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Hope this helps :

Blue Green Algae Control in Freshwater Aquarium
20 May 2009 No Comment Brought you by Aquatic Magic






Description
Blue Green Algae (BGA) has nothing to do with other types of algae usually found in aquarium. This unsightly and potentially hazardous primitive life-form is notoriously hard to get rid of and is the bane of many an aquarist.
Blue Green Algae is actually not an algae but rather Cyanobacteria, a group of bacteria capable of photosynthesis. It appears as thick sheets of blue-green, purple, black or brown slime coating the tank substrate rocks and plants. The slime is actually the protective membrane the bacteria forms around the colony. If left to over-run the tank, it will kill your plants and may also kill your fish (some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins). Once it is well established, the water sometimes smells foul.

Blue Green Algae in one of our oldest ancestor. Unfortunately, the more primitive a life-form is, the less it needs to grow and adapt. Blue Green Algae is usually more tolerant to extreme environments than algae and can be found in locations where algae don’t grow. It can fix nitrogen and may therefore occur in tanks with zero or very low nitrates (but possibly high levels of other nutrients).
In its most common form, the Blue Green Algae is microscopic and harmless. We can’t see it but it’s there, floating around, waiting for the ideal location/condition to grow onto its next life-stage and begin a colony (the slimy stage). In most case, the ideal location is a dead spot with low oxygen, low water movement and lots of organic waste.

Prevention
Dose nitrates (NO3), add powerheads to aid circulation, frequent partial water changes, do not over-feed and make sure your substrate (if any) is well oxygenated.

Treatment
Oxygen: As a result of the complex chemical process that allows it to fix its own nitrogen, oxygen is toxic to the Blue Green Algae (this is actually why it likes death spot and low oxygen). Increasing oxygen level in the tank will help a lot.
You can also use a syringe to spot treat problem areas with H2O2 (Peroxide). In contact with light, Peroxide goes from 2H2O2 to 2H2O + O2 (water and oxygen) which drastically kill Blue Green Algae within minutes. It’s actually pretty enjoyable to watch! I recommend no more than 1ml of Peroxide per 5 gallons of water once every 30-60 min. Because it only treats a small area at the time, Peroxide is usually not the best way to fix a Blue Green Algae problem.

If you are lucky enough to own a dosing pump, adding automatically the equivalent of 1 ml of peroxide per 5 gallons of water every 30 min is a great and easy way to raise oxygen level. This will help a lot but won’t kill it like it does when using a syringe to spot treat.

Manual removal: Removing it manually will only temporarily help but it tends to make it grow back faster. Since it is bacteria, there is no way to get all of it out of your tank. However, it is recommended to remove it from your plants leaves. If you don’t your plants will suffocate to death and suffer from the lack of light.

Water movement: A good circulation would reduce stratification in the aquarium and thus reduce the number of death spot available for the Blue Green Algae to establish.

Well oxygenated substrate: Sometimes Blue Green Algae is seen in small quantities between the substrate and aquarium sides. This usually happen when the substrate compact and does not get oxygenated very well. For more information about substrate, please read Substrate Material For The Planted Aquarium

Cleaning crew: I must admit that I am a little confused about this. I always thought nothing eats the Blue Green Algae but, I have found some articles saying that a few species will actually eat it. Here are some of the species that could possibly eat it:
-Some of the Nerite snails
-American flag fish - Jordanella floridae
-butterfly goddeid - Ameca splendens
-Bluegreen lampeye – Procatopus aberrans
-Red Ramshorn Snails – Planorbis corneus/rubrum

Maracyn: Maracyn (rythromycin) is an effective antibiotic against gram-negative bacteria (Blue Green Algae is a gram-negative bacteria). Some people are worried about damaging the biological filter of beneficial bacteria at the point to nitrite spikes but this is very unlikely to happen. Those spikes are actually the result of dead cyanobacteria, not beneficial bacteria.

3-5 day blackout: According to many, a 3-5 day blackout can be a good way to get rid of the Blue Green Algae (didn’t worked for me). You will have to cover the tank with cardboards to block out any ambient light for 3-5 days. Leave the lights off and don’t feed the fish for that period. Aquarium plants are strong enough to survive without lights for a good week so don’t worry. After a week, remove all death leaves from the tank (if any) and do a 25% water change.

Copper treatment: Personally I don’t like copper. It’s poisonous to everything so I don’t want that in my tank. Most “miracle” treatments you buy contains copper. That should work but there can be consequences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks you everyone for your quick responses!! should i try to recover the java moss or completely remove it? it's covering some driftwood and made a cave that my red tail shark loves to hangout in so i don't want to remove it completely, but i guess i will if i have to. i work in a pharmacy so i will see if i can get some erythromycin, but for the mean time ill try to vaccuum it out and lower the lighting/co2. i think it killed most of my pennyworts though :( im tempted to completely start over with aquascape and everything. hmmmmm what to do .... what to do. .....
 

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No reason not to try to recover the java moss. Definitely get the erythromycin and try it out before giving up on your plants.
IT (like other moss) can grow out of the water. I personally would try rinsing the whole clump and rubbing it with my fingers until BGA is barely visible, then grow it near a windowsill giving it plenty of water.

I have been able to grow various wild mosses. But, I usually grow them on the medium in which they were found. Leaf litter, or a mix of spruce needles, pine cone scales and wet bark, works well. The stuff the moss is on top of will keep it moister than normal. I used a little container for keeping feeder crickets in, because the holes on the side prevent it from being totally soaked. I couldn't find a picture of the end product as of yet, but I was pretty pleased with the end result this fall. The mosses filled in very well. It took about a month before I noticed any growth. More shade is better.

All the stuff you need can be found in large amounts under any spruce tree. (except a small container) My willow moss looks slightly similar to yours.




THANKS MUCH for the tips, Kimba. I have had a bit of an issue with BGA as well. I took out my dwarf hairgrass to try to grow it emmersed. We will all see how it does. SO FAR, it looks kind of crappy and dried out... ONLY I have about 2 WPG.
 

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I had cynobacteria in 220G, vacuuming would only fix it temporarily, it came back in days.

Maracyn (rythromycin) worked perfectly so if you want results fast. It cost me a furtune but worked. I aimed filter output at the gravel to remove the deadspots and it stayed away ever since.
 

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erythromicin worked great no bad effects at all except for the bga, its all gone.

i have recently added some new java ferns and didnt soak them and earned a nice tiny pile of bba on to my driftwood. kinda makes me sad.
 

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Ditto what everyone else said. Plus....

Maracyn will get rid of it fast...afterwhich make sure you are adding enough CO2, KNO3, no direct sunlight whatsoever and increase flow in that area of your tank.
 

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i found (repeatedly, unfortunately) that kno3 works wonders when fighting bga. its cheap too ($3 for a pound). it takes a little time to see results, say a week or so, but it has fixed the problem for me without exception. I also tend to do as much manual removal as is reasonable without devoting my life to the ordeal.
 

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Easy to get rid of, and no need to ditch any plants.

Do these things in this order, and only move on to the next one if the first one doesn't work:

1) 3-4 day blackout and increase nitates
2) Dose EM
3) Increase circulation

I say in that order because that's the cheapest route. Blackout is free, nitrates are cheap. EM is a med, so it costs money, increasing flow means a powerhead, stronger filter, or better spray bar.
 
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