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Old 10-06-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
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Sudden Algae Bloom

Hi... I had a 5 gal. tank with a lousy pump and lighting system so I upgraded to a 10 gal. with a bio-wheel 100, just like my bio-wheel 150 for my 15 gal tank, with the exact same lighting system in each. But all of a sudden, I've got algae bloom everywhere like a carpet across the rocks on the silk plants, the heater, etc. etc. in the 10 gal. tank. The only inhabitants of the tank are two snails, an algae eater (all eating as fast as they can), 3 ghost shrimp and a lovely male Betta named Chavo. My 15 gal. tank sits right next to it, with 4 zebras, 5 neons, 3 mollies, 2 algae eaters, two snails, two coreys and 5 ghost shrimp... and not an algae problem anywhere!! I took out some of the algae covered rocks in the bottom and sterilized them, but it doesn't seem to help. I don't want to go to an algae-cide if I can help it. I am using treated "betta water" in the 10 gal. tank (nutra-fin Betta Plus drops)... What can anyone suggest before the algae takes over the entire tank, so far the glass walls are unaffected... HELP!!!

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Old 10-07-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
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Im not an expert here but i do know algae needs to things to grow-lots of light and lots of nutrients. Why one tank is affected and not the other, i am clueless. Is one planted and not the other? Is one getting direct sunlight and not the other? Ive never had an algae issue but my tanks have some plants and no direct sun. I am also religious about water changes (min 50% 2-3x week). My suggestion is to check the nitrates on all of your tanks and let us know the results! High nitrates can contribute to algae growth. If this is the case, you need to do more pwc's. Any experts on algae have any other suggestions?
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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Hi...
thanks for the suggestions.... both get the same amount of light from the same hood and light setup.... both tanks have the same footprint, only the 15 gal is taller, both are running the same bio-wheel filters, just one is slight smaller than the other. Yesterday I scooped all the green out that I could find, rocks and all, and sterilized them with boiling water. When I put them back into the tank, I also dropped in one fizzy Tetra Fungus Guard that also works on bacterial infections since my research turned up that this green yuck is not true algae but a bacterial slime... ugh ugh... I had used this product before when another betta I had developed popeye and it cleared it right up. I do a 20% change out when I switch out my charcoal/bio filters, usually every 2 weeks, am I changing the filters too often?? Another suggestion I had found was erythromiacin?? but I have no clue if that is the same stuff as is in All-Blue.. Thanks again!! I'll keep searching....
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:49 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=texaspepper;1583880]Hi...
thanks for the suggestions.... both get the same amount of light from the same hood and light setup.... both tanks have the same footprint, only the 15 gal is taller, both are running the same bio-wheel filters, just one is slight smaller than the other. Yesterday I scooped all the green out that I could find, rocks and all, and sterilized them with boiling water. When I put them back into the tank, I also dropped in one fizzy Tetra Fungus Guard that also works on bacterial infections since my research turned up that this green yuck is not true algae but a bacterial slime... ugh ugh... I had used this product before when another betta I had developed popeye and it cleared it right up. I do a 20% change out when I switch out my charcoal/bio filters, usually every 2 weeks, am I changing the filters too often?? Another suggestion I had found was erythromiacin?? but I have no clue if that is the same stuff as is in All-Blue.. Thanks again!! I'll keep searching....[/Q

Ok-unless you have sick fish, stop adding anything to your tank except for water conditioner when you do pwcs. You do not need to change your filters (simply rinse them in the old tank water you remove during pwcs) until they are literally falling apart. Keep a new filter in your tank for atleast a week (or longer) before you change it. I leave a couple in my tanks at all times in case i need a new one. I really think your solution is going to be a simple one with no chemicals needed-water changes! Clean your ornaments and vaccumm thoroughly with a large pwc (50-75%). Make sure you use water conditioner & the water is same temp. I think (i may be wrong) if you do this every couple of days for a week or two, you will see a big difference! And make sure your lights are off for atleast 12hrs day. Good luck!!!
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:50 PM   #5
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Im still waiting for the algae experts out there to chime in!!!
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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Worth a try!!! Chavo is a scrappy little thing, he can handle it... lol...

Oh... both my tanks have silk plants and the bigger tank also has plastic....
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:05 PM   #7
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Ok-i just did a bit of reading up on this algae problem. Its caused by high nitrates and/or high phosphates. Fish food/waste is the biggest source of phosphates so make sure you are not overfeeding and clean up any leftover fish food. Regular vaccumming gets rid of the waste. The only way to reduce the source of the algaes food (nitrates & phosphates) is through regular water changes. No food source=no algae. That said, it is possible for some nitrates or phosphates to be in your water source (tap?). Test your tank and your tap water for nitrates and let me know how they read.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:39 PM   #8
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Yes, not using "tap water" only r/o water because the water supply here comes out of the Rio Grande River and heaven knows what kind of heavy metals and other crap get dumped into it. I've halved Chavo's food and he just gave me a dirty look... lol...
Test results: GH=120; KH=40; pH=6.5; NO2=0; NO3=20;
Ammonia is between 0 and 0.5
All are normal ranges I believe... tank temp is 78.....
The only thing I add to the problem tank is a little Nutrfin Betta +Plus water conditioner ...
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:09 PM   #9
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Ok. Your numbers really arent too bad (though there never should be any detectable ammonia). I never mess with ph (beyond my expertise comfort level) but has yours always been so low? I know there are simple (natural) ways to raise it bit but i would ask for help on this. Lets give the water changes a try and see if that helps. Someone else posted a similar thread to yours about green algae-keep an eye on that too for additional advice. Im hoping someone else can add some more advice/help!!!
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:22 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for all your help... maybe this weekend others will get a chance to log in and give us their experiences....
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #11
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Out of curiosity, when you upgraded to the larger tank/filter, did you start off with brand new filters? Did any filter from the 5 gallon make it to the 10 gallon?

