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BGA cures?

5085 Views 39 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Homer_Simpson
I have been having a small problem with BGA the past couple weeks, it is concentrated to the bottom 1/2 inch of my front glass and on my fairly newly planted glosso carpet. I have read James' guide and he says the best way to get rid of it is a blackout for a few days but i dont want to do this because of the plants i keep. does anyone know any other fish and plant friendly solutions??
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I would suggest double dosing with Flourish Excell... only for as long as your algae hangs around after that drop back to the normal dosing schedule and you'll be fine. I had the same issue because I had a hard time getting my C02 distirbution set. once I got that I have not had a nother crop up. (remember Algae if from an imbalance of C02/lighting/Ferts or a combination. Find your weakness in these areas and then you'll be that much further down the road to an algae free tank.

P.S. I read you have a DIY C02 sys.... Very dificult to have constant C02 levels. I'd check there first.

Good Luck Troy
thanks Troy, ill go buy some excell tomorrow and give it a try

will dosing excell have any effect on my fish?? i have gold and blue rams some ottos and amano shrimp.

Im new to planted tanks within the last few months so im still gettin an understanding of the dosing, i currently dose with floursh, flourish trace, flourish iron and nutrafin NPK. use bottle directions for amounts.
Never heard of dosing excel on BGA/Cyanobacteria. Did you mean BBA?

What is your Nitrate level reading at, If its at zero or close to it, that may be the root of your problem.
IMO, you have 2 options to get rid of it at this point. Either use a medication like Emycin, or use the blackout method.
I have used the blackout method myself, and It worked like a charm, didnt have much of a negative impact on my plants, they perked right up after a day or two, and the fish were just fine.

Also since raising my Nitrates, and keeping them at around 10ppm, I havent had an outbreak since.

I'm not expecting the excel to work since its not considered an algae. If you do dose excel make sure to turn off your filter and use something like a syringe to spot treat it,that way you can target the source much better.
Your fish should be fine as long as you dont overdose it too much. Just be careful some plants dont like excel, and they tend to melt.

Here is a good arcticle on BGA/Cyanobacteria
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thanks space, i think my best action would be to go buy a nitrate test kit and see if thats the problem. Currently only have tests for ammonia ph nitrite gh and kh that i bought as a kit.

if nitrate is my problem how do i raise it safely?
You can dose your tank with Potassium Nitrate KN03, you can get it online at certain places, but its been tough for me to get around here since 911 for its potential in bomb making.
I just use Flourish Nitrogen from the flourish line of products to raise mine, just dose it slowly over a few days to get it at a good level and check with a nitrate test kit over the course of dosing. I keep mine at 10ppm for the plants and to prevent another BGA outbreak.
Your safe up to about 20ppm, but my plants never needed that much Nitrates.
Great thanks for the advice Space.
I tested my nitrate and its around 80ppm i think( the test color chart reads 5 10 20 50 and 110 and im somewhere in the middle of 50 and 110).

I might try the blackout cure if it gets worse.

I was also wondering if a UV sterilizer would help kill it?
Wow, 80ppm is extremely high, What brand of test kit is this? and is it liquid drops,or a paper dip?
I would be more worried about your Nitrates being that high than your algae at this point if your housing fish in there.
Do you do weekly water changes? and what does your tap water test at? I've never used a UV sterilizer before, I havent any clue if that helps with your BGA issue, I know its great for green water tho.

If you are housing fish, can you specify how many gallons your tank is, and what type of fish/how many you have in there.

If it turns out that you tapwater reads 0 nitrates, or a low nitrate level,and your tank water is that high, it may be your fishload, or a tank that has a high buildup of fish waste from not gravel vaccuming,or changing water weekly.
Its a hagen nutrafin liquid drop test. In the test instructions it says that up to 110ppm wont hurt fresh water fish but over 20 will hurt invertabrates in salt water setups.
Ive been using nutrafin NPK dosing but im gonna skip it this week and see if i can get the nitrates closer to 40 or 50 ppm where the test says is a good level for fresh water.

