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Re: [APD] Re: Dust algae with skunky smell

I had a terrible outbreak of this a couple years ago. I physically
moved the tank to a new location where it got more sunlight than
before. Without changing anything else this caused a massive outbreak
of BGA and other nasties...

Physical removal works temprarily; the stuff will return. Figuring out
what ferts you are using/not using in correct amounts is the best way
to avoid it. I tried everything I could think of/find on the web
making minor adjustments over the course of a few weeks. Then, I even
tried leaving the lights off for 2 weeks.
After a month of nothing working, I used antibiotics to remove the
stuff. I followed the directions on the box exactly. Within a week it
was dead.

You will need to extract it physically first because the stuff makes a
terrible mess once it starts to die off. (If you try this and have
access to another tank to put your fish into while doing this, do it.
Especially since there are some fish that cannot easily handle the
treatments. At the time all I had in my tank were neons and a betta
and they survived fine. On second thought, if i'd have had access to a
seperate tank I would have broken the first down completely.)

The entire experience is not one I want to repeat. Since this
happened, I have corrected the use of ferts/lighting and I have not
had it come back. I have had small amounts of BGA in my tank ever
since but it stays between the gravel and the front glass and does not
grow out of control. (When I was using an Aqua Clear it also grew on
the edge of the filter return.)

This stuff is one of the most common lifeforms on the planet, so you
will not be able to get rid of it completely unless you correct your
parameters. GAH! I hate this stuff.

On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 13:08:50 -0400, Pete <peteal at sympatico_ca> wrote:
> <The malodorous stuff is often a sign of the so-called
> <blue-green algae, aka BGA, which is a cyanobacteria that
> <can spread quickly, had an unattractive odor and will grow
> <on top of other alagae. BGA usually has a more blue-green
> <color than the green dust that grows on the glass. Once it
> <gets going it tends to spread like a film and the "film"
> <can be lifted and pulled away for whatever solid object it
> <is holding onto.
> <
> <While diff algae have diff odors, BGA is noticeably
> <unlikable as an olfactory experience.
> <
> <You didn't mention potassium other than what's in the trace
> <mix. I would add potassium (potassium sulfate), about as
> <much as the nitrates you are adding, just on GPs.
> Yeah, I was thinking it might be BGA.  When really thick and scraped off
> with a razor it had a sliminess and clumped together.
> Doesn't grow everywhere like other BGA explosions I've seen posted though.
> Yep I do add potassium and some magnesium, both from the same hydroponic
> fertilizer source (all seperate doses)
> <If the growth is just the ordinary green dust that grows on
> <the glass, you probably have too much nitrate for the
> <amount of phosphate and potassium in the water. If there is
> <too little of one or both of the others, then the plants
> <are not able to use up all of the nitrates, which is a
> <condition the green dust algae seems to relish. It would be
> <worth checking if you have a good quality kit (e.g.,
> <SeaChem or LaMotte) that can measure nitrates in increments
> <less than 10 ppm. If the nitrate is too high, back down on
> <the nitrate dosing or up the dosing on the others to get a
> <ratio roughly 1:10:20 ppm for phosphates, nitrates,
> <potassium, respectively. Also, 1:10:20 is a good target for
> <levels of those macro nutrients.
> Can never find those kits, the Hagen/Nutrafin kits seem to have replaced
> everything.  Not bad themselves (well made at least and consistant) but it's
> only in 5-10-20-50 steps with the 5-10 being the only easy comparison.
> Don't have a potasium kit, that's hard to find. Just did a test and nitrates
> are between 5-10  (It's hard to keep those steady as the plants just suck it
> up :P ).  Phosp is around 2 (another Nutrafin/Hagen hard to read due to
> close colours test kit), I gave it a double initial dose after the last
> water change to try something different.  Might have helped as this week
> it's not so bad.
> <It's a good idea to manually clean up as much of the algae
> <as you can just before each water change. Brushing or
> <scraping doesn't remove what is brushed or scraped from the
> <aquarium; it merely moves it off of the glass. But to the
> <extent that it becomes waterborne for a while, some of it
> <can be sucked out with a water change or get an opportunity
> <to ride the UV express ;-)  . Scraping alone is good for
> <cleaning the glass but it doesn't have much to do with how
> <much algae in your aquarium. Balanced nutrients and lush
> <plants seem the best thing for limiting algae growth.
> Yeah, been scraping and cleaning as much as possible before every water
> change. A little hard for all the glass behind the plants (ticks my fish off
> too).  I've been combining this with putting the UV on after
> a change/cleaning also but I don't want to run it too long as I find it
> seems to suck the iron (I think) out of the water. If I run it for more than
> 4 days my fast growing stem plant (a cabomba like plant) goes mutant and new
> leaves are twisted.  Still one of the most useful things I've brought for
> the aquarium ;-)
> Thanks for the thoughts, looks like I'll keep the phosphates boosted and
> keep up the cleaning/waterchanges and see what happens.
> Pete.
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