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Old 07-14-2013, 08:37 PM   #1 
minanicole
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Best advice for combatting algae

Hi all!

Okay, so I'm getting REALLY sick of all the algae buildup in my tank. My typical water changes are taking more and more time to execute because I insist on wiping all algae off the tank walls and ornaments.

I have two live plants: a java fern, and a water sprite (I think...I can't remember exactly). Would I be better off stocking the tank with more live plants to outcompete the algae? Or to put some compatible critter in with my betta to eat the algae? Or a bit of both?

He lives in a 5 gal btw. It's filtered (sponge) and I assume it's been through some kind of silent cycle that tanks tend to have with plants. I haven't done any active cycling though.

All suggestions and input are appreciated!

Best,
Marina
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:57 PM   #2 
JellOh
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A silent cycle only takes place in tanks that a filled to the brim with plants, so you could still be cycling. If that is the case then thoroughly cleaning everything isn't helping your cycle. I'd get more plants. Fast growing stem plants are good and Marimo moss balls have been recommended by many people for algea control. Plants will only benifit your tank with an algea eating tank mate will produce a ton of nasty byproducts.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:14 PM   #3 
Namialus
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If you want plants to help combat the algae, a marimo moss ball will do. Just squeeze it out during water changes and flip it over from time to time. :)
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #4 
LebronTheBetta
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Marimo moss balls hardly help.. They grow slowly, which means they take in less.

I would add many, many more plants or possibly a small nerite snail in your 5G?
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:23 PM   #5 
shellieca
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How long are your lights on each day? What does the algae look like; green s,imy, brown? How long has the tank been set up? Is the tank in front of a window? IME, ligth time is the biggest factor. I have all of my tanks on timers so the lights are on for 8 hrs each day, if I increase the light time I get algae of one kind or another. For a while in two of my tanks I had the green slimy algae. After cleaning it over & over, I reduced my lighting time, changed the light bulbs for better plant bulbs & added some by nerite snails. Its been gone for months. Then there was the hair algae, reducing my light time seems to have fixed that. I've also discovered that as a tank ages it goes through phases such as the bacteria bloom & brown diatoms. So the age of your tank plays a factor as well.

No offense Jelloh but I've never heard of plants combatting algae but then I learn new things almost daily. Fast growing plants & moss balls to my knowledge combat ammonia but I hadn't heard the algae angle.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:27 PM   #6 
LebronTheBetta
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No, they don't necessarily 'combat' the algae.

Fast growing plants over compete the algae of all the excess nutrients the algae need to grow off of. (:
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:29 PM   #7 
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You can rid your tank of algae with an overdose of excel. I've used 2x the regular dose and it works like a charm. It is said you can even go 3x the regular dose and still be okay but 2x has worked for me.

The regular dose for a 5 gallon tank would be .5 ml, so you could dose 1 ml daily to kill the algae. I'm pretty sure java fern and wisteria will be okay, but please do your own research before actually doing this to make sure all your plants and live inhabitants can tolerate excel. You should begin to see results within a couple of days to a week.

As shellieca recommended, you'll want to fix whatever caused your algae problem to begin with or it will just come back. But the excel overdose will work to quickly eradicate it so you can make the necessary adjustments to prevent it in the future.

http://www.aquariumslife.com/feature...lourish-excel/
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:18 AM   #8 
RussellTheShihTzu
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I have used Flourish Excel as a bath 3-1 water/Excel on some RAOK Micro Swords (I was aware they had algae when I paid for the postage). Leave plants, etc., for five minutes, rinse in dechlorinated water and return to tank.

Do not overdose Excel in an aquarium with inverts unless you're tired of inverts.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:17 PM   #9 
minanicole
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Thank you everyone, I will be definitely investing in some more plants soon. As for the Excel. . . I might have to try that. This might be a stupid question, but is it harmful at all to the fish?

Shellieca: I leave my lights on for about 10 to 12 hours a day. I've been conscious of trying to turn them off earlier so light time is less. I want to starve the algae, without starving the plants. The algae layers tank walls in a greenish-brown color. But it also has been collecting on my one fake plant and cave in what looks like little shoots of bright green. There are also wispier pieces that look like the consistency of cotton. My tank is far from a window, but it's light definitely is on throughout the day. The tank has been set up for approximately mmmmm since around June. So it's probably still fairly new and as JellOh pointed out, still cycling.

I think I'll be buying some more plants, and maybe a couple snails.
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