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Old 07-24-2013, 11:52 PM   #1 
Micho
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Four tanks to deal with.

So I'm kinda ashamed to post this but I need help. So this is a long post, I'll write a tl;dr in the end, if you wanna skip all of this and see what I need help with.

I started running four tanks last year during summer (2g, 2.5g, 6g, and a 10g) and during fall and winter things kinda got out of hand with university and a part-time job, etc. So naturally I kinda became lazy when it came to my duties with my fish and their tanks, now that it's summer again I'm looking help to re-vamp my tanks.

Current problems:

The biggest problem is currently my 6g, it's infested with black beard algae and hair algae, it only started recently becoming like this a month ago or so, I've been doing regular water changes every week but nothing seems to get rid of it, not even manual cleaning. I've heard dosing some hydrogen peroxide works but people lose some fish along the way, I'm planning to plop my Dwarf Gourami in the 10g soon so I need the best way to get rid of both algae simultaneously, there's only a java fern & anubias in there.

My 2g is hosting no life right now, it's just dead. I tried running a shrimp tank in there but I think it's too small for a RCS colony to establish, that or that I'm just bad with shrimps. There's a small java fern in there with two marimo moss balls, I don't know what to do with it, I would really love to get this tank up and running if possible.

My 10g is doing great, it's been up and running for a year, six fancy guppies, that's it, but it's looking a bit bare. I lost some plants along the way when my light bulbs die and I was so busy with school I couldn't go pick up some until a week later. Right now I have an anubias in it, some cabomba, lots of water wisteria that floats along with some moneywort that decided to float and some small crypt here and there. I'm looking for some big bold background plants to make the tank look full, maybe even some midground plants.

Lastly my 2.5g it hosts like a lot of small crypts, everything is crypts in this tank, just all crypts and my one boy betta. Only issue I have with it is that my water is hard, so over the year the tank is stained with hard water marks, like all over, it's really unsightly. I'm not sure if I should just throw away the tank and get a new one or wash it (if that's even possible)?

Tank Specs:

10 gallon standard tank, with 2" of organic potting soil capped with 1" of playsand. Aquaclear 20 filter, 50w Elite submersible heater, and two 6500k 10w ZooMed bulbs.

6g Fluval Edge I, 2" of playsand with Aquaclear 20 filter, 25w Elite submersible heater. Lighting is the LED two light bulbs that came with it, don't know the specs of it.

2.5g standard tank, 25w heater. 2" of organic potting soil capped with 1" of playsand.

2g Fluval Spec I, filter & LED light that came with it.

How I want my tanks to change:

As for the 10g I just want it planted heavily with an assortment of plants again, it'll host 1 Dwarf Gourami and 6 fancy guppies, and snails that hitchhike.

6g I'm planning for a RCS colony, I really want to have a RCS colony tank setup. The lighting is terrible so I'm thinking of getting rid of the lights that came with it and to get this one instead.

2.5g nothing much, maybe get rid of some crypts to add some diversity in there.

2g, to get it up running again! But I do not know what to put in it, a Betta? Maybe try the RCS colony in there again? Not sure, but I do want some live plants in there as well, I can't replace the light as easily as the one in the Edge, so recommendations please.

tl;dr

6g is infested with black beard algae and hair algae, want to get rid of it, there will be no fish in there, so any method is fine by me. After that I want it to become a RCS tank.

10g is in need to background plants, and midground plants, and in general some plant advice & aquascaping advice.

2.5g, how to get rid of hard water stains? & low light plants that could add diversity to this tank.

2g, what to put in it? What plants to put in it?

I will post pictures if it helps, if you read this and are willing to help I highly appreciate!
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:03 AM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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The biggest problem is currently my 6g, it's infested with black beard algae and hair algae, it only started recently becoming like this a month ago or so, I've been doing regular water changes every week but nothing seems to get rid of it, not even manual cleaning. I've heard dosing some hydrogen peroxide works but people lose some fish along the way, I'm planning to plop my Dwarf Gourami in the 10g soon so I need the best way to get rid of both algae simultaneously, there's only a java fern & anubias in there.
If you don't mind restarting the cycle on the tank if it is cycled, do a full on break down of the tank. Black beard and hair algae are TERRIBLE and so annoying too... Do you know the root cause of it? I had gotten a live plant that apparently brought it with it... Threw it out and started over. Arg!!

