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Algae Issues


Callatya
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HELP! I have that nasty black fluffy stuff, the green fluffy stuff, and your standard green spots and brown. I would be happy enough to just get shot of the black stuff, I bleached most of the tank in december to kill a majority of it off and its back stronger than ever now :( I have a vague plan of getting a UV steriliser and two new fluro tubes, throwing in a phosphate pad and crossing my fingers, do you think that'd help control it at all? I just get so sad looking at it :(

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I had algae blooms in all my tanks and before I got around to dealing with them I noticed that the ramshorn snails were going a bit nutty and laying eggs everywhere, so I waited a week and then hundreds of snails hatched and cleaned up all the algae... ... and now they've started on the plants. Now I only have to catch snails.

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If you are having algae problems you need to look at what is causing the problem not just ways to fix it. Usually the black hair algae is a sign that the nitrates are not right in the water. The black algae is hard to get rid of but "Otocinclus" catfish are known to eat it. A new variety of these has only recently been described, "Batmani" a very pretty brown and yellow fish with a black Bat mark on the caudal fin. Also some of the american cichlids fry are know to eat the black algae, Texas is one that comes to mind. But they will not totally remove it, just seem to nibble at the ends of it. To get rid of it quickly, you can "nuke" the tank with chlorine or hand scrape and remove as much as possible Get the water checked for Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite . If any are at high than normal levels do 10% water changes every second day for a week and add some denitrifying bacteria. The green algae is easier and is usually caused by either too much food or too much light. The green stuff can be cleaned up by algae eating catfish such as bristlenose, plecos, whiptails etc. To fix either cut back on the light or feed or both. Graeme

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the black stuff is brush algae. The best way to get it off your plants is by cutting off the affected leaves, and bleaching if its on any of your tank equipment. Its a real sod to get rid of and apparently one of the best methods is introducing a fish that will eat it such as the siamese algae eater or black mollies. Copper is also supposed to kill it, but I'd not be wanting to deliberately put copper into my tanks :( I got rid of mine when I had it with a CAE and a few BN's so the fish idea does work The brown spots would most likely be diatoms... silicon in the water and lowish light levels usually cause this one. Do you have a silica sand as a substrate? My BN's also help keep this clean too, but mostly I get it on the glass or substrate, so its easy to just wipe off with the glass cleaner magnets New tubes should help with the diatoms, and a UV will help kill off any spores so thats a really good idea too. I don't know what the others are unfortunately, but they should respond to the same treatment.

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If it's the hair algae then I've heard it's caused by your water being to alkaline. We had a prob with it in our outside pond, and the LFS guy told us to try sum Ph down and it actually solved the prob (a cple of months later albeit :) ) but now I've also got the same prob in my 3ft Commy tank, but I think it's due to infrequent water changes, so gotta fix that :D

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Unfortunately no photos on the algae, my USB ports are cactus and I can't get anything off the camera. I'll try though, stay tuned *runs off to play network games* In order to have any chance of getting shot of the stuff its going to need some thinning out because at the moment its pretty terrible. One month ago it was spotless, and now its on everything, including the bloody strands of java moss :lol: I can't turf the plants and start over because I can't replace the ferns. I have only ever seen them the once and they are too speccy to lose. On top of that there is no guarantee it'd actually get it all. I'm not so worried about the green spots, diatoms or the green fluff, thats all reasonably OK. A bit of manual removal and a water change and that settles down (though changing water is a bit 6 of one, half a dozen of the other as to if it'll make it better or worse at the moment), its the black stuff that is giving me grief. I could be imagining it, but its almost like changing the water makes it worse. My kits would be useless and really I'd need a master kit to go through all the possibilities so I'll have to find a place nearby that'll run a full test for me, on both the tap water and the tank water I think.

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to kill the algae try using flourish excel at 2-3 times reccomendeded dosage as per instructions it does somtimes kill a few plants but has been used with good success by a lot of people as for your fish it would be safter to move them but i have read articles where people have left there fish in while doing the dosing as with any overdosing their is a risk but it does seem to have overall very good results should take around 10-14 days also i have never tried it personally but do no some people that have Ray

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a few other things you could try is pull the plastic bits out and wash in bleach rinse throughly before returning to the tank add more plants and dose some fertz if your globes are over 9 months old try replacing them with fluros suitable for plant growth also try some ottos and siamese algae eaters and let them get a little hungry don't feed them Ray

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OK, basic plan is as follows: Find place to test water, change/adjust as necessary. Get UV (needed anyway as I am almost positive there is some quiet pathogen lurking in there) Get new tubes (again, needed anyway so may as well) Get a bucketload of otos Manually remove as much as possible If that makes a dent I might go for adding more plants, but I was trying to steer away from that. They are all a bit higgildy piggildy at the moment trying to grow them nicely, as I was planning on reshuffling and adding either a selection of rocks or a chunk of tree roots, and just having the plants pop out here and there.

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