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Struggling to get rid of algae, suggestions?


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Hi guys, Every tank I have is near algae free, but my 40gal breeder has developed black beard and green spot algae (I think? can you identify them).

Admittedly, the tank is a bit (or a lot) overstocked at the moment, the stocking is:
6 Neon tetras
6 Glowlight tetras
8 Albino Cories
2 very young, small electric blue acaras (will be moving those when they grow a bit)
5 otocinclus (bought them to help with algae, will give to a buddy when done)
4 black neons
5 serpaes
5 glass bloodfins
1 Paradisefish
1 Gold Gourami

I've been algae free for over a year (mostly) in this tank, even when overstocked, but for some reason I've started to develop this algae. I've also been doing a 10 hour photoperiod, which has been very fine, yet something has triggered algae growth recently. I'm not sure what has happened but the only big change I've done is to change my fluval 406 canister with a spraybar to a ziss bubble filter and a 20g sponge.

Could it be that I don't have enough flow anymore? The spray bar did amazing at circulating the water.
Is it just the overstocking? I've been fine until a month back or so, when this algae started appearing. Matter of fact my stocking has decreased, before I even had 4 juvenile angels that I rehomed.

Should I increase flow, decrease light, increase nutrients? (I dose easy green once per week). Perhaps easy carbon?

How about planting more heavily maybe? I currently hava a good amount of hygrophila corymbosa, a big anubias plant, a banana plant, aquarium dwarf lily and a few vallisneria. Pics so you can see the planting. 

I also do 50% water change each week, nitrates reach about 40ppm when I do it.

Thanks guys,






Edited by HenryC
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I have added more plants: one anubias, a bunch of ambulia and more hygrophila, as well as a truckload of duckweed to soak up any excess nutrients. Also a squadron of ramshorns and pond snails from my 20gal (which is algae free I must say 🤔), hopefully they can clear out a bit algae.



I guess it's time to go back to the mega jungle I had a year ago, had zero problems with that :(.

I Think it was a mistake to get rid of the giant ambulia wall that I had. 

Edited by HenryC
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Ok, admittedly, I love the jungle planted tank that you had set up previously, but I am a plantoholic.

I don't think that is black beard? Maybe staghorn? Here is a side by side pic--BBA in blue. Black beard algae vs staghorn algae side by side comparison

That is only moderately helpful...they are about the same for all the recommendations I have found for getting rid of them. The otos wont touch that stuff unfortunately.

I have tried the spot treatment method with hydrogen peroxide, and I am not thrilled with my results so far. However, I am impatient by nature, and what took months to grow probably wont be resolved in under a week. I hear fabulous things about Siamese algae eaters, but I am strongly resisting buying them. I plan to hold out 3 more days at least...

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4 minutes ago, RyanR said:

If it is staghorn, I got rid of staghorn in a week in one of my tanks using Flourish Excel after reading this article.

I am afraid of Excel.... I have shrimp and valisnaria in the tank, both reputedly hate Excel. But if the H2O2 doesn't work, I may have to give it a shot as a spot treatment.

Or get those SAE...lol.

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@DanielThank you so much! to be hoenst I kidna miss the wild growth jungle I had. I will go back and with time hopefully the algae with dissapear. Going for lots of ambulia trimmings from a friend later today.

@BrandyThank you for the info. Unfortunately, the pic doesn't show up, maybe only for me? 😞

@RyanRThanks! Will check out the article after work.

Edited by HenryC
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From everything I've read and watched, algae kicks in when nutrients/light are out of balance for plants. You might have plenty of some nutrients, provided by all those fish, but not enough of others. In this situation, the algae has the advantage over the plants. The good news is, when you get the nutrients/light back in balance, the plants have a huge advantage and will outcompete the algae. One way to deal with the nutrient half is to do decent water changes (at least 20% once per week), then bring your nitrate level up to 20 ppm with a good overall fertilizer (like Easy Green). Carbon will also help, especially with black beard. A shorter light period can help, but the plants still need light to thrive and beat out the algae.

I'm dealing with a BBA outbreak as well, and after measuring my nitrates, realized my tank was pretty low (around 5 ppm), so I'm increasing my fertilizer dosing. It seems to be working, but very slowly.

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