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Old 07-17-2003, 09:46 PM   #1
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Algae in my new tank, what can i do!?

My tank is just turning three weeks old. I have 8 small fish in it, which I found out was too many fish for a new tank after the fact. My fish are two dwarf guoramis, two peppered cats, and four tetras. Anyway, I have been doing 10-15% water changes about every other day to keep the ammonia in line. all of the fish still look healthy. Starting two days ago, my tank is developing an algae problem. I have an AquaTech 5-15 filter, 50 watt heater, and a 14 inch air stone in the tank set to bubble very slowly. The tank light is usually on between 6 and 12 hours a day. It is hard to get the lights on and off at a consistent time but I am working on it. My hood does not have a timer or anything.

The algae is noticable on almost every plant in the tank and spreading. It is green/dark green in color. What can I do to try and help remove the algae without hurting the fish or the break in cycle for the tank? Or is this normal and I should just keep changing the water? When do I start to worry?
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:53 PM   #2
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Got an algae eater? They help a lot. If you have a small tank (30 or smaller) pick something small, like a rahpeal or stick fish. A pleco is a good choice, but will get a foot or two in length in no time.

Boil your accessories to get rid of algae. Plastic plants should be boiled now and then anyway, they look better that way

Finally, and I know this is my response to everything, but add salt. Some types of algae are intolerant to salt, so it will help a little.

Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:06 PM   #3
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Add live plants and do water changes! The algae is growing off of nitrate, which can be gotten rid of by ^ that and ^ that. An aglae eater would also help, such as an otto, rubber-lipped pleco, or other small sp.
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:24 PM   #4
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Whoops, I forgot to mention that I only have a 10 gallon tank. What would be the best algae eater for a tank this small? I think my tank is too small for any type of Pleco, and I have not seen any Ottos around locally but I have never looked for them either.

Anyway, I do not think my tank is ready for any more fish until it is done cycling? A bunch of people have scared me into thinking my fish will die if I put any more in the tank before the cycle is finished.

I will start doing water changes every day, hopefully that will help. If I add salt, how much salt would I add, and what type of salt?
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:09 AM   #5
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It is green/dark green in color.
Stringy, or in slimy sheets? I can help if I know which type of algae it is.
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:08 AM   #6
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I got an algae eater from WalMart...the kind that is like a buck fifty (they didn't have a profile on the tank for it, just a price) and he's doing a GREAT job at getting rid of the nice carpet of deep green algae I have. I figure another week and it will be gone, and he'll be fat.

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Old 07-18-2003, 12:22 PM   #7
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"Stringy, or in slimy sheets? I can help if I know which type of algae it is."

It is sheet/carpet like algae covering some surfaces.

"I got an algae eater from WalMart...the kind that is like a buck fifty"

does it look like this?

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Old 07-18-2003, 01:03 PM   #8
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It is sheet/carpet like algae covering some surfaces
rub some with your fingers, see if it comes loose in sheets, prolly will.

99% sure this is Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. Nothing eats it. Back to the lfs, get some Maracyn II. (Erythromycin). Dose as directed, it'll be gone in a week or less. Take carbon out of filter before medicating, you can put it back when the meds. cycle is over.
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Old 07-18-2003, 04:21 PM   #9
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I will rub the algae and see what happens. It should be fun, every time I stick my hand in the tank, two of the Tetras bite my arm like crazy
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Old 07-18-2003, 04:52 PM   #10
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I had a similar problem right around the time the tank was finishing its cycle.

I threw in a pouch of Green-X by hagen (under 5$), the algae disappeared in a few days, and has not come back since then. The green algae needs phosphates and nitrates, this product eliminates those from the water.
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Old 07-19-2003, 04:16 PM   #11
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I had a really really bad green water problem. I found this solution online, and surprise surprise, it worked really really well! Take a thick blanket - like a woolen one - and drape it over your aquarium. Make sure the tank's completely covered and the blanket is secure. Leave it there for 72 hours . . . you might want to feed your fish before you do this; they'll come out of the "ordeal" fine, but a little hungry. Anyway, after 72 hours, take it off. If there's some algae remaining, wait 72 hours (feeding the fish!) and then try again. For me, by the time the first 72 hours were up, the tank was immaculate - even clearer than it was when first set up. See, in ensuring that no light reaches the aquarium, the algae has no food . . . if you have live plants they should be okay. (they were for me.) Since all algae needs sunlight, it'll probably work for you, too. It's inexpensive and effective and can easily be repeated, no harm done! Hope something cures the problem!
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Old 07-19-2003, 06:02 PM   #12
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i tried rubbing the algae and it really does not come off in sheets. just sort of smears around. i have been doing 10% water changes with distilled water and only leaving the tank light on 6 hours a day since my first post. aside from the light, the tank does not get much light since all of the blinds in the room as closed. the algae has not gotten any worse from what i can tell and might actually be getting better.

