slimy sludge algae?
I have this crap growing all over my tank, but only on my plants and my driftwood. Not on the glass, not on any of my equipment. It is especially bad on a few of my plants, my frill and my cabomba. It is slimy and brown. I have a 29 gallon, with numerous plants in it, frill, cabomba, ludwigia, a few fish, 3 cardinal tetras, 4 julii cories, and a single red crystal shrimp. I am running a API Rena XP3 with the two sponges, a full bag of carbon, a bag of Fluval Clearmax (for nitrate removal), and Rena Biochem Stars. I have one 54 watt t5 plant bulb over the tank that runs 8 hours a day. I do an 8 gallon water change every week, with gravel vacuuming.
Can someone tell me what it is? And maybe what I am doing wrong, to correct the problem?
I will try to post a photograph of it.
slimy and the habit of growing on plants sound like cyanobacteria(blue green algae) while brown would suggest diatoms. try looking up pictures of both types to compare.
nah its not Diatoms, I've seen those before. this looks like a cyano algae, but its brown.
it floats around like a slimy mess, but it stays together, unlike diatoms.
we'll need some pictures to help.
there are too many varieties of algae to guess which you have.
but one thing that is consistent between all solutions of algae is bigger water changes.
you are doing less than 10% a week, and probably have high nitrates.
what plants do you have?
are you dosing any ferts?
If its blue green algae, with is not actually an algae, your gonna have a rough time of it because it remains alive in the water column and invisible. The only was i got rid of it was to tear down the tank and soak everything that isn't porus in bleach, then i soaked in tap water for three days, then let it air, then soaked in tank water, this is extreme but it got the job done. Good luck hope you don't have it.
6ft Australian Fresh water turtle tank - 2 macleay river turtles, numerous guppy at varying stages of development.
5ft 150gal planted discus tank - 8 discus, 10 cardinal tetras, 10 rummnose, 6 albino cories, and breeding RCS in tank sump and just about everywhere everything done from scratch, filtration and stand tank
less than 10 %? its closer to 30% actually, its 8 gallons a week on a 30 gallon tank. My plants are frill, cabomba, ludwigia, and two swords, a melon and a marble. I use ferts, (API Leaf Zone) but maybe a half dose, every week or two.
What are the nitrate levels and if you have the kit, phosphate levels? These feed algae and GBA. There two wastes are produced from fish waste and even food and are a bane. Even moderate nitrates are a killer if your phosphates are high and truth be told, everyone's phosphates are very high compared to natural environments.
To reduce phosphates two things are critical: stir the substrate deeply and as complete as possible when cleaning; second, do larger water changes - 8 gallons a week for a 29 is small. Yes, that sounds wrong but getting a 50% or higher will be needed. I have learned that substrates act like a sponge for phosphates and these release the stuf back into the tank water after even massive water changes. While the nitrates are then low, the BGA or algae feed well on the phosphates (that is why phosphates are not in most cleaners anymore - they kill lakes and rivers.)
To get rid of the BGA or if just normal algae: first, clean off all the plants and wood. Stir the substrate deeply; siphon off as much water as possible (90%). Now do bi-weekly 50% water changes for two weeks. AFter that, 50% water changes (and substrate cleaning) every week and be sure to clean up any waste food.
Consider a UV sterilizer. By the way, 'carbon' or activated charcoal is of zero use in the average home aquarium and a terrible waste of filter space. I'd suggest you dump that junk and add more bio-media instead. That will do far more for water quality, anyway!
I fought GBA all the time and I was doing 50% W/C mid-week and a 75+% W/C every weekend (in a two 75 gal aquariums!); yet the stuff came back time and again. I then got an alage scrubber and the stuff has been brought under control (but still threatens - I've now started a new process which appears to have defeated the stuff and that is in the discus thread if you want to read about that.)
If you have algae and not BGA, most likely it is still phosphates combined with nitrates so the above will help. But also look at your lights (on for too long, old bulbs) and/or poor selection of ferts.
Best of luck.
Knowledge is fun(damental)
A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is fifteen Sterba's Corys. Filters: canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber that removes phosphates and nitrates! Also, a highly dangerous commercial nitrate removal unit from hell
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