Severe Algae Bloom Help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-17-2014, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Severe Algae Bloom Help

I'm not sure what area of the forum I'm supposed to put this, sorry! ^^;

It's long, bear with me please.
Anyways, I'm having an algae problem in my ten gallon tank. I'll explain about that:
The tank is, oh, four years old or so now, been well established for a while. I use it as a planted nursery tank for my livebearer fry. Currently there are ten endlers livebearer fry and three one week old molly fry in there. Lot's of plants, a little java moss(mostly stem plants, one small anubias and an umbrella plant), and also several young pink ramshorn snails. About the size of a small sweet pea. Several meaning eight.

So first, tank stats: Haven't had any changes with them, they've stayed that normal during such a bloom? They have been PH: 7.3 GH is around 10-11, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate have been zero since the last time I cycled it about...maybe two years ago when I re-did it.

Anyways, because it has babies in there often, I usually suck out all uneaten food and poo I see daily with a turkey baster so I don't do too much drastic water changes, and the normal 30-35% change each week, I also do very small ones every two days or so(about 5%) since babies like clean water and grow faster with it, and also because they need more to eat and so poop more. I also wipe down the glass, heater and filter intake tube, I vacuum about...not quite half the substrate, which is sand, in a different spot each week and use my turkey baster to get in and around the plants...

So what I THINK happened, was, I went a bit skimpy on my care for a few days there. My grandpa was just diagnosed with cancer and the lighting schedule, which is manual, was off by about six hours for four-five days in a row. Usually I keep the lights on 8-9 hours a day, it was on for closer to 15+ for several days in a row while I wasn't home as much and I wasn't keeping up with the normal cleaning.

I went to do some extra cleaning, moved a plant which was likely a factor here...did a normal 35% change, and the next day the water was green. And I mean green. I'm thinking there may have been an algae build under the plant, and with the extra light it bloomed. The plant was a huge umbrella and it got too big to be in there so I moved it to the bigger tank.

So what I've done: I've been doing extra cleaning, about ten percent per day and wiping down everything, getting around the edges and really under the plants with the vacuum. I rinsed my sponge in tank water in case some grew in there. I moved the babies to a different tank and kept the lights out with tank covered for four days first after a large 50% change and good vacuum. When I went to do a change after that it looked better, almost gone kind of better, did another 50% change and good vacuum and wipe down, looked great but still a tad green...So, then the small changes and maintenance's worse. It bloomed two days later and is...well...heh, green. Saint Patrick's Day Green.

So that's the tanks story, how do I get rid of this? I've never had such a nasty bloom before. I had one in my grandma's five gallon betta tank but it cleared right up with a change and good wipe down(she likes to leave the lights on too long). I don't want any algae killing stuff, I do have critters that like it and I don't trust the stuff. Should I just keep doing what I have been, or is there something better to do?

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

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 03-17-2014 at 06:34 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-18-2014, 07:08 AM
you've got fish fry & what i am assuming is greenwater.

till your little fry grow a bit, everything i have red says the greenwater can be treated as live food for fry

... things to consider.

i've no idea about costs, ... nor do i know about how long it would take, ... could think about a UV sterilizer, ... but wait till your fry are a little older than newborn.

i've heard & gone the method of ignore it, and the greenwater crashes itself, ... might take a touch longer as you are feeding fry

to intentionally keep greenwater going takes a lot of fertilizer dosing
to let it crash itself, it will easily consume available nutrients and die.

Last edited by Flear; 03-18-2014 at 07:12 AM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-18-2014, 01:36 PM
I've had algae bloom every summer in a small pond in our backyard.Scary the first time it happens but basically harmless.I'll add a couple of airstones and it goes away in just a few days.I'd just stick to your regular sched.of water changes.It seems as though heavy rain acts as a trigger for blooms so heavier water changes may increase the time it takes to crash.If you breed egglayers you may want to consider harvesting some and nurturing it along as a great first food .
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-18-2014, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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The UV sterilizer, that is what I was trying to remember the other day and just couldn't! =)

Yeah...harmless usually, for the smaller ones. And tends to settle eventually and go away with less lighting and normal cleaning...But not when you can't even see into the tank. I moved the babies out because...whereas it can double as tasty good food for them, it can also starve the tank of oxygen and I don't have an airstone for that tank anymore. I DID, but my ferret kinda got obsessed with trying to get it the second I set it up, managed to FINALLY get it, and killed it last week. ^^; Still dunno how he finally got it, I had all the outside stuff up high.

Anyways, good news on it...I think. Since I took everything out of there that was living, except some snails...I vacuumed out some of the substrate(good portion with the vacuum so I got a lot of the yuck that may have been in it, though all I saw was green...) and then put it back in after emptying some of the lovely dark green water and did about a 90% change. lol THAT got it, or so it appeared, I haven't uncovered and checked the tank yet today. It looked better then, but we'll see.

Maybe it was just some Saint Patrick's Day Luck. Had a green problem for a week or so now, and the leprechauns got rid of it for me. ^_~

I can't believe the extent to which is exploded like that, was scary. It's making me think my weekly cleaning is flawed. =/ I'm pretty sure at this point it was in the gravel and the light and moving of the big plant likely caused it.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-18-2014, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Well, so far so good. I'm still not sure how that happened since I'm pretty picky when I clean, but it obviously was junk in the sand substrate. After cleaning out a good bit of it by removing and lightly rinsing it, and doing a huge water change, the green has yet to return. But it's just been the one day, not even a full one at that since my drastic removal and rinse measures. Didn't mess up my parameters either. =) Well, no spikes or anything as of yet, but I did do some pretty major changing and cleaning that normally wouldn't be too healthy to fish, who weren't in there.

Isn't it funny how after you work yourself up to ask for help, sometimes you get it done first? ^^; Thank you for the answers! I was unable to remember the name of the UV thing that can help smite it too.

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