at this point i am not sure what the right thing to do is. i would prefer not to throw anything else in the tank for chemicals/medication until the tank is finished cycling. i thought about covering the tank with a blanket but then i think my cat or dog would try jumping at it and pulling on it like they usually do with blankets.

should i try two ottos and see if they eat it, or go right for the maracyn 2? if i got the ottos, i would buy some algae discs just in case they do not eat the alage. then i would be worried about putting the maracyn 2 in the tank and kill off all of the ottos food supply...

as a side note, i appreciate everyone's help on this forum so far. i have no idea what would happen if this forum was not here
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Old 07-20-2003, 03:07 PM   #13
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I picked up some Maracyn/Ethromycin today at the pet store and added it to the tank as directed after cleaning the carbon out of the filter. I saw the string like algae, so I know the difference now and realized what people were talking about.
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Old 07-21-2003, 09:06 PM   #14
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alright, i am two days into the maracyn treatment. my water is getting very cloudy, also, i noticed that now there IS string algae in some small sections of the tank. what do i do? keep up with the maracyn? get some algae eaters for the string algae?
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Old 07-21-2003, 10:56 PM   #15
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I would not continue maracyn. You have probably disrupted your cycle here, and you need to monitor the water parameters. Keep the ammonia and nitrites down with water changes and get your cycle completed before you add anything to the water, algae eaters included. Let's get your cycle done and THEN worry about the esthetics of algae. It is not going to harm anything for the time being, just be a little unsightly. You do not want to add anything to kill bacteria (like antibiotics) as your cycle is dependent upon bacteria to get rolling. Do not clean your tank other than gravel vac with water changes, which should be kept up to keep your ammonia and nitrites down while you cycle. If you have algae, however, it is possible that you are (were)cycled, since most algae consume nitrates. Give us your water parameters and that may give us the info we need.
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Old 07-22-2003, 12:24 AM   #16
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Before I started with the Maracyn, there was <.5ppm of ammonia in the water. I am using a test kit that utilizes a test tube and dropper with the test solution. The water in the tube looked clear, but I think it was slightly off color (hence the <.5ppm). I tested again today after a 15% water change and now I have .5->1ppm of ammonia in the water. I believe you are correct and I did disrupt my cycle. I still need a nitrite test kit, I will pick one up after work today and list the results, along with an updated ammonia reading.
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Old 07-22-2003, 01:05 PM   #17
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Don't forget nitrAte test kit, that is how you will know when you have cycled, in addition to having zero ammonia and zero nitrites. Thereafter, the nitrate levels with determine when you do water changes.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:46 AM   #18
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Well, I ended up with four new guppies in the tank that my wife just could NOT wait for. I was happy with the fish I already had and it does not help when the people at the fish store keep telling you it is OK to get more fish. Now I have a larger bio-load than I want to deal with, I am probably going to end up with a larger or second tank at some point once the guppies start reproducing.

I keep trying to find a nitrite test kit for less than $14 but i am just going to suck it up and buy the next one i see, regardless of cost. My algae problem has gotten a bit worse but the water is clearing up. I am farily certain the ammonina is all gone. Once my nitrite levels start reading normal, what is the best way to clear up the blue/green algae in the tank?
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:59 AM   #19
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Are you talking about a slimy, sheet-like blue-green algae? This is actually cyanobacteria and nothing will eat it, as it is toxic. I have had this in the past and with a regimen of partial water changes every two days or so, plus care to not overfeed, it gradually disappeared. Also I very carefully removed whatever I could by hand.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:06 PM   #20
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Maracyn II (erythromycin) will not disrupt the cycle. it IS an antibiotic, but will NOT kill beneficial bacteria.

regular Maracyn is a different story.

It is the ONLY thing that has ever worked for me with cyanobacteria.

Iv'e used it 4 times with excellent results. never had it recurr in any of those tanks.
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