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Old 07-29-2007, 07:04 AM   #1
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How can i kill off substrate algae?

I have finally (i think) got my tank well under way, the pressurized CO2 is working fine and the plants (nutrient sponges) seem to be doing well there all pearling nicely.

One problem though is algae! this has slowed down my set-up drastically!
I went on holiday and bought an automatic feeder for my shrimp and pleco and it overfed them, i usually break up 1 wafer into 3 small pieces every other day (There is some algae in there so i dont want them developing a love for the wafers and not eating algae)
Anyway this feeder put about 2 wafers in a day, i came back to an algae ridden tank after cleaning it all out before i left.

So i cleaned it all off again as best i could and planted the tank with quite a lot of plants to suck up the nutrients and keep algae at bay. They seem to be doing this fairly well (although i could do with some more) but the substrate algae is growing well!

I wish my BN pleco would be a bit more greedy, aswell as the shrimp because i just cant seem to get rid of it.
When i cleaned the algae up i just stirred up the substrate and syphoned as much algae from the substrate as possible. A lot of it must have been buried but now there's blotches and patches of algae on the substrate which is slowly forming a carpet! Should i remove as much as possible and plant very, very heavily with hygro's wisteria etc or would it just grow back again?

Tank info
25 gallon (3 foot)
96W lighting (5-6 hours a day)
Fluval 205 filter
EI dosing

Fish/inverts
BN Pleco, 2 Amano's

Plants
5-6 Ceratopteris Siliquosa
5-6 Nomaphila stricta fleur
6 Elodea densa
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3 Black Neons, 1 Zebra Danio, 1 Clown Pleco, 3 Yo-yo Loaches.
Tank Established: Nov 04'
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:08 AM   #2
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Shrimp and fish normally have a curtain algae they perfer. They will not eat every kind.

Could you discribe the algae a little better or take a pic? From the sounds of it, it could be BGA.

Here is a guide that should help you figure out what you have:

http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:38 PM   #3
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BGA normally comes about from low/no nitrAte and/or poor circulation. From the overfeeding it doesn't seem like it would be BGA unless the filter was clogged. Either way, manual removal is always the best method. If you can pull it out in clumps, or at least break it up and then suck it out that would be the preferred method. A LARGE water change is also a good thing to do to remove the copious amounts of dissolved organics that is probably keeping the algae growing strong.

Planting large amounts of plants is probably not the best thing to do. I'd remove any affected leaves/plants, but don't over do it. The last thing you want to do is create a nutrient deficiency (more than possible if planting large amounts of fast growers such as hygro).

HTH
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Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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Yes it is definately BGA.
I dont like the sound of the treatments for it though, i tend to stay clear from chemicals and a complete blackout would seem a waste of time if i then couldnt remove all of the BGA remains which i dont think i can.

Surely with algae once its been in the tank the chances are it will come back again unless it is completely 100% removed with absolutely no traces of it left.
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
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Manual removal, good water quality, and out-competing are the "sure fire" methods for getting rid of most algae. But BGA can be some NASTY stuff, many are antibiotic resistant and can cause massive problems. If it was my tank I'd spend a good portion of time trying to remove all I could by hand, doing a HUGE water change, and making sure I was dosing all ferts to make it as inhospitable as possible.
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Old 07-29-2007, 05:10 PM   #6
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I done a 50% water change today but i could spend a while trying to remove as much of the BGA as possible later in the week with a bigger water change.
I am a little concerned about the inhabitants though, how would they cope with a BIG water change?
My BN pleco has been through a fair amount in her life so far and i think she is really hardy personally but the shrimp i am new with. Whenever i do a water change it seems to make them have a mad half hour and just fly around the tank so i dread to think what a bigger water change would do to them!
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satsumas
I done a 50% water change today but i could spend a while trying to remove as much of the BGA as possible later in the week with a bigger water change.
I am a little concerned about the inhabitants though, how would they cope with a BIG water change?
My BN pleco has been through a fair amount in her life so far and i think she is really hardy personally but the shrimp i am new with. Whenever i do a water change it seems to make them have a mad half hour and just fly around the tank so i dread to think what a bigger water change would do to them!
As long as it hasn't been a long time between water changes (old tank syndrome), and you match temps and use a dechlor a large water change should not cause problems. I have not dealt with shrimp however.
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:07 PM   #8
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We had a couple tanks at work that had some BGA. 1/2 dose of maracyn killed it in just a couple days.
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
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This algae is starting to gain a hold on my plants now, its on some of the leaves and on certain plants its worse.

I need to take them all out, get as much algae out as possible manually then decide what to do next i think.

That Maracyn stuff sounds good but i dont really like chemicals that much.
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:28 PM   #10
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A 3-4 day blackout will kill it along with what evercl92 has mentioned. I have done both and the maracyn was the easiest and it never returned after that.

You also have to find out why you have it in the first place. Getting ride of it is a good start, but if you don't know why you got it, then it will just return.
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:07 AM   #11
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Yes thats what im worried about rkilling.
It would be such a waste of time and effort if it just came back again so i need to make sure that it doesn't.

When i got my tank i was in a rush to set it up, i just put the light on with a few plants in there (bacopa's, HC, and a few 'weeds') and algae just outgrew them. Since then its always been there in some way shape or form.

However i did clean it out and after that its growth was very slow and easy to manage, then i went on holiday and my auto feeder overfed the pleco and 2 shrimp that were in there. I did initially want it to drop 3 thirds of a wafer in every 3 days but it dropped 2 whole ones in every day. When i got back it was absolutely covered in algae! The light was on for 8 hours a day but also there was no water changes for the 2 weeks i was away.
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