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Brush Algae

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants & Planted Tanks' started by MOD_Dawn, May 18, 2011.

  1. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    According to the information and photos I'm definately dealing with Brush Algae.
    http://www.aquaticscape.com/articles/algae.htm

    From what I took from the article it sounds like my tank is ideal for it (low pH & fast moving streams of water- spray bars). Ugh!!!

    So far, it appears the driftwood has been afflicted in addition to some of the grass-like plants and theres a few specks beginning on the back of the tank wall.

    facepalm I probably got it introduced when I added the new fish being I didn't "purge" them before adding them- was in a hurry that night as I wasn't really planning on purchasing anything and basically just stopped at home long enough to do a quick acclimation and had to run back out.

    The Action being put in place to erradicate it as I don't find it appealing:
    1) already removed all sword leaves affected

    2) plan on quick bleach soak of the grass like plants (1 part bleach: 19 parts water)

    3) plan on long bleach soak of the driftwood being it's most afflicted.

    4) trying the suggestion of going with the large density of plants with bright light (to out-compete it)...being I already have a good amount of plants and the bulbs in my fixture are due to be changed. I think there's 6700K's mixed with colormax bulbs (fixture takes 4...216w total).
    [icon_question.gif] Thinking maybe 6700K's mixed with 10,000K's? (open to T5 Bulb mix suggestions here). The link below is the fixture I'm currently running...
    http://www.petmountain.com/show_product/11442-514514

    5) Iffy on adding sae's being I had to remove my adults not to long back (they were grazing up and down the sides of the discus, which in turn were hovering in the corners and turning black with apparent stress. Issue completely resolved once they were removed.
    As for adding the apple snails and large masses of japonica shrimp I fear they'd disappear before they had the chance to hit the water? no?

    Open to any other suggestions :(

    You can see it best on the large piece of driftwood that's positioned at the far right of the tank- It's mainly on the "tips" of it.
    ai51.tinypic.com_20qaywi.jpg
     
  2. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Have you tried just pouring peroxide on it ?
     
  3. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Peroxide as well as excel will work but if the conditions are still conducive to it's growth it will be back. Try checking your phosphates I would be willing to bet they are high and it also flourishes under fluctuating CO2 conditions.
     
  4. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I did try the peroxide, didn't seem to touch it?
    I never had this issue before (only gsa, which cleared once I adjusted the lighting) so I don't think it will be back once I get rid of it (fingers crossed).

    I have all the wood (which is what was mainly affected) soaking in bleach and removed all the leaves that looked like they had it. I rearranged plants a bit to make room for more to go with the theory of plant the heck out of it thinking they will starve it.

    I'll test the phosphates tonight (have a liquid api test kit for it) and will post results...not adding co2 (I mean not dosing or running co2)...but again will be testing and posting all results. Partials were about 2 days ago, so I'll post results BEFORE the partial I do tonight hopefully (alot going on this week) blah!
     
  5. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    API FRESHWATER LIQUID TEST KIT RESULTS:

    Definately a change from last weeks results. Last week there was no Ammonia Reading, No nitrite Reading, Nitrates were 20ppm, Ph/Gh/Kh were all the same as today and Phosphates weren't tested at that time. Water changes are two days off so that may explain the elevation in the Nitrates, but the Ammonia & Nitrites & Phosphates I'm a bit clueless on? Possibly because the fish were receiving VHP frozen food and excess flake food (other people were helping feed them the past week or so due to various appointments and what have you).

    Sidenote--> Vials and caps rinsed in aquarium water BEFORE use and water samples taken at the middle level.

