Algae help?

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Icicle

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Hello,

I believe it's algae that is my new situation. My tank is a 55gallon and was cycled before I transferred my fish from my 29 gallon. It has had fish in it now about 3 weeks. Suddenly I'm noticing a huge onset of what I think is algae. I cleaned the tank out sunday afternoon - by that I mean I vacuumed the gravel did about a 20% water change and I covered all surfaces with my algae sponge. Now it's wednesday afternoon and I look into the tank and all surfaces (all glass, the filter tube etc) is covered in a thin layor of what I'm going to say is algae. Obviously it's irregular to have to clean all surfaces every three days.

My filter is an aquatech whisper 30-60 I believe. but I'm wondering if perhaps I need more filtering power? It is stationed more on the back of the right and it looks like the surface of the lefthand side doesn't have any motion. Perhaps is my water level too high? If I let the water coming out of the filter 'fall' further it would create more stir? or put some bubbly thing on the left to break the surface? but that won't help the algae. There is nothing obstructing the water getting up the tube...

Looking for some input please. I never had this happen in the other tank....

Thanks!
 

susitna-flower

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I believe the filter you described does not filter a 55 gal at the gal x 10 gph rate that is the rule..Another post today said that size filters at 330 gph, you should have a filter that filters AT LEAST 550 gph. Do you still have any literature on your filter to check for sure? Have you tested the Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels? IF your tank is setting in sunlight, or if your lights are on much of the day, the light and nitrate will provide everything necessary for algae to grow. You may want to have your lights on a timer 5 hours on 2 off and 5 on and keep your nitrates under 20, or change 50% water on a schedule to accomplish this. Good Luck.

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
 

Gunnie

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I'm not familiar with your filter, but it's never a bad idea to bump up filtration. The goal is 10 times the size per tank in gallons per hour (gph), but it's not an absolute, just a recommendation. How long has your tank been set up? If it's brown algae, what you are seeing are called diatoms, and it's normal for a new tank. It's very ugly, but it will pass. Here's a great article to help you a little more with algae:
 
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Icicle

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I'm going to go ahead and buy another filter to put on the other side of the tank.
I couldn't find the literature, I bought the tank in a 'package' and that is the filter that came with it.

The algae is not brownish I don't believe. It's definitely more green. However it sort of looks just like dust until you get up close to it.

Could you please tell me a bit more about these timers?

Thanks!
 

Butterfly

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I have two filters on my 55 gallon and really like it better.
Check here and see if you can identify your algae.

Carol
 
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Icicle

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I think I will have to develop the algae a little bit more in order to determine if it those. Some of those it is obviously not...

I'm reordering a new test kit and I will have to wait until it arrives to retest the water. (I sort of live in the sticks)

I just thought maybe there were certain circumstances that would promote a spurt in algae growth all over everything!! haha. Didn't realize how many types of algae there are
 

Butterfly

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Algae thrives on an over abundance of nutrients(overfeeding, overstocked etc). sometimes along with that too much light.
Try blacking your tank out. Block all outside light, dont' turn the tank lights on for three or four days. At the same time cut the amount of food your feeding in half. a fishes stomach is the size of it's eye so they really don't need much. You could even feed every other day while the tank is blacked out. This is frequently successful in getting rid of algae and not harmful to your fish at all.
Carol
 
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Icicle

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Wow! Did I learn alot tonight...

So the filter I was using was a Tetra Whisper 30-60 and it only pumps 300gph. I suppose since it came in the kit I just assumed it was enough but definitely not in my 50gallon tank. I've temporarily put a 150gph filter in I had cycling in my 29gallon until I can pick up a 200gph filter this weekend.

I also searched town and managed to find an Ammonia test and a Nitrate test. My Ammonia = 0 but my nitrates were HIGH. I know I read somewhere on this forum that it's recommended they be about 20, well my readings were closer to 100! Unfortunately the color was dark and it was hard to tell if it was 50-100 but it was really dark regardless. So I performed a 30% water change.

When is too early to remeasure these nitrates, tomorrow ok?

I also thought of this - about a week and a half ago I started my fish on freeze dried supplement, twice a week. and it would seem that this has also begun since then. Coincidence? perhaps one wafer cut in half is just too much to put in the tank.

I'm also going to cut down on food in general to make sure I'm not overfeeing and that is contributing to the high nitrates and/or algae takeover. Perhaps feed half as much but twice a day? Once in the morning, and once in the evening..?

hmm..Will also follow the recommendation to leave the lights off a few days, hopefully this won't hurt my plants although the one with a bit of brown looking algae on it doesn't look too happy already. Should I just remove it?

Thank you so very very much for your help and patience! I do really appreciate it! Sincerely....
 

Butterfly

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I usually wait 24hrs and re-test after a water change. The black-out won't hurt your plants, but you have to do a complete black-out.
Yep cutting one feeding in half and feeding twice a day should help. The fish will make you think you are starving them but be strong
i wouldn't remove any plants unless they are totally dead. Plants suck up Nitrates, some faster than others. Some fast growing plants to lower your Nitrates are wisteria, anacharis and hornwort. The more heavily your tank is planted the easier the Nitrates are to handle.
good Luck!
Carol
 
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Icicle

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so by complete blackout you mean instead of just keeping the lights off i should throw a big blanket over the tank and keep it completely black inside?
 

Gunnie

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Yep. Totally dark.
 

Butterfly

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As Gunnie said,"yep totally dark" Won't hurt the fish, won't hurt the plants. After the 3 days of total dark do a 50% water change.
also continue to give your fish small feedings, they really don't need much food.
Carol
 
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Icicle

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Thank you! I will update you after the 3 day blackout...
 
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