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Inga 11-07-2011 04:08 PM

Yucked up tank and plants
When I was in the hospital for 48 hours, my tank lights were left on. No surprise but I had a huge algae blast. I have been struggling with it since then. Also I think I have some food residue on the plants. I honestly do not even know how to get the tank cleaned up again. The water is clean and fresh since it is changed so often and such large quantities but, the plants look gross. What do I do? Do I need to start all over again?

Byron 11-07-2011 07:21 PM

If you can clean the algae off the leaves, tedious work but that may help. But if it is brush alhgae, that is impossible to remove so leave it and wait for new leaves, then remove the old ones bit by bit. If the tank is back to "normal" with light and water changes, new leaves should appear on most plants.

Sorry to hear you were in hospital Inga; I hope whatever it was went OK for you. God bless.


Calmwaters 11-07-2011 09:10 PM

Hi Inga! I hope you are feeling better. I really hope it is not the brush algae that Byron mentioned that stuff is awful I have been fighting with it for several months in my 55 gallon and finally completly tore down the tank Saturday to try to get rid of it.

Romad 11-08-2011 04:22 AM


Hope you're doing better now. Good luck with the algae removal.

Inga 11-08-2011 07:30 AM

Thanks all, I am doing alright now. I am sadly a frequent flyer in the hospital over the past few years but things are going real well now and hopefully will be for a long long time.

I fear it is the brush algae stuff because my Oto's don't eat any of it. I foresee this taking a very very long time to remedy. The fish also got very over fed while I was away so...lots of work ahead. I am guessing the hungry fish are not too excited to see me home again. ha ha

Calmwaters 11-08-2011 07:50 AM

Good luck getting rid of it. I had read that American Flag fish will eat it but then read conflicting info on that they will eat the plants as well so I did not try them. Now looking back I wish I had because most of my plants died anyway but we think maybe it was the lights that had caused the algae because it had been over a year since I got the bulbs.

Byron 11-08-2011 11:36 AM

Light is the only issue with brush algae; this is the only algae I regularly have to battle. Getting the tank back in balance by less light will resolve it. And having good light.

One sign of weakening fluorescent tubes is an increase of brush algae. I have stopped it by changing the tubes. Another remedy is reducing the period. I used to find brush algae always increased during the summer months--due to the increase in light through the windows. Covering them heavily stopped this.


Calmwaters 11-08-2011 11:56 AM

Thanks Byron that is good to know hopefully since I have changed my bulbs the algae will stay away.

Mikaila31 11-08-2011 12:26 PM

You should get a timer for your lights too.
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Byron 11-08-2011 12:27 PM


Originally Posted by Calmwaters (Post 888043)
Thanks Byron that is good to know hopefully since I have changed my bulbs the algae will stay away.

Well... maybe.;-) I was addressing the specifics in this thread, and rather briefly perhaps. But to explain more fully: algae needs light. Nutrients will always be available if fish are present, so with light--and any light--algae will appear. In planted tanks algae should be present but minimally. This is achieved by having a balance between light and nutrients. Provided the nutrients are all available, and the light is sufficient in intensity, plants will photosynthesize full-out, and algae does not have an advantage, though it will be present minimally. Once the balance is broken--which can be one important nutrient no longer available, or the light no longer sufficient--algae takes advantage. In a natural planted tank, CO2 is usually the first factor to be used up; this is why it is critical to balance the light period with the nutrients.

Light should always be the limiting factor, because it is easiest to control and without it algae cannot become a nuisance. If the light is not of sufficient intensity to balance the nutrients, plants will slow and perhaps even stop photosynthesis, and algae takes the advantage. With older tubes, the light intensity is weaker, and at some point becomes too weak for the plants' needs. This is why tubes must be replaced regularly, and not allowed to just "burn out." I have had algae increases which I determined were related to the tube condition, since replacing the tubes stopped the increase.


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