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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello... i have a 150gal freshwater planted with swords, wendtii, hygros amd sprites. i had probably 15 tetras, 6 angelfish, 2 clown loaches, 6 panda cory and 3 strawberry pleco. i run 2 canister filters and 4 led lights...not sure the specs on them but they are bright.
my tank has been fine until i went on vacay. came home and seems like overnight brown algae everywhere. i did a massive scrub with brushes and then vacuumed the bottom rock. cloudy eyes on some fishes so i treated with seachem polygard thinking fungus. i routinely test and nitrates never over 20, nitrites 0 ammonia 0 best i can tell, not too good w colors.
now, i am losing my fish like crazy and algae still everywhere.
any suggestions?
pic is of most recent water test done tonight. oh, ph usually 6.8.

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That's quite odd. Parameters seem fine. Is there any way something could've gotten in the tank while you were gone, like other pets or anything? I'd say keep scrubbing and water changing while you troubleshoot this. Do you have a pic by any chance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's quite odd. Parameters seem fine. Is there any way something could've gotten in the tank while you were gone, like other pets or anything? I'd say keep scrubbing and water changing while you troubleshoot this. Do you have a pic by any chance?
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this is just now. i keep brushing off, it comes right back.
and nothing that i can think of in the tank. i havent done anything different, used anything new. i'm flat puzzled! idk if you can see on the black angel, a little cloudiness on the eye. makes me think fungus but i have treated w polygard for a 10 day cycle. afraid to do more right away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
View attachment 1031305 View attachment 1031306

this is just now. i keep brushing off, it comes right back.
and nothing that i can think of in the tank. i havent done anything different, used anything new. i'm flat puzzled! idk if you can see on the black angel, a little cloudiness on the eye. makes me think fungus but i have treated w polygard for a 10 day cycle. afraid to do more right away.
1031307

its all over the rock on the bottom too.
 

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Do you think it might be your driftwood? I have similar algae on mine that's due to my driftwood decaying. It isn't doing anything to my fish though. Does it smell like cyano?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
no, it has that earthy dirt smell, like fresh broke ground. i had thought the wood possibly but the wood is hardwood (locust if i remember right) and has been in there about 2 years.
 

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So it's most likely sheet algae and not Cyano. I'd suspect something is throwing off your nitrates and phosphates (not enough nitrate excessive phosphate) but I'm not 100%. This is what's happening to my driftwood as it breaks down, but mine is a little over a decade old. I've just been chasing my excel spot treatments with attaching more moss to combat it from throwing off my tank parameters. It's stayed contained to the driftwood this way. I was getting scale/ sheet algae for a few months before I figured it out. I don't know if this is your issue or not but my tank looked a lot like yours when I started combating this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i'll get a phosphate test and see... than
So it's most likely sheet algae and not Cyano. I'd suspect something is throwing off your nitrates and phosphates (not enough nitrate excessive phosphate) but I'm not 100%. This is what's happening to my driftwood as it breaks down, but mine is a little over a decade old. I've just been chasing my excel spot treatments with attaching more moss to combat it from throwing off my tank parameters. It's stayed contained to the driftwood this way. I was getting scale/ sheet algae for a few months before I figured it out. I don't know if this is your issue or not but my tank looked a lot like yours when I started combating this issue.
what did you do for your phosphates?

So it's most likely sheet algae and not Cyano. I'd suspect something is throwing off your nitrates and phosphates (not enough nitrate excessive phosphate) but I'm not 100%. This is what's happening to my driftwood as it breaks down, but mine is a little over a decade old. I've just been chasing my excel spot treatments with attaching more moss to combat it from throwing off my tank parameters. It's stayed contained to the driftwood this way. I was getting scale/ sheet algae for a few months before I figured it out. I don't know if this is your issue or not but my tank looked a lot like yours when I started combating this issue.
my lfs is petsmart and they look like they are going out of business when i went in...lots if bare shelves in the fish dept....so no test. i'll order from amazon i guess.
 

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The java moss and java fern as keeping it contained- water center tank tests out at 0 phosphates but if I test at the driftwood itself it's pretty high, can't remember exactly how much though (tested last month, not able to test right now). It's eventually not going to be okay anymore for me. I'll eventually have to replace the driftwood once the base starts breaking down. It's one thin branch right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The java moss and java fern as keeping it contained- water center tank tests out at 0 phosphates but if I test at the driftwood itself it's pretty high, can't remember exactly how much though (tested last month, not able to test right now). It's eventually not going to be okay anymore for me. I'll eventually have to replace the driftwood once the base starts breaking down. It's one thin branch right now.
i got my phosphate test... again not too good w colors but it looks to be less than 1..?? pic was snapped right at the 3 minute timer being done.
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Why are your nitrates nearly 0 for a planted tank? Unless you're intentionally limiting nitrates, usually you should target 10-20ppm

Might be starving your plants and algae is taking over as a result.
 

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Lol they are so hard to tell. Looks like between .5 and 1 to me.

*Edit- didn't mean to hit send quite then but my cat decided to make me.

For having no nitrates having phosphates show up in a test would be what I suspect is causing your algae issues. Not 100% but it seems quite possible.

