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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All! Long time reader, first time poster here...

I have a 29 gallon tall and for several months I have been having repeated outbreaks of this algae. As you can see it is covering 80% of my substrate, it is enveloping and sort of squeezing in my once-beautiful wisteria, and it has completely killed my myrio green (basically the little twigs sticking out of the substrate, leaves totally gone).

I believe I got off on the wrong foot in combating this when I was told it was green carpet algae. Now, I am leaning towards it being BGA. I am going to start a hydrogen peroxide treatment, but wanted to see if you experts ALSO believe it's BGA first.

Also, I have read on here and elsewhere that using a spray bottle for spot treatment is best, but I have also read simply dosing the water works just as well. Considering this stuff is covering everything I am hoping the latter is true.

So, is it Blue Green Algae? And will dosing the tank with hydrogen peroxide really do the trick?

Thanks!

Bump: Here you can see it really covering the substrate

Bump:
 

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Looks a shade too light compared to BGA you'd usually see, could be the pic, I still think it's likely BGA.

Manually remove as much as possible.
Increase surface agitation. BGA prefers low O2 environments, the more O2 the poorer it will do.
BGA does well in low nitrate and high phosphate conditions. Check in on nitrates. Perhaps a contributing factor, but not in all cases.
Reduce dissolved organics. Remove any decomposing plant matter, mulm etc. If your tank has been running for a while, may need a vacuum.
Increased flow also helps.

H2O2 will kill it, same reason it hates high O2, oxidizing agents that degrade the unprotected cell walls of cyanobacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I thought it was just a bit too light as well, but I have seem SOME pictures that are similar. I think the camera lightens it a bit too.

I do have low nitrates. I have been manually removing as much as possible once a week. What you see here is about 3 days in to the last time I did so, which is nuts! I will start vacuuming more too

Thoughts on Hydrogen Peroxide?
 

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You have a better treatment to remove BGA in the states.. can't remember what you call it though. I use a product called Chemiclean which is essentially the same thing. Someone on the forum from the states will hopefully see this and comment.

In a nutshell, H2O2 isn't the preferred treatment. It will work, as stated above, but there is a better option.. please someone respond with the product name ASAP.
 

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Yes, Chemi Clean https://www.amazon.com/Boyd-Enterprises-CC02-Chemi-Clean-2/dp/B00025YRJS works well, but it isn't a magic bullet. What is there needs to be manually removed and finding the cause so it doesn't come back needs to happen.

Clean filters on a regular basis, correcting flow problems, ect...

I don't know what is considered low nitrates. My 5.5 ad 10 gallon tends to hang at around 10 pmm with about half of that being from my tap with phosphate levels at around 8 ppm.

I've never had BGA, but I suspect that is because I keep my tanks clean, do regular filter maintenance, don't over feed, ect...

You didn't mention how long your photo period is, but cut it to 6 hours if it isn't already. Once the problem is fixed, it can be adjusted over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update

It appears it is indeed BGA - I "injected" hydrogen peroxide in certain areas and within minutes it was reacting with bubbles while the nearby plants weren't reacting at all. So, the verdict is bacteria indeed.

A few things: The treatments mentioned above seem to be about as effective as HP from what I have read. I would love to hear personal experience with other treatments though.

As of this morning the BGA is fading in color and already turning brown in some spots. However, 2 Octocinclus have died. I am not sure if this is due to the HP though as I was pretty conservative. My Octos have always been very sensitive, and I'm wondering if they died due to having to keep the power head and filter off overnight to reduce flow and allow the HP to due its job.

In terms of the BGA itself I did some more research. It seems BGA is usually in your substrate before its even put in to the tank - it won't just "appear" due to a dirty tank or incorrect lighting or anything like that (again, this is just what I've read). As it's a bacteria (not an algae as you guys probably know already) water changes, cleaning, filter changes, vacuuming, etc can slow its growth but not much else. If its there, you have to kill it. My substrate is a mixture of Eco Complete and garden soil (I was experimenting about 6 months ago with new substrate - clearly a mistake). Evidently BGA is very common if your substrate is not properly "cleaned" before putting it in. So, I'll never be doing that again!

Overall I would highly recommend HP as an inexpensive and quick fix for BGA, but I would also recommend transferring all fish to a separate holding tank during the process to be on the safe side. I hope this helps anyone else out there with this issue! I'll post again in about a week with the progress.
 
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