Algea won't go away no matter what I do...

  1. dorcy Member Member

    I constantly fight with algae in my tank. Both blue/green and some that looks like it has a brown colour to it. I keep up with my water changes, I clean my tank and filters on a regular basis. I can't get rid of it. I have a snail in my tank to eat some, but obviously it can't keep up. Could it be the water in my apartment building that just has it in it? My nitrates at at 5ppm, so they are really low...and ammonia and nitrite is at zero.

    I'm open to whatever suggestions anyone might have...
     
  2. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    How long are you leaving the lights on? Does the tank receive direct sunlight? Either of those will causes algae to go nuts. Limit lights to less than ten hours per day, maybe less if they're particularly strong. Any direct sunlight is practically a guarantee algae jungle.

    Have you tried a blackout? For 72 hours, turn off tank lights and cover the tank with a dark sheet to block out all light. Without light, the algae cannot complete photosynthesis and will die. This should kill it. Hopefully it's a lighting issue and reduced light + no direct sunlight will keep it from coming back.

    Btw, I try to grow algae for my oto and mystery snails, but it's impossible. I'm actually jealous of your algae :p Oh, and snails just make trails through algae. They think it's yummy, but they won't eradicate an algae problem.
     

  3. dorcy Member Member

    My lights are on for 9-10 hours per day. I have a timer so its automatic. I can reduce the time to see if that helps. Not a lot of direct sunlight on my tank at all because its so far away from any windows in my apartment, so I don't think this is the cause.

    I have real plants in my tank, will the "blackout" kill them?
     
  4. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    :-\ Hmmm I'm not sure about your real plants. 9-10 hours shouldn't be too much light and if it's not direct light than I'm not sure. I know real plants seem to increase the tendency for algae, but it seems like your problem is beyond the norm.

    Maybe someone else will have a good idea?
     

  5. Betafish305ca Member Member

    hmmmm, a blackout could be a good thing to try... you could remove the plants maybe, if you don't want them to die.... sometimes snails are more a hinder than a help when it comes to algae.... do you have any algae/ bottom feeders?
     
  6. Beeker Well Known Member Member

    How old are your lights? It could be getting the wrong spectrum. I had some really bad hair algae and it just disappeared a little while after I got a new tube for my light. Also, you should definitely try some Florish Excel. That is great stuff. My plants love it and algae hates it.
    How many fish do you have in the tank? What is your phosphate reading?
    Low Nitrates can be caused by the algae. When my algae was going crazy, I had no nitrates at all in my tank. They must have been absorbing them all.
     
  7. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    allot of algae is cause by overfeeding, too much wattage per tank size, overstocked, and direct sunlight...if any of those apply, it could be fixed with that..and the brow algae, is diatoms and is very common with tanks under a year old...its an eye sore but doesnt hurt anything....filters dont need to be cleaned regularly and if they do, one of the above must be an issue if they are that dirty....
     

  8. harpua2002 Fishlore VIP Member

    The blue green algae sounds like cyanobacteria to me. If so, it's bacterial and the problem won't be solved with a blackout. IMO that's your issue; the diatoms are common in newer setups and should eventually go away on their own.

    Several years ago, I successfully treated cyano with Maracyn, which is an antibiotic. The drawback, of course, is that antibiotics (as with many meds) will affect your bio filter, even though the packaging says that they won't. You'll end up with a mini-cycle, but it should be easily controlled with some extra water changes. If you decide to go this route, remove all the cyano that you can manually before starting treatment. Follow the directions on the packaging and remove dead cyano as you see it, since dead cyano is fuel for new cyano growth. The Maracyn will treat the algae itself, but will do nothing to address the root cause of the problem. In my case, I stepped up the maintenance routine and the cyano didn't come back.
     
  9. Steve420 Member Member

    How heavily planted is your tank? Do you run any CO2? Do you use any other additives in the tank...i.e Fertilizers?

    I had a run in with a Green Hair algea, which I believe was due to too many plants and not enough CO2. I pretty much have to dose 2x the amount of Excel every day (or other day) to keep the algea from re-occuring. 2x Excel for a week knocked it out no problem.

    And a 72 hour blackout won't harm your plants....if that was the case, nobody would EVER ship plants. Heck, I've sent out plants and had them get stuck in the mail for 5-7 days, with no advese effects/

    Good luck and keep up posted!
     
  10. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member