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Old 04-20-2013, 06:14 PM   #1 
Blue Fish
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Question Algae problem...or is it cyanobacteria?

Anyone have a recommendation for dealing with algae?

And, for that matter, I'm not totally certain it's even actually algae, it could be the blue-green cyanobacteria. It's greenish, and discoloring my plants and my divider. But, the water isn't cloudy, it's not fuzzy or sheet-like, it's just dark spots on my light-colored silk plants (tank is used for 2 bettas with both silk and live plants, live plants have been in the tank for several months) and a greenish/gray darkening on my divider.

My plants include wisteria, and something that is reddish in color? It grows out green, then turns to a reddish color. It's fairly big and bushy with almond-shaped leaves. I'm sorry I have no idea what it is...I just thought it was pretty and I'd try it...and it lived. :)

I don't use any tank lights, this tank is on my bathroom counter, and there are about ten lights directly above the mirror that are either 60 or 75 watts. Lights are left on about 12 on/12 off. The plants have grown well with that, so I haven't changed it.

I also use flourish to fertilize them every few weeks, and I'm using a well-sponged HOB filter to cycle.
I have no idea what information may help or not, so I'm just including anything I can think of. :)

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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The red plant is probably Ludwigia or Rotala.

And to answer the question, add more plants! Especially fast growing ones like Hortwort or Anacharis! They compete with the algae in nutrients (they usually end up winning) so it kind of gets rid of algae in a very natural way.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:40 AM   #3 
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What is your substrate? If it is anything with nutrients, I would stop dosing Flourish. Since you don't have much light (it sounds like, but I am guessing), dosing extra fertilizers just gives the algae nutrients.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:10 AM   #4 
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It's pretty bright, I don't think having too little light is a problem. :) Too much may be an issue though. :)

I love hornwort, and I know a place locally I can get it for a good price. Would canopy-dwelling wisteria help at all? I just happen to know that stuff grows like mad in my tanks. :)

My substrate is just plain white gravel, I'm sure there are *some* nutrients down there, but probably not a whole lot. I vacuum the gravel thoroughly once a week when I do water changes, and I'm careful not to overfeed (otherwise I have a snail problem...), so there shouldn't be much down there for them to live off of. (It's somewhat planted but more silk than live, so I still rely on water changes to make sure that cycle params stay where they should be.)
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:48 AM   #5 
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Yeah high lighting is where you get the algae. I believe Wisteria will also do well for this, I don't think it competes for the same nutrients of algae as Hornwort and Anacharis does, but it definitely doesn't hurt to have more!

Live plants will (as I'm sure you know from what you said) help keep all the levels down as well, which will help you in the long run of things :)
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:09 PM   #6 
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all plants compete for the same nutrients any algae needs, plants are just better at it if everything is in balance. try to get it out with your fingers, does it come off in slimy sheets or is it stringy or fuzzy?

what are the tank parameters and how often do you do a w/c and vac?
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:14 PM   #7 
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It was a green slimy stuff, and it came off easily. I cleaned everything out...hoping it does not return! :) Had to replace some silk plants because of it having turned them nasty green colors. :P

I do water changes once every 10 days to 2 weeks, 25-30%, tanks are cycled so ammonia and nitrites are at 0, after wc nitrates are at 5, before wc, nitrates are usually at about 10.
I vacuum the gravel thoroughly at each wc, I don't let food sink, and any brown or wilted foliage is removed.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:24 PM   #8 
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It might benefit you to do a 25% weekly change instead, rub off the algae and then siphon it up so it doesn't multiply as quickly and keeps your tank looking better.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:33 PM   #9 
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You can always treat with hydrogen peroxide. I would pull the silk plants and soak them in it, then rinse in conditioned water. In tank treatment requires done finesse, since it can harm fish and inverts. Manual removal also works very well sometimes. Just keep after it.

Algae indicates imbalance. A little is ok, but mire than that means you have things not quite dialed in. Either too much light, or too many nutrients.
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