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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys. I have a problem and I am unsure exactly what is going on....

A few days before Christmas I ordered some Manzinita from Save on Crafts. The wood had been sandblasted and dried and was even advertised as aquarium safe. A few weeks after I put the wood in I started to notice a whiteish slime surrounding the wood. It eventually came off the wood about an inch and almost looked like a cloud surrounding the wood. Everything I have read said that this was normal, and was most likely a bacteria that would eventually go away after the BB in the aquarium won out. Eventually the thickness and fullness of the white slime went away and what was left was a green slime that smelled horrible. I have been doing my best to vacum this up every chance, but everytime I do it seems to come back. It has completely covered my plants, leaving a film on them. I had been scraping it off here and there until recently, when I decided to fully re-scape the tank. I took out everything except the substrate, and took about 50% of the water out. I rinsed every plant and all the moss I had under warm water, making sure to get every piece of this slime off. I vacuumed the substrate extremely thoroughly until there were no noticeable traces of the green slime. I also removed the manzinita and have not put it back in.

Fast forward to today (about 4 days later). I am starting to notice small traces of this slime again. Although the tank is the best it has been in a long time it doesn't seem like it is completely gone. The first place I usually notice it is on my java moss. The moss seems like a trap for the slime. I am starting to notice a very light film on the plants now, and some green on the glass near the substrate in areas of the tank. Thinking that maybe this has been algae have I have been using a little extra excel to see if this would help the problem. Google searching earlier today I discovered blue/green algae. Is this what this sounds like to you? It doesn't look blue at all, mainly green/dark green. I am pretty frustrated with this stuff and I am unsure what to do. Does anyone have any advice?

edit: Added pictures a few posts down.

Thanks,
Noah
 

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It sounds like blue green algae to me just by the horrible smell.
Excel wont really help as its actually a bacteria not an algae. The only way ive ever gotten rid of it is by tossing anything it was touching. I've read that Erythromycin will kill it but thats gonna kill all you beneficial bacteria as well. A blackout period and stronger flow should help remove it too.
 

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Yep blue green algea.
Figured :(

What exactly should I do? I am still a fairly big noob. I am not running Co2 and only adding excel and flourish as directions have it listed. Through research it seems that Minocycline totally destroys BGA, but I also run the risk of losing my good bacteria filter. I'll also add that through the few months I have had my tank, the tank has 0 for nitrates almost all of the time. Would adding KNO3 be a good first line defense? Where can I buy KNO3 and what am I looking for?

If anyone with experience with this stuff can help and walk me through this I would very much appreciate it!

Dug up a good reply from Plantbrain back in 2005

BGA can easily and for no cost at all be killed in 3 days in any tank.
Is free a good price?

Do a 50% water change and remove as much as you can. Add 1/4 teaspoon of KNO3 per 20 gal of tank. Turn the lights/CO2 off and cover the tank for 3 days.

Turn CO2/light back on and do another water change and add the KNO3 back again and then add KNO3 at least once a week or more thereafter to prevent the return.

This is 100% effective and is free.

Anitbiotics do not grow plants nor address the cause.
Adding KNO3 addresses the long term cause, your tank will look better as a result, KNO3 is dirt cheap and plant's use both NO3 and K to grow.

Hey, it's your money.

KNO3= stump remover, www.gregwatson.com also sells it.

Works faster/as fast and makes the tank look better than pills.

Regards,
Tom Barr
Posting this so others who have this problem can see. Thread can be found at http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=13247.

I think this is the first thing I am going to do. I'll try to keep this thread updated as much as possible on my progress.
 

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Blue-green algae generally develops in low, or non-oxygenated areas within the tank (with no, or poor, water circulation). There are other causes as well, but once you get rid of it, improving circulation within the tank is a main factor in keeping it from recurring.


Here's what has worked for me, quickly & effectively:
Turn off your filter, and siphon out water to bring the level down so that you can easily get to the bacteria to treat it.
Dose all of the affected areas with (H202) straight hydrogen peroxide, at close range, using a plastic syringe or test kit pipette. You should soon see the affected areas get covered with air bubbles (oxygen). Refill the tank, leave the filter off for up to an hour to allow the H202 to remain in place and do it's job.
You should then see the air bubbles floating up into the water column, a sign that the H202 is working.
The following day, most or all of the BG algae should have been destroyed, but if there are still traces, repeat the same procedure once again.
Following this treatment, you need to improve the water circulation within your tank, using a spray bar, power head, or a small circulation pump, or some other similar piece of equipment, along with stepping up your tank/substrate cleansing routine, and water changes.
Sure worked for me, in 2 separate tanks over the past few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Picked up some KNO3 today and I plan to start tonight. Following the advice Tom gave another member of the forum back in 2005, I plan on using using 1/3 tsp for every 20 galons of water in my tank. This tank being a 29 galon I am shooting for 3/8 tbsp of KNO3. I will then unplug light and cover the tank for 3 days and treat with KNO3 again.

A few questions before I start...

Should I feed the fish during the 3 day blackout?
Should I dose the same amount (3/8 tsp) after the 3 day blackout?
After the initial 50% WC, when should I do the next WC?
The only force for generating water flow I have is the HOB filter that came with my aquarium. I know it is hardly sufficient, but will this work? I plan on replacing my aqaueon quietflow 30 with a aquaclear 70 soon to help with this.
Lastly, are there any other ferts I should be adding other than the KNO3 while trying to get rid of this stuff?

Thanks,
Noah
 

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29 gallon

Noah, you mentioned you're using a 29 gallon tank. Are you by chance using a biocube as a freshwater tank? I ask because I'm also experiencing blue/green algae (cyanobacteria) and I'm having a tough time in this battle, using a 29in biocube. I've been using a syringe over the past two weeks to try to spot treat with H2O2 without much success. I'm running citric acid CO2, and a long air stone along the back to keep everything agitated, but most of my cyano problems are in the front of the tank. I think my next step is a powerhead.

*nevermind, after seeing your photos, I answered my own question about the biocube
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice detective skills, lol.

Yeah, its not a cube, just totally standard. I am on the last night of my blackout. Will check the tank tomorrow and hopefully it'll be gone.

I know its only 3 days, but I feel guilty for having not fed my fish that long.. hope they are okay. I didn't really over feed them at the start of all of this.

I started with adding 3/8 tsp KNO3. and covering with a blanket. While the tank has been covered I picked up a new filter (Fluval C4) and a powerhead (Hydor Koralia 240). Hopefully these will give my tank much more flow becasue before there was virtually none.

I am just waiting for my diffuser and co2 drop kit to come from china and i'll start my DIY Co2. Tomorrow afternoon i'll uncover the tank and feed the sh*t out of the fish. I'll then do 50% WC, add the new filter and the powerhead, refill and then dose another 3/8 KNO3.

Hopefully all works out. I'll let ya guys know.
 

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Circulation is very important in planted tanks for many reasons. You should invest in a powerhead regardless of algae. I just treated my tank for BGA with erythromycin. Didn't feel like dealing spot treatments etc. It's gone now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah I definitely overlooked the circulation aspect in planted tanks. I am still a noob and learning. Luckily I have yet to lose a fish throughout my learning experiences. I'm hoping this blackout takes care of the bga. If not I picked up some eryth just in case.

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