Brown algae?

Bonkers

I am cycling my 240L tank and have
0.40 Ammonia
0.50 Nitrite
80 Nitrate
pH 8.1

at first I thought the “aquarium safe” slate ornaments were fake and rusting as they had little brown spots on them that were getting bigger by the day. I was keeping an eye and going to remove them but the same spots have appeared on my plants too and plants don’t rust lol.
There is some small amounts of green algae growing on the glass but I was leaving it as I thought it was helping the cycle? Iv been adding a bit of fish food daily to feed the cycle.
After a bit of googling it looks like it could be brown algae.
Is this my tank ruined?
What can I do?
 

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FishGirl38

Oh goodness, no. This is the first type of algae that you'll have in your aquarium. Algae is never a terrible thing, especially not this kind. It should wipe right off, almost like a slime layer. Its totally normal.

Once you get some snails or algae eaters in the tank, they'll take care of it.

SO, all types of algae are caused by a combination of two things. first being the photo periods in the tank, the second being the nutrient levels in the tank.

How long are you leaving your aquarium light on? To avoid algae, you only want your light on for 8 hours a day, off for 16 hours a day.

Additionally, the two nutrients that 'feed' algae are nitrate and phosphate. WELL....you get nitrate from the end of your nitrogen cycle, and the phosphate..... If you read the back of your fish food can or bag, it will list an ingredient called 'potash'. this is where the phosphate comes from, it breaks down out of our fish foods.

SO, the light in your aquarium grows the algae, and the nutrients in the aquarium 'feeds' the algae and helps it spread.

To remedy algae 'problems' you just have to test your water, see where your nitrate and phosphates are at, and dilute the tank accordingly. (lots of excess phosphates will cause hair algae, slime algae, staghorn algae - the real problem types, excess nitrates are usually responsible for the type you're seeing here).

You COULD do a 20% water change to dilute some of the nitrates, as you generally only want between 5-20 nitrate at the end of your cycle. Your ammonia and nitrite are high enough to where I don't think you'd stall your cycle with a 20% water change, so that might help to curb the algae for later on when you do decide to add fish.

If you don't do a water change now, that would be fine too, but once the ammonia and nitrite fall below .2ppm I would do a water change to dilute your nitrate. Nitrate isn't toxic to fish at all (in very high concentrations for long periods of time it is but...) it really only feeds algae.
 

FishGirl38

oooooo, just took a good look at the second picture on the plant leaves. Is it black and fuzzy? Could be black beard algae, which is a pain in the butt to get rid of. Black beard algae, in my experience, is caused by phosphates. The only fish that 'eats' it are siamensis or siamese algae eaters (aka siamese algae eating sharks) and they really only nibble. If you can take the plant out to get a look at it, and the algae does appear to have a slight 'fuzz' to it. I'd try to find a phosphate remover filter media. You can do a water change just like I mentioned before, but considering you're still cycling...a remover media might just be more beneficial to target the 'problem nutrient'...so you're not getting rid of all the good nutrients you still need in the tank.

Additionally, you can turn your tank light off for an extended period to starve the algae. This is known as doing a 'blackout'. Its not great when you have live plants to feed, so maybe only keep the light on for 4-6 hours. but keeping the light off should help slow the growth.

Phosphate test kits are usually sold seperate from the 'master kits' cuz it's not an essential.

Regardless of which type it is, you don't have to restart your tank. I had black beard algae covering a 45G in the past. I had to scrape my rocks with a wire brush and a razor blade to get the algae off (this is the only type that I know of that sticks this bad...) but you won't need to restart the tank. Algae is nothing to worry about quite like that. It's not harmful to fish, it just doesn't look 'good'. is all.
 

Bonkers

Oh goodness, no. This is the first type of algae that you'll have in your aquarium. Algae is never a terrible thing, especially not this kind. It should wipe right off, almost like a slime layer. Its totally normal.

Once you get some snails or algae eaters in the tank, they'll take care of it.

SO, all types of algae are caused by a combination of two things. first being the photo periods in the tank, the second being the nutrient levels in the tank.

How long are you leaving your aquarium light on? To avoid algae, you only want your light on for 8 hours a day, off for 16 hours a day.

Additionally, the two nutrients that 'feed' algae are nitrate and phosphate. WELL....you get nitrate from the end of your nitrogen cycle, and the phosphate..... If you read the back of your fish food can or bag, it will list an ingredient called 'potash'. this is where the phosphate comes from, it breaks down out of our fish foods.

SO, the light in your aquarium grows the algae, and the nutrients in the aquarium 'feeds' the algae and helps it spread.

To remedy algae 'problems' you just have to test your water, see where your nitrate and phosphates are at, and dilute the tank accordingly. (lots of excess phosphates will cause hair algae, slime algae, staghorn algae - the real problem types, excess nitrates are usually responsible for the type you're seeing here).

