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Re: Green film algae

>Date: Fri, 2 Jan 1998 17:46:13 -0800
>From: dozenne at 10fold_com (David Ozenne)
>Subject: Green film algae

>I am a newcomer to the aquarium hobby, and about 4-5 months ago
>I set up tank.  I jumped in sort of head first, so although I
>have now read all the FAQs, I didn't exactly follow their advice
>when I was setting up the tank.  Here are the particulars:

>Tank:  70 gal. tall (36" wide X 30" tall)
>Filtration:  Fluval canister
>Lighting:  4 X 30 watt fluorescent, on 12 hr timer
>Substrate:  Coarse gravel

I'd use something to enrich your gravel maybe laterite or clay or peat or
soil or anything you find that will work for you, maybe just some tablets
of fertilizer

>Water changes:  20% every two weeks
>Fertilization:  Kent freshwater plant supplement with water changes
>Fish load:  ~25 smallish fish, fed heavily

If you feed heavily and if your fish are carnivorous and you are feeding
something like bloodworms, earthworms you need a weekly water change

>Chemistry:  pH 6.8, GH ~2, KH 1.7
            ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all unmeasurable (?!)
>Plants:  Heavily planted with crypts (wendtii?), vallisneria,
         anacharis, hornwort,  echinodorus, hygrophila
         difformis, java fern, duckweed

It means that your plants and your filter are working but this can also
mean high phosphate level maybe. 
Well if you are going to set up a CO2 system try to keep your KH a little
higher and for your plants try to keep also your GH a little higher

>Anyway, I have a serious algae problem.  The hair and black brush
>algaes are unsightly, but what really bothers me is the green 
>film algae.  After a thorough cleaning I get a noticable haze after
>24 hrs.  If I go a week without cleaning the glass I have a solid
>opaque sheet of bright green.  The SAEs pretend to eat it all day
>long, and I can occasionally see snail tracks, but they can't
>possibly keep up.  In addition, many older leaves (crypts, echinodorus,
>anubias) are covered with a dirty-looking film of dark green/reddish
>algae that can be scraped off with a fingernail.  Finally if I don't
>have significant surface agitation I get a pale greenish "slick" on
>the surface of the water.  No green water, just a thin film.
>I am trying to get a CO2 system set up, but I haven't yet located
>a suitable needle valve.  I am hoping that once I add CO2, the
>improved plant growth will help to inhibit the algae.  The
>unmeasurable nitrates make me think cyanobacteria, but the stuff
>on the walls is bright green.  Any thoughts?

This algae sound really like a blue-green. The color of this algae can be
very different because of the light levels. I've seen blue-green growing
green, bright-green, pale-green, dark-green, brown-green, brown etc.
The first thing to do is try to remove the most part of the algae then try
to use a fertilizer wich has N in it. If you can, maybe PMDD will match
your needs. 
Or you can just try to add KNO3 and keep your NO3 level at 5mg/l but keep
using also your fertilizer. Your goal is to remove phosphate from the water
column for now and to keep in some N as well

You can use also anthibiotics but if your nutrients are unbalanced you will
have the same problem again.
CO2 can help your plants to suck up nutrients faster and to grow faster

>David Ozenne
>dozenne at 10fold_com

David look for blue-green in the APD archive

Hope this can help
Simone Vicini (psvicini at mdnet_it)