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Re: yet another algae (green cloud)

> From: "Christopher M. Roe" <chris at kelanet_com>
> Subject: yet another algae problem....
> Here's yet another algae problem question....

>Oh goody:)
> I have a 90 gal planted tank that has developed one serious
> problem with a
> bright green algae that;
> #1)  seems to "spore" and has covered everything from the
> glass to even the
> new plant growth a day after it emerges,
> #2)  is not touched by my otos, any of my 3 species of plecos,
> and 2 species
> of flying foxes, and
> #3)  is not responding to any of my "natural" efforts to
> control it.

I have had this algae problem, about a year ago, in my 55 gallon.  The most
difficult of my algae dealings to date.  I will try to recount my strategy
from memory, although I will check my journal tonight to see if I missed

>Try scaping it off as best you can, then immeditely do a water
>change(a big one!). Add a UV or better yet borrow a UV. Micro
>filter the water etc. Treat like Green water. Try blackout for 3
>I think I saw what you have this week at a friends place. Crazy
>stuff. We scraped some off the glass and about two hours later
>it had already formed a nice film right where we scraped! 2
>hours...We tested the water for NO3, CO2 etc. Nothing off line
>really. Got me thinking and head scratching. 
>Is it a film? Slimy and semi soft?
[some stuff snipped]
Mine was a very fine film, a little slimy and soft.  It was NOT BGA.  When
passing an algae magnet over it, a cloud of green _dust_ would float off.
As Tom said, within hours it was back.  This tank was more than a year old
at the time.  160 watts NO fluorescent, CO2 injected with cylinder/needle
valve, heavily planted, plants all healthy, and tank stable to this point.

I treated it like green water:  Scrape, followed by water change, followed
by micron filter overnight.  It was back in the morning.  Tried 4 day
blackout.  It came back.  Tried starving it by stopping water column
fertilizers.  This only hurt the plants.

One day I noticed when I removed the HOT Magnum from the front glass there
was no algae where the filter was.  The glass was clear in the exact shape
of the filter.  The clear pattern was also offset from where the filter was,
like a shadow, that happened to align exactly with a large window adjacent
to the tank.  It appeared to be caused by ambient room light from the large
window.  Being spring time, with longer daylight hours, perhaps this was it.
This despite 160 watts of light directly overhead?  Argh!  So now I think I
know what triggers it, but what to do?  Suggesting to board up the windows
didn't sit well with my wife :-)

About that time there were discussions on the APD about actually dosing more
water column fertilizer, perhaps double, to get rid of _some_ algae
problems.  It seemed a bit counterintuitive to me but I was getting
desperate.  I had been dealing with this for weeks, one change at a time,
wait a week, blah..blah.  I don't believe I doubled my dose of Karl
Schoeler's Natural Gold, but I increased it at least 50 percent.  I can't
say for sure that this alone cured the problem but within two weeks the
green film from hell was gone, and I have not seen it return, nor show in
any other tank.

Obviously your mileage may vary.  I would still try the usual remedies
first, treating it like green water.
>I think your bacterial
>cycle got fried. It should equilibrate out after a week or two
>so just attack it until things stablize. Bully it. Make it's
>life hard. Bushy noses will make a slight dent in it.
I don't think it had anything to do with my bacterial cycle.  Eight
Otocinclus couldn't keep up.  I'll read my journal tonight, if for nothing
else to bring back old memories :)

Mike Grace