How do I clean this?

Ted B

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Alright, I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but I've recently kinda let my 20g's maintenance slide, since it manages to stay out of my vision most of the time. It's currently covered in algae, and I need to kill this pretty quickly.

The thing is, I'm trying to get the algae to go away w/o resorting to chemicals that'll kill my snails (I'm not to worried about the ghost shrimp, I've been meaning to feed them to my cichlids for the last month anyways).

Does anyone have any ideas for how to get rid of all teh algae, without killing inverts or the BB?
 

Teleost

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What else is in it?

It's only a small tank. If there's nothing special (which is how I read your OP), break it down and start again. Your filter media will be fine for a few hours as long as it's kept wet. Your snails will survive fine in a bucket.

Otherwise, remove any driftwood/ornaments for external cleaning. Get a nylon scourer and scrub the glass. Do a large water change and vacuum the substrate. Run your filter until the tank clears then replace your fine media and rinse the coarse. Wait for a couple of days and then repeat. Do this until you're happy.

***!!!!*** Before you do this, check your nitrates. If they're way high, smaller water changes until they're down to a reasonable level is the way to go. Check out old tank syndrome.
 

endlercollector

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Do you have a gravel substrate in this tank? Is it also affected by the algae? It's just that this happened to me in a couple of 10 gallons when I was very sick for a while and got behind in my maintenance. I could get all the algae off the plants and walls, but then it would start up again in the gravel. After fighting this for a year in both, I did finally opt for potassium permangante. I know you don't want chemicals, but this did seem like the least problematic way to do it.

I put everyone in a bucket with a heater and removed the filter cartridges, keeping them damp. I put sponges in the filter, then ran potassium permanagate through the tank, stirring up the gravel. What a mess. After a half hour, I put in Prime, letting and ran it till the water cleared up. I did an 80% water change. It did settle down the algae problem.

Let us know what you end up doing and how it goes.
 
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Ted B

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Yeah, it's managed to pretty much coat my gravel at this point. I don't really have anywhere to store my littlest nightmares, but I'll try to find a clean bucket and maybe I'll use my chemicals. I'm thinking about a way to move the tank to where I can see it much easier, which will help make me keep up with the cleaning.

On a similar note, what is a nylon scorer?
 

psalm18.2

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I can relate. My own tank has some green rocks from recent neglect. I'm pretending it's a green carpet.
 

platy21

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You could always try keeping the light off and covering the tank with a black towel. Just be sure to keep up with water changes, as the dying algae will pollute the water.

I had really bad black algae in my 29 gallon a few years ago, and this worked pretty well. Had to do a lot of scrubbing though to get the most stubborn areas clean. Of course my tank was highly populated, so starting over wasn't an option.

Good luck!
 
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