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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help! I went out of town for a week (left husband in charge) and came back to this in my planted tank. Can anyone identify what TYPE of algae this is? (Cyanobacteria?) At the moment, it's only growing on my mopani wood and climbing up my moss, and it's super green. Not sure exactly what I'm dealing with or how to prevent it from happening again. Any suggestions/advice is most appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot to add some details.
Equipment: 29g, AC 50 HOB filter, Sicce Nano wave-maker, and Finnex 24/7 light running on 24/7 cycle.
Fauna: 2 Otos, 5 Cories, GBR, betta, LF danios, guppies.
Flora: Swords, crypt (parva), rotala, staurogyne, minimal java moss.
 

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In an effort to improve my knowledge I am going to take a stab at this and someone I hope will correct me if I am wrong. It looks look cyano, does it come off easily and in sheets? It also appears that you have some bba in there as well. Do you have a test kit so you can post your water parameters. Also if you are running your light all day every day you need to cut that back to say 8 hours a day to begin with. For example I run my light 4 hours on, 7 hours off, then four hours on. So mine run 7-11 am then off. Back on at 6 - 10pm then off again until the next cycle.
 

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Isn't that odd how things pop up when our eyes aren't on the tank for a bit. I left my tank for a week and had a lovely bush of staghorn algae grow one time. I never get that particular algae!

It is cyano. The plants I can see are in poor shape, are you dosing the tank? How long has the tank been set up?

I'd buy a bunch of something fast growing that can float like hornwort, pennywort, wisteria or water sprite or put a sheet of window screen mesh down to reduce the light by 40% rather than go to a siesta where you don't get to use that nice 24 lighting program. I've been running planted tanks for a while and really like using floaters as extra plant mass in a newly set up tank. My new nano has Brazilian pennywort floating in it that I cannot wait to remove but not until I see that the permanent plants are growing strong.

You can siphon the cyano out of the tank using airline hose as a siphon then make sure the circulation pump is moving water right at that spot. Unless whatever caused it is fixed it will come right back. Look at the water closely as you siphon, you will see minute short strands floating in the water, that cyano looking for a place to land and grow.

If issue not fixed then it will prosper any place it lands. I siphoned out 5 gallons daily for weeks without getting rid of it, finally used the antibiotic that kills it only to get monster pea soup green water and finally figuring out the cause of it all was zero nitrate. Plants must have macros, water/light/carbon/nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium and micros calcium/magnesium/iron plus a lot of others to grow and a well lit tank can be low in any combination of essentials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the response(s)!
The tank has been set up since October 2015. I just tested the water and readings were:
Ammonia - 0
NitrIte - 0
NitrAte - 0 (is this a bad thing??)
Before I left for the week, I was dosing CO2 (Excel) every other day, or every 3 days. But while I was gone, there was nothing added. I have some Florish and Flourish Iron, but I noticed that everytime I used it before, it created brown (diatoms?) all over the glass, and made everything look dirty, so I quit using it. The strange thing is that where the BGA is growing, is directly under the output of the HOB filter, so there is always a strong flow in that area. And the wave-maker is pointed in that general direction as well, which is why I am so puzzled because a lot of info I have read suggest that BGA generally flourishes in areas with reduced water flow. And if my NitrAtes being at 0 are a major issue, should I be trying to get them up, and if so - how?
I have also read that others have treated their BGA directly with hydrogen peroxide, but I am a bit nervous about this, as I don't want to hurt my fish or plants. Any thoughts on that method??
Thanks again for your help!!
 

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@Kathyy Thanks for your reply to this thread. Your reply caused me to go look up this light and I feel like an idiot now lol. I learned something so thanks!
To the op. Many people say they notice bga with very low nitrates like yours. In an effort not to look like a fool again I will wait to see what is recommended for this issue. Ive opened mouth and inserted foot enough times today ;)
 

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Didn't read through the whole thread, but it looks like Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria).

Erythromycin is said to work very good, but it is an antibiotic and anytime you can avoid using a antibiotic, you should, more so to the fact that you don't want to create strains of bacteria (disease) that would then become immune to that antibiotic. And this antibiotic can harm some beneficial bacteria as well (only a real worry for unmatured tanks)

ChemiClean is supposed to work just as well, although no one really knows what the ingredients really are (it's kept secret), but at least it states it is not Erythromycin, so it might be a better option to use.

Since it's mainly on the driftwood though, you could take out the driftwood and treat it separately with hydrogen peroxide (h2o2), that way you wouldn't have to worry about potential harmful exposure to livestock and plants. Not sure if Excel can kill it. Bleach I would think would work (don't use in tank with fish and plants, don't readd bleach dipped wood back until you no longer smell chlorine).

I still can't say for certain what the real causes of BGA/cyano are, but poor flow/circulation seems most common. I've heard of low nitrates, phosphate issues, etc. being causes.

Does look like you have quite a few different algae types going on.
I am unsure if API AlgaeFix deals with cyanobacteria.

Some algae info
James' Planted Tank - Algae Guide
http://www.bubblesaquarium.com/images/home mid_photo/Article on Algae/freshwater_algae.htm
 
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