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HUGE alge problem!!!

Posted by moregirll8000 (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 15, 05 at 18:31

I have a six gal. aquarium with an eclipse filter and I am having a huge alge problem. My once white plant is now covered in orange/ brown alge. I have used the product "No More Alge" with slight results for only a day. This aquarium sits on my desk and now when I look at I don't look at the fish I look at the alge :(. HELP!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

is it close to a window if so thats the main problem if it is move it and to water changes every week about 10% each week and it should start to clear up then there you go if not then i dont know just make sure you do water changes

p.s. i had a tank near a window it got so algaey i could not see through it


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

actually this tank is on the opposite wall of the windows and i never open them. I will do the 100% water change. Thanks for your help!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

If this is a new set up this is normal. If it is the brown sludge type algae(Diatoms). It is normally caused by silicates that leech into the water from the glass, silicone caulk, plastic decorations/plants. It should go away by itself within a month or 2. Unfortunately it stains some decor. If your filter allows you to put in different type of media try a product called "Phos-Guard" by Seachem. It is used to remove Phosphate(the leading cause of green algae) and Silicates. Or just wait it out. If it persists after 3 months then it could be your tap water has silicates in it.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Hi there,

Brown algae is caused by not having enough light. Green algae is caused by to much light. This tank isn't balanced...and water changes will not help this, it will just keep comming back.

Change the location of the tank to give it more balanced lighing.....remember if you give it to much light it will have green algae.

What fish do you have in this tank? Weekly water changes are a must for the health of the fish. How long has this tank been set up? Its difficult to evaluate a problem without having all the facts.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Brown slime algae(Diatoms) is almost always an indication of silicates in the water. This is common in new set ups and will go away by itself (usually, unless tap water also has silicates) It takes a while for silicate to leech out o the caulking of a new tank since it is made of silicone. Other factors besides light will form algae. High phosphate is the primary cause of green algae. The best way to get rid o algae is remove its ood source. In the brown algae case silicates. If you dont want to deal with the extra cleaning then get a product that removes silicates as well as phosphates I have only used Phos-Guard by Seachem so thats why I reccomended it. I am sure similar products work. The liquid algae gone can destroy your biological filter.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

woeisme....When trouble shooting...its best to start with the simplist to fix....In this case the lighting may not be the only problem....of course there can be countless other things that are causing this....However...if its fixed by simply giving the tank more light.....why dump a lot of 'fix in a bottle' into the aquarium....when a nice balance is all that is needed.

I would rarely suggest adding chemicals or 'fix in a bottle' to an aquarium when there are other possible and safer solutions.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

thanks for the ideas, i will try to do more water changes AND turn my light on more. Thanks again!


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RE: and the fish

i also have 2 leopard dainos and 2 cardinal tetras.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

I agree that "fix in a bottle" is not a good choice. I stated that at the end,"The liquid algae gone can destroy your biological filter." Phosguard is not a "fix in a bottle", liquid type anyway like "no more algae" and "algae be gone", It is a "chemical" filter media (little white beads" that remove phosphates and silicates. Silicate is the "food" (as is light)for brown slime algae (diatoms). By removeing the "food" source ,in this case silicates because it is a new tank, you starve the algae and it dies. Once it dies it is removed by filtration and water changes. The statement you made that light determines color of algae is only partially correct as far as diatoms doesn't need that much light to grow. PhosGuard and similar products will not release toxins to kill the algae as the "Fix in a bottle" does.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

woeisme......Again I speak from experience and education in the field of fish. If your solution works.....good for you. I would never dump anything like that into one of my aquariums.

A balance in needed to make an aquarium work. If this balance is not there...problems will arise. I believe in the start right and take your time method...to achieve that balance. If the right conditions are provided...the algae will die off and can be cleaned out. All without adding anything to the aquarium.

4 fish in this tank is a good load for it. Although I question the cardinal tetras. They are a little harder to keep and like different conditions than the danios. Also both are schooling fish and should be kept in larger groups of at least 6

After the tank has been cycled....You should be doing water changes once a week. This is a must to keep your fish healthy and thriving.

Also in such a small tank....watch that the lighting doesn't heat up the water...that could cause more problems.

