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Temp, salt and bad algae experience

Posted By: Jonas <jonas.emanuelsson@ped.gu.se>
Date: Wednesday, 15 September 1999, at 11:52 a.m.

In a previous posting I have asked about white and unknown spots on Clowns. The best suggestion I got were wounds from sparring. I tried salt and temp treatment as suggested in the disease FAQ. Maybe it's ich anyway, I thought... Spots remain but the spotted clown seems totally ok... I have decided to accept the spots as they are...

But there have been side effects (I think the temp and salt have at least contributed to my algae problem). A previous minor, but by the time controllable problem with blue-green algae turned into a blue-green and, bad smelling mess. Plants suffered severely, most of them died. After two weeks of high temp and salt my ugf-powerhead broke (on top of everything, but I have planned to dump it anyway). I decided to rebuild the tank, rip out the bottom-plates, add a second canister instead of the ugf and clean out every sign of algae. Clowns, other fish, part of the water and the two canisters were temporarily moved to two smaller and by the time empty tanks for 24 hours.

The 250 l tank is now rebuilt and replanted with new and fresh plants. Water parameters have been good since getting rid of the UGF (ammonia and nitrite non-detectable; nitrate about 10 ppm). The tank is in my opinion not crowded, five clowns, ten dither fish.

Blue-greens (I think) is now starting to come back. Small green patches covering the leaves of my H. difformis. Shall I consider this a "new and not well established tank phenomenon" or do I have other problems? The tank has been running for two weeks since rebuilding. Filters where never "uncycled" and the gravel was only rinsed in water, so I reckon that the tank can be considered a cycled one.

Is there any way to get rid of the cyanophytae expect good hygiene, frequent water changes, mechanical removal, fast growing plants (which is what I try to do) and erythromycin (never tried it)? Reports on trying erythromycin on bg-algae in "clown-tanks" are very welcome!

One thing could be carbon dioxide injection to boost plant growth and lower pH (now 7 - 7.5), but my water is very soft so I'm afraid of rapid pH-changes. With what and how much should I buffer the water? It depends... I know, but I haven't a clue.

The co2 path probably requires more light and fertilising. This makes me reluctant because of the incompatibility of Clowns and very bright light and my inexperience with fertilising. Now I have a combination of halogens and compact fluorescents focused on planted areas in the tank, and an "inert", fish only, fertialised substrate. Lights good enough to make my H. polysperma reddish in the top leafs. Plants grow, but perhaps not as weed.

It's fun to be a fish-hypochondriac tank owner! Every advice or thought is extremely appreciated!


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