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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I started a 200 gallon quite a while ago that did not go so well. The foreground was filled with some kind of unknown carpet plant which all eventually died away. However, I believe the dead roots are still present in the substrate (aqua soil). Without knowing this I went ahead and restarted the project again. I have some Monte Carlo planted in the foreground right now and they seem to be doing well. But I've been seeing the start of some blue green algae and I feel it has to do with all the dead matter in the soil. I see a lot of it along the glass with it meets the soil. I am EI dosing and doing regular weekly wster changes. flow is adequate. So I was wondering if anyone knows how to get rid of this dead plant matter without having to completely rip out my plants and wash the soil. I was thinking of putting in a bunch of cherry shrimps? Not too sure if this would help. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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It is a tough call. If you have fish in your 200, RCS will likely not survive. I think cory cats would do a better job shifting through soil for plant matter. Mine always ate algae wafers, so I imagine some will eat a heavy veggie diet.

I would cut your losses now, uproot the carpet and clean the soil. If you don't, you'll always be wondering if that is the root cause. I like to tackle root causes, not symptoms.
 

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If I may suggest before you rip everything up place a piece of cardboard in front of the affected areas and seal so no light gets through. Run that way for a week and then remove. I have had bga in a tank that was fairly new and only had one single fish that was fed lightly and with weekly water changes. Ask 10 people about bga and the only common thing you will find is a) darkness kills it, and b) its a pain in the behind. Other than that you will get a ton of different answers. Like I said I would try to blackout those areas. If you have it in other areas that above the substrate then try a total blackout. Maybe someone else could make a suggestion but you may want to adjust your ei dosing but since I dont dose I cant say 100% for sure. If it was me I would try a few other things before ripping it up because my experience with bga makes me think it may not be necessary.
 

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... because my experience with bga makes me think it may not be necessary.
+1

Despite what I said, I have basically never had algae issues. I have always ran a low light, low tech, planted tank. So try the black out before you take my advice. But if it is caused by something, it will continue to be an issue if conditions return.
 

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+1

Despite what I said, I have basically never had algae issues. I have always ran a low light, low tech, planted tank. So try the black out before you take my advice. But if it is caused by something, it will continue to be an issue if conditions return.
You make an excellent point and I may be wrong but I think I would try that before I ripped everything apart, unless of course for some reason I hated the tank layout and was looking for an excuse to re-scape it. Yep I think I would definitely try a blackout.

One question to the op. Would you share water parameters with us? Also I want to add that I have bga in my tank between substrate and glass. As my dwarf sag carpet is spreading and reaching the edge near the glass it is denying the bga nutrients and the bga is dying on its own. Wherever the dwarf sag is next to the glass there is no bga.

I think a blackout will resolve the issue.
 

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Blue Green Algae, or BGA, is a bacteria called cyanobacteria. It looks sorta turquoise like, is slimy and is easily removed from most plants and surfaces. I only bring this up because many times people are actually talking about BBA, or Black Beard Algae, which is almost impossible to get off of anything. The cause and treatment of these are often quite different. BGA is easily treated with Erythromycin. One treatment is often enough and it completely dissapears in less than 48 hours. It is rather spendy though. It will not affect your biological bacteria in your filter and you should manually remove as much as possible before treatment.

If it is BBA Getting a few true SAEs will help combat it, and spot treatment with peroxide will kill it. I have found changing more water more often to be the best at preventing it, as well as making sure co2 levels do not vary if you use co2.
 

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A month ago I removed a thick HG lawn that was right at the tank's front pane because CB was getting annoying right there and replanted a couple inches away. CB is gone now. It was lack of flow in this case and I expect it will return when the lawn has overgrown and is pushing up against the front of the tank again. It's possible that lack of flow through the substrate right there is a problem for you. I'd pull out the lawn and do a light vacuum of that area rather than pulling out the fragile Amazonia and trying to wash it. You are trying to get out the dust as well as any dead stuff.

Another idea is to run a thin piece of plastic, aka old credit card, between wall and substrate. Does an amazing job of rolling the algae back and bringing clean substrate into view. I'd try that now and do the vacuuming next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the comments. I am thinking about doing a blackout. Would someone be able to guide me through this/the protocol? I know that it is often done for 3 days, co2 is off, pumps still running, add airstones for the fish, 50% water change before black out and 50% water change right after. I also read that i should dose KNO3 right before? Is my information correct? or am i missing things?

Also... will this harm my plants at all?
 

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I'm going to leave it to someone more knowledgeable about high tech setups to give you advice on the best procedure. God I hate cyano.
 

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Ha-ha. No problem. Thanks for all your help
I dont know if I am much help or not. I'm going to subscribe. I hope you will let us know how it went.
 
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