Help Finding It Difficult To Control Algae

Bj259

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I have a 105 litre (27 gallon) tank containing plattys, Cory’s, angels and 2 bristle nose.
Had no problems with the tank at all except for the last 6 weeks I’ve had algae on the pebbles and fake plants! I’m cleaning the pebbles every other day and do a 20% water change every week. Two weeks ago I did a big water change, probably about 80% and it didn’t work. All the levels in my tank are perfect. The algae seems never ending. I’ve attached a photo of what it looks like when it’s been cleaned and photos of the algae. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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CaptainAquatics

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I have a 105 litre (27 gallon) tank containing plattys, Cory’s, angels and 2 bristle nose.
Had no problems with the tank at all except for the last 6 weeks I’ve had algae on the pebbles and fake plants! I’m cleaning the pebbles every other day and do a 20% water change every week. Two weeks ago I did a big water change, probably about 80% and it didn’t work. All the levels in my tank are perfect. The algae seems never ending. I’ve attached a photo of what it looks like when it’s been cleaned and photos of the algae. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Get some ottocinclus. They will take care of that in a week. They complete rid my tank of algae in two days. They are fragile but should be fine with your other fish.
 

kallililly1973

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Getting a cleaning crew is a good start but at the same time it’s good to find out why it happened in the first place. Lights on too long.. should do about 8 hours. Live plants will help out compete the algae by taking nutrients from the water plant moderately to heavily . Good water flow can help so the algae doesn’t have any dead spots to rest and reproduce.. just a couple thoughts to start with
 
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Bj259

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Thanks guys, my tank was completely planted. No fake plants at all but the algae got so bad I took them out as the plants were covered! I’ll look into getting the fish you recommended and once I’m all clear I’m hoping to get the tank planted again.
 

BillCNC

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Algae is a product of two thing's, ... To much light AND to much nutrient's in the water.

This WILL Temporarily solve the problem until you find the balance of those two thing's

1). Cut down on the amount of food given per feeding. This is causing the high nutrient level's.
2). Reduce your light to 6 hour's a day or less if you have a naturally lighted room with lot's of window's or the tank is near one.
3). Add living plant that are known to consume high levels of Nitrate's and Potassium. They out-compete the Algae and starves it.
4). Double your water changes to rid the tank of nitrogen.

There are quite a few Youtube video's on the subject of getting rid of algae. Try watching a few of them from the usual big fish Youtube people and it will all fall into place.

The biggest mistake made by fish keeper's is they are only concentrating on keeping the fish alive and is wrong way to look at it. Don't worry about any of your fish unless their some specialty fish known to be problematic. The key is to keep the tank alive, if you do that, ... Naturally the fish will be healthy because of that.

Regards
Bill
 
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Bj259

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Thanks for your advice.

the lights are on a 6 hour timer and the tank isn’t in direct sunlight.
I feed the fish once a day, every other day.
I’ll look into plants, any you can recommend that will do the job?
 

BillCNC

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Captianaquatics,

Actually Oto's are tough little bugger's once established. The problem is you have to get them established.

The reason they have a high death rate is they stave to death before they have a chance.

This is how it happens:

Most Oto's are wild caught and need algae to feed.

Caught = No Food
Sent to shipper to be re-bagged = No Food
Sent to destination country Custom's = No Food
Sent to Importer and re bagged = No Food
Sent to LFS who has clean his tank's = No Food
Sold to you and you have a clean tank = No Food
DEAD FISH

Since they are wild caught they will not eat anything except natural algae so prepared food's are useless. The only way to bring them in with a high success rate is to set up a tank 2 month ahead of time for the Diatom Algae to grow or to get an Algae bloom going for them to go right into. It is ALSO important to only pick fish with the biggest bellies, if they are sunken in, ... it's already a dead fish it just hasn't stopped swimming yet, ... but it will die.

They are one fish that can have a dirty tank within reason with constant CLEAN WATER In my tanks with Oto's, I never clean any surfaces, Only gravel vac and water changes.