You COULD do a 20% water change to dilute some of the nitrates, as you generally only want between 5-20 nitrate at the end of your cycle. Your ammonia and nitrite are high enough to where I don't think you'd stall your cycle with a 20% water change, so that might help to curb the algae for later on when you do decide to add fish.

If you don't do a water change now, that would be fine too, but once the ammonia and nitrite fall below .2ppm I would do a water change to dilute your nitrate. Nitrate isn't toxic to fish at all (in very high concentrations for long periods of time it is but...) it really only feeds algae.
My heart skipped a beat when I read oh goodness, no! :L
Thanks for the reply.
I have removed the slate objects to stall the growth a bit for now and will wait to do a water change unless it gets extremely bad.

Is the water change suggested at below .2ppm because that’s when the cycle is basically complete?
Would you keep dosing fish food daily or is this a sign that im adding enough + a bit more?

You mentioned the green hair-like algae. last night I looked closely at the green algae on my tank and saw three very thin long strands hanging off the glass going half the length of the tank.
Today I’ve cleaned all the glass and wiped the plants. Is that normal if left for a fortnight or is this problem algae?
 

Bonkers

oooooo, just took a good look at the second picture on the plant leaves. Is it black and fuzzy? Could be black beard algae, which is a pain in the butt to get rid of. Black beard algae, in my experience, is caused by phosphates. The only fish that 'eats' it are siamensis or siamese algae eaters (aka siamese algae eating sharks) and they really only nibble. If you can take the plant out to get a look at it, and the algae does appear to have a slight 'fuzz' to it. I'd try to find a phosphate remover filter media. You can do a water change just like I mentioned before, but considering you're still cycling...a remover media might just be more beneficial to target the 'problem nutrient'...so you're not getting rid of all the good nutrients you still need in the tank.

Additionally, you can turn your tank light off for an extended period to starve the algae. This is known as doing a 'blackout'. Its not great when you have live plants to feed, so maybe only keep the light on for 4-6 hours. but keeping the light off should help slow the growth.

Phosphate test kits are usually sold seperate from the 'master kits' cuz it's not an essential.

Regardless of which type it is, you don't have to restart your tank. I had black beard algae covering a 45G in the past. I had to scrape my rocks with a wire brush and a razor blade to get the algae off (this is the only type that I know of that sticks this bad...) but you won't need to restart the tank. Algae is nothing to worry about quite like that. It's not harmful to fish, it just doesn't look 'good'. is all.
To your second comment. It’s actually blue fuzz. It looks like ink from a fountain pen. That was there before any other algae. Pretty much the day I got the plant.
My lights are on for 12hours a time so I’ll half that!
 

Bonkers

oooooo, just took a good look at the second picture on the plant leaves. Is it black and fuzzy? Could be black beard algae, which is a pain in the butt to get rid of. Black beard algae, in my experience, is caused by phosphates. The only fish that 'eats' it are siamensis or siamese algae eaters (aka siamese algae eating sharks) and they really only nibble. If you can take the plant out to get a look at it, and the algae does appear to have a slight 'fuzz' to it. I'd try to find a phosphate remover filter media. You can do a water change just like I mentioned before, but considering you're still cycling...a remover media might just be more beneficial to target the 'problem nutrient'...so you're not getting rid of all the good nutrients you still need in the tank.

Additionally, you can turn your tank light off for an extended period to starve the algae. This is known as doing a 'blackout'. Its not great when you have live plants to feed, so maybe only keep the light on for 4-6 hours. but keeping the light off should help slow the growth.

Phosphate test kits are usually sold seperate from the 'master kits' cuz it's not an essential.

Regardless of which type it is, you don't have to restart your tank. I had black beard algae covering a 45G in the past. I had to scrape my rocks with a wire brush and a razor blade to get the algae off (this is the only type that I know of that sticks this bad...) but you won't need to restart the tank. Algae is nothing to worry about quite like that. It's not harmful to fish, it just doesn't look 'good'. is all.
Also can you see the bright green spot on one of the pieces of slate?
 

FishGirl38

Is the water change suggested at below .2ppm because that’s when the cycle is basically complete?
Would you keep dosing fish food daily or is this a sign that im adding enough + a bit more?

To your second comment. It’s actually blue fuzz. It looks like ink from a fountain pen. That was there before any other algae. Pretty much the day I got the plant.

Also can you see the bright green spot on one of the pieces of slate?

Okay, so, for the first question...it depends on how strong you want your bacterial colony to be...I just chose a number below .5 but not quite 0 (because contrary to what we all say, you'll rarely test straight 0 ammonia if there are fish in the tank....). .5 is my threshold, because .5 ammonia or nitrite is where things start to get toxic for fish. Anything below .5 ppm and it's considered 'safe'. So, essentially yes. That's when your cycle is 'complete'.

