10 Gallon Tank Algae Vs Plants (Root Tab)

KeegansTropiks
  • #1
Good afternoon all, with exams and assignments I have skipped almost a month of water changes and maintenance on both my tanks. I usually do 40% water change every 2 weeks.

The problem is that I am scared to clean my 12 gallon community because of my otocinclus catfish. I started off with 4 a year and a half ago and slowly they all died except for one. I find them to be very picky eaters and my survivor who I had for almost 2 years is very fat and healthy and eats cucumbers that I add to the tank now and again.

Long story short the tank is filthy with both side walls covered in algae however I’ve read that they need multiple sources of food so I don’t want to clean it and have the fish starve himself to death. Should I leave the tank to be dirty and just do water changes or try and clean the algae and hope the Oto still eats other sources of food such as my back glass which also has algae?

Additionally, my 8 gallon betta tank is also dirty, but this tank I’m having problems with plants. The plants leaves seem to be melting away, I assume it’s because of lack of nutrients since the only stock is a betta and an Amano shrimp. I’ve added Liquid fertilisers ( Excel flourish) but still have plants dying and instead the algae is using the extra nutrients. Im tempted to add root tabs because most of the plants are root feeders but again I fear adding tabs will just add more food for the algae.
PS- Both tanks have automatic timers set for 7-8 hours a day.

Will add Photos so you guys can see what I’m dealing with !

Fish are all healthy and active, it’s just the algae and plant issues. Any feedback is app
 

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Itiwhetu
  • #2
Whatever happens in life you must find the time to water change your tanks, fish tanks need to have regular maintenance. If you are going to have aquariums, then you have to look after them.
What are you thinking in terms of bringing them back to life, what do you think you need to do?
 

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KeegansTropiks
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Yeah I understand that, my tanks are under stocked and have real plants to remove access nitrate. It’s just the visual appeal.

One of them has too much algae in which I can remove it but risk my otocinclus health.

The other tank has melting plants so I’m not sure if I should add root tabs to help or if it will promote algae.
 
aquanata
  • #4
Yeah I understand that, my tanks are under stocked and have real plants to remove access nitrate. It’s just the visual appeal.

One of them has too much algae in which I can remove it but risk my otocinclus health.

The other tank has melting plants so I’m not sure if I should add root tabs to help or if it will promote algae.
I believe wholeheartedly in snails & forgiveness for oneself when life overwhelms, your tanks look a mess but your fish are healthy. Think of it this way. You're really good at growing algae - you have a green thumb! From time to time I'm a master algae grower too. I think we all are.

A nerite snail can clean up the 10 gallon as much as you want it cleaned in a few days & being a fairly large snail, will likely be safe from your betta. I'd put him in the Otto's tank till you're happy with the algae that's left, then transfer him to betta tank to work there. Their eggs, if it's a female, won't hatch in freshwater.

If you're actually good with snails reproducing tho, you can add the rapidly reproductive bladder or ramshorn snail to your betta tank. Free at most fish stores. Small snails make nice prey for bettas inclined to hunt, won't bother the amano, stir up substrate & gobble algae & melted plant leaves.

I kinda go against common advice to cut light & nutrients to eliminate algae. What's worked for me has been root tabs (even in my dirted tanks), very occasional fluorish comprehensive (not excel), & snails. If the plants regain health & thrive, they'll outcompete the algae in my experience.

To help the plants along, cut melted leaves back to the base so the plant isn't struggling to save them & can focus on new leaves. Use a clean toothbrush to twirl up hair algae & lightly brush off leaves you can reach. Puff algae that will budge off plants with a turkey baster. The algae is likely reducing the plants' ability to photosynthesize. Remove the floating stuff you've cut off & do a 50% water change.

Then clap. You did good & it's off your list of anxiety provoking stuff it's been impossible to get to. Good luck & hope it helps.
 
ruud
  • #5
I would not say it looks a mess. Nature is not a big Amano tank either.

There are a few odd things from a planted tank perspective perhaps. Any planted tank does better with CO2. Like me, I prefer not using any pressurised system. Which means you need to adjust the rest of your approach also.

Because non-experienced hobbyists don't do this, they'll see their plants struggle more sooner than later, and try to adjust things. The adjusting in most cases implies more technology, more interventions. Which likely does even more harm than good. Plants will struggle even more.

Because of this, the plant's defensive mechanism go down and plants start to leach food for algae. Plants leach photosynthetic byproducts always, but I refer to metabolites from decaying plant matter. Algae love it.

So you can correct a few things, but the core problem of your tank is just not right. You either need to increase CO2 levels (I believe even the Anubias in the bottom is longing for it, which tells you something...), or adjust the rest of your approach:
  • such as the intensity of the light (not necessarily the duration)
  • stop fertilizing for weeks or months; nutrient intake depends on CO2... which is very low in your tank
  • besides, most likely, all minerals and trace elements, comes from waste and water changes; if you lower your technology and interventions, the tank finds a different pace; less water changes should then not be a problem either.
  • critically re-value the application of your heater (I know a lot of fish prefer it a little warmer, such as the betta, so it might not be feasible to do anything about it),
  • and take out the dead plant parts (which is algae food); in healthy no/low planted tanks, you might leave it in, but for now, let's say, it is out of scope of this thread.

For planted tanks, especially non-CO2 injected, in some future, perhaps use shallow tanks instead of tall "design" tanks. Both in terms of gas concentrations and sake of maintenance, it is going to make a difference.

PS I don't get the use of your aquasoil either. Sure, minerals in the soil find their way in the water column, but it is a little difficult to regulate (any idea how much today or 3 months from now?).
 
MacZ
  • #6
I'm only referring to the first tank.
Fish are all healthy and active, it’s just the algae and plant issues. Any feedback is app
The algae actually give the tank character. Just keep cleaning the front glass.

And it's expected. Soil substrate and only one (obviously thriving) plant planted in it, the rest undemanding, slow-growing epiphytes. As ruud says, it leaches a lot of nutrients to the water column. But there is not much that uses them.
One of them has too much algae in which I can remove it but risk my otocinclus health.
So it doesn't have too much algae. The animal's needs have priority.
 

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