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Old 07-12-2011, 10:18 AM   #1 
gmd1800
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Blue green algae - agh!

I had been keeping the algae under control relatively well, and I had only the whitish algae, which I wiped up no problem.

I posted a picture a few weeks ago of the algae I found in my filter, but I wasn't too worried - I picked up sponges to use instead of a carbon cartridge.

Then I went out of town and came back to a tank that was SWIMMING in blue-green algae! At first I wasn't sure what was wrong, and Nero was NQR - had cloudy eyes and green spots on his gills. After help from OFL (if you read this, thank you again!!), the reason was pinpointed to the algae. It had somehow gotten out of control while my dad was in charge of the tank.

So yesterday I cupped Nero, drained the tank completely, yanked out the fake plants (they had long strips of the algae caught on them), took out the filter cartridge and threw it out, scrubbed the tank with hot water, cleaned the filter itself with Q-tips. I also scrubbed the tank equipment and decor (thermometer, heater, and cave) in hot water.

I wasn't sure if it was necessary, but I got a marimo moss ball to help with water quality - it might be able to keep any algae under control.

Nero still doesn't look quite right, but I'm hoping clean water, frequent water changes, and TLC will help him.

Did I take all the necessary steps, considering the algae is essentially a bacteria and could come back any time?
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:24 AM   #2 
TheBlueBettaFish
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get an algae eater! Ha ha
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:31 PM   #3 
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I do have two snails - picked them up yesterday too. They're currently munching away at the normal algae. No evidence of the cyanobacteria since yesterday. I read that the snails will eat the blue-green algae, but they won't eat all of it or something. I wouldn't get a CAE or something. They creep me out and can get wicked huge.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:30 AM   #4 
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CAE's will also suck the slime coat off of your other fish.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #5 
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And frankly, my tanks are far too small to have another fish. I'm really pushing it with a snail in each, IMO. I'm doing water changes every 2 days now and siphoning poop every day.

But the algae's back! Argh! I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Everything in Nero's tank was scrubbed clean with near-boiling water last time. Any tips/helpful advice? I'm about to ask Dad to create a dark plastic cover for each filter to cover the media from the light.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:07 PM   #6 
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Is it one of those 2.5 gallon minibows? If so..I had the same light issue with the filter...

I am in the same situation at the moment with my cycled 5 gallon...it..just...wont..go..away......I took out all of my live plants..soaked them in the sink and used a toothbrush to take off the algae..complete clean down of the tank...and half a week later it's back...
I read somewhere to make sure your tank is not baffled too well..."dead spots" can create a build up of fishpoop and such in one spot..which creates a growing spot for cyanobacteria.It sounds like that isn't the issue for you though...
erythromycin works well at killing the bacteria that causes cyanobacteria algae...However it can kill any good beneficial bacteria as well.....and unless you find the cause it will just come back so this method isn't the best option.....It sounds like you've done everything right.I hope it stays away and your fishy feels better!
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:56 PM   #7 
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Yep. 2.5 gal minibow. I think the placement of the light over the filter is just ridiculous!

My tanks aren't baffled, so I doubt that has anything to do with the algae. It's making me really frustrated. Argh!

The algae's just in the filter for now, so I'm hoping that Nero's snail is keeping it under control. He's even been eating the poop. Good snail. :)
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:41 AM   #8 
lessandler
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Here is a good link about it:

http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/ma...ebluegreen.htm

Everything I read about it and my own horrid experience with it in one of my old tanks is that it is very difficult to eradicate. Snails, algae eaters, shrimp or any other algae eating organisms will not eat it becuase it is not algae but bacteria. Nor will a marimo ball help for the same reason. And snails add mroe bioload than an algae eating shrimp and probably are too much for a 2.5 with betta.

From what I read, the most unobtrusive method is total darkness (no lights & wrapping the tank) for at least a week. I would suggest to take the fish out so they can continue feeding and having normal light cycles. Other people say that small levels of hydrogen peroxide can help without disrupting the beneficial bacteria, but it is tricky. And the most aggressive method is 200 mg erythromycin phosphate/10 gallons water may help, but will also mean you will need to re-cycle your tank.

And I am not sure any of it will help without addressing underlying causes such as high phosphates, anaerobic conditions, inorganic waste build up, or inadequate filtration. I found that the incorrect hot halogen lighting, high phosphates in my water, messy flake food and hard to clean large grain gravel were definitely contributers in my case. But I suppose since it can manufacture it's own nitrogen, it's possible that your tanks are perfect, but just need a bit of tinkering to get rid of it.

Anyway U know how frustrating it can be and I hope that it all works out!

Last edited by lessandler; 07-22-2011 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:53 AM   #9 
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Yep - that's the link I got most of my information from. Thanks for explaining about your experience! Good thing I have several tanks as a backup.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:47 PM   #10 
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lower the time you leave your light on and fertilize if you are keeping live plants in the tank.
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