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Am currently under attack by Green Dust Algae

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by rthomas, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. rthomas

    rthomas Guru Class Expert

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    Fine. And I am going to let it stick to the tank walls for 2 weeks or so. During this period, do I need to fertilize the tank? If yes, then I am assuming that I also need to inject CO2 and switch on the light.

    I am using EI. Do I does normally or decrease the amount? Please advise.
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    GoshDarnAlgae

    Hi Roger,

    Generally giving it two or three weeks should be good.:)

    Yes keep up normal dosing and CO2 as long as everything else is okay.

    If you change 50% or more water a week a trick is to mix a milliliter of Fleet Enemas into half a liter of distilled water and wipe the glass and any hardscape, equipment from substrate to top of glass with a soft cloth dipped in the mixture. :gw

    If it is an acrylic tank take care not to scratch the surface.

    Biollante
     
  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I did the "don't touch for three weeks" method twice. It didn't even make a dent.

    I'm lost on GDA. Enough things that help, but so far nothing that really eradicates it.
     
  4. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    fleet enemas is a Sodium phosphate solution (Drug reference says FLEET® ENEMA: Each 118-mL delivered dose contains 19 g monobasic sodium phosphate monohydrate and 7 g dibasic sodium phosphate heptahydrate.)

    I am curious why this is suggested to wipe the glass.

    thanks, Neil
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Roger,

    Yes go ahead and continue on as normal as Bio stated..I agree with his final qualification...

    However I am also curious how this helps. I had never heard of this previously. Not that that means anything :)

    I have read before where the angle/height of the lights sometimes has an affect. I know mine was much worse using high MH par values....I have used T8 and now T5HO in the last few months and still have it...just something to do at water change time...

    That being said, when I use lower PAR values it does not seem to be as abundant or require as frequent cleaning.
     
    #5 Gerryd, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2011
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Roger,

    BTW, I certainly hope you understand the GDA are not attacking you PERSONALLY....

    Or ARE they????? Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean you aren't being watched.....:)
     
  7. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller Lifetime Charter Member
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    You're just jealous cause the voices won't talk to you!

    ;-)

    Jim
     
  8. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Had a major outbreak when my 55L was newer. Here is what worked:

    (turn off the filters first, which will localize all the free-floating GDA to the tank water and not the filtration system):

    1) clean all the walls with a acrylic/glass safe scrubber
    2) do several 50% water changes (at least 3)
    3) connect a UV sterilizer (I used the submariner)
    4) dose the recommended waterchange dosage of excel/glutaraldehyde
    5) do not turn on the lights/co2 for 3 days

    *you can also use a spray bottle and spray filtration equipment as well as the walls of the aquarium with excel or diluted excel. Let it sit for five minutes. This will kill GDA as well as BBA.

    Plug the filtration system in again.

    At the end of the three days, unplug and remove the UV, do one or two more 50% water changes.

    STart with half EI, 6 hour photoperiods, and turn co2 on.
    Every week thereafter, increase lighting period by one hour toll you reach 8-10 hours.

    Also a major component of fighting GDA is having more plant biomass. The more plants you have and the faster and healthier they are growing, the less GDA you'll have.

    I still get some on my glass at the end of the week, but it's easily removed and doesn't take over.

    Good Luck!
     
    #8 Matt F., Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2011
  9. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    What I've noticed that helps so far (but doesn't solve the problem completely):

    1. Less light
    2. UV
    3. More flow

    What I have tried but didn't help:

    1. Let it complete it's lifecycle. (Which I don't understand, but I'm not that smart ;). Nothing in nature has a single lifecycle???)
    2. Daily addition of 2,5 ppm H2O2. (Very good against some green algae BTW.)
    3. Change light spectrum.

    What I didn't try:

    1. Excel like suggested above; I will fry my Eriocaulons.

    What I'm going to try:

    1. Trying to figure out what makes it bloom in the first place; What's the difference between a tank that has it or not, or not that bad? (Not CO2, I also have it in a non-CO2 tank)
    2. Barley Straw fluid. (A long shot, but there is a paper on the internet that proves it will reduce cell growth of Akistrodesmus)
    http://barleyworld.org/barleystraw/brownlee.pdf
    http://www.oceandocs.org/bitstream/1834/2210/1/Text.pdf
    3. Higher H2O2 levels, but I have some Angel fry in the tank at the moment.
    4. Experiment with some nutrient levels or combinations or at what levels I can reduce or kill it, like this:

    EFFECTS OF IRON CONCENTRATION ON THE GROWTH OF GREEN ALGA, ANKISTRODESMUS FALCATUS

    HOSSEINI SEYED MOSTAFA*,SEYFABADI S.J.,FALAHI M.

