Immortal algae

Ericamb

I am a first time fish owner and kept my 20 gallon tank clean and fish alive for about 3 months. Then the algae started. I dosed with algae fix per instructions, vacuumed and tried several water changes. 50% of my fish died over 3 weeks and my water remained cloudy and green. When only 3 of my 18 fish remained, I surrendered them to the fish store, and decided to start over. I vacuumed out 20 gallons of forest green water. I added about 3 gallons, swished around the gravel and vacuumed again. I did this 6 times (18 gallons of water) before it was clear. I let the gravel and decor completely dry before refilling my tank. I washed my live plants thoroughly before adding back to the tank. I added water with conditioner and have had the filter going for 3 days. Once again there is algae growing on the gravel. Is the algae immortal or am I doing something wrong?
 

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BigManAquatics

Any snails to eat some of it?
 
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Ericamb

I have not tried snails, I was scared to get them because I have read that one snail can turn into 20 very quickly. Can I add them without the tank being cycled? And what kind do you recommend?
 
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JakeDfish

I recommend getting a UV sterilizer and some Nerite snails. The UV rays will get rid of your green water and the snails should clear up the gravel algae. The snails also don’t reproduce in freshwater so you should be fine.
 
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Cinabar

Out of curiosity, what your light schedule?

Algae eaters and sterilization will help control algae growth, but not root of the problem. That being said, don’t stress too much about it. Green algae is beneficial to aquariums in small doses as it sucks up ammonia like a sponge. I purposely let my outdoor tanks become almost opaque with green water for the fish. Only problem is that it’s ugly lol
 
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Ericamb

Before the algae I turned the lights on around 9am and off at 7pm but when the algae started I reduced this significantly. Maybe 12:30pm-6pm. But then my plants started turning brown and translucent- I know this can be from lack of nutrients (sudden drop of 50% of my fish) but the algae was still going wild.
 

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Cinabar

Before the algae I turned the lights on around 9am and off at 7pm but when the algae started I reduced this significantly. Maybe 12:30pm-6pm. But then my plants started turning brown and translucent- I know this can be from lack of nutrients (sudden drop of 50% of my fish) but the algae was still going wild.

oh wow, those plants aren’t looking so hot. I suspect you might be feeding a cycle here. Plants aren’t getting enough nutrients, so they die off, releasing nutrients into the water, then the algae feeds from that, then the plants starve and die more. I think all that rotting material might be contributing to the bloom. It might help if you trim the dead leaves away
 
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Idkitsathrowaway

try a group of siamese algae eaters, they will clean a tank in no time! Just make sure it SIAMESE and not CHINESE!!!! That mix up will cost you many a fish.They only eat algey when they babies. then they eat the fish... Siamese algey eaters will cleen it up in a few days(or weeks since ive never heard of algey so immortal). Are you sure you dont got a rare new type of algae?! Seriously, take that stuff to a group of scientest!
 
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Ericamb

That would make total sense and is probably exactly what was happening and why I couldn’t get rid of it before. But I’ve since drained the tank and got new plants/ thoroughly washed the ones I put back in. So these are my plants today and you can see the algae on the gravel.
 

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Idkitsathrowaway

New plants look good! But try sending a sample in to a biologist that can identify it. If it is new might wanna start picking a name for this immortal breed of green algae.
 
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Ericamb

New plants look good! But try sending a sample in to a biologist that can identify it. If it is new might wanna start picking a name for this immortal breed of green algae.
I’m open to suggestions! Lol
 
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Kelvin12

Maybe some fast growing plants like jave fern or something the floats like frog bit and go for a 3 day blackout. Might even be algae in your water supply. Not a fan of adding large ammounts of chemicals. Somewhere down the line you have to pay the price.
 
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Idkitsathrowaway

glad to see you are still able to have fun! god knows I would be in mid panic atack!
 
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