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Old 01-27-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
OhYesItsMe
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Default Algae issues with my plants (already)

This is in my 20 gallon tank by process of elimintion. I have recently planted the tank (its been about a month) and already have algae issues. I dont use any liquid fertilizers or extra CO2 or anything but that special plant gravel stuff, the fish in the tank and a Glo T5 light for 8 hours a day. Other than elgae the plants are actually doing really well. I do 25% water changes weekly, the pH is 7.6ish, the temp is around 77, the nitrate is about 15 (i did a water change 5 hrs ago, should have tested before), and no sick fish.

What i think is beard algae is on many leaves of different plants, the algae on the branch is different (obviously) and im not sure if it is worth removing. Do you think it is worth getting like 6 more algae eating shrimp or another type of algae eater or do i use chemicals or what? Thanks for your help!

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Old 01-27-2013, 06:17 PM   #2
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might wanna try some algae eaters for the plants but the algae on the branch should be harmless i think its just a natural accuring thing for the drift wood i have a little growing on my driftwood but i leave it but i could be wrong!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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From what I've read, BBA grows when there's a sudden absence of Co2(compared to what it's used to). For example, if I suddenly ran out of Co2 and didn't replace it for a few days, BBA would start to form. They might use Co2 supplementation or grow plants emersed at the nursery, where Co2 is pretty much unlimited
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:39 PM   #4
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do you use air stones?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:42 PM   #5
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Ok so if that bba was caused by a sudden rise in CO2 (not Co2 because cobalt is not a diatomic element, sorry) than could it be one of the plants that I got about 3 weeks ago that was in a tank with much lower CO2 levels and then went in to my tank with apparently higher levels of CO2? Anyway, how do i go about getting rid of it?

Oh and the feathery algae on the wood has been all eaten off, but that's not important.
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5 gal tank
many cherry shrimp and dwarf rasboras

20 gal tank
4 amano shrimp
2 nirite snails
1 bolivian ram

55 gal tank
2 synodontis catfish (one nigriventris and one nigrita)
5 yellow labs
1 jewel cichlid
3 johanni(one is electric blue)
4 acei
1 ice blue cichlid
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by OhYesItsMe View Post
Ok so if that bba was caused by a sudden rise in CO2 (not Co2 because cobalt is not a diatomic element, sorry) than could it be one of the plants that I got about 3 weeks ago that was in a tank with much lower CO2 levels and then went in to my tank with apparently higher levels of CO2? Anyway, how do i go about getting rid of it?

Oh and the feathery algae on the wood has been all eaten off, but that's not important.
you got it backwards. your tank probably has low amounts of carbon dioxide...unless you've got a reactor or diffuser hooked up to a source of it, you are going to have low amounts of it. any surface agitation will remove the "excess" co2 in your tank.

as far as removing the BBA...there's liquid algae killers, fish that eat algae*, manual removal via brush or your hands, OR remove the affected plants and figure out a safe ratio for a bleach bath(google). another way to get rid of it is to START dosing co2.

*not all algae eaters will consume the same types of algae. "flying foxes" will eat BBA and I'm pretty sure SAE's do, too.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
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Yup, you should try CO2 and fertilizers. There is no chemical algae killer that will remover the BBA. Only SAE's will eat the stuff, flying foxes will not. Raise the light up HIGH and start adding what the plants need.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:57 AM   #8
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SAE get kinda big, but if u think its best i guess i could try that. I'll raisre the light and go to my lfs this weekend.
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5 gal tank
many cherry shrimp and dwarf rasboras

20 gal tank
4 amano shrimp
2 nirite snails
1 bolivian ram

55 gal tank
2 synodontis catfish (one nigriventris and one nigrita)
5 yellow labs
1 jewel cichlid
3 johanni(one is electric blue)
4 acei
1 ice blue cichlid
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:07 AM   #9
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hydrogen peroxide will kill BBA....American Flagfish will eat it...and so will a couple of other almost impossible to get fish..
but..........i think that grogans suggestion would be the easiest solution....
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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I think BBA gives a tank character. Our planted 40 has a bunch of it (plants are still thriving, too) and I haven't messed with it. Just my opinion, though!
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:23 PM   #11
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Oh i dont mind it if its not bad for my plants i think ill let it be. I raised the light and ill still get some fertilizers when i can
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5 gal tank
many cherry shrimp and dwarf rasboras

20 gal tank
4 amano shrimp
2 nirite snails
1 bolivian ram

55 gal tank
2 synodontis catfish (one nigriventris and one nigrita)
5 yellow labs
1 jewel cichlid
3 johanni(one is electric blue)
4 acei
1 ice blue cichlid
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:33 AM   #12
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Flourish excel too bud, not just fertilizers. You can even get a pipette full of it and spot dose the bba directly. It will kill it fast and turn it a cool red color.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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After you get it resolved, it won't come back unless you stop doing the CO2(if that was your resolution).

There is an imbalance in your tank, that's why the algae is growing. Until you resolve this issue, it won't stop growing. If you've been dosing ferts already, you could cut back. If you have high light with no ferts and no CO2, that's your problem. It doesn't sound like you have CO2, so those are the only two options that it could be.

low tech tanks don't need super bright lights. Dosing ferts does help low tech tanks, but its easier to overdose them...which doesn't really matter if you're doing weekly water changes.

Actinic, blue, or "night lights" promote algae growth as well. you can use them, but don't leave them on all night. set your lights on a timer(10 dollar anti-algae product).
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:27 PM   #14
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grogan, I use flourish and liquid CO2. What is the difference between flourish and flourish excel? (I think I read that flourish excel had CO2, and if so, I'm wondering if the pipette trick would work on algae using the liquid CO2 I have?) Love your planted tank pics, btw!

Fuzz, I didn't know about the blue "night lights" promoting algae! thanx for the tip. I have been kinda lax about turning mine off at night, but will be more careful. Anything that helps is worth a try.

OhYIMe, I can feel your pain. I have had tanks a long time, but since I started with oscars, I had fake plants. When I set up my tank this time, (no oscars!) I decided to go all out with a heavily planted aquarium. Was suprised at how much more expensive it was to set up, due to the special light unit and lights, plant friendly soil, etc., but my fish love the plants, and I think the tank is healthier overall. I love the way a planted tank looks! However, since setting it up, I have had a crash course in several kinds of algae. What a pain! I understand from reading posts on this forum that I need to find a balance of correct lighting, ferts. etc., but there is a definite learning curve.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:53 PM   #15
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Default Algae issues with my plants (already)

Get some shrimp


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