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About Me

  1. As if I don't have enough projects going currently, I've decided to add a little 75 gal to the rack to explore aquatic algal ecosystems. I'm fascinated how many aquatic systems are largely algae based, in terms of the photosynthetic organisms. I'd like to play with how that will work in an aquarium setting. I have a terrible 75 gallon aquarium that I got on super sale. The silicone is a mess all over the thing. The glass barely lines up. And the company has a reputation for tanks of this size blowing out. I'll be leak testing it outside on a patio surface for a couple weeks before draining it and moving it into the rack (even though the rack has a floor drain below it). I've also sealed the gaps in the silicone and the ones around the plastic rim. If it holds, the next step is to drill and overflow into it. I don't think the sides are tempered. Well, I certainly hope not. If all of that miraculously comes together, my next step is going to be how to cycle an aquarium while building up algae. I've got "fishless cycle" ammonia and I'll probably do drops of that to get things moving. Normally I use snails and a few fish, but I am afraid the snails might hit the algae too hard before I can get it going. Fortunately, I have an algal mat that I can seed the tank with. I've been growing it for over a decade as a means of cultivating an associated plant. Look how great it looks: Imagine an entire 75 gallon with that floating on the top?! It'll be beautiful! I've been inspired to do this based on a few videos I'd seen of pupfish out west. Like this one: And this one: To me both of these are beautiful examples of algal dominated systems. I'd like to recreate them in my tank. ***Please note that I understand fully that those fish are endangered (ESA listed) and cannot be owned legally. I will not be attempting to replicate this sort of system with those species.*** I may try to do so with related "pupfish" like Florida flag or something. I just think those videos are show particularly beautiful and inspiring scenes. So, this will be a journal of my efforts to do what most people try to avoid, grow a tank full of mucky, matted algae and keep healthy fish in it. It'll be a slow process (like all my projects), but hopefully something interesting will come of it.
  2. Has anyone ever tried barley Straw to get rid of algae in their aquarium? I have read it works even on the black beard algae. I'm thinking of trying to see if it works, I read its slow but natrual so I'm thinking of trying it out. Any info yall might have plz chime in.
  3. hello i am new to plants in my aquarium never had problems with Algae before with fake plants and bristolnose pelco .. but i am having Algae with my live plants in low tech no c2o tank i have 2 Windelov" Java Fern and 2 Banana plant and 1 Anubias Barteri and i have all in one Easy Green Fertilizer my plants specially Banana plants have the algae bad on them and also Banana Plants have holes in the leaves.. i have clean and do water changes and it still comes back been doing this for 3 months and the Algae is getting worse specially on the plants .. do i need the Easy green Carbon and Iron too? will that help ? i use sand and the Java and Anubias is on rocks .. Banana plant on top of sand i have a planted light and have adjusted the light schedule down to only 8 hours a day but the aquarium sits with no lights or windows near it except aquarium lights .. i also adjusted the food on my fish feeding to lower the waste i was thinking of getting the Easy root tabs for the banana plants .. if i get the algae under control i was going to get a few root plants too thanks for any help it is greatly appreciated
  4. Hello, I am looking for some help with identifying what type of algae this is. The algae has been present for quite awhile but I recently removed over half the plants to since I'm turning the tank brackish. The algae seems to have taken off more or maybe I'm just noticing it more with the lack of other plants. Thank you for the help.
  5. Hi folks, This white stuff has been forming on the manzanita log. Anyone know what it is? Im a bit concerned. I've lost two otocilclus catfish in a week. I just did a water change, and now there are bits of this floating in the water. Did a parameter check, and everything is good according to the aquarium co-op test strips, including the separate ammonia one. Thanks in advance.
  6. I have tried everything in my planted tanks but always end up with algae. I have a fluval 3.0 and have tried low, medium and high light, C02, no C02, fertilizer (low medium and heavy) and have good water quality….. All. I have to say is you people that have the algae free planted tanks are geniuses.
