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Blue Green Algae (cyanobacteria)
May 28, 2009
6:53 pm
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Fishwife
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I've only had my 2ft tank set up for 2 months and I've had algae problems from day one. Firstly it was hair algae that came in on the bogwood I bought at the LFS, I had to throw one piece away it got that bad.

I started treating that last week with Sera Algovec and am due to do a second treatment tomorrow, up to now it doesn't seem to have had any effect but it does say it can take up to 6 weeks for the treatment to work.

Yesterday I noticed that I've got Blue Green Algae on my gravel, today its much worse /angry.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":angry:" border="0" alt="angry.gif" /> I only have three plants in the tank and use Easy Life Easy Carbo every day, I put one Nutrafin Plant Gro Fertilizer Stick in the roots of each plant and feed the plants on a weekly basis.

The tanks not over stocked I have a pair of Dwarf Cockatoo's, 7 Golden Tetras, 6 Ember Tetras and a baby BN and my readings are Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, Ph 7. I haven't done a GH or KH test in the last couple of weeks but they were 3.6 & 1.7 last time I did them.

I know BG algae is a bacteria and not an algae, but I've never had it before and I don't really know how to get rid of it. I used to have a 20 litre tank where this one is now, so I don't think it's the light that's caused it but I just don't know.

Tomorrow I'll do a water change and vacuum as much of the algae up as I can, but would be grateful for any help as to clearing it up.

May 29, 2009
1:46 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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I wouldn't be surprised if the algae treatment is to blame...

This stuff is a nightmare to get rid of, you may have to strip the tank and start again I'm afraid.

Cake or death?
May 29, 2009
4:29 pm
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Bluedave
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BGA likes low flow, low nitrates, high phosphates and a change in CO2. Low light also exacerbates the problem - so generally most of the things opposite to algae!!!

Low flow and low nitrates is the main problem. How to get rid of it:

1) Remove as much as possible by hand/scrubbing etc
2) Increase flow in the affected area
3) Check phosphates - if they are high, reduce them.
4) Lights out for a few days
5) Get more plants!

If your lighting levels are less then 1.5 -2 WPG then dosing with carbon isn't necessary. If you've only got three plants then dosing with carbon and feeding them is also not necessary!
Dosing of tanks is only required in heavily planted tanks where they would not get the nutrients they need from the fish waste.

Hope that helps.

May 30, 2009
3:28 pm
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Fishwife
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Thanks for the replies /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

Although I say I've only got 3 plants 2 of them are enormous 'mother' plants. This morning I've removed the hair algae'd bogwood and split one of the plants into 3, I've given the tank a good vac and removed the fertiliser sticks from the roots. I did more water tests and they are now Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.3, Nitrate 20, Ph <7.00 (my test kit only starts at 7.0) Gh 4.8 Kh 1.7 I'm a bit stressed over the Nitrite spike, I've done a 40% water change and added Nutrafin Cycle. I've added some Crypts from my Bettas tank (to heck with the Biotope) I haven't had the lights on for 2 days now but with this weather its still fairly light. (No sunshine at all) My niece in the USA is sending me some Maracyn powders which she swears by for BG algae, but after the Sera Algovec I don't think I'll bother. I'll get a phosphate kit next week, I did have one but can't find it, I know my tap water was quite high in phosphates but it used to be high in Ph which it isn't now. It's a 15 watt lamp and I've got about 9.5 gallons in the tank, should I not use the Easy Carb any more, or just reduce the dose?

May 31, 2009
8:44 am
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Bluedave
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that 1.5 WPG, so high enough for dosing carbon but will the plants get enough from the tank without it? - it's up to you whether you dose with the easy carbo - how were the plants doing without it? I'd be tempted to try without it.

How about flow - thats usually the main culprit.

Would love to see a few pics of your set up(s).

May 31, 2009
12:12 pm
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Fishwife
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This is my 2ft tank before the Cyanobacteria hit
[Image Can Not Be Found]
I've since removed the bogwood on the right and spilt the Junccus refens in half and also planted some cut offs from it , this is it today, I'm not really happy with it but I'm more interested in getting rid of the B/G
[Image Can Not Be Found]

I've just taken the photo I've noticed the algae back again and I'm now thinking of doing a 3 day total blackout to see what happens. Do you think if I added an air stone it would help?

