Green Dust Algae: please help!

thegasman

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The old well balanced clean up crew kicks butt! It is a staple of reef tanks. I've found that it applies to planted aquariums as well. I just added some panda garras and albino bushy nose plecos. My glass has never looked better.
 

Matt F.

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Well, the fact that GDA shows up in tanks with sand substrate kills that though...
Limiting photoperiod works. whenever the GDA rebounds in the tank I shorten the photoperiod to 4 hours per day, and the GDA goes bye bye. 3day blackouts work to slow/reverse the growth. Also if you do twice weekly water changes with an emphasis on cleaning the walls of the aquarium, in a matter of weeks, you can eliminate most GDA growth. I also haven't tried your wait 3 weeks method, which I might try next time. I can see how this might disrupt the life cycle by eliminating/limiting many of the zoospores.

But these behavioral changes deal with the symptoms. I wonder if there is a fix to the problem. I just might try those BN plecos! There might be a link between bacterial film buildup and the attachment of GDA zoozpores?


Tom Barr;114208 said:
1st tank I saw with GDA was Micheal Rubin's 50 Gallon, 2w/gal of PC lights, wet/dry filter, well care for.
Plain old sand.

Several other tanks, plain inert sands.

I do not think soil has any effect, the 180 Gallon has no algae issues and no matter what I add in there, no algae makes it.
ADA AS.

Loads of CMS+B, DTPA, Fe gluconate etc.

Light is the only factor I've seen that can slow the growth rates of GDA.


I added the pack of bushy nose plecos babies, they mauled the GDA ina client's tank, cleaned the glass and the stone and the wood etc.
I tried this in my 70 Gal at full blast with the ATI light and only a few plants, like a few Buce's and srig of EH, virtually unplanted, I feed the fish/shrimp, but they clean it well.

Even without hardly any plant biomass.

Shrimp alone could/did not do this.

For your tank, 4-6 might do the trick.
 
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Tom Barr

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thegasman;114212 said:
The old well balanced clean up crew kicks butt! It is a staple of reef tanks. I've found that it applies to planted aquariums as well. I just added some panda garras and albino bushy nose plecos. My glass has never looked better.

How do you rate the Garra?

I've seen them at the wholesaler, but have not tried them yet.
 

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Matt F.;114215 said:
Well, the fact that GDA shows up in tanks with sand substrate kills that though...
Limiting photoperiod works. whenever the GDA rebounds in the tank I shorten the photoperiod to 4 hours per day, and the GDA goes bye bye. 3day blackouts work to slow/reverse the growth. Also if you do twice weekly water changes with an emphasis on cleaning the walls of the aquarium, in a matter of weeks, you can eliminate most GDA growth. I also haven't tried your wait 3 weeks method, which I might try next time. I can see how this might disrupt the life cycle by eliminating/limiting many of the zoospores.

But these behavioral changes deal with the symptoms. I wonder if there is a fix to the problem. I just might try those BN plecos! There might be a link between bacterial film buildup and the attachment of GDA zoozpores?

There are some general trends to algae prevalence with MTS/Loams and ADA clay/knock offs vs sand.
But, not a lot really.

BBA?

Still there in both cases.

It's mostly the greens, hair algae, and green water, GDA? Perhaps a little more common, but it's far far from the root cause.
While root causes may explain up to 80-90%, they may be valid, but not able to explain every case.

Eg, BGA and KNO3, more CO2 with BBA.

Etc.

While these are never 100%, they seem to work well for the vast majority.

What we do not know is what induces GDA.
That is key and critical to understanding managing it.
I've always said this about any algae.

The 3 week method seemed to work pretty well, but is impractical for many cases (eg, my clients would NEVER have any of that for 3 weeks) and many will never do it.
Some people got all bandwagon on TPT over Antibiotics and some inter related deal with BGA and GDA, did not work either. Ask Dutchy:)

BN plecos have really impressed me if you get many little babies and load them into a tank.
They do not get too large, are cheap and very hardy.

If you can break the life cycle, you control the pest, does not matter if it's a rat, weeds, fish, algae or bug.

There might be something to the GDA and bacterial films, but I've wiped the tank clean and seen the GDA reattach less than 1 hour later to the glass, I know there's hardly any bacterial biomass on the glass.

I'm going to add about 50 to a tank in the next week and test again on a client's tank.
I've been running less light, it has eco complete(so inert sediment). So if there's no build up on the glass after a week or two, we will double the light and see what it looks like at the end of the week.
This way we have a step wise approach to see how effective they are at cleaning low nagging levels of GDA and if they can handle the full blast of lighting that GDA loves.
If we add as much light as possible, then add them, they might not be able to keep up, better to ramp them up.

This way the algae is always on the ropes, something you always want to do.
 

Matt F.

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some more thoughts on this GDA situation. Maybe the reproduction rate of GDA has something to do with the type of foreground/midground plant you have and how dense it is. I recently mowed the eleocharis belem lawn and hacked down the immense bush of H Araguaia, and I've noticed an overall reduction of GDA build up two days after. A lot of the leaves in the dense plant has a thin coating of what looked like GDA.

