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Old 09-12-2010, 10:06 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The US
Exclamation Blue Green Algae!

My tank is infected with blue green algae again. I got ride of it the first time by boiling everything down and scrubbing it good, but it's back.

I've been doing some research and saw that Maracyn has been used to get rid of it. Have any of you tried this?

What other methods have you tired? Do they work?

Any advice is appreciated.

Also, my dad doesn't believe that I can classify the algae. He has it in his mind that all algae is the same. So, i'm going to describe the algae to you guys (it's actually a bacteria infection) and all you experienced fish keepers can prove him wrong. :)

It's a slimey, jade-colored, film with a foul odor. It is covering everything quickly.

Thank you.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:16 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The US
Silly me!

I forgot to give my tank stats!

2.5 gallon
tetra whisper 10i filter
unheated, but my room is always super hot.
I feed my betta tropical fish flakes with the occasional bloodworm treat.
He gets a waterchange every weekend.
Also, his water level goes down a couple inches every 3 days (i think it's evaporation?) so I fill it back up when that happens.
He's alone in there.
One plant, it's a bamboo plant, which i know isn't aquatic, but i've had no problems with it. It's leaves are out of the water, so no worries.
My betta has not been sick before.
He is a happy little guy. Not lethargic or anything.

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Old 09-12-2010, 10:46 AM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Since I don't use antibiotic for anything with my fish-I take care of Cyanobacteria by first finding the cause and that is usually due to excess organic and no water movement

I first vacuum the cyano out and get as much of the dead leaf from plants and add more aeration to increase water movement and oxygenation of the water for a couple of weeks

You can also do a 4 day black out-but I wouldn't recommend that with a small tank with any livestock in it.

Most likely what your cause of the cyano is the bamboo and not enough water changes-you may be able to get rid of the bacteria by just vacuuming it out and the substrate really good, remove the bamboo and get some stem plants to suck up the extra nutrients.

I would do this daily for about a week and then stay on a twice weekly 50% water change and vacuum to keep it under control.

It can take up to 2-3 weeks to get rid of it, if you go the Erythromycin route make sure you remove all the cyrano first and make water changes to keep the ammonia/nitrite spikes under control and monitor your water prams close for at least a month while your tank re-cycles
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:07 PM   #4 
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Thank you for the reply.

The lucky bamboo isn't the cause (i'm pretty sure). I got it the first time before I put the bamboo in. The bamboo was in a different vase and I put it in the tank after I got rid of it the first time because I thought it would help prevent it. I guess I was wrong about it helping.

I got rid of it the first time by scrubbing and boiling everything, but it came back.

So do you think I should just scrub and boil everything again and then do more frequent water changes? There are no dead leaves in the water. The plant is very healthy.

Scrub, boil, air stone, stem plants, more water changes?
Good plan?

I read about the Erythromycin, but i'm afraid I would get the dosage wrong or something if I use it. That's why I was asking about an alternative algarcide.

I can't decide which route to take. I'm leaning more towards your advice, although I am very open to other ideas. If nobody else replies in the next couple of days I will do what you suggested.

Thank you again. :)
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:45 PM   #5 
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Saroar, Oldfishlady is probably right about your lucky bamboo. These plants have a tendency to rot and get slimy at their base where they've been cut. They are great fodder for microorganisms. Just because you've had no problems with the plant itself and it's leaves are out of the water doesn't mean the plant isn't contributing to your tank's problems.

I had a mild cyano bloom on my driftwood in my lovely cycled, planted, divided 10g. I ended up tearing down the entire tank:

-I moved my 2 bettas into quarantine tanks.
-I moved my cycled filters into fresh treated water and kept them bubbling and fed to keep my bacterial colony alive.
-I took out all the plants and beached them.
-I took out all the gravel and rinsed in scalding water.
-I took out my java moss-covered driftwood, which had the cyano on it, and soaked it in erythromycin water for ~1 week, with complete water changes and redosing. Each day I would also remove the driftwood and blast it with 3% hydrogen peroxide, then resoak. All the cyano died and fell off - oxygen is cyano's enemy.
-I bleached, scaled, and rinsed the tank out.
-I put everything but the fish back in.
-I blasted the fliter settings so that my water was super-agitated.
-I challenged my filter's bacteria with some ammonia to make sure they were still alive. Win - they cleared it in 24 hrs. Water parameters were good, so my cycling was intact.
-I added my fish back in.

If you decide to try erythromycin, the package will come with instructions on how to dose it. This isn't something to be afraid of. If you go this route and treat your tank, make sure you remove your betta. The cyano die-off from the erythromycin may cause an ammonia spike that could harm your fish.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:00 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
The thing with BGA or cyanobacteria is that- unless you fix the root cause it will keep coming back-

BGA doesn't like- high nitrate (10-20ppm), low pH, high CO2 levels, low organics and high/strong water flow.

By tearing down the tank or using antibiotic or algaecides you have to re-start the cycle...

You could also try removing the livestock and doing a total blackout for 4 days-I wouldn't do it with livestock in a small tank....too risky for the animals IMO

Note: if you opt for a tear down-boiling is not really needed especially any rocks as this can be dangerous to boil or bake rocks due to risk of explosions....just saying.........

Correct the cause of the BGA by removing it manually and stay on top of water changes/vacuuming daily to keep organic in check, increase water movement.

Also, aquatic plants-Elgeria densa and Ceratophyllum demersum are reported to help prevent BGA by secreting a natural antibiotic substance.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #7 
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Alright, thank you both. Well, if I have to remove my fish either way, I might do the black out. I'll probably just end up cleaning it really good, though.
The reason I don't think it's the bamboo is because I got it before I had the bamboo, got rid of it, put in the bamboo and then it came back.

I think the more likely cause is me being a tid bit lazy with the water changes. >___> I feel bad now.

I didn't know that about boiling the gravel. o__o I will be sure not to boil it again.

I'll get an airator and possibly a new filter. The one I have now is really big and takes up a lot of room in the tank. I will do more frequent water changes.
Maybe twice a week instead of once.
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