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Old 11-21-2017, 09:27 AM   #1
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Black algae Help Please

HI, Im looking for advice:
I have a 90 Litre community tank with guppies. They are all very very happy and swim in all regions of the tank. Im using a Sunsun505 external filter with UV light. I have tested for Ammonia and Nitrite. The only two kits I have at the moment. Both come back Nitrite 0ppm and Amonia .25. Trying ot understand whether or not I need to do a Nitrate test if my Amonia and Nitrite levels are ok. Also wondering what the PH test is for. My water source is from our underground bore - mineral and clean and its not the hard cold water out of a tap. My problem is all of a sudden I now have black algae. I have cleaned and cleaned wiping everything down until it looks brand new again only for it to be back within a week. Have done it twice now. I have lights and have noticed it seems to reduce when I have the lights off 50% of the time but will need to get a timer since sometimes I simply forget to turn the light off. I have put plenty of oxygen weed in to see if that will help. Im thinking it may have been when I cleaned the external bucket under the kitchen tap instead of with the tank water because my tank was setup in January so its 9 months old with pebbles on the bottom with a gravel filter So its established and its only been since I cleaned my external filter and put in pretty crystal rocks from my spa room. Would testing for either Nitrate or PH give me any clues to why the black algae wont go away? DO I need to test for Nitrate if Ammonia and Nitrite are ok? What does the PH test tell me?
There is also green growing on the sides that I clean every week with the magnet cleaner. Fish are not stressed. They are very happy and I have adults abt 9 months old to new born fry. Im the one thats stressed out. Ive been told algae growth is not a water condition. Ive just treated it with stability but dont know if that will work.

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Old 11-21-2017, 11:19 AM   #2
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You should not be seeing any ammonia in an established tank.
You should get a nitrate test kit. Though not as toxic as the other two nitrogenous compounds, an excess amount is not good either. Excessive nitrates could indicate overfeeding and/or inadequate water changes. How much water are you changing and how often? I would work up to 50% weekly. I deal with BBA from time to time and am a firm believer that it is caused by excessive inorganic compounds. Water changes should fix that in the long run. A short term treatment involves spot treating the affected areas with hydrogen peroxide.

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Old 11-21-2017, 11:32 AM   #3
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Hi Julie

Algae has a very strong correlation with lighting period and strength and ammonia (Nh4)

On your filter sponges you will have had a suite of microorganisms oxidising Ammonia to a less harmful state thus removing it from the system. Due to chlorine, cleaning the sponges in tap water may have damaged the colonies and so the tank at have experienced a temporary and small rise in ammonia enough to trigger algae.

Unfortunately, once algae is induced it then begins to feed of if the other nutrients in the water column.

Getting rid of it can be tricky but lowering the lighting levels and doing more water changes (to remove spores and keeping ammonia levels low) should help. Reduce the photoperiod or dim the lights (remove a bulb or raise the fixture if possible) definitely invest in a timer.

You can also add some plants but this opens up another set of issues that need to be considered.

Hope this helps
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:04 AM   #4
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Thank you for the replies. I am guilty of over feeding. I give them a pinch of flakes every night and it is probably way too much even though it disappears really fast and they hang around asking me for more. I have more guppies in the tank now other than the original 3. A lot more! I am in the process of setting up other tanks to allow for which ones I want to keep and work with. I had no issues with the original three when it came to water quality and no algae so with what you have both said, I need to be stricter. Not feed as much, get some out and into other tanks or into the pond, cut back on the lighting and wait for my bucket filter to re-cycle since I shouldnt have cleaned it with tap water and do some 50% water changes. I have onyl been doing 1/4 water changes. Paranoid I guess over the previous problem with water temperature fluctuations I havent been brave enough to change too much at once but it shouldnt be so bad now Im not using heaters anymore. I have always had oxygen weed in the tank even well before the algae began so Im happy to keep the oxygen weed in the tank. Its a good hideout for the fry. Beginner traps? Im quite proud since I tried having guppies a few years ago but never had any babies and the guppies kept dying but a friends son came over with some babies of his back in January and I thought Id give it another go but with cold water, not tropical. Since I read that it may have been water temperature fluctuation. Since January these three babies have produced and produced and their babies have produced. I havent had a single death in the entire 9 months and have since purchased pure endlers to work with that I have in other tanks in our garage. Its my community tank that has the algae issues and slight ammonia reading. its holding about 115 litres with 30 guppies ranging from 9 months to new born fry. Ive just purchased some more tanks so I can shift young adults out of the community tank to keep the numbers down but still need to cycle these new tanks. It might be easier for me until I have cycled the new tanks to just put the young adults that I dont want to keep straight into the pond. Its a 5 year old pond well established with gold fish Ive had the entire 5 years from babies that are now beautiful big adults. My only concern is that I have the dreaded mosquito fish in there and am worried they will attack the guppies so I have been trying to "horde" them until I have a large number of guppies to release so they can stick together. Nothing I have found online can confirm whether the two will get on or fight each other.
many thanks
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algae, black

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