Cleaning fake plants

Hjwhits

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I have a ten gallon with 4 glo fish
We are having quite the algae outbreak and I am wanting to clean the 4 fake plants we have in the tank. I'm worried about disturbing the gravel and spiking the ammonia. Also wondering how we clean them once we get them about. I read bleach solution but that sounds terrifying.
any tips for beating the algae also appreciated!
 

Demeter

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Messing with the gravel shouldn't cause an ammonia spike unless the gravel bed is thick and full of crud. Just do a good gravel vac when doing a water change and remove the fake plants then. Rinse them under hot water while giving them a scrub. I see no point in trying to kill the algae on the fake plants when it is likely to grow again by being placed back in the tank.

As for the algae outbreak, keeping the lights off for a few days should help along with water changes and manual removal. After that just keep up on weekly water changes, make sure the nitrates stay below 30, and don't keep the lights on for more than ~8hrs.
 

Briggs

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A new toothbrush and some elbow grease in tap water should do the trick. Like Demeter said, there isn't much point in sterilizing them when you're just going to put them back in the tank where there will be trace amounts of the algae in the gravel and water column.

If you don't have one, I'd grab a timer you can put the lights on. They aren't very expensive, and can help a lot in controlling algae.
 

Cgtoxic

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if you are going to use bleach to kill the algae, make sure you rinse it after.
 

GlennO

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If I've got the time and patience I rub the algae off the leaves with my fingers. Doesn't take too much effort to get most of it off. Plants with large leaves are the easiest. Otherwise, a dunk for 20min in bleach followed by thorough rinsing and drying in the sun. A drawback with this is that repeated bleaching can cause plastic plants to lose some of their colour.
 

Deku-Cory

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It depends on the type of algae. Something that comes off easily, such as diatoms, can be cleaned with a toothbrush and a scrubbing pad. With difficult to remove algae like black beard, I usually work on it in the sink until I give up and put it in a bleach solution. After the bleach has done its job, I usually do two rounds of rinsing thoroughly and letting the decor sit in clean water for a while to make absolutely certain the bleach is gone. You can somewhat tell by feel. Bleach feels slippery, so if your decor feels at all slippery, it means there's still bleach residue.
 

kallililly1973

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Remove the plants and get a bucket of hot hot hot lava hot water and pour in some h2o2 it’ll fizzle and kill the algae which will turn it like a pink red color then it should be a breeze to remove
 

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