    * MARINE BIOLOGY DEPT., FACULTY OF NATURAL RESEARCH AND MARINE SCIENCE, TARBIAT MODARRES UNIVERSITY, NOAR, IRAN

    Possible effects of various iron concentrations on the growth of green algae, Ankistrodesmus falcatus, were studied at Inland Waters Aquaculture Research Center, in Bandar Anzali, Guilan Province. The algae was grown under laboratory conditions with a water temperature of 25±2°C and light intensity of 3500±350 lux for 96 hours at 6 concentrations of Fe in triplicates, using standard Zander culture medium (Z-8±N) as control. The amount of Fe absorption was measured using spectrophotometry at 750nm, and the number of algal cells at the beginning and final stages were counted, using Toma slide. Maximum growth of Ankistrodesmus falcatus was observed at Fe concentrations of 0.0005 g/l, when the concentration of the element in the control group (Z-8±N) was 0.00019 g/l. It was shown that Fe concentrations higher or lower than 0.0005g/1 had negative effects on the algal growth.

    Anyway it's a hard one to kill.
     
    #9 dutchy, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2011
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Matt's suggestion is pretty close to what I might suggest for aggressive methods.

    I've still be unable to induce it all this time repeatedly.

    I had one longer term issue and measured the CO2 very critically, and adjusted it to the other tanks ppm, it has never come back since.
    I did nothing else, sediment was not a factor, nor brand of light or bulb type, nor duration, nor temp, nor PAR intensity, nor filtration type(say wet/dry vs canister).

    These things I have ruled out.

    Nutrients: these also are ruled out.

    Plant biomass/status of health, this is strongly linked to CO2.
    Seems slightly lower CO2 is more a factor to me.

    Tweaking it very slowly up should be the root issue. The rest of what Matt suggest might fix the rest.

    This is also why the do nothing for 3-4 weeks, then clean and do a few good water changes etc after cured it for some.

    I'd not waste any time playing for Barley straw or chemical killers.
    Plants and higher greens are too similar.
    Might work for BBA, but rarely for green algae like Cladophora etc.
    Fe??

    Perhaps, add more than 0.5ppm and see.
     
  11. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Honestly, I still get the GDA, just not as bad. I have two Eheim Pro2s (2026 and 2028) , so I concur that flow does reduce the growth it seems of the GDA on my acrylic walls. A majority of the GDA build-up is on the sides and back of the tank. But I dose excel and ferts in the current, too. Maybe contact with excel /ferts slows growth...IDK.
    I have no clue as to what causes this.
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    GDA- Oh My

    Hi,

    {Nothing of what I say is of any scientific use whatever and just the useless observations of some old fool and should not be taken as intended to offend the anointed.}

    Green Dust Algae is a pain, a passing pain for most of us, though I have heard of the very persistent version as Duthchy has described.:(

    I think the first problem is that GDA is not well defined. We may be calling it GDA but the manifestation may well be different. That is GDA is algae in the zoospore (swimming reproductive cell) stage, but we may well be dealing with different species.:rolleyes:

    The fact that the GDA is the free swimming stage suggests that UV-Sterilization should be effective, particularly for those zoospores associated with a one time release.

    My experience is that GDA is usually associated with “new tank syndrome,” this suggests the obvious NH3/NH4, NO2 culprits. Indeed I have found that inducing GDA (as opposed to green water I culture) is difficult, when I succeed it is usually by forcing a NO2 spike in a very low PO4 environment. Simply adding NH3/NH4 ends up being a down and dirty way of producing green water.:)

    I do not understand the phosphate/GDA relationship. I have observed that Fleet Enemas seems to disrupt the GDA cycle. :confused:

    It has been suggested that my cleaning the glass with Fleet Enemas solution is effective mainly because it raises the phosphate level in the water and that somehow disrupts the life cycle.:rolleyes:

    I have not tried independent means of raising the phosphate levels so it is always possible there is some buffering effect involved.

    It is also possible that cleaning the surfaces with phosphates may simple make them slicker.

    I polished a number glass of panels, some just buffed clean with a soft cloth through 1500 grit (18 micron) paper. It appears that cleaner slicker surfaces are not as hospitable to GDA.

    An ultimate problem may be the life cycle of the Alga, some only release zoospores once while others may have conditions where the zoospores are produced continually.

    To further complicate things it appears some lower forms of Algae can become higher forms.:confused:

    I do not know what to make of all of this, I will rely on my betters to piece it all together and make sense of it all.:cool:

    Biollante
     
  13. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    A handful of pond snails will help like pacman.
     
  14. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I read back on the old thread in which the "don't touch for three weeks" method was discovered. Also there are some cases where it didn't help. There must be something to finish this algae, or even beter, what causes it.

    I"m going to try to add more Fe or limit it under 0,5 ppm, as I mentioned in my previous post. Probably no total cure either, but I hope that many little hammers work as a big one.

    The best I ever had was 1 week without cleaning, now I'm using more light it's 3 days. :(

    I also have a non-CO2 tank with 30 micromols of PAR at the substrate, but it also has GDA. Which is good, because it provides me with a control if I find something out.

    Maybe it's possible for me to make a paper on this algae which a lot of data collection about tanks that have GDA. This might provide a common cause, which could lead to a solution. A lot of posts can be found on different forums complete with tank data. So anyone who has GDA in his tank, pls send me your tank parameters as complete as possible.
     
