be ok. You just need to get any filth out of there or uneaten food, that algae feeds off of yuck and loves spikes in water parameters, so treat with Prime if you have it. =)

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #9 of 35 Old 04-06-2014, 09:28 PM
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Have you tried doing a tank blackout for a few days to see if it makes an impact?

Also, and I know this isn't your original question, but the Columbian Shark will really outgrow your tank (reaching 20 inches long, capable of consuming small fish) and from what I've researched needs brackish water as a juvie and then full salt water as an adult :/ Sorry to be the bearer of bad news on that front...

Is it possible to do a tank teardown and clean the plants manually out of the tank? Would a bleach or peroxide dip make a difference?
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post #10 of 35 Old 04-06-2014, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to take the plants out and clean them outside of the tank. No bleach or peroxide dip needed as the algae comes of very easily. It will just be a time consuming process. A blackout is my last resort. To be truthful, the thought scares me as I won't be able to see my fish during the process.

As far as the shark goes, for now he is pretty tame. He's got plenty of room to move around and the place I got him from will take him back if he gets too big and I don't upgrade before then.
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