My thinking is that GDA remains attached to dense undergrowth in low flow/low light areas, waits till conditions are right (e.g. low CO2, Low nutrients, a lot of light) and then it reproduces (finds its ways to the walls of the aquarium).

So, possibly, another method of control is to keep dense foreground and midground plants trimmed and free of flow restriction. I guess this would be considered good plant maintenance, which is why Tom doesn't have a problem with GDA! LoL

I have since started EI, increased CO2, started to dose Glut and have even increased my photoperiod to 8 hours (up from only 4 hours). Two days post trim, and no GDA to speak of.

I also think a surface skimmer is needed to help with tank respiration if you don't have a wet/dry or mame-type inflow/outflow. The only skimmer that is worth a damn, imo is the Eheim Skim350.
 

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Matt, suppose I loan you 5-6 bushy nose and you attempt to induce GDA in anyway possible for 1 month?

I've tried in vain.

Took the CO2 off line, added as much light at an ATI fixture can add, removed 95% of the plant biomass.

Almost 2 months later without touching the glass, there's some green spot here and there below the water change fill line, but nowhere else.
The bushy nose took care of the issues I had in a client's tank quite effectively.

I tend to be rather skeptical so I test several times the same method on different tanks, just to be sure, then I see if someone else has similar results that's had issues for a long time.

Green spot is about the only algae on the glass the bushy nose have not 100% removed and kept off all the time.
Even under the worse cases(very high light, no CO2, ADA AS, no ferts or plenty of ferts, virtually no plant biomass).
 

Matt F.

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Tom,
I'll look into getting 5-6 bushy nose plecos. I'm game for trying that.

Other tank parameters:
2x >50% water changes per week
EI (10-20 gallon)
Glut at double dose
8 hour photoperiod

Once I get the BN I'll increase photoperiod to 9, then maybe 10 hours and see what happens.
 

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Leave the light on for 8-9 hours, but cranked and dose as before and 1x a week, 50-60%.

Should do the trick.

I want to see if these guys can eliminate GDA for each chronic GDA plagued aquarist.
 

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Zero GDA on 2 aquariums, one a client's and another the 70 Gallon, no BBA, no nothing really, old hard small hard to see unless you are up close on the glass, but the glass has not been touched for 3 months+ now.
Huge headache at the client's, but not now.

The 70 Gal is a worst case scenario, so ..........this means that if it works there, it should work in ALL cases where they can add these plecos in high mass.
 

dutchy

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Matt F.;114953 said:
Tom,

2x >50% water changes per week
EI (10-20 gallon)
Glut at double dose
8 hour photoperiod

I think these measures to control GDA are logic, but not a cure. Of course changing more water will remove more of the GDA and it will be less, as it will be the same with a short photoperiod. But I think (with all respect) that this is like trying to drive around nails to avoid a flat tire. It helps to alleviate the consequence, not the cause.

Meanwhile another aquarist suffering from GDA reported back that switching from CSM+B to profito (lower Fe, different Fe chelator) has helped to reduce GDA a lot. This is the same I found and has been confirmed now.
There's also a scientific paper that confirmes this, showing a peak in GDA development around 0,5 ppm Fe, and then leveling off again at higher ppm's.

Maybe a try to use high levels at 2 ppm or more is an option.
 

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dutchy;116165 said:
I think these measures to control GDA are logic, but not a cure. Of course changing more water will remove more of the GDA and it will be less, as it will be the same with a short photoperiod. But I think (with all respect) that this is like trying to drive around nails to avoid a flat tire. It helps to alleviate the consequence, not the cause.

Meanwhile another aquarist suffering from GDA reported back that switching from CSM+B to profito (lower Fe, different Fe chelator) has helped to reduce GDA a lot. This is the same I found and has been confirmed now.
There's also a scientific paper that confirmes this, showing a peak in GDA development around 0,5 ppm Fe, and then leveling off again at higher ppm's.

Maybe a try to use high levels at 2 ppm or more is an option.

I use the same stuff as Matt, as do most of the SFBAAPS folks who have GDA, but many of them do not have it also, only a few people have nagging issues.
So the trace or fert routines really do not support a working hypothesis as to what keeps it going.

Leave it be for 3-4 weeks worked for many people, myself included, but.....it did not work for everyone, same for antibiotics, some did okay with reduced light.
You can always find a few that have happened upon some correlation, but...........can you find something that works most of the time?
Some method where there is a consensus?

I've not seen anything yet.

BBA? Mostly CO2. But plenty still have it even if they add more CO2, but most do not go after it aggressively once they up the CO2, or they did not adjust the CO2 correctly, added too much and backed off too much, or added too little.
GDA may be like that.

I can adjust and use ferts pretty easily and still never get GDA even from infested tanks. I've tried perhaps 20-30X.

