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  L# Green Algae Problems
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SubscribeGreen Algae Problems
Posts: 176
Kudos: 75
Votes: 99
Registered: 12-Dec-2005
female canada
EditedEdited by Mitchee

I've been having green algae problems now for nearly 4 years. It gets on everything and comes off in small sheets or strips. I have a 42G TALL tank, with currently only one tiger barb and one red eyed tetra, and a few plastic plants. Filter is an AquaClear HOB rated for 70 gallons. My lights are on for only 6.5 hours per day and are considered low wattage (too low to grow plants). Tank is not in direct sunlight. Fish are fed only every 2 days.

During the years I have tried everything from keeping tank lights off for a several days, reducing feeding, keeping stock levels low, (can't get any lower than what I have now) tried plants, tried ottos (died within a week), tried air stones, more frequent water changes...etc..etc...etc..I've also tried using Purigen but nothing works. The algae keeps coming back and it comes back quickly and it seems more severe then the last time. I also have 2 other 10 gallon tanks with livebearers and I have no algae issues with them.

I've tested my water and it always come up good. No ammonia or nitrite and nitrate around 10 to 15.

I did a 50% water change and gravel vac last night and today, the green filaments are already appearing on the substrate and decorations.

Short of calling it quits for this tank, I feel I'm left with only one option here and that's to use some chemical additive to control or eliminate the problem. I've been told that a product called "Algone" could possibly help me and that it's safe for all freshwater and saltwater fish.

When my current stock dies out, and if I can get this algae problem under control, I'm looking at restocking with livebearers and corycats. I understand that a BN pleco would be helpful in keeping my tank clear of algae and I would consider adding this fish to my stock (if I can get one) however, I don't want to be dependent on a certain fish species to keep my tank clean and limiting my choices on tankmates.

Can anyone offer suggestions as to chemicals that I can add safely to my tank that would eliminate or at least reduce the amount of algae ie. Algone or some other tricks of the trade that I haven't tried??

Thank you!!!

Post InfoPosted 24-Mar-2009 17:45Profile PM Edit Report 
Posts: 5108
Kudos: 5263
Votes: 1690
Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited by FRANK
Hi Mitch,
First, I'm not sure what type of algae you are fighting.

On one line you say it comes off in sheets leading me to
think of what is called BGA which is actually a

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On another line you say that after cleaning the next day
the filaments are already returning. That leads me to
suspect that you are fighting "Hair Algae."

Algae of any type is an opportunistic critter. It thrives
where there is a surplus of nutrients, and it can also
thrive where there is a lack of a nutrient (such as Iron.)

In a tall tank, you need to ensure that there are no dead
spots - areas of little or no current. The water needs to
be turned over by air stones, or a filter return that
agitates not only the surface, but also deep into the tank.
This prevents "sumps" where detritus can settle out which
leads to areas of excess (or concentrations of) nutrients.

In my battle against BGA, I treated it with Erythromycin
and at the same time I wrapped a moving pad around the
tank completely blacking out the tank, no light what so
ever for a week plus a few days. When I unwrapped the
tank, I put the fish in a 5G bucket, drained the tank
(siphoning out the dead algae mats) and throughly washed
the gravel. I then replaced the plants with a fast growing
variety (wisteria), changed my bulb (it was 2 years+ old)
and set my timer for 10 hours. You can read about it and
see the pictures in my thread on the Planted Aquaria section
called "The Saga."

If it is the hair algae, simply manually remove all of it
that you can reach, and then give the tank a good cleaning.
The light that you are using may be favoring the growth
of the algae, and the plastic plants are doing nothing for
you in your fight. Live plants will compete, successfully,
with algae and will win out. With a 42G tall tank you need
to achieve around 2-2.5 watts per gallon of light. And -
you need to get the light down to the surface of the gravel.
I would use a Compact Fluorescent lamp, 96 watts.
Or, you could use the new T-5 bulbs.

While it sounds funny, remember that light is scattered
and adsorbed as it penetrates through the water column.
In that tank you would want to use a bulb with a Kelvin
rating between 8K and 10K so that the light penetrates to
the gravel surface with the energy that the plants need.

Stick with light toward the blue end of the spectrum
Higher Kelvin temperature. The lower K light is red
or yellowish in color and will not work. Also, avoid
the so called "grow" type of that that gives off a
purplish light.

If you are using a single flourscent tube, avoid like
the plague using any bulb that is labeled "Warm" and
use only bulbs that are Sun or Day light bulbs.

I'd use fast growing stem plants such as wisteria, and
others. Plant them directly under the bulbs and along the
back. When the plant reaches the surface, snip the plant in
half and plant the top in a different place. The bottom
will grow a new "top" and continue on up toward the surface,
while the clipped piece will grow roots and take off toward
the surface as well. Just keep cutting them in half and
replanting the tops. In no time you will have a well planted
tank and they will out compete the algae.


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 25-Mar-2009 02:24Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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