Algae & vacation feeders...?

  1. Jjc1243 Initiate Member

    Hello,

    Our 10 gallon tank is still struggling. We had platies and our Dwarf Gourami was charging at them so my son decided (with my influence) to return the platies. Pretty sure we had females or a mixture and I don't want livebearers.

    Anyhow, I'm still trying to get a grip on the tank health. I just did the paper dip stick test and pH was 6.0, NO2 at 0.5, NO3 at 20 ppm. I know it's not as accurate as a liquid test so I will be ordering one ASAP.

    I just did another water change - probably close to 50% because the gravel vacuum wasn't cooperating and kept getting clogged. I added 5ML water conditioner. The water is settling and looking a lot more clear. But, we have a lot of brownish algae growth that keeps coming back. I cleaned it off the glass sides with the magnetic scrubber but it's on the fake plants and the two decor items. What do I do about those? What is that a sign of?

    We have had to use vacation feeders for the past two weekends and unfortunately we have a 5 day trip ahead of us this week. I can ask a friend to stop by but we don't have someone set to come every day so I have a 7 day vacation feeder I was planning to use. We have one DG and three neon tetras in the tank now plus two moss balls.

    Also....I think we are leaving the light on too much. Could that be causing the algae? We left the light off for a weekend and the tetras did not look good when we got back. The light seemed to return them to their normal appearance. I'm going to look for a timer to use so it's not on 24/7 for a week. :-/

    Help!
     
  2. Peacefantasy Well Known Member Member

    Algae could be from a few things, but I think too much light is the most common reason. 6-8 hours of light should be adequate. I leave my lights on longer because I have live plants and snails that like to munch on the algae.

    As for vacation feeders, I have only heard horror stories, as they cause spikes in the water chemistry. Fish can go a long time without food. 5 days would be perfectly fine
     

  3. tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Like stated above, NEVER use vacation feeders. They constantly release food in the tank which causes an ammonia spike which can kill fish.
    Fish are more than fine up to 7 days without food.

    However, a good tip is to get a 7 day pill container and put the correct amount of food in each day. This way, anyone stopping in will not overfeed your fish.
    I suggest having the food prepared for the 1 day your friend can stop in.

    Also, do a large water change the day before and after your vacation of 40-50%.

    Unfortunately your tank is way too small for the dwarf gourami. If you need help with stocking feel free to post a new thread and we will be more than happy to help!
     
  4. PaulieWoz Member Member

    Agree with everything said above, also regarding the tetras and the light. They go pale when the lights are off. It's normal. When you turn the light on it usually takes a few minutes for them to get their color back.

    If you have no live plants I would just leave the light off while you are on vacation. As long as there is ambient light from the sun it won't mess with the fish's day/night cycle.

    But definitely get a timer to help with the algae. You can do a split photoperiod to have it on only when you are at home. For example you can turn it on in the morning and then again in the afternoon when everyone is back from school/work.