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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 40 Breeder that is a month old. The tank is planted with lots of Anubias and some Jungle Vals. Lighting is 30W of LEDs, which translates to 200W of incandescent, on all day except for an 8 hour period at night. Lights produce 3000 lumens. I did use 3 osmocote root tabs around the heavier root feeders. I did a fish in cycle and after 3 weeks water parameters were great for fish. Just had some small spots of bronze algae which I know is normal for a new tank. A week after I tested the water I noticed a growth of some Blue green algae (After much time spent on the internet I'm positive it's BGA). I'm reluctant to dose with Hydrogen peroxide as I'm worried it may kill my vals. I plan on getting some black mollies to see if they'll clear it up. But most importantly I want to find whats causing it. Any ideas as to how I can fix it?
 

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So are you saying your lights are on for 16 hours at a time? That's likely Your problem. They should only be on for 7 to maybe 10 or so hours a day.
 

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Where is most of your BGA ? If it's mostly covering up the substrate in spots ( anywhere near the tank bottom) it's usually because of a lack of circulation/oxygen in those areas.
H202 (hydrogen peroxide) will do a great job of getting rid of it quickly (without hurting your Vals) if dosed at close range right unto the BGA (use a syringe or test kit pipette, with the filter off).
Then add an air stone, a power bar, or preferably a circulation pump properly positioned to ensure a good water flow over the tank bottom. It works !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Where is most of your BGA ? If it's mostly covering up the substrate in spots ( anywhere near the tank bottom) it's usually because of a lack of circulation/oxygen in those areas.
H202 (hydrogen peroxide) will do a great job of getting rid of it quickly (without hurting your Vals) if dosed at close range right unto the BGA (use a syringe or test kit pipette, with the filter off).
Then add an air stone, a power bar, or preferably a circulation pump properly positioned to ensure a good water flow over the tank bottom. It works !
Yes it is mostly on the substrate (PFS) in spots, but I do have an airstone bar right in the middle. The algae isn't growing right over it, but around it it is. So are you suggesting I get a wavemaker or something? And what dosage do you suggest so my vals will survive?

So are you saying your lights are on for 16 hours at a time? That's likely Your problem. They should only be on for 7 to maybe 10 or so hours a day.
Thanks. Until I get rid of it I lowered lighting times to 4 hours, and after that I'll put it to about 9 hours a day.
 

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Well, an airstone is the weakest form of water circulation over anaerobic spots/conditions. Once you get rid of the BGA with H202, then later (after the full treatment) get a small water circulation pump, like a Hydor Koralia ( say a 450) which I'm quite sure will do the job.
Dosage - needn't be much - half dozen to a dozen syringe- fills at a time at close range right over the BGA - won't harm the fish or plants - bubbles (oxygen) will form on the BGA and begin floating upward shortly thereafter - a sure sign it's working.
Leave it overnite, & do more the following day - keep repeating till you've covered/got it all. You'll see the BGA disappearing each day.
Do the dosing with the filter(s) off, so there won't be any water current from the filter to remove the H202 from the BGA - re-start the filters appox, 1/2 hour after each dosage.
 

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A lot of people use Erythromycin to clear away cyanobacteria. Erythromycin, is found in API E.M. Erythromycin, Mardel Maracyn (#1, not #2), ChemiClean (red box). Reported to be invert and plant safe.

It being a antibiotic that effects bacteria, it can take a hit on your beneficial bacteria in your filter, but usually it recovers quickly and no real troubles with ammonia/nitrite.

It works, but I still think addressing the reason/cause of the BGA growth should be done to prevent regrowth.
I am not sure what causes BGA as I have read many different possibilities and not sure which ones hold the most true (poor circulation, low nitrates, high phosphates, etc) and I've never had BGA so I've never cared to look into it deeper.
 

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First try taking it out manually and raising the flow a little bit. H202 sometimes works but it's not the best cure. Erythromycin or maracyn works very well on the cyanobacteria or bga. There's a rumor going on that anti biotics kill beneficial bacteria. That's not true and it will not. If you don't have access to erythromycin, I recommend chemiclean. Make sure you take out the cyano before it's too late. My 55g used to be a bga swamp.
 

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Lighting is 30W of LEDs, which translates to 200W of incandescent, on all day except for an 8 hour period at night. Lights produce 3000 lumens. Any ideas as to how I can fix it?
6.5 to 8 hour photoperiod would be a good start.
It may go away after reduced photoperiod.
16 hours lights on a day is pushing it.
 

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Erythromycin is a ingredient. It is found in the products Mardel Maracyn and API E.M. Erythromycin.

I could have sworn I read that ChemiClean was just Erythromycin, but looking it up again, it seems it is not and in fact it states it does NOT contain Erythromycin, but the actual ingredients still seem to be kept under wraps/a secret (even under their MSDS). Either way, it still works on Cyanobacteria and I haven't heard any harmful reports toward fish, inverts or plants.

I haven't personally used Erythromycin first hand as I've never had the need to use it, but I have read up on it. Erythromycin is a antibiotic and mainly targets gram-positive bacteria (it does effect some, not many, gram-negative bacteria). I've read from many that erythromycin had negatively impacted their nitrifying bacteria, causing a mini-cycle.

Upon researching aerobic nitrifying autotrophic bacteria (nitrosomona and nitrospira in particular) I get conflicting information whether they are gram-positive or gram-negative. I have seen some pretty knowledgeable sites (even some knowledgeable fish keepers on various forums) say they are gram-positive and some say they are gram-negative. If any one knows for sure what they are, can you please inform me and possibly link a source (preferably a proper scientific report). But to the best of my knowledge, it makes more sense that the beneficial nitrifying bacteria in our filters are gram-positive.

Not all antibiotics target the same type of bacteria though, so that can explain why some don't seem to harm the beneficial bacteria as much or at all. Most meds that do end up harming the beneficial bacteria, apparently only harm some of the beneficial bacteria (I've read that biofilm acts as a shield/protection), causing a slight mini cycle, but enough survives the treatment and the beneficial bacteria colony recovers/repopulates fairly quickly.
 

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generally BGA appears because of too much light, dirty tank conditions (low flow in certain areas can cause this), general lack of maintenance. Do a bunch of water changes and chill out on the light. You seem to be making assumptions about how much light you have over your tank that may be further off than you think.

BGA will clean itself up if you manually remove it, ensure good flow and general water conditions, and do not blast your tank with light. Keep up with water changes, cleaning your tank out, etc...

IMO 'chemical warfare' is not necessary unless you have a disaster situation and cannot handle removing it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I did two treatments of H2O2 and then removed the affected areas. I then did a water change and added fish so the cycle would restart. So far so good.
 

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The O+ is probably the reason for BGA. It's leeching out an excessive amount of nutrients which BGA uses for its growth. Removing the O+ (it's not designed to be a substrate fertilizer tab) will help reduce BGA.

Test for nitrates; it's probably off the charts.
 
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