My tank is a 29 gallon, for fish i have 2 blue rams, 2 gold rams, 4 ottos, 2 small pitbull plecos(best algae eaters around :)), 5 amano shrimps and 1 little panda cory

I do about a 30% weekly water change and dont vaccume the gravel because its a plant substrate that shouldnt be vaccumed.

ill test my tap water right now and update this post with the results

tested it and it reads 0 ppm
Good idea to cutback the dosing to see if things change, I'm not familiar with that test kit and how it reads, but in general you should keep.
Nitrates below 50 pm at all times, preferably below 25 ppm. If you are breeding fish, or are battling algae growth, keep nitrates below 10 ppm.

Fish poo makes a great fert, but there are some downsides to it, such as algae,"this may have caused your BGA outbreak"' and a high ammonia range, and high nitrates down the other end of the cycle.

You may need to increase the amount of oxygen in your tank,and increase the flow of water. BGA likes to grow in an area with little or no water movement.
i used to have the filter outlet pointed at the glass so there wasnt much water movement cuz i didnt like it pushing my plants around, but i recently moved it so theres a good current over where the BGA is, hopefully that will help some.

Thanks again for all you help, im learnin lots
No prob, just trying to narrow it down to what the cause may be. I hate BGA, stuff smells horrible,and makes me gag:icon_lol:
this is my first problem with algae of any kind so far in this tank, ive been really lucky i geuss because its definatially not my vast knowledge of aquariums :icon_conf . Just do a weekly glass cleaning to keep the trace amounts of dust off my glass but thats it besides this new problem.

Right now the BGA isnt too unsightly its really only on my glosso which doesnt even look that bad, i just want to find out the cause so it doesnt get worse, which if i dont change something is bound to happen.
Yeah, this stuff can overwhelm your tank in no time. Do you keep the mulm in your tank because you use regular gravel?, and do you use a nutrient based substrate like flourite or eco complete?

I'm starting to think the buildup of waste may be the culprit right there, and with a combo of water flow/lack of oxygen.
You may also want to give your filter a good cleaning. Definatly get a gravel vac and get as much of that BGA out as you can, Turn off your filter and try not to spread it around if its only in one spot. You dont want any freefloating particles seeding your tank.
im using a red sea flora base plant substrate which is nutrient based, the pet stores in my area swear by it, and im really lucky to have a few very good pet stores nearby.

just gave my filter a good cleaning the other day, got all wet in the process:icon_frow next time ill remember to turn it off before opening :hihi:
You can also spot treat with peroxide...It's what I use to kill bga, It works every time, and I have seen no negative effects yet...You could try it as a temporary treatment till you get your fert levels straightened out.....
BGA is my personal cross to bear with one of my fish tanks, and I've tried just about everything. Erythromycin might work, but the hydrogen peroxide would be the first thing to try if it's just in one spot right now. It worked great for me in one of my outbreaks. There's also a product called chemi clean which is for marine tanks, but a guy at my lfs recommended it and I tried it on a really badly overrun tank (slime everywhere!!) and it worked. Didn't hurt plants or fish. I'm really bad at the planted tank thing because I tend to be bipolar about it--super maintenance girl for awhile, then let everything fall apart. That's why I've had problems with BGA so many times!
ill have to try some peroxide and ill look in to the chemi-kleen thanks for the advice.
O.k. based on my own observations and experimentation as per my signature tank, I am skeptical that low nitrates is the stimulus for Blue Green Algae. It so happens that my nitrates were tested at 20-40 ppm and I still ended up with a smidgen of Blue Green Algae. Fluorish Excel won't prevent or kill BGA. Been there done that, it doesn't work on BGA, period. Your best defense against Blue Green Algae is an Ultra Violet Sterilizer. In two different tanks, I have one tank that has repeated bouts of Blue Green Algae, but has no UV sterilizer. And yeah, everything is supposedly balanced as per ferts and "ideal" water parameters and otherwise both tanks are equal with respect to everything else. The one tank that has a UV sterilizer developed a smidgen of BGA and that was mostly confined to one rotala indica stem at the top of the water, it did not spread to the rest of the tank. I removed and discarded the stem and the BGA has not returned. A UV sterilizer may not be a be all end all for all kinds of algae, but based on my experience and observations, it tends to keep most algae and BGA at bay. I would never set up another tank without a UV sterlizer.

Just my 2 cents, based on my own experimentation and observations.
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