My center tank tends to measure out 0 nitrates and 0 phosphate right before water change. I use an all in 1 fert now so I just check nitrates (the sample collection for my phos test is tricky) and have targeted 15 for when I add (1 dose a week).

Are you testing before or after water change/ dosing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Why are your nitrates nearly 0 for a planted tank? Unless you're intentionally limiting nitrates, usually you should target 10-20ppm

Might be starving your plants and algae is taking over as a result.
hmm, could be, idk. i use flourish about once a month, otherwise not sure why they stay low. i had discus before all this happened so i did do pretty frequent water changes for them but i also added discus trace.
but this tank has been established and this has just bloomed....nothing has been changed except one filter started not doing so well but i have 2 cascades so the other should have been able to handle the tank until i replaced the other one, so it is back to 2 canisters.
the canisters, i cant remember the model but its the ones w 4 media trays each and one on each side.

Lol they are so hard to tell. Looks like between .5 and 1 to me.

*Edit- didn't mean to hit send quite then but my cat decided to make me.

For having no nitrates having phosphates show up in a test would be what I suspect is causing your algae issues. Not 100% but it seems quite possible.

My center tank tends to measure out 0 nitrates and 0 phosphate right before water change. I use an all in 1 fert now so I just check nitrates (the sample collection for my phos test is tricky) and have targeted 15 for when I add (1 dose a week).

Are you testing before or after water change/ dosing?
oh... and the test is before water change.
 

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hmm, could be, idk. i use flourish about once a month, otherwise not sure why they stay low. i had discus before all this happened so i did do pretty frequent water changes for them but i also added discus trace.
but this tank has been established and this has just bloomed....nothing has been changed except one filter started not doing so well but i have 2 cascades so the other should have been able to handle the tank until i replaced the other one, so it is back to 2 canisters.
the canisters, i cant remember the model but its the ones w 4 media trays each and one on each side.
You're saying it's "established" but then say that you have recently been changing things with dosing/filters/water changes. That by definition means your tank balance is different than what it used to be.

The combination of dosing traces, water changes, and livestock (discus create a lot of waste/aka nitrates) likely supplied enough nutrients to your plants to keep algae away. Once you stopped that, your plants started struggling. When plants lack nutrients to continue to grow, they generally start to melt or stunt. Melting plants add nutrients back into the water column which both plants and algae feed on. Once your plants became unhealthy because of the limited nutrients, algae came around. That's why you're getting an algae bloom.

Dosing once a month is likely inadequate, especially if you're doing water changes more often than that. It means you are creating an environment where your plants sometimes have access to nutrients and sometimes they don't. Plants do the best under consistent conditions.

The 0 nitrate reading before your water change is a clear indicator of a lack of nutrients. Unless you have nutrient supply so dialed in that the day before the change you have >0ppm nitrates and then on the day of the water change you hit 0 ppm (which even some of the most experienced enthusiasts on this site would struggle to achieve), you are likely not fertilizing enough and starving your plants. I'd suggest reducing your lighting period in the meantime to reduce some of the algae growth and start fertilizing more often. If you're a low light tank, which seems to be the case, it will take significant time before you see results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You're saying it's "established" but then say that you have recently been changing things with dosing/filters/water changes. That by definition means your tank balance is different than what it used to be.

The combination of dosing traces, water changes, and livestock (discus create a lot of waste/aka nitrates) likely supplied enough nutrients to your plants to keep algae away. Once you stopped that, your plants started struggling. When plants lack nutrients to continue to grow, they generally start to melt or stunt. Melting plants add nutrients back into the water column which both plants and algae feed on. Once your plants became unhealthy because of the limited nutrients, algae came around. That's why you're getting an algae bloom.

Dosing once a month is likely inadequate, especially if you're doing water changes more often than that. It means you are creating an environment where your plants sometimes have access to nutrients and sometimes they don't. Plants do the best under consistent conditions.

The 0 nitrate reading before your water change is a clear indicator of a lack of nutrients. Unless you have nutrient supply so dialed in that the day before the change you have >0ppm nitrates and then on the day of the water change you hit 0 ppm (which even some of the most experienced enthusiasts on this site would struggle to achieve), you are likely not fertilizing enough and starving your plants. I'd suggest reducing your lighting period in the meantime to reduce some of the algae growth and start fertilizing more often. If you're a low light tank, which seems to be the case, it will take significant time before you see results.

hi there... i havent changed anything except the canister that the powerhead wasnt pumping but i replaced the same trays in the new filter except for new carbon. i dose once a month because normally my nitrates were 20 or less but i had discus so i tried to keep it a little lower for them.
only since this bloom have i increased the water changes trying to remove as much algae as i could.
since i tested for phosphates and added some phosgard to the media my phosphate seems to have dropped to and the algae has seemed to hit a slow down.
i'm gonna keep an eye on it still but i believe maybe the auto feeder while on vacay have dropped more food than normal and then the one filter not working properly... hopefully it will continue to settle down and get back to normal. i may try to get some siamese algae eaters...i've read they will consume this type of algae.
 
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