Algae infestation???


Not sure if this goes here...buuuutttt......

My three-gallon betta tank has become infested with a terrible brown slime algae. Not the usual thin layer most aquariums get after a few more the, but a giant, fuzzy, brown and slimy mass that wriggles and jiggles with the small current my tiny filter gives off.

I've tried planting the tank, swapping out decor for clean, dry ones, rinsing the rocks in bleach (I put new rocks in there while the old and infected ones are disinfecting.). As of currently, I swapped my fish (his name is Patrick, Patty for short) into a little planted bowl I have on my bedstand, covered with a thin cloth so my cats don't get at him. His original, infested tank is being soaked entirely soaking in bleach water, rocks, decor, and all.

I know I'll get plenty of replies saying bleach is bag. However, as long as you wait a good, long while for the bleach to evaporate after the cleaning has been done, it will be perfectly safe for fishy-use in a matter of days. A week if I feel like waiting that long.

Anywhoozle! I just wanted to know what the community would have done to combat this problem? Is there a simpler method? Is this sort of slime normal???? I would have pics, but my phone camera hasn't been functioning lately.

Thank you in advance for any assistance!


Cleaning with bleach is fine.

Does the tank get direct sunlight, how long is the light on for? Are you sure it is algae and not cyanobacteria? Can you blow it off whatever it is attached to with a syringe?


You can clean with bleach, I disinfect with beach. Just as long as the solution is 1 part water to 18 part bleach you should be fine. I've read that you aren't supposed to let things soak in bleach for longer than 15 mins or else it seeps into whatever is soaking in it, not sure if that is true or not.

  • Thread Starter


Glad to know bleach is the universal answer, lol.

BDupps, I'm not entirely sure what the difference is between the algae and that...cynobacteria? I just googled pictures of the c. bacteria, and the first page didn't look familiar at all. I really wish my phone had been functioning well back then the infestation was still around...

Anyway, the tank is set on an inside wall in the livingroom, it never sees the actual light of day, and the tank light is only on for seven to eight hours a day (I turn it on when I leave for work, turn it to blue light at the end of my shift, and the betta tank goes black when I go to bed, while my other two tanks stay blue for the nocturnal suckers.) There is a small, low-power filter that I use only to keep the water from becoming stagnant, and a small heater to keep the little guy at a cozy 78 (I keep the house itself at around 70, which is too cold for a tropical fish...right?).

I have no idea how this brown fuzzy stuff got in my tank, as none of my other aquariums have ever had it, and if they did, I know better than to swap decorations without cleaning them thoroughly first.

I just set the tank back up again with rocks and water, a small piece of driftwood I've had soaking in water for a month (I had boiled it and sprayed it to remove ickies, I just soaked it so I could sink in an aquarium and get some more of the tannin out of it) and his little alligator skull decoration. I'll let it sit one more day before introducing Patty again. Little fella hates his stagnant, planted fishbowl right now.

I guess I'll report back in a couple of weeks as to whether this dessimated the algae gunk, or if I need to try a new experiment!

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