Carpet algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Carpet algae

I have had my tank for over a year. Now I am getting this carpet-like algae. Does anyone know how to get rid of it?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 03:49 PM
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Looks like blue green algae, BGA, cyanobacteria.

Like the name states, not really an algae but a bacteria. There are remedies that are sold to treat it, but I would also look for the underlying cause.

You can start by manually removing ad much as you can and do a good water chang.

Keeping the tank nice and clean helps to avoid BGA.



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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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I have cleaned it out but it comes back. Do you think if I clean it out again and keep doing 50% changes, it will eventually kill it?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 04:25 PM
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I have cleaned it out but it comes back. Do you think if I clean it out again and keep doing 50% changes, it will eventually kill it?
It will help, but now sure if it will treat it. I just fought it off in my 55 gallon and used erythromycin to eliminate it.

There are other products too, which I now have so I won't need to use an antibiotic again.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Just purchased some Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover. Reviews are good on it. I will post the results. Thanks for your help.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 04:41 PM
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Just purchased some Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover. Reviews are good on it. I will post the results. Thanks for your help.
That is the stuff I just bought for backup! I thought the same things with the review.

Looking forward to an update after you dose.



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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 02:03 PM
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Looks like the rock that kills superman, lol.

But in all honesty- its everywhere... plants, rocks? etc. So I would check your lights, ferts, water parameters. That is the only way to get rid of it.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Update concerning Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover. I dosed my tank Monday. It seems to be slowing down the spread of the bacteria. I mixed the dose according to the instructions however, I don't think I used enough water (so it mixes thoroughly with the tank when added), I only used about two ounces or so. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks again for all your help. #Kryptonite
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 02:53 PM
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Update concerning Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover. I dosed my tank Monday. It seems to be slowing down the spread of the bacteria. I mixed the dose according to the instructions however, I don't think I used enough water (so it mixes thoroughly with the tank when added), I only used about two ounces or so. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks again for all your help. #Kryptonite
I would suggest minimum of daily testing for ammonia and nitrites while fighting this off. That's a LOT of BGA, and as it dies, it could certainly cause ammonia spikes. If you detect nitrites or ammonia, you could dose some Prime(or similar detoxifier) or do a large water change and re-dose the Ultralife. Good luck!

Do you have a PO4 test kit? I typically see BGA if my PO4 gets too high and my lights too bright/on too long.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 08:26 PM
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I inherited a tank that was lousy with BGA like this. We successfully defeated it with some diligence and the Blue Green Slime Stain Remover. Dosed as instructed and waited. Kept eyes on ammonia, but did not have any noticeable spikes. Maybe 100 Crystal red shrimp in the tank at the time. I did not notice any deaths. The biggest downside is that my intake sponge got clogged every 3 days or so for several weeks, which I attributed to dead BGA. I would have to take it out and do a thorough rinse (not worried about bio-filtration since it is just the intake sponge) every time to get the filter back working. I was very impressed with the product and it pretty much saved the tank.

Not sure if it was a coincidence, but we had a huge plenaria outbreak a few weeks after treating the BGA. The person I inherited it from was using too much light and almost certainly overfeeding. We used Plenaria Zero to eliminate the plenaria. While we still see one or two every week, they are at very manageable numbers. During the outbreak I was catching and killing (do not smash them) 30 every single day and their numbers didn't seem to change. Remove snails before using it, but it should be safe for fish and shrimp.

In short, I give thumbs up to both the Slime Stain Remover and Plenaria Zero. You just need to be careful about dosing and keeping your eyes on parameters while the medications are in use. I did have a couple plants completely melt, but I am not certain which product was the culprit. If I were to guess, I would say Plenaria Zero was to blame.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 12:09 PM
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It's cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). One of my tanks looked exactly like yours a few weeks ago. It's totally gone now.

This happens because of poor water quality. I let this tank go for a few months without any water changes and its under some intense grow lights (not intended for aquaria).

I was able to scoop up the large bits of cyano and made frequent water changes ( about 30% every couple days ). I also turned my lights off for three days a few times during this period. By doing this the cyanobacteria slowly disappeared and its completely eradicated from my tank. I did not use any chemical treatments.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:40 PM
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It's cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). One of my tanks looked exactly like yours a few weeks ago.
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Poor water quality is not the cause for bacteria, it jut allows it to spread faster. If it is truly a bacteria (not algae) then its antibiotics to fix it. So for that- take a big whiff of the tank.... what does it smell like? If there is a distinct 'smell' then no amount of water changes will fix your problem.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:59 PM
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Poor water quality is not the cause for bacteria, it jut allows it to spread faster. If it is truly a bacteria (not algae) then its antibiotics to fix it. So for that- take a big whiff of the tank.... what does it smell like? If there is a distinct 'smell' then no amount of water changes will fix your problem.

Yeah, cyanobacteria is strange since it photosynthesizes. It doesn't need the same nitrates to grow, so it can crop up more when nitrates are low and light is high. It can be treated with antibiotics, but that can be problematic by killing off your nitrifying bacteria as well. It can be treated with physical removal and a complete blackout as well.



IDK if it was the BGA or something else in my tank, but I thought it smelled faintly like watermelon, not a gross smell at all. I am not able to find what the Stain Remover is made of, but it was shrimp safe and didn't seem to kill our nitrifying bacteria. We had no deaths and no noticeable ammonia spike while treating the BGA.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:41 PM
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Unless something has changed.... I believe it is more centric for gram negative- but some effect on gram positive (debatable).
Cyanobacteria are generally considered Gram-negative bacteria (with outer and inner shell). Gram-positive organisms have a thicker peptidoglycan cell wall compared with gram-negative bacteria... therefore this weakens it, but cant 'irradiate it'.
Gram posative antibiotics have a greater risk of killing beneficial bacteria in your aquarium. So I finds that when used modestly it is A-OK.

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