Can't get rid of algae

ZZMak

I have a 15 gallon eel tank that I set up about 2 weeks ago. It has a couple of plants, some snails, and then my one 8 inch American eel. The tank is out of direct sunlight, the light is only on for ten hours maximum (to let the plants grow), and there isn't an ammonia issue either. My eel only eats once every few days and other than the snails, she's the only inhabitant. But after only a few days I started getting algae blooms. Now this in itself isn't an issue, but it's only been three days and a few small patches has literally turned into an algae carpet. It looks terrible, and I don't know how to get rid of it. I've been doing water changes and trying to clean it off, but it seems to grow back within hours. What should I do, and what's causing this? I've never had algae grow this quickly in any other tanks. Is there some sort of product I could use to get rid of it? It has to be eel-safe though (no copper, sensitive).
al.jpg
 

ZZMak

It's possible she won't. Technically eel are supposed to eat almost all living things, including invertebrates. However, mine is a very picky eater so I doubt she actually would bother them. Will they really be able to control the algae? How many would you recommend?
 
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pagoda

Personally I would drop the lighting to a max of 8 hours.

You stated it was set up 2 weeks ago....have you done the full cycle before introducing the eel, what are you using to test the water? whats the feeding routine/amount given? whats your maintenance routine?

Algae doesn't only need light to appear, it can be nutrient overload from uneaten food, too much ferts for the plants, water quality issues....
 
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TheAnglerAquarist

I’d start with 5-8 but I’m not an expert
 
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ZZMak

Yes, sorry, I meant that I'd only moved her in it for about two weeks. It had been running for three weeks before that with no lighting or plants or anything. I use those test strips to keep track of the water levels. There isn't any ammonia though, and that's because I only feed her once or twice a week, and she eats everything I give her during feeding. That's why I'm so confused as to what caused the sudden outbreak. I have several other tanks that are lit for the same period of time with far more inhabitants, but no algae issues like this tank.
 
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TheAnglerAquarist

Yes, sorry, I meant that I'd only moved her in it for about two weeks. It had been running for three weeks before that with no lighting or plants or anything. I use those test strips to keep track of the water levels. There isn't any ammonia though, and that's because I only feed her once or twice a week, and she eats everything I give her during feeding. That's why I'm so confused as to what caused the sudden outbreak. I have several other tanks that are lit for the same period of time with far more inhabitants, but no algae issues like this tank.
Is it cycled though?
 
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ZZMak

Yes. I also added 25% of healthy bacterial water from another tank when I started cycling it, and waited three weeks to put my eel in. She's been living in it for two weeks.
 
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TheAnglerAquarist

Yes. I also added 25% of healthy bacterial water from another tank when I started cycling it, and waited three weeks to put my eel in. She's been living in it for two weeks.
Great
 
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Freshfishguy

Yes. I also added 25% of healthy bacterial water from another tank when I started cycling it, and waited three weeks to put my eel in. She's been living in it for two weeks.
Yeah I think you have the lights on for too long with not enough plants to outcompete the algae. In a newly set up tank, it’s not bad practice to only have the lights on for 6 hours. Do you dose any fertilizers for the plants? Also, like richiep said, you have a lot of diatoms (brown algae) which is normal and very common before the tank has become more established.
 
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richiep

There looks to be a lot of Diatoms in there which is natural in a new tank
 
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ZZMak

I haven't added any fertilizers. If I add more plants will it help? Will it go away eventually?
 
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MacZ

So the tank is set up for a bit over a month? It's absolutely normal to have algae at that stage, when the tank reaches biological balance the algae will be long gone.

Until then:
- check the waterquality, especially nitrates. Do that for your tapwater too (just a precaution) and if the tank has over 20 mg/l (=ppm) of nitrates do generous waterchanges.
- reduce lighting to 6 hours and see if that does anything
- check your water provider's water analysis for silicates (high levels promote diatome growth)
 
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ZZMak

Ok, I'll do that! I'm glad to know that this is normal for a new tank.
 
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FishareFriends6

Technically moving water from an established tank isn’t how you cycle it, it will just help with the required nutrients to start the 2nd and 3rd stage.

That looks brown, so I’m thinking diatom algae, which is perfectly normal in a newish tank.

The light looks quite bright and close to the tank. As others have said 5-8 hours of light will help reduce, or at least slow down, the annoying algae.

Maybe get some floating plants to help with lighting? Nerite snails will help but I haven’t got a clue about eels and their diet, so that may be a no no.
 
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MacZ

You are aware the thread is several months old and the OP hasn't been online since May?
 
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