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I recently changed my 10 gal. tank into a live plant tank with 5 fish. The plants did great until about 3 months later, then this green fur started growing from plant to plant. I removed all plants cleaned the tank and started over with new and now its happening again. Please help. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Hi.:wave:

That sounds like green filamentous algae. What are your nitrates and phosphate level? High phosphates often cause too much algal growth.

Also what fish do you have? Your fish may be contributing a lot of poo for a 10 gallons tank and can be a possible cause for too much algal growth.
 

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Along with answers to Blue's questions, especially the nitrate and phosphate levels, how often do you feed the fish, how much, and what kind of foods? How often do you leave your light on? When did you last change your lightbulb? What kind of light/lightbulb is it? Do you get any direct sunlight to the tank? How often do you do water changes? How much at a time?
All of these things could be a cause, either alone or together... the more info you can provide us the faster we can help you sort it out.
 

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Adding to and reiterating Blue and BB:

You have hair algae (I know this from hard earned experience).

If you do not "get it under control" the next thing which will happen is algae growing on your tank walls.

Then the "next thing" which will happen is an algae bloom. (once again I can say these words from hard earned experience)

You have given us very, very little information but some general principles are applicable (and dealing with this in a small tank will be more difficult than in a larger tank).

Lighting, feeding and filtration (please refer to my last paragraph also).

Lighting: Reduce your lighting period to 8 hours/10 hours per day.

Feeding: Cease feeding for two days and then feed only 1/2 your normal feeding quantity for a week.

Filtration: Check your filtration media.
If the mechanical media is the "least bit clogged" wash it out in a very mild chlorine solution, rinse it several times and reintroduce it to your filtration system but also add dechlorinator (preferrably Prime).
If the biological media is the "least bit clogged" remove one gallon of water from your tank, rinse the media thoroughly in the water and replace into the filtration process.

Flourish: I you have any available add it to your tank water (be very, very careful to follow the instructions as this will be hard in a 10G tank).
By experimentation I have "found" that the induction of this fertilizer increases the uptake of nitrogen by the plants and thereby decreases the amout of nutrients available to the algae.

TR
 

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jones57742 said:
If the mechanical media is the "least bit clogged" wash it out in a very mild chlorine solution, rinse it several times and reintroduce it to your filtration system but also add dechlorinator (preferrably Prime).
If the biological media is the "least bit clogged" remove one gallon of water from your tank, rinse the media thoroughly in the water and replace into the filtration process.
The SAFEST way to clean this filter media is by using water taken from the tank during a water change. If you use tap water or "chlorine solution", the chlorine will kill your beneficial bacteria. If using tank water, the media comes clean and the bacteria culture is preserved. When I do something like that, I use a bucket, siphon a little bit of water from the tank, clean the media, then pour the dirty water out and refill my tank... water change and safe filter cleaning all at once, no harm done. In that size of a tank, it wouldn't take much to deplete the bacteria culture enough to cause a mini cycle, which is dangerous to the fish.
 

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bettababy said:
The SAFEST way to clean this filter media is by using water taken from the tank during a water change. If you use tap water or "chlorine solution", the chlorine will kill your beneficial bacteria.
BB:

I was only speaking of the mechanical media.

When I was "fighting algae" I found that the algae was "growing and thriving" in the mechanical media and was being reintroduced into the water subsequent to serious daily WC's. Rinsing with tank water yielded "no joy". The mild chlorine solution removed the algae from the mechanical media.

"In my brain" the mechanical filtration process and the biological filtration process should be considered as independent processes. If significant biological filtration is occurring in mechanical media then insufficient biological filtration media or processes are being employed.

Folks: Dawn and I have "been into a series of PM's" and I will generate a thread concerning my experimentation with fine filtration associated with "fighting algae".

TR
 

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jones57742 said:
bettababy said:
"In my brain" the mechanical filtration process and the biological filtration process should be considered as independent processes. If significant biological filtration is occurring in mechanical media then insufficient biological filtration media or processes are being employed.
TR
Huh? My sleep deprived brain did not process that thought at all.
I have a 10gallon also, with an HOB filtration (water is pushed through a polyfiber "catridge/bag" with a smidge of carbon in the middle). I did find that if I stuff a piece of trimmed fiber-fill in the space between the filter wall and the filter cartrige thingy that I get more stable results and cleaner water...am I doing the right thing completely by accident?
 

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Texansis, actually, it was jones that you quoted, not me. I, personally, disagree to some extent with that statement.
The filtration process all works together. The bacteria that builds up in a tank, be it substrate, filter medias, plants, etc.. all works together to break down ammonia and nitrite. When we deplete any of these sources, we interupt the biological process in the tank until it has a chance to rebuild and catch back up.
The thing to note with the bacteria culture... you won't have more bacteria than you have waste product to feed it.
When a tank is cycling, the bacteria population builds until there is enough of it to meet the need. In an established tank, the bacteria is usually equal to that of the waste levels (unless the tank is over populated and not cleaned often enough), so when waste levels drop, so does the size of the bacteria culture. If waste levels increase, thus, so does the bacteria culture.

If we begin destroying the bacteria culture by using tap water and/or chlorine solution to clean our media... any of the media... then we are destroying part of the culture in that tank. Now the question becomes, is the amount we destroyed in cleaning sufficient enough to cause a "mini cycle" or will it replenish itself safely? Who wants to take that chance when there is a safer way to clean that media?
 

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Well, that is kind of what I thought -- that it was a supply&demand issue with the bacteria that worked hand in hand together with the other forms of filtration.
Probably why I was having trouble understanding that quote that I misquoted :?
 

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bettababy said:
The bacteria that builds up in a tank, be it substrate, filter medias (excepted by RJ for mechanical media), plants, etc.. all works together to break down ammonia and nitrite.
I absolutely agree with this.
Once when my pump went "crispy critter" and I had "slobbered up" and did not have a replacement I "turned on and cranked up the air" to the air diffusers in the tank.
The digestion bacteria on the plants and in the wood, rocks & substrate performed "beautomisly" (ie. I observed very little ammonia or nitrates).

What I was trying to say (and obviously did not do a good job of it) is that in the filtration mechanism (in my brain) the mechanical media should be used for mechanical filtration and not for biological filtration.

"My experience here" is with "fighting algae".
Algae will collect in fine mechanical filtration media.
Washing in tank water will not remove it.
Hence the mild chlorine solution.

All i am saying is that the biological filtration media should be sufficient to "stand on it's own".

TR
 

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I think the real issue here is that maybe you're not completely understanding the biological system?

When the bacteria start to populate in the tank, any surface area is fair game as to where they build. In your mechanical media you find surface area, and it comes into contact with the water, thus it become mechanical AND biological filtration together to help sustain the entire tank. If you remove that media, then the bacteria is forced to find somewhere else to populate to make up the difference... or when you clean it in chlorine solution or tap water. While making up that difference in culture, a tank can go through a mini cycle, depending on the waste load in the tank and how much of the bacteria culture was destroyed and needs to be replenished.

Where the bacteria populate isn't entirely up to us, and to keep mechanical filter media ONLY mechanical... it won't happen unless there is no surface area for the bacteria to grow, in which case, you wouldn't get the mechanical filtration, either.

The whole tank and any part of your filtration, it's media, anything IN the tank, is all a part of your biological cycle if it contributes to either waste or surface area for bacteria to grow.
 
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