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Old 06-18-2012, 10:37 AM   #1 
Katy
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Question Help with algae please!

Any advice on controlling algae? I have 10 NPTs, ranging fro 5-10gal each, with 1-2 bettas in each (1per5 gals), no other fish or snails, have about 1 plant/gal, all anubias and arg. sword... all low-mod light need.

Can't remember what lights exactly but lighted with fluorescent bulbs. Some tanks get more daylight than others, so some need the lights on longer. Also, while I try to limit most to 8hrs of ight, there are times when I have to leave the lights on 12 hours.

My fishies love their plants but I seem to have a green thumb for growing algae. I'm having to pull out plants and decor quite often, more so than what water changes should occur in cycled tanks.

How do others control algae?I don't have algae eating fish or snails- I wouldn't mind snails but don't want other fish with my bettas.

Does anyone use chemical algae eaters? I have some algae-away stuff (Tetra) that I just added to 3 of the tanks to see how that works. Any experience with this?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:46 AM   #2 
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Ditto! Odd thing with my tanks is...this is just happening in one of my four tanks. I had a snail in there, but I haven't had good luck with them - they die after a couple of months (which makes my daughter sad, as she loves snails!)
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #3 
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awww-too bad about the snails:) My algae is problematic in some and not in others- for no good reason- doesn't even have to do with amount of daylight.

going to try some algae-away stuff. i'll get back with the results after i give it awhile.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #4 
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Some algae is normal and expected in a container of water that has both light and nutrients...Some can also be a sign of a healthy system, can help the tank look more natural and provide areas for microorganisms to colonize, however, since this is a closed system we have to control it.

With planted tanks-its a balance to keep the algae in check along with some manual removal.....

Since these are NPT...what kind of soil/dirt are you using and the cap-plus how deep are the soil and cap....

Number and species of plants

Filtration used if any

Lights-age of bulbs, watts, kelvin, how far are the lights from the water, are they open tops or are hoods used-if hood, what kind of partition-glass or plastic. Natural light-how long and from what facing window.

Since your photoperiod varies.....one thing you need to do...is to get on a regular schedule of at least 10h/day....Once I know more you may need to increase to 12h/d PP-this depends on plant species....

Are you adding any ferts or injection CO2

Water changes-how much and how often

How long have the tanks been setup

What are you using to prevent anaerobic spots-any smell coming from the tanks

What kind of algae...can you post a pic.....

I wouldn't recommend the use of the algae-cide type products since it can kill some species of plants, fish and inverts....
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:43 PM   #5 
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Thanks OFL! Sorry for the length, will try to be concise.
Have 10 different tanks with varying degree of problem and slightly different lighting situations, so let me just focus on the one with the worst algae (which ironically holds my favorite fish:))

10gal, 1 betta, no other fish, heated (80F), prime and stress-coat, set-up with natural plants 3 months. Only substrate is seachem flourite right now, about 1.5 inches where the plants are, with some potted plants, ground plants, and floating plants. Fake rocks and ornaments too.

Specifically: New to NPTs so started with Anubias and Arg. sword. Several floating anubias, some background tall sword along ground, and then potted some anubias up front. No major ground cover but 14 plants total.

Water changes: For water quality (which I keep pristine, as Keller started with horrible fin rot); 50% change with vacuum biweekly, 50% change biweekly. Since he's in a NPT i've had to actually up the changes to get rid of some algae, and had to breakdown his tank completely recently.

The plants have done well, surprisingly, as i've no green thumb. But so has the algae. I'd love to do a more complex sanded system with other species but I need to learn to manage this first.

Incidentally, Keller doesn't really seem to care about the algae, and water params stay fine. Though he does thrive when I remove the layer and the plants do better without the film.

Filter- yes, but just the filter that comes with the Aqueon 10gal, which I rinse but don't typically change b/c I had to do a fish-in cycle, took forever, don't want to loose the bacteria.

Nothing specific re: anaerobic spots. No smells. I use the filter for aeration (bubbles) mainly. Aerator might be useful.

No fertilizer or CO2- used flourish once... java moss and algae took over... so good bye algae and (sadly) java moss.

Lights- 2 months old, the other info I need to check. But definitely the algae grows closest to the light-source.

Will get the rest of the answers thank you for your help! I love your posts re: community NPTs- So inspiring!
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:52 PM   #6 
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Sorry- one last thing- will try to post pic-
but from what I can tell, the algae I have is mainly green (stringy) algae- did have some of the ugly red/brown algae on a fake plant but got rid of the plant.
No huge green blooms. Just lots of green algae.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:05 AM   #7 
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Okay...these are not NPT...natural planted tanks.....you are not using dirt....or lots of stem plants....I don't know that much about flourite substrate...is it high in nutrients....if so, every time you pull plants or disrupt the substrate the nutrient load in being dumped in the water column and this can be problematic when you don't have enough of the right species of plants to use it-along with the correct lights to promote plant growth/photosynthesis so the plants can even use it to begin with.....

If the plants are still in the pots-you need to get them out and planted properly, add lots of stem plants, manual remove algae on viewing walls and plant leaves along with the 50% weekly water change, get the proper lights of 6500k bulbs with no more than 20w on a 10gal with the PP of 10h/day to start, make sure the partition between the lights and water is clean or remove it all together.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:43 AM   #8 
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Thanks OFL!
Yes going to true NPTs is my project for this summer- get 2 wks off in July so starting then- though I will likely attempt it in one aq first, and I need to look in to it more.

My lighting source is appropriate based on your recs, but I will increase the light exposure to 10hrs, as well as your other recs.
Flourite tends to be high in nutrients and annoying to clean- I would not use it again.
I potted my plants myself in sand actually, but their roots are growing out to I do need to plant them on the bottom.

Thanks!
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