It's like a second skin but slimy, BGA or something else?
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:51 PM   #1
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It's like a second skin but slimy, BGA or something else?


My newish 33 gallon developed a skin of slimy green algae while we were away for a week and it's been hanging on for 3 weeks and I'm tired of scraping it off and hoping it'll go away.

- primarily on the glass with a little on the substrate and plants, but only near the main outbreak on the glass.
- easy to remove and comes off in sheets with a razor and when it floats through the aquarium it looks like mucus and you can pick up the strings.
- does not have a strong odor, maybe a slight hint of plants/fresh vegetable matter
- dark green in color

It's got some characteristics of BGA but no funky smell and doesn't seem to behave the same as previous BGA outbreaks (previous episodes were characterized by creeping across the substrate and plants more than the glass).

I believe I've got pretty good flow through the aquarium, my plants gently sway with the flow in the effected area, my drop checker is in the green to yellowy green area with no reduction of slime.
I'm using a 2 bulb T5HO, keeping it on for about 7 hours a day, down from 8-9. It is on a timer so I don't think it got left on while I was away.

I know photos would help but my wife just scraped the glass so I'll have to wait a couple days for it to return, but should I just try a blackout for 2-4 days instead of waiting?

Do you want any water tests done to help diagnose?
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:03 AM   #2
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I had BGA once.. Every water change it smelled like a swamp. Increase water flow ... Add a bubbler, anything to eliminate dead spots. Do water changes and wait till it returns. a black out seems (from what I read) to have like a 50/50 shot of helping it. If it doesn't and it turns out to be BGA then medicate the tank with EM. I got some at a local fish store for like $10 for a full 2 week dose. Follow the directions on the box/package and go from there. Don't miss a dose and write it down (to make sure you keep on track) ..

Here's a pic I took of BGA while I was at petco recently (it's in all of their tanks). It's on the gravel and older stuff on the plants (along with some other kind of algae on the leaves)

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Old 12-01-2013, 03:33 AM   #3
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Sounds like bga, I've noticed the smell is not always really strong and it can range in colours.

What size tank?

What are you running for filtration/water movement?

Probably most important...what are you dosing?
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
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It's a 33 gallon measuring 25x18x21"
I'm using a Fluval 205 for filtration.

I'm only dosing Flourish Comprehensive right now, things were pretty stable before we left and I hadn't begun a full dosing regime. I do have some dry ferts though, MPK and KNo3.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #5
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Start dosing those ferts! Flourish comp is nothing more than a trace mix with tiny amounts of npk

In the meantime spot treat with h2o2 and manually remove whatever you can get too. A power head couldnt hurt
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