Half Year Update. Pretty Bad Algae Problem

Avectasi

Member
So within the months I’ve had my 29 gallon tank with 1 betta 5 neon tetras and 6 black tetras doing well. One of my neons died awhile ago due to being stuck in the sponge filter. But what the problem is the algae I have spreads very quickly which I’m not sure if it harms the fish but they seem fine but as the looks for the tank doesn’t seem pretty. The glass gets covered easily. Not sure if magnetic sponges help but sometimes they scrape it off but the sponge leaves a pretty bad poop smell

I recently gave it a weekly water change. I change around 4-5 gallos of 29 gallons in the tank weekly. Though every time if I try to clean or add water all the algae starts flying everywhere making it look very bad meanwhile the tetras are trying to eat it lol.

is there a way that will stop the growing? Here’s are some pictures I took on how it looks. It grows on my rocks giving out air bubbles inside. But you can tell its a pretty bad algae in the tank.
 

OhDaniGirl

Member
Have you tried cutting back on your lighting? Or splitting it up? I have my tank lights on for 4 hours in the morning and 4 in the evening, and it helps keep the algae down.
 
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Avectasi

Member
OhDaniGirl said:
Have you tried cutting back on your lighting? Or splitting it up? I have my tank lights on for 4 hours in the morning and 4 in the evening, and it helps keep the algae down.
Hmm I haven’t tried that Ive used from the kit that was in. I have a timer though it goes off at 9am-7pm and what I can tell it’s pretty bright
 

Fahn

Member
First of all I would be changing 15 gallons of water weekly as you are currently changing out only about 15% when you should be doing 50%.

10 hours of light is excessive, cut it back to 6.

Manually remove as much algae as you can.

Feed your fish once a day every other day. This will cut back on waste.

Do you have live plants? Are you dosing any fertilizers?
 

OhDaniGirl

Member
I would start with cutting back on the hours of lighting, and see if that helps.
 
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Avectasi

Member

Fahn

Member
Avectasi said:
Should I do it now or wait until it’s settled since I recently changed it?
You can wait for it to settle.
 
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Avectasi

Member
Fahn said:
First of all I would be changing 15 gallons of water weekly as you are currently changing out only about 15% when you should be doing 50%.

10 hours of light is excessive, cut it back to 6.

Manually remove as much algae as you can.

Feed your fish once a day every other day. This will cut back on waste.

Do you have live plants? Are you dosing any fertilizers?
I’ll try to cut it back more thanks!

Should I get a sponge scraper at the local pet store to manually remove algae?

Ill try cutting it possible. I mostly feed them 1 feeding per day as flakes and pellets

I do have live plants but it’s been covered with algae which killed them so as now there’s not a lot as before. I don’t use fertilizer though I should’ve but I’ve used the liquid for plants I forgot what’s it called

Though as my bucket which only gets 5 gallons each time is a hassle which is probably too much for me. (Should’ve known before fish-keeping) I have the python water changer but the problem is that none of the sinks connect to it neither the adapters which is more of a problem...
 

Fahn

Member
The best tools to have in your arsenal for cleaning glass are a razor blade and Mr. Clean Magic erasers (I buy the generic Walmart brand). Combined there is nothing they can't scrub or scrape off.

Your algae was probably caused by a combination the following:
1) excessive amounts of light
2) not a high enough plantload to utilize that much light
3) plants were not getting fertilizers, so were easily outcompeted by algae
4) small, insufficient water changes allowed organics and nitrates to accumulate, fueling algae growth

How you can fix it:
1) manually remove as much algae as possible, siphon loose algae out with a hose
2) cut back on the feedings to every other day
3) reduce your lighting to 6 hours
4) do larger water changes of 50% weekly
5) also, while the algae is bad, do frequent small water changes of 5 gallons or less daily if you want
6) add fast growing stem plants*, and provide them with nutrients with fertilizers; NilocG Thrive is one of the best liquid fertilizers you can get
7) floating plants such as Salvinia or Amazon frogbit will filter your water and shade the plants underneath from excess light

*Ludwigia repens, Rotala indica, Hygrophila corymbosa, Bacopa caroliniana, Hydrocotyle tripartita, to name a few

Avectasi said:
Though as my bucket which only gets 5 gallons each time is a hassle which is probably too much for me. (Should’ve known before fish-keeping) I have the python water changer but the problem is that none of the sinks connect to it neither the adapters which is more of a problem...
Bruh

Try changing out a minimum of 25% on a 75 gallon saltwater, 50 gallon saltwater, 15 gallon saltwater, 2x 55 gallon freshwater, a 30 gallon freshwater, and a 5 gallon freshwater tank with just 2x 5 gallon buckets and a hose every weekend. And the distance between the water reservoir and the tanks was a good 70 feet.

Point is that if you want to keep your tanks clean and healthy, you have to be willing to put in the work.
 
  • Thread Starter

Avectasi

Member
Fahn said:
The best tools to have in your arsenal for cleaning glass are a razor blade and Mr. Clean Magic erasers (I buy the generic Walmart brand). Combined there is nothing they can't scrub or scrape off.

