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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to this forum.

Please identify my algae and suggest a remedy.

It doesn't seem to be hairy like the BBA pictures. Is it BBA?

(The water is cloudy and there are black rocks on the leaves only because I changed the water today.)

How do I fix it?

Also, the plants have not been growing.

50g tank, 83 deg. (Discus likes it warm), >2 years old, 0 ammonia etc, eco-complete substrate, only two simple corner filters. The algae got bad when I left the CO2 injection off for a long time and got lazy about water changes. The last few weeks I did 20% water changes once a week with a few drops of Flourish (comprehensive suppliment, not Excel) and a cap full of Prime.

CO2 has been on and self-regulating to 7 ph for over a month now. KH was <1 over the last few weeks. I added some baking soda the last few times I changed the water. The KH went up to 2.5 and the CO2 has been running continuously this week trying to get the PH down from 7.6 to 7. I changed the water today and did not include baking soda. The PH is still 7.6. CO2 in the tank is about 1.9 ppm, not high enough. I suspect that my diffuser is not effective enough. No algae improvement.

2 light bulbs are on a timer for just two hours a day. One bulb is white (10,000K?) and one was Actinic. I changed the Actinic bulb to a 65,000K 96W bulb last week. The old bulb that is still in use isn't very bright compared to the new bulb that is now in use next to it. My guess is that it is about 2 watts/gallon now when on. No algae improvement.

Today I started adding Flourish Excel... a generous first dose. I noticed that the plants started producing oxygen. I haven't seen that in a while. That is the first good sign. I have had good luck with Flourish Excel in the past. I'll stick with that plan for a while.

If the algae doesn't improve then I'll consider dipping the leaves in bleach for 3 minutes.

Would you do anything different or more drastic? Thanks

Children Boogie
16,743 Posts
That looks like layers of different types of algae. Fuzz algae on the bottom and brown algae on the top. What you can do is take a pair of scissors and trim off all of the leaves and hopefully the plants are still alive to grow out new leaves.

And now then fix the problem that caused this in the first place. Fix your lights, nutrients and CO2.

check here for articles on these issues.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

It got a little better, but still looked bad, after I tried various fixes over the weeks:
started keeping up with weekly 20% water changes
tried to ensure that my CO2 was coming on over 7 ph
replaced a bulb with a new "ideal for plants" light bulb
trimmed bad leaves
3 min diluted bleach dip
daily Flourish Excel

I didn't try a filter for algae, algae kill pill, UV light, nor a black out.

About a month ago I tried to overdose with Flourish Excel. That worked in the past. It still looked bad but did get better. It seemed to kick start the plants back into growing. However, it killed my last Discus.

I was late with a water change this week so it got very bad, very green. Again, I tried to overdose with Flourish Excel. Even more so this time. This time it killed my two Earth Eaters (Geophagus surinamensis) and an adult Angel fish. Sad day, I liked those fish.

Well, guess what. The tank looked much better the very next day. Earth eaters do just that, they continously eat the earth and spit it out. I knew that they were keeping particulates constantly suspended in the water but now I know for sure just how bad that made it. Those particulates would settle on the leaves and walls to make them look bad, allow algae to grow in it and the water would never settle down to clear.

I wanted the Earth Eaters when I saw that they would co-exist very well with my Discus and Angel fish... and they did. They were very active and treated the Angels like obsticles. They also gave a pair of much smaller clown loaches 'air' cover for exploring more of the tank. I had hoped to pick out a male/female pair but only ever saw the larger one chase away the smaller one.

I looked into whether or not the earth eaters would be ok in a planted tank before I got them. I was warned about pulling up plants but I figured that it would be part of the fun. Now I don't believe that they belong in a planted tank at all.
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