Algae growing wild in tank....

  • #1
Ok, tank setup first I guess... 30 gallon, live sword plants, live fern plants. Aqueon filter cartridge and pump.
I don't have an expensive test kit, but the top fin test strips are all in the safe zones. Ph at 6.7 and water temp at 78.1F. 4" air stone. No power head.

4 brilliant rasboras.
4 rummy nosed tetras.
2 mollys.
2 small clown loaches.
12-14 molly fry. (1/8 inch to 3/8 inch)

Here's the problem... One of my rasboras appears to have a stuck open mouth. I don't see anything stuck in there, or any growths on the mouth. Although the water is in great shape, I have an algae problem, but I don't see that being the cause. I had this nice looking green fuzz growing on the rocks and plants for a while. The mollys were eating it, and they seemed to love it. I let it stay there, after being told that the green fuzz was a safe algae. Now the green fuzz has turned into a brown hair (over an inch long) and taking over the entire tank! I've used the cleaning wand, the magnetic cleaning pad, and the glass scraper to keep the glass clear every third or fourth day, but the rock caves and the plant are overwhelmed. Its crawling on the heater and pump now too. Everyone says hit the tank with "algae-fix" but I'm told it would kill the loaches. Anyone know how to eradicate this brown menace, without having to remove the fish and strip the tank and start over again?

Green fuzz.

Brown hair
  • #2
The pics are not showing.

Don't use any chemical to kill it as those can do more harm then good. Plus it doesn't fix the root cause. What do you have for lighting? You dose fertilizer? Root tabs for the Sword?
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  • #3
Lighting is the standard floro that comes with the aqueon hoods. I use apI leaf zone fertilizer once a month, and no root tabs. Ive been told to just shut off the lighting for a few days and let the algae starve out. I guess I can replace the plants when they die too.
  • #4
The algae will come back after the blackout if the factor causing the algae isn't fix.
  • #5
Some members do total blackout for 4 days or so and plants do make it through. But if the main cause of the algae is not figured out it comes back. Keeping a planted tank all starts with the light. Standard fluorescent bulbs need to be replaced every 6 months or so as they loose their spectrum and algae can get a foot hold. This is a place to start-how old is your tube?

Common cause of Fuzz Algae is low Co2. That other stuff you are talking about sounds like a form of BBA (black beard algae or Red Algae) I am not a algae expert. It also appears when co2 is low. What I would do is pull the plants out and do a bleach dip of 30-60 seconds, rinse in cool tap water and then put in fresh dechorlinated water to remove the rest of the bleach. I would do the same with the decor. and scrub it off. I would get a bottle of Flourish Excel (liquid carbon) and start dosing that per directions. Basically you start with fine tuning. Amazon Swords would like a balanced Root Tab as well-API Root Tabs or Flourish Root Tabs. Dropping the API Leaf Zone (Iron and Potassium) and using Flourish Comprehensive would provide a more balanced fertilizer for the water column. JMO

Other members hopefully will chime in soon with their ideas or correct me.
  • #6


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  • Thread Starter
  • #7
The rasbora didnt make it....
He was the original reason for the post. I didnt find anything in his trhroat, so I'm baffled.
Ill try the suggestions here for the algae and let you know. Thanks.
  • #8
to FishLore!

Sorry your Rasbora didn't make it.

Many times strips will read in the safe zone but when a testing kit that

reads numbers is used they are found to be inaccurate. Strips are affected

by many outside factors where liquid kits aren't.

Sorry for all the questions but information is the only way we can help you

find a solution to your algae problem

How long has the tank been set up? Has it gone through the nitrogen cycle?

How often are partial water changes and substrate vacuums being done?

Partial water changes are needed to replenish minerals in the water that

your fish need as well as remove toxins(ammonia, nitrites, nitrates) from the water

Substrate vacuuming removes waste and excess food from the substrate.

Stuff trapped in the substrate will degrade and cause high nitrates which

your plants will use. Algae being a plant will use this also. Usually the algae

will use it first. It will not grow without nutrients in your tank.

Hope this has helped some as the answer to the questions will help us help you.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Ok... 29G tank,Set up in june of 09. Was cycled. I change out a 5G bucket full once a week. (about 1/6) The floro burned out and was replaced in October. There IS a lot of stuff under the gravel that looks like dirt. That's what I have to get rid of, right? I vacuum the gravel every month, but I don't dig down to the bottom, because the vacuum keeps jamming and it gets frustrating. (I feed my clown loaches pond snails, and the shells get stuck)
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Oh, with the 2x a week glass scraping and ornament brushing, Ive been able to keep the water good. All the fish have really vibrant colors and seem happy and playful. Going through filters like crazy though. They catch everything I scrape off.

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