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Thread: Algae or fungus?
11-25-2012, 06:22 PM #1
Algae or fungus?
Hey gang I am working on a fishless cycle in a 40 gal tank with live plants and have recently noticed an abundance of white fuzzy stuff (cotton like) covering everything in the tank. All over the plants. On the plant leaves it almost looks like greyish balls all over. Then some of the plants of long strands like 2 inches long hanging off the end of them. Some of it almost looks like a light green color. It looks horrible!
Any idea what it is and how can I get rid of it? I am afraid that it is going to cause the plants to die.
11-25-2012, 06:40 PM #2
Can you post a pic of it?><((((º> ><((((º> ><((((º> ><((((º>
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11-25-2012, 06:41 PM #3
I will try to get a decent pic or 2 of it.
11-25-2012, 06:43 PM #4
Green, long strands sounds like algae - what are your ammonia/nitrite and nitrate levels? Knowing the phosphate levels would be useful. Since you have plants, how long are the lights on (under eight hours?) and do you add ferts? Also, what wattage and color are the bulbs?
Unlikely to be fungus unless there is a lot of orgain matter.
If it is algae - lights or nutrients or phosphates tend to be the issue.
11-25-2012, 07:01 PM #5
11-25-2012, 07:14 PM #6
0Originally Posted by Cermet
Tank is still cycling (21 days still no nitrites post) so ammonia is a 3, no nitrites or nitrates, no clue what my phosphate levels are. The lights are on for 8 hours a day (timed) broken up into 2 4 hour segments. I add Flourish twice a week according to instructions on the bottle and flourish excel 3 times a week according to instructions on the bottle.
The light is a Nova Extreme T5HO light that has 2 54 watt bulbs. 1 Truelumen flora (6700k) bulb and 1 Zoomed Ultra Sun(6500k) bulb. I use the same fixture on my 20 gal tank with the same bulbs and time schedule and don't have any problems. Of course the 20 gal is on a 24 inch fixture and not the 48 version I have on my 40 gal. but the WPG is identical in both cases.
11-25-2012, 09:48 PM #7
Does not look like algae (not that some algae may be co-growing in it.) If you have no fish food, don't think it is phosphate. Could be a bacteria feeding off the ammonia. I get some 'white' growth in my tank but it is a film, rarely forms strings. Could be the level of ammonia, being on the high side, is feeding some bacteria (good type.) As long as the plants are doing well, I'd watch. Then allow the ammonia level to fall to zero, and then try holding at 1 ppm. During this time, try wiping off the 'white' stuff and if little to none grows back, then most likely a bacteria feeding on the ammonia.
My best guess.
Last edited by Cermet; 11-25-2012 at 09:51 PM.
11-29-2012, 02:19 PM #8
So after doing more research we are thinking that it is beard algae in the tank. How should we treat it?
The tank is still cycling and there is live plants but there is no fish in it.
I read cleaning everything off really well by pulling it out of the tank and doing a bleach dip will kill it off. But we don't want to pull the live plants out of the tank and try that.
Also read that SAE and Amano shrimp will eat it all and it will be gone in no time. Probably is that because the tank is cycling the ammonia levels are high (2-3ppm) and we have no plans to keep them in the tank in the long run.
Dosing Excel in high amount will kill it off I am told. But we are afraid of going that route because we have Val's in the tank and we read that it will cause them to melt. If they do melt will they come back? If we did go this route how much do we dose with for a 40 gal tank? I read the you can spot treat it by turning off the filtration and using a syringe. The problem is that it is wide spread so that would mean basically treating the whole tank anyway.
Am I missing any options? An algaecide that will kill it off and not harm my plants?
11-30-2012, 11:04 AM #9
The easiest method is to get the aquarium in balance - proper lighting/duration, and/or proper levels of trace nutrients.
When some critical nutrients are too low or too high, algae can grow. Also, consider dropping the ammonia level to 1 ppm. Also, 3ppm is too high a level for good cycling (referenced) and might be fueling the algae growth. Remember, ammonia is not good for plants - they can use it but it is not their prefered food.
If the issue is too much nitrate or phosphate, large water changes every week could help (but may slow the cycle) - if these chemicals are already in the tap water, than a small in tank up flow algae scrubber would be a cost effective solution (such a device works very well for me since my tap has 10 ppm nitrates and my fish produce a lot of phosphates.)
One extremely nice feature of an algae scrubber is that it will handle a host of other organics/nutrients and reduce the need for as many or as large water changes. In tank units are very small and easy to maintain (not so much for outside slump systems.) In tank up flow bubble algae scrubbers are a win-win for any fish tank.
Last edited by Cermet; 11-30-2012 at 11:11 AM.
11-30-2012, 11:51 AM #10
The only thing in the tank that is not in the right range is the ammonia and that is only because I am in the middle of a fishless cycle.
I've done tons of research on the fishless cycle and have numerous posts on here in which I have been told as high as 4ppm in a 40 gal tank is fine while cycling. That said I understand that it might be that high ammonia in my tank that is causing the algae outbreak. Which is why I am looking for ideas to kill it off and keep it away until my tank cycles.
Last night I turned off my filtration and anything that moves water in the tank and spot treated the algae in the tank with hydrogen peroxide. So far the tank looks alot better.