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 Bloom is driving me nuts!

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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:55 pm

Hello new friends! As promised I am here with a question. In the last month, my normally happy, clear 20 gallon FW decided it was tired of behaving. About 3 days after a normal water change (about 20%), it clouded a bit.. no worries there, except that soon after that there was a fantastic algae bloom in the tank (of the floating kind.. as in, instead of the water being tinged a little white for things like a nitrate spike.. it's GREEN!!!). I waited for a few days to see what would happen, but no good. I did another partial change about 5 days out, but not much has changed. Very annoying!! What can be done to counter this? More frequent water changes? better air circulation? My fish don't seem to care (4 cherry barbs, 2 cories and a wee adorable bristlenose pleco).. but I sure do.

For the record.. this is week THREE. Normal water changes not helping, but I'd like to combat with natural remedies if I can before giving into chemicals. HELP!

-Ashley
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:49 pm

I do around a 10 to 15 percent water change every week and my tank stays relatively clean.

How often do you change your filter cartridge? and whats in it? Just carbon or does it have a mix of carbon and white diamond (helps keep the ammonia down).

Is the tank being exposed differently to natural light? (do you have you curtains open more towards your tank???)

Do you have a heater on the tank keeping it at a constant temperature?

What you you feed the fish, and how much?

My tank receives very little natural light and I have two light on it that run the majority of the day and into the night until I go to bed. I keep it at 80 degrees and don't have much of an algae problem.


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-Nick G.  pirate
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:53 pm

I change my filter about every 3 weeks, but I have not yet added diamond to it.. I'll nab some tonight as a starter to a more healthy tank anyway!

My tanks are all exposed to natural light as my entire condo is under large vaulted ceilings with windows that run across at the top.. they are tinted, but only to cut out uva/uvb, not light

i assume that will doom me in many respects Wink

I feed my barbs flakes, but not too much at all since there are only 4 of them. They are able to eat everything within a minute or two. Once every 3-4 days I give the cories one little sinking pellet each. They are small pellets, each cory is well-fed off one.

The heater is currently not on as the house is hot thanks to our lovely windows, but it does maintain a steady 80F in the tank (I keep the thermometer further away from the filter, assuming this DOES help keep steady readings?)

Like I said this is a recent thing.. I don't know what I did to make it angry! I only have 3 live plants in there now, but happily adding more just because I enjoy them.. and I know they'll battle against my algae too.

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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:58 pm

It doesn't seem like it's a heater or overfeeding issue. The daylight coming through the windows doesn't help, but it's not the cause either.

How often do you do your normal 20% water changes? How long has the aquarium been set-up?

Is it possible that your plants sporulated? I don't know anything about FW plants, but I know that's always a concern with SW macroalgae.

My guess is that something caused your nitrates and/or phosphates to spike causing the bloom. Do you have a test kit? Perhaps when you did the water change, it stirred the substrate releasing detritus?

Can you take a picture of it?? That would help.


__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Iceelover



Join date : 2011-07-14
Posts : 241

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:22 pm

I learned last week that if your lights are more that a year old, the spectum they start putting out (since they often run much longer than a year) only benefits algal blooms, and benefits them a lot! Im still doing research on the validity of this and I have NO idea if it applies to FW, but something to look into?
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:24 pm

+1 Bulbs should be changed every 12-18 months. Some people even say to change them every 9 months. It could be the cause of your algae issue...

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:52 pm

Sounds like a mystery pale

Sounds like you have everything down in the tank. The white diamond should help a bit, do you wash your filter pad between changes Shocked ???

I personally have never had any luck with plants, possibly an small air pump and stone could help, but your tank shouldn't need it since it's not heavily populated. Keep us updated Very Happy

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-Nick G.  pirate
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:13 am

I WILL get to your questions.. but first we suspect we know why we can't get rid of it. We do not know the cause of the bloom still (I just got a new light about 2 months ago for my plants!), but last night we looked under my stand (A vintage iron stand where you can see under the tank).. algae is settling in my gravel!!!

