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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I have a 5gal, heated, filtered tank with 1 betta in it. He's happy and healthy but I'm not happy. For the last month, there has been green algea growing on some of the sides and decorations. Everyime I do a water change (50% once a week with gravel vacuuming) I clean all the sides and decoration to try to get it all away. When i finish cleaning the tank, everything is pretty like new but about 48hours later I can see the algea starting to grow again. It's green and filamentous, like hair...

What can I do to get rid of it?
 

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What kind of lighting/bulb do you have? How long do you leave the lights on per day? Eight hours of light is oftentimes the longest you should leave the lights on.

Also, is your tank in a place with direct sunlight? Sunlight will really make the algae grow like crazy!
 

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I have placed an order at my LFS for a nerite snail. I hope they can get me one. If not I will try to get one online. They are supposed to be good at eating most algae.
 

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I had some bits of algae growing on one of the driftwood pieces I got from my LFS and on the glass. I'd never had snails before but I got 3 nerites for my 20-gal tank to see if they would help with the algae. It was gone in 2 days! I'm sure the cories helped as well but, damn! Those things can eat (and poop)! :D They're pretty interesting creatures. My bettas were very interested in the strange, slow-moving things, but left them alone after a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I leave the light on for about 10 hours everyday and it,s not in direct sunlight because the tank is in my room in the basement. So maybe I shouldn't let the light on the long during the day?

And nerite snails? Are they big? Can I get 1 for my 5 gallon? And if I get a snail, how do I take care of it? I've never had one, do I need to feed it or does it feed on algea? Will I need to change the water more often?
 

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If it's growing that quickly then it is probably cyanobacteria rather than algae. You probably have a large amount of phosphates in your water.

I recommend turning off the light PERMANENTLY for a few days, see what happens. The best way to get rid of cyanobacteria is to starve it. Also do more frequent water changes.
 

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I'm assuming you have hair algae, 'cause you said it looked like hair, good guess I would say. Heh, anyways reducing the photoperiod will help but not get rid of the hair algae.

What I'd suggest is carry out more water changes, hair algae thrive when there's high levels of nitrAtes, try to avoid overfeeding, meaning make sure your Betta eats all the food you give him, uneaten food will contribute to poor water condition and also higher nitrAte levels.

If you can try getting live plants, easy low-light plants like java fern, marimo moss balls, or any type of moss will help. Live plants will outcompete the algae in your tank for nutrients.

Also Nerite snails are excellent algae eaters, better than the more commonly sold Apple/Mystery snails. They eat algae mostly, you'll be able to house one in your 5g. They're relatively easy to take care of, it eats primarily algae, once your tank runs out of algae you'll have to feed it algae wafers, supplement it's diet with blanched veggies like spinach, or zucchinis, they're high in calcium and will help maintain the shell.

You may have to up the amount of water changes, but 50% water changes with one Nerite snail and one Betta is probably okay, especially if you established a cycle already, which I'm hoping you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah the tank is cycled, and I might go out and try to find a nerite snail. I will also go get one or two moss ball. I tested my water and the parmeters were fine... maybe a small amount of nitrate but not that much.
 

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If it's growing that quickly then it is probably cyanobacteria rather than algae. You probably have a large amount of phosphates in your water.

I recommend turning off the light PERMANENTLY for a few days, see what happens. The best way to get rid of cyanobacteria is to starve it. Also do more frequent water changes.
bahamut is right about that. no matter what the kind of algae it may be, it feeds off light. a good example is my niece's betta tank. left the light on for weeks(poor Steve), and it got COVERED in algae. i still have the plants and rocks from that tank, never bleached or boiled them to get rid of it, yet i have no issues with algae because i do frequent water changes, and don't keep lights on in my tank. .3.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, I've ordered a Nerite snail from my LFS some time ago and they should receive them today or tomorrow and I forgot to ask you guys a question. Should I quarantine the snail to make sure it doesn't have ick or parasites? How long and in what kind of water? Should I add anything during the quarantine to the water?
Also egg wise, I heard that they lay a lot of eggs. How do you guys remove them because I heard they are sticky and hard to remove...
 

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Regular tank water will do for your snail. Do QT any you get because you don't know where they've been or what they may carry. Any snails I get go into other tanks--I have 7 tanks. I plan to get a puffer tank later, and extra snails will go there. Puffers eat snails.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay thanks, how long should I QT them? And is there something I can add to the water to make sure they don't have anything, because someone told me to put a small amount of aquarium salt in my QT tank but is salt safe for snails?
 
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