So...this is going to be kind of confusing but hang with me. Your cycle doesn't 'stop' when it initially completes. Those bacteria will continue to grow and multiply as you add fish to the tank. So, right now you're set with a cushion of bacteria, but when you add your first batch, you'll likely have an ammonia spike, a bacterial bloom, and then the process kind-of repeats itself on top of the process you've already completed. This will happen every time you add fish, it's why you can't add too many fish at one time. (because even though the tank is cycled now, too much ammonia can still overwhelm the current bacteria)...

When doing a fishless cycle while dosing pure ammonia, most forum goers here recommend an initial dosage of ammonia at 4 ppm (thats x8 toxicity for fish) - Thats a lot of ammonia. The reason they recommend so much, is so that the bacterial colony is REALLY STRONG (well, numerous, not necessarily buff but there are more bacteria initially present to handle a larger ammonia load) - because there was more ammonia present to feed them.

Additionally though, those bacteria colonies can die off if they're not fed a continual amount of ammonia. Its a balance. Not a huge deal really, so long as you add fish gradually and few at a time you'll build your colony in this way and you won't even know it. But that's to answer the question of 'how much is too much', it's really dependant.

(but as a good example, say you had a 3yr old 55G tank thats 'cycled' but all the fish have died off over the years. You go to the store and buy 20 Fish to add to the tank...thats a big nope, even though the tank could sustain that much earlier, over time the bacteria will decrease to adjust to the current stock - just something to think about).

So for the question about continuing feeding, If it were my tank, I would stop dosing the food. At least to see how long it takes your water parameters to fall below .5 ppm, or as close to 0 as you can get it. Right now you're right at the cusp of 'toxic'. Technically, your ammonia is 'too high' and your nitrite is right where you want it. I'd say you're about 3/4 the way through cycling, I'd guess the tanks been up for close to 3 or 4 weeks.

If you're testing some ammonia, than there's enough bacteria 'food' in the tank for now (and you shouldn't have to add more fish food). If you find that those numbers decrease REALLY quickly (within a day), than you're probably ready for a few fish. Before you add fish, you'll want to do a water change, just to dilute those nitrates. After you've added fish, if you find your ammonia is going up close to the .4-.5 mark, just do a 20% (or so) water change and wait it out.

Referring to the bright green spot on the slate, is it closer to the left side? How much food have you been dosing? how frequently?

If I were to guess, I'd say you have brown (diatom) algae - which is the normal stuff I was talking about. that's the copper colored bits on the rock (and you probably had some on the glass too, an orange brownish color).

Whats on your plant leaves really does look like BBA to me. I would try to wipe it off the plant with my finger as best I could, then decrease light levels for now. BBA can appear a grey color too, if it's dark and fuzzy, I'd bet that's what it is - least I don't know of any other algae that appears like that.

Some other possibilities I'm seeing might be green slime algae? This is a far fetch though. Is the bright green spot you're referring to closer to the left side of the slate? There is a type of algae that isn't actually an algae at all, it's actually a bacteria. NBD though. In freshwater tanks, it's a dark green color and it blankets decor. It will wipe right off of things and float around the tank in whole pieces, I've dealt with it before too, pretty sure it's caused from phosphates. If the green spot isn't this, than it's just green spot algae - which is norm with elevated nutrient levels.

Last thing would be the hair algae. Yup, that sounds like hair algae. To me, it sounds like you've got a bit of a phosphate issue starting up in the tank. It won't bother the fish - but I bet if you tested your phosphate, you'd find it quite saturated. I actually buy phosphate pads on a regular basis, I've got big dirty pig fish. What I buy comes in a 24x12 inch sheet and it's about 10$ per sheet. You cut off the amount that will fit in your filter (whatever you want) and replace it once a month while you're using it. The brand I use is Seapora, phosphate remover pads are usually green in color.

This photo is an image to give you hope. This is currently my mom's 10G betta tank. Yes we live together, no I'm not taking care of her tank - I've got 260G of aquarium water to tend to, she has 10G....this is terrible and im embarrassed even posting it but....even though this tank seriously needs some TLC, the fish are fine. They're about 2 years old now.

for reference, the algae you're seeing is a combo is thick hair algae, and green slime over the plants/sand bottom. All phosphate related. (I put a phosphate pad in their filter the last time I cleaned it for them too...but...things can get THIS bad, and still be 'alright'.)

EDIT: ugh...that's just gross...maybe I'll surprise her and clean her betta tank for her...AGAIN...poor guys...x.x
 

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Bonkers

Okay, so, for the first question...it depends on how strong you want your bacterial colony to be...I just chose a number below .5 but not quite 0 (because contrary to what we all say, you'll rarely test straight 0 ammonia if there are fish in the tank....). .5 is my threshold, because .5 ammonia or nitrite is where things start to get toxic for fish. Anything below .5 ppm and it's considered 'safe'. So, essentially yes. That's when your cycle is 'complete'.

