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Author Topic: Tank issues, possibly algae?  (Read 11212 times)
cichlidlover
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« on: September 27, 2014, 04:46:26 PM »

My 15yr old is having major issues with his 156g tank. I only post when I have issues, but you guys are always a huge help! First, we do weekly water changes and vacuum the gravel at the same time. Last few months, it has gone to 50% water changes every time. The tank is around 7 months old, and houses a tiger oscar (8 in, 6 mo old), five donated older silver dollars, a green phantom pleco (5 in, 4 mo old), foot long donated common pleco, 6 mo old female jack dempsey and a 5 mo old female green phantom. We started out with a sun sun canister filter, which immediately turned into a useless mess of algae and poop. We cleaned it every other day, and it still clogged itself. We sold it and bought one aquaclear 70 and one penguin emperor 400 filter. We knew it was barely filtering the tank, but it was so much better than the canister. Tank cleared up and looked great. Kiddo decided to drop a giant piece of mopani wood into the tank, and that's when things got out of control. The nitrates went through the roof, the tannins turned the tank a hazy brown, and the fish all sat on the bottom of the tank - for three months. We boiled the wood and soaked it for four days before installing it, we thought that would be enough... So i talked kiddo into removing the wood, and overnight the water cleared enough so we could see through the water from end to end! Now we are back to a tank that looks like soup, but it's light yellow soup and there is a layer of what I'm guessing is brown algae growing on the plants and all over the gravel that we cant vacuum off no matter how hard we try. Before we completely empty the tank and bleach everything, anyone have any advice? Guesses? Using an API test kit the Ph is 6.4, rest of tanks hold at 6.7 in our house, ammonia is 0, nitrie is 0, nitrate was between 40 and 80ppm yesterday Sad fish seem to be taking it, but omg the tank looks awful! Kiddo keeps four other tanks, and they are all pristine with very happy fish. Help!
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cichlidlover
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2014, 04:51:44 PM »

Forgot to add that kiddo has already put two aquaclear 110s on his Christmas list, in case he cant save enough for them between now and then lol. I have been preaching over filter your tanks since he could understand English! The emperor filter is useless, we have to clean the filter cartridges every evening Sad they are slick and dark brown every night!
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2014, 05:28:02 PM »

Here is a link to a previous thread about BBA and Mopani wood.   http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php?topic=33360.0

I would also do more frequent water changes because your nitrate is way too high at a reading of 40 to 80 ppm.  Is he overfeeding?
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When in doubt, do a water change.
cichlidlover
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2014, 05:42:04 PM »

I have been watching him feed them, and there isn't a pellet left after about twenty seconds - it's not rotting food. I have started vacuuming the tank for him, in the hopes that maybe he was just doing a crappy job. The water coming out is not that dirty, but i do see some poo coming off the gravel. His oscar is a mess! The oscar eats dried krill and brine shrimp cubes, but i dont see her missing any when she eats.
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cichlidlover
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2014, 05:46:59 PM »

http://imgur.com/5YhLfDM

Here is a photo of the tank if that helps.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2014, 07:24:15 PM »

I have been watching your problems with your son's tanks throughout.  Some people here didn't like it that I seemed to criticize your son's handling of his tanks.  However, I have some observations.

Your 15 year old son does not seem to really concern himself with the tank problems.  It is you who wants to correct whatever problems are presenting.  He seems to reluctantly do whatever you are insisting that he should do.  We have some members who are around 15 years old who could put older newbies to shame. 

I personally think that you should leave him alone with his tanks.  If they start to deteriorate, he should find out for himself what should be done.  He probably knows more about the Internet than you will ever know.  Let him realize that it is he and he alone who will be able to fix his own problems. 
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When in doubt, do a water change.
cichlidlover
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2014, 07:53:00 PM »

He has been trying to fix the tank by himself for months. He asked me for help two weeks ago, because constant water changes, vacuums and plant cleanings aren't helping. I dont really know what to tell him except take everything out and bleach the crap out of the tank Sad
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2014, 08:44:04 PM »

Is he telling you the truth about his tank stats?  Let him come on to this site and give us his stats.  Let him ask his questions.  Let him learn.
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When in doubt, do a water change.
russ
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 02:04:05 PM »

I don't think it will be necessary to break your tank down and bleach it. From what I'm gathering in this thread is a combination of equipment, fish and diet. First, a combination of inadequate filtering. Second, you have fish that are likely to poop out a mass equivalent to 80-85% of mass taken in from foods. Third, I'm going to assume that the ingredients of the foods may also be contributing to unfavorable water conditions in your tank. See: http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php?topic=34969.msg360933#new

If the ingredients of your foods are not top quality, then useless fish waste are most likely being released into the water column. An Emperor 400 may be fine for a 55 gal aquarium, but not for a 156 gal, even in combination with a canister. There are very limited combinations of standard canister filters available on the market that can handle your aquarium set up. When a hobbyist starts to get up into the 150 gal tank range, I recommend a separate pressure filter component and water pump. Something similar to an Ocean Star filter (s) combo. Another option would be the Fluval FX series (probably an FX6) and a Marineland Magnum 250H (H.O.T Magnum).  Forget adding two Aqua Clear 110s .
 