Your algae was probably caused by a combination the following:
1) excessive amounts of light
2) not a high enough plantload to utilize that much light
3) plants were not getting fertilizers, so were easily outcompeted by algae
4) small, insufficient water changes allowed organics and nitrates to accumulate, fueling algae growth

How you can fix it:
1) manually remove as much algae as possible, siphon loose algae out with a hose
2) cut back on the feedings to every other day
3) reduce your lighting to 6 hours
4) do larger water changes of 50% weekly
5) also, while the algae is bad, do frequent small water changes of 5 gallons or less daily if you want
6) add fast growing stem plants*, and provide them with nutrients with fertilizers; NilocG Thrive is one of the best liquid fertilizers you can get
7) floating plants such as Salvinia or Amazon frogbit will filter your water and shade the plants underneath from excess light

*Ludwigia repens, Rotala indica, Hygrophila corymbosa, Bacopa caroliniana, Hydrocotyle tripartita, to name a few



Bruh

Try changing out a minimum of 25% on a 75 gallon saltwater, 50 gallon saltwater, 15 gallon saltwater, 2x 55 gallon freshwater, a 30 gallon freshwater, and a 5 gallon freshwater tank with just 2x 5 gallon buckets and a hose every weekend. And the distance between the water reservoir and the tanks was a good 70 feet.

Point is that if you want to keep your tanks clean and healthy, you have to be willing to put in the work.
Darn pretty much a body builder lol. I’ll try doing most of it in this upcoming week. Thank you!
 

Dennis57

Member
Increase your water change to like 50% a week, feed your fish every other day only enough that they will eat within 2-3 minutes.
If you don't have live plants, keep lights on like 5-6 hours a day.
Buy either a Siamese algae eater and or some Nerite Snails.
 

TucanSam

Member
Do you have a hose hookup outside? Pythons will easily attach to that.
 
  • Thread Starter

Avectasi

Member
TucanSam said:
Do you have a hose hookup outside? Pythons will easily attach to that.
I do have a hose but I’m not sure if it’s too cold for the fish since I keep it in the 77s haven’t tried the temperature for it
 

Gavius

Member
I had pretty bad green hair algae problem like you but Seachem excel cleared them all in about 2 weeks. I skipped the loading dose but doubled the recommended daily dosage. It didnt seem to affect my cherry shrimps and fishes at all.
 
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Avectasi

Member
So an update for you guys,

I'm currently doing a large water change probably around 10 gals or more and trying my best to scrub all of the algae off the decor and plants.

The rocks are the most difficult since both are covered with but one is just stuck with algae so I’m not sure how should I take it out. After all the hard scrubbing with the Mr Clean eraser it sure turned very dark green. I try to vacuum most of the algae out but there is A TON of small algae floating around the vacuum does little job for sucking it up. Not sure how should I take out the rest of the floating algae so tips are welcome!

By vacuum I meant siphon...
 

kallililly1973

Member
Everyone set you on the right track. You can take some polyfill and use an elastic and attach it to your intake then before you remove it put a net under it so it grabs a large amount of it. Keep up with 50% WC's and testing your parameters and manual removal of any excessive algae you see and you will be good to go.
 

Fahn

Member
If the algae on the rocks is stubborn, take a steel wire brush and give them a good scrub.
 

Oarngesi

Member
Green nerite snails will take care of the algae throw about 15 in and you’ll be golden
 
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Avectasi

Member
Oarngesi said:
Green nerite snails will take care of the algae throw about 15 in and you’ll be golden
15 looks intimidating. Don’t snails produce a lot of waste?

Also this how it looks now. Much visible but yet a lot of floating specks of algae. I’ll try to get another test kit I’ve lost my paper plus one of the glass tubes broke.. Right now I don’t have enough to get the stuff I need maybe in the upcoming week
 

Fahn

Member
Avectasi said:
15 looks intimidating. Don’t snails produce a lot of waste?
They convert algae to poop. Lots of it, which contributes to more algae if you don't have lots of plants to break the waste down.

A few nerites are fine though, but I wouldn't do more than 5.
 
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Avectasi

Member
Fahn said:
They convert algae to poop. Lots of it, which contributes to more algae if you don't have lots of plants to break the waste down.

A few nerites are fine though, but I wouldn't do more than 5.
I’ll think on that. I do have a ramshorn that I didn’t knew where he came from but he’s still there eating some of the algae from the streak marks he make
 

Dennis57

Member
Again ( I posted a few days ago ) a few nerite snail (3) there cheap and 1 Siamese algae eater within 1-2 weeks the tank will be like new
 
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Avectasi

Member
Dennis57 said:
Again ( I posted a few days ago ) a few nerite snail (3) there cheap and 1 Siamese algae eater within 1-2 weeks the tank will be like new
I’ll probably will be purchasing these in the next week hopefully. My LFS does sell nerites but I’m not sure if they have algae eaters
 

Oarngesi

Member
Up the water change add the snails and test your levels you’ll be fine
 

Burnout1620

Member
As far as the snails go, keep in mind that once they clear the algae you’ll need to provide food for them. They aren’t fast so if your other tank inhabitants take a liking to their food you could have a problem there. It might be better to first attempt to find out what imbalance in your water is contributing to your algae outbreaks.

