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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had it. I've spent 10 months dealing with blue green algae that became a problem after the neighbours over fed our fish while on vacation last year. I have tried frequent cleaning, removing a ton of plants to increase water movement, treating with antibiotics (killed snails), treating with hydrogen peroxide (decent results), black out, etc. it just keeps coming back. I don't want to get into parameters or finger pointing or whatever else, I just want to MOVE ON.

So I've removed the ADA Aquasoil. It was constantly getting covered and I'm fed up with it. It was like the BGA's preferred habitat - it would blanket the substrate, I would vacuum it out, it would regrow, repeat.

I've also removed my plants and rock. I bleached the plants and boiled and scrubbed the and boil the rock and scrubbed everything else down.

I've replaced the substrate, if only temporarily, with a natural and neutral fine grade gravel. I have it on hand and it's what Aquariums West uses in their fish tanks (not the planted ones mind you). It looks fine.

I have 1 betta and 3 embers. Yes, I know I need more embers but I've held off buying more because of this constant BGA problem.

In the past year I've had to remove and dump my red root floaters and water spangles because BGA kept forming on the roots. I removed mostly all of my java moss and some java fern which kept getting entombed in BGA. I removed all of my other plants a last spring in an act of desperation.

So where do I go from here? What's my best bet? I have an Eheim Aquastyle 9g and a toddler and newborn, with little time or interest in a labour intensive set up. I want it to be simple and clean and not an ongoing, frustrating battle of me vs. BGA or me vs. White fuzzy fungus, etc. I'm fed up. In the past I've kept discus, and African cichlids, and rams, etc. This hasn't been an issue of overstocking or overfeeding. I think it's down to a nutrient-rich substrate on a tank with low light plants and no CO2. I want simple but natural looking.
 

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I have heard BGA can also occur due to lack of nitrate. Black out should work though, don't see why it wouldn't because they are cyanobacteria and need light. Should try antibiotics + black out + increase circulation + nitrate.


You can do what I do with my small tank. Have just anubias, Java ferns and mosses. Super low tech. Normally just top off and maybe 50% water change 2-3 weeks. Holds a few dozen shrimps, Three Otos and a bnp.

Just make sure you have a decent filtration system and good water flow because small tanks get messy easily and in low tech, lack of circulation can easily cause algae because of the nutrient rich water with slow growing plants
 

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Treatments are erythromycin phosphate if you want to use a antibiotic, Hydrogen peroxide if you want a home remedy. 1 ML per 1 gallon of the 3% hydrogen peroxide is the ratio which you can always increase if you need to get rid of more but best to watch your fish when doing that.

I read even just increasing your air stone can help keep it away once you get rid of a large amount of it. Some people say the plant Cabomba is one of the main culprits in the growth of it so if you have that plant I would remove it.

Also found this thread :) It has a very large amount of relevant information and tons of links to check through.
http://www.bcaquaria.com/forum/planted-tank-specific-13/how-get-rid-blue-green-green-blue-algae-cyanobacteria-bloom-34110/
 

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my $.02 on the matter just go get your self some plants that all the planted guys hate for being to quick to grow examples water sprite (planted not floating) limnophila aromatica, most hygros, then add some more sturdy plants like anubias java maybe some swords (i found ozulot swords to be damn near indestructible) setup a conservative light schedule maybe 8 hours to start. then just kick back and be happy with super slow growth. maybe throw in some trace elements and if you notice nitrogen deficiency either add more fish or individual dose it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Dawna, the black outs did work but then a few weeks later the BGA would start to come back. Same thing applies to erythromycin and hydrogen peroxide.

I'm leaning toward you and Niku's sensible suggestion of low tech, super easy to grow plants. This is mostly a tank for my kids to enjoy so it just doesn't matter that much that it have the most beautiful plants. I just don't want a Sisyphean battle against BGA anymore.

Since I'd be growing in gravel, would I just use root tabs or something? I have Flourish I could dose with too, but am always worried about overdoing it and causing more problems.
 

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root apps work well but I also know there's a gravel additive that they sell that you miss you in with gravel when you first put it in the tank my buddy had a really good experience with. that I would use flourish as needed and only really dose if I noticed any deficiency
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update:

I've stuck with the plain old natural small gravel substrate you can buy in bulk from Aquariums West.

For plants I have an ozeloy sword, some (not entirely loving life) water sprite, Java fern, Apoganeton crispus (apparently bonsaied as its happy but not gigantic), Bacopa caroliniana and water spangles.

I have had 7 ember tetras and 3 ottos for several months and just added 5 Pygmy cories.

I dose with Prime, Excel and Flourish with each water change. I use Seachem root tabs.

The verdict? NO MORE BGA!!!

This set up has been super easy, which is exactly what I need with a preschooler and toddler.

I'm going to add some shrimp soon because the summer sun has started growing a ton of hair algae. But otherwise everything has been pretty simple and easy. And... NO MORE BGA!!
 
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