ID my algae please.

Discussion in 'Algae' started by TLH, 5 Apr 2009.

  1. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    I'll try and get a pic up later but I'm not sure I'll be able to get one of the water.

    I originally thought this was BGA as it is forming sheets across most stuff. However, everything I've read on BGA doesn't say anything about little threads floating in the water. There are literally millions of the little buggers floating around. They are as thin as a hair and have ranged from 3-5mm. I did a big clean 2 days ago and the tank looked nice but this stuff has just gone ape now and it looks worse than before. They settle out into sheets of quite dark green which can be lifted off in big patches.

    I haven't found anything that sounds like this yet. Anyone got any ideas?
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    There are loads of different varieties of cyanobacteria (BGA). It sounds like a rarer form.

    Remove some and smell it. If it smells strongly it's likely BGA.
     
  3. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    I've had this before, and it is BGA. I had the slimey coating as well at the same time.
     
  4. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    Ok, cheers. I just wanted to make sure. I may have to consider another blackout now then. I could hit it with Erythromicin though being as I have some tablets left over from a prescription (I was changed to something else half way through a course) if someone knows the correct dose? I really want to make sure it doesn't survive again. I have 18x250mg tablets in total.

    There are only 3 Oto's in there at present which could be transfered to my other tank if needed.

    I'll still try and get that pic later.
     
  5. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    Pics up. This is 3 days growth, it seemed to like the waterchange. This look like it guys?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Yep, BGA.

    As said - if you remove some it smells strongly (I think an earthy type smell)

    Water change, 72hr blackout & further water change will tackle it.
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    BGA is easy to get rid of, whether by blackout or by Erythromicin, but more important is why it occurred. If this isn't a maintenance issue then it's due to Poor NO3/flow. So even if you rid the tank this time it's bound to return.

    Cheers,
     
  8. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    I've been trying to keep NO3 above 20ppm and this is also why I have 2 koralia nano's in there now. I didn't treat with drugs last time but the blackout was total and lasted 5 days. I'm not as plant heavy as I could be admitedly and it is a new setup so I don't have the fauna to balance things properly yet. After I get rid of this I will be getting a shoal of 25 Rasbora and also 15 Amano's in there but I'd prefer this gone before I order those.

    Does CO2 make any difference with this? I haven't got a drop checker yet so have no idea of the levels I have but I'm putting 2-3 bps through the filter currently on a solenoid set for 2 hrs before lights.
     
  9. altaaffe

    altaaffe Member

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
    Must admit, I've only had it mildly on one set-up.

    So I don't know about CO2 but this was a high light set-up that unfortunately couldn't get the maintenance it needed when I was sent away unexpectedly.

    I would suspect high light as the main culprit along with a source of ammonia, either from debris not collected during water changes or from plants decaying due to a problem (as Ceg says not dosing properly).

    Can you put up your tank stats on here again, along with the maintenance schedule (including dosing)
     
  10. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    Its a 55g 4foot with 108w for 8hrs and co2 for 10hrs. Changing 40% a week. Dosing Seachem Flourish for traces with Kent nitro+, phos+ and Seachem potassium at 4-1-3 ratio but I've added double nitro lately to maintain the level at 20ppm as the tank seems to burn through it for some reason, maybe the bga is using it?

    Ammonia is not the issue, I'm sure, as there are only 3 very small oto's in there. Test shows nil. All plants are growing and I remove any dodgy leaves when I see 'em. No dead stuff really to speak of, apart from the wood in there.
     
  11. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    The ammonia being discussed can't be detected by the test kits that are readily available to us as hobbyists. Those test kits are calibrated to show "0" when the level is safe for fish and invertebrates. It isn't actually "0", otherwise the nitrogen cycle wouldn't work. It would be something like 0.005ppm for example.
     
  12. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    Should I cut down on light time on after I get rid of it then, say to 6 hrs? Add more fast growing stems? Change dosing ratio?

    Does anyone know the dose I should use anti biotics at? Would 250mg per 10g be sufficient to kill it?

    Found this schedule to use, sound good?

    1. Day1: Remove all BGA you care to remove.
    2. Dose 200-300 mg Erythromicyn for every 10 gallons of water.
    3. Don't worry about shrimp, too much or too little nutrients, light, the "rain in Spain".
    4. Day 3: Change 25-35% of the water. Add EM again.
    5. See (3).
    6. Day 6: Change 25-35% of the water. Done.
     
