How do i go about cleaning all this?

Nickguy5467

sadly i admit ive neglected gravel vaccuming the plants because my python didnt really work because science. didnt think to use my old vac. anyway sludge like stuff . im going to try and gravel vac with old vac today over the plants and try to stir up the goop at the plant bases.

but heres my main question. i have a large log like decor with anubias plants glued all over it. also those have hair algae all over them. how would i go about cleaning that. i imagine taking the decor out and doing something with it. like a large barrel bath or something? fortunately its base is not under the sand so i dont think i have to worry about digging up a bunch of soil and create a mud aquarium, and i can probably get to the grase behind the log. its probably a nightmare back there. cleaning tips thoughts? thank you

not a picture i took today but recent, generally the same issue. grass base sludge and anubias on top.. now that i think of it. probably should do the sword base too


IMG_20220222_132830178.jpg
 

SparkyJones

is there a water quality issue, or just an appearance issue?
 

Nickguy5467

is there a water quality issue, or just an appearance issue?
havent tested the water . so i guess just an appearance issue. the picture makes it look better than it is those. most of that grass you see is just covered in brown. like they are algae grass.

guess i should test the water to check that off.

but i found a solution between then and today. i just bring out a small bucket and put the syphon end of the python in it and use the normal vacc and vacc into that bucket and the python continuously sucks out the water. and i get my water preasure when vaccuming back. i cleaned up a bunch of the muck at the base of the grass to the best of my ability. unfortunately my ability isnt that much :p . the best i can think of
 

SparkyJones

I'm no expert, but looks like silica diatoms (brown algae) to me. if it is then likely it's associated with high phosphates or high nitrates, you could use a product like Phosbond or Phosguard, to bring phosphates down or water changes to bring phosphates and nitrates down, and depending on your light cycle you are using, either not enough or too much, and go for 5-8 hours of light daily (don't go to 12 or it will likely switch over to green algae) just enough for the plants to conduct photosynthesis and start using up nutrients. if it's brown algae (silica diatoms) and silica might be in your substrate or your water, I don't know the source, but it's either extra silica, or extra nitrates, if you haven't been vacuuming and detritus has been sinking into the substrate, it's possible nitrates are building up down there under the surface and theres no anoxic zone or anaerobic area conducive for denitrifying bacteria to break it down to nitrogen gas.

you can also get some ghost shrimp, which used to be pretty cheap and might still be, and let them go to work cleaning and eating it, but you have to get the imbalance sorted out, the cause of the algae explosion in the first place, or it's all a temporary fix and the tail is wagging the dog.

really need to really test the water to figure out where the imbalance is if it's fertilizers, or nitrates,
or simple neglect to do water changes, or not running the light too much or not enough. or if it's coming from the tap water and changing water with it, or adding a certain fert is overkill.
It shouldn't do what it's doing if it's in balance. even if you skipped some vacuuming, as long as you are waterchanging.... or have an anoxic zone thats well established. building up enough denitrifying bacteria can take months to a year or more witht he perfect conditions for it, but substrate needs to be deep enough to always be out of the water column and flow and of low to no oxygen, then you wouldn't vacuum, at least not deeply at all just over the surface, but that's a much longer story than you issue needs.

but anyways, the "sludge" could be old brown algae that has died off. What people call "sludge" in fishtanks is generally plant matter die off that is decomposing, be it algae or plant leaves, in which case, you'd see it in the nitrates being high also. Brown algae is easy to remove from the glass, it just wipes away in a fine particulate into the water like a dust cloud, but if allowed to run amok and stack up, the lower layers will die off as they get blocked from light completely and then the sludge effect occurs, but that doesn't happen by skipping vacuuming for a month. LOL.

Barring finding out the root cause of the issue, where the imbalance is, and it isn't the sludge or the algae, but what's causing the bloom of it, you might have to do a tear down, and mix it all up to get it out of there. Rather than messing with being gentle and not getting the sludge out and where you want it to be in appearance. uproot everything rinse it off as best you can, clean out thestrate and rebuild.
might be no way at this point to not have to disturb the plants and uproot things to get to where you want it again quickly and save the work with minimal results.
But I'd say if you do it, save your filter pads to jumpstart you nitirification colony so it cycles quick, "seeding". you'll have some of the ammonia and some of the nitrite breakers from day one ready to multiply. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak.
.
 

Nickguy5467

I'm no expert, but looks like silica diatoms (brown algae) to me. if it is then likely it's associated with high phosphates or high nitrates, you could use a product like Phosbond or Phosguard, to bring phosphates down or water changes to bring phosphates and nitrates down, and depending on your light cycle you are using, either not enough or too much, and go for 5-8 hours of light daily (don't go to 12 or it will likely switch over to green algae) just enough for the plants to conduct photosynthesis and start using up nutrients. if it's brown algae (silica diatoms) and silica might be in your substrate or your water, I don't know the source, but it's either extra silica, or extra nitrates, if you haven't been vacuuming and detritus has been sinking into the substrate, it's possible nitrates are building up down there under the surface and theres no anoxic zone or anaerobic area conducive for denitrifying bacteria to break it down to nitrogen gas.

you can also get some ghost shrimp, which used to be pretty cheap and might still be, and let them go to work cleaning and eating it, but you have to get the imbalance sorted out, the cause of the algae explosion in the first place, or it's all a temporary fix and the tail is wagging the dog.

really need to really test the water to figure out where the imbalance is if it's fertilizers, or nitrates,
or simple neglect to do water changes, or not running the light too much or not enough. or if it's coming from the tap water and changing water with it, or adding a certain fert is overkill.
It shouldn't do what it's doing if it's in balance. even if you skipped some vacuuming, as long as you are waterchanging.... or have an anoxic zone thats well established. building up enough denitrifying bacteria can take months to a year or more witht he perfect conditions for it, but substrate needs to be deep enough to always be out of the water column and flow and of low to no oxygen, then you wouldn't vacuum, at least not deeply at all just over the surface, but that's a much longer story than you issue needs.

but anyways, the "sludge" could be old brown algae that has died off. What people call "sludge" in fishtanks is generally plant matter die off that is decomposing, be it algae or plant leaves, in which case, you'd see it in the nitrates being high also. Brown algae is easy to remove from the glass, it just wipes away in a fine particulate into the water like a dust cloud, but if allowed to run amok and stack up, the lower layers will die off as they get blocked from light completely and then the sludge effect occurs, but that doesn't happen by skipping vacuuming for a month. LOL.

Barring finding out the root cause of the issue, where the imbalance is, and it isn't the sludge or the algae, but what's causing the bloom of it, you might have to do a tear down, and mix it all up to get it out of there. Rather than messing with being gentle and not getting the sludge out and where you want it to be in appearance. uproot everything rinse it off as best you can, clean out thestrate and rebuild.
might be no way at this point to not have to disturb the plants and uproot things to get to where you want it again quickly and save the work with minimal results.
But I'd say if you do it, save your filter pads to jumpstart you nitirification colony so it cycles quick, "seeding". you'll have some of the ammonia and some of the nitrite breakers from day one ready to multiply. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak.
.
yeah i was thinking. maybe i would have to just remove all the grass clean the surface. i forgot how you clean plants. but clean them and replant them?
 

SparkyJones

Yeah, nothing crazy, you don't want to damage the leaves and smash cells, but they might clean up with just agitating them in a bucket of water by shaking it around some int he water and some gentle rubbing.

there's also 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) soak for a minute and try to rub the algae off gently with your fingers. you don't want to soak more than a minute or two in that, but it might be sufficient to kill any active algae and loosen it. Once cleaned best you can, neutralize the bleach of course before replanting. They will grow out of the uglies in time with new growth if the imbalance is resolved and the mess mostly cleaned up.
 

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