Regards
Bill
 

BillCNC

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Thanks for your advice.

the lights are on a 6 hour timer and the tank isn't in direct sunlight.
I feed the fish once a day, every other day.
I’ll look into plants, any you can recommend that will do the job?
Cut the light to 4-5 hr's per day or 6 hrs every other day. The fish don't need the light only plant's do.

Pathos or Sweet Potato's work best. There is a lot of information is on Youtube regarding both plant's. I use them both myself and have no issues with Algae at all.

If your having Algae and your light is on for 6 hrs a day and your feeding every other day your getting nutrients from somewhere else. What substrate are you using and what decorations are inside the tank?

Regards
Bill
 

Wraithen

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Too much nutrients is a myth in a planted tank, within reason. I'm willing to bet your water changes aren't enough. What is your "perfect" level of nitrates? When your nutrients are out of balance, that is when algae strikes. Usually when you're missing an important nutrient so the plant stops uptake and algae takes advantage. Now you have no plants, so the issue is likely much worse.

Lighting every other day may help, but I doubt it. You likely need to do a few large water changes back to back, get your nitrates and phosphates down, then add plants back.

Conversely, you can just do a blackout and buy stock in excel and dose it every other day. It's better and cheaper to figure out exactly what's going on though.
 
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Bj259

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Cut the light to 4-5 hr's per day or 6 hrs every other day. The fish don't need the light only plant's do.

Pathos or Sweet Potato's work best. There is a lot of information is on Youtube regarding both plant's. I use them both myself and have no issues with Algae at all.

If your having Algae and your light is on for 6 hrs a day and your feeding every other day your getting nutrients from somewhere else. What substrate are you using and what decorations are inside the tank?

Regards
Bill
I’ve used aquarium gravel, I have a selection of caves and fake plants. My tank was fully planted but the algae got too bad and overtook the real plants
 
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Bj259

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Too much nutrients is a myth in a planted tank, within reason. I'm willing to bet your water changes aren't enough. What is your "perfect" level of nitrates? When your nutrients are out of balance, that is when algae strikes. Usually when you're missing an important nutrient so the plant stops uptake and algae takes advantage. Now you have no plants, so the issue is likely much worse.

Lighting every other day may help, but I doubt it. You likely need to do a few large water changes back to back, get your nitrates and phosphates down, then add plants back.

Conversely, you can just do a blackout and buy stock in excel and dose it every other day. It's better and cheaper to figure out exactly what's going on though.
Just done a water test:

No3: 0
No2: 0
GH: 14
Hardness: 125
KH:6
PH: 7.6
Cl2:0
 

BillCNC

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Some gravel and some pottery/caves might be leaching nutrient's into the water. Are these specifically made aquarium's or is this stuff you gathered up yourself?

I have a 75 gal with Tiles on the bottom. The tile has a extremely high level's of silica in them resulting in a tank that has a Diatom Algae growth like never seen before. Instead I chose to keep it and clean the glass and tile's off and filtering the water change to recover the Diatom Algae and I dry it out on cookie sheet's. I then scrape it up and use it to mix into my Repashy fish food. I took the problem and benefited from it.

regards
Bill
 

BillCNC

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Hmmm, After 2 day's you shouldn't be at 0 with no plant's unless you were way overfiltered and even still... To grow plan't well, you need a steady 20ppm.

What's the stocking?

Regards
Bill
 
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Bj259

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Hmmm, After 2 day's you shouldn't be at 0 with no plant's unless you were way overfiltered and even still... To grow plan't well, you need a steady 20ppm.

What's the stocking?

Regards
Bill
3 adult plattys 1 baby platty, 2 angel, 3 Cory’s, 2 bristle nose
 

Wraithen

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Your nitrate test is wrong. Likely a #2 bottle precipitated and wasn't shaken enough. The only other way would be if you had a stout anaerobic bacteria colony.
 

angelcraze

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I agree, water changes! More water changed out. Doing one large water change won't fix it. Get into a routine of removing more water at a time. I would aim for at least double like already suggested 40% each week.

Just curious, is there any odor to the algae? Like a odor that you don't recognize? Algae smells like dirt or plant matter.

How long after cleaning does the algae reappear? Does it take over quickly?
 
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