  15. Yo-han

    Yo-han Guru Class Expert

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    I've had GDA 2 times. This is my experience with GDA: The first time GDA appeared accidental. My PO4 was low, so I raised it. GDA growth slowed down but kept coming back. I found out my tapwater had a high GH but very little magnesium and mainly calcium. When I raised my magnesium (+1ppm per day), GDA didn't came back.

    To test whether it was a coincidence, I lowered my PO4 dosing. GSA (Green Spot Algae) appeared but very little GDA. When I stopped Mg dosing as well, GDA appeared and it disappeared after raising both again.

    Off course I had no real control, but I kept all my other dosing the same during this period. Wondering whether other people have similair experiences with magnesium and GDA...
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Have you noted the rates of growth in the non CO2 tank vs the CO2 enriched tank?
    Light would need to be similar to compare the two.

    IME, all algae is indirect consequence of poor, suboptimal plant growth.
    While a certain CO2 ppm will grow all plants, this will grow some plant species at different rates, speeds......

    Others will grow slower, while some might grow faster.

    At a higher CO2 level, this will not occur to the same degree. It is not an on/off switch either.......
    We also have an infested tank which will clog and slow recovery of the plants, so a much larger adjustment may be required for some aquariums vs another.

    This seems reasonable for virtually all algae infestations.

    Yo han's test might support a mild case.
    Mg linked.

    Some other folks using a different nutrient set up added more Mg and other things at some ratio, but I think it was more due to low, limiting Mg. Mg is the bastard step child often times in GH dosing.
    Often forgotten. Either way, it's an easy test to try out.

    I cannot test because.......I lack any GDA. I did have some and dosed a fair amoutn of Mg, eg, the same amounts to my other tanks.
    I could only detect a difference in CO2 between the tanks. I had 1 tank with GDA, and 4 without including a non CO2 tank.
    CO2 was about 15-20ppm less, 30ppm range in the GDA aquarium...........and 45-55ppm in the others, and 60-80ppm in another and 2-3ppm in the non CO2, but stable.

    I think I can say the Mg was independent, but........the tank in question had a massive amount of stem plants...........the other tanks have much less of those and more slow growers.
    So they might have removed more of the Mg and I did not detect that.

    Hard to say, cannot say.
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've had them, they left tracks, but a day or two later, the GDA filled those in.

    Pitbull plecos, as in a pack of them, say 1 per 10 gal of tank, seemed to rip up a few GDA boughts several folks had.
    Pretty effective little guys.
     
  18. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I think the diference in growth between my CO2 and non CO2 tank is about 20:1. If GDA is a consequence of poor CO2....which I don't.....it could be hard to reproduce in a non CO2 tank.

    Mg...well, it's worth a try. I'm willing to try everything, even snake oil ;)

    It's going to take a long time I guess. I'm only trying one thing at a time. And if I find something, I have to repeat to test as a control.

    But I'm determined to find out.
     
  19. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Recently, the nano in my signature had a spirogyra, GDA and BBA outbreak. BBA was killed in an incredible manner using Excel while CO2 is increased. Once Excel stopped, BBA went away but GDA and spirogyra came.

    Despite 2-3x/week 50% waterchanges, full EI, optimized CO2, no way. GDA was killing every thing

    After many trimming without effect, I decided to unroot all my eleocharis, clean them stem by stem removing any dead or algae invaded leave. I trimmed to the rhizome the Anubia, removing any bad/invaded leave (making most Anubia plantlets without leaves). The moss was removed from wood, cleaned, and used the little free of algae stems to re-tight them on wood.

    - After a good substrate cleaning, I replanted some 10 eleocharis stems, all others were thrown.
    - I decreased light from 8h to 6h
    - I covered aquarium walls because I have too much direct day light since I moved house (with no fast growing plants, this is too much light for the potential growth)
    - continued full EI + 50% WC

    This, gave me excellent results, but I soon noticed GDA to grow again, starting on decaying plants leaves and glass.

    I decided to introduce above 50 Ramshorn snails and as much Physa and MTS in just 11 gal tank (6 moths ago, before the trouble, when tank was fine like in signature link, I could easily count 100 Ramshorns in half the tank).

    Now, GDA is old story, glass is clean and I never remove any decaying plant part. Before these issues, I never removed any plant part for one year with my snails. No kidding.

    Spirogyra is not eaten by snails. I removed it manually for 3 weeks. Once plants grow enough, it went by its own. Spirogyra loves light, decreasing light will limit it enough to be outgrown by plants.

    I don't say snails will solve GDA. They will eat it but especially remove plants debris. But, you need really an army. For me, about 50 Ramshorn /10 gallons for a very slow growing tank. Also, if plants can't grow (ferts, co2...), nothing will ever help.

    By the way, this playing took me... 6 months... trying a change after the other to see what will help.
     
    #19 jonny_ftm, Apr 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2011
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Nano's are tough because you can have large changes rapidly and light/CO2/Plant biomass, growth rates, trimming can change them dramatically.
    Nice for their small size, cost and replicates, but evaporation rates can cause large changes really fast using a filter etc.
     
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