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Old 09-03-2011, 10:40 AM   #1 
ashlyn1992
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Cool good or bad algae?

Hey all, sorry I haven't posted any pic of my new crowntail or been on in a while, I started school again and its been kind of hectic. I have a question I hope I could get some help with though. My tank is now fully cycled and everything is balanced, I recently had to take the plants and other objects out of the tank to rinse them off because of a brown algae that is taking over my tank. I didn't do a full tank cleaning obviously and I did not clean the rocks but this algae is everywhere in the tank, the rocks, plants, filter, heater, sides of the tank...is this threatening to the fish? It is a brown algae that is a little bit stringy and apparently very adaptable and it thrives in this environment. It doesnt seem to be affecting the fish (they are all still brightly colored, eating, and swimming around).

Even if it is not harmful, how can I clean the tank up with out unbalancing everything? As you can imagine having a bunch of brown algea all over your tank takes away the beauty. I have noticed that if i rinse off a plant and put it back in the tank the algea is back on it within a day or so. Any suggestions? has anyone ever had this problem before?

And one last thing, I have not had good luck with algea eaters in the past, can anyone recommend a harty algea eater that would do well in a group (2-3) and can live with 3 cory cats and a betta?

Any help and advice is much appreciated and thanks for taking the time to read and help me out.

Ashlyn
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:39 PM   #2 
dragonflie
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OH diatoms, how we love thee! ;)

Sounds like that is what you have going on. I hate to tell you this, but diatoms are fairly common in new tanks and tend to disappear over time, provided the nutrients in the tank are maintained at a proper level. As ugly as it is I always recommend doing your best to wipe off what you can, the worst of it at least; and waiting it out.

As far as what will eat it; well I know of 2 creatures that are known for chowing down on it: Otoclinus and Nerite snails.

Whether you could have either depends on the size of your tank. Snails tend to have a larger than normal bioload because they like to poop alot (sorry for the visual). And otos do best in groups; as well as should have a steady source of algae in their diet for optimum health. Both otos and nerite snails tend to be more sensitive to water quality and associated nitrates; so with either, the water quality should remain optimum.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:42 PM   #3 
lordadamar
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Take pictures of your algae. Ill tell you what I know...

Green algae Spots: is a sign of a healthy eco system.

Green Hair like algae almost always growing on plants and decor. [ easily removed ] check iron levels if planted tank if not planted check lighting to strong of lights cause this also in freshwater ( not good but not necessarily bad )

Planted tank that use fertilizers with high iron concentrations will inadvertently get Hair algae. it easier to remove it than than to not fertilizer for the rest of your live plants...

Tank without live plants this is usually and indicator of mineral deficiencies notably Iron...

Green Algae blooms, Blooms generally occur where there are high levels of nutrients present and / or high levels of light.

Easy way to stunt growth or get rid of blooms and hair algae is to run your tank without and light on for 2-4 days... if your tank receives Natural sun light for extended periods of time think about moving your tank...

Brown algae

Cause
  • Excess silicates & nitrates
  • Inadequate light
  • Low oxygen levels
Brown algae is a common occurrence in a newly set up aquarium. It is generally caused by too little light, an excess of silicates, an abundance of nutrients, and too little oxygen. Silicates can build up through tap water that is high in silicic acid, and silicates that leech from some types of substrates.
Cure
  • Wipe off surfaces & vacuum gravel well
  • Use silicate adsorbing resin in the filter
  • Increase the lighting
  • Stock a plecostomus or several otocinclus
Red algae

Cause
  • Rhodophyta
  • Contaminated plants
  • Small strands in water of fish bag
  • Digestive tract of fish
Beard algae most often enters the tank on contaminated plants, however even small free floating strands in a bag with fish are enough to start it growing in your aquarium.
Cure
  • Bleach affected plants ( fake ones )
  • Remove affected leaves
  • Stock tank with Siamese algae eater
  • Treat tank with copper
Red algae can only occur if introduce to your tank through the above mentioned... This is why you should always know where your getting things... unfortunately these days allot of tropical fish are direct imports from place like Thailand and or direct from the wild...

Keep in mind not all things that look like algae are algae, some are molds. and a natural process of using driftwood and real rocks as decor...

There are treatment methods to eradicate Green / black / brown algae but they are not suggested to beginners because if done incorrectly you could kill the beneficial Bacteria in your tank causing you to basically have a virgin tank, and having to re-cycle...

Please note: im telling you this because knowledge is power, do not attempt eradication if your not advance in aquariums.....
Treatment with erythromycin will eradicate

Hope this helps

Last edited by lordadamar; 09-03-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:41 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome back.....

I agree...sounds like diatoms...normal and expected in a new setup....generally they will resolve on their own as the tank matures...3-4 month range-they can also be caused by old light bulbs (over 1yr)....until then-wipe them off and vacuum them out with your regular weekly water changes....

