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Old 06-20-2009, 07:05 AM   #1 
pillar
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Algae problem

I have had a betta in a cycled 3 gallon tank now for about 3 months. Up until a couple weeks ago it was algae free, but now the walls need to be scrubbed and the ornaments cleaned every week!

Is there a more efficient way to combat the algae?
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:23 PM   #2 
Scienceluvr8
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First off, is your tank in direct sunlight? Do you have a tank light, if so, how long do you leave the light on?
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:43 PM   #3 
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No direct sunlight, i leave the light on for about 12 hours. Also, i have a live plant in there.
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:09 PM   #4 
neenjar
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Do you have any type of alge eater in the tank? If your betta is compatible with other critters try some cherry or ghost shrimp or otto's. Live plants need some sort of algae eater. Planted tanks are a different animal to take care of than non planted.

Do you fertilze the plant? If so, with what, how often and how much?
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:25 PM   #5 
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The only algae eater I have is a snail. I tried some ghost shrimp but they seemed to disappear...i added them, saw them swim around for a bit then never saw them again.

No fertilizer has been used, but the plant seems to be doing well, my nitrates are at 0 even after a week.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:17 PM   #6 
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Snails are good too! Your tank is also very new. yes it is cycled, but 3 months is still young. It takes about 6 months for a planted tank to become a very stable environment. algae blooms are fairly common. You can do small 5-10% daily/2 day water changes to combat it. after the plants fully take root and become one with their environment the begin to eat up more of the nutrients and starve the algae. when you are getting a bloom it is the other way around. try fertilizing as well. since you are not densely planted you will not need to do full doses on the bottle labels, a few drops every water change on your weekly changes will go a long way. the plant need food, or the algae wins ;)

What kind of plant and what type of light are you using?

Last edited by neenjar; 06-20-2009 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:19 AM   #7 
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Id say get an algae eater. I like the Chinese Algae Eater. They don't out grow the tank and they are very hard workers. If you don't want an algae eater, i'd reccomentd a filter.
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Old 06-21-2009, 06:43 AM   #8 
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I am now sure what kind of plant it is...it has elongated leaves which are all connected to the ground (ie a 'bush' not a 'tree'). The light is a regular compact flourescent, not an aquarium specific one (is this bad?).

As for the algae eater, would that be ok in a tank this small? And what type of filter would you suggest? I have an undergravel at the moment, but could switch if it would help.
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:41 AM   #9 
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a hanging style would be better with a plant. Under gravel will pull nutrients away from the plant. Can you post a picture of the plant? It sounds like java fern, but with a picture I could probably tell you what it is. In a 3 gallon an CAE may be pushing limits a bit. I'd go with a few otto's if you have shrimp disappear. the betta and 3-4 ottos would be acceptable. A bit overstocked, but the plant helps there as will staynig up on your water changes. Shrimp would be ideal in a tank that small, though, but it seems your boy thinks they make a nice meaty snack! also the undergravel filter may have got your shrimp. suction form the bottom is not the best idea for them.
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #10 
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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I thought CAE's got big and aggressive and eventually stop eating algae and go after the slime coat of other fish.
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