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Black algae? Is this bad?


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#13 Synirr

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:09 PM

Here is a good (if perhaps overly-thorough) link regarding general water chemistry, and here is a link specifically about RO/distilled water use. From the second link:

Use of RO, DI (Distilled) water in Aquariums or Betta Tanks;
Unless you are an advanced fish keeper (which includes having GH and KH Test Kits/Strips) as well as some basic knowledge or aptitude of chemistry; generally the use of RO or DI water in freshwater aquariums should be restricted to blending with tap or well water so as to "Cut" the water resulting in lower buffers and hardness of aquarium for use with Amazon River, Southeast Asia (such as Bettas) or similar fish.

Generally I start with 25% to 50% and work up from this over time (if necessary). The reason is that RO and similar water is NOT properly mineralized for correct osmoregulation with essential minerals such as calcium nor is there any carbonate buffers to maintain a stable pH which the lack there of would result in a roller coaster pH in the aquarium, often with disastrous results.


RO/distilled can be reconstituted with some combination of products like ReMineral Plus, RO Right, Alkaline Buffer, etc, but for someone not particularly experienced with water chemistry, it is MUCH easier just to use a different water source that already has mineral content. Also cheaper.

#14 cessna151

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:19 PM

Thanks for those links. I bought 2 gallons of distilled water and only 1 is left now, which i guess means the water change was more like 40%. I'll get spring water next time.

Java fern is tough, mine survived.


If you look at this picture, it looks like, to my untrained eye, that it is already seriously stressed. I don't know this for sure but it sure doesn't look good.

#15 Synirr

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:44 PM

You could always remove the Java moss and place it in a jar or something while you do a blackout on the tank, if you wish to do one. Once the issues with your water are taken care of the algae shouldn't grow anywhere near as rapidly, but to eliminate the cyanobacteria you will still need to get rid of most of what is currently in the tank, either through manual removal (like sucking it out with a syphon during waterchanges) or doing a blackout.

#16 Solitarianknight

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:25 PM

If you look at this picture, it looks like, to my untrained eye, that it is already seriously stressed. I don't know this for sure but it sure doesn't look good.

Mine went down to 1 leaf lol. Dont worry, so long as you can keep one green leafe it can still reproduce younger plants of its tips, best thing about them. I agree with synirr though, you can remove it to a jar. Be sure to clean any cyno thats growing on it as it appears. Ive got some growing in a tank by the window, it gets parshil windo light through the blinds and that seems to keep it happy, too much and it may die off but they do like a little. Worst comes to worse and ill send you a few plants :)


When i was removing my cyno i would first get the gravel a little stirred up, it helps dislodge the cyno from the gravel and then use the gravel vac to stir it again while sucking up everything that came loose, wipe down any orniments and plants before gravel vacing.

Edited by dimidiata, 15 February 2012 - 03:27 PM.


#17 cessna151

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:29 PM

Stuffing the tank with fast growing plants that absorb a lot of nutrients might help, but the best thing would be to switch to bottled/filtered water.


I ended up doing the blackout for 8 days which, again, seemed to only slow the algae growth. Since then i have switched to bottled water, stopped using nutrafin plant gro, added two more plants (cryptocoryne spiralis and cryptocoryne balansae), and i removed the alternathera ficoidia because it was looking bad and isn't suitable for aquariums. I have also added two small feeder guppies to the tank. These guppies are really doing a heck of a job keeping the algae off the substrate, however, they could care less about the algae on the sides. So until the plants grow out more and the algae naturally subsides i'll just keep scraping the sides clean.

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Edited by cessna151, 26 March 2012 - 02:22 PM.





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