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Old 06-13-2011, 11:40 AM   #1 
etanico
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Algae Explosion

I've had a fish tank for about two months. About two weeks ago I noticed brown spots on some of the decorations, so I took them out, scrubbed them with water, let them soak in hot water, and put them back in. I do weekly water changes with a gravel vacuum. However, I just went on vacation for a week and returned to find my tank completely overtaken by the algae. A bunch of the leaves on my Java Fern are covered in it (and I'm scared the algae is killing it), the gravel went from blue to brown, and all the fake decorations have become brown. The filter intake has also begun to brown.

The tank holds one Betta, is 5 gallons, is lighted for about 8 hours a day, and is kept at a healthy temperature.

I was considering getting an Oto or a snail, but the internet seems to think that is a bad idea. What would all of you suggest? I don't know why this continues to happen. I need to know how to clean it now and prevent it in the future.

Here are some pictures:



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Old 06-13-2011, 11:51 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Looks like diatoms and normal......how old are the light bulbs......

The 5gal is not big enough for any other fish species along with the Betta.....and a snail may or may not help.....however, you should never add other livestock for cleaning duties unless you want and like the critter to start....its the hobbyist job to keep the tank clean after all.....

Manual removal with vacuum on a weekly basis.......when the tank is mature and at 2 months it should be close...diatoms usually resolve on their own unless you did a lot of rearranging and disturbed all the substrate or the light bulb is over a year old, check the hood and make sure the plastic/glass between the light and water is clean and free of debris that could be causing poor light penetration, I would also increase the photoperiod to 10h/day since you have live plants....
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:17 PM   #3 
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So one day it will just disappear? Without harming the fish OR the live plants?
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:28 PM   #4 
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Generally it will just disappear once the tank is balanced....but until then you have to wipe if off and vacuum it out weekly...
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:36 PM   #5 
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But it's harmless to the fish and live plants?
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #6 
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Yes. HARMLESS TO FISH. Probably not harmful to plants, but just rub it off when you see it on plants if you want.
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:19 PM   #7 
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That plant is an amazon sword, not a java fern :D.....I know. Not much help with the algae, but heh. The yellowing leaves, remove them. Theyre dead and are not salvageable. Snip them off with your nails.

Like OFL said, if you would consider getting a snail anyway, and arent just getting it to eat algae, I recommend nerite snails. Theyre very small and IMO some of the best cleaners.. And they cant breed in freshwater! I love mine, she's quirky and funny. She does a good job of keeping algae down (even in a tank that gets a phenomenal amount of light at times) and wont hurt plants.

But make sure if you get one that you want one... They need care too, they poop and make a mess, etc. But if they seemed appealing even before the algae, then do some research and consider it :D
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