Since you mentioned a white plant...I am assuming that its plastic.....Here is one of my aquariums set up with plastic plants....this tank is balanced and doesn't have any problems.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

I've found cardinal tetras easy to keep. But maybe it's a matter of finding a good source (since cardinals are wild caught and rarely bred in captivity like neons)

Definitely agree - they're schooling fish and like to be in a nice group of at least 6.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

I can live with the algea as long as it doesn't hurt my fish... this tank has been set up for about 4 months so it has already been cycled. Also, after the first time I used the No More Alge and it didn't work, I stopped using it.(I even tried using ALOT with one of the decorations in a one gallon bowl and it still didn't work so I scratched that product.) I usually don't use chemicals other than the water decorinator. If it will be any help, I will post a picture in the gallery of the tank titled "Brown Alge". And we really don't have a definate answer on what's causing this or how to treat it, so I hope the picture will help. Thanks!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Moore---The brown algae will go away on its own eventually if you change your light or not. Besides inadequate lighting it needs silicate to survive. Once the silicates leech out of the newer tank the diatoms will starve and die. They are not harmful to your fish. One possible problem I see in your pic, nice aquascapeing by the way, is the substrate. It looks like black sand? If it is a silica sand that could be another contributer. The best way to treat anything is find the source so you know what to treat for. You have the eclipse 6 as you mentioned I believe it comes with a 8w fluorescent 5500K full spectrum bulb. That would give you 1 1/3 watts per gallon. Though a little underlighted for a nonplanted tank it will do. Not like you have much choice unless you modify the fixture.I would get a silicate test and check the levels in your tank as well as from the tap. If it comes from the tap or you do have silica sand it may be an uphill battle.Since your tank has just established (nitrogen cycle) it is very common for brown algae to occur. I cant find the article I had read a while back but I think it has something to do with the nitrate level being raised (because it is now produceing nitrate)and the silicates that leeched out(the acrylic tank,plastic plants, gravel/sand etc.). It may go away within a few weeks or up to a year. Do a search on brown algae on the web or try to find a reputable book or magazine. Good Luck. Sierra----Firstly both your plantted and plastic plant tanks are impressive. PhosGuard is not an exchange resin. It is made of aluminum oxide and is not harmful to even the most aluminum sensative reef fish. Even if it did leech aluminum oxide back into the water it wouldn't have any effect on fish because it is insoluable in water. It is not "dumped in" you merely put it in a media bag and place it in your filter or cut open a cartridge and empty the activated carbon and add the phosguard. If you have suggested reading on this subject I would be interested in a reccomendation. Also, what is balanced lighting?


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Hi Skygee, How are you? Hows the goldfish doing? Yes many cardinal tetras are wild caught. And yes they can be easy to keep in the right conditions. They really arn't a beginner fish because they require soft water...and most beginners just use their tap water in their aquariums.

I love posting here....Its sooooo much fun!!! LOL!!!

moregirll8000.......Looking at your pic...it doesn't look like a huge algae problem. I would put the ornaments in a clean bucket and cover with water and add a little bleach to the water. Scrub after a while with a clean brush. rince very well....dry or let sit for a bit .....rinse one more time before putting back in your aquarium.

Always remember that when asking questions that people will have differing opinions....

Have you started doing weekly water changes? Have you done any water testing? If you have done testing it would help if you post the results.

If you have sand in the bottom....take that out and use gravel or leave the tank bare bottom. Sand can cause some other problems as well...so I don't like to use it in most aquariums.

woeisme.....the only thing I use as filter media is carbon and a sponge. I have been known to not use any filter media at all. I don't recommend not using filter media for beginners.

Balanced lighting....is where I have enough light that all my plants grow and no algae of any kind grows in my tanks. Or in the case of bare tanks or the tank with plastic plants.....just the right balance of light so no algae will form. Everything should be balanced not just the amount of light.

Would you like to read articles that I have written or would you like to read articles that have been written by others? Look for back/old issues of Freshwater and Marine Aquarium as well as old Tropical Fish Hobbyist....I have also written articles for others....but I don't believe they would be available now. I am not even sure if Tropical Fish Hobbyist is still being published now.

Sierra


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Well if it helps any, the sand is Tahitian Black Moon Sand(which cost me an arm and a leg by the way)I guess I will go to the pet store today and buy new gravel. If it is the sand I am dissapointed and it looks so pretty too. O well, thats what I get for using sand:). Thamls again!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

In a small tank having a sand substrate is fine especially the tahitian moon sand from caribsea. I am not sure if it is a silica sand or even sand at all. I would guess that it might even be some sort of lava sand be cause it does not buffer pH like arragonite. Some black"sand" isn't sand at all, but iron slag. It is all acceptable. IMO,I will not suggest to remove it. 1) you like it. 2) very good product by a reputable company. 3)sand substrate does need special care,but can be easier,well I guess that depends on the person doing the maintainance. It should be stirred up once in a while. A little durring water changes and ideal a twice a year breakdown.This is highly debated in this hobby, as is everything LOL. -----Sierra---- TFHMagazine is still in publication from good old Neptune, NJ. Any articles you or anyone has written arer of interest. I read TFH as well as others and tons on the web. Things have changed alot in the past 30 years as far as info. More so since the internet. Some say that algae in the tank is a sign of a healthy system, I agree. I base my opinions on the reading and consistancy of it in my own aquariums. Also a freind or 2 that are well trusted. Got to go for now, daily strife calls.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

