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Old 07-12-2017, 09:24 PM   #1
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Can't Control This Aggressive Algae!

Hi, I've had a fresh water aquarium pretty much continuously for the last 20 years and I've never encountered anything like this algae that is taking over my aquarium and my life!!! I have a 5 second video that I'm going to try to post. I am OBSESSIVE over caring for my fish. I have a 120 gallon tank with two fancy goldfish. I have tried everything I know to do. I change the tank every two weeks and alternate filter maintenance on the opposite week. I regularly use Nitra-Zorb, Phos-Zorb, Bio-Chem Zorb, Stress Zyme, Prime, Gold Buffer, and Wonder Shells. I change the zorbs out even earlier than recommended. I feed Hikari goldfish food only. I have a Large XP canister filter, and a Med XP filter (I needed the extra filter media baskets!) I also have three large pieces of Mopani Wood in there. The algae seems to go wild on this wood. I actually thought I had figured out how to get rid of it. I started taking a piece of the wood out each water change and soaking it in bleach/water and then scrubbing it clean. I then soaked it in Prime treated water for an hour or so before returning it to the tank. It only stayed away for two weeks and then comes back like it had never been removed! This long brown hair algae is taking over everything. It even consumes the gravel. Oh, my lighting is 1-48" T5 fixture, and 2-48" LED lights. I have the lights on a timer and they run for 9 hours each day. I can't find anything online that identifies what type of algae this is, so I'm hoping someone recognizes it and can help me figure out how to get rid of it or at least keep it somewhat under control. I can't even enjoy my fish because I have so much work to keep the tank decent looking.
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/nHEKnD4ZBpY
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:26 PM   #2
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Pics plz
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:43 PM   #3
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I would first reduce the lighting to 5-6 hours.
How are (%) are you changing every 2 weeks. Perhaps perform the water changes once a week. I'm thinking the root cause is an accumulation of waste that only water changes can remove.
For a short term fix, you could spot treat the algae covered DW with hydrogen peroxide (while in the tank).
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:47 PM   #4
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I change at least 50% every time since Goldies are very messy. I will definitely reduce the lighting to see how that works. Since the wood is completely engulfed in this stuff, I will have to remove it to treat it. I will try peroxide next time instead of bleach
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:49 PM   #5
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I was suspect of the Wonder Shells adding something to the water that was causing it maybe? The wonder shells contain beneficial minerals. I was also wondering about the stress zyme.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:36 PM   #6
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Does anyone know what kind of algae it is though? I can't seem to find anything like it on the internet.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:30 PM   #7
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Looks like some kind of beard algae signifying an imbalance in silicates/phosphates. Its a hard algae to remove but flying foxes eat it. if your scared of over stocking you can remove the affected gravel and treat with bleach.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:35 PM   #8
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Looks like some kind of beard algae signifying an imbalance in silicates/phosphates. Its a hard algae to remove but flying foxes eat it. if your scared of over stocking you can remove the affected gravel and treat with bleach.
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:17 AM   #9
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Robyneller, it is obvious that you are a dedicated aqua hobbyist that pays extra close attention to every detail.
I also run a 120 gallon tank which is admittedly over stocked with a huge bio load. Probably much larger than yours. I use two hob filters.
I don't use any of the water altering "zorbs" you listed, I don't even use charcoal / carbon in filters. Just regular weekly 20% WC and strategic filter cleanings. The water is fine and I have never had any strange algae outbreaks. My GN Pleco and royal Pleco keep the algae on the rocks and driftwood in check.
I managed to get a photo of my two largest tanks on the new member intro site if you are interested.
The point is that maybe your strong effort to obtain superior water parameters with the "Zorbs" is actually causing some type of imbalance in the water, fueling the unwanted algae growth.
Maybe no "Zorbs" smaller water changes, longer intervals between filter cleanings. You might even consider adding a couple of bristlenose pleco.
Hope this helps. Good luck with your tank.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:48 AM   #10
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Hi V227, thankfully I'm not overstocked. I got lucky and I seem to have two male goldfish. They are really large though, but overstocking is not my issue. I'm glad you mentioned that the various "zorbs might be doing more harm than good. I was honestly thinking that too. You know, too much of a good thing....I think I will slip my filter maintenance to every three weeks. I also thought perhaps the Mopani wood was giving off some kind of nutrients. I took out two of the three pieces and I will see if that makes any difference too. I guess I better do one thing at a time or I won't know what works, or doesn't! Thanks for the good advice. I will see if I can find your pics.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:50 AM   #11
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Looks like some kind of beard algae signifying an imbalance in silicates/phosphates. Its a hard algae to remove but flying foxes eat it. if your scared of over stocking you can remove the affected gravel and treat with bleach.
I was thinking maybe "hair" algae but I think that is typically green. I will research the beard algae. I added the Phos-zorbs recently thinking the phosphate was the problem, but that didn't help even though I got the phos down to nothing.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:42 PM   #12
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Something has changed recently.... All I can say start back tracking on your latest additions. Something recent has affected the golden balance IMO
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:52 PM   #13
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Sounds like you are on the right path. I'm sure things are going to balance out.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:27 PM   #14
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Apart from my earlier comment about the flying foxes, you can also try adding plants and fertilizers to help soak up the excess of whatever else is in the tank. if it is a silicate imbalance likely coming from water changes then the only thing you can do to mitigate against that is to have live plants since they will remove these as they grow
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:18 PM   #15
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Only thing mopani might add is tannins - think I'll side with the *less is more* crowd about the zorbs
SIAMESE algae eaters worked great in my 125g for algae control just don't get CHINESE as they are often mislabeled I found having a pic on my phone was extremely useful when shopping
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:07 PM   #16
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earthmother's idea of adding siamese algae eater might work. I had this problem before. I thought my aquarium was overstocked, had too much lighting, and/or was using fertilizer. Turned out these were not the case.

