Random algae bloom in 8 month old tank
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:20 AM   #1
TheGiantDwarfShrimp
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Random algae bloom in 8 month old tank


This tank has been running great with very few problems up until now. I have thick algae growing on everything. Until now there has only been small areas effected by algae (mostly slow growing plants under direct light).
Other than algae there have been some sick fish. I just euthanized a cherry barb with dropsy and another died last month. Maybe something in the water?

Here is a video of the algae:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNvuTfeUABg


This algae appeared about 10-12 days ago but started getting really bad in the last 5-7 days. Its mostly a thick, green slime algae covering pretty much everything near the top of the tank, then on the bottom there is a darker hairier algae growing on the shorter plants. Then on the jungle val I noticed the leaves directly under the lights have a white, rough algae growing on them. This is all happening in my 90 gallon community tank. I don't think I have changed anything for the last 3-4 months. I did clean a canister 2 weeks ago but I don't think that caused it.
The only other cause I can think of is I occasionally add some CSM+B to the tank after a water change every few weeks and I added it 2 weeks in a row but at a lower dosage.

If you could ID the algae and give me an idea of what caused it or how to treat it that would be awesome.
Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:18 AM   #2
Darkblade48
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From what I could make out in the video, the majority of your algae seems to be cyanobacteria (blue green algae). This is actually a bacteria, as the name implies, and can be due to several factors (such as low nitrates, dead spots, etc).

As it is bacteria, it can grow very rapidly, and even if you think you have removed all of it, even a little bit can grow back very quickly. You will need to address the underlying problems (mentioned above) first, or else it will keep coming back. In the meantime however, you can manually remove as much as you can first, and then treat with erythromycin to kill off the remainder. I would carefully monitor your fish and your water parameters if you use erythromycin, as the decomposition of the dead/dying bacteria will deplete available oxygen.

For the algae that is on your Vallisneria, it appears to be Staghorn algae.

What kind of lighting do you have? What about CO2 injection?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:42 PM   #3
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No CO2, 4 t8 bulbs 6500k, and it is a dirted tank with MTS as substrate capped with pool filter sand. I have not changed the lights since setting up the tank. Could that be an issue?
I have pretty good surface agitation in the tank and I am under stocked so I don't think oxygen would be an issue. I will probably do a water change today so I will take out as much of the algae as possible. Will dwarf shrimp eat this?
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGiantDwarfShrimp View Post
No CO2, 4 t8 bulbs 6500k, and it is a dirted tank with MTS as substrate capped with pool filter sand. I have not changed the lights since setting up the tank. Could that be an issue?
I have pretty good surface agitation in the tank and I am under stocked so I don't think oxygen would be an issue. I will probably do a water change today so I will take out as much of the algae as possible. Will dwarf shrimp eat this?
It may be a nitrate issue; do you have a nitrate reading?

I don't think lighting is a contributing issue in this case.

Rather than surface agitation, it could be a flow issue (i.e. the area where the algae is proliferating is a dead spot).

Dwarf shrimp will not eat this algae.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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Yep all parameters were 0 including nitrates. I removed all the water lettuce and extra naja grass that had been going crazy in the back of the tank. If I keep nitrates up should the algae go away? I tried removing it but there is just so much.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGiantDwarfShrimp View Post
Yep all parameters were 0 including nitrates. I removed all the water lettuce and extra naja grass that had been going crazy in the back of the tank. If I keep nitrates up should the algae go away? I tried removing it but there is just so much.
One of the reasons that BGA can form is low nitrates; cyanobacteria is quite efficient at nitrogen fixation, so can do well even in low nitrate conditions. By bumping up your nitrates, your plants should do well again, well enough to outcompete the algae for nutrients.

In the interim, you should manually remove as much BGA as you can, and then try an erythromycin treatment if necessary. If you are diligent about your manual removal (daily basis), then you may not need the antibiotic.
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