Success - My Horrible Algae Problem Solved

  1. jcalle Initiate Member

    My 65 gallon planted aquarium has been up and running for about 6 months. It cycled up nice and ran wonderfully until about 2 months ago when algae started on glass, spread to plants eventually just about smothering them. I suspect the algae bloom may have something to do with plants versus algae - lots of new plants and fish gave the algae an in! I'd be interested in anyone else comment on this. Here's what I tried:

    Part 1:
    30% water changes weekly.
    mechanical removal of algae with changes
    2 capfuls of Excel daily

    *I augment my CO2 system with 1 capful of Excel daily but read that doubling the dose has great algae control.
    This worked surprisingly fast and the Excel obliterated the algae growing on the plants but...


    Part 2:
    Although the plants/glass were looking great I had a massive algae bloom in the water / green soup!
    You could not even see across the tank. Information from a bunch of sites told me to do 30% water changes daily and I did this for almost month without resolving the problem, then discovered the world of water clarifiers. Seems like a big "duh" now but...

    I used one dose of API Accu-Clear as directed and within a few hours my tank was crystal clear. Seriously. I was amazed. There are a bunch of these products on the market for example Seachem's Clarity, whatever. I think they all work the same way - they cause very small particles to clumpy together. Algae just circulates with the water with normal filters. Clump the algae together and your filter catches them. After clearing the tank I cleaned my canister filter (Fluval 306) and as expected the water and filters were deep green. Nice.

    There are other solutions too like using a clarifying sponge in your filter or intake.

    I'm hoping that I've cleared up a spot problem and the underlying problem is solved (plants established and pulling nutrients). I'm not sure I'd like to use a clarifier on a regular basis - fix the problem!

    Only time will tell.

    ->Yes I have snails, Siamese Algae Eaters, Otoclinclus, Shrimp (down to 1 now).

    I hope my experience is helpful.
     
  2. NCE12940 Well Known Member Member

    Useful information. Thanks.
     

  3. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    I'm glad you got it under control. I combat algae three ways, although I've only had it a few times. First, the light goes off and stays off. Second, like you, I spot-treat with Excel. And third, the fish go on a diet for a few days. I try to choke the algae out by cutting off everything it needs to grow.
     
  4. jcalle Initiate Member

    You know although I've had aquariums for some time but it seems there are always new things to try and problems to solve and that's part of what I love about it.

    I'm sure hoping the underlying problem is resolved. I did a phosphate test and I have just about zero in the tank so it doesn't appear to be anything in the way of overfeeding or the fertilizers I have used. I'll try to get some tank photos on the site and will follow-up in a month of two with progress. So far so good!
     

  5. Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    Does sunlight get into your tank? How long are your lights on for?
     
  6. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Water changes is the worst thing to do for green water.
     
  7. Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    Why is that? I've never had green water. But I thought no light and water changes helped.
     

  8. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Because it multiplies too fast and comes back stronger.

    Recommended combat is to do a 5-day blackout. This means covering the tank so no light gets in and no peeking.

    Then correcting the root cause so it doesn't come back.
     
  9. jcalle Initiate Member

    Well it's been awhile now and things do seem to be under control. I did repeat a half dose of API but I am now thinking that it's an issue of just how clear you want your water to be. I've had the water tested multiple times and I think now that I will use a clarifier only as much as I need to to get the clarity that I want in this aquarium.