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Old 12-05-2010, 12:37 AM   #1 
TokyoBetta
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Algae and filtered tanks

Hi there

I have a filter in my tank and so I've stopped doing 100% water changes weekly and gone to bi-weekly 50-60% changes. The white protein plaque no longer accumulates on the surface, the water is generally clearer and my fish is generally happier; it's been a good change.

(I previously opted to go without a filter because I heard Betta's like still water. I've made it so the filter doesn't stir the water up too much, so that problem is solved).

It's a 5 gallon by the way.

Now since I haven't been dumping and washing the gravel weekly anymore I've noticed it's getting a tad brownish in spots. The gravel is bright white so it really stands out. I dare say that if the gravel were any other color I wouldn't have even noticed.

I want to put some brown gravel in there so it looks nicer, but I also don't want to simply mask the problem (if it is a problem).

Is this algae accumulation a problem and how often should I still be doing 100% changes (if at all?)
Will that mess with my cycle?
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:53 AM   #2 
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You could try adding in a snail or two.. or maybe some shrimp to help with the Algea..
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:56 AM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowntail lover View Post
You could try adding in a snail or two.. or maybe some shrimp to help with the Algea..
I think Sam would kill them all


It's in the rocks not really on the glass.

Is the algae itself a danger if it starts to really take over?
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:17 AM   #4 
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Most Bettas wouldnt hurt a mystery snail.. if anything flare at it.. and they also eat algea off the rocks... But algea ismt much of a problem.. But if it gets too bad.. You should do a 100% water change.. Because Algea Destroyers never work.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:29 AM   #5 
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Thanks crowntail lover
I'll put in the brown gravel for aesthetics for now and give the tank a good clean while I have the chance.

After that I'll have to look into some snails to keep the place tidy naturally - I also don't like the idea of chemicals.

What do these snails look like?
If I have one or two is that enough? What if there isn't enough algae, will the snails die?

I did read in other threads about Bettas killing/eating snails is this true at times?
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:42 AM   #6 
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Unless your tank is cycled, like crowntaillover said, you still need 100% water changes, or it's kind of like your cycling your tank using the fish-in method.

Sorry IDK much about snails, I've seen people reccomend mystery snails (In a 5 gal maybe 1-5, but I'm no expert in that subject).
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:46 AM   #7 
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I don't know if the tank is cycled yet but I guess what I'm doing would be called a fish-in cycle. I added the filter recently but only have the one tank.

I was told by an experienced member here that I could do 50% changes bi-weekly and that'd be good, provided I have the filter.

Regarding the filter, I was tempted to put in new fresh wool but it was suggested that I rinse the original in the old tank water (not tap water as that kills bacteria) but aside from that to keep the same media and substrate there in order to let the cycle continue.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:00 AM   #8 
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That is right....you don't want to do 100% water changes while you are cycling and you can safely cycle with the fish provided that you make the needed water changes

The brown stuff is most likely diatoms and normal/harmless in new setups-once your tank matures it should go away...until then it should wipe off easily and vacuum out with your water changes

Algae is a good sign of healthy water, it is normal and expected in a container of water-but due to our tanks being closed system we have to control the algae growth....too much of a good thing can be bad-small amount are good and normal.....avoid those algae killing chemical-they can also kill plants and fish.....
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:08 AM   #9 
TokyoBetta
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That's good to hear Oldfishlady thanks.
If the algae is okay I'm fine with having it there.
I just don't like how it looks on my white rocks hehe.
If algae got to be too much of a problem what would happen to the Betta, any signs I'd notice?

Also I've always wondered, how important is it to squeegee the inside of the glass, clean off the ornaments and plants, etc?
The heater has some gunk on it as I haven't pulled it out for almost a month. Is that natural healthy stuff that I leave as-is?
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:09 PM   #10 
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So true when it comes to white or light colored gravel...it can start to look dirty fast...you can use the vacuum and keep it turned when you make water changes and this can help some.

I only clean my viewing walls in my tank and leave the algae to grow on the back wall....you get lot of critters that will feed off the algae and the Betta or livestock in the tank will feed/graze off them

As far as the decoration in the tank clean as needed-algae is not bad but too much can look bad and make it hard to see the fish

Algae itself usually will not cause any problems per se for the fish/livestock....however, thread/hair type algae can tangle the fish up and trap them sometimes if it is bad enough......
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