Do you know how much nitrate is in your tap water? If it’s high to begin with you could be fighting a never ending battle.
 

GillCintonsMom

Member
We're trying some Purigen by Seachem recommended to us by our local fish store, we have a little algae problem as well but not quite as prominent. (I'll let you know how it works out, we put it in tonight)

Where is your tank located? Is it by any windows that get lots of light?
 
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Avectasi

Member
Okay I’m about to check if they have algae eaters in stock. I did some research and other people’s experiences they say they’re aggressive and will outgrow my 29gal?
 

yinoma2001

Member
I got 3 OTOs and they cleaned all my algae off in a weekend (and continue to do so). Amazing and they are small. However, they are a crapshoot as some are badly starved by the time they reach the LFS and they really subsist mostly on algae.
 
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Avectasi

Member
yinoma2001 said:
I got 3 OTOs and they cleaned all my algae off in a weekend (and continue to do so). Amazing and they are small. However, they are a crapshoot as some are badly starved by the time they reach the LFS and they really subsist mostly on algae.
I was about to say “otocinclus rg” my LFS sell these and don’t have Chinese algae eater in stock should I get these?
 

yinoma2001

Member
Avectasi said:
I was about to say “otocinclus rg” my LFS sell these and don’t have Chinese algae eater in stock should I get these?
I would recommend it. They are small, and they are relentless algae cleaners. My plants had a bit of brown and green algae...gone. They clean the glass and even the biofilm on my driftwood. Just awesome. Look for ones that have plumper stomachs. Do not get ones with sunken in stomachs as they will die.
 

Fahn

Member
Avectasi said:
Okay I’m about to check if they have algae eaters in stock. I did some research and other people’s experiences they say they’re aggressive and will outgrow my 29gal?
Do not get Chinese algae eaters!!
 
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Avectasi

Member
Fahn said:
Do not get Chinese algae eaters!!
So OTOS are a better option?
 

Fahn

Member
Avectasi said:
So OTOS are a better option?
Yes, much better, especially if your nitrates are low.

CAEs get a foot long and aggressive, they stop eating algae and instead suck the slime coats off other fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

Avectasi

Member
Fahn said:
Yes, much better, especially if your nitrates are low.

CAEs get a foot long and aggressive, they stop eating algae and instead suck the slime coats off other fish.
Alright. I got 3 of these and are in process of introducing to the tank. I also bought floating plants. Floating lettuce that might help with the shade
 

yinoma2001

Member
Avectasi said:
Alright. I got 3 of these and are in process of introducing to the tank. I also bought floating plants. Floating lettuce that might help with the shade
Nice. Keep us posted. Honestly, they were 1.99 each and they've already done more for my tank than any other fish to clean up stuff.
 

Tol

Member
Otos are great. Siamese Algae Eater is the one someone was recommending. They are peaceful, max out around 6 inches and continue to algae their whole life. Stores sometimes label CAE as SAE or vice versa. You can look at pics online to know the difference. Otos should do just fine. They won't really eat hair algae or BBA. They generally will eat diatoms and soft green algae though. If you run out of algae you can suppliment with blanched zucchinI or algae wafers.
 
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Avectasi

Member
Hello again! Everything is going great for now what I can tell. I’ve added some java moss and plants for my shrimp.

I have a question about the dwarf suckers (octos)..
How do you feed them? Since they mostly stick to the glass is there a way to know if they’re being fed well since my algae is pretty going away but also preparing for when it’s gone.

I saw someone said give them algae wafers I could try but the problem is my tetras scavenge everything they see that floats and probably fits in their mouth. I tried with my past shrimps it starts to make particles and then for a while the tetras are fighting at it who gets the larger water piece.

Advice on how to feed otos?
 

kallililly1973

Member
You can try small pieces of ZucchinI or Algae Wafers and sometimes they will go for it. But they will usually find their meals on your glass and plants and decorations or driftwood and as long as it looks like they have a nice little round belly their doing just fine.
 
  • Thread Starter

Avectasi

Member
kallililly1973 said:
You can try small pieces of ZucchinI or Algae Wafers and sometimes they will go for it. But they will usually find their meals on your glass and plants and decorations or driftwood and as long as it looks like they have a nice little round belly their doing just fine.
I snap these recently on how they’re doing if this means anything that they’re being fed (Yes the filter is filled with duckweed I try to keep it away from it)
 

yinoma2001

Member
Ironically I leave the lights on a bit longer to grow...algae for the Otos to eat. They are plump and happy.
 
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Avectasi

Member
Hmm just for an update the octos didn’t survive

Not sure what was the cause yet, there were still algae around so it may be something on the water. I might need to buy another test kit. I had also some ghost shrimp but they always seem to die more quickly. I don’t do the drip method but as it may seem bad for not doing they had a pretty long time surviving. My rest of my tetras and betta are doing fine! Though my betta seems to hide most of the time and gets out only for feeding session.

I also bought a blade scrapper for tough algae spots that works well!
 

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