Once the tank is broken down, live plants should be placed only in plain water in a container (temporary). I do this even after certain diseases, like columnaris... I use just tap water for the hardy plants, leaving them for 1-4 weeks depending on the issue at hand. Some live plants are infested and can be pruned.... Or may have to be tossed out ( sucks...)

All fabric plants have their lovely pores to remember about... Boiled water, will strip the algae off. (Been there done that ) use a strainer and bowl to sift the gravel through half and half of boiled water and straight up white vinegar (or 1/3, or 1/4... really up to you. I find the higher concentration better as it acts like bleach (I can't use bleach!)) ornaments can have the vinegar/water used on them as well as plastic plants. I usually use a large tub or the metal sink (which holds heat longer) for this reason.

Driftwood can be boiled, if you have any in there. I just have normal gooey or fluffy algae, which isn't a pain (thank god...)

The tank itself, vinegar and hot water. Use an aquarium safe sponge or scrubby (acrylic will have different sponges for it, make sure to get the right one if it is not glass!!!) and get those walls and corners clean!! Wipe out with a cloth, rinse 1-3 times (depending how thorough you would like to be) to get the vinegar and any algae out.

Toss out the filter cartridge, get a new one. Rinse out the filter itself with hot water (remove the power supply if it is one of the removable kinds... Avoid hurting yourself, or needing to get a new one!) and use a scrubby for that as well. Be amazed how much algae is in there.... The tube, there are special brushes for it that'll clean it out. Kind of looks like a mini-toilet brush... Lol.


My 2g is hosting no life right now, it's just dead. I tried running a shrimp tank in there but I think it's too small for a RCS colony to establish, that or that I'm just bad with shrimps. There's a small java fern in there with two marimo moss balls, I don't know what to do with it, I would really love to get this tank up and running if possible.
I found shrimp can be a tad more finicky. A cycled tank is better for them, and 2 gallons (especially as you mentioned you tend to lack husbandry during certain seasons) is hard to keep a cycle with unless you are constantly checking. You can do a mini planted tank by itself or with another betta. Besides, who passes up another betta??

My 10g is doing great, it's been up and running for a year, six fancy guppies, that's it, but it's looking a bit bare. I lost some plants along the way when my light bulbs die and I was so busy with school I couldn't go pick up some until a week later. Right now I have an anubias in it, some cabomba, lots of water wisteria that floats along with some moneywort that decided to float and some small crypt here and there. I'm looking for some big bold background plants to make the tank look full, maybe even some midground plants.

Check around petco, petsmart, etc for backgrounds. There are some "planted backgrounds" I have seen which help make it look fuller. I like the hardy plants like assorted Swords, java fern... If you don't mind the water tint, add a stretch of driftwood. You can boil your own finds, or buy them ($$$) in stores. The java fern will add more height when it clings to the driftwood, and certain swords are wider or taller. The driftwood also takes up "more space" adding a more full effect. The guppies won't mind any gooey algae that shows up on the driftwood... they'll eat it!! Full of microorganisms, and harmless. Doesn't seem to spread either (yay!)

Have back up bulbs on hand. I usually do! I have two brand new ones chillin'. Still haven't changed them out... Probably will soon here when I get the 30 up and running again.


Lastly my 2.5g it hosts like a lot of small crypts, everything is crypts in this tank, just all crypts and my one boy betta. Only issue I have with it is that my water is hard, so over the year the tank is stained with hard water marks, like all over, it's really unsightly. I'm not sure if I should just throw away the tank and get a new one or wash it (if that's even possible)?

