I have had this tank set up since February of last year, and it has been an absolute nightmare. First time around all my plants died and algae took over everything. Not only was algae a nightmare, but cyano ran absolutely rampant in that tank. I got to the point where I just transferred the fish to another tank and dumped hydrogen peroxide in there for a couple days and redid the tank.
When I redid it, I started off with only one plant because I didn't want to spend a lot of money before figuring out how to do it properly. My plants experienced leaf loss, but they have new growths coming in that look really healthy. Well, they did until cyano took over them.
I had a lot of algae drama, but after receiving help on this forum, the amount of algae has been cut back CONSIDERABLY and I am so thankful. But now, the cyano has made it's way back and I just don't know how to get rid of it. I am still very inexperienced when it comes to planted tanks (not to fish, but to planted tanks) and I just don't know what I am to do. Something is telling me to just start all over again, but that's more money and time that I don't necessarily have. Also, The reason I only have one plant is because I didn't want to spend so much money on a bunch of new plants and then have cyano and algae take over again. I only want to dish out once I have a firm grasp of what I am really doing.
Light: finnex planted + clip. On for 6 hours a day with a 2 hour siesta
Tank size: 5.5 gallons
Stock: 1 betta, 1 horned nerite snail
Plant: Ludwigia repens
Parameters: tank is cycled, nitrate: ~20ppm. (I don't have a hardness test, but I know my city's water is very hard. I don't have a potassium test either)
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Originally Posted by seismicsimilis
I'm going to hang out here for someone to chime in with a permanent solution. We are both in a similar situation.
If you want to slap a bandage on the issue, I would recommend Chemiclean based on personal experience.
I am currently using Chemiclean to treat a tank for cyanobacteria. The treatment is almost complete and I can't find any more cyano. It hasn't harmed my biofilter (water parameters have been frequently tested), bamboo shrimp, or cichlid fry, so it seems safe. Make sure to have heavy aeration.
Getting to the root of the cyano problem is more challenging. Unfortunately, I haven't figured that one out yet. I've seen a lot of conflicting opinions on the root cause of cyanobacteria infestations. I suspect there are multiple species that crop up for different reasons.
Ok so look at these two websites and see if anything looks like your situation Algae Guide
, and The 2HR Aquarist
Going with some points from the 2nd link.
- Low oxygen or nitrates, coupled with high light
- Build up of organic waste & detritus
- Often found at dead spots/low flow areas
Of those I can see all three in OP's pictures. The tank looks to just have a sponge filter, a sponge filter is fine however there still needs to be some flow in a planted tank. One of these small pumps would allow you to introduce flow in the tank without it being very powerful for the Betta 80 GPH pump
Next is the detritus buildup in the substrate coupled with plant mass that isn't doing very well. You need to be doing water changes at least once a week, IMO the first thing to look at when a tank is suspected of being unhealthy is to keep on top of the water changes. Clean out the substrate of the detritus and keep it clean as it does nothing positive for the system being dirty.
Last point is low oxygen and/or nitrates with high light. IMO your tests might say 20ppm of nitrates, but your situation tells a different story. With your sponge filter you should have ample oxygen in the water, at least enough to drive away the BGA given the surface agitation the bubbles are causing. So that leaves the nitrates. I would recommend you start dosing with an AIO fert like the NILOCG Thrive
. This will introduce the ferts needed for the plants, and it will also introduce nitrates into the system that should drive the BGA away, or at least keep them away after the next step.
Once you have done the previous steps, dose Ultralife BGA remover
. This will kill the current BGA in the system, the reason why you want to do this after everything else is because if you don't get rid of the root causes the BGA will simply move back in and you have to just keep dosing this stuff to remove it.
After the BGA is taken care of buy some cheap fast growing low tech plants, at least enough to fill up the tank and rob nutrients from the other algae like the GDA that is shown in the pictures.