Is This Algae Or Bacteria?

Isobelle

In the last week this has showed up in one of my Betta tanks. No issues anywhere else. I’ve heard Cyanobacteria and algae. It clumps into the sand so I can’t clean it off. Any advice? Thank you!
 

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DarkOne

1 dose of EM Eythromycin should kill it.
 

Isobelle

Is that something I can get in Canada? I just checked and couldn’t find anything online
 

bgclarke

Is that something I can get in Canada? I just checked and couldn’t find anything online
No you can't (anymore).

Health Canada banned the sale of over the counter animal antibiotics in December 2018.
 

DarkOne

I have no idea. It's an anti-bacterial med that kills cyanobacteria.

I've had 2 outbreaks of cyanobacteria and both in a tank with white/very light sand. I had a sick fish so I treated the tank with EME and it killed off the CB within 2 days. I tried in another tank and it was gone in 2 days too (half dosage).
 

AquaticJ

No you definitely can’t get anything like that there unfortunately. Not really sure how else you can treat it.
 

DoubleDutch

What lighting do you have Isobelle ?
 

Isobelle

I knew they banned a lot of medications but not all so wasn’t sure. We still have Kanaplex, PolyGuard, MetroPlex, things like that.

What lighting do you have Isobelle ?

It’s a desk lamp with a grow light bulb in it. I can’t remember the brand but it’s been there for a couple months no issues. I even left it off for a few days thinking it was algae, and it’s like 5 feet from a window so I left that closed those few days too... no change.

If that’s the only thing that kills it and it’s illegal in Canada... sounds like I’m outta luck! Yikes.
 

Jack B Nimble

Looks like simple algae too me how long lights on ?
 

DarkOne

Here's the hard way...



Remedies
Once established, blue-green algae are rather difficult to eradicate. One way to eliminate it is by taking steps to reduce the nutrients and mechanically itself. Start by scraping the glass, scrubbing the rocks and plants, and vacuuming the . Perform a partial water change of 15 to 20 percent and turn the lights in the tank off for three days. On the fourth day turn the lights back on and perform another 10 to 15 percent water change. That should get rid of the algae overgrowth and reduce the elevated wastes and nutrients that support its growth. If there is still blue-green , the process should be repeated.


Be aware that the algae will soon return if the underlying causes are not corrected permanently. In fact, it can never truly eliminated. However, regular water changes, maintenance, and preventive measures will eliminate the recurrence of a blue-green algae overgrowth.


Another treatment option is the antibiotic erythromycin, which will kill the cyanobacteria that causes the slimy growth. However, the use of erythromycin can also affect the beneficial bacteria in the aquarium and should be used with care. If such treatment is used, monitor and nitrite levels closely for several weeks.


Ways to combat a blue-green algae overgrowth in your fish tank:
  • Reduce light
  • Partial water changes
  • Physical removal
  • Clean tank well
  • 200 mg erythromycin phosphate/10 gallons water

Unlike brown algae, cyanobacteria are not eaten by algae eating fish like sucker-mouth catfish. So, do not count on these fish to help clean up your blue-green algae problem.
 

Jack B Nimble

I've driven a boat through blue green algae and it looks more like a flouresant blue paint or from another planet. You guys sure ?
 

DarkOne

I've driven a boat through blue green algae and it looks more like a flouresant blue paint or from another planet. You guys sure ?
It doesn't look like that when it first starts to form/grow. I had it really bad in my 2.6g Fluval Spec III. I would "peel" it off the leaves and plants every few days. I had a pair of guppies that needed EME and when I dosed the tank, the algae all died off in a couple of days. I looked it up and it seems to be common practice to dose a tank with EME when you have a CB outbreak.
 

Isobelle

It didn’t react at all to the lights being off for a few days... and I tried vacuuming it up and it just clumped into some sand and would fall back out.
 

H Farnsworth

Get a rainbow shark those things love cyanobacteria and algae
 

Isobelle

Haha, it’s a Betta 5 gallon I don’t know how he’d feel about that!
 

