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Old 01-19-2023, 08:26 PM   #1
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Blue green algae :(

So I kinda had a little oopsie and now I have blue green algae in one of my tanks.

Short of dosing anything yet, Iíve just been doing water changes and removing parts of the plants that have the bga on them but it just seems to keep coming back now

Iíve been looking at a bunch of things on the market that are supposed to get rid of it but a lot of the stuff isnít available in Canada or is not suitable for the critters in the tank

Pretty much the only thing Iíve found available is the ultra life bga remover. I may try this, but I want to be certain itís safe for the barbs, danio, pleco, cory and future shrimp (im going to throw my cull shrimp in there and whatever happens happens). Or any other suggestions on something available here or something to try?

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Old 01-19-2023, 09:02 PM   #2
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Blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria) loves nutrients, low oxygen levels, red light and slow moving water.

If you feed a lot of dry food, reduce feeding and or use frozen or live foods.

Increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise the oxygen level in the water.

Increase water movement around the bottom of the tank.

If you have fluorescent light globes above the tank that are more than 12 months old, replace them and the fluoro starter in the light unit. Get a globe with a 6500K (K is for Kelvin) rating.

If you have LED lights, make sure you have equal amounts of red, blue, green and white light.

Make sure you gravel clean the substrate each time you do a water change.
Doing a water change and gravel clean every day for a couple of weeks can sometimes get rid of it.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks.
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:34 PM   #3
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I feed a mix of dry and frozen. More frozen when I’m home and mostly dry when I’m out of town for work (auto feeder)

I don’t normally run aeration in this tank as it’s heavily planted and co2 injected. It I’ll give that a shot, I’ve got a spare pump

Led lights only, no direct sunlight. I have reduced lighting intensity and hours when I got home and saw what was happening. Been vacing and changing water daily the last few days as well as removing parts of plants covered in it, still no luck

407 canister was cleaned a couple weeks ago and again just the other day (I try to stagger big tank cleans and canister cleans) as well as I have a hob that’s just mainly a polishing unit but serves as somewhat of a backup, been cleaned every couple days since it started (it does actually plug up polishing pads quite quickly even when things are “good”)

When doing water changes, I’ve always used my water changer and just dosed prime in the tank when refilling. Haven’t had an issue with that in the couple years I’ve had fish. Not so convenient hauling water by hand for larger water changes in a 75g tank lol
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Old 01-20-2023, 02:05 AM   #4
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I would reduce or turn off the CO2 for a few weeks and increase water movement around the bottom.

You shouldn't need to reduce the lighting times and the Cyanobacteria can function well in low light or bright light. Reducing the lighting times might not affect it but could upset the plants.
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Old 01-20-2023, 02:41 AM   #5
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Yes I had turned down the co2 a bit when I turned down the lighting (trying to keep somewhat of a balance!), I had read that bga thrives better in high light and I do throw a fair bit of light at this tank normally because of all the plants. Chances are like most things it’s not going to make a huge difference unless the tank is blacked out for a week or 2, but then we can say goodby to the plants…

It’s only been a week or so since I got back and all this started, and the plants haven’t shown any signs of any issues yet with the reduced light and co2. They’re actually still sending off new shoots where I trimmed the pieces that had bga on them. Long term maybe not so good for them, but neither is dying from bga lol
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Old 01-20-2023, 02:59 AM   #6
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I would say it was caused by uneaten food put in the tank by the automatic feeder. Maybe check to make sure it's working correctly. If it's adding food 2 or 3 times a day, reduce it to once a day.

If you only go away for a week at a time, I wouldn't even bother using an auto feeder. The fish will be fine for a week without food and there will be less chance of this happening.

Unlike mammals and birds that use most of the food they eat to stay warm, most fish take their body temperature from the surrounding water. This means any food they eat is used for growth and movement and this allows fish to go for weeks or even months without food.
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Old 01-20-2023, 08:45 AM   #7
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I’m I usually gone 2-3wks at a time. I’m sure this is all self inflicted, the tank was a bit neglected from the last time I was away so I had gone and done a big clean and trimmed back a lot of the plants. Basically did what I always try not to do and to top it off it was just before I left for work again. There was also an above normal level of green algae in the tank when I got back so I’m sure things all went sideways shortly after I had done the big clean
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Old 01-31-2023, 09:21 PM   #8
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Bga was continuing to worsen and I didn’t want to “ride it out” and see what happens just Incase I have to leave for a few weeks again. I didn’t want to come back to an absolute disaster!

Gave the ultra life bga remover a try, worked like an absolute charm. Within 24h 90% of the bga was gone and as per instructions redosed after 48h and another 24h later I don’t see any bga remaining in the tank. Also don’t see any side effect to any of the critters in the tank which is nice
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Old 02-01-2023, 10:14 AM   #9
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Any idea what the ingredients are in the Ultralife bga remover?

Can you post a picture of the product (tablets, powder, whatever it is in?

I'm always curious when companies don't list the ingredients and claim it's all natural. Radiation and asbestos are natural but not really safe. Most BGA cures contain antibiotics and some of these can wipe out the filter bacteria, so monitor the ammonia and nitrite for a week and see if anything changes.
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Old 02-01-2023, 10:36 AM   #10
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That’s why I was skeptical to use it at first because they don’t outright list ingredients or anything. But if you look at the sds it’s a “proprietary salt blend”, another reason I didn’t really want to resort to using it with the plecos and Cory in the tank as there seems to be a mixed review on their tolerance to salt . But it’s such a low dose for the volume of water, I don’t think there’s any way it would cause an issue there.

It’s a pink salt granule looking substance about the grain size of table salt. Comes in a small tube with a measuring scoop. It’s about the size of a film container roughly and can treat a 150gal tank twice, so really wouldn’t be a very high salt concentration in the tank even after a second dose

They do caution to make sure the oxygen levels are up and I did throw an air pump in there as the tank isn’t normally aerated. Been close to a week now and everything looks good so far
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Old 02-01-2023, 12:59 PM   #11
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As long as the fish are ok and the bga is gone, then cool

I still wanna know what's in it tho
what's a pink salt?
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Old 02-01-2023, 03:58 PM   #12
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Yea it worked and didn’t seem to cause any other harm so I’m pleased with it!

It’s probably one of those dumb things that made out of common materials worth next to nothing and they’re making a $20 profit per package lol
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Old 02-01-2023, 09:47 PM   #13
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I did find a product safety sheet for the stuff but they don't say what's in it besides a salt (chloride), and that it damages eyes and irritates skin, and is also bad to inhale. It also appears to be flammable and possibly explosive

After using Dr Google I wonder if it's cobalt chloride, it seems to fit the bill.

I don't suppose the water went blue after you treated the tank?
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Old 02-01-2023, 11:13 PM   #14
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Anything that is a fine powdery substance can be flammable and explosive so that really means nothing. Aluminum powder is explosive lol

No Colour change or anything noticeable happened in the tank
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