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kmiceray 09-14-2011 11:17 AM

What a mess of an algae problem I have
 
I went out of town for some work and came back to this :-(

Tank Info:
  • 50 gallons
  • Life Glo 2 bulb
  • Light set on timer from 8:50 am to 10:00 pm (wow just typing this I realize maybe to much light is causing this)
  • Water temp is 79 and steady with heater
  • Last water change was a week and half ago
So what is the best plan to getting rid of this stuff?

The plants with the stringy brown algae is coming off the Water sprite I have floating on top.
http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG1872.jpg

http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG1873.jpg

This is Wisteria with some stringy green algae attached to it.

http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG1875.jpg


This picture is showing the surface of my water and how still the top of the water is. It is almost kind of thick looking . Im thinking that I need to adjust my outflow stream to disturb the top of the water. Also I was thinking about placing an air stone on the other side to circulate the water on the other end.

http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/...e/CIMG1876.jpg

ChrisPaul2491 09-14-2011 11:20 AM

Where in your home is the tank located? If it's near a window, direct sunlight speeds up algae production, and can cause a real mess. And this stringy algae you have is a real pain. It's not something you can just scrub off the glass, it needs to be taken off everything physically and removed. It's a REAL pain. But I also think a second air stone would help a little.

kmiceray 09-14-2011 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisPaul2491 (Post 825289)
Where in your home is the tank located? If it's near a window, direct sunlight speeds up algae production, and can cause a real mess. And this stringy algae you have is a real pain. It's not something you can just scrub off the glass, it needs to be taken off everything physically and removed. It's a REAL pain. But I also think a second air stone would help a little.

It is in my living room but it is in the spot farthest away from the window. Also I keep the binds shut so the light penetration is not that much. I think I figured out that I have my light on way to long. It seems I have had it set on for 13 hours.

I'm thinking that all that Water Sprite I have is going to have to be thrown away. I can clean the wisteria easily.

ChrisPaul2491 09-14-2011 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kmiceray (Post 825306)
It is in my living room but it is in the spot farthest away from the window. Also I keep the binds shut so the light penetration is not that much. I think I figured out that I have my light on way to long. It seems I have had it set on for 13 hours.

I'm thinking that all that Water Sprite I have is going to have to be thrown away. I can clean the wisteria easily.

That's a good idea. I was also going to ask about the lighting. I only keep mine on for 8 hours maximum during the day. Good luck!

kmiceray 09-14-2011 02:04 PM

Thanks for the help. I gutted all my water sprite. I was able to save some of it and I am sure it will begin to grow again. I got some temporary Wisteria for cheap to float on the surface for a while. Just changed all the water and also scrubbed the sides of the aquarium. Hopefully with a decrease in light duration I can keep this from happening again. At least if it happens again it is not so freaking bad hahah :lol:

Oh, in the pictures it looks like the algae grew from the glass but it was all in the Water Sprite. The glass actually had nothing on it from what I could tell. I still scrubbed it though

kmiceray 09-14-2011 03:25 PM

I put an air stone in the tank on the other side from my canister filter out line. It has really created a nice movement of water on the surface on the other side. Now I have a nice current to keep the water circulated and also it is not too strong to bug my low current fish. Hopefully the current may help a tinny bit with the algae coming back

Byron 09-14-2011 06:10 PM

You've got the answer, so just a couple of comments as I have had this in one or two tanks. The brown stuff is not algae, it is related to organics; something akin to cyanobacteria, in that both are caused by the same thing, organics in the presence of light. The protein scum on the surface is also similarly related.

Reducing the light is the main thing. You might also want to look at the bioload. Are there fish in this tank, and was anyone feeding them while you were gone? You can guess where this is leading.

The airstone is not likely to cause too much of an issue, but nevertheless I would not use it in a natural planted tank as it will drive off CO2 faster and be detrimental to the plants.

Byron.

kmiceray 09-14-2011 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 825764)
You've got the answer, so just a couple of comments as I have had this in one or two tanks. The brown stuff is not algae, it is related to organics; something akin to cyanobacteria, in that both are caused by the same thing, organics in the presence of light. The protein scum on the surface is also similarly related.

Reducing the light is the main thing. You might also want to look at the bioload. Are there fish in this tank, and was anyone feeding them while you were gone? You can guess where this is leading.

The airstone is not likely to cause too much of an issue, but nevertheless I would not use it in a natural planted tank as it will drive off CO2 faster and be detrimental to the plants.

Byron.

Very interesting....would the stringy green stuff growing off of my Wisteria be of the same type of organic?

