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low tech algae

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Trivr, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Trivr

    Trivr Prolific Poster

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    Hi all,

    I've been at this since about February and have learned alot from this site, but have more questions...I'm stuck!

    Some of my earlier algae problems were due to poor flow, too little co2, inconsistency, and even direct sunlight seeping through the (closed) blinds.

    My 55g is now low tech with no co2 a 54watt t5 ho bulb. I've started dosing seachem flourish, 1/4 teaspoon kno3, and 1/8 teaspoon kh2po4 weekly as recommended by Tom in "non-co2 methods". My problem is this persistent algae on the glass. I cleaned the front glass and did water change last week right before dosing, and as usual, this algae reappeared on the front glass in 3 to 4 days like it always has. I have plenty of other algae in there from before, but this algae clearly grew since dosing.

    The only thing I can see I'm doing differently from that non-co2 post is not using any rich substrate, just black pebbles with API root tabs plus iron near my planted plants.

    Tomorrow -thursday- will be one week and I'm scheduled to dose again, should I do anything different?

    Trivr
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You probably have green dust algae (GDA). That is a unique form of algae that has free swimming spores. When you wipe it off the glass, some of the spores just swim around, then recolonize the glass as soon as you turn your back. One method for getting rid of it is to leave it alone, don't wipe it off, for about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks, at which time It should become darker, have some bubbles in it, and start to fall off the glass. It will be near or at the end of its life cycle then. Only then wipe it off thoroughly, change 50% of the water in the tank, and cross your fingers. With good luck you will have seen the last of it.

    If your tank has pond snails in it, they will multiply like rabbits during the 2+ weeks, and begin removing it from the glass, so by the end of the 3 weeks they will have removed most if not all of it for you. When my 10 gallon tank ran into GDA a few weeks ago, that happened. I wiped off what little was left, and it hasn't come back at all.
     
  3. Trivr

    Trivr Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Hoppy,

    I made an edit to this post stating that it does look like dust when scrubbing it, but I had left it alone in a back corner for probably over a month and it never looked like the pictures on this site and it never appeared to loosen from the glass at all, it looks most like green beard algae. I had also scrubbed the entire aquarium except this hard to reach back corner and then immediately did a large (about 50%) wate change. That didn't appear to help at all. If it's gda, I've had no luck with the typiclal recommendations at all. Any other ideas?

    Also, since I've covered the info I'd edited, how do I delete the other post with the same title? I somehow duplicated the post when I edited it.
     
  4. Trivr

    Trivr Prolific Poster

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    Hoppy,

    When I first notice this glass algae a few days after scrubbing, it appears to be a tiny thread maybe a millimeter or two long with one end attached to the glass with the rest of it waving in the current. There's hundreds of them next to eachother. If I let it go a week or two and look at it from an angle, it appears to be a flat green turf. Is this what you remember yours as? Mine has never turned brown and developed bubbles or become loose from the glass. The stuff on the sides is probably close to two weeks old. I think I'll leave it and take a picture in couple weeks.

    Thanks for your help,

    Trivr
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    My GDA did look like green turf when I looked down in the tank at it, but from outside, of course, it was just heavy green haze on the glass. I do kind of remember seeing the "threads" once, again when looking down in the tank. I'm not convinced yet that GDA is one unique species of algae, but is more likely a category with more than one species involved. That could explain the varied results we get when trying to get rid of it. One thing seems universal with GDA, and that is it generates a cloud of dust in the tank when wiped off under water when fairly new. It is also always easy to wipe off.
     
  6. Trivr

    Trivr Prolific Poster

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    Thanks. Although mine becomes much more difficult to remove as it progresses beyond a week and it's never turned brown on me, it is the only algae which leaves a green cloud like dust when I scrub it, so what you said sounds very likely to me. Maybe mine just grows or develops slower because it was definitely well beyond 3 weeks when I finally scrubbed that last patch. I'm gonna assume we are talking about GDA and let the whole tank go...hopefully it'll turn brown. I've already got about 2 weeks on the sides and back.

    Couple more questions if you don't mind: Since this GDA is so different, can I assume that all my parameters and dosing is fine if this is the only algae which seems to get worse?

    I have lots of BBA and some GBA and spot algae in my tank which developed before I started dosing more. Do you think I should ignore these and let my algae eater slowly take care of it hoping to keep my tank as stable as possible, or aggressively eliminate these to give my plants a better chance?

    Today starts week 2 of what I think is finallly an adequate dosing strategy, hope it works well...thanks for all your help!


    Trivr
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    BBA always returns for me if I let the tank get overgrown, and I like to do that, because that inhibits the water circulation too much. So, I find if I make the big clean up effort, remove all of the stuff I can, clean up hardscape with bleach solution, prune well, make sure I have good CO2 and good circulation, the BBA stays away......until I let the tank get overgrown again. Unfortunately I am happiest with my tank when it is really full of plants, so I keep repeating my mistakes.

    Today I started a new form of aquascape - a mopani type wood "sculpture" in the middle, with plants around it, but with only very low growing plants out from there. And, I added a Hydor Koralia pump above a small internal filter acting as a CO2 reactor, to fill the tank with CO2 mist. Early next week I plan to do a more thorough clean up of existing BBA on hardscape. I'm hoping this will make my BBA problem get much smaller.
     
  8. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    I know exactly what you're talking about with the little threads on the algae. I have that stuff too, but it never seems to get to the point where I have to scrape it. I do have three oto's which presumably help keep it to a decent level. One other thing that may help when it comes to algae on the glass, is if you can redirect or angle your reflector so that the light is going directly straight down into the tank as much as possible, in other words, prevent light from striking the glass directly. Since I put in my aluminum foil reflectors (very high tech I might add, one piece of aluminum foil folded over and stuck behind my bulb), my green spot algae virtually went away on my front glass, where I used to have small bits here and there.

    Having been burned too many times with algae, my philosophy is, kill it with a vengeance before it gets out of hand. I just got finished bleaching my filter tube which was the last real stronghold of bba in my tank (my anubias, java ferns, ludwigia and crypt got bleached yesterday). Next to hit the bleach will be my driftwood. My oto's won't touch that stuff, unfortunately.
     
  9. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Carissa,

    Have you tried using Seachem Excel on BBA spots with a syringe? After one or two dosages of it directly on my driftwood, the BBA has started turning white in spots and red in other spots. I also turn my filters off during squirts.

    I don't overdose on Excel, I just use the recommended daily and squirt as much Excel on as many BBA areas directly with a syringe. I do this everyday until the BBA is gone.

    So far it seems to be working.
     
  10. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    I can't get Excel...so I have to rely on less high-tech ways of dealing with it (i.e. bleach). I'm hoping to get my hands on a true SAE one of these days....I hear that's the only fish that will eat bba and if that's true it's worth it's weight in gold to me.
     
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