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Old 06-09-2013, 02:49 AM   #1 
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How to keep algae down?

I recently purchased a 3 gallon tank for my betta fish, Tater. Tater enjoys the space he gets in the tank as well as the numerous plants the tank contains. However, with the introduction of a new plant into the tank, I inadvertently introduced algae as well. The algae is really starting to take over and is on the glass and rocks of the tank.

Never having been a fan of chemical algicides, I decided to take a natural approach. I purchased a tiny plecostamus catfish to clean my tank (only temporarily, mind you, because I understand that they get quite large).

I picked a plecostamus because I've heard that even bettas are able to get along with that type of fish. Such was not the case with Tater. He chased the catfish all over the tank and stalked it down like some sort of prey. Now I have Tater seperated into another tank until such time as I can transfer the catfish to my brother's larger freshwater tank.

My problem is that I still need a solution to the algae. I do 25 percent water changes weekly, and I never feed my fish too much food. The tank has a filter, too. And yet, the algae is everywhere. In spite of water changes and tank cleanings, it still comes back (and with a vengeance). I need a fix to the algae problem and was hoping you guys might have a suggestion on a natural approach.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:05 AM   #2 
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Location: Alabama, USA
I'm having the same issue. The algae is everywhere - on the silk plants, the rocks, the heaters, sometimes the glass. I have three 10g tanks and a 5g, all with filters. It's in every tank to a degree - some more than others. I hope someone has an idea of how to get rid of it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:04 AM   #3 
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Location: Dartmouth, NS
Well let's look at where the 3g tank is situated. Is it by a window? Does it receive a lot of indirect natural light?
The pleco, no matter its size now, will produce a lot of waste and I think they eat other things in their diet besides algae. Do you have a large enough tank for it to grow out fully? The spotted kind grows to the size of an adult forearm (I guess you know that)

Most importantly, you're going to want to do more frequent changes than 25% per week. Even with the filter. Filters really only move water around and collect debris from the water and stick it to a media pad (where the BB grow and thrive) The live plant and BB will eat up the ammonia caused by the fish but not fast enough, you should do a 25% every two days and see if there's an improvement in the alga.e

Honestly, and I speak from experience, the algae will probably remain. The trick is to keep it in low enough quantity that you can live with it and not be bothered by it and your plants can continue to grow and live.

(My 3g is in the kitchen window and it gets some indirect light per day and grows algae all over the gravel and everything. I siphon it all up as often as I can which is never on the weekend bc of work. And my 5g I think I mostly have it under control and that was purely by increasing water changes and siphoning with turkey baster individual strands.. Mine is green algae. I presume yours is too?)
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:24 AM   #4 
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Location: Fungus corners
Algae gets out of control when there is more nutrients and more light than your plants can handle. You can:

---cut back on the light (exposure time and/or intensity)
---get the right color temperature bulb (6500K is favored by most plants)
---cut down on nutrients (food, waste)
---get more plants and/or faster growing plants (enough to starve the algae of nutrients)

More suggestions might be available in the planted tank section of this forum.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:16 PM   #5 
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A nerite snail might help control the algae. I got one about 3 weeks ago. My betta has not attacked it. It ate most of the algae that was already in the tank, and is doing a pretty good job of keeping up with new growth. Of course since they eat a lot, they also poop a lot. I just make sure to vacuum the gravel whenever I do a water change.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:30 AM   #6 
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My nerite is the best algae control investment too! I haven't fed her anything else in the 8 months I had her. (Last time I fed her, Ludendorff almost died of bloat because he ate it all -_- That was before Christmas)
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:52 AM   #7 
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+1 on nerite snails! I found my smaller olive nerites are better cleaners than my larger zebra nerite, but yes, they are great algae eaters and I haven't had to supplement their diets at all either. My 10 gallon tank in my kitchen got blue-green algae when it started getting more direct sunlight in the spring, but my nerites ate it. I had to cut down the artificial light I gave it to slow down the spread of the algae, but they ate what was left of it. It takes them longer to eat it, though, than brown algae because it's tougher.
My zebra nerite can't keep up with the algae in my 55 gallon, though. I think I'm going to get more olive nerites for that tank.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:34 PM   #8 
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You can add Herbivore or Omnivore animals such as snails. Or you can build an Algae scrubber to remove algae.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:34 PM   #9 
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WOW I want that!
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3 gallon tank, algae, betta, catfish, plecostamus

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