    [*]TEMPERATURE 83.9F
    [*]AMMONIA 6.0 to 7.0 (thinking overfeeding)
    [*]NITRITE 0.25 (again, thinking overfeeding)
    [*]NITRATE 40ppm (in good range, but lower previously...thinking waiting 2 extra days with the overfeeding is what caused the jump)
    [*]PHOSPHATE Between 5.0 and the max on the chart 10.0 (very difficult to differntiate). Test paper says it should be 0 and suggests water change in the amount of 25-50% and adding API Phos-Zorb to the filtration system. Again, water change is 2 days behind but I'm highly doubting that it would make THAT much of a difference and will be adding the Phos-Zorb to the Filstar Xp4's for sure! I'm betting this is coming from the tap (city water).
    [*]PH is where it always remains, steady 6.0 which is the recommendation for Amazonian fish suchs as Angelfish and Neon Tetras.
    [*]GH remains stable at 6 degrees which is the recommendation for most tropical fish including Angelfish, Cichlids, Tetras, Botia, and Live Plants
    [*]KH remains stable at 2 degrees which is the recommendation for Discus, Arowana, Elephant Noses, Neons, Cardinals and Live Plants.

    Any suggestions besides:
    *Bleaching the affected driftwood
    *Removing the affected plant leaves
    *increasing the amount of plants
    *add the Api Phos-Zorb to the filtration system (which will be added to 1 tray of each Rena Xp4)
    *checking the light bulbs which are probably due to be changed anyways (thinking of swapping the colormax for 6700K and doing a combo of them and 10,000K T5's)
    *scraping the walls clean and siphoning the substrate to do aprox. 50% or a bit more water change

    [icon_question.gif] --->Should I be tweaking the lighting schedule at all? If so, what is recommended for each set of banks being they each have there own timer (there's two sets of 54W bulbs) and how should I place the banks (I was planning on doing the far rear that sits towards the back of the tank in the 10,000K AND doing the front set in 67000K's...or Should I possibly do a mix of 10,000K and 6,700K for both front and back or do a completey different mix of bulbs)?

    Plants in the tank so far are Amazon Swords, I believe a Red Melon Sword, Bronze Crypt Wendtii's, A Red Tiger Lotus, and Various Grasslike plants that I believe are corkscrew vals and some form of a chain sword.

    [icon_question.gif] Ps. anyone know of a good product for removing phosphates in freshwater setups? Thinking it might be a good idea if I can find maybe a liquid I can add for when performing partials (the only thing I use right now is Seachem Prime).
     
  6. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    The ammonia is that high, my god I would be doing WC's like mad. I am guessing the BBA is being caused by the high phosphates and fluctuating CO2 levels.
     
  7. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Progress thus far...

    Driftwood removed and waiting upon partial:
    ai52.tinypic.com_2exnbc3.jpg


    Driftwood still removed (soaking in Prime water as I type), Purple Cambomba pulled (trading in to lfs probably, stuff's growing too fast and running out of room for it- much rather put something else in it's place), Tank rearranged a bit to make more room for additional plants and what not, Tank walls scraped clean, Sponge filters rinsed out and Partial in the aprox. amount of 75% performed. I siphoned the heck outta the substrate (which ironically appeared very clean with only about 2 "pockets) and then double dosed tank with Prime:
    View attachment ai54.tinypic.com_650ktt.jpg
     
  8. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    I've read up and have just learned via Seachems website that using Seachem Prime (or any other similar product) will give a false positive for Ammonia.
    and to my relief-->
    Before reading this I was thinking why aren't the fish showing any signs of ammonia poisoning? One would think they'd be at the surface gasping or darting about due to the "burn".

    Having learned this I now believe it's all the PHOSPHATES fault and believe they are probably coming randomly from the tap (city water). I'll be looking for a Phosphate REDUCING product of some sort that I can either simply add to the water after I do partials, or add to the filtration system on a regular basis to keep them within the "recommended" range.

    Ps. thought this was a pretty good article regarding Phosphates and figured I'd share:
    http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/water ... phates.htm
     
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Wow Dawn. I'm surprised the fish aren't acting funny with that amount of ammonia in the water.
     
  10. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    According to Seachems site the Ammonia may simply be a false positive.
     
  11. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Please keep in mind that fluctuating CO2 levels also have quite a bit to do with BBA as well.
     
  12. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Will do, but not much I can do about that.
    When I used Flourish Excel I ended up getting GSA and noticed no real difference in the plants (however, when I used flourish I did notice increased growth) and I absolutely refuse to run co2 in the house (meaning external)...No experience with it and read horror stories regarding it.
     
