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Old 12-06-2020, 12:22 PM   #1
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brown algae problem

Hi
Im having a problem in my freshwater tank, its 1000l and i've only had this problem for just over a year. I have an FX6 and a allponds 1400 external filters.
I have a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the tank and after a few months they are covered in brown algae and the only way to get shot of it is remove them and put bleach in with them in buckets for a week. I then rinse and return to the tank.
I tried adding phosguard to the filters and still same. A month ago i got new media for the filters Biohome Ultimate and still no good.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks Davexx

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Old 12-07-2020, 04:06 AM   #2
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Hi

Im having a problem in my freshwater tank, its 1000l and i've only had this problem for just over a year. I have an FX6 and a allponds 1400 external filters.

I have a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the tank and after a few months they are covered in brown algae and the only way to get shot of it is remove them and put bleach in with them in buckets for a week. I then rinse and return to the tank.

I tried adding phosguard to the filters and still same. A month ago i got new media for the filters Biohome Ultimate and still no good.



Any help would be much appreciated.



Thanks Davexx

Do you have any plants? What fish do you have? Is it possible you are feeding too much? Do you have adequate surface agitation?
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Old 12-07-2020, 04:23 AM   #3
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Hi

I dont have any live plants as my turtle and barbs eat then withing days.The fish i have are:-
2 tinfoil barbs approx 6"
4 silver dollars approx 5"
3 silver sharks approx 4" to 6"
approx 20 small tetra
3 clown loach
2 very large common pleco
approx 15 smaller bristlenose pleco
3 catfish approx 5"
1 adult map turtle male approx 6"

I could be over feeding as i feed every day, flake and pellets for bottom feeders.
I have 2 air stones in the tank that agitates surface. In last 6 weeks i've done 5 partial water changes of 15 to 20% and im still having problems with high nitrates of >250. I thought the new media would help with that but so far its not.

thanks
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Old 12-07-2020, 07:24 AM   #4
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I have a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the tank and after a few months they are covered in brown algae

How big are these 'pebbles'? If they are over 1/8" then food will get stuck down in between the substrate where fish will not be able to get at. That food will now decompose. More vacuuming of this type of substrate will be needed. A 15% water change will do nothing. You need to do a 50% or more water change and add your de-chlorinator just to get the nitrates below 150 or so for the next 3 days.

Here is information on filter media.
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:11 AM   #5
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Hi



I dont have any live plants as my turtle and barbs eat then withing days.The fish i have are:-

2 tinfoil barbs approx 6"

4 silver dollars approx 5"

3 silver sharks approx 4" to 6"

approx 20 small tetra

3 clown loach

2 very large common pleco

approx 15 smaller bristlenose pleco

3 catfish approx 5"

1 adult map turtle male approx 6"



I could be over feeding as i feed every day, flake and pellets for bottom feeders.

I have 2 air stones in the tank that agitates surface. In last 6 weeks i've done 5 partial water changes of 15 to 20% and im still having problems with high nitrates of >250. I thought the new media would help with that but so far its not.



thanks

I would suggest getting some rooted floating plants or just tough floaters like salvina or duckweed. It will spread like crazy and help to reduce your nitrates. Just gotta keep scooping it out. Whilst youíre doing that you can slowly increase water changes and reduce feedings.

Good call on the sponge filters.
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Old 12-07-2020, 06:22 PM   #6
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thanks

Hi and thanks for the reply.

The pebbles are on average about 1" in size but only a single covering in the bottom of the tank so i would think the fish can still get to any missed food but i could be wrong. When i do the water changes its from the bottom and i have a pump and a tube to remove any waste from the bottom of the tank and move the pebbles around while pumping the water out.

Ill get some tap safe and try and do a 50% water change this weekend but was worried about changing such a large volume of water with the fish in due to temp changes and obviously mixing with the tap safe.

Is once a day to much feeding? I try to put enough in so its been eaten in a few minutes.

thanks
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Old 12-07-2020, 06:29 PM   #7
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Hi and thanks for the reply.
Ill get some tap safe and try and do a 50% water change this weekend but was worried about changing such a large volume of water with the fish in due to temp changes and obviously mixing with the tap safe.
Changing large volumes of water is not an issue. Just make sure the temperature is about the same and add your de-chlorinator. I use API Tape Water Conditioner for water changes.
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Old 12-07-2020, 06:48 PM   #8
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Hi

Maybe ill remove the pebbles at the same time and see if i can get the nitrates down with empty tank.
I thought the pebbles would make it easier to keep clean but maybe a bad idea. I was advised not to use small gravel as the turtles can eat it and its dangerous. I just looked online for sand but as the tank is quite large at 24" X 24" X 80" i wouldn't know what to buy. Would sand be better for the water quality. Bare tanks don't look very nice to look at.

thanks Dave
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Old 12-07-2020, 07:01 PM   #9
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Hi

Maybe ill remove the pebbles at the same time and see if i can get the nitrates down with empty tank.
I thought the pebbles would make it easier to keep clean but maybe a bad idea. I was advised not to use small gravel as the turtles can eat it and its dangerous. I just looked online for sand but as the tank is quite large at 24" X 24" X 80" i wouldn't know what to buy. Would sand be better for the water quality. Bare tanks don't look very nice to look at.

thanks Dave

Someone else will have to pipe in about sand, as I do not know. My gravel is just plain aquarium gravel about 1/8" or less. The food does not go that deep down and fish can dig through it along with my crayfish.
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Old 01-02-2021, 05:32 PM   #10
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Hi

So i removed the pebbles and did 50 to 60% water changes for the next few weekends, both sat and sun. Probably about 6 of those water changes so far. I bought a 120l barrel and a pond pump, i used water conditioner recommended and get the water to the right temp in the barrel before pumping into the tank and its been going ok.
I purchased some while aquarium sand and that's now in the tank. I have managed to get the nitrate levels down to 25 to 50 mg/l for about the last 12 days. I've added some Elodea Densa plants and the nitrate doesn't seem to be getting any lower. I know zero is best but are my levels ok for a tropical tank. Before i joined the forum my nitrates were higher than 500 on the test strips so it is a massive improvement. The water looks much cleaner, though i wouldn't say it looked dirty before.

Thanks for the helpful advice that you have all given.

I'm not sure if i should keep doing the 60% water changes or just wait and see if the nitrates lower now i have the sand and plants in the tank.

Thanks again all.
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