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Getting rid of emersed black algae...

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by DaveSurfer, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    My aquarium has been without water for almost a year now and has this black slimy algae that covers some of the gravel. I've removed the gravel but it keeps coming back. When planting anything in the aquarium the black algae starts to cover the stems and choke them out. Normally I would just dry out the whole thing before starting again to kill the algae but I had anubias growing in there. I would cover the anubias with wet paper towel and managed to dry out most of the gravel and remove the infected gravel. I'm trying the dry-start method. It worked a year ago but then right before I was going to fill the tank this black stuff started to cover the HC and eventually covered it all and killed it. I haven't been able to order more HC for almost a year.

    Now I've recieved more glosso and HC and planted it in there and want to know if there's something I can spray on the gravel that would kill this slimy black algae and not harm the HC or glosso. It's just a pain to pick out the infected gravel.

    Thanks!
     
    #1 DaveSurfer, Feb 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2010
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's probably BGA; it looks black or blackish-green quite often when it's emersed. If it's a slime sheet that wipes away from hard surfaces, then that's probably what you've got. A little erythromyacin will knock it right out. Also, try reducing the moisture in the substrate if you have any standing pools of water while maintaining decent humidity.
     
  3. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Where can I find this erythromyacin?

    To prevent the HC from drying out t's a fine balance to keep it dry enough to prevent this algae or too wet. Once the HC plants mass multiply it should be easier as they will hold more moisture.

    I'm also manually picking the black shiny slimy stuff out when I can...hopefully that will keep it at bay.
     
  4. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can find the stuff at your LFS most times, or have them order it in if they carry API products. Ebay is another good bet.

    I've found HC very easy in DSM when BGA isn't a question. My only issue has been a bit of post-fill uprooting from trying some rather extreme angles that over-relied on root structure.
     
  5. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    OK, I just bought some at the LFS, the Aquarium Pharamceuticals one. I mopped up as much moisture as I could, then sprinkled the powder from one pouch evenly over the plants and infected gravel. I hope I didn't do too much or too little. I probably did nearly 3 square feet of the surface...or about a third surface of a 33 gallon aquarium. Should I have sprayed it on with water or dry sprinkle ok?

    Do I repeat this tomorrow or how often? Thanks for all your help!
     
    #5 DaveSurfer, Feb 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2010
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I mixed it with water and used a pipette to keep it near the substrate. I like to keep any particles that I can off the leaves themselves in case they dry out; the residue usually makes things worse if this happens.
     
  7. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Yeah I tried to sprinkle it only on the substrate. What's a pipette? After reading your response I misted everywhere where I sprinkled the powder. How often should I dose? Once a day?
     
  8. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    My $0.02

    I've found it's easier to keep the water level in the substrate 3/4" to 1" below the substrate. Instead of relying on that water in the bottom to produce humidity, spray water around the top half of the aquarium's glass once a day or every two days, including directly beneath the lights (as in, the horizontal surface beneath the lights). This has done a great job of producing humidity for me, better so than when I started..and everything has stayed relatively dry in the process. I think it was johnny_ftm that made the point to me, "Humid, not wet".
     
    #8 csmith, Feb 19, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2010
  9. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Well for one thing, I need help getting rid of the cynobacteria right now because I don't want it to destroy the emersed plants and have it exist when I fill the tank. But I will take that into consideration on the next tank I do.

    Another issue is that my substrate is extremely sloped. At the front it's only barely over an 1.5" and then rises quickly to one back corner of the tank about 7" high. Another problem is that I have a few types of Anubias growing and they need tonnes of moisture or the leaves will brown and dry up. So far what I have found that works is to wet paper towel and cover them.
     
    #9 DaveSurfer, Feb 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2010
  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I usually keep my waterline back as well, but like DaveSurfer, I had some really nice mounds and a very shallow front to deal with.

    Misting is a must for DSM unless you live somewhere with insane humidity.

    These are what I use, disposable pipettes:
    [​IMG]

    They're handy for all sorts of things, including getting samples for hobby-grade titration kits. Spot treating with excel is tons easier; my mouth burns less than just trying to spit it at things ;)
     
    #10 Philosophos, Feb 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2010
  11. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    tea tree oil mixed in with the mist spray (10 drops per litre) and/or some in the substrate (no idea not a method I have used.

    It is anti-bacterial and will kill fungus/mould too.

    AC
     
  12. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Yeah, and we live in a place where there's more sun than any city in Canada, so it's very dry here.

    Those pipettes look cool. How much water do I mix per pouch? Or just go by the instructions?
     
  13. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Osoyoos area or somewhere in Alberta I'm guessing? I grew up in BC myself.

    Go by the instructions I suppose. I dosed 100mg a day over perhaps a 10x3 area. Took two doses and it was all gone.
     
  14. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Actually Cranbrook BC, lower eastern corner and pretty close to Alberta border. We get tonnes of sun. I noticed a huge difference between living in Kelowna and here with all the dryness! Like the sun all winter instead of the cloudiness we got in the Okanagan.

    So, I'm also airing out the tank a bit as well. I'll close the lid for the night when the lights are off though and give it a misting. A good idea?

    I suppose you picked out the slimy stuff after it was killed or does it just melt into the gravel and disappear?
     
    #14 DaveSurfer, Feb 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2010
  15. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've been through Cranbrook a couple of times. Kelowna is where I was born; lived there until a year or two ago. I didn't know Cranbrook got much sun, I had presumed it was a cloudy place. I must've been through on the wrong days of the year.

    The BGA will disappear completely on its own once you start dosing. Air out what you have to, but cover fast if anything begins to look wilted.
     
  16. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Yeah I was raised in Kelowna for over 20 years, awesome place to live. Loved the beach and volleyball and mild temps.

    Thanks for the tips! I'd hate to lose another batch of HC to this stuff. But it's already looking very good. The front part of the aquarium where it was more moist there is no more left. About a 3rd of the HC has turned an olive color and doesn't look great. I'm trying to mop up as much moisture from the substrate but keep the plant material from drying out or wilting. I also worry that it gets too hot in there as when I open the lid I feel the warmth on my face. My glosso looks great though and it's putting down roots and springing leaves up as it seems more hardy against the bacteria. Here's some pics of what my first attempt at the DSM looked like a year ago...until the black slime wrecked it all! I regret not filling the tank then!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    The HC is looking very nice, and that's definitely BGA. Your problems there will be over soon :)

    Try to keep that glosso growing for a while; the leaf pattern looks like it'll go vertical if you submerse it right now. Maybe do a test run with a small plug later on. Either way, I'd wait for more rounded/less teardroped leaf growth.
     
    #17 Philosophos, Feb 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2010
  18. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    No :( sadly those are pictures of my aquarium a year ago when the first attempt worked great for a month or so but soon became infected with the black stuff.

    Most of the HC is now a brown mush and the leaves are dying. Too hot, too much moisture?

    Anyways I did something right the first time around but I think I should of made sure it was dryer after the plants gained good mass. Next time I put in HC the gravel will be bone dry, I'll keep the tank open a few inches, and mist daily.
     
  19. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    More like melt happening; once you trigger it sometimes doesn't want to stop. I've had it happen from a cold snap or death from algae growth.

    The only sure rescue I've found is uprooting it all, rinsing it, removing the dead material, and replanting.
     
  20. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Yep, it's melt alright. I have a little clump left that I'll uproot and replant. All the rest is mush. I've ordered more in.
     
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