There are a few things I'd like to try first, but if I finally decide to do a total restart, and throw out the gravel, plants etc. How would I clean the tank out and what about the filter?

This is my Betta tank, a 20 litre Arcadia Arc (sorry about the light) I'm still not sure about the Feng Shui pebbles /rolleyes.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":rolleyes:" border="0" alt="rolleyes.gif" />
[Image Can Not Be Found]

Attached files

[Image Can Not Be Found] [Image Can Not Be Found] [Image Can Not Be Found]

May 31, 2009
4:15 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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"How about flow - thats usually the main culprit."

I've read this many times but the worst problem I had with BGA was in my rivertank. The tank is a torrent throughout. The only way i got rid of it(temporarily as it seems to be returning after a several months absence) was by treating the tank with kanamycin. This tank does have low nitrates.
I seem to have it in all my tanks in varying degrees. Some fish seem to feed on it. I have liniparhomaloptera disparis disparis in my 75, they gather round when I'm siphoning the edges of the tank exposing the BGA.

June 2, 2009
8:15 am
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Bluedave
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Yours is the first tank I've heard of Plaamoo with a high flow that has had BGA - no dead spots anywhere?

I also thought that it was poisonous to fish so it's interesting to hear that liniparhomaloptera may eat it - how big do they get?

Fishwife - if your going to stirp it down completely then just wash everything well in warm water - theres no need to throw the gravel away. Keep the filter media submerged (maybe in your other tank) while you do it and then set everything back up - you won't have to cycle again if you keep the filter media (uncleaned or rinsed in TANK water).

You want to get to the bottom of why you have BGA first though - otherwise you'll be stripping it down once every few months!

June 2, 2009
9:24 am
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Fishwife
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Since noticing that bit the other day it seems to have disappeared, but I still haven't had the tank lights on at all. This weather keeps the tank quite light although I've been trying to see if the sun shines on the tank early morning, I don't really think that's the case as the room is facing north and there is a conservatory on the back which is still quite cool up to about midday. If the sun was shinning in early in the morning it would be warmer than the 18c it was at 9 o'clock this morning.

I'll see how it goes before attempting the strip down. Would I be able to keep the plants? or would I be better off disposing of them?

I was thinking, could overfeeding be a cause? I've only had species tanks for several years and this is the first time I've had so many fish in one tank and I'm a bit unsure how much to feed them, although they certainly seem to eat whatever I put in.

June 2, 2009
2:33 pm
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Bluedave
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Keep the plants if they are not covered in BGA - if they are you may be able to get rid of it by rinsing them in a very weak bleach mix (10:1) and then rinse thouroughly so that no bleach goes back in the tank.

If phosphates are high then overfeeding could be high but i'd have thought your nitrates would be high as well?

June 2, 2009
6:36 pm
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Fishwife
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Thanks for your help, my Nitrates are 20, but they used to be around 10. I've cut down on the feeding as part of my preparation for going on holiday at the end of next week. I just hope things will be OK when I get back. /huh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":huh:" border="0" alt="huh.gif" />

June 3, 2009
12:53 am
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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No dead spots Dave. It's a 20 long with a manifold & AC 70 attached with 2 intake sponges. Also AC 70 & 50 HOB filters running. The 70 is on the end so the flow is the length of the tank. It grows right in the flow on anubias, wood, etc. Even on the intake sponges.

The linipar I have are about 2" and haven't grown for the year that I've had them. Great little fish. I'd like to get more but they were a one time occurrence at my LFS, sold as "Hong Kong plecos".

June 3, 2009
6:32 am
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Bluedave
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Are you sure it's BGA and not something else? If it's BGA - I give up!!!!! /tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> /laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="Laugh" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" />

June 3, 2009
3:46 pm
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Plaamoo
Bellingham, Washington U.S.A.
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Dave, have a look at this thread form another forum. I haven't actually seen my stiphodons eating the BGA in my tank but they are getting fat!

http://www.plantedtank.net/for.....s/fish/885...-eat-algae.html

June 4, 2009
6:42 am
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Bluedave
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Interesting stuff mate, thanks for the link /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

June 4, 2009
12:39 pm
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thelizzious
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Perhaps this website might help:
http://www.guitarfish.org/category/algae
I have hair/beard agea too in my community tank.
Good luck fighting them!

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