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Hello,
I've been caring for my first betta fish for a few months now. He seems to be doing great, but my tank is accruing a lot of algae. It's small because I live in a studio apartment (I'd give him a bigger one if I could), 2 gallons, and I change out the water biweekly by hand. The tank also contains a live plant, a rorippa aquatica. The algae is on the sides of the tank and all over the leaves and base of the plant. When I clean the water I wipe off as much of the tank walls as I can but I can't get it all. The plant seems to be struggling to survive in all the algae, too. My thought was to get a snail or shrimp or something to help with the algae, but I don't know what could live in such a small tank with a male betta. Thanks for your help.
 

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I would consider that tank too small for tank mates. It might be easier to decrease your light by a few hours and keep wiping the sides down.
 

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+1 your tank must be at least 5 before you can consider adding tank mates. Decrease your lights on time per day and see if that helps.
 

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you could potentially add a ramshorn. They are tiny, and do a decent (not fantastic) job of cleaning up algae. Alternatively, try adding some faster growing plants. They may suck up nutrients before the algae can. If you can add duckweed (if you actually like duckweed) i find it cuts down on algae growth pretty drastically. Upside, it doesn't add to your bioload, and bettas seem to like it.
 

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Algae happens when you have more light and nutrients in the water than the plant can make use of. The algae will use the extra. You can decrease the lighting, keep the nutrients down by cleaning the water more frequently, or adding more plants to compete with the algae. You could add a snail but if you did you'd have to do two or three water changes a week to deal with the ton of waste it produces. It's not worth it in a tank that small.

I'd either add more plants or use less light.
 

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Haha... with duckweed, you basically just have to accept the mess. I have it and it grows into a thick mat covering the whole water surface, hoovering up nutrients and decreasing the light available for the algae. It really does do wonders for water quality.

The downside... it literally gets stuck to everything during a water change. There's no way around that! Every now and again, I scoop clumps of it out to keep it under control. I also have a 'duckweed sieve' which I use for rinsing off my aquarium equipment and hands after a water change. Duckweed is very invasive and you should take care not to let it go down the drain.

I have found that frequent water changes to reduce nutrients in a tank plus proper cleaning (a scrub of the tank walls or rinse of the decor) is the best way to reduce algae. Getting algae eaters increases the bioload, something a tank of your size cannot handle, but even in larger tanks, you should never get an algae eater just for 'clean up' since they have their own special requirements just like any other animal. You've taken the care to set up an environment unique for your Betta and it wouldn't be fair to put anything in there which you haven't set it up for.

P.S. The only tank environments which don't seem to have algae issues are the very heavily planted aquariums, since the fast-growing plants use up the nutrients before the algae can get a foothold, but they are relatively complicated and expensive to do. Duckweed is a good solution though, since it grows nicely without any help.
 

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Hello,
I've been caring for my first betta fish for a few months now. He seems to be doing great, but my tank is accruing a lot of algae. .
What you have is called diatom algae, and it's normal in all new tanks. It's a pain in the butt and very unsightly, but will eventually go away on its own. Don't add anything to that tiny container. Nothing else is suited for a container that small.
 
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