Is this tank acrylic? I found the plastic tanks more of a pain when it comes to hard water... Between the caked on calcium deposits, and hard water deposits... UGH! There are special sponges/scrubby pads just for acrylic tanks, and the others are fine with regular glass tanks. The special sponges won't scratch. For this tank, I'd break it down, use vinegar (acts as an acid and breaks down unwanted deposits on the tanks walls and floor), and hot water to loosen it as well. Use the sponge/scrubby to remove it. Some harder spots, (preferably GLASS only as this CAN scratch acrylic) if you can or someone else can help you, using a exacto knife blade by itself (careful not to cut yourself... If you can, wear gloves!!) and scrape that stuff off!! Works, believe me

Otherwise, your other option is to keep it as a hospital "back up/just in case" tank, and replace it out with a new one.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #3 
Micho
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I rather not start over again with the 6g, I heard dosing high amounts of Flourish Excel/hydrogen peroxide works to kill black beard algae, but I'm not sure about hair algae though. I might try the toothbrush trick where you get a toothbrush and you swirl it and the hair algae comes right up. :D

Since my Dwarf Gourami will be pulled out I'm ready to do some drastic measures with the tank like injecting some lethal thing to kill the algae, since there's not going to be any fish in there, I'm not gonna try bleach dipping because I've heard some plants melting/dying because of that.

Yeah I've been thinking of getting a Betta for my 2g but I feel kinda bad because the Fluval Spec I isn't that big, it's tall and long rather than wide and shallow like my 2.5g but we'll see. I might remake the 2g since it's easy, and get some low-light plants in there like some tall crypts and moss.

I'll scout my LPS and LFS when I'm free for some big background plants, does anyone know how to trim cabomba? It's really tall and I need it shorter.

I'm kinda scared to wash my 2.5g because since it's all crypts in there they might melt since I'm re-doing the tank and having to wash off the hard water stains, does anyone have a trick for not letting the crypts melt?

Thanks for the help Sena. :)
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:45 AM   #4 
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Is hair algae the one that looks like a moss ball but longer strands?
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:21 AM   #5 
rickey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micho View Post
I rather not start over again with the 6g, I heard dosing high amounts of Flourish Excel/hydrogen peroxide works to kill black beard algae, but I'm not sure about hair algae though. I might try the toothbrush trick where you get a toothbrush and you swirl it and the hair algae comes right up.
Flourish Excel/hydrogen peroxide works,There are pro's and con's to the method will kill just about any algae It can also break the cycle of the tank and damage some of the less robust plants If it were me I would do a over dose of Excel

Rick
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:26 AM   #6 
Micho
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Originally Posted by rickey View Post
Flourish Excel/hydrogen peroxide works,There are pro's and con's to the method will kill just about any algae It can also break the cycle of the tank and damage some of the less robust plants If it were me I would do a over dose of Excel

Rick
How much is overdose in a 6g tank for Flourish Excel?

And Tiki it's just like standard green hair algae, long strands, not slimy though.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #7 
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X2 maybe X3, be careful start slow

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Old 07-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #8 
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You don't have to break down your whole tank and you won't lose your cycle. Some theorize that BBA is due to fluctuating CO2 levels in the water. Other variables such as photoperiod, light intensity, and ferts contribute to BBA. Overdosing with Excel may or may not kill you BBA; it didn't kill my BBA, but it did kill 5 cories. I pruned what I could tossed what I could't save. I put my plants in some regular, treated water; did a 90 % WC with heavy substrate vacuuming; refilled; and replanted. Clean the filter cartridge as you would normally. BBA is not a disease so don't treat is as such.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:00 PM   #9 
Micho
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Hmm understood Freyja, I will try OD'ing on Excel first, if it doesn't work no harm no foul, there's no fish in the tank when I'll do it.

If it doesn't work I'll just have to rip out that java fern!
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:38 AM   #10 
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Uh, so some stuff happened. The BBA isn't an issue anymore, some hair algae still remains but it's manageable.

Now shifted the worry to my 10g, recently my guppies inside that tank all died mysteriously. I thought it was because I forgot to add the water conditioner, but now seeing how my plants are dying too, that might not be the case.

Water parameters are all fine. Nitrite is the only one showing readings, and there's minimal amounts of it.

Should I just break down this tank too? It's been running for a year or so, never had something this happened before.

Also the tank looks somewhat cloudy now?
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