Algae The Right Way?

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Hi everyone,

I'm a newly returned aquarist after having a 10 gallon community tank when I was a kid. That experience left me a bit scarred, since I didn't have a ton of guidance or, frankly, the patience and maturity, to care for that tank the way it was needed. There was nothing horrendous, and in fact I remember fondly a number of fish who really thrived in it, but with 20+ years of maturity and some adult-ing under my belt, I feel more prepared to try again.

At my wife's insistence we purchased 2 Fluval Spec 3's, one for each of our kids, and I picked up a Fluval Spec 5 for myself. Each tank has a single betta fish and several plants (2 for the Spec 3's, 4 for the Spec 5). The Spec 5 and one of the Spec 3's have been pretty good without much algae, though it's early yet. Obviously, this is going to be a never-ending crusade of maintenance and upkeep. However, my son's tank has had a fairly strong presence of green hair algae on the sand and rock here in the early days, and some brown algae on the glass.

The tanks are still cycling, if they've even really started, that is...

Cleaning the glass isn't a big deal, but what do you all suggest as the best way to tackle the rock? A scrub didn't result in much progress, so I was thinking maybe removing it and doing a bleach solution bath? For the plants that have some on their leaves I was thinking maybe just rub it off in the tank, since I'm still trying to get them set up. I'd like to avoid killing any beneficial bacteria.

Thoughts?

Btw, I have attached a few pictures of the tank in question. Both Spec 3's are going on three weeks old, and the Spec 5 is going on two.

Thanks for all of your help!

20180421_193522993_iOS.jpg 20180421_193526096_iOS.jpg 20180421_193528465_iOS.jpg 20180421_193541377_iOS.jpg 20180421_193548483_iOS.jpg
 

qchris87

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Welcome to Fishlore!

How long are your lights on?
My gf has the same tank and we reduced the lighting split to 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening using a timer. It reduced algae growth to nearly non-existent. The single nerite snail eats the rest.
 
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Welcome to Fishlore!

How long are your lights on?
My gf has the same tank and we reduced the lighting split to 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening using a timer. It reduced algae growth to nearly non-existent. The single nerite snail eats the rest.
Thanks for the welcome! Lights are on 2 hours in the morning before they’re off to school, then 5 in the afternoon turning off when they go to bed. I’m using timers as well.

Maybe I’ll try cutting them back, though.
 

Mom2some

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Welcome. Very pretty tanks!
Another vote for starting with decreased lighting to combat the algae.
 

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I've always had algae in new tanks, sometimes with explosive growth, but it goes away later. A toothbrush may get it off the rocks for you though
 
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Welcome. Very pretty tanks!
Another vote for starting with decreased lighting to combat the algae.
Thanks for the kind words! I’m definitely turning the lights back, hopefully it will help.
 

TexasGuppy

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It could be your tap water has phosphates in it or other food for the algae. If it doesn't go away, you could either mix in 50 spring/distilled/RO-DI or go 100% but adding back good minerals with SeaChem Equalibrium. They are such small tanks, it shouldn't cost that much once up and going.

edit: just looked closer at the photos.. looks like brown algae.. usually, those go away on their own after a few months. Try to get it out of the water when you do clean. I clean my white rock under tap water which gets it pretty clean and removes the algae from the tank. They feed off silicates so you try to get them out of the tank each time. However, some people have high silicates in their tap water and it can go on over a year.. Again, distilled or RO/DI would be the only easy option at that point.
 

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In one of my tanks I used to get crazy algae grow in literally a couple of days, I decided to ‘turn down the light’ by covering it with clear tape and colouring it with a black board marker pen and it dimmed the light enough to still have it on for 10 hours straight and not grow any algae on the glass
 
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