Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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notsonewguy 02-04-2007 02:32 PM

Redish type algae??
Obviously i'm a noob, Just set up a 10 gal tank about 1-2 months ago. my levels were all great. I only have 4 black tetras, and i recently decided to get rid of my fake plants and introduce real plants. I purchased a couple of Cabomba plants, added a nice touch to the tank, but recently I noticed some algae growth on the glass, it has a redish/purplish color. a couple days later i noticed it was worse than i thought, the algae is growing on my pump and starting to show on the gravel, I do regular 20% water changes every 2 weeks. changing my filter every opposite weekend. I also did a recent test that informed me my Nitrites are way too high, last test was 10!!!!!!!!!!!! am doing another water change ASAP!!!! fish seem perfectly fine and happy though. any ideas of what i should do? I have also noticed some uneaten food throughout the tank and am considering getting a few bottom feeders...but not sure if its safe to do so. Also, I have a buddy who has had fish for a very long time and he just adds distilled water to the tank when it evaporates and thats it, no water changes or testing at all...I on the other hand prefer to do water changes because his method didnt work for me, for my water changes should i be using distilled water? without adding anything to it? or should i try tap water with properly added chemicals? I just dont know what to do, this fish stuff is more frustrating that i originally thought, Any suggestions would be great. thanks for your time. if more info is needed i'll be more than happy to supply it. My 'better' half has already offered to flush the fishies for me LOL :P :shock: :shock:

musho3210 02-04-2007 03:05 PM

Hmm, your friend is not taking anything out and that is very bad, unless he has the 3rd nitryfying bacteria that eats nitrates then he should do water changes

heres your problem, too infrequent water changes is giving the algae excess nutrients. The 10 lv of nitrite is majorly toxic, its like you drinking pure posion. You're lucky your fish are alive.
Another thing thats going wrong is your excess food, a well fed tank should never have excess food, IMO dont get a bottom dweller get some shrimp to clean it up, there will always be excess food but it shouldnt be seen, the shrimp will clean it up though.
As for your filter changes, you are destroying your beneficial bacteria every time you change your filter, what is your bio-medium and what is your bio-filter. A good bio-filter is a bio-wheel that is attached on filters, these are becoming increasingly popular. Another good way is to get three way filtration of a sponge for mechanical filtration, a bag of carbon for chemical filtration and ceramic material for bio-filtration, some filters like the some of the wisper filters contain this, for bio-wheel get a penguin filter.

As for distilled water, you may add this water to make up for the evaporation but nothing more or nothing less. For the water you take out add back in tap water, not distilled, distilled is for the evaporated water, not the water you took out.

To fix your algae, do WEEKLY 25-30% water changes.
To fix your nitrite level get a bio-filtration, a sponge filter, an undergravel filter, and many more are good for this.
To fix your friends none changing water, bring him to this forum to see why.

Also may i ask how did you cycle your tank? and do you add any chemicals besides a chlorine remover?

notsonewguy 02-04-2007 03:47 PM

thanks for the quick response, So i should be doing weekly water changes with dechlorinated tap water?? as for the cycle, well lets just say i kinda fumbled the ball on that one, i filled up the tank, let it heat up and circulate and put in my tetras, the levels all leveled out and were good after a a few cloudy water moments, but with water changes that problem cleared up, then i got the plants and it REALLY cleared up. the bottom of the tank is just gravel and my biofilter is in my Hang On Back filter, infront of the changable filter, its a Hagen filter. should i look into another/better bio filter? and I shouldn't be changing the 'changeable' filter? just rinse it off? or anything?? and i havent' add ANY chemicals at all to my tank, not even once. if ya need more info I'm glad to provide it, once again thanks for the quick response, and i'm amazed my fish are still alive as well...unfortunally the petstore is closed and i am not able to get the dechloranizing chemicals i need for the tap water so a change may not be doable till tomorrow after work...hope they hang in there :oops: :oops:

fish_4_all 02-04-2007 03:52 PM

Before I can say too much, I need to what type filter you are using?
Also, if you are using tap water you MUST add dechlorinator to the water or the chlorine is killing your bacteria. The product that is prefered is called Prime and can be bought online or at some LFS.

20% every other week may or may not be enough that few fish. It is actually sounding like it might a couple other things. The first is your tank is not cycled in which case you need to do a lot more water changes just to have a chance to save your fish. Test your tap water, after it has sat out for 24 hours and been airated, for Nitrites, nitrates and phosphates and let us know what you find.

My guess is you have an Aquaview filter and if you do you need to upgrade if you can. Aquaclear, Penguin, Emporer or a similar filter that has the type of choices that Musho mentioned will mae life much easier. If you get a new filter don't remove the old one right away. Run the new one for 2-3 weeks and then remove the old one.

Just one other thing, don't add anything, even shrimp, until you have the problem fixed. Shrimp will die in a short time from the nitrites and adding fish will only make the levels worse.

musho3210 02-04-2007 03:57 PM

when you get a new filter you don't even need to take out the old filter, you don't even need to change the cartridge, take out all the activated carbon and leave the flossy stuff there, then every 4-6 weeks just take it out and clean it gently in dechlorinated water. This will save you money and the extra filter can work as a back-up if the other one requires maintanence or breaks down.

fish_4_all 02-04-2007 04:02 PM

The algae is diatoms and will go away in time. It hapens in some new tank because thew diatoms eat silica which is everyhwere in your tank. Once the tank gets that "film" it will get with time the diatoms will, or at least should, go away.

musho3210 02-04-2007 04:02 PM

oh and might i add that your filter is fine for bio-filtration, as long as there is something like a sponge or porous material that is never changed and never even touch. But either way the more filtration the better, i run two filters on my 20 gallon tank, both pump 100gph so i get double filtration, one is a very very cheap top-fin power filter (one of the worst company in aquariums) and the other is a good quality Penguin Bio-wheel filter.

With an added filtration you can add just a tiny bit more fish, but not too much more.

fish4all arent diatoms brown not red/purple?

fish_4_all 02-04-2007 04:14 PM

Mine was purple, red brown, orangeish and every combination there after.

The test is simple, take your finger and try to remove it, if it comes off easy and is slimy chances are it is diatoms, if not, we need a picture or a better description.

notsonewguy 02-04-2007 04:30 PM

well the stuff does come off with a wipe of the finger, and my filter is an AQUA-Tech 5-15 Power Filter. with a bio-fiber filter that sits next to the cartridge filter. I'll pick up some dechlorinator asap and test that method out, and i'll do more water changes and report back, once again thanks guys :P I was going to give up and get a lizard for the aquarium hehe

notsonewguy 02-05-2007 11:42 AM

Ok i found that Prime stuff, you said to airate the water? how do i do this? by just letting it sit out? just a little confused on that part :?

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