Monday, March 23, 2009

Battling Blue Green Algea.

Two tanks are driving me insane with their BGA (Blue Green Algea) problem at present. One is my Betta tank at work. Teddy has a 6 Gal hexagonal tank with a bit of Java Moss, a Lutea plant and three small Java Ferns. However they don't seem to be growing fast enough to use up the nutrients in the water and the result is BGA growing everywhere. I've been very careful not to over feed him, even got him three Amano (Japonica) Shrimp as tank buddies and clean-up crew, but nothing helped. The algea just got worse and worse, eventually covering the sides of the aquarium by the time I did his weekly cleaning. It even started chocking out the Java Moss.

I've heard a number of times that isolating the tank in total darkness for three days does the trick for the algea, so decided to give it a try. Last Friday, at noon, I covered the tank with two black garbage bags, making sure there was enough air coming through for Teddy to breathe. I took it off this afternoon...

The results are good. Most of BGA is gone, especially from the walls and larger plants. The Java Moss still has some small clumps left but I have a feeling they are dead and will come off in the cleaning. What I didn't expect was the condition of Teddy's fins.

It would appear my friendly shrimpies have munched on Teddy's fins and almost completely destroyed his dorsal fin. I was just admiring how lovely and long his fins had grown since I bought him and how free of disease he was (knock on wood), and here I come to a betta with bits of tail missing and only two long whisps of his dorsal fin left.

The trick seemed to work on BGA, but noone told me the shrimp were going to make a meal out of my fish in the darkness! I'm mad and seriously considering throwing them in the garbage bin. Thank goodness Betta fins grow back.

The second tank? It's my kitchen tank that houses girl Guppies and two Betta girls, Cherries and Cream. This one has been a problem pretty much from day one. My male Guppy tank has settled into a very happy balance (again, knocking on wood vigorously) early on and there seems to be no algea growth after a slight BGA outbreak when the tank was being cycled. Granted, the boys have a lot of plants so obviously they are using any circulating nutrients, not to mention about a 100 snails and 6 Amano Shrimp.

Not the girls' tank. Last night I gave it a thorough cleanup - scraped the walls clean, pulled as much off the plants as I could and syphoned most of the water out. Some of the clums of BGA were so thick I could pick them up with my fingers. I then threw out the old plant that was growing in there, or not growing as it was. This plant was just sitting there, doing nothing. In its place I planted some stemmed plants which, I was told, should grow faster. I may even transplant some of the darn snails from the other tank to this one! And, will add some Amano Shrimp too. Don't know what else to do so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, for God's sake, let me know!

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