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I have Algae!

February 3rd, 2006, 09:33 AM
Ok, so about 15min ago, I look over at the tank and notice I have some green algae growing on my tank! So...what do I do? Im due for a water change, so should I just scrub it off right before I do my change? Its like, poof, it just apeared lol

February 3rd, 2006, 02:03 PM
You have some options. For now scrape it before the water change, do change as normal. You can scrape it in between changes as well. Since you have plants in the tank you can get a product called Flourish Excel, it is a CO2 substitute for planted tanks and it has a 'side-effect' of controlling algae without harming fish. Start by adding the recommended dose for about a week to get the fish used to it and to see if the dose will control the algae, gradually begin upping the dose, very gradually until you notice the spread of algae to slow down and begin to decrease. If at any time the fish begin gasping at the surface, do a 50% water change and stop increasing the dose. I have not tried this myself, I am too lazy to pay attention to what the algae is doing. I do use the Excel in both my tanks though and the plants benefit from it's use. You continue to scrape unwanted alge from the front of the tank as you are doing this, leave the back alone so you have something to compare doses to. In a smaller tank the wattage is higher and algae can become a real problem, mainly for viewing and enjoying the fish. They don't seem to mind and some will eat it. The snail will eat it, but not as noticebly as we would like.
Hope this made sense.

Forgot to mention, be sure you are not over-feeding, if there is food lying around on the gravel 10 minutes after feeding then you are feeding too much. For the number of fish you have (3 right?) one small pinch/day should be fine.

February 3rd, 2006, 02:37 PM

Well I have 3 whiteclouds, a betta, a dwarf frog and the apple snail. I feed twice a day, sometimes once. There is never any food left lol. I actually kinda worry the frog isnt getting enough because the betta will eat everything lol.

Maybe I should run my light less? I closed my blinds in my office so there is no direct sunlight other then my office light and hood light.

jesse's mommy
February 3rd, 2006, 07:54 PM
What about getting an algae eater???

February 3rd, 2006, 08:03 PM
How often is your light on in your tank?? This is probably the cause of your algae. I was leaving my light on for a good portion of the day/night and started getting algae bad. Cleaned the tank, turned the light out and no more problems. Unless you have real plants in your tank, the light should only be used as display in the evening for a few hours or however long you'll be looking at the tank.:)

February 3rd, 2006, 08:53 PM
The light usually is turned on at 7am and off at 5pm. I have a Java Fern and java moss which both require very little light i believe, so maybe i'll leave the light off during the day. Maybe only turn it on for a few hours a day?

Ive read most of the algae eaters wont eat enough algae to do much.

jesse's mommy
February 3rd, 2006, 08:57 PM
This is going to be a little gross, but true. I have a 55 gallon tank and when I had it up and running my algae eater grew to be about a foot long and kept the tank spotless. I had an extra filter on there and him. He was my big "sucker". Seriously, I vacuumed my tank once every 2-3 months and it took five minutes, but as for algae -- NONE. I think if you find one that is healthy, he will do wonders. That's the experience I've had. We are getting ready to start up our tank again and one of the first things I will be getting is a new big black "sucker". He was the best!!! His death was an unfortunate one -- he didn't survive a move and it was heartbreaking -- otherwise I had him for about 3 years! :eek: He was my big healthy boy!

February 3rd, 2006, 09:08 PM
The light usually is turned on at 7am and off at 5pm. I have a Java Fern and java moss which both require very little light i believe, so maybe i'll leave the light off during the day. Maybe only turn it on for a few hours a day?

Ive read most of the algae eaters wont eat enough algae to do much.

Ya, i think that's a bit too much light. I think you can buy different types of florescent bulbs if need be for your plants. I used to never have my light on very often and then I started turning it on everyday and that's when the algae grew!
A few hours a day should be fine. I have my light on for about 4 hours most evenings and the odd day if it is rainy and dark outside.

February 3rd, 2006, 11:55 PM
Scott doesn't have room for an algae eater, even an oto, it's a 3 gallon tank. Scott just keep scraping the tank, turn the lights on for 6-8 hrs/day. A timer works great for this, I picked up a couple of Noma digital timers around Christmas at half price, less than 10 bucks. As the plants grow they will start to use some of the excess nitrates in the water, regular water changes reduces the amount of nitrates available to the algae, and the plants begin to compete for it more. For planted tanks the nitrate level should be around 5-10 ppm, esp. for low-light plants. You may wind up doing small 25% water changes daily and gravel vacing every week or two. Look for the excel and give it a try, I got mine at Big Al's, you can order online or if the local fish store has some, pick some up there.


February 4th, 2006, 05:46 AM
I think at this point the best thing is lights out for a little bit, perhaps during the brightest part of the day.
A little algae scraper will take care of that algae.
I concur - no room for an algae eater- let the sponge eat the algae! lol

After time the tank will settle and the algae will probably calm down too.
I would avoid ferts at this point, you would only be fertilizing the algae.
Neither of those types of plants really need added ferts to that water.
I have had horrible luck with flourish excel creating massive algae problems and diatom problems.
Dont know why - have heard its common.
I alternate between 2 diff ferts for my tanks.
Aquarium Stuff Company's Aquatic Plant Stuff
and Flourish Excel.
I only dose flourish excel once every 3rd month to avoid algae and diatoms.
I use the aquarium stuff co's fert every water change.
My 10g tank receives not one drop of ferts of any kinds except
root tabs.
Jave fern and moss really wont need ferts though espescially
in such a small tank.

jesse's mommy
February 4th, 2006, 06:26 AM
:sorry: Didn't know it was a 3 gallon tank.

February 4th, 2006, 07:07 AM
Thanks all :thumbs up