I go away for a week and...

  • #1
So I set up my new planted tank right before I went on a week-long vacation. Bad idea! Very bad idea! I come back, and there's so much algae, I've never ever seen that much before. It's on everything, even the outside of my filter! My hornwort, which was closest to the light, was completely smothered by it, and appears to have died. My amazon sword and val are wilting, and my anubias is looking more brown than green. And the algae! The glass is completely covered in brown spots of it, and under the light, there's strings of green algae hanging off everything!

I can only conclude that it's the light. Is a 15 watt fluorescent with a 7 gallon just too much? What can I do to tone it down a bit, other than getting a new bulb? Also, how far away should the light be from the water?
  • #2
was the light on the whole time? I suggest lowing the time the light are on to about 8 hours for a while . If you are dosing ferts cut back
  • #3
Sorry that you are having issues. Did you have the lights set up to a timer? How long are the lights on for? The brown spots sounds like diatoms which is fairly common in new tanks and usually clears up on its own. Any fertilizers being added to the tank? The green algae is it ling and stringy? I had what I am fairly sure was hair algae growing in the roots of my floating plants. I manually removed the worst of it. After that I took the floating plants out and put them into a bucket of water that I had mixed hydrogen peroxide into, a couple of ml to a gallon of water if I remember correctlty. Did a short bath and placed them into a bucket of clean water. At this time it seemed to do the trick. I have also heard of people spot treating with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is safe for fish since it will break down into oxygen and water.

If the lights seem to be too bright you can use window sreening to help diffuse the light some.
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  • #4
I just had my father turn them on when he woke up and turn them off when he went to bed. So 14-15 hours I assume. He probably forgot to turn it off on most days though so that might've been part of the problem. I wasn't doing ferts but I was adding fish food every few days to keep my cycle going from when I had fish in the tank before. However that probably all turned into algae food...and it didn't work anyway, because I'm still not getting nitrate readings.

The algae took about 30 seconds to wipe up, now my glass is looking clean and sparkly. However, when I tried to pull out my hornwort it completely disintegrated, so I've been siphoning up needles for the past hour or so. Never buying hornwort again...

My light was about an inch from the tank which was probably too close, so I moved it to about 3 inches away. I also will leave the light on for 8 hours a day for now. If the problems persist, I can always try that screen thing
  • #5
Do NOT use potassium permanganate if you have any fish, snails, etc, in the tank as it's extremely toxic and can kill your fish even when following instructions for medicating. It will also destroy your bio filter. I reserve it for tear downs and delousing new plants. You can put your plants in a bucket with 1 gal water and 1/4 tsp potassium permanganate for 10 min, then add Prime to neutralize it. Rinse with dechlorinated water.
  • #6
please take out ur hornwort.... you will regret it dearly.. I know I did... the mess, the mess, the mess.. that's all I can say. algaes easy to fix clean it by hand or get a couple of mollies.. problem solved.

I have a pond... I put 4 bumble bee mollies, 2 balloon mollies, and a fantail molly. algae problem solved.
but now I have multiple hybrids lol.. they look so cool!!!!
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I did remove the hornwort, but there's still bits of it floating around the water...lol.

Alas I can't get mollies because I've got a tiny little tank and they need 20+ gallons. I used to keep them but the tank ended up being overstocked and I had to rehome all of them.

I'm thinking for algae though either an oto or, if I can find one, a nerite snail. The snail might be a better choice for a small tank but the top has got great big gaps in it, and they're known for climbing out of the tank I've read? Which one would be overall a better choice? I'm also planning on RCS but I doubt they'll make much of a dent in the algae..
  • #8
In terms of the snail problem I would recommend some Assassin snails. I had a huge snail outbreak and bought 5 babies off of eBay. In 3 days, 0 snails!

EDIT: OMG! Why did I think there were snails in there? Total mind blank. I was confusing you with another post. Sorry!!!

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