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cichlidlover
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2014, 08:11:37 AM »

Russ thanks for the suggestions, we will check out the fluval and the hot marineland. He feeds the tank a few krill and brine shrimp a few times a week, otherwise he feeds hikari sinking pellets. When we used the sun sun canister it was our first experience with a canister filter (or a tank this large) and it was a very expensive mistake. We had to take it apart every two to three days to pull the slime and sludge off of the filter components, because it would clog so terribly you could see the sludge sitting in the water lines. How often should we expect to clean a canister filter on our tank? I know we have "trashy fish", hence the issues with this tank and not the community tanks he runs. My son chose to try out a tank that was way past my fish keeping experience, and so far it has been quite a learning curve for him! He is currently looking into what food options are out there for his oscar, since she is no longer very happy with just pellets and shrimp Smiley He adores all of his fish, and is in his 156 daily now doing water changes trying to control this mess!
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cichlidlover
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2014, 08:37:12 PM »

Russ, i really cant say thank you enough! We grabbed a marineland hot filter and put it on the tank, and each day the tank cleared more and more. After three days it was crystal clear and has stayed that way! The water tests have been getting better too, the nitrates are getting lower and lower with every test. Thank you for the suggestion and advice!
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russ
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2014, 07:27:36 PM »

Good to hear  happy
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cichlidlover
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2015, 02:12:49 PM »

Just to update Smiley Kiddos tank has been clear, clean, and pretty much without issue since we added a fluval fx6 onto the tank. He also did a bunch of online research and read that someone with a similar issue broke the algae cycle by lowering the temp in the tank, and I'm not sure if it was the temp or the new filter or both, but his tank was crystal clear in just a few days.
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russ
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2015, 04:51:02 PM »

That is interesting. What temperature difference did you affect to bring that about?
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cichlidlover
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 01:57:36 PM »

He dropped the tank from 81 to 77 for a week Smiley
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Aquatics
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2017, 04:56:12 AM »

When it comes to aquariums problems are inevitable. Old or new, big or small- it doesn’t matter. Problems will appear. Finding the cause and fixing it before things get out of hand is key to long term success. They also present a good opportunity to learn a little more about how your aquarium functions and how to keep it healthier in the future.
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BallAquatics
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2017, 02:03:17 PM »

When it comes to aquariums problems are inevitable. Old or new, big or small- it doesn’t matter. Problems will appear.

In 50+ years of fish keeping, I've never found this to be true.

Dennis
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When i read things that say that wont work....
I mostly smile and think , yeah right 
russ
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 07:36:54 AM »

When I was 8 years old, I found this true. In the past 58 years, I'm with Dennis on this.  happy
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TwoTankAmin
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2017, 09:46:28 AM »

Just an opinion here, but reading this thread the very first thing I though was the tank is a bit overstocked and under-filtered. I doubt the ttemp drop did anything at all to help but was just a coincidence.

I have a hard time believing the above two statement about 0 problems for decades. This strikes me as denial. Even if one is a perfect fish keeper who never misses a weekly (or more often water change), always feeds the best food, always quarantines new fish for weeks or months, there are still a load of issues that can happen that we have no control over.

Fish get sick and die. So I would have to assume in 50 years the cause of fish deaths had all to be from old age only.

Water parameters, especially from municipal systems, can change without notice. Even well water changes over decades.

Manufacturers are not perfect, heaters fail, filters quit products expire be get sold anyhow......

Fish keppers are not perfect, we make mistakes. Given 50 years we will overdose something, forget to add something or make other mistakes. Do avoid this reality you need to be a perfect person who never has exterior forces affect their lives no matter what. The hurricane that wipes out every house on the block except yours type of deal. If you are this lucky you should have wom the lottery years ago Smiley

You need to never have experienced equipment failure (or an electrical outage for any length of time), a tank leaking badly when you were not home or had fish shipped in arrive in bad shape or DOA. You never had to deal with ich, bacterial infections or parasites/worms. You have never kept two fish that fight to the death before you can stop it. I can go on endlessly, but I do not see the point.

When I hear anybody say they have kept many tanks for many years which have different parameters and a decent assortment of species from around the worldand they have never had any issues at all, please excuse for me being skeptical.

The only way I know never to have algae is not to have lighted tanks or to have them exposed to sunlight. None of my pleco breeding or grow tanks have lights on them (except during maint.) and they are the only ones that are always algae free. Just this person's opinion. as always.
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“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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