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Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:09 am
by PVT-Kanaka
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

My fish got their regular maintenance and, so far, things are looking OK. I have kept up the AlgaeFix treatment, and the black beard (or in my case "black carpet") algae has yet to reappear. There is some algae growth of a different variety on the drift wood, but I can live with it as the Java fern is still algae free and seems to be taking hold, the Crypt is OK, and even the suffering Val seems to be rejuvenating. I found and placed in root tabs to try to stimulate both the Crypt's and the Val's growth. I also reduced the photo period an hour in mid-day.

I have included a photo, which I should've done at the outset, to show the new baseline:

Image

At the onset of this thread, all the driftwood, the HOB filter uptake, those sponge filters, and risers with power heads off-stage right were covered in a quarter inche long green black algae. It actually looked OK waving in the current in small patches, but it overran everything and began to choke the HOB filter. To boot, this tank looked lots better with all that wood covered with Java fern and Anubius.

I will continue to use the AlgaeFix for one more maintenance cycle and make sure the algae I do see is not the stuff I just wiped out. Fingers remain crossed!

Thanks again for sticking with me!
Aloha,
Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:11 am
by ScottFish
Congrats on the algae battle. I love the drift wood.

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:01 am
by PVT-Kanaka
Scottfish,

Thanks for the kind words. I am hoping I am on the slow road back, but...
Image

This is the tank about 2 weeks since the last water change and just before it's 90% water change, gravel vacuum, and filter flush. The drek on the glass is algae. Behind it, you can see the driftwood is now green. Worse, some of this stuff is fuzzy (though not grass-like as in the past). You can see some of that fuzz on the filter uptake to the right.

On the upshot, the java fern is still algae free, and the trial clipping of foxtail did well enough for me to cut in half. I will transfer in more clippings to see if this stuff an outcompete the new algae onslaught. Oh, and the fish remain healthy.

Having exhausted every tool at hand, I am considering raising algae in hopes that by declaring it a desired decorative element I will compel its death.

Scraping, scrubbing, and siphoning await me this Saturday as the fight...and this blog thread...drag on!

Aloha,Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:01 pm
by Diana
More plants should help.

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:16 am
by PVT-Kanaka
Got it. More "foxtail" will go in after the cleaning this weekend.

Aloha,
Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:20 pm
by PVT-Kanaka
Quick update...

No black beard algae. I can live with the stuff growing on the wood, as it seems to be "normal" algae. There is some red algae on the glass, but this came off easily during my routine maintenance today, and it grew slowly over two weeks. I used up the last of the AlgaeFix, and I am hoping I am done with it. I will maintain the photoperiod and light setting as suggested, and I am building up my plant load. The "foxtail" is growing, and my "Val" may be recovering. The leaves, less than 1/2" long, are at least fully formed and green. I have to buy more to remind myself they are there...One fell to vacuuming today!

This is trending in the right direction!

Enjoy your weekend!
Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:23 am
by PVT-Kanaka
Uggghh...this stuff is coming back. I guess AlgaeFix will now become a standard additive to this tank as I try to bring the plant life up to speed. The LFS is going to love me that much more.

Aloha,
Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:56 am
by PVT-Kanaka
Update:

I am resolved to simply accept mechanical removal of this "stuff" with my regular water changes will be part of the routine. Control, not elimination, is now my more limited goal.

I am still trying to find plants that might work:
- Sagittaria sp. Rotted to nothing...
- "Jungle Val." Went in last week. It's not dead yet.
- "Some-kine Floating Plant." Also added last week. Also not dead yet. I heard it feels like dancing.

I also dropped the photo-period another hour. It slowed the return without killing my vaunted Cryptocryne sp.

There is a scene from the 1950-s era version of the "War of the Worlds" where, after nuking the aliens to ne effect, the dust covered general declares, "Guns, tanks, bombs! They are also worthless against these things!" Then he goes on to say how we will fight on, regardless. I sort of feel his pain.

Aloha,
Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 2:19 am
by PVT-Kanaka
Update:

Sorry to keep this thread alive, but hopefully it'll prove useful to others.

The algae is winning. The Jungle al is holding on by a thread. Some-kine Floating Plant is gone or dying. The Cyrpt sp. is suffering from the algae.

I talked with my LFS owner today. He recommended re-homing its inhabitants (I can distribute them throughout our tanks), taking of and disinfecting the HOB filter, and the salting the tank for a week at a ration of 1 cup of salt to 2 gallons of water. His warning was to keep the tank topped off to kill every last spore. That is why he recommended removing the HOB, since spores could be above the water line inside the HOB. Clearly, this would kill my "good bacteria," requiring cycling, but it seemed it would be the only way to disinfect the driftwood safely.

