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Old 06-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #1 
ClassicCharm
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Algae growth on fake plants

I seem to have a lot of dark green algae coating the leaves of my fake plants and I'm not sure why. The tank is 10g, heated, filtered, cycled, and houses my sorority girls. My typical water change is 50% once weekly with a thorough gravel vac.

Am I not doing enough water changes? That's my first guess. Is it over-lit? I don't have this problem in my 5g or my 2g all of which have fake plants.

Any other ideas?

My other problem with this tank is that I often get an almost shiny layer on the top of the water. When you run something through it to interrupt the layer, it looks like it breaks up into pieces, it doesn't just swirl away, you know?

Does anyone know how I can fix this?

Thanks :)
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #2 
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The film is just protein from high quality foods, it seeps into the water and floats to the top. As for the algae problem could be from several things.

What kind of light does your tank have? Sun light? what kind of bulb do you have? and since you only have fake plants there is nothing using up the light so the algae will flourish. Algae isn't bad for a tank, it just unsightly. you can either get some algae eating shrimp or a nerite snail or two to eat up whatever algae you have.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:49 PM   #3 
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Thanks ZergyMonster! That's good to know about the protein- kind of an indicator that I'm feeding my little ones properly?

As for the tank with the algae issue, in its current location it gets very little if any sunlight. It currently has two 15w clear lightbulbs in the hood that run throughout the day from ~9am until 1am.

Do you recommend a snail for this tank?
Would I have to provide food for it other than algae?
How would it impact my water changes?
Would it have any effect on the girls living in the tank?
Why do you recommend a Nerite snail specifically?

Sorry for all the questions. I've never had snails and I want to make sure I make the best choice. Thanks again, I really appreciate the input :)
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:01 AM   #4 
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I only recommend nerite snails because they are the ones that I own. I also have a mystery snail(Apple snail) sold at most pet shops and it doesn't eat the algae as well as the nerites do.

Snails have a fairly large bio load but since you have a cycled tank it will not make too much of a difference. The snails will eat the algae until there is no more, then you will have to supplement the algae with either fresh vegetables or algae waffers (which you can find at any pet store or even walmart).

NOW to talk about the algae: I think your algae problem originates from how long your lights are on. 16 hours is a long time, it is only recommended for 12 hours of sunlight or artificial light for a PLANTED tank. So by having nothing to use up all the light waves the algae is reaping all the benefits. I would recommend to you if you don't want to purchase and maintain a snail: to reduce the time that your light is on; It is best to have the light on in the darker periods of the day so during the 10-5pm time frame you can probably get away from not having your lights on.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:26 PM   #5 
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Awesome. That makes sense. Thanks so much ZergyMonster!! I'll try a shorter light cycle, and see how it goes. :D
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