Algae infestation: so over this tank!

  1. M

    Mia1181 New Member Member

    Please help, I'm so tired of reading conflicting information. I just need to get my Betta tank to a point where I'm not trying to troubleshoot and Google every day.

    Okay, so quick background:
    I have a Betta in a 5 gal Fluval Chi. Set everything up before I knew about cycling, so I'm just trying to get my tank to a point where I can just do routine maintenance.

    I posted before about my new tank and the betta's fin rot. The advice I was given was to not go crazy cleaning everything and interfere with the cycle. So I've just been doing regular water changes and vaccuuming. The Betta doesn't look like he's getting worse and I'm just wondering if he's prone to the rot. But either way, I planned on getting the tank stabilized before doing more frequent water changes.

    I keep testing the water and get the same readings every time:
    PH- 8.2 (our tap is high)
    Nitrite- 0
    Ammonia- .25 (same as our tap water)
    Nitrate- 0

    I understand that when my tank is cycled, the ammonia should go to zero and the nitrate should go up a little? Well I've been waiting weeks, and no change.

    So here is the whole reason for this post. I started getting brown algae on the bottom of the tank. I've been trying to clean it with the vacuum, but my vacuum is too big, so I have to work very quickly before it drains more than 30-50% of the water. Plus, I was thinking of adding a shrimp to help with the algae, but I wanted the tank stabilized before adding anything.

    So today, I noticed blue-green algae! I read that it's actually a bacteria and the only way to get rid of it is to black out the tank for a week or use antibiotics. I don't know if it is possible to cover the Fluval chi tank without the cover getting wet from the fountain top. And I'm worried about adding antibiotics because it will mess with the cycle or cause others problems.

    Okay so can someone give me an idiot proof plan of attack here? I feel like there is always so much going on with this tank. I will post a pic of the tank ASAP.


    This is is so embarrassing to post! I swear this happened in a week's time. I add clean water once a week and vacuum and do a 30-50% water change once a week. I only have been feeding him 2-3 pellets and he fasts on Sunday. The water is really low today because we've had a crazy heat wave in SoCal and the water evaporated much faster this week.
  2. codyrex97

    codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    The brown algae, does it come off easy when you vacuum? Just sucks right up? If so its diatoms and you should just leave em, they'll go away on their own and aren't any harm.

    As for the other algae/bacteria I'm not sure. Somebody else will have to comment there.

    As for cycling, since you only have just a Betta, it's likely there's not a lot of ammonia to feed the bacteria. What you might want is prime and stability. Prime will allow you to let the ammonia to get to 1ppm and also higher (by doubling the dose) without worrying about it harming your fish. Stability will help grow bacteria faster.

    As for fin rot, Betta in general are prone to this, especially the ones with long flowing fins. I've heard it's not a big deal and it's nearly unavoidable during cycling. Just keep water clean enough and get through cycle, and once things have stabilized, the Betta will grow back the fins.


  3. OP

    Mia1181 New Member Member

    Thank you for all the help! I alread use Prime, but u will try doubling the dose.

    Yes I've read about diatoms and I'm pretty sure that's what it is. I'm hoping to get a shrimp to help eat them but I've heard ghost shrimp don't, so I might get a cherry shrimp.
  4. codyrex97

    codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Amano shrimp will clean diatoms well. You could try getting one. 5 gallons isn't much room for Betta and company so maybe 3 max? I wouldn't try cherries with my Betta because bright colors set him off haha but maybe yours is better. Amano are drab enough to not set him off. They're also called Japanese Algae eater shrimp.
  5. Lady Monster

    Lady Monster Well Known Member Member

    My betta killed the 3 rcs i put in with him..... In a matter of hours! They aren't cheap "snacks" so id buy ghost shrimp instead and try to get larger ones. They are like .30 cents compared to the rcs that were $4.49 a piece! My rcs were not even an inch (not sure how big rcs even get) so size may have been a factor. Either way id go with ghost shrimp if i ever attempt it again.
  6. MinhMai

    MinhMai Valued Member Member

    To dark the tank, I think the fluval chi is small enough where you could upend a packing box over it. I'm not sure though. If that doesn't work you can wrap it in something opaque like foil and a foil tent over top haha. Make sure there's some way for air to circulate in though whatever you do.
  7. Mifuluhu

    Mifuluhu Well Known Member Member

    Algae growth is pretty standard for any tank. For the gravel, use brown or black so you don't see it as it's harmless to the beta. Get a good scrapper and get in the habit of just scrapping it off the tank. If your tank is acrylic be careful as it scratches easily. Try live plants as they compete with algae for nutrients and can help.

    They do do sell chemicals such as Algone that claim to stop algae growth. I find these work for algae blooms of the water but not the growth on the tank, substrate or decorations.

    I an am going to try snails in my 5 gallon beta tank. Algae eaters and Plecos are are at risk of being bullied by the beta. If they survive they'll overgrow a beta tank very quickly.