  7. Here's the situation: 20 gallon quarantine tank, lightly planted, 4 mystery snails, 2 nerite snails, 2 small angels, 3 green cories (juveniles about an inch to inch and a half long) and 5 OTOCINCLUS. Tank parameters are good and steady, light came with the tank so it isn't adjustable. I've got Easy Green and I'm not afraid to use it. On our most recent trip to Petsmart, we picked up the otos. I like to have algae in this tank because it's the quarantine tank for the 75 gallon as we're doing the initial stocking. I had a decent amount of algae in there that the snails were slowly working through but the otos have eaten almost every scrap. I either need to grow more algae ASAP or I need info about anything else the otos will eat. They don't seem interested in algae wafers or Rapashy Super Green. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  8. Hey everyone. Just wondering if this is good or bad algae, I've never seen this before. I've mainly dealt with hair algae. I brushed the tank last week and it's slowly grown back. Not too worried about it unless it's really bad. Ps going to be getting a rubberlip pleco tomorrow, so hopefully he'll take care of it
  9. Hello! I have a planted tank that's been set up for about 2 months now (no fish yet, just bladder snails and assorted microfauna), and yesterday after doing a water change I noticed this black branch-like stuff that seems to be growing from my driftwood. It doesn't look like algae, so my best guess is it's a fungus? Does anyone know if this could be harmful?
  10. When reading about planted tanks, I hear the terms "New Tank" and "Established Tank" a lot. Or, sometimes, "new" and "established" referring to an individual plant. Are these term well defined at all? I read or hear things like: "Algae growth is normal in a new tank but will subside when the plants are established." "Reduce the intensity of the lighting in when plants are new and increase it when they are established" How can you tell if a tank or individual plant is established? And, are there more phases or stages to planted tank growth than these two?
  11. Has anyone tried wabi kusa balls in their planted tanks? Read about them today and my mind has been going wild at the possibilities ever since. Looks like most people use them for emersed growth in small vases etc but they can be used completely submerged too apparently. Aside from the obvious artistic application it just seems like a practical way of including plants in otherwise non planted tank, just plop it in wherever you fancy get the benefits of plants but still be able to quickly move it whenever you need to clean the tank or rearrange it etc. Like using a natural looking plant pot. Anyone tried them out? Got any pointers of how to DIY them? For anyone still reading, also got a couple random algae questions, my tank has quite a lot of algae at the moment, mostly because I was avoiding cleaning it as was waiting for a hillstream loach which I wanted lots of food for. I'm also not too fussed with the look, it almost looks nice I enjoy the natural touch of it. Anyway question is about a couple types of algae, I noticed today small patches of red algae that looked almost shiny, like small puddles of melted red wax - could anyone tell me what it is or if I should be concerned or anything? Secondly I have a patch of algae that I assumed was black beard algae, only there's this strange effect that when I look at it on one side of the glass it looks black but when I look from the other side of the glass it looks red - is that always the case for BBA or is it something else? Thanks in advance!
  12. I know all of these have been asked before but usually one at a time, so the combo I think might be something different. This is my 20 long guppy birthing tank, it currently has 2 adult females and approximately 40/50 fry? I began by struggling with green spot algae and after stopping the use of easy green and turning lights down to 60% and only 8 hours a day it seemed to get rid of that problem but a few weeks later I started getting extreme hair algae and bba. My nitrates stay around 20 due to heavy feeding of fry. Should I consider using easy carbon to reduce algae or is there another solution I should be considering? Thank you in advance! Ben
  13. So I have a new planted 20 g I’m setting up, and trying to move everything from my pretty much failed 10 g. The pictures will explain everything. The 1st one is my 20 g, which I’m floating stems until roots come in and I can plant (I have a dirted substrate). All clean, starting to grow a little algae, but nice and green. I got them less than a week ago so I would expect it. The 2nd one is my grimey old filter (a Tetra Power Filter 40 if it matters) , which isn’t old at all but I forget to squeeze the sponges out every once in a while. Pretty much filled with sponge. 3rd one is the 10 g tank the HOB is running on, covered in algae and I’m hoping the new one will run a bit better. Still pretty damn dirty. I do water change once a week but it looks grimey as well. I don’t have a lid because….I’m using mine for the 20g currently. So I put the HOB on the 20g, I have a sponge filter in there and wanting to switch it out with the HOB thinking the HOB has more beneficial bacteria in it with so much sponge. Well the first thing I noticed in the clear water and bright light was a strange scum flowing from it (probably protein and other things) and these weird brown bubbles that came off that I assume were full of dust (they don’t pop and I remember having them when I put pool filter sand in my old tank and brown bubbles formed at the surface) , represented in the 4th, 5th, and 6th picture. Will the grime contaminate the nice plants? Because it also is bringing some algae.