  13. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Is this true? Wondering if weekly water changes are too much (originally never thought so and thought the more frequent the better).
     
  14. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    Nah there's no truth to that. CO2 occurs in the tank naturally. It is gassed off by surface movement which means that if the surface movement fluctuates the CO2 will fluctuate. Try keeping your surface movement as equal as possible at all times, by doing this your CO2 will not fluctuate. Even still with the high trates, trites and phos in your tank many water changes is where I would begin.
     
  15. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Well nothings changed as far as surface movement goes, the two xp4 spraybars are aimed at the inside of the side walls and the oxygen bar that's hidden beneath the sand is kept at the same (full) output 24/7.

    Water change was already performed, and hopefully I'll get to the lfs tomorrow to pick up some sort of phosphate reducer.
     
  16. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Well I soaked the heck outta the driftwood using tap water and Prime and there definately isn't an ounce of tannin left in any of it. LOL!

    Everything's back in the tank, the driftwood doesn't have any brush algae...but I do notice a fuzzy clear/white looking remain (looks like the brush, but white). Tried scrubbing it off with no luck so said to heck with it.

    Photos of the tank...might be able to see what I'm talking about--> My 90 Gallon Discus Community Fish Tank
     
  17. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Brush Algae...again!

    Lately this is the only issue I seem to run into

    This is exactly what I'm seeing on the edges of decor and driftwood-->
    http://www.aquariumslife.com/algae-control/brushalga/

    now according to the article above they claim it's related to unstable co2 levels...how would one go about finding out what their co2 levels are? I also need some information regarding how to go about stabilizing the co2.

    I need to note that my nitrates are reading 40ppm (which was tested on the 8th day...partials are typically done every 7 days, but due to unexpected e/r visit I'm running a day behind). I do have city water, so with all the baddies I treat it with Seachem Prime! According to Seachem I don't believe this could be an issue-->
    I'm currently adding Eheim Substrat Pro for the detoxified nitrates, but after some reading found that seachem matrix covers 10x more so I've ordered a 4L container/bucket of it to add to both xp4's (in addition to the kiddos 20gL filter- eheim 2236) figuring it surely can't hurt.

    Sidenote:
    Seachem recommends De*nitrate for 50gph or lower, and Matrix/Pond Matrix for anything higher.
    Our filtration is emperor 400= 400gph, xp4=450gph, eheim 2236=159gph)

    More about Matrix viewable here--> http://www.seachem.com/Products/product ... atrix.html
     
  18. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    It is becoming more commonplace belief in the hobby that it is indeed caused by fluctuating CO2 levels, not phosphates as thought (although I am not convinced that high phosphates don't light the match so to speak for it to begin) Since you are not adding CO2 through pressure or DIY, are you using a carbon replacement such as excel? The best way to stabilize you levels would be to stabilize how they are being gassed off...through surface movement. Regulate your surface and even increase it and see if that helps. As to your high Trates, personally with your stocking I don't think that your water change routine is up to par (please don't take offense I know your fish are healthy) Trates should be removed through water changes and since IMO your tank is heavily stocked you should probably do another partial throughout the week and see if that helps keep the Trates down.
     
  19. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Phosphates are testing at 0, and currently I'm not adding any type of carbon replacement...In the PAST I did use the Excel and ended up with a ?unrelated green spot algae issue. If it'll help I'm definately willing to give it a whirl though.

    As for surface movement, we've got lots! It's pretty "wavy"/"ripply" across the surface, definately more than what's recommend for discus and I'm scared if I increase it any more it'll be tossing them on their sides for sure when they come to the top to feed.
    I'm already Running TWO xp4 outputs flowing towards the front of the tank, the emperor 400's waterfall that's covering the entire left half of the tank, and the airstone placed towards center takes care of the right portion. I couldn't believe needing more than that?
     
  20. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Thread Starter Active Member

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    Guessing I'll try 4L of the Seachem Flourish to get started with for $47.12...unless anyone knows of a cheaper source that where I'm looking (petblvd)?

    And with the next filter cleaning I guess I'll try loading it up a bit more with the Eheim Substrat Pro as I'm sure that couldn't hurt.