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Horrible Slimey Persistent algae


FishyMandy

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I've tried so much to get rid of this algae. I even killed my cycle scrubbing everything. I've tried blacking out the tank for a week. I end up doing 100% water changes every week even when the parameters were perfect, just to get rid of all the floaty bits that come lose from the gravel.

I scrub the silk plants with every water change and scrub the glass and vacuum the gravel but it always comes back and it grows really really really quickly. I've just done another water change and scrubbed everything but I'm scared it's going to come back again.

Here are some pictures of it

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It gets in thick clumps on the silk plants and is really slimey, you can pick it up and it just stays together in a thick slimey rope. Its almost like that play goo you buy in jars.

It's a 5 gallon filtered and heated tank, home to a single betta.

I'm worried it's a bad algae and is hurting my fish, because even though my test results come back with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and <5 nitrate, today he was just lying on the bottom of the tank and his colours were really faded. He is still eating though.

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That looks like hair algae to me, and is perfectly fine :). I see a window I think, is it close to the window? That could be causing it to grow if it is getting a lot of light.

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It looks like bga (blue-green algae) to me, which is not a true algae but a cyanobacteria. Do some Googling. I used meds to get it out of one tank, but cleaning removed it from another. If you have low current in the tank, I believe that can be a factor.

Good luck!

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That looks like blue green algae to me as well. Good luck removing it! :hug

I was just about to say the slimy mass looks like cyanobacteria to me.

Just out of curiosity, is this bad for the fish in comparison to regular algae?

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That looks like blue green algae to me as well. Good luck removing it! :hug

I was just about to say the slimy mass looks like cyanobacteria to me.

Just out of curiosity, is this bad for the fish in comparison to regular algae?

Not at all. There are some cyanobacteria that are toxic, but doubtfully these ones. The goldfish should eat them. They are very nutritious. :rofl

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yep, BGA :( sorry. having dealt with it myself I know what a nuisance it is.

Most people recommend treating the tank with erythromycin to get rid of the BGA (take your fish out and put him in QT before you do this). It could also kill your cycle so just be aware of that.

The next thing you will need to do is try to problem solve what is causing it and make some changes, because even after you treat the tank it is likely to reappear if the root cause isn't addressed.

what type of lighting are you using?

how long do you run the lights?

do you use any ferts?

does the tank get natural sunlight? (this was a big issue in my tank)

what type of filter? do you have good water flow in the tank?

my guess (without hearing your answers) is a combo of natural sunlight in the tank and low water flow. BGA seems to really like sunlight and still water ;)

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The tank is near a window, but the window has a thick curtain over it and the tank only gets a bit of sun towards the end of the day. I run the lights only about 3-4 hours a day. I don't use any fertilizers. The water flow is minimum for my betta, I have an internal adjustable filter set to the lowest setting. Right now I don't care if I kill the cycle since I think I've already killed it trying to get rid of this stuff :P I could see if I could convince my dad to let me put the tank on his desk, that's the only free spot left, otherwise I'd have to move him back to my bedroom and I found in there he doesn't seem as happy, he likes to be where all the activity is :P

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It's probably the combination of slow current and excess nutrients. You have no live plants to use nutrients, right? Also, now that you have it, maybe it won't come out of the gravel.

If it was me, I would nuke the plant with the erythromycin. Then I would either change substrate to something finer or reduce it to a minimum so it won't trap waste. Also, you need to adjust the current or rearrange the tank to get rid of dead spots. You have dead spots wherever it's accumulating. Maybe finer fake plants would allow for more water flow. Stiff ones might just block current.

Afterward, I wonder if it would help to add some shrimp or a snail to help keep things moving around on the bottom of the tank.

Good luck!

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Sure, if bleach will work. I never have seen bleach adviced, but perhaps that's because most people want to eliminate it and keep the fish in the tank.

But that's even worse, because you will be subjecting the fish to an absolutely unnecessary course of antibiotics, and erythromycin is none too gentle.

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Well I did a full clean out yesterday, I am worried about having too much current in the tank for him, I could adjust the filter to a higher setting and see how he goes though.

