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Please can you help with my algae issues.

(15 Posts)
ItsMeMario Sat 09-May-15 15:38:29

I have a lot of algae in my tank. It is on all my plants, my bogwood and even my snails! Will pop on a couple of photos to show what it looks like.

Up until a few hours ago, i had a mix of silk and real plants but this morning, i have taken all the silk ones out and have replaced with real ones. Hopefully this will help with the nitrates too.

I have a 240 tank with external filter. It is well stocked.

I water change most weeks, usually around 20%

Water levels are stable with no ammonia and no nitrites, but the nitrates are always between 20 and 40.

My lights are on for 8 hours a day and the tank is not in direct sunlight.

Hopefully, the new plants will help to address the alage and nitrates and will add more if needed, but in the meantime, is there any way i can get rid of the algae off my bogwood? To clean the pebbles and glass, i have to use a scourer as it is impossible to shift, but i cant do that with the bogwood.

Any ideas?


ItsMeMario Sat 09-May-15 15:40:21


EauRouge Sun 10-May-15 00:14:21

Hello smile have you tested the phosphate? if you haven't got a kit then an aquarium shop should do it for ypu.

EauRouge Sun 10-May-15 00:17:30

Sorry, I really struggle with posting on my phone! your nitrAte level isfine and shouldn't be causing any problems. real plants should help use up some of the nutrients and if you choose the right ones then you won't need any extra lighting or anything. I use a liquid carbon feed that makes plants grow really fast so they out compete the algae.

ItsMeMario Sun 10-May-15 11:08:12

Thanks Eau.

Right am off to LFS to get an API test kit.

I have googled how to reduce the phospate levels and there are easy steps to take that i haven't been doing such as not hoovering the gravel and not squeezing out the filter media on water changes.

With my hungry platys, very little food ever reaches the bottom of the tank so am not too concerned about over feeding but it wouldn't hurt to reduce that too.

Doing this will stop the black beard algae from growing too much, but i will also use a liquid carbon (flourish excel seems to have great reviews) to try to get rid of the infestation i currently have.

One question i do have though, do i need to remove the activated carbon from the filter? (fluval 306)

Thanks for your help flowers

ItsMeMario Sun 10-May-15 16:48:09

Phosphate level in tank - 5.

Alrighty then.

Its on days like this that i should just hand over my credit card to Maidenhead Aquatics. Sigh.

I have now done a big water change and have cleaned a couple of the filters. My roses are now reaping the benefits of some seriously poopy water. On the advice of Maidenhead I have added clearmax filter media and have added the liquid carbon to kill the bkack beard algae. The nice chappie at Maidenhead said it will take a week or so.

It looks like i am always going to be fighting a battle with phosphates as a control test showed my tap water at 2. Damn. Hopefully though, with a proper regime of gravel hoovering and filter squeezing, i should keep on top of it and hopefully not need the expensive filter media

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sun 10-May-15 16:56:06

Can you get a plec type fish? I thought they Hoover up algae, although be careful as some grow into huuuuge monsters!

DH used to have fish - we have cats now - much cheaper, who'd have thought it!

ItsMeMario Sun 10-May-15 17:24:35

We have a beautiful bristlenose plec called Barbara. Its only Chinese Algae Eaters that eat the type of algae we have apparently and they can be a bugger for sucking on the other fish as they also like mucous.

And yes, i agree, my cats are much cheaper. I have a pile of receipts from buying the tank to aquascaping it and stocking it. I dread to add it all up so will continue to ignore it. grin

EauRouge Sun 10-May-15 20:51:35

Yeah, there's not really a fish that will help here. shame really!

proper filter maintenance will defo help and I would ditch the carbon. there is no need for carbon in a properly stocked and maintained tank (especially with live plants), the filter companies just say to use it because it makes them money. all you need is plain sponges; ceramic media is a bonus too but any chemical stuff like zeolite or carbon is a waste of money.

I would also make sure you clean the gravel to get out all the poop and prevent the build up of anaerobic bacteria. you could buy a gravel vac but it's easy enough to make one out of a plastic bottle. prob easier if you google it because a photo will explain it better than I can!

I use flourish excel, it definitely helps with hair algae. only problem is that my plants grow so fast now my tank looks like a jungle grin

TreeSparrow Tue 26-May-15 20:31:43

EasyCarbo (liquid carbon) is superb stuff for combating a BBA outbreak like you have. Keep using it daily as fluctuations in CO2 levels encourage algae to take hold.

I fixed my algae issues by taking a novel approach that I regularly recommend. Think about your lighting period carefully. You have an eight hour photo period right? As the light time goes on and plants photosynthesise, the CO2 levels in the water column go down. Algae get the boost they need to take over in the end stages of your photo period. To combat this, try splitting the light period into two sessions. E.g. two four hour periods. This will allow CO2 levels to creep back up between bursts and your plants can out compete the algae. It made a huge difference to my heavily planted low-tech tank and doesn't cost a penny. I do 10am-midday and then 8pm-midnight for my tank as I have a jungle of easy growers.

Also, 50% water changes each week will help. You want to try to maintain stable water conditions.

butterflyballs Tue 26-May-15 20:37:29

Our plec keeps the algae levels down but he has a habit of sucking it off the plants and uprooting them so our tank looks different every day.

We've had to buy algae wafers to feed the beast as there's not enough algae to sustain him. We also have four corys which are meant to eat the snails. But they don't. We have loads of snails. We even stripped the tank out and got rid of them all, washed all the gravel out ....three months later the tank was full of them again.

TreeSparrow Tue 26-May-15 22:10:30

Buy a couple of assassin snails to keep pest snails down.

Stop buying fish to deal with algae - that's your job. Plecos make more mess and create more problems than they solve. They also outgrow most domestic tanks (if we're talking about a common plec...18-24" adult size and unbelievable poo machines). Plecos generally need wood in their diet.

butterflyballs Wed 27-May-15 00:07:44

Assassin snails grin. What a great name!! They won't touch my fish though will they? I have breeding guppies.

I do love the plec, he's magnificent. I didn't buy him, dp did long before I was about so will talk to him about it. We've already investigated putting it in the pond but a)it's too cold and b) he'd suck the koi for the mucus.

I will look at getting him a new home and getting some new snails.

TreeSparrow Thu 28-May-15 18:15:21

Assassin snails won't harm fish and most shrimp are safe with them. They will breed slowly and after a few years you might have a lot of them but they sell easily, don't eat your plants, are very pretty etc.

Your plec won't live in a pond if you're in the UK. They are tropical fish. See if your fish shop will take it back.

Samberry Thu 04-Jun-15 09:33:28

I was going to suggest getting a plec or some sort or shrimp. I have a couple of Amano's in my tank and they keep on top of some of the algae growth.

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