Anyways, I don't like chemical-route in solving any problems. I always tried to result in natural-route. I added algae-eaters and netrile snails, which indeed prefer to eat algae instead of fish food. In addition, I feed my fishes less although I am feeding them just enough already (so that they will nibble on the algae). Also, I did direct-root injection of fertilizer to my plants and added hornwort, which propagates crazy fast.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #17
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Looks like black hair algae. Had that stuff a long time ago and I did a 3 day black out and it slowed it a lot. I also removed everything a dipped it on a bucket of deluded hydrogen peroxide (idk 15 drops in the 5gal bucket) and it killed all the hair algae. Also put about 3 drops in my 55 and it kept it down. Never had a problem after that
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:37 AM   #18
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Thanks to everyone for all the great tips!!! I had to go out of town so I haven't started to try any of the suggestions yet, but I plan to start making some changes this weekend. I will post back with status updates.

Wouldn't fertilizer make the algae grow more?
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyneller View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the great tips!!! I had to go out of town so I haven't started to try any of the suggestions yet, but I plan to start making some changes this weekend. I will post back with status updates.

Wouldn't fertilizer make the algae grow more?

Yes and no

If your plants are not getting the nutrients they need then they can not out compete the algae and the algae wins

Its back to the golden balance of LIGHT CO2 NUTRIENTS

I would simplify your approach to trying to reduce everything with Zorbs etc...

As for Hydrogen Peroxide treatments will only be a band aid till you cure the initial cause.

I use 3% over the counter Hydrogen Peroxide in a spray bottle and put the entire bottle into the tank less than an inch away from an infected area and spray that area with 4 - 6 squeezes of my spray bottle. I've done this a bunch of times while i was dealing with some issues. I have also removed driftwood and rocks etc.. and sprayed Hydrogen Peroxide directly on these with moss or whatever attached and let it sit for 10 minutes and then just place it back into tank. No issues

Just make sure you keep critters away from the spray blast. That is the only concern.
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:00 PM   #20
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Oh I understand now about the fertilizer. My only concern with adding plants is Goldies usually tear plants to shreds. Its worth a try though. I thought throwing money at the tank (Those zorbs are super expensive) that I could solve all my problems, but obviously they did nothing! I will go back to the basics and try plants and the plecos. I guess I have to quarantine them first though right?
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