If you started the 10 gallon with a new filter and did not put any of the old filter material inside the new one(or run old one in new tank), you are probably going through a mini-cycle. If you used the old gravel/etc you may have had enough to handle some of the bioload, but if old filters were discarded, you lost a large amount of beneficial bacteria.

Plus, if you are treating with antibiotics(like erythromycin), you will further damage the beneficial bacterial colonies.

Increase the water changes and wait a while to see if it helps. Adding chemicals to treat algae usually only works temporarily. If conditions for the algae still exist after chemicals are removed, it will probably come back...

Are you sure it's not blue-green algae?...Not really an algae, but cyanobacteria.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:39 PM   #12
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One of the reasons I upgraded to a 10g from the 5g was that the filter/pump in the 5g was cheap and ineffective, so no, I did not take the filter. However, I did move the entire gravel bottom (adding additional to fill it up) since I was concerned about the tank cycling. I really don't want to go the chemical route, but I think you are correct that it is not a true algae but the cyanobacteria.. I finally found some pix online showing the different kinds that show up and plague aquariums.... it is sure LOOKS like the same thing.. plus it is like a carpet and when I removed the gravel to sterilize the worst sections of it, the stuff floated off like pieces of green tissue paper... Maybe I need to change the topic to Sudden Cyanobacteria Bloom?? lol... I think of my ghost shrimp as canaries in the mine...and they are still going good....
I dosed once with the Tetra FungusGuard which "treats a variety of Fungus and Bacteria-related conditions".. and since the cyanobacteria is now the probable green carpet, rather than algae, I am hoping that will end it. Directions say a second dose after 4 days, prior to a 25% water change. So I am going to wait four days and see... Does that seem reasonable? thanks for your help!!
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:57 PM   #13
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You may want to consider removing your carbon while using medication. Carbon will remove it from the water.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:05 AM   #14
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hmmmmmm... then I have to remove the entire filter since the carbon is inside the penguin filter and not separate?? will that be ok to run the filter/pump without something in there???
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texaspepper View Post
Yes, not using "tap water" only r/o water because the water supply here comes out of the Rio Grande River and heaven knows what kind of heavy metals and other crap get dumped into it. I've halved Chavo's food and he just gave me a dirty look... lol...
Test results: GH=120; KH=40; pH=6.5; NO2=0; NO3=20;
Ammonia is between 0 and 0.5
All are normal ranges I believe... tank temp is 78.....
The only thing I add to the problem tank is a little Nutrfin Betta +Plus water conditioner ...
A problem I'm seeing is the combination of Ph - 6.5 & KH - 40..... you are asking for a serious Ph crash. Since you're using only RO water, you need to re-buffer.

KH - The Free Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit - The Aquarium Wiki

http://e0.aqua-fish.net/show.php?h=a...mwaterhardness
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:53 AM   #16
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That's a rather dramatic statement without resolution.. According to the charts that came with the test kits, these are "normal" readings. The betta, two snails, algae eater and ghost shrimp are all apparently healthy... eating, swimming, doing their thing... Which do you think needs to be adjusted and how? Thank you!
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:47 AM   #17
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I have the same problem, more with newer tanks with to much light that r not cycled correctly or quick enough. But i have established tanks as of late do the same thing and as mentioned, water changes and less light,food waste. You have to get rid of the algae food source. Even though its a big pain in the u know what!!!!!!!!!!!Especially the clean up.
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:51 AM   #18
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Forgot to mention that something must have changed in the tank, not sure what or why since i feed them, and light is timed,ect....the same since day one with the same fish and now......Dont know why
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:01 AM   #19
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My "fish advisor" set up my 15 g tank and it has been perfect from day one. When I had the betta in a 2g tank that had cycled properly, it suddenly went nuts, not with an algae bloom but with other issues, and he told me then that sometimes established tanks go nuts for no apparently reason.. lol... but it settled after a week. He had treated it for me, but I don't know what he used. I would ask him, but he's currently missing in Mexico where he has a pet store. So I am reaching out to other "fish advisors".
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:37 AM   #20
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I guess I'm confused... You can't remove the carbon out of your filter? Don't get me wrong, I'm more in agreement with never treating with medication unless absolutely necessary. But, if you are going to treat with meds and you don't remove the carbon, the carbon will absorb the medication.

If your fish are eating and healthy, your water levels are all within acceptable parameters, and the only issue is an algae bloom, I don't see a need for medication. Limit the light and do water changes daily for a week and I would bet you would see improvement without chemical intervention.
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