If I understand correctly....this is the 10gal tank with 1 Betta and 7 corydoras....correct......IMO...you don't really have room to add either a proper school of Otoclinus....... and Nerite snails a maybe..iffy...depending on number and species of live plants....

Do you have live plants and if so, what species and number, type of lights-age of bulb, kelvin, watts, how long has the tank been setup, water pram numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, KH/GH, type of testing product used, water temp, how much and how often are the water changes, additives used....
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:29 AM   #5 
ashlyn1992
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Thanks for the advice guys, Ill start wiping the tank down with the weekly water changes and get a new lightbulb. OFL, yes it is a 10 gallon tank but I only have 2 corys (one recently died of unknown causes) and 1 betta, I assume I can get a proper school of Otoclinus with that amount of fish currently in the tank? As for live plants, I do not have any in the tank currently because I have never had any luck with them. As for the type of light thats a good question although I know its about 2 years old (I am getting a new one next week), the tank has been set up probably close to a month now, I did a fish-in cycle with a betta and my corys, water temp ranges from 76-80 (I live in houston, texas and right now its super hot so its hard to keep the temps down during the day and up at night when its cooler), I try to do atleast a 25% water change weekly and a 50% every 2-4 weeks as needed (based on ammonia, nitrites/nitrates and water hardness, I use dechlorinator (aqua safe), a nitrite/nitrate balancer (when needed) and pH balancer when the pH is really high.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:09 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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I would add to your school of corydoras.....even though Otos's are small....they really need more space...the smallest tank I would keep a school of otos's in is 20gal with really good strong filtration and heavy live planted that is mature (6+mo) to meets their needs....they may or may not fair well in your setup....but it wouldn't be a proper setup IMO/E......

Once you get a new bulb for the tank-that alone may help the diatom problem and since you don't have live plants...just about any type of bulb would be fine...I would try to stay in the 6000k-6700k range-just encase you want to try live plants again...without live plants you don't need a photoperiod too long....8-9 hours at most....

I would recommend a 50% weekly with vacuum on a regular basis...even without ammonia reading when you test-you have DOC's (dissolved organic compound) that is also bad for the fish and needs to be removed on a weekly basis and unless you have proper buffers the pH will rebound...I would stop the pH product...

What kind of test product are you using and what are your numbers for-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, KH/GH.....
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:10 PM   #7 
ashlyn1992
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Test kit- API 5-in-1 test strips....they arent very good...they run really bad so I think im going to a different test kit...suggestions?

ammonia- ideal according to the quick dip tsting kit
nitrite- between 0-20, its not quite the same color as 20...its lighter but not completely white
nitrate- btween 0-.5
pH-7.3-7.4
KH- 80
GH- 180....I am not sure how to lower this or if it needs to be lowered? I use filtered water because the pH and cholorine is off the scale in standard tap water, I sometimes even use distilled just to avoid the pH spiking which has killed my fish in the past. Living in houston, the water is very hard and unfortunatly im not sure if i CAN do anything to soften it.

I do not presently have an algea eater in this tank, would adding to teh corys help with the algea problem? I plan on getting atleast 2 more to add to the tank for a total of 4.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:49 AM   #8 
ashlyn1992
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My fish



Here is my CT, Kaida. Hes red black and blue....not an excellent pic of him but my camera isnt the most amazing thing in the world

Someone asked me to post a pic of the algea that is in the tank, I might be able to get a better picutre of it but if you look on the heater and the plants you can see some of it. Sorry if the pic is too big, but I wanted to make sure that whoever asked me to post teh pic of the algea was able to see it. Thanks again for all the help :)
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:29 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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By your test....your water is soft compared to mine......I have liquid rock....lol.....my GH/KH are both over 300....pH 8.8......I don't change my water hardness or pH for my Bettas to keep, spawn or rear fry......since they are domesticated and have never seen their native water-plus being a tough fish generally...they will adapt/adjust to your water chemistry....the rebound can be much harder/stressful on them....and due to them being raised in the harder water with higher pH over the years.....it is now thought that it is better for them....softer water with lower pH has been reported to cause more problems, however, I suspect that is more due to rebound stress that compromises the immune response and then every thing snowball......

Your tank looks nice...good job.....and from what I can see....its looks like diatoms....normal and expected......wipe off and vacuum out with the weekly 50% water changes and as the tank matures they should resolve and corydora don't feed on algae or its not their primary food source, however, as they root around in the substrate they can help turn the gravel so you don't see it as bad...in other words....they do the wiping off for you at least a little bit....but you still will have to vacuum it out......
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:39 AM   #10 
Stardancer
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A lot of people like the API liquid test kit. It's kind of expensive, but it's a lot more reliable than the strip kind.
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