  14. Greetings! 20 gallons, planted, cycled community tank. Currently using an aqueon quietflow 20 as a filter but I just bought the Seachem tidal 55 and I also have a sponge filter. Light is a Nicrew Slim Led Aquarium full spectrum light (6500K white LEDs with 460nm blue, and 660nm red LEDs) that is on for 8 hours. As per aquarium coop testing strips, 0/0/10. No kh, 300 gh, no chlorine. As per API testing drops, ph about 6.6-6.8, kh 4, gh 9 Population : 2 honey gourami, 10 chili rasbora, 10 false julii cory (they breed like rabbits!!!), 5 otocinclus, 4 nerita snails and 87 pest snails 🤪 I use Aquarium coop easy green, seachem iron, seachem potassium, seachem excel and seachem fertilizer tab. My soil is flourish black sand. I have been battling hair algae and black beard algae on that tank for a while and I am just fed up. I know the solution is to balance my tank but I seem unable to do so. Meanwhile the 15 gallons right by its side has almost no problem. I tried the trick to remove the plants and soak them in double seachem excel dose but it’s just a temporary solution, the algae come back, and it upset my plants. The bottom leaves on the plants also fall off, gets holes... I admit I am not a plant person. Never had a green thumb - I killed my cactus 😳... So while I know I could buy all the tests kits like @Irene did in one of her videos, they end up quite expensive and I am wondering if I should just go with CO2. I did try it with the fluval base kit but I had so much problems with it (it was leaking, they replace it, the new one the water would fill up the hose when turned off so opening it back would created too much pressure and explode in the tank - Fluval solution was to remove the diffuser from the tank each night... 😳)... So I would prefer a real fool proof kit. I know there is the Ista professional kit with a solenoid but is it good quality (https://www.bigalspets.com/ca/ista-co2-aluminum-cylinder-set.html) Or should I go with co2art? I am clumsy and accident prone so it really has to be easy, safe and secure as well. Or do you have any other tips, comments, suggestions to help me with my problem? Thank you! Here is my aquarium few months ago. It has changed a bit but you can still get the idea
  15. My planted 20L has been up and running since beginning of March. I've got a trident java fern that melted back end of April, corkscrew val that is going nuts, a crypt wendtii, crypt balansae, and an anubias golden that are growing well, a hygrophila araguaia that has been trying but not thriving, and a dwarf aquarium lily that has been doing great until recently. I'm dosing twice a week with 3 pumps of Easy Green and potassium. Lights are on 4 hours in morning and 4 hours in evening. PH is 8.0, GH and KH are around 200 ppm. I have 2 adult platies and more than I can count platy babies in there at the moment. About 5 weeks ago, I spotted some hair algae growing on the hygrophila. It has been spreading and getting worse ever since, even with manually removing what I can every week. I've reduced the lights about 3 weeks ago by 1/2 hour and am giving an extra pump of Easy Green each feeding since my nitrates were down around 5-10 (assuming val was eating it up). Picture of hair algae in tank isn't the best. My dwarf aquarium lily in the last two weeks has started to fall apart (I guess that is the best way to describe it). Huge chunks of the leaves are breaking off. Today, I found three leaves still on it that were growing crinkled instead of smooth. I'm not sure if the hair algae and the lily collapsing is a deficiency or something else. Does anyone have any ideas?
  16. We have our 7 tanks on timers to turn on 15 minutes before my husband needs to leave for work. (6:30 a. m.). They are set to go off when we turn off all electric entertainment,(6:00 p.m.). We are getting a bunch of algae growth and even with the clean up crew some of the tanks are unsightly. I like to have the lighting on while Ray is home and awake obviously. Is it ok for the fish if I set the timer to go off for a few hours during the middle of the day. They are in well lit rooms. But I know I have heard Cory say that the algae growth could be from too much light. I would like to have them come on at 6:30 a.m. -8:00 a.m. and 12:00-6:00. Could that stop the algae invasion (at least slow it) with putting my fish in a scary (for them) situation? Thanks for any help.
