Question About Tank Cleaning!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Crucio, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. CrucioValued MemberMember

    I've recently had a problem with algae growing on my tank walls, I've done a total blackout and 25% water changes everyday to get rid of the algae and it hasn't done much good. I was wondering if it would be okay to move my betta to a 3g I already had set up while I completely clean his tank? He's currently in a 5g and it would only be for a day or two. Thanks!

  2. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Should be fine. Just make sure you keep some cycled media in whatever tank you re moving him to. What is in the 3g now?

  3. CrucioValued MemberMember

    I've just been using it for water wisteria cuttings.
  4. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Yeah it should be fine
  5. Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    As the other guys said, you sure could. However if you're algae problem is a chronic one you'll have to look at other aspects to keep it gone -unless it's brown diatoms - such as natural sunlight from a nearby window hitting it, lighting. Stuff like that.
  6. CrucioValued MemberMember

    It'd got a 7200k light attached to the tank and doesn't have that many plants, a spring or two of creeping jenny and a patch of dwarf hairgrass, