Free Floating algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Canada, Alberta, Calgary
Posts: 8
Angry Free Floating algae

I started cycling on march 18th with cycled media, and plants. 4 days after I started the cycle(march 22nd), check levels at work 0ppm nitrate, nitrite and ammonia, I added 6 congo tetras. On April 5th I added 1 leopard bushfish (removed 2-ish weeks ago) and 6 petricola synodontis. I then struggled with diatoms which I got rid of decreasing lighting from 14 hours a day (yikes) to 8 hours with a 4 hour siesta in between. April 10th did first 25% waterchange. On April 19th I added 10 Orange Fin Danio, 10 Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, 3 Flying Fox, 1 New Guinea Rainbowfish (who until today I thought was a Turquoise Rainbowfish). I also added 10 Seachem Root Tabs, changed the carbon in my filter to Zeo-Carb, Purigen, and water polishing pads, found 1 dead Synodontis in filter, ditched surface skimmer. On April 21st I added 1 Boesemani, 1 Parkinsoni, and 1 Red Rainbowfish. April 25th Parkinsoni Dies. April 26th 25% waterchange. April 28th water looked cloudy 10% WC. May 3rd tank water a putrid green, Mom later tells me its been like that since Monday(April 29th) 25% WC, rinse filter mats, reduce lights to 5 hours a day, got water tested at work, to green to read properly. May 5th 25% WC, added Microbe-lift Special Blend,added left lights off until wednesday(May 8th). May 8th 25% WC, changed polishing pads to thin cut to fit 100 micron filter fibre. May 12th, 25% WC start Purigen recharge, rinse all sponges/fibres/foams in tank water. May 14th 50% waterchange, filter rinse, purigen still smells/ feels funny, rinse, and back in dechlor water, Black bag front and sides, cover with large dark duvet, unplug lights from timer, prepare for 3-5 day black out, hope for the best for plants and fish.

Lighting- 2 40w T8 Life-glo. 6700K, 3255 Lumen, and 310 Lux.
Ferts: Flourish (weekly 5ml), Flourish Iron (weekly 4ml), Flourish Excel (daily 6ml), 10 root tabs added on April 19th, one found, and removed, for betta tank on may 13th. Stopped dosing liquid ferts on April 20th.
Feeding: I feed my fish once or twice a day except for Fridays. They get frozen bloodworms every other day, they are pre-thawed (15 mins before) so i can split it easily between my betta, and his shrimpy friends, my newt, and this tank. They get fed 2 "pinches" of Omega One Super Veggie, and Nutrafin Max with NLS community pellet mixed in. I also drop in one Hikari Algae wafer couple of days.

I use pinches lightly as i'm prone to over feeding because I love their feeding response.

Current Inhabitants:
10 Orange Fin Danios, 10 Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, 6 Congo Tetra, 5 Petricola Synodontis, 3 Flying Fox, 1 Red Rainbowfish, 1 Boesemani Rainbowfish, 1 New Guinea Rainbowfish, 3 Horned Nerite Snails, and X pond snails.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 06:54 PM
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Location: NYC
Posts: 700
How big is your tank? How many hours a day do you turn on your light? Do you have a good number of plants? Maybe just Excel isn't getting enough CO2 in there, and that coupled with too much light in ratio to the CO2, you're getting algae growth. Plus, that big intro of 24 fish and 10 root tabs all at once may have given your water a spike.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 06:56 PM
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lights, and do a big water change (i normally do 50% water changes a week) - yes, its a lot. I keep rams, discus, and angels.

The root tabs will throw out a lot of nutrients, as well as fish poop. You might have added to many fish at once. I like doing no more than 2-5 fish in a month. Then I wait 2 before adding any more.

You can also get a UV Sterilizer.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Canada, Alberta, Calgary
Posts: 8
tank dimensions: L=120cm W=40cm h=50cm. So that's 63 US gallons. lights were on 8 hours a day, when this free floating algae broke out they were reduced to 5. There is a total of 8 plant species. the mother crypt. probably is around 40-60, various plants 3, crypt siralis 4, jungle val 6, red melon sword 2, marimo moss 4, java fern 2 daughter plants.

Right now the tank is in a total black out, on Friday night, after unveil i am going to do a 50% WC and add a diy c02 after reading that quite a few crypts and vals don't take well to polycycloglutaracetal which is the ingredient in flourish excel known as liquid carbon, plus it says in case of exposure to eyes rinse and seek medical attention... do I REALLY want that touching my fish then?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 11:34 PM
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Location: Newbury Park, CA
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Green water was caused by little jumps in ammonia in my tank. I never saw any on tests but it had to have been there. I increased the biological filtration of the sump and haven't seen it since. Suffered for years before I decided the common wisdom that the plants are all the biological filter needed wasn't working for me and did this.

Have had blackouts work. Be really sure there is a big ripple on the surface or airstone going in your heavily stocked tank during this, you don't want the dying algae to create more ammonia than the fish can stand! Better do water tests daily to be sure the fish are going to be okay. Do a water change if there is a problem. GW isn't pretty but it is a fairly benign algae that fish and plants are fine with and actually seems to discourage other algae if you have a really good case of it.

Water changes on their own won't do a thing once GW has a good hold on the tank, it seems to appreciate the nice fresh water. Grr.

Letting floating stems or actual floaters build up on the surface worked for me as well. I left them alone until the water was crystal clear, not just not green. Again, be sure your fish are fine with this as it has to reduce the gas exchange on your heavily stocked tank.

Excel doesn't do a thing against GW, glad you haven't tried it.

Basically I don't think your tank's biological filter is very healthy at this point. More oxygen might help the bacterial colony's health. Adding a sponge prefilter to the intake might help increase the amount of biological filtration you have. Count fish carefully, there could be another missing fish causing trouble as well.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Canada, Alberta, Calgary
Posts: 8
well, i tried floaters, and my fish ate ALL of them, i tried duckweed and frogbit, today from work i picked up some zeolite, and a new thing of purigen as i seem to have botched the old pack -_- should i add these asap or when i'm doing 50% water change after reveal....
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 05:18 PM
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Location: Jacksonville, Florida
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Sounds like you've done way too much way too fast and didn't give the tank any time to stabilize between massive changes.

GWA is killing the oxygen in the tank. When the oxygen goes, so does the cycle.

I would start by cutting lighting significantly. I would also get a UV sterilizer to treat the GWA. Once you get that under control, carefully monitor the cycle. I would not change anything else about the tank (except water, and frequently at this point) until things stabilize. This includes the DIY CO2. Unless you are really skilled or get really lucky, DIY CO2 will lead to fluctuations in the concentration of CO2. A state of flux = opportunity for algae.

Trying to do too much at once is one of the most common mistakes we aquarium enthusiasts make. Patience is definitely a key to success in this hobby.

Last edited by gSTiTcH; 05-17-2013 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Added Info
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Canada, Alberta, Calgary
Posts: 8
well, i did the blackout, it killed half the algae got my water tested 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 0 phosphate
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algae, free floating algae, green water

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