I had also thought about imposing blackout conditions on the tank. The LFS owner opined this would take months to ensure a 100% kill.

Thoughts?

Oh, and have a great weekend and, to all those to whom it applies, "Happy Mothers Day!"

Aloha,
Eric

P.S. My wife asked for a large "plecostomus" for Mothers Day. Beats flower!

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:27 am
by PVT-Kanaka
OK,

I felt I should bring this to a close...After a year of battling this stuff, it is all but gone. The Crypt survived, but all other higher plant life succumbed. I suspect my nominal success came from a combination of things over the last year - aggressive maintenance, the "one-two punch," and lowering the photo period. I am also wondering if somewhere deep in that driftwood or hidden in a pipe a fish or two had begun to rot, feeding this issue over the year.

Anyway, I will continue to monitor this and try (again) to restore the tank to its former glore.

Thanks to all who provided guidance along the way!

Aloha,
Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 7:54 pm
by PVT-Kanaka
I am resurrecting this thread to open the final chapter in this two year long running battle. I thought I had turned the corner with aggressive cleaning, but, no. When I reintroduced moss, a sword plant, and anachris a few months ago, all succumbed. Now my Crpty bed is succumbing after gracing this tank for 15 years and providing daughter plants for all my other aquariums. Though the fish are thriving, I am, for the first time in a long time, ashamed of one of my aquariums. A few weeks ago I came across an old photo of how lush this tank used to be, and the contrast of how easily I obtained and maintained that look for over a decade with the disappointing and often labor intensive failures of the last two years brought me to the point of draining all the tanks down and leaving the hobby.

I have bought a Taiwanese product, AZOO, as a last ditch effort to beat this stuff back. I have family in town this week, but next week I launch this final campaign against this noxious green rot. If AZOO fails, the fish will disperse to other tanks, the aquarium will come down, and we will start from scratch, up to an including consigning the driftwood to our garden railroad, tossing the gravel, condemning the plants to mulch, and soaking all else in a chlorine bath that will make my eyes bleed.

The downside of failure, besides the work of reestablishing the tank, will be the loss of driftwood. It has climbed in price beyond what I am willing to pay for it. Maybe, just maybe, however, I can achieve the old look with a low tech planted aquarium rather than the epiphyte jungle of before. The updside, of course, is a 55 gal display tank again worthy of the name.

I shall next post when I begin treatment.

Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 6:48 am
by ScottFish
We've all been there. It's weird how some tanks reach a nice balance, while others are in under a constant siege. I've had to "re-do" some great tanks; I had a peat moss tank I could never get right.

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:55 am
by PVT-Kanaka
Update:

The first round of treatment seems to have prevented the return of algae I removed. I am commencing a second round. In the meantime, the Crypt seems to have struggled back against this stuff, and a sword plant might be growing new leaves, though I am not sure if the loss was due to new plant "melt" or the algae.

I'd show pictures, but algae plagued aquariums are no fun...If this second round hold up, I will show a beginning and after photo.

Even if I do not knock this tank down, I may paint all but the front side to knock out even more light.

Oh, and ScottFish, truer words are rarely spoken! I have two other aquariums in the same room with roughly the same light and bioload and the same maintenance routine. One rarely has an algae fleck, and the other needs biweekly maintenance.

Thanks for letting me vent...I mean log my experiences!

Eric

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:27 am
by C. Andrew Nelson
Always happy to see an update from you, Eric.

Re: Algae - Knockdown, Nuke, or Adjust?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:22 pm
by PVT-Kanaka
Thanks, Andrew. I missed having this forum as a resource!

As for the tank, AZOO seems to have held the line. The algae returns much more slowly. I am using the recommended prophylactic treatment, to include a mere 30% water change (I usually do 90% every other week). The little sword plant seems to be recovering, with tiny leave coming from the rhizome. Even a sprig of Anubius sp. seems to be making a go of it, growing at least as fast as the algae trying to destroy it.

Given the observations, I did another 30% water change on my usual every-other-week schedule, and I took the wood out and gave it the wire brush treatment. I also added the recommended amount of AZOO. If the sword plant continues to recover, and the pace of algae return remains low, I think I can avoid a knock-down. Since a knock-down will be a lot of work with no guaranteed return on investment, it seems worth being patient...again!

Two quick questions:
1. Is it possible my tank was "too clean," leaving enough nutrients for algae but not plants beyond my Crypts? Earlier in this struggle, we had looked at water parameters, and all seemed in order, but the recent non-death ("success" being a gross overstatement) of that sword plant gives me pause...
2. Can I apply a black latex paint to the exterior of the aquarium without harming the fish?

Thanks!

Eric