So...this is going to be kind of confusing but hang with me. Your cycle doesn't 'stop' when it initially completes. Those bacteria will continue to grow and multiply as you add fish to the tank. So, right now you're set with a cushion of bacteria, but when you add your first batch, you'll likely have an ammonia spike, a bacterial bloom, and then the process kind-of repeats itself on top of the process you've already completed. This will happen every time you add fish, it's why you can't add too many fish at one time. (because even though the tank is cycled now, too much ammonia can still overwhelm the current bacteria)...

When doing a fishless cycle while dosing pure ammonia, most forum goers here recommend an initial dosage of ammonia at 4 ppm (thats x8 toxicity for fish) - Thats a lot of ammonia. The reason they recommend so much, is so that the bacterial colony is REALLY STRONG (well, numerous, not necessarily buff but there are more bacteria initially present to handle a larger ammonia load) - because there was more ammonia present to feed them.

Additionally though, those bacteria colonies can die off if they're not fed a continual amount of ammonia. Its a balance. Not a huge deal really, so long as you add fish gradually and few at a time you'll build your colony in this way and you won't even know it. But that's to answer the question of 'how much is too much', it's really dependant.

(but as a good example, say you had a 3yr old 55G tank thats 'cycled' but all the fish have died off over the years. You go to the store and buy 20 Fish to add to the tank...thats a big nope, even though the tank could sustain that much earlier, over time the bacteria will decrease to adjust to the current stock - just something to think about).

So for the question about continuing feeding, If it were my tank, I would stop dosing the food. At least to see how long it takes your water parameters to fall below .5 ppm, or as close to 0 as you can get it. Right now you're right at the cusp of 'toxic'. Technically, your ammonia is 'too high' and your nitrite is right where you want it. I'd say you're about 3/4 the way through cycling, I'd guess the tanks been up for close to 3 or 4 weeks.

If you're testing some ammonia, than there's enough bacteria 'food' in the tank for now (and you shouldn't have to add more fish food). If you find that those numbers decrease REALLY quickly (within a day), than you're probably ready for a few fish. Before you add fish, you'll want to do a water change, just to dilute those nitrates. After you've added fish, if you find your ammonia is going up close to the .4-.5 mark, just do a 20% (or so) water change and wait it out.

Referring to the bright green spot on the slate, is it closer to the left side? How much food have you been dosing? how frequently?

If I were to guess, I'd say you have brown (diatom) algae - which is the normal stuff I was talking about. that's the copper colored bits on the rock (and you probably had some on the glass too, an orange brownish color).

Whats on your plant leaves really does look like BBA to me. I would try to wipe it off the plant with my finger as best I could, then decrease light levels for now. BBA can appear a grey color too, if it's dark and fuzzy, I'd bet that's what it is - least I don't know of any other algae that appears like that.

Some other possibilities I'm seeing might be green slime algae? This is a far fetch though. Is the bright green spot you're referring to closer to the left side of the slate? There is a type of algae that isn't actually an algae at all, it's actually a bacteria. NBD though. In freshwater tanks, it's a dark green color and it blankets decor. It will wipe right off of things and float around the tank in whole pieces, I've dealt with it before too, pretty sure it's caused from phosphates. If the green spot isn't this, than it's just green spot algae - which is norm with elevated nutrient levels.

Last thing would be the hair algae. Yup, that sounds like hair algae. To me, it sounds like you've got a bit of a phosphate issue starting up in the tank. It won't bother the fish - but I bet if you tested your phosphate, you'd find it quite saturated. I actually buy phosphate pads on a regular basis, I've got big dirty pig fish. What I buy comes in a 24x12 inch sheet and it's about 10$ per sheet. You cut off the amount that will fit in your filter (whatever you want) and replace it once a month while you're using it. The brand I use is Seapora, phosphate remover pads are usually green in color.

This photo is an image to give you hope. This is currently my mom's 10G betta tank. Yes we live together, no I'm not taking care of her tank - I've got 260G of aquarium water to tend to, she has 10G....this is terrible and im embarrassed even posting it but....even though this tank seriously needs some TLC, the fish are fine. They're about 2 years old now.

for reference, the algae you're seeing is a combo is thick hair algae, and green slime over the plants/sand bottom. All phosphate related. (I put a phosphate pad in their filter the last time I cleaned it for them too...but...things can get THIS bad, and still be 'alright'.)

EDIT: ugh...that's just gross...maybe I'll surprise her and clean her betta tank for her...AGAIN...poor guys...x.x
Wow. Thank you for taking the time to write all that! It was explained so well.

The tank has actually been 11 days but Juwel gave me this pad with 3 tablets in it for my filter. It’s some kind of boost so maybe that helped.
I only started adding fish food for ammonia around day 5, it was all crystal clear before that.

I took have tried to clean the spots on the slate and discovered it’s is loads of tiny pieces of metal (probably from and cutting blade) wedged into the slate! They were all rusting!! I have removed them now with little marks all over the slate. Such a coincidence that it looks exactly the same as the brown algae spots that are on my slate cave(which wiped off) :L The green spot wiped right off just like you said.

For your mum’s tank, I can’t talk. XD
 

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Bonkers

Okay, so, for the first question...it depends on how strong you want your bacterial colony to be...I just chose a number below .5 but not quite 0 (because contrary to what we all say, you'll rarely test straight 0 ammonia if there are fish in the tank....). .5 is my threshold, because .5 ammonia or nitrite is where things start to get toxic for fish. Anything below .5 ppm and it's considered 'safe'. So, essentially yes. That's when your cycle is 'complete'.

So...this is going to be kind of confusing but hang with me. Your cycle doesn't 'stop' when it initially completes. Those bacteria will continue to grow and multiply as you add fish to the tank. So, right now you're set with a cushion of bacteria, but when you add your first batch, you'll likely have an ammonia spike, a bacterial bloom, and then the process kind-of repeats itself on top of the process you've already completed. This will happen every time you add fish, it's why you can't add too many fish at one time. (because even though the tank is cycled now, too much ammonia can still overwhelm the current bacteria)...

When doing a fishless cycle while dosing pure ammonia, most forum goers here recommend an initial dosage of ammonia at 4 ppm (thats x8 toxicity for fish) - Thats a lot of ammonia. The reason they recommend so much, is so that the bacterial colony is REALLY STRONG (well, numerous, not necessarily buff but there are more bacteria initially present to handle a larger ammonia load) - because there was more ammonia present to feed them.

Additionally though, those bacteria colonies can die off if they're not fed a continual amount of ammonia. Its a balance. Not a huge deal really, so long as you add fish gradually and few at a time you'll build your colony in this way and you won't even know it. But that's to answer the question of 'how much is too much', it's really dependant.

(but as a good example, say you had a 3yr old 55G tank thats 'cycled' but all the fish have died off over the years. You go to the store and buy 20 Fish to add to the tank...thats a big nope, even though the tank could sustain that much earlier, over time the bacteria will decrease to adjust to the current stock - just something to think about).

So for the question about continuing feeding, If it were my tank, I would stop dosing the food. At least to see how long it takes your water parameters to fall below .5 ppm, or as close to 0 as you can get it. Right now you're right at the cusp of 'toxic'. Technically, your ammonia is 'too high' and your nitrite is right where you want it. I'd say you're about 3/4 the way through cycling, I'd guess the tanks been up for close to 3 or 4 weeks.

If you're testing some ammonia, than there's enough bacteria 'food' in the tank for now (and you shouldn't have to add more fish food). If you find that those numbers decrease REALLY quickly (within a day), than you're probably ready for a few fish. Before you add fish, you'll want to do a water change, just to dilute those nitrates. After you've added fish, if you find your ammonia is going up close to the .4-.5 mark, just do a 20% (or so) water change and wait it out.

Referring to the bright green spot on the slate, is it closer to the left side? How much food have you been dosing? how frequently?

If I were to guess, I'd say you have brown (diatom) algae - which is the normal stuff I was talking about. that's the copper colored bits on the rock (and you probably had some on the glass too, an orange brownish color).

Whats on your plant leaves really does look like BBA to me. I would try to wipe it off the plant with my finger as best I could, then decrease light levels for now. BBA can appear a grey color too, if it's dark and fuzzy, I'd bet that's what it is - least I don't know of any other algae that appears like that.

Some other possibilities I'm seeing might be green slime algae? This is a far fetch though. Is the bright green spot you're referring to closer to the left side of the slate? There is a type of algae that isn't actually an algae at all, it's actually a bacteria. NBD though. In freshwater tanks, it's a dark green color and it blankets decor. It will wipe right off of things and float around the tank in whole pieces, I've dealt with it before too, pretty sure it's caused from phosphates. If the green spot isn't this, than it's just green spot algae - which is norm with elevated nutrient levels.

Last thing would be the hair algae. Yup, that sounds like hair algae. To me, it sounds like you've got a bit of a phosphate issue starting up in the tank. It won't bother the fish - but I bet if you tested your phosphate, you'd find it quite saturated. I actually buy phosphate pads on a regular basis, I've got big dirty pig fish. What I buy comes in a 24x12 inch sheet and it's about 10$ per sheet. You cut off the amount that will fit in your filter (whatever you want) and replace it once a month while you're using it. The brand I use is Seapora, phosphate remover pads are usually green in color.

This photo is an image to give you hope. This is currently my mom's 10G betta tank. Yes we live together, no I'm not taking care of her tank - I've got 260G of aquarium water to tend to, she has 10G....this is terrible and im embarrassed even posting it but....even though this tank seriously needs some TLC, the fish are fine. They're about 2 years old now.

for reference, the algae you're seeing is a combo is thick hair algae, and green slime over the plants/sand bottom. All phosphate related. (I put a phosphate pad in their filter the last time I cleaned it for them too...but...things can get THIS bad, and still be 'alright'.)

EDIT: ugh...that's just gross...maybe I'll surprise her and clean her betta tank for her...AGAIN...poor guys...x.x
Can I ask a follow on from yesterday as I have tested the water today.
Ammonia .5
Nitrite .25
Nitrates around 20-30 ppm (it seems to have dropped quite a lot)
Is that normal? I thought the nitrates only go through water changes. Could it be my plants taking it in?
 

FishGirl38

Oh wow! well, rust in the aquarium isn't a great thing. It can cause residual effects but I highly doubt you'll see an issue later on when you go to add fish.

The tabs you're talking about were probably a beneficial bacteria starter, and that would explain why you're seeing nitrites and nitrates this early on into the cycle then.

You know your tank better than I do, I'm just guessing based on the info. It does appear as though you're cycling well though. If you've been monitoring your ammonia and nitrite and they're going down (and you're feeding to keep it up), then keep doing what you're doing. But if you're just adding every day for the sake of adding, I would start monitoring your levels, and see how quickly they're decreasing.

Maybe test once every 2 or 3 days or so, and feed after you test IF the levels have dropped below where you want them. But essentially...once they've dropped as low as they'll go (as close to zero as possible) and once most of the ammonia and nitrite has been converted to nitrate, than you're ready to do a water change and add fish.

If you got some kind of phosphate remover, that would take care of any problems for the future. (API sells phoszorb but its a lil more expensive than the seapora brand stuff)

and oh, was the slate 'aquarium grade' from a pet store? it may be helpful to call the store and let them know. Its a good thing you figured it out early but for someone else who may not realize (or come on here to question it) that could be a long term issue...oxidizing metal in an aquarium (I believe) can basically leach out w/e kind of metal that's rusting, so if its copper, zinc, nickel, Iron, w/e...those molecules will then be in the aquarium WHICH....would then depend on the metal to tell how bad it is but...for example, some plants take in iron and nickel..but copper is toxic to inverts. (You shouldn't have to worry, once you do your 'after cycle' water change, even if there are excess heavy minerals, most of them should be diluted with that change).

Actually, have you buffered your PH at all? or are you using well water for your aquarium? The rust might have something to do with the high PH? but that's kind of unlikely. Considering the tank is only 11 days old, the PH should still be similar to that of it's source.

If you're able to test your tap waters PH, that would tell you if there is anything going on in your tank mineral wise that's different from the source. -Which isn't a bad thing, if the rust did affect the PH than it's likely the PH will decrease closer to the source over time though, and that's something to note. (tap water where I'm from has a neutral PH close to 7.2, at most 7.4).

If your tap water is normally that hard that it's nbd, if it's not than something in the aquarium has broken down and added to the mineral content. which is still NBD, just something to take note of for later.

I was in the middle of writing this last night and had to abandon it abruptly, needed to call a friend.

That is unusual, but yes, that's what I would assume. The only thing that will 'lower' your nitrates naturally are your live plants. What's unusual about it is how much, and the fact that...the plants you have are sword plants, (rosetta swords is what they look like to me) and swords are typically heavy root feeders. Which means they get most of their nutrients from the roots and gravel bed, and not the water column. BUT...your dispersed nitrates are in the water column. Probably not so much the gravel bed.

It's a little odd but yeah, that's what I would assume, and it couldn't be a bad thing either way.

Did you shake the nitrate bottle 2 real well before you tested both times? if you're using API liquid test, sometimes it can get a false reading. You want to shake both bottles, but the second one takes about a minute of shaking before it's 'ready' to use.

So your ammonia has increased, your nitrite has decreased significantly, and your nitrates have decreased. I wouldn't add anymore fish food. I would wait until the ammonia starts decreasing naturally. But once you see a decrease in ammonia (which will happen if you're also getting a decrease in nitrite), then I'd do a water change and start adding fish and when I say start adding fish, I mean like, 1-3 at a time. No more then that, at about 1.5-2 week intervals.
 

Bonkers

Oh wow! well, rust in the aquarium isn't a great thing. It can cause residual effects but I highly doubt you'll see an issue later on when you go to add fish.

The tabs you're talking about were probably a beneficial bacteria starter, and that would explain why you're seeing nitrites and nitrates this early on into the cycle then.

You know your tank better than I do, I'm just guessing based on the info. It does appear as though you're cycling well though. If you've been monitoring your ammonia and nitrite and they're going down (and you're feeding to keep it up), then keep doing what you're doing. But if you're just adding every day for the sake of adding, I would start monitoring your levels, and see how quickly they're decreasing.

Maybe test once every 2 or 3 days or so, and feed after you test IF the levels have dropped below where you want them. But essentially...once they've dropped as low as they'll go (as close to zero as possible) and once most of the ammonia and nitrite has been converted to nitrate, than you're ready to do a water change and add fish.

If you got some kind of phosphate remover, that would take care of any problems for the future. (API sells phoszorb but its a lil more expensive than the seapora brand stuff)

and oh, was the slate 'aquarium grade' from a pet store? it may be helpful to call the store and let them know. Its a good thing you figured it out early but for someone else who may not realize (or come on here to question it) that could be a long term issue...oxidizing metal in an aquarium (I believe) can basically leach out w/e kind of metal that's rusting, so if its copper, zinc, nickel, Iron, w/e...those molecules will then be in the aquarium WHICH....would then depend on the metal to tell how bad it is but...for example, some plants take in iron and nickel..but copper is toxic to inverts. (You shouldn't have to worry, once you do your 'after cycle' water change, even if there are excess heavy minerals, most of them should be diluted with that change).

Actually, have you buffered your PH at all? or are you using well water for your aquarium? The rust might have something to do with the high PH? but that's kind of unlikely. Considering the tank is only 11 days old, the PH should still be similar to that of it's source.

If you're able to test your tap waters PH, that would tell you if there is anything going on in your tank mineral wise that's different from the source. -Which isn't a bad thing, if the rust did affect the PH than it's likely the PH will decrease closer to the source over time though, and that's something to note. (tap water where I'm from has a neutral PH close to 7.2, at most 7.4).

If your tap water is normally that hard that it's nbd, if it's not than something in the aquarium has broken down and added to the mineral content. which is still NBD, just something to take note of for later.

I was in the middle of writing this last night and had to abandon it abruptly, needed to call a friend.

That is unusual, but yes, that's what I would assume. The only thing that will 'lower' your nitrates naturally are your live plants. What's unusual about it is how much, and the fact that...the plants you have are sword plants, (rosetta swords is what they look like to me) and swords are typically heavy root feeders. Which means they get most of their nutrients from the roots and gravel bed, and not the water column. BUT...your dispersed nitrates are in the water column. Probably not so much the gravel bed.

It's a little odd but yeah, that's what I would assume, and it couldn't be a bad thing either way.

Did you shake the nitrate bottle 2 real well before you tested both times? if you're using API liquid test, sometimes it can get a false reading. You want to shake both bottles, but the second one takes about a minute of shaking before it's 'ready' to use.

So your ammonia has increased, your nitrite has decreased significantly, and your nitrates have decreased. I wouldn't add anymore fish food. I would wait until the ammonia starts decreasing naturally. But once you see a decrease in ammonia (which will happen if you're also getting a decrease in nitrite), then I'd do a water change and start adding fish and when I say start adding fish, I mean like, 1-3 at a time. No more then that, at about 1.5-2 week intervals.
No, I think you know my tank better by the sounds of it :L your a hero.

Our water in southern England is very hard due to all the Chalk we have here.
If high pH is a nutrient related thing could it be the 2 root tabs Iv placed under the roots of the swords?
I have moved the plants around a couple of times now and I do see a small stream of black coming off the tab when moved in the water but assumed it would maybe just work as fertiliser for the other plants if anything.

I do shake the bottles well as Iv read that before. However, I still could have had a false high reading I guess.

All in all it does sound like I’m close. I’m getting 3 cherry barbs on the 21st.

With water changes - Juwel give you 3 thin white pads with the filter. They say replace it with a new pad once a week (or when I have a clean and water change IMO). I read everywhere it’s not good to change that pad as it has a lot of your bacteria on it but the pad is really thin so should I follow their advice and put a fresh one in?
 

FishGirl38

Ahh, Okay. WELL. Ph is really just measuring your heavy minerals. Its just a mineral related thing. So it makes complete sense then, why your PH is so high. If it's just a locational thing, then I bet your fish stores around you are also running a high PH, so theres not much to worry about there, so long as the PH between the store tanks (or where-ever your fish are coming from) and your tanks is similar within .4-.6. and the lower the range the better.

PH can be pretty confusing to understand but...I recently left a post on another thread that I'll find and link for you about it that explained it alright. It was fairly recent and I never re-write things as well as I first wrote them (if they're recent anyway). It's one of the posts farther down on the first page.

Ridding Tank of Disease

As far as replacing the pad, I'm not familiar with Juwel aquariums, but if the tabs are different in anyway. If they're labeled like a '1-2-3' type step process then I'd follow what they said. (it's possible maybe the tabs have different types of bacteria in them?)

But if it doesn't matter and it's random which pad you use when, then I would (when you need to replace it/do a W/C) try to add the 'new' pad in with the old pad for about a week or so, and then remove the old pad. Maybe start this process a week before your planned water change, so that you only have the new pad in the tank after you've finished the water change. If you're able to stuff it in the filter - if you can make room. If not it then depends on if the pad uses carbon.

The only reason you would ever need to change/replace your filter media is if that media is carbon, zeolite, some type of nutrient removing material or if it's breaking down over time. If those pads don't have carbon in them, you technically don't need to 'replace' them until they become physically unusable. The reason you want to replace carbons and zeolites and things is because if you don't after the allotted time (usually a month) the medias become 'full' with w/e thing you were trying to remove, and it just cycles back into the tank.

If you can fit 2 pads into your filter, then I would just do that, but not as frequent...unless they are using carbon. Are there any black bits in the pad? charcoal or anything crunchy inside it?

Just for reference, if the pads do have carbon in them, you should know that you don't HAVE to use carbon in your filter. Its really good for removing chemicals (anything from the tap), medications, and anything that could've gotten into the tank unknowingly...but that's basically it. I don't use carbon in most of my filters. I only use filter sponges and fine polishing pads along with ceramic stone medias for the bacteria. I only add remover medias (like the carbon, zeolite, nitrate removers, phosphate removers) when I need too.

and I'm not really a hero, I'm more of a nerd. but I hope my info has helped you better culminate the hobby into something simple. A lot of people think it's super easy, then they get bombarded with the nitrogen cycle and ph and acclimation and all this stuff....Its not as easy as most people would assume but it just takes a little know how. Is all. Hope I've synthesized it a bit for you, or at least made you aware of it so you can learn more about it. Everything I know is experienced based though and I do come from an area that has different water parameters, so, still look into things on your own but Im glad to have helped some still. .
 

Bonkers

Some other possibilities I'm seeing might be green slime algae? This is a far fetch though. Is the bright green spot you're referring to closer to the left side of the slate? There is a type of algae that isn't actually an algae at all, it's actually a bacteria. NBD though. In freshwater tanks, it's a dark green color and it blankets decor. It will wipe right off of things and float around the tank in whole pieces, I've dealt with it before too, pretty sure it's caused from phosphates. If the green spot isn't this, than it's just green spot algae - which is norm with elevated nutrient levels.

Last thing would be the hair algae. Yup, that sounds like hair algae. To me, it sounds like you've got a bit of a phosphate issue starting up in the tank. It won't bother the fish - but I bet if you tested your phosphate, you'd find it quite saturated. I actually buy phosphate pads on a regular basis, I've got big dirty pig fish. What I buy comes in a 24x12 inch sheet and it's about 10$ per sheet. You cut off the amount that will fit in your filter (whatever you want) and replace it once a month while you're using it. The brand I use is Seapora, phosphate remover pads are usually green in color.

This photo is an image to give you hope. This is currently my mom's 10G betta tank. Yes we live together, no I'm not taking care of her tank - I've got 260G of aquarium water to tend to, she has 10G....this is terrible and im embarrassed even posting it but....even though this tank seriously needs some TLC, the fish are fine. They're about 2 years old now.

for reference, the algae you're seeing is a combo is thick hair algae, and green slime over the plants/sand bottom. All phosphate related. (I put a phosphate pad in their filter the last time I cleaned it for them too...but...things can get THIS bad, and still be 'alright'.)

EDIT: ugh...that's just gross...maybe I'll surprise her and clean her betta tank for her...AGAIN...poor guys...x.x
Hello! Hope your well.

I managed to get the algae under control with a UV and now successfully keep ottos too. Thank you.

There always was one “algae” I couldn’t get rid of. It seemed to grow back within days and since my fish have been unhealthy I investigated. A member on here kindly shared his opinion and said it looks as though I have Cyanobacteria. I’m sure he’s right so I checked back to see if you wrote about this and sure enough I think you mentioned it as green slime algae. Is this the same as “blue-green algae”(Cyanobacteria)?

Both my tanks have the problem. It is insane!
Do you have any experience with this?
Ive seen arythmirycain is an antibiotic that can kill it off completely but can I use this with my entire stock and fine sand substrate in? I feel it will just come back again if EVERYTHING is not removed. My canister filter is glued to the side so there is no chance of cleaning behind there.

I guess what I’m asking is when I dose arythmirycain, if there is any microscopic bits of this Cyanobacteria anywhere in or around the tank then will it just be a matter of weeks before I start to see patched develop again?

I have taken some pictures. I have blacked out the tank for the last 3 days as an experiment and you can see it’s starting to peel away in places. Usually thick and has a shine or glow to it.
Poor fish.
 

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