Indian almond leaves and cyanobacteria

TClare

I have been struggling with cyanobacteria in one of my tanks, it probably started due to increased bioload when my Cichlasomas bred, until I removed them at 2-3 cm there were 42 babies plus the parents, three Apistogrammas and 4 otos. The tank is 240 litres (about 63 gallons). The BGA started on the roots of the floating plants, which I removed the affected ones regularly, but it then spread to the driftwood, rocks, substrate and was starting to affect the plants that had already been hammered by the activities of the cichlids. I tried to keep it under control, removing, scrubbing, siphoning and cleaning or removing affected plants. I cut down the light hours and did more frequent and bigger water changes, but it just kept growing back. I did not want to do a blackout as it would probablyy kill the otos’ food as well, and I did not want to use antibiotics even if I could get hold of them. I had considered trying excel, but not tried it yet. After a mammoth cleaning session last Saturday, by Monday more BGA was back, I cleaned and siphoned again, by Tuesday it was all over the substrate again. Then I had the idea of using almond leaves. After all they are supposed to have antibacterial properties. I googled it and found a couple of references to suggest that they might help, but nothing concrete. So after another cleaning session on Tuesday I added 3 large leaves, enough to slightly tint the water. The BGA has not come back yet! And today I just did a regular water change. Of course I cant be 100% sure the leaves have helped, maybe a combination of everything else I was doing but the difference was impressive and immediate. I wanted to report this as it may be a good solution at least for mild cases. I will post an update next week.
 

BigManAquatics

Would be cool if it is a direct cause and effect thing.
 
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TClare

Do you add ferts ?
I was adding a liquid fertilizer just once a week, but I stopped after this BGA outbreak happened. The fertilizer I used had both macro and micronutrients. I have heard that low nitrate can lead to BGA but his tank always had low nitrate, in fact it was a bit higher when all the fish were in there and when the outbreak started, about 20 I think.
 
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Mudminnow

Very interesting TClare. Thanks for sharing. I'll file away almond leaves/tannins as another possible method to combat BGA.
 
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Basil

Interesting! Are you just floating the leaves?
 
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TClare

Interesting! Are you just floating the leaves?
Yes, I didn’t boil them first just stuck them in the tank, 3 big ones, they were floating at first but they have sunk to the bottom now, the cichlids keep moving them around.
 
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TClare

I said I would update after a week, and yesterday was water change day. I have been watching the tank carefully and I did find a couple of the floating plants with a tiny bit of BGA in their roots. I disposed of them and added a new leaf to float. But otherwise all clear still, no recurrence on the substrate, log or rocks. The original three leaves are still more or less intact, I have just added one more small one since last week, which is still floating.
 
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Basil

I said I would update after a week, and yesterday was water change day. I have been watching the tank carefully and I did find a couple of the floating plants with a tiny bit of BGA in their roots. I disposed of them and added a new leaf to float. But otherwise all clear still, no recurrence on the substrate, log or rocks. The original three leaves are still more or less intact, I have just added one more small one since last week, which is still floating.
I’m going to try this as I do have just a bit in a couple of my tanks.
What size is your tank?
 
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TClare

I’m going to try this as I do have just a bit in a couple of my tanks.
What size is your tank?
240 litres, about 63 gallons, and the first 3 leaves I put in were large ones, about 12" in length.
 
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StarGirl

Well this is very interesting for sure! Following to see where this goes!
 
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TClare

Well this is very interesting for sure! Following to see where this goes!
If anyone else tries this it would be good to know the results...
 
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Basil

Well it’s interesting that I’ve kept a half of a large leaf in my 10 g betta tank since I set it up last fall and it hardly even gets any algae. Well it also has a small population of (they stay at less than a dozen) ramshorns in it.
So I need to get some more leaves and I’ll try it in my one 40 b first.
 
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TClare

Well it’s interesting that I’ve kept a half of a large leaf in my 10 g betta tank since I set it up last fall and it hardly even gets any algae. Well it also has a small population of (they stay at less than a dozen) ramshorns in it.
So I need to get some more leaves and I’ll try it in my one 40 b first.
I don't think it will help with normal green algae, only blue green algae which is actually a bacteria, and snails don't eat it, nothing does I believe. Since putting the leaves in the driftwood actually has more green algae on it now, which I don't mind as it is food for otos. Before it was covered with BGA.
 
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MacZ

I don't think it will help with normal green algae, only blue green algae which is actually a bacteria, and snails don't eat it, nothing does I believe. Since putting the leaves in the driftwood actually has more green algae on it now, which I don't mind as it is food for otos. Before it was covered with BGA.

Correct, only bacteria are affected. Buut: Algae on botanicals can look really great. Especially when the biofilm waving in the current is down to nothing algae look great instead. Sadly only happens close to the surface.
 
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Basil

I don't think it will help with normal green algae, only blue green algae which is actually a bacteria, and snails don't eat it, nothing does I believe. Since putting the leaves in the driftwood actually has more green algae on it now, which I don't mind as it is food for otos. Before it was covered with BGA.
Oh I know it’s a bacteria and that snails don’t eat it (nothing eats it lol!) I was just thinking out loud.
 
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giseldajohnson

I said I would update after a week, and yesterday was water change day. I have been watching the tank carefully and I did find a couple of the floating plants with a tiny bit of BGA in their roots. I disposed of them and added a new leaf to float. But otherwise all clear still, no recurrence on the substrate, log or rocks. The original three leaves are still more or less intact, I have just added one more small one since last week, which is still floating.
are they safe in a goldfish tank?
 
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TClare

I am not sure to be honest, they are usually used with soft water tropical fishes. I find that a few large leaves do not alter the pH much, they do stain the water. I doubt if they would be particularly harmful for goldfish though but maybe someone else knows better than me...?.
 
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MacZ

For goldfish rather use oak or beech. Anything temperate native.
 
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