I think the sand has some metal in it because when I use my tank cleaner magnet some of the sand sticks to the magnet! Any way I am glad you told me how to care for the sand or I might have taken it out. Also what do you mean by a "twice a year break down"? Thanks for replying fast!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Sand compacts as it settles in the tank trapping gasses it needs to be churned once in a while to release the gas. It can not be vacuumed the way gravel is (plunged deep into)unlessHere is one method that most freshwater hobbyists (that I have encountered) seem to be using with good results, some prefer to churn up a section of the tank each week when changeing water, others get burrowing fish and eels to stir it up.Oh yes the Tahitian Moon sand is not Iron Slag "sand" (Black Beauty), It is true volcanic sand so it shouldn't be a silica problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sand Maintainance


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!Break down

Sorry, forgot to add " twice a year breakdown". It has been suggested that every 6 months you should remove your fish(possibly to a QT tank or just a fish only bucket(s) with some of your aquarium water). Remove all decor. churn all the sand real well,remove the cloudy water, replace with fresh and churn again, (rise and repeat LOL). Replace with fresh water,maybe run your filter for a while until everything settles while returning decor,aclimate your fish as if they are new and return them to the tank. This is "probably" not necessary but it also depends on water conditions since they vary from place to place. Like I said it is reccomended and have read more and more written about this positively recomending it. This is not the article I was thinking of but is basic of your problem. There are also related ones on the same subject here as well as other useful and not so usefull crap.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brown Algae


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!Me again

Sorry for bad link just type in "brown algae" after "freshwater" in the search and click. You can choose on many articles basicly identical


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Hahahahahahaha.....well my best advice is...you can't believe everything that you read.

And yes things have changed in the hobby over the last 30 years.....and imagine that.....I still have healthy fish and plants. Go figure.

Sand is not a good substrate.....regardless and I would remove it and add gravel or keep the small tank bare bottom.

moregirll8000...I know this has got to be very confusing for you......pick one method and go with it.....if it doesn't work...post again...and I will try to help you, with some simple 30 year old methods. LOL!!!

Happy Fish Keeping Girl!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

municipal tap water nowadays has large amounts of phosphate added to control corrosion. Simple water changes will not help you. Try distilled or reverse osmosis (RO) water. Phosguard will help. Algea poison is not a good solution.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

i find the advice Sierra has given here to be sound, according to my experience. i have not kept fresh water fish since i was quite young but all of these principles apply to water/algae in general.
Sand is a poor choice for an ongoing healthy tank. i would suggest that you change it for crushed coral or even limestone gravel...i'm guessing sierra knows which will work best for your particular fish.
algae is most always a result of lighting issues and water changes will not permanently correct this.
moregirl - in your second post you said you were going to do a 100% water change (a typo?). i would never recommend doing this. one-quarter or one-third is sufficient for routine cleaning...several milder (10%) more often will help the aesthetics but you will still need to address the root problem...which i did not see in your pic. some algae growth is to be expected. unless algae becomes a major problem, robbing your fish of air, it should cause no problems to the animals....just human eyes.
good luck!


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oops!!!

yes, I did mean 10% oops! AAH! I think the sand is very pretty(and expencive)Is it not a good subtrate because it doesnt allow for the excess paritcals and such some place to rest/stay out of the way. I really would like to know more about why. Also, would getting new gravel restart the cycleing process? And any tips on how to add it? Thanks!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Crushed Coral(pure calcium carbonate) and limestone (also high calcium carb) will raise the pH and KH to high for the Cardinal Tetras. They prefer acidic water. Those gravels are more suited for marine or rift lake cichlids. I have been dissuaded to useing sand also. No one could ever explain why. Exceptions- For planted tanks it compacts after time not allowing for good root growth / The compaction thing again letting gases build underneath / and the surface build up. I would assume that as long as the maintainace of the sand is done. Stirring up parts of the tank with weekly pwc's and the breakdown every 6 months. Some have gone as far as putting low flow powerhead/pumps to cause low water movement across the surface of the sand kicking up debris to the intake of the filter or settleing in one spot for easy removal. One thing I know was when UGF was popular sand just wouldn't work. That makes sence.If any one has info on this subject with reasons its not good, I would appreciate some help because I have never had a problem. The only other thing I could think of is type of sand, Silicate sand will supply food for brown algae. Aragonite and crushed coral will raise pH. Inert sands like tahitian moon should be OK. Moore if you feel you are taking a chance, and will sleep better change it. Most of your beneficial bacteria is in your filter media, bio-wheel (I think eclipse has them standard) and the darker oxigenated areas of the tank. You should be OK changing it out. You can get a black gravel that will look similar. I would reccomend something that is seal-coated though. Some gravels marked wont effect pH are full of it. Estees is one of them, exception there sealed (I think with epoxy). As far as the Diatoms, your 8w lamp is all you can have in the eclipse 6 unless you modify it or light it from the sides until the algae dies off. Every article on brown algae I have read with exception of older ones will say the same thing about it. Your case is textbook. Shortly after the cycle establishes new tanks get brown algae. I belong to other groups like this forum and monthly a person will post with the same scenario. IMO I think that by the time you find the correct light for the algae to starve it will have gone away by itself from lack of silicates or you will get a green algae bloom from too much light. Do not exceed 2 watts per gal. in a non planted tank. You have about 1.33w. A tad low I admit. Good luck


