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Thread: willl an algae scrubber kill this stuff?

  1. #1

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    willl an algae scrubber kill this stuff?

    Hi Folks,

    I've been running my upflow algae scrubber for a few years now and it was doing a fairly good job getting rid of algae. I ended up removing the scrubber because it was raising my PH to high 7's and low 8's. Well, it's probably not raising the PH as much as showing what my water's true PH is since it's gassing off the CO2 with mucho bubbles. The fish also seemed really stressed when I was running the scrubber though. They would stay far on the opposite side of the tank and would hide. Maybe it wasn't just the PH but the noise of the bubbles popping. I was also having fish die off from what looked like columnaris and septicaemia. I tried Kanplex, Furan 2, Api General Cure. Nothing worked. Since I stopped using the UAS a few months ago the fish come out during the daytime (they use the whole tank now), Only two cory catfish survived (my two original ones. Old albino and emeral corycats. I lost my pleco, panda cory, second albino cory, and melini cory. The PH has also dropped down to high 6's to low 7's. May be due to rotting food or plants that are dying off. I'm looking in the tank right now and I see fuzz on some uneaten food. I'm going to gravel vac a bit to get that stuff up even though my tank cleaning (done every 7 days) is on Monday.

    Here's what I got going now. It looks like flat green stuff on the plants and it's killing the plants off. I tried dosing the tank in h2o2 with Flourish excel and it didn't do anything to the plants or algae. Here's the treatment I followed.

    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/23...treatment.html

    20 gallon tank and I used 3 tbsp of h2o2. I figured 5 gallons worth of substrate so that's why I used 3tbsp for 20 minutes. Then followed up standard dose of Flourish excel.

    I was going to try bleaching the plants outside the aquarium but the leaves are really thin on the plants (wisteria) and they will probably be annihilated even if I go 30 second dip at 1 bleach 20 pts water. The Amazon swords are in pretty rough shape to begin with (they are on death's door. Leaves are all floppy and at the connection between the root and the leaf is brown).

    So, my first question. Does anyone know what this stuff is? Years ago when I ran the algae scrubber the battle was with blackbeard algae. This stuff definitely isn't it. My research indicates it might be cynobacteria (green spot algae). Means I'm getting either too little or too much phosphates in the tank. Is that what it is?

    Second question. Would the upflow algae scrubber take out this stuff? I thought I had read that the UAS would also reduce phosphates to amount the plants actually need.

    Third question. Any other ideas I can try?

    Something else. As far as nutrients, I put in the recommended doses (on the back of the bottle) once a week for a 20 gallon tank for both Seachem Flourish and Seachem Flourish Excel. It doesn't seem to be helping the situation and may be hurting it.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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  2. #2

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    I have one scrubber with 8.20 ph, I just leave the lights on 24x7. So it's constant. I have never had any problems.

    Maybe a 2 on 2 off, cycle to balance the ph?

  3. #3

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    Thanks for that info. I can't run the scrubber 24/7 b/c it's in my bedroom and the pump is too loud. One thing I wanted to add is that I'm able to scrape the algae off with a toothbrush. Might help ID what this stuff is.

  4. #4

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    Blue green cyno

    Soft and fragile, cyanobacteria? Fish will leave it alone.

    Regular water changes

  5. #5
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    Cyano is reddish and not green, but if it dies then it might be covered by green dust algae (like your glass) and this might make it look green. Kind of like some people think there is green coralline in saltwater, but it's actually pink coralline that was eaten and green algae grew on it overnight.

    But if it's cyano, then I don't think it is a phosphate issue by itself (high or low). Cyano does not "need" nitrogen, so cyano is usually able to survive when nitrate is low, but it rarely connected to just one nutrient. I've seen highs and lows. Overall a thin cyano is caused by low nutrients, because thicker algae can't survive. The big thick sheets of cyano that cover sandbeds are the result of lots of nutrients, especially coming from decaying food.

    Neverthess it sounds like a disease of some sort. And I never see fish scared of bubbles after a day or so.

  6. #6

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    Thanks everyone for the continued information. I scrubbed some more of the stuff off with a toothbrush yesterday. There's still more on it but going to try and scrub a bit more of it off tomorrow when I clean the tank. I wish I could figure out what this stuff is and how to get rid of it though. Maybe it will not come back once I scrub what's left on the leaves. Going to continue with the Excel and Flourish Excel fertilizers and see what happens. At least it's not blackbeard algae. which I had before I put in the algae scrubber.

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