I'd almost bet the guess was correct that the vacuuming I'm doing is stirring it up. Tonight we're going to try and carefully vacuum around the plants and go slow so we can suck it out without stirring it up as much as possible. I read online that I should be doing 20% water changes every other day until the bloom is gone.. but what do you think? I feel like with the amount of vacuuming I'm doing, it could cause a nitrate spike. Hmm!! Question
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:21 am

I personally think 20% is excessive, I'd do around 10; and when you do vacuum try not to stir it at all, just place it directly into the gravel, pull out and move to the next spot. Good luck! fingers-crossed

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-Nick G.  pirate
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:00 pm

I was able to get ALL of that grossness out of my gravel!! Nicholas I did exactly as you describe too, just lift and move. WOW it was gross. I also added some new plants, and found out my old plants are sprouting runners Smile So the good news is, something in there is competing well with the algae. My aquarium has been set up for over a year without an issue prior, in fact previously it had a few more fish in it! A few platies (part of the Banished Princes in the small tank)

So now.. we wait! I'll take a water test when it calms down in there. Poor guys look stressed!
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:32 pm

I'm glad you think you found the problem and were able to suck most of that crap out! Hopefully your plants will keep growing and that algae won't come back!! thumbs up

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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schudini



Join date : 2011-06-30
Posts : 142

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:38 am

Additionally, what type of water are you using for changes (tap, store bought, etc.). That may have some impact on why things could change suddenly (especially if using tap water, they might dump in some chemicals with out notifying people).
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:14 am

Actually we have suspected tap water issues in the past for other issues. We have well water, which has its own set of horrors Wink But I also read the city- ANY city- may alter the amount of nitrites and nitrates that they add to your water without notice. While you can request the stats on your water chemistry, they will not tell you ahead of time

Just a head's up for anyone in general!
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:42 pm

Well, we still have no idea what triggered it.. but I can tell you some very aggressive (read: don't do this to your fish) treatment, the water is finally clear and the nitrates are very close to zero!!! It honestly came down to me pulling everything (save for the bubbler.. and fish!!) out of the tank and vacuuming the mess out of everything in there two more times. The water is clear and everything is normalizing in my chemical tests.. the fish have become VERY active too, lots of foraging and socializing.

Now the only thing driving me crazy is my cory cats.. they like to groom the grass plants? Which would be fine if that didn't mean uprooting! Dorks.
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:15 pm

Glad to hear that you removed the gunk, and that your fish seem happy Smile

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:52 pm

Holy crap, I can see it creeping back.. I purchased a UV filter. It will be here in 2 days. All my stats are normal so I just don't know! I haven't fertilized my plants in a while either.. which apparently hasn't mattered because my java ferns are having a million kids Smile

I guess we'll see!! It's so strange. A year with no issues and now this annoying thing
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:34 pm

That is weird. The UV sterilizer should help. I hear it does wonders.

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:44 am

We shall soon seee! I just wonder what's going on.. my care in the tank has always been consistent with no issues and suddenly..? Dislike! But the UV is due today Smile
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:28 pm

What brand of UV did you buy?

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:41 am

It's called green killing machine, I think made by AA. It got decent enough reviews.

Currently it seems my tank was visited by the fairy of good fortune while my husband and I were out in the panhandle this weekend because the water is CRYSTAL clear.. still confused. The UV filter never did come in (I assume today??), but I am keeping it because I don't trust it to stay pretty Laughing
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:53 am

10 minutes later.. here it is. lol
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:53 am

That's funny that it cleared up while you were away. I wonder what changed...

I've heard of the green killing machine. I don't know much about UV sterilizers, though. You'll have to let me know how it does.

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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AshleyG



Join date : 2011-08-28
Posts : 266

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:57 pm

Part of me almost wants something to go awry so I can test this baby out Wink But on the other hand.. NOOOO! lol
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Sam_G
Admin


Join date : 2011-01-15
Posts : 2530

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:35 pm

Don't wish for that! Shocked Wink

__________________________________________________________________
~Samantha snorkel

Founder and Former President of the Aquarist Club at USF

100 Gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium

47 Gallon Macroalgae DT
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Nicholas41



Join date : 2011-06-02
Posts : 1062

PostSubject: Re: Bloom is driving me nuts!   Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:44 pm

I've never had live plants, but I do love my cory cats! Glad to hear that the problem is solved! Very Happy

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-Nick G.  pirate
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