  17. Hi how can I attack hair alge on small plant leafs and around the tank
  18. I think I have the starts of a little black beard algae in my work tank. I am debating on whether I use a sponge from that tank to jump start a new one. When we get plants, fish and stuff from other places, who knows what all can come in on them. Is it best to think of your tank as contaminated with all the different types of algae and that it is your job to just try to keep them at bay? Or it worth trying to play the odds to keep algae like black beard algae quarantined in the other tank?
  19. So this 20L is unplanted ish, heavily planted with sculpted hair algae, water is 72° A 0 Ni 0 NA 0 gh 300+ kh 240, stock is 2 breeding American flag fish, 36 sunset sword tail fry and snails (mts,rams,pond) with a couple of shrimp mixed in, my question is, what can I treat with so I can at least see them without putting any chemicals in there because I'd like to avoid any possible contamination of their diet, pics are before and after green, Amazon sword has since been moved
  20. Fresh water nano tank. I have a tank with some *dark* green/brown algae on the glass that I've been hoping my Nerites would deal with, but I finally called the game on their efforts today. I went to tackle the algae this evening and this stuff is *tough*. I've deployed the scrubby on a stick, the magnet cleaner, the credit card, and a enough bad language that I'm going to have to take out a loan to pay the swear jar-all to no avail. Without me using enough pressure to make me nervous about breaking a seal on the tank, this stuff isn't budging. Any advice on what this is and critters or treatments that might soften this stuff up so I can remove it?
  21. Looking to get an algae eater for my cold water tank. It stays between 65-72 and has white clouds in it currently. I will clean myself but would like also a cleaning organism. Thanks!
  22. I just wanted to give everyone who offered me advice on my fish tanks a shout out. I beat the green algae. Months of water change after water change led me to a point where I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong. And that was thanks to you guys. I simply wrapped the tank with a black towel. Stopped doing water changes. And after about a week the green water is completely gone.
  23. I have been battling staghorn in my 29g for months and now it's in my newly set up 75g. I have a theory that it may be my tap water from my sink that I use to fill both tanks. I have used excel to kill the staghorn before but now it isn't working as well to kill it may have to pull plants out and spray with hydrogen peroxide this time. I'm also on the hunt for amano shrimp and some Florida flagfish to help keep it under control. What other steps should I take to help combat staghorn. Also my other 2 tanks both 10g don't have staghorn but I fill them with water that's on a water softener should I try using that water in the tanks that have staghorn? And lastly like the title says can tap water have enough iron in it to grow staghorn I only use ez green and foot tabs to fertilize.
  24. Hello guys, I've been an aquarist for about 8 months now, I have a small 10 gallon tank with lots of plants (mainly valisneria because all others die) and several different fish and shrimp. The fish and the shrimp are all doing great, I just put in plants because they look very nice and they help having healthier fish (as far as I've read) but my main focus has always been having healthy animals. Ever since I started the tank i've battled with algae, i've read up a lot on the different common types of algae and how to balance the nutrients but the algae don't ever go away, and in many cases they infest the plants and kill them (I assume?). Finally, I went to my local fish shop and showed them a few images (attached) and they said that I've been struggling a lot because it's Cladophora algae, that there's no way to get rid of it without restarting my tank and buying EVERYTHING new (kind of suspicious). I wanted to write here because I'd like more opinions on the matter and any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My tank's usual parameters are as follows (before my weekly water change, and I also manually pull out algae as much as I can): PH - 8.1 - 8.3 Nitrate - 10 - 20 ppm (these days I need to supplement nitrogen as the tank naturally consumes it) gh - 8-10 kh - 4-5 Ammonia - 0 - 0.1 Nitrite - 0 Phosphate - 0 - 0.5 (also supplemented since I also read and heard that phosphate deficiencies can produce algae, but the aquarium naturally goes to 0) . It's also worth noting that I put in several seachem tabs for some amazon swords and other plants, but only the amazon swords live as of now, but they're also starting to get infested and the other plants died. The algae has also sort of replaced my moss, and is also consuming my small anubia. Strangely enough the valisnerias are doing great, they reproduce like crazy and I need to keep pulling out runners to prevent them going to places I don't want them to go. I hope this is enough information complementing the attached images, any comments would be greatly appreciated.
  25. This is kind of gross, but I have just discovered a slimy type liquid on the underside of the glass where my light sits on top of my glass lid. A quick google search says it’s something called “Cyanobacteria”? I don’t know anything about it and would love any advice on what to do.
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