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!! I just wont stop

Forgot too add about the sand thing. Some fish should have sand as a substrate Malawi/mnuba cichlids, Kuhli loaches (and other loaches) Eels, freshwater skates, and I'm too tired to remember more. Also some reputed aquarists use only sand as a substrate. Especially european and asian ones.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

woe - u are correct about the cc/limestone - doh! i keep marine fish so i forget this. it is my understanding too that sand simply compacts too much for gases to escape...not that it cannot be used, just that it is not the prefered sub.
moregirl - no, replacing it should not restart your cycling period; what u need should be in the filter medium.
gl!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Hi Sierra! Goldfish are doing fine... but they need a bigger home!! Right now I just switched out one of the filters (the tank has two) to a larger more powerful eheim. It's doing great keeping the water clean, but the fish could use the extra room. I'm thinking of building an indoor pond since the space I'm thinking of using has concrete flooring and can take the weight. Just in the planning stages though.

Moregirl - inre the No More Algae. Not sure what you expected when using this product - meaning did you think everything would just dissolve and disappear? Doesn't work that way. If you want to clean your ornaments, use bleach (don't need to use pure bleach, but bleach mixed in with water in a bucket) to get rid of the discoloration and to kill whatever algae is there. Rinse well, let air dry AND sun dry (to ensure disapation of chlorine). What I have for some of my tanks are duplicate plants(fake) and ornaments - so I switch them out when I do a bleach cleaning.

BTW - I have a 6 gallon eclipse tank that I keep a betta in at work. Never had problems with brown algae and I do have a live plant in this tank. It's been up for 4 years now - plant still doing well although I've gone through 3 bettas. :( In any case - I have two tanks that I keep in the office. The 6 gallon and a 12 gallon (5 fish, two glass, two cories, 1 danio). Both tanks are crystal clear - but I think it has to do with definitely no possibility to overfeed since they get no food over the weekend or sometimes up to 4 days. Overfeeding also contributes to cloudiness in the water and algae problems.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

sjv78736.....Thank You for your kind words!

coral gravel and limestone are used in areas that have really soft water....the reason for using this is because they want to keep fish that requires harder water and usually a higher pH. So yes it is used for fresh water aquaria too.

Have we found out what the water perameters are in moregirls aquarium? pH and hardness? I wouldn't think the above mentioned gravel is needed.

I would recommend just regular aquarium gravel...medium size.....as it comes in different sizes. The color chosen it to please the owners eye. I use natural gravel or keep the bottom bare in my tanks.

moregirll8000...the reason sand isn't used has already been mentioned above....it compacts and causes gases to form under it.....If this happens it will cause the aquarium to become unbalanced and high ammonia and so on in your tank. Its not so important if the substrate hides the debris on the bottom....because you should be cleaning that out in your weekly water changes anyway. Many times in aquaria....problems arise from the unseen....

Replacing your gravel should not have any effect on the biological filtration of your tank....The new gravel should be washed throughly before you put it into your tank. It still may cause your tank to become cloudy for a day or so....this will clear out fairly quickly and will not hurt your fish.

Skygee.....an indoor pond will be very nice. I hope if you do build it you will post pics.

Popsicle the single tail goldfish that I rescued from a freezing fate last fall...also needs a bigger home...I am going to upgrade his home soon.


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RE: new gravel

today I am buying some black small pebble gravel today at Petco. I will keep you guys updated on the algae problem. Thanks for all your help!


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

Keep an eye on pH. Petco uses the estees brand I mentioned. It caused my allready high pH to climb about .4-.6 ppm. It is painted over natural gravel. That is why I reccomended epoxy coated. However,If you have acidic water this will help buffer up. To test the gravel put about a tsp. in a small bowl of white vinegar. If it fizzes or a stream of bubbles surface it has trace calcium carbonate and will buffer up like baking sode or sodium bicarbonate. Some times gravel is labeled "will not effect pH" the truth is some does. I dont know how they can get away with it ? but they do.


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RE: HUGE alge problem!!!

check the gallery for an update-Update on Gravel!


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