I could also black out the side of the tank that is closest to the window?

I was actually going to get a snail, since I had one in there before and it helped a lot, but last time I went to buy one they had none left xD.

I don't have a lot of gravel, my betta tank is the only tank I actually have gravel in. Is barebottom ok for Bettas?

Argh Betta tanks are hard XD

Shaun (my betta) is looking a lot better today than he was yesterday, perhaps he was just in a mood or something. I'll keep a close eye on him. I must admit I've always had problems with bettas, and if anything happened to Shaun I wouldn't get anymore :P

Would getting some live plants help too? I only have silk plants at the moment.

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The standard advice for BGA is erythromycin. That doesn't mean it's the best advice or the only method. By all means, she can and probably should try bleach, especially since this is a small tank.

Getting rid of it is only part of the issue -- the other part is to fix the problem so that it doesn't return. :)

Edit: Sniped by FishyMandy!

Edited by ShawneeRiver
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Well I did a full clean out yesterday, I am worried about having too much current in the tank for him, I could adjust the filter to a higher setting and see how he goes though.

I could also black out the side of the tank that is closest to the window?

I was actually going to get a snail, since I had one in there before and it helped a lot, but last time I went to buy one they had none left xD.

I don't have a lot of gravel, my betta tank is the only tank I actually have gravel in. Is barebottom ok for Bettas?

Argh Betta tanks are hard XD

Shaun (my betta) is looking a lot better today than he was yesterday, perhaps he was just in a mood or something. I'll keep a close eye on him. I must admit I've always had problems with bettas, and if anything happened to Shaun I wouldn't get anymore :P

Would getting some live plants help too? I only have silk plants at the moment.

Did you bleach everything or just clean? I did get rid of bga in one tank just by manually removing it, increasing flow and vacuuming thoroughly, but it was a small spot at the base of some plants, and I caught it early.

For substrate, you could also try sand or a fine gravel if you like that look. Others will have to answer whether bettas should have bare bottom. I don't think the gravel itself is bad as long as it's cleaned, but if it's trapping debris AND you have a dead spot AND you have a nutrient imbalance, it's just one more factor.

Live plants are never a bad thing. I can't say that they definitely would help. :)

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The standard advice for BGA is erythromycin. That doesn't mean it's the best advice or the only method. By all means, she can and probably should try bleach, especially since this is a small tank.

Getting rid of it is only part of the issue -- the other part is to fix the problem so that it doesn't return. :)

Edit: Sniped by FishyMandy!

I don't know how standard it is, or even what that means. Let's not even go with this forum's advice, a quick look at the Skeptic Aquarist's site lists erythromycin as the very last of the choices, of which there are several before that.

I simply know that from the perspective of the fish, which is that it doesn't need to be subjected to a harsh antibiotic, especially because it's not even sick.

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I just used hot water, I know bleach can be used but it really scares me to be honest.

I might look into sand, or using the really fine gravel I used to have in my goldfish tank, though I really like to make my betta tank colourful Lol.

What is the proper ratio for cleaning with bleach again? I definitely do not want to use any medications, because every time I've medicated a betta, even when it was advised for the fish, it has never ended well

Edited by FishyMandy
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I use the very scientific method of adding enough bleach until the water smells bleachy, and then I rinse very thoroughly. I'm talking about using bleach on parts, not in a setup tank. I've used bleach on almost every piece of fish equipment I own. Why is it scary? Just rinse a lot. :)

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I use the very scientific method of adding enough bleach until the water smells bleachy, and then I rinse very thoroughly. I'm talking about using bleach on parts, not in a setup tank. I've used bleach on almost every piece of fish equipment I own. Why is it scary? Just rinse a lot. :)

Bleach is quite effective, and will kill off even spores when used at the right concentration. :)

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Just because before I joined here I've always heard NEVER EVER USE BLEACH OR SOAP OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN WARM WATER IT IS BAD AND WILL KILL YOUR FISH.

That is still stuck in my head xD

I really like the idea of sand with some marbles I was also thinking of some fine black gravel with marbles. Either one will have to wait until at least next week though :P Money

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