Algae Bloom Happened Overnight! Please Help!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by dan100785, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. dan100785

    dan100785New MemberMember


    Hello everyone,

    So I'm not exactly sure what happened, but it just seems like overnight I got this massive algae bloom. Everything was fine for weeks. My tank has been cycled, and is running for almost 3 months now. This happened on Sunday when I did my usual by weekly 25% water change. Then the next day I got those really thick cloud of green all throughout my tank.

    I don't know if this would affect anything but I also change my foam sponge, my carbon pack, and my bio material. I am using to aqua clear 50 filters. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have heard that you should every month. I don't know if that had any effect to the algae bloom or not. I don't know whether running two filters is good. So any advice on that would be greatly appreciated.

    Once I started to see the green algae bloom I did like I normally do, and just add a normal dose of API Algeafix. It didn't really seem to do much, so I decided to do some research. A lot of people said to do 25% water changes every day and black out my tank for about three days. Isn't that harmful for my fish or my plants?

    On top of all that I have reason to believe that because of the API Algeafix... A few of my fish are dead. I'm just not sure at this point what to do I've also heard that in severe cases do a 90% water change and also black out the tank. But I'm a little bit skeptical... isn't changing out 90% of the water really bad for the environment and the tank? I know that my tank is cycled now, but even if so 90% seems like a lot. Also with me changing all of my filter media last week, I feel like that might be even worse for the environment. I'm just not sure if anybody could help me out with this I would greatly appreciate it!

  2. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    See responses in green above!

    In the future, I would just change the carbon out monthly (and really, you don't even need carbon). Rinse the media in old tank water instead of throwing it out. It'll last you a long time. When it starts falling apart, add new media and let the new and old media run together for a month. After that, you can remove the old media.
  3. Matthiasfanu

    MatthiasfanuValued MemberMember

    Hello there! From my own personal experience I would say this might be due to your lighting. How often are you running your aquarium lights? As for filter media that is where the vast majority of your beneficial bacteria live. By replacing the media you essentially remove that. What I normally do is rinse my filter media in a bucket of USED TANK WATER (never rinse in tap water) and then place it back in my filter. Once it looks like it is starting to be on its last leg I would place new media in the filter WITH your old media for a few weeks so that it has a chance to grow bacteria as well. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will correct me if I am wrong!
  4. andychrissytank

    andychrissytankValued MemberMember

    wait you changed the entire contents of the filter?
    you need to keep that in there because that's where most of the beneficial bacteria live, that is probably why some of the fish died unfortunately
    have you checked the water parameters after the change, incase there is too much ammonia or nitrites?
    the algae doesn't really do much and if it bothers you, you can buy some snails or amano shrimps
  5. Diesmali

    DiesmaliValued MemberMember

    So first thing one of the experts is going to ask is what your water parameters are? Temperature, Nitrates, Nitrites and ammonia. So might want to have that prepared.

    Next, and grain of salt here because I'm new, I don't think you should change all your media at once. With two filters running I would think changing one each month would be more than enough. I know with canisters you are only supposed to change some of the media every couple months depending on specific models and stuff.

    Next question will be on lighting, how much and how long?

    If you get that info ready for when the smart folks around here see this it'll speed things up greatly.

    Hah! The smart people beat me to it...
  6. Culprit

    CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Do you have prime? You need to be dosing that daily with 25 -50% wcs. The ammonia is probably killing your fish and probably caused the algea bloom.

    Did you throw the old media again? Thats what kept all the bacteria in it for your cycle... you need to get it back in asap or have to cycle again with fish in. In your place I would just get a bottle of TSS, so you don't have to worry about water changes every day and prime every day for a few weeks! With TSS you could be cycled in a few days.
  7. OP

    dan100785New MemberMember

    Thanks to everyone that replied!

    I am running 2 light fixtures because it's a 22"tall tank 38 gal total.

    Finnex Ray 2 Finnex Finnex RAY2 Series
    Satellite Plus PRO Satellite Freshwater LED+ PRO - Current-USA

    I am trying to grow dwarf baby tears (HC) that is why I went with two light fixtures.

    I am also running CO2 at 2-3 BPS.

    And I was dosing the normal amount of Seachem nutrients


    Water Temp = 73-75 degrees

    Ammonia = 0-0.25 ppm
    Nitrite = 0
    Nitrate = 0

    I've been running the lights at 12 on & 12 off. I know that's a lot but I guess I was just really worried about the dwarf baby tears. They are hardly growing let alone spreading.

    So now that I know not to change all of the filter media at one time, does this mean that The tank will start to cycle itself all over again? That makes me really worried because I may lose all the fish then, right?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  8. OP

    dan100785New MemberMember

    Yes, unfortunately I did throw out all the old media that was about a week ago. I do have prime and I have been doing 25% water changes every day while dosing prime. I do have Seachem - Stability. I just dozed a little bit of that I was afraid to do a full dosage like it was a new tank, mainly because I did not change all the water out at once. So instead I just did half of the required amount for a new tank hopefully that helps with some of the beneficial bacteria.

    Thanks for the help! Unfortunately I did not know that changing all of the media at once was a bad idea. I will definitely know that the next time around.

    I guess at this point it's just a waiting game. Hopefully while I wait for the tank to recycle itself it won't kill off any more fish..
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2017
  9. Culprit

    CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Doing wcs every day and adding prime is great! Dosing stability will definitely speed up the cycle :).

    Good job with this.
  10. Redshark1

    Redshark1Fishlore VIPMember

    I would not add chemicals to control algae, they have a bad record of killing fish.

    A UV filter like the green machine uv filter may be needed if the green water persists or gets worse. This zaps the algae as it flows through the filter and does not affect the fish.
  11. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Yes, your tank will re-cycle. I would cut down your lighting and do frequent water changes. These should help the green algae go away, and the WCs will protect your fish during cycling.
  12. Culprit

    CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    would upping Co2 do anything?
  13. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Not sure, but it's not necessary at this point, if you weren't having issues with green water before you threw away the media.
  14. OP

    dan100785New MemberMember

    Excellent! Thank you everyone for your help! I truly appreciate it! I will keep doing WCS and cut back on the lighting. I will keep everyone posted.

    Is it worth it to cover the tank with black plastic?
  15. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    On the side where sun comes in?
  16. OP

    dan100785New MemberMember

    Sure! I'm just not sure because I've read that it's good to completely "black out" the tank...
  17. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I don't think you need to at this point. Water changes and reducing the lighting should go far.
  18. OP

    dan100785New MemberMember

    So it's been a few days and I've been doing Water Changes and only running the lights about 4 hours.

    It hasn't really changed much at all. It seems like the Algee Bloom goes away slightly after a water change then it comes back ten fold. I just don't understand because it's not going away at all and I'm worried because I haven't been dosing any nutrients. It looks like all my plants l are dying and turning yellow. My dwarf baby tears are almost dead. I'm just not sure what do do. I've had no choice but to "black out" the tank with black plastic bags. Tomorrow will be day 3 so I will take them off and check to see if that helped any.

    Should I get a UV Sterilizer? If so how do they work? Would I have to always leave them in?

    Should I still be dosing everything?(except excel..since the lights aren't on) I haven't dosed because I was afraid that I would promote more algee growth.
  19. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    What are your water parameters?

    You can do large and frequent water changes to get rid of green algae. UV sterilizers will also do the trick, but it won't help the uncycled tank problem. You would only need to run it when you had green algae (which should be a rare problem). How often are you doing water changes now, and how much are you changing?

    You can still dose ferts, but without light, they won't use them much, from what I understand.
  20. OP

    dan100785New MemberMember

    PH = 7.6
    High Range PH = 7.8
    Ammonia = .025ppm
    Nitrite = 0ppm
    Nitrate = 0ppm

    I was doing 25% water changes every day, but I wonder is that even good to do 25% let alone any water changes while the tank is having to recycle?
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017