Addie42

pretty sure we don't have kanaplex since kanamycin is an antibiotic
what if you got some burying snails like assassins to mess the sand up all the time? maybe that would help? idk
 

Isobelle

I’ve asked a few different people and I can’t get a solid answer. I don’t want to start treating randomly without knowing... I’ve heard Cyanobacteria (I can’t get erythromycin here) and Blackbeard algae mainly... this is after stirring the substrate up. It clumps into the sand. I left the lights off and blinds closed for 3 days... nothing. Does anyone know for sure what this is so I can get rid of it??

Thank you!

pretty sure we don't have kanaplex since kanamycin is an antibiotic
what if you got some burying snails like assassins to mess the sand up all the time? maybe that would help? idk
I was just at the store maybe 2 weeks ago and they had kanaplex!
 

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H Farnsworth

Haha, it’s a Betta 5 gallon I don’t know how he’d feel about that!
lol I was playing
 

Addie42

I was just at the store maybe 2 weeks ago and they had kanaplex!

Well you shoulda bought it then lol

It’s an antibiotic... let me know if it’s still there
Kanamycin treats tuberculosis so it’s kind of a bad thing for it to be available to the general public to use without knowing what is it... antibiotic resistant bacteria is a doomsday waiting to happen
 

TheBettaSushi

That looks like decaying plant matter especially the one on your heater (assuming you have live plants). If it siphons out easily, or you can easily move it with your hand then that’s what it is. Algae usually sticks on to things and you have to manually scrape it off.
 

DuaneV

The stuff on the sand looks like the start of Cyanobacteria. If its like a giant cobweb that clings to everything and is a blue-ish green color, that's probably it.
 

Isobelle

That looks like decaying plant matter especially the one on your heater (assuming you have live plants). If it siphons out easily, or you can easily move it with your hand then that’s what it is. Algae usually sticks on to things and you have to manually scrape it off.
I think I included in the post that it clumps into the sand. Doesn’t siphon up.

The stuff on the sand looks like the start of Cyanobacteria. If its like a giant cobweb that clings to everything and is a blue-ish green color, that's probably it.

It’s pretty green and clumps up a lot but not sure I’d say cobweb. How can I get rid of it if I can’t get erythromycin? :/
 

DuaneV

Usually its a case of an imbalanced tank. Too many nutrients (nitrates especially) so infrequent water changes can cause it. If you have hard water that's full of phosphates that will aid in its growth. Overstocking and overfeeding your tank can cause it. Too little water movement/air bubbles causing a protein slick. High light can also cause it if you have hard water. If you have a heavily stocked tank with hard water and you're doing only small water changes and using high light, Cyano will always show up.

You CAN get rid of it by cleaning the tank and decorations well and doing more/bigger water changes. That won't help if your overfeeding the tank, overstocking the tank, don't have enough water movement, have hard water, etc.

If you know you have hard water, you may need to go to RO water.

If you have multiple tanks and its only showing up in one tank figure out what's making that tank different.

I never use chemicals in my tank, so when I get a bloom of it (I have hard water and use grow lights on all my tanks) I just clean the tank well and try dial back the light. You might never get rid of it fully, but if you can manage it, it will be a lot better. There are a few chemicals available, but I don't think its worth it. You might have it come right back if you can figure out what's causing it.
 

trahana

Cyano bacteria has nothing to do with an imbalanced tank, its a bacteria that photosynthesis, so it will lie dormant until you have light, then it takes over. You need to find an antibiotic, pretty much Any antibiotic that is strong enough will kill it. Even a weak antibiotic like melafix will kill it if you triple the dose(remove the livestock from the tank for overdosing). For overdosing you need to remove fish/snails and then leave the antibiotic for 3 days, clean the tank, then dose again for 3 days, clean(remove all water) and then restock tank. I've finally gotten rid of my cyano problem from all seven of my tanks, after finding out cyano can be dormant(not dead) out of water. I also soaked my equipment in antibiotic too, but you can also use bleach if you rinse Extremely well.
 

DuaneV

What I wrote is what Ive been told about Cyano for the last 40 years. A quick google search and I found this page:
 

TheBettaSushi

I think I included in the post that it clumps into the sand. Doesn’t siphon up.



