Need help with a two issues - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with a two issues

My tank is
-40 gallons
-t5 lights (on 3-11)
-CO2 (on 2-10* ... I checked to confirm my set up, and noticed some extra buttons pushed on the timer, gas was running 2-12)
-EI using flourish as my micro, KN02 + KH2PO4 for macro
-weekly 50% water changes.

Two issues are
1) death of angel fish
2) algae

The gas & ferts started in Sept. Long before the gas, I had an ancient angel fish that wasn't doing well, and it died late Sept or early Oct. I added 2 new ones to keep the 1 remaining angel happy. One of the new angels mysteriously disappeared, another died suddenly near the end of Oct. There was no sign of distress whatsoever. It ate fine the day before. It was active in the tank. Then one morning the fish was dead. Now my remaining angel also died, and it was somewhat sudden as well. I did notice it lethargic, maybe even gasping near the surface (something I did not see in the others). That behaviour only lasted a day, and the next morning it too was gone. What's even stranger is that I did a water change the day I noticed it gasping (the gasping was happening before the water change and continued after).

Before I add any new angels, I'd like to figure out what's going on.

My primary suspect is that the gas is the culprit, but no other fish seems bothered by it, and I only saw gasping in 1 of 3 angels. But maybe I should add a drop checker just to be sure?

Or could the EI be hard on angels? Maybe I'm not dosing correctly?

I am taking a water sample to my LFS to see what they say.

2) Algae. I'm attaching two pictures, of the worst spots. The picture of the sword leaf is the worst leaf on the plant, but most of the sword looks better than ever with no sign of algae. I could trim that leaf and the problem is gone, but that's only a temporary solution. I'd rather correct whatever is causing the algae.

The java fern is near the surface, and close to the spray bar from the filter. Is it unhappy with its location? This is the worst algae in the tank. There's little on the glass, and little on the other plants. But something is obviously wrong here.

With both plants, is the problem too much light, is something wrong with the ferts (too much, not enough) or is there not enough CO2?

Where do I begin?!

Thanks for your help.
mods, can you please remove the "a" from the title?
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Last edited by Matthew RJ; 11-10-2014 at 12:21 PM. Reason: more info
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 12:38 PM
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I think you can remove the 'a' from the title. Click edit and on some forums you can alter the title. Probably here, too.

Algae: Black Brush Algae.
Dip it in hydrogen peroxide. You will have to research the dose and duration. You will get a range of dose (dilution) and duration. Java Ferns and Swords are pretty tough, so stronger is OK, or longer duration is OK. I do not know how to stop it. Probably somewhere between ferts, light and CO2 is the answer.
I had this in several tanks under somewhat low light, fast flow, no CO2 and DIY CO2, EI ferts.
Now I do not have it under very high light, moderate flow, glut, EI ferts. (I have other algae, though)
I would remove leaves that are as bad as the last pic. Leaves like the first pic can be treated.

Gasping does sound like they are low on oxygen. But if it was just one fish I would wonder if it was some other problem (parasite, disease, old age) that showed up as a slight lack of oxygen.
Bringing in new fish can introduce parasites to the tank unless the new fish are quarantined and treated.

Possible scenario:
The new fish brought in a gill parasite or disease. They had it first, but were younger, more resistant, but finally died. They spread it to the older fish, less resistant, and he died.

Set up a quarantine tank and treat all new fish for parasites before adding them to the main tank. Monitor the new fish for a month after all medications have stopped to be sure they are free of diseases and parasites. (A month is long enough to show most problems, but not all).
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 04:39 PM
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For the BBA an alternative to dipping is to use Flourish Excel. After your weekly water change leave the pumps off then dose excel at 2 X's the recommended first dosing quantity. If you can squirt the Excel directly at the worst of the BBA (hence the reason for leaving the pumps off). You don't have to continue dosing the remaining days and in fact you shouldn't have to dose again at all unless the BBA comes back. The BBA should slowly turn purple in color over the next few days then white/grey and then will disappear. For bad infestations of BBA you can dose up to 3 X and even more but Excel can be hard on certain plants so it's best to start with just 2 X the amount.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-10-2014, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Just returned from the LFS, and the water is fine, no issues at all. It had to be disease in the 2 new angels that took out the older one too. If it was gas or ferts, other fish would show signs of distress.

Steve: with the excel dose, when you say pumps, do you mean the filter? I dose by hand.
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