  13. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    You shouldn't be dosing aquaria with antibiotics unless they were prescribed by a vet for a specific fish with a specific bacterial disease. There is another thread on here where I have talked about the potential problems of mis-use of antibiotics.

    Anyway you'd be far better sorting out the cause of this. This will get rid of the BGA you have now as well as preventing it coming back. IMO 95% of problems with BGA are tanks with too high stocking, sunlight hitting the tank, not enough filtration or a lack of maintenance in some way. The only other possibility is a lack of nitrate.

    Up the water changes and syphon out every single piece of BGA you can each water change. Clean the filter thoroughly and make sure there is no detritus anywhere in the tank. Keep up the large water changes whenever you see any BGA and within a week or two it should be gone. If this doesn't work after a couple of weeks then a black out will kill off any persistent remaining bits but by doing it this way round you will hopefully have removed the cause before simply treating the symptoms.

    If you just dose with antibiotics (disregarding the reasons why they shouldn't be used) or do a blackout without solving why it has occured then it will just grow back.
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    This is not a CO2 issue. If you are relying on your test kit to tell you the NO3 concentration then you have probably committed the first sin. You need to add more NO3 and you need to throw your test kits away. It's that simple. :wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  15. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    All I'm using the test kit for is to tell me I'm not running low. I'm not aiming for 20ppm on the button I'm just aiming to keep a dark colour rather than a light one. I'm looking into getting some saltpetre for my nitrates as I'll need it soon. Currently I'm dosing 10ml of Kent nitro+ per day.

    @ Ed, I addressed the flow problem after this started and my nitrates. Ok I may not have the nano's and spraybar in quite the right places yet to make the flow perfect but the turnover in the tank is now roughly 16x. I'm getting a hose arrangement to make filling the tank back up easier as lugging around 80 litres out and back in takes a long time for me. I'd rather give it big hammering now with the antibiotics and then keep it gone with everything else. There is direct sunlight on the tank, curtains are kept shut till sun is overhead. Admittedly I neglected to look at the filter when I last changed water however the flow indicator on it (Eheim 2128) is still near the max flow line.
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hobby grade test kits are not even capable of telling you that much on a consistent enough basis. The BGA is telling you that you have run low. This is what I'm attempting to get across. :?

    You should probably immediately double or triple the amount of the product you are using or go with the KNO3 which is loads cheaper.

    Cheers,
     
  17. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Turnover doesn't need to be perfect and it sounds like your flow is good, but a clean filter is more than just that the flow is good enough. If your filter has debris in it then all the tank's water is being dragged through that decaying waste about 16 times an hour! The filter needs to be cleaned of dirt, not just operating with a good flow. Those flow indicators should not be used as indicators of when the filter needs cleaning, your BGA suggests that there may be a high level of organic waste in the tank so a good idea would be to make sure it's very clean so you can rule that out as a cause.

    My views on the mis-use of antibiotics are detailed here which is why they are not sold for general use in the UK.
     
  18. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    Well I may be dosing enough now anyway but I can't tell for sure. The size of the strands suspended in the water has been reduced over the last few days. I have t make the stuff I have last till I get powders though so I'd rather not be too liberal with it incase I run out altogether before I get them. I take your point though.
     
  19. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    Fair enough and I will give it a good clean before a blackout, tank and filter that is. I understand what you're saying about antibiotics, better than you know actually, but with the tons of it we flush down the toilet each year into the water system treating one little aquarium is like a drop in the ocean. The water supply already has a nice cocktail of drugs floating around in it. Misuse would be not dosing a big enough amount for long enough or dosing the wrong medication to do the job properly first time around. That, and the fact that doctors prescribe antibiotics for things that don't necessarily need them, is the reason that resistant strains have developed. Enough about that though. I will do a clean up again and a 4 day blackout and see what gives.
     
  20. TLH

    TLH Member

    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northants
    Well the gravel looks alot cleaner now. There were still a few bits on hte back glass where the flow didn't hit it as hard but the rest of the tank looks good. I cleaned up the last bits and did another filter clean and water change and scrubbed the wood again for good measure. There is still some green along the front glass in the gravel so I'll probably get some tape over that

    I moved the spray bar to the back wall instead of the side. I'm hoping it'll make more movement being there and atleast it will not be competing so much against the nano I have in the corner. I will watch it closely the next few days to make sure the flow looks like it's getting everywhere.

    I had quite a few yello leaves on the crypts after 5 days in the dark. They should pick up again quickly now the light is back on though. I'm cutting the light down to 7hrs now.
     

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