*** All water parameters listed below, including Ferts and Lighting ***
*** Picture of my tank CLEAN attached, will get a dirty picture ***
It has been a few weeks since I have posted, looking for some more help that could be of tremendous value. The question is, what is this stuff in my tank, and how do I get rid of it???
I have a fully cycled, moderately planted, near 100% stocked, 30 gallon tank with good filtration. A month after my tank cycled I began to have brown algae on the glass and decorations in my tank. Bought some Ottos, and I believe that is has been controlled since, unless brown algae has a whole other look to it in later stages.
Jump to last month: I began to notice a brown, fuzzballish like coating on my gravel surrounding my sword plant. I vacuumed it up, but it reappeared. Now it seems each time I vacume it, it reappears within days with a vengance, coating the majority of my gravel but staying thickest around the roots of plants. Not only is it on the gravel, but it also appears on the leaves of all plants as a thin, slimely film.
Last week, a began to also notice that a very small ammount of my white gravel is turning dark green, and in some places a light blue. Then I noticed a green strand of slime on my heater as well as in one of my ferns. I googled this and concluded that it might be blue-green algae.
Yesterday, I removed EVERYTHING from my aquarium other than the substrate and did a thorough vacuume of the gravel, and also washed in removed tank water all decorations including plants. With the plants, I used my fingers to wipe off the slime on each leaf. As I vacumed the gravel, the crap from the substrate went everywhere, making the water extremely cloudy and brown. I then did a 30% water change and replanted everything. Once done, I used Crystal Clear as I do after each water change that clouds my water. Everything looked great! But an hour later, a think film of that brown stuff began to appear on leaves, and stringy looking stuff appeared on the aquarium glass (which you can also see in the attached picture).
This brown stuff has also appeared in the outflow pipe of my filter.
What is this stuff???!!! And how do I get rid of it? Regarding the blue-green algae as well, am I correct? And how do I rid that?
I have another, not being used right now Eheim 2213, will this help clear this stuff?
Things that I am guessing may be a problem is that my phosphate level is too high. I have been told but not yet done this, that phosphate levels should be at 10% of the Nitrate level. Right now it's at 50%.
Another thing that may be a problem is that I do not use CO2 right now because a good system is not that cheap..... so I am saving up for this. I was using Flourish Excel once every two days, but soon after I began dosing the stuff (at the correct ammount for a 30 gallon), one of my Platty's began to lay on it's side at the bottom barely breathing, struggling to swim but not on his side or upside down, and as soon as I did a water change he was fine. The next time I dosed the Excel he died. Odd, huh? Haven't used it since even though the other fish did not respond in the same way. And the water paremeters were practically the same as below at safe levels when this happened.
Please help me get control over this, as cleaning it is getting harder, and harder.... and harder. The Amano shrimp I bought last week don't seem to want a taste of it.
1. Size of tank?
* 30 Gallons
2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? 0ppm
b. Nitrite? 0ppm
c. Nitrate? 20ppm
d. pH 6.9
e. KH ~74 (4 drops using API KH Test Kit)
g. Phosphate > 10 ppm
e. Test kit?
* API Liquid Test Kit, I use another brand for pH to verify API readings
* 78 F
4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?
5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
* 5 months
6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
x5 Gold Barbs @ 5 months
x5 Von Rio Tetra @ 3 months
x3 Cory Catffish @ 2 months
x2 Ottos @ 3 months
x1 Sunset Platty @ 3 months (had two, one died.)
x2 Assassin Snails @ 1 month
x3 Ammano Shrimp @ 1 week
8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
All live plants, see attached picture
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
Gravel substrate; I know, this is bad for Corys. New tank for XMAS and will replace substrate
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?
Two peices of driftwood
9. a. Filtration?
x1 Ehiem 2213
10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
x1 T5 5000k @ 24W
x1 T5 6500k @ 24W
Both are turned on at 11 AM and turned off a 9 PM
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?
Very little in the morning, not direct exposure.
11. a. Water change schedule?
Once per week @ 20-30% Tap Water
b. Water conditioner used?
c. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?
Weekly during water change; 2x / week when necessary
Just switched from tetra crisps to dry bloodworms fed @ night
Frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms 2x / week
Shrimp pellets and hikari bottom feeder wafers daily
Algae wafers 1-2x / week
Flourish Tabs: 3 currently in the substrate
Flourish Excel: Used once every 2 days but stopped, see above.
Flourish Iron: Used once. I believe the tabs are doing their job.
Flourish Phosphate: Have not used due to high phosphate levels
Flourish Pottasium: Have not used.