The 70 Gallon is a worst case situation: no CO2, ferts high or near absent, water changes: yes/no, Plant biomass, darn near nothing. I've been adding CO2 the last 1-2 months, but........with such minor plant biomass, nothing is there to help stop any algae.
Except the plecos and shrimp. We know shrimp do little/nothing for GDA.

This leaves only the plecos as the primary factor at removal.
If I removed the plecos will the GDA come back? Perhaps, but I think there's a likely case where another species of algae will come back also. At some point, the pressure from herbivores will lead to a huge reduction in proagulaes from the GDA. There's just not enough to overwhelm the algae herbivores.
A tipping point, CO2? NH4? Fe? something might cause that to go full blast, but once done, those nutrients play little role, the alga has committed. It'll now grow vegetative no matter what the nutrients. And without a large concentration of algae herbivores to overwhelm it, it'll out pace most control methods.

BBA is that way. Once there, it'll stick around for a long time, months, or years in some cases. But it does not swim around and reattach back to the glass after scraping it off.
GDA DOES.

GW is similar also and perhaps more related to GDA.
You cannot clean or water change it away.
UV/micron filtration or Daphnia also...are about the main ways.
 

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dutchy;116182 said:

Does not say how much negative growth , it might only be 20% etc vs a control, or it might be non linear and go to near 95%.
Culture in vitro is very different from aquariums.

I looked at the client's tank today and notice a nice growth of BBA, which to me means one thing: poor CO2.
Not on any plants, but on rock and little bit on wood.

I've cannot adjust this tank and watch, I can only adjust a tiny amount and then see what the end result is a week later.
So this will be slow going. BBA on some rocks, not a big deal, GDA all over the front panels and comes back after 1-3 days? Not acceptable.

The CO2 issue goes back to the basics of algae issues many folks have and why some of the tanks I have are very resistant to algae inoculation.
I have taken plants from the client's and added to my tanks without issues.

The ferts I use on both tanks are the same.
I do not buy the fert claims.

Not for planted aquariums.

I have similar fish loading in my 180 , same bulbs, flows etc.
Not much is left other than the CO2 really.
I mean if the client's tank was someone else's and they asked me, I'd home in on the BBA and general algae issues, sub par plant growth etc.
I do not want to kill the fish, but I have little recourse other than slow metered adjustments of the CO2 week by week.

Still, CO2 can account for a great many issues.
And BBA is dead ringer. Note, I've been dosing Excel daily to about 2.5 ppm for sometime now also. BBA bloomed anyway.
 

dutchy

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For now it's only changing to another Fe source, and also Fe ppm's, that has worked for me to reduce it to an acceptable level, but still having enough Fe to not visibly influence plant growth.
And I tried nearly everything.... CO2, surface movement/flow, GH, KH, NO3, PO4, Mg, UV, don't touch for 3 weeks method, light spectrum.
The only other thing I know of that works is low light. My non CO2 tank with 30 mmol of PAR has virtually no GDA. I need to clean maybe every 4 weeks.

As soon as I add CSM+B again the growth doubles. This is an easy repeatable test that has been confirmed by others, also in non CO2 tanks. Maybe I can make a picture and show the difference. This result cannot be denied.

It could be the same like GSA, but in this case with Fe, so I will add more next week and see what happens.
 

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I've never heard nor seen GDA in any non CO2 tank.
This would be the 1st.

So have you over dosed the Fe? Eg, dosed to the same ppm ranges as CMS?
 

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Worth a try and see, not a hard test to do.

I was going to remove the Bushy nose and see if the GDA returned with the 70 Gallon, but........catching them is a PITA.
I added a lot of new Buce's so I'm not interested in the risk to the plant's health at this point.
I added the CO2 back up and will still do minimal water changes and light dosing(1/3 EI basically).

But I know I'll not get GDA in this tank again with this crew of algae eaters.

I think the shrimp keep the new growth of BBA off the wood also. So that algae is not present in any of my home tanks really.
Just a little GSA over the weeks might develop, not much else.
GSA is the least present in this 70 Gallon tank, algae is just really attacked too often to ever get going.
 

Matt F.

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Just some thoughts:

I wonder if there is any relationship between shrimp and GDA. In all the tanks with GDA, I've had a healthy reproducing RCS population (or amanos). I assume they eat some of the GDA (maybe inadvertently) and their feces is sure to have traces. Maybe this is why the GDA seems to come back over time.

Only reason I mention this is because my most recent rescape provided the cardinal tetras enough cover to feel comfortable to hunt. My rcs population was eaten. There are no shrimp in my tank. Coincidentally there is no GDA, either.

Maybe shrimp are part of GDA's lifecycle? Maybe they are the carriers. Tom mentioned that he thinks GDA came from Asia initially and made an appearance in the hobby recently. This coincides with the increase importation of ornamental shrimp from Asia.

I wonder?

I'm getting 90 rcs for my tank next week, so we'll see if the GDA makes a come back.
 

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Matt, I have shrimp in all the tanks at my home. Client's have some, other clients never have had them.
Seen many tanks without shrimp that have GDA.