I was sick, now I have cyanobacteria and black beard algae, pics if I'm wrong

Fishmrr

I was sick and I wasn't caring for my fish like I usually do. It took me almost four weeks to get to where I wasn't exhausted just getting up to go pee. I am now (almost 6 weeks later) trying to rescue my tanks. While my friends were amazing at feed my fish and helping me care for them, they aren't enthusiasts. I have a black beard algae outbreak and I think cyanobacteria outbreak.

I have two tanks affected. My 55 gallon show tank and my 40 gallon breeder tank. My 55 gallon show tank has a lot of fish. 1 opaline gourami, 3 flame dwarf gourami, 3 powder blue dwarf gourami, 2 panda garra, 1 emerald cory cat (would love to move him/her to a tank with other cory's but can't catch it), 2 royal farlowella catfish (less than 5 inches long, still juvenile), 6 leopard print danio, 4 sparkling gourami, 3 rainbow celebes, 1 goth neon tetra (not the right name but I've called him that for years last of one of my first tanks, I think he's immortal), 3 male guppies (no females) and an unknown number of assassin snails. There also might be 1 ghost shrimp. The water tests I have are the api master testing kit. The PH for the show tank is 8. (trust me that's way lower than my water) My ammonia for the show tank is 0 ppm. My nitrites are at 0 ppm and my nitrate is at 80 ppm. ------- My breeder tank has 3 adult demasoni dwarf mbuna chichlids. 5 around 1 inch and at least three at about 1/4 inch long. I was told I didn't have to worry about breeding them because they are hard to get the conditions just right. The PH for the breeder tank is 8.4. The ammonia is at 0 ppm and the nitrite is at 0 ppm. The nitrate is at 40 ppm. Both tanks are fully planted, the only exceptions being the fake plant on the cave rock in the breeder tank and the fluffy dense fake plant in the breeder tank. All the rest are actual plants. I have over the side filters (I know, I should use canister filters...) that have 1 half with a regular filter cartridge and the other half has the api nitra zorb. Though it probably needs recharging. The breeder tank has two 12" air stones while the breeder tank only has 1 12' airstone and a small cylinder shaped one that makes big bubbles. I have not done a water change yet (will be doing a 20% one later tonight if I don't run out of energy, praying I don't) but my friends were topping off the tanks with water treated with prime (they used too much). I suspect overfeeding has happened but at least I didn't lose any fish while I was sick. Instead I have gained fish. I only had the 3 adult mbuna cichlids when I left. Lol.

I am asking for help with the black fuzzy algae (ew) and the dang near impossible to scrub off green algae (cyanobacteria, I think). I would like detailed instructions just in case I screw up. I'm still pretty fuzzy headed. Thank you guys so much in advance.

Concerned fish mom. I had to post a pic of one of the baby mbuna, it's sooo cute!

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I'm at the point where I am wondering if it's worth it all to bleach shock all the plants, boil all the decor and just pray that I can monitor the tanks through a complete water change and a new cycle.
 

Mudminnow

Your black fuzzy algae looks like staghorn algae to me. Once you start feeling better and settle back into a normal cleaning routine, this stuff will probably go away on its own eventually. That's been my experience anyway. You can speed things along by removing infected leaves and such.

The hard to remove green algae looks like green spot algae (GSA). For me, the main thing with this algae is just cleaning the glass every now and then. I have a Flipper Max magnetic glass cleaner that makes removing GSA easy (using the metal blade side).
 

Fishmrr

Your black fuzzy algae looks like staghorn algae to me. Once you start feeling better and settle back into a normal cleaning routine, this stuff will probably go away on its own eventually. That's been my experience anyway. You can speed things along by removing infected leaves and such.
The hard to remove green algae looks like green spot algae (GSA). For me, the main thing with this algae is just cleaning the glass every now and then. I have a Flipper Max magnetic glass cleaner that makes removing GSA easy (using the metal blade side).
Does GSA smell bad? My tanks have green goo just under the lids that smells like really really good dirt.

My glass cleaner (the magnetic one) just doesn't get it without some serious elbow grease. Or maybe I am just getting tired easier. At any rate, I am winded before I finish even a small 6"x6" area.
 

Mudminnow

Does GSA smell bad? My tanks have green goo just under the lids that smells like really really good dirt.

My glass cleaner (the magnetic one) just doesn't get it without some serious elbow grease. Or maybe I am just getting tired easier. At any rate, I am winded before I finish even a small 6"x6" area.
Nope, GSA doesn't smell like much. But, cyanobacteria/bluegreen algae (BGA) does. It sounds like you also have some BGA growing growing under your lids. There is a little bit on the edge of a couple of the leaves that show the staghorn algae too.

For mild cases of BGA (like you have), cleaning out mulm and making sure your water is well oxygenated is usually enough to keep it at bay. So, kind of like the staghorn algae, I suspect the BGA will start to go away as you begin to feel better and settle back into a regular cleaning routine.

Also, if your magnetic glass cleaner takes a lot of scrubbing to remove the GSA, it may be time for a new magnetic glass cleaner. Does yours have a metal blade? That's the part that makes light work of the GSA on my glass cleaner.
 

Fishmrr

Nope, GSA doesn't smell like much. But, cyanobacteria/bluegreen algae (BGA) does. It sounds like you also have some BGA growing growing under your lids. There is a little bit on the edge of a couple of the leaves that show the staghorn algae too.

For mild cases of BGA (like you have), cleaning out mulm and making sure your water is well oxygenated is usually enough to keep it at bay. So, kind of like the staghorn algae, I suspect the BGA will start to go away as you begin to feel better and settle back into a regular cleaning routine.

Also, if your magnetic glass cleaner takes a lot of scrubbing to remove the GSA, it may be time for a new magnetic glass cleaner. Does yours have a metal blade? That's the part that makes light work of the GSA on my glass cleaner.

What is Mulm?

And no, it doesn't have a metal blade. I looked up the one you have and dear lord I about had a heart attack. That's expensive for a razor blade in plastic. I'm sending pics to my husband to see if he can 3d print me one. Me being out of work has killed our budget.

What do I do about my plants? After you mentioned the gsa I looked it up and it said that it was poor water quality. I don't add fertilizers generally and I have never done co2. My tests don't cover phosphates (as far as I know).

Once I do the water changes regularly (10% weekly is my usual) will this stuff just disappear? Or will I have to scrub everything? How will my plants handle it and should I throw my tank into darkness for a few days to help this process along?

Also, thank you so much for helping me! I really appreciate it!
 

Mudminnow

What is Mulm?

And no, it doesn't have a metal blade. I looked up the one you have and dear lord I about had a heart attack. That's expensive for a razor blade in plastic. I'm sending pics to my husband to see if he can 3d print me one. Me being out of work has killed our budget.

What do I do about my plants? After you mentioned the gsa I looked it up and it said that it was poor water quality. I don't add fertilizers generally and I have never done co2. My tests don't cover phosphates (as far as I know).

Once I do the water changes regularly (10% weekly is my usual) will this stuff just disappear? Or will I have to scrub everything? How will my plants handle it and should I throw my tank into darkness for a few days to help this process along?

Also, thank you so much for helping me! I really appreciate it!
Mulm is all that organic dusty brown stuff that collects in the substrate and other nooks and crannies of the tank.

Your plants look pretty good. You may be lucky, and your plants are getting what they need from fish waste and your tap water. I've never been so lucky. I've always needed to add fertilizers for my plants. (CO2 injection is not necessary.)

It may be that a lot of the algae will disappear once you start doing water changes again. Time will tell. Scrubbing the glass once a week is pretty normal for most tanks though. But, once you get on top of it, it shouldn't be as hard to stay on top of it.

Throwing your tank into darkness (AKA blackout) is a perfectly viable way to combat algae. You may not need to, but I don't think it would hurt. It would sure be a lot better than tearing everything down and bleaching/boiling it--something I would avoid.
 

Fishmrr

Mulm is all that organic dusty brown stuff that collects in the substrate and other nooks and crannies of the tank.

Your plants look pretty good. You may be lucky, and your plants are getting what they need from fish waste and your tap water. I've never been so lucky. I've always needed to add fertilizers for my plants. (CO2 injection is not necessary.)

It may be that a lot of the algae will disappear once you start doing water changes again. Time will tell. Scrubbing the glass once a week is pretty normal for most tanks though. But, once you get on top of it, it shouldn't be as hard to stay on top of it.

Throwing your tank into darkness (AKA blackout) is a perfectly viable way to combat algae. You may not need to, but I don't think it would hurt. It would sure be a lot better than tearing everything down and bleaching/boiling it--something I would avoid.
Ah. The yuck that my plants love so much (when I vacuum the contents are poured out into my gardens). Lol. I'll do a 50% water change after scrubbing everything I can without ripping my plants out. Then do a 3 day black out. Do you think the baby fish will be okay in the dark for 3 days with no food? They are primarily vegetarian and could nosh on the plants I'd guess. I really don't want to do a complete tear down. That is not fun for me or the fish.
 

Mudminnow

Ah. The yuck that my plants love so much (when I vacuum the contents are poured out into my gardens). Lol. I'll do a 50% water change after scrubbing everything I can without ripping my plants out. Then do a 3 day black out. Do you think the baby fish will be okay in the dark for 3 days with no food? They are primarily vegetarian and could nosh on the plants I'd guess. I really don't want to do a complete tear down. That is not fun for me or the fish.
I agree. I don't think tearing down the tank is your best option. Because, I don't think the algae seems that far out of control. And, bleaching/boiling everything might throw your tank out of balance and cause even more algae problems than you currently have.

I don't think your baby fish will be bothered by the dark, but I don't know about without food. A three day fast wouldn't bother adult fish at all...but babies...I don't know.
 

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