Tank trouble!

MinnesotaAndy

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I have a 60 gallon bow front that has been up for 3 years. It was set up with plant media that is deep 12" towards the back and slopes to the front. It is running with an EHEIM Professional 3 rated for 100 gallons. It is running with biological filter media.

The tank began to have a massive black algae problem... blanketing the bottom and having bubbles in the algae. The tank had an Amazon Sword plant that had grown so much it took over the tank. It was beautiful up to about 2 months ago when the algae started to really take off. The Amazon Sword started to die and then the issue got really bad. I cut out the sword leaving the root structure. I then did good water changes about every 10 days and used a bottom cleaning syphon. I thought a good 4 to 5 water changes with about 8 gallons per change would take care of this but it shows no signs of slowing down. I thought by clearing out the Amazon Sword and the more frequent water changes... The issue is cleared and then the plants re-grow from the established root system. Any help is appreciated!!!

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Wills

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Hi welcome to the forum :) Sorry to hear you are having a tough time at the moment!

The algae in the pictures looks like its a type called Blue Green Algae. BGA is actually a type of photosynthetic bacteria rather than a true algae. The first step is to do a total blackout for about 5 days. No lights on and try and block out any sunlight, follow this with a big water change and gravel vac and add in some new healthy plants - fast growers like Limnophilla Sessiflora or Anacharis or Hygrophila Siamensis 53b etc.

Past that you can look into a type of antibiotics that can help with it but I've not had to do that before.

Wills
 

Valkyrie_Lips

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I could be wrong, but to me it looks more like BBA (black beard algae) which is like the final boss of all algae. As far as I know you're going to have to remove it by hand. Take out and rinse/scrub the rocks/decor it is covering and scrap it off everything else in the tank. I'm not entirely sure how to eradicate it completely from the tank since it is very resilient and hardy. Hopefully other members can weigh in.
 

Colin_T

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It's blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria). It comes in a range of colours from dark blue, dark green, brown, black, pink, purple and red. It has a musty mouldy smell and lifts off in sheets.

It loves nutrients, red light, low oxygen levels and minimal water movement.

You can normally get rid of it by doing big (75%) daily water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Increase aeration and water movement, especially around the bottom of the tank.

Reduce the dry food going into the tank.

If you have old fluorescent light globes on the tank, change them to newer globes with a 6500K rating (K is for Kelvin). Change the fluorescent starters too.

If you have LED lights, have equal amounts of red, blue and green light. Reducing red light can help get it under control but plants need red, green and blue in equal parts to do well.

Clean the filter.
 
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MinnesotaAndy

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It does look like Blue Green Algae as it is a sheet with air bubbles under it. It is a bit darker then what I see in photos / youtube etc.

I'll try the advice posted... Does LED lighting need to be replaced? I have good LED lighting that is built for planted fresh water tanks... Wondering if the light spectrum changes as the bulbs age like the old metal halide or fluorescent lights. My LEDs are about a year and a half old.
 

Slaphppy7

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No need to replace the fixture, just shorten the lighting period
 

Colin_T

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I'll try the advice posted... Does LED lighting need to be replaced? I have good LED lighting that is built for planted fresh water tanks... Wondering if the light spectrum changes as the bulbs age like the old metal halide or fluorescent lights. My LEDs are about a year and a half old.
No, LED lights do not need to be changed after a period of time. They produce the same output their entire lives.
 

kiko

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simple 10% daily water changes...don't go adding no balance this or that...
people go with RO because it's the easiest thing to lower ph...comes out with a 5-5.5ph filtered of minerals/metals/chlorine etc...
so you're adding "pure water" and then fixing it with a bottle of this a bottle of that...
grab carbon activated filters mesh bags and throw them in your filter/sump for chlorine
next...you need your kh down...grab hydrochloric acid or also known as muriatic acid...1 cap for each 20 gallons of water...make this 20gallon mix in a bucket and let it sit for about 4-5 days
don't add hydrochloric acid directly into your tank as the reaction will kill all your fish (you have to make it in a bucket and let it sit for at least 4 days)
also start looking into adding stuff that will eat algae from your tank...shrimp forget them...even amano will probably eat your left over fish food before eating algae
about 12 otocinclus and around 6 hillstream loaches will act as a great clean up crew
hell I'm happy when I see algae in my tank...I'm like...free food!! xD
I do a weekly gravel vac of about 5 gallons drainage of a 45gal tank and fill it back up straight from tap I have stones in the intake and sea shells and carbon filters then some random bio balls sponges and filter floss...(ph controller with co2)
my 10gal has 2 carbon mesh bags then bio balls and filter floss...
I only have shrimp and a couple oto's in the 10gal and looks like this:
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whenever I have an algae bloom like black or hair algae I don't feed them for like 4/5 days and they end up taking care of the problem this way ^^
 

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