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Thread: Algae and substrate

  1. #1
    Member mstamper's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Peachtree Corners, GA
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    Algae and substrate

    I have been having an ongoing battle with BB algae and green thread algae in my 75 gallon tank for quite a while. I have reduced my light cycle to about 6 hours and watch how much I feed. I do weekly water changes of 50 to 75%. I also have algae growing on the glass that comes back after scrubbing each water change before the week is up.

    I live in the Peachtree corners area using the tap water and the chems are all where they should be. PH is between 6 and 6.2 with the swing being due to the changes in H20.

    I am running a UV filter on a RENA xp1 with just the foam inserts. I am also running an xp3 using seachem purigen as well. I clean the filters every other water change. I am also using 2 sponge filters.

    I have gone from using A LOT of plants to using minimal plants to keep the water column makeup balanced. All this has done is cost me a ton of cash replacing plants as they get so overgrown I have to throw them out.

    my tank has 9 discus, 3 GBR, 18 neon tetra, 5 green corys and 2 apisto's.

    I say all this to ask this question..... Would changing out my pool sand substrate (hence removing potential algae spores in the sand) help in keeping the algae growth controlled?

    Also interested in any other suggestions on how to bring the tank into balance? I am not sure what else to do.

    Mark
    75g Planted Discus tank

  2. #2
    Come to the meeting Jan 20th. If anyone can help it is the master plant person doing the tank - Ken Seiders.

  3. #3
    Mark,
    I would look at your light intensity, also the proteins that I a sure you are feeding the discus dont really ever leave the tank so the algae is feeding of of that, which we dont ever measure or is there a way except for seeing the algae, I wouldnt dose the tank with anything for the plants and if you are using beefheart for feeding , stop it/ or limit it if you are a fan of it. But remember when keeping discus in a planted tank you need to decide what are you keeping a planted tank with discus or a discus tank with some plants. I always just did root feeding plants with them in a plastic screen pots ( pond pots) and then just used root tabs to feed them. then there is nothing in the water column for algae to grow off of. Again this worked for me and just one of my ways to keep some nice plants with discus.

    Jim

  4. #4
    When you say "they get so overgrown I have to throw them out", does that mean they get thick and kind of all twisted together (like a mass of plants all growing every which way? I'm wondering if the thick plants might be shading the lower parts of the tank? In addition the purigen is taking all the things out of the water that your plants need to grow. Don't forget purigen removes nitrate, phosphate and potassium (the NPK of fertilizers). Algae needs less nutrients to grow. So the purigen might be working against the plants, and for the algae. I stopped using purigen. Do you pull the BBA out of the tank when you see it?

  5. #5
    Oh wait, you mean so overgrown with BBA? (I'm a little slow on the uptake) The light might be too bright, and without fertilizer, the plants cannot outgrow the algae. How bright is the light?

  6. #6
    Chairperson gofish's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Kennesaw, GA
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    I would hit the BBA with Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). If I notice that I have BBA in a tank, after draining the tank down, I use a spray bottle filled with H2O2 and spray everything above the water line. You can also pull decorations like driftwood, rocks, etc out of the tanks and spray them as well. After filling the tank, I use a syringe filled with H2O2 attached to airline tubing and a long pipette to squirt the H2O2 on the BBA. You'll notice that the BBA will start to fizz. After a day or two the BBA will start to die off.This H2O2 treatment along with adding a few Siamese Algae Eaters (Crossocheilus siamensis) will go along way toward destroying that BBA. Just be careful with the H2O2 and do a few sections at a time between water changes. I haven't noticed any problems with fish or invertebrates when using H2O2, but it pays to be a little cautious. H2O2 is a powerful oxidizer, but at 3% solution levels that you get over the counter it's "mostly harmless" and turns into water and oxygen very quickly. My Corydoras just love playing in the BBA fizz fountain. I used to use Flourish Excel to control BBA, but H2O2 is a lot cheaper. I still use Flourish Excel, but only as is intended - a carbon source in low to medium light tanks.

    When other algae try to take hold including green hair algae, I usually just perform multiple water changes per week sucking out any algae that is floating or lying around and starve the algae of nutrients. This is usually only necessary on a newly established planted aquarium where plant growth is lagging while the plants get adjusted to the new tank and become actively rooted. The trick is to fertilize your plants, let the plants soak up and store the nutrients for a day, and then follow up with multiple water changes. Repeating until the algae is gone. The idea here is to starve the algae but not your plants. After the plants get established, the plants will easily out compete algae and you can start a normal dosing regime.


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  7. #7
    OMG Brian. That disclaimer is EVERYTHING. I will steal it and possibly use it at work. Still LOLing.

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