It’s pretty green and clumps up a lot but not sure I’d say cobweb. How can I get rid of it if I can’t get erythromycin? :/
I was referring to what’s on your heater, not on your sand. I would check for phosphates and see if that is causing the issue. Too much of it will cause an algae outbreak. Every time I have had algae, I would lightly graze over my sand substrate to remove the top layer that is growing algae. I can understand that once it’s on the sand, it’s very difficult to combat unless meds are used or siphon out the algae on the sand.
 

trahana

What I wrote is what Ive been told about Cyano for the last 40 years. A quick google search and I found this page:

Yeah, and I've also heard that bettas only live 2 years and don't need a heater/filter. Opinions. They belong to people, but don't always hold facts.
What I wrote is what I've learned over the past year of dealing with cyano. Cyano will Always come back unless you use antibiotics to kill it. You can't not have the nutrients that they feed off of, so if you have cyano, its because you have cyano in your tank that was introduced to the tank through plants, gravel, or water from stock. You don't simple get cyano from forgetting to change the tank, its a bacteria and doesn't appear from nowhere.
Plus, I wouldn't trust spruce pets, since they say "In fact, it can never truly eliminated. However, regular water changes, maintenance, and preventive measures will eliminate the recurrence of a blue-green algae overgrowth."
Which is something I have proven wrong.
 

Addie42

Yeah, and I've also heard that bettas only live 2 years and don't need a heater/filter. Opinions. They belong to people, but don't always hold facts.
What I wrote is what I've learned over the past year of dealing with cyano. Cyano will Always come back unless you use antibiotics to kill it. You can't not have the nutrients that they feed off of, so if you have cyano, its because you have cyano in your tank that was introduced to the tank through plants, gravel, or water from stock. You don't simple get cyano from forgetting to change the tank, its a bacteria and doesn't appear from nowhere.
Plus, I wouldn't trust spruce pets, since they say "In fact, it can never truly eliminated. However, regular water changes, maintenance, and preventive measures will eliminate the recurrence of a blue-green algae overgrowth."
Which is something I have proven wrong.

to be fair, spruce pets says the exact same thing about literally every illness in the aquarium ever
 

Megha

In the last week this has showed up in one of my Betta tanks. No issues anywhere else. I’ve heard Cyanobacteria and algae. It clumps into the sand so I can’t clean it off. Any advice? Thank you!
It's definitely alge, most of my large tanks have some of it. It generally doesn't harm the fishes or water and it can also be a food to some of the fishes any catfishs or loaches will eat it out also it will die if aquarium is restricted to get enough sunlight
 

Isobelle

Usually its a case of an imbalanced tank. Too many nutrients (nitrates especially) so infrequent water changes can cause it. If you have hard water that's full of phosphates that will aid in its growth. Overstocking and overfeeding your tank can cause it. Too little water movement/air bubbles causing a protein slick. High light can also cause it if you have hard water. If you have a heavily stocked tank with hard water and you're doing only small water changes and using high light, Cyano will always show up.

You CAN get rid of it by cleaning the tank and decorations well and doing more/bigger water changes. That won't help if your overfeeding the tank, overstocking the tank, don't have enough water movement, have hard water, etc.

If you know you have hard water, you may need to go to RO water.

If you have multiple tanks and its only showing up in one tank figure out what's making that tank different.

I never use chemicals in my tank, so when I get a bloom of it (I have hard water and use grow lights on all my tanks) I just clean the tank well and try dial back the light. You might never get rid of it fully, but if you can manage it, it will be a lot better. There are a few chemicals available, but I don't think its worth it. You might have it come right back if you can figure out what's causing it.

It’s a five gallon with only a Betta, and a couple of small ramshorn snails. I have another, same setup, one Betta, same light and filter, and it doesn’t happen there. I feed 3-4 pellets once a day, one at a time, so he eats them all. Water change and vacuum the sand once a week on fridays, about a 50% water change. Nitrates are only ever 0-5.

It definitely gets more sunlight than my other tanks but I had one directly in front of a window for a year and it never grew a spot, so I don’t think that’s the issue. I also covered it for 3 days and no luck.
 

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