War against blue green algae

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biofish

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I’ve had it with the blue green algae. It stinks. It spread too fast. It suffocates my plants. I WANT IT GONE BUT I DONT KNOW HOW.

Three of my tanks have it right now, and I spent an hour scooping and scraping out as much as I could do I could get a jump on treatment. But let’s just focus on the tank with it the worst: my 55 gallon.

It’s home to 6 angelfish, 2 female pearl gourami, a bristlenose, and a bunch of albino cories. And it is very very understaffed in snails. I only have like 3 in there but I haven’t had money to go buy the additional snails I need. My LFS sells them at a rate of 5$ per and it really adds up. I was thinking of getting a few mystery snails because they can reproduce in freshwater… but i suspect I’d have an overpopulation issue before too long.

I recently bought a second fluval 70 filter for it, so now it’s got two filters running constantly, to increase the current.

My likely suspect is over feeding and lack of being able to get the substrate a good vacuum due to lots of plants and decorations.

Frequent large water changes are not very viable for me because the water in my area is much too hard for the fish I keep (water source changed due to droight), and it takes time for get the water parameters right and I can only do so much change without upsetting the fish too much. Granted, I will admit should change the water more than I do, but based on my master kit the params have always stayed firmly in the safe zone.

I’ve tried the turning lights off for three days starve method but it really hurt my plants.

Should I remove the plants and smaller decorations and just really work on giving them substrate a thorough vacuum? My tanks are all sand so I’d have to do the little water tornado thing.

Or is there something else I can do? I was reading about hydrogen peroxide treatments (a big fat no that’s way too dangerous), maracyn, chemiclean, etc. I just want to put the health of the fish first.

Unfortunately, I’m a dummy and didn’t think to take a picture of my tank before I cleaned it, but here’s a picture of it after I got a lot out do you can see the decorations I’m dealing with
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GaryE

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Cyano - nasty stuff. It's telling you your water is off - test kits don't say much and we rely on them too much for information. There are more cycles than the nitrogen one. But I can see the water change problem too.
In my old house, it was seasonal. I used chemiclean in desperation on a tank I'd removed the fish from, and then later on a fish in tank, and saw zero negative side effects. It wiped out the cyano. I don't like the product because its ingredients are secret, and you can't trust secretive stuff because you can't analyze it.
I was told a Potassium nitrate shortage helped cyano, and when I dosed it, it worked. But Potassium nitrate is a controlled substance here, since the right wing terrorists in the USA used it for bombs, and I would have to register to buy it. I'm not a farmer.
Water changes didn't help because all the aquarists in our club has cyano arrive with September water quality from the tap, and vanish by Christmas.

Shooting it with a syringe of peroxide kills it, but if you don't address the causes, it roars back. Plus, that takes a lot of time.

A blanket over the tank for a week also kills it. You can then peroxide shoot the wee spots that start to develop. I'd raise my water changing (not your option) and wait it out. You'll win, til it comes back as the water suits it.

We're probably only here because of it, if that's a consolation. It was the great oxygen producer when the planet was younger....
 
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biofish

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Dosed with chemiclean! Here’s a before picture so I can keep track of its progress
 

Rocky998

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That's a lot of bga...
Im gonna be blacking out my tank I think. There has been a build up on the rocks, wood, and worst of all my anubias!
Hopefully your bga goes away quickly!
 
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biofish

biofish

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That's a lot of bga...
Im gonna be blacking out my tank I think. There has been a build up on the rocks, wood, and worst of all my anubias!
Hopefully your bga goes away quickly!
Join me in the war!

I tried the blackout and it really killed my plants 💀💀

They used to be thicker and fuller. Alas! I have found hopefully a new weapon…
 

Rocky998

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Luckily my plants are just java fern and anubias, so they are low light.
Sorry to hear about your plants

I want to stay away from the chemicals, I know people are saying its ok but I dontr want to accidentally kill my fish 😕
 

kiko

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lower the flow...increase oxygen...
---> inline co2 diffuser connected to your canister filter and a simple air pump
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add hillstream loaches+otos
and slowly watch your problem go away xD
 

Byron

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Cyanobacteria is caused by high organics in the presence of light. Nothing else. If there are no organics, or light, there can be no cyanobacteria. The only way to safely and effectively deal with cyano is by reducing the organics so the biological system is balanced, and possibly though not always the light.

Blackouts, adding antibiotics, and similar "cures" are not cures at all but bandaids. Like problem algae, you must correct the cause.

Twice I had cyano in my 70g tank. I reduced the accumulation of nutrients (organics, plant additives), removed as much as I could with the weekly water change, and saw it slowly reduce until it was gone, completely. Keep the filter well cleaned, and vacuum into the substrate, as these are the two places where organics can really build up. Feed less, stop plant additives for the treatment period. Then back to normal, but be careful overfeeding (and overstocking obviously),

It is true as was noted in another related thread today that cyanobacteria may be a seasonal issue in water supplies. That is all well and good, but it will not take hold in an aquarium unless th conditions in the aquarium have deteriorated such that it has the "green light."

Do not ever add fish solely to deal with a problem that is solvable by proper maintenance and husbandry. Nothing will eat cyanobacteria anyway, so far as I know.
 
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biofish

biofish

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One dose of chemiclean helped. Getting ready to do a second.

I’ll have to start washing the filters more! Cleaning the sand is kinda impossible. I’ve always wanted to get khuli loaches though. Was planning on them for this tank but none of my LFS had healthy looking ones… would they help prevent nutrient build up in the sand by keeping the sand moving?

I tried ottos when I was inexperienced and before I knew that the tank had to be at least 6 months old before adding them…. And you can guess how that went and now I have a mental block when it comes to ottos even though they would have much greater chances surviving in my current tanks LOL

And I’m nervous about dialing back the feeding because of my cories. The angels are very very hungry fast eaters so every day it’s a fight to get some food down to the cories. I have sinking pellets, but I kinda stopped using them because they weren’t being finished and were left to rot. Granted, I gave more cories now, so the problem would probably not be as bad.
 

Byron

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Chemiclean is an antibiotic, erythromycin. This should never be used in a tank with fish except to counteract a disease issue in the fish. We all know what antibiotics do otherwise.

There are no fish that will eat cyanobacteria.

Kuhli loaches burrow into the sand, but this may be to build their "home" and not something they do all over the substrate.
 

kiko

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have you tried ultralife blue green slime stain remover? supposedly it works and it's got over 1600 ratings with a 4.5star average on amazon
 

kiko

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you should post about your experience...products...water parameters and any fish deaths....
spread the knowledge xD
 
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biofish

biofish

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Kay! So there’s not much to say…

Product: chemiclean; 1 scoop (provided) of powder per 10 gallons. Treating a 55 gallon so 5 and a half scoops per dose mixed in a cup of fish tank water before being added to the tank. Removed carbon from filters.
Dosages: on my third dose! The pictures are posted between the doses!
Parameters: have largely stayed the same except my water is getting harder with the more frequent water changes and my water treatments haven’t kept up
Outside influence: have cleaned out my filters (my tank has 2) with every dose to try and lower the nutrient build up as much as I can since I can’t properly vacuum the substrate
Fish: 6 angels, 2 female Pearl gourami, lots of guppies, a small number of shrimp, about 10 or so cory catfish, 1 assassin snail, about 3 nerite snails, and 1 female bristlenose.
Fish deaths: 0
Fish behavior: Haven't noticed anything strange besides my cories acting a slightly agitated, likely do to the hardness
 
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