View Full Version : green spot algae

09-17-2010, 09:01 PM
ok, so what is the magic process for dealing with green spot? did a search on forum and read some various things.

i have ottos and bristlenose and SAEs in the tank, 75g. high tech with co2. dosing EI every 3-4 days. not on a firm every other day schedule. water changes at around 9 days.

nitrites ammonia nitrates 0, drop checker reads a nice pure green... not light not dark. i do feed flake food and feel that little goes to waste with all the workers in the tank...also have 6 botias.

lights are set at 8 hours. 2 compact flor. 96wts, 6000k from catalina aqu. i was running a 3rd 96wt for 2 hours at peak time, but stopped that a week ago.

so what am i doing wrong? ferts, water changes?

09-17-2010, 09:10 PM
I killed all my green spot and black hair by doing a large dose of flourish excel, it worked the 1st try and the fish didnt mind one bit.

Larry Bugg
09-17-2010, 09:24 PM
high tech with co2. dosing EI every 3-4 days. not on a firm every other day schedule. water changes at around 9 days.
I would have to say you are not really dosing EI if you are only dosing every 3-4 days. One of the biggest reasons for algae problems is a lack of consistiency. It is all about a balance between light, Co2 and ferts and you have to be consistient. Algae is opportunistic and looking for that opening in to get a hand up on the plants.

09-17-2010, 09:59 PM
I think Bugman has a valid point. I think the ferts might be a bit low. I never have 0 nitrates in my tanks, that would mean all the nitrates are being used up by the plants, and at that point, they cannot continue to grow or use more nutrients, as they are limited by nitrates. Of course, I have some green spot algae growing in some of my tanks. I guess it all comes out to your A.Q. (Algae Quotient - how much algae is too much?)

Also, I have used fluorish excel, and it did indeed get rid of the pesky spot algae. But if you use too much, in my experience, it will melt all plants that look grassy (acicularis, vallisneria, sagitarria and echinodorus tenellus). I have recently discovered that 5 ml of Excel in a 29 gallon planted tank will rid the algae, and not kill the grassy plants. Unfortunately, that is all I know about that!

My first thought, though, was that you need more fertilizer. And although it sounds nonsensical, when I had algae in my 55, fertilizing it really helped solve the problem.

Holy Samosa
09-17-2010, 11:41 PM
I'll second Ken's warning about Excel overdosing doing a number on some plants. In addition to the plants he mentioned, also in my experience susceptible to damage are liverworts (e.g. Riccia) and moss, although my moss has fared well when not dosing Excel directly on the moss.

I'm not sure about this, but I *think* that tenellus may not be as affected by Excel. I recently ODed Excel in my tank and about half of the "tenellus" in my tank turned yellow. Curiously, these were the same bits of tenellus that were growing extraordinarily tall. The short tenellus in my tank was unaffected. Thus, I'm suspecting that much of my "tenellus" is actually dwarf sag, which *is* affected by Excel and has a tendency to grow much taller.

Go figure.

As for GSA, I think it's the one flavor of algae that is truly unavoidable with medium to high light levels. I've went for eons without a sign of algae except for bits of GSA on my glass and slow growing plants.

09-18-2010, 12:03 AM
rubbernose pleco and/or credit card

09-18-2010, 12:04 AM
ok, i have somewhere to start. yeah the gsa is on the anubias, crypt and glass. it was fine until a point and now i reached my AQ :). i read the algae link in this section and saw where it referred to low phosphorus. i have added more of that one the last 2 ferts. don't know if that is a good idea or not.

so, i need to be more regimented in my fert. and may use excel as a last resort. i have no excel on hand and will need to order it in. hmmmm, wonder if aviarium has it at a reasonable price. very tempting to use excel and commence a stable fert schedule simultaneously. instant gratification with a risk factor i guess. plants include dwarf hairgrass and corkscrew val.

you guys rock! thanks

09-18-2010, 02:53 AM
I've heard excel melts crypts.

09-18-2010, 09:52 AM
Vals and crypts are the only plants other than mosses that I've seen Excel fry. I wouldn't trust it with inverts either though. Remove any snails or shrimp that you want before you OD the tank if you decide to. The plants do grow back, if you can stand a bare tank until they grow from rhizome again. Patience has never been a capability of mine though. lol

disclaimer- I like a little algae in an established tank, it's more "natural" to me somehow..

09-18-2010, 10:26 AM
excel will kill anything if you dose it too high. I use it too kill BBA by applying it directly with a syringe. Killed some moss that way but most plants aren't affected.

Larry Bugg
09-18-2010, 10:40 AM
excel will kill anything if you dose it too high. I use it too kill BBA by applying it directly with a syringe. Killed some moss that way but most plants aren't affected.
I do the same thing. I have never tried to do an entire tank. The stuff is too expensive for that. Get a syringe like you would use for kids medicine. Shut down the filter and spray it directly on the BBA. Wait about five minutes and start the filter back up. The next day the BBA will start to change color and die. I have never used excel for GSA so can't speak to that but if you get the ferts right and stop it to some degree the oto's will take care of it. You need some GSA for the oto's anyway, just need to control it.

09-22-2010, 07:07 PM
I started dosing excel, flourish, iron, and trace about 2 months ago. On a strict schedule according to their website chart. And my tank is beautiful. The plants imo are perfect. I don't over dose either, I actually use a tad bit less then what the chart says. If you find that perfect balance whit your ferts your tank should be beautiful.

With that said excel I'm sure could fry some plants if over dosed. Mine have been find and my 55g gets 5ml of it every day. But dosing with Seachem products is very expensive. Buying dry ferts online is much cheaper.

Here is the link for the seachem chart...


Oh and how is that snail doing? =/

09-22-2010, 09:06 PM
took me a second :), you mean the snail with the gravel impalement. he is happy happy and no more gravel...sand. they all are happy :). dropped a calcium tab in for them this morning. yeah my gsa is not bad, just don't like it in the anubias and was concerned about not getting it in check. ya'll would be proud of me. dosing on a schedule :). and THEN....my co2 tank is empty today :). running the last of the bubbles out and off for a tank swap tomorrow. jeez. i think there may be a leak somewhere as i don't think the 20lb tank lasted near as long as it should. 4 months...that doesn't sound right does it? 4 bps. did a leak check at set-up. maybe i missed something in the regulator. tis an old reg. i digress :)

09-22-2010, 09:16 PM
Did you not get nerite snails on Sunday, Liz? Give them a chance they will get rid of it for you. They did in all my tanks I love the little suckers. You just have to get a variety of them so they don't breed in your tanks. Like different types in one tank and you don't get the egg clusters. At least this seems to work for me so far.

09-23-2010, 08:29 AM
i did, and i love 'em. think the otos will eat the egg clusters when that happens?

09-23-2010, 09:26 AM
I think some GDA is considered to be normal in a high light tank wherever slow growing plants are exposed to high light. Rubberlip plecos do consume it. I use a scraper to deal with it on the glass and use other plants to shade the anubius.