Tropical Aquarium Help Needed

banksy

Life Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Messages
13,335
My son has a large tropical fish tank, about 4' x 2' x 2', which he has maintained without problems for about 15 years.
The fish population appears to be very healthy, and he carries out regular water changes by the book.
Recently, over the course of just a couple of weeks, some sort of greyish-pink algae has started to cover the artificial plants. The water is clear.
He thought he might be leaving the lights on for too long, about 6 hours a day, but this growth is not green.
Nothing has died in there recently!
Any suggestions please?

Fluff.jpg
 

genesis

Regular member
Account Locked
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Messages
8,039
I have a glass tank and stand to give away if anyone wants it.
 

TrickyD

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
5,198


Pink Algae​

Pink algae is not really an algae, it is a type of bacteria. When the bacteria colonise a surface you will notice it in the form of a pink or clear slimy layer. Pink algae (i.e. pink bacteria colonies) are not very common in aquariums but they do occur. The main place where you can encounter pink algae is instead in swimming pools. Swimming pools located near the ocean seem to be at especially high risk. It is also possible to contaminate your pool with pink algae if you do not thoroughly clean swimsuits, under water goggles, water toys etcetera after a visit to the sea.

As mentioned above, pink algae will form slimy pink or clear layers over various surfaces. Brushing it off is normally fairly easy, but simply removing the slime is rarely enough to put a halt to the problem. If a serious infestation occurs, it can turn the water cloudy, almost like milk.

Algaecides and other anti-algae treatments are often inefficient against pink algae since the pink slime is caused by bacteria, not by true algae. There are however formulas that will kill both algae and most types of bacteria. The most common form of treatment against pink algae in a swimming pool is to use chlorine in combination with special anti-pink algae products. Most pool stores will offer some type of anti-pink algae product, but the exact content varies a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Pink algae treatment:​

  • Clean equipment, swimsuits, toys etcetera with diluted bleach.
  • Brush all effected areas thoroughly (this step should be repeated frequently throughout the cleaning process).
  • Purchase an anti-pink algae product and follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
  • Make sure that the pH-value is in the 7.0-7.2 range, since this will make the chlorine more effective.
  • Superchlorinate the pool.
  • Add a sodium bromide product to the water. Bromine is known to be especially effective against pink algae.
  • Let your toys and pool equipment (brushes, nets, hoses and so on) soak in the superchlorinated water.
  • Turn off the filter and clean it meticulously.
  • Circulate the water continuously and back-wash the filter.
  • Once the problem is under control, continue to back-wash the filter and clean it out again to remove any pink bacteria colonies that might be living inside the filter.
  • A clarifier can be necessary to remove dead algae and organic debris from the water.
  • Resume normal filtration and chlorination.
Any help ?
 

banksy

Life Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Messages
13,335
Thanks for that first link, ^^^
But I suspect that the fish might object to their tank being 'superchlorinated'? o_O
 

OldTaff

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
3,687
Have a feeling it’s hair algae (bryopsis) - loads of online articles on how to get rid of it, not simple but doable

Could also be black beard algae / black brush algae which is much harder to deal with.
 

pies

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
1,889
Id be tempted to completely turn the lights of for a few days. If its algae it should knock it back
 

Silver fan 82

Regular member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
3,627
Don't use any form of bleach or household cleaners on your fish tanks unless you want dead fish. As mentioned above try leaving the light off for a week or so and monitor it (the fish won't mind). Try contacting a pet shop that specialises in aquatics, they probably sell liquids that are safe to use that may get rid of it. Remember not all bacteria / algae is dangerous, just looks unsightly to the fish keeper. Are we saying it's bacteria and not algae?
There are a few species he could keep that feed on algae to keep it down if it is algae.
 

banksy

Life Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Messages
13,335
As above advice, he took photos to an aquatics shop, told it’s brown fuzz algae - just how many different algae forms are there?
Now sorted with a bottle of algae treatment.
Thanks for all your replies!
 

banksy

Life Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Messages
13,335
Shame you're so far away Banksy,I'd have given you a couple of adult Bristle Nosed Catfish,they live on algae

Thanks for the thought, I'll tell my son.
He's bought a couple of shrimps today, and also has some sort of Plec, 6" long, looks like a monster from the deep.
I'll stick with me goldfish and shubs. :)
 

OldTaff

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
3,687
Thanks for the thought, I'll tell my son.
He's bought a couple of shrimps today, and also has some sort of Plec, 6" long, looks like a monster from the deep.
I'll stick with me goldfish and shubs. :)

Need to very selective with plecs as some can easily grow to 45cm plus - I have a clown pleco that maxes out around 2” (5cm) in my big tank and several corydoras catfish in my small tank.

Shrimp are excellent algae eaters and are bio-neutral so you can have as many as you like in a tank
 

Silver fan 82

Regular member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
3,627
Need to very selective with plecs as some can easily grow to 45cm plus - I have a clown pleco that maxes out around 2” (5cm) in my big tank and several corydoras catfish in my small tank.

Shrimp are excellent algae eaters and are bio-neutral so you can have as many as you like in a tank
Corydoras are good. Ottocinclus are very good at controlling algae and only grow to a few inches long. Also a species called Japanese algae eater? Not sure of the Latin name of these though.
 
Top