The light was a huge issue now that I think about it. But I am also thinking I may have caused this also by over feeding maybe. Possibly some flakes got stuck along the floating plants and just sat on the surface which acted as a major fuel for that stringy stuff. When I was gone I had a fish feeder that I used before. It was set on 12 hours on a low dosage setting. However it could had been putting out more than I thought. The bio load from fish is not that big I dont think. Right now I have one betta and 6 neon tetras in my 50 gallon.

If I take the air stone out it will create no surface movement. Is it ok with no surface movement. I am afraid that the stillness helps create a living environment for that stringy stuff and protein scum. Based off your aquarium pictures I could not see much movement on your surface.

I have adjusted my light timer to 12:00pm to 10:00pm.....will 10 hours still be too long?

Byron 09-14-2011 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kmiceray (Post 825932)
Very interesting....would the stringy green stuff growing off of my Wisteria be of the same type of organic?

The light was a huge issue now that I think about it. But I am also thinking I may have caused this also by over feeding maybe. Possibly some flakes got stuck along the floating plants and just sat on the surface which acted as a major fuel for that stringy stuff. When I was gone I had a fish feeder that I used before. It was set on 12 hours on a low dosage setting. However it could had been putting out more than I thought. The bio load from fish is not that big I dont think. Right now I have one betta and 6 neon tetras in my 50 gallon.

If I take the air stone out it will create no surface movement. Is it ok with no surface movement. I am afraid that the stillness helps create a living environment for that stringy stuff and protein scum. Based off your aquarium pictures I could not see much movement on your surface.

I have adjusted my light timer to 12:00pm to 10:00pm.....will 10 hours still be too long?

The green string is algae, I suspect Thread Algae. Apparently excess iron can cause it, and it often appears with Hair Algae.

If you go away for up to a week, don't feed the fish. Those auto feeders frequently fail, and other members in previous threads mention much the same results, some much worse. The protein scum and that brown stuff are definitely organics-related, and an excess of fish food could well cause this. Algae occurs due to light. But all this is obviously inter-related/connected.

I have very little surface disturbance because it does drive off CO2. A surface skimmer attachment to a canister filter will deal with the scum, i used to use these with my Eheim canisters but then fish kept getting pulled in and rather than try to make screens (which floating plant leaf bits will clog:roll:) I just took them off. But I never had protein scum with the skimmers. Now I have it minimally in a couple tanks, seasonal it seems. Some tanks never. All organics-related, and each aquarium is biologically different. Protein scum is no harm unless it gets very thick, then it will "suffocate" the tank by preventing the normal gaseous exchange. At its worst for me I simply siphoned it off weekly during the water change. That tank was torn down as it was not balanced.

Until this is cleaned up, you might want to further reduce the light. Down to 8 hours perhaps. Once the tank is biologically stable again, you could increase the light, keeping an eye out for any algae increases. It is odd that I used to have my tank lights on for 15 hours daily, and no problems. Now I have them down to 8 hours to keep brush algae at bay.

Byron.

kmiceray 09-14-2011 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 825972)
The green string is algae, I suspect Thread Algae. Apparently excess iron can cause it, and it often appears with Hair Algae.

If you go away for up to a week, don't feed the fish. Those auto feeders frequently fail, and other members in previous threads mention much the same results, some much worse. The protein scum and that brown stuff are definitely organics-related, and an excess of fish food could well cause this. Algae occurs due to light. But all this is obviously inter-related/connected.

I have very little surface disturbance because it does drive off CO2. A surface skimmer attachment to a canister filter will deal with the scum, i used to use these with my Eheim canisters but then fish kept getting pulled in and rather than try to make screens (which floating plant leaf bits will clog:roll:) I just took them off. But I never had protein scum with the skimmers. Now I have it minimally in a couple tanks, seasonal it seems. Some tanks never. All organics-related, and each aquarium is biologically different. Protein scum is no harm unless it gets very thick, then it will "suffocate" the tank by preventing the normal gaseous exchange. At its worst for me I simply siphoned it off weekly during the water change. That tank was torn down as it was not balanced.

Until this is cleaned up, you might want to further reduce the light. Down to 8 hours perhaps. Once the tank is biologically stable again, you could increase the light, keeping an eye out for any algae increases. It is odd that I used to have my tank lights on for 15 hours daily, and no problems. Now I have them down to 8 hours to keep brush algae at bay.

Byron.

Thanks a bunch Byron! I am never gone anyways for that long so I will do as you said and go away from the auto feeders. Just now I was looking at some DIY protein skimmers for freshwater but it did like it would be a pain with floating plants. I'm just going to keep my light down to 8 hours a day, watch feeding and stay on top of the weekly water changes.

In two days it will be time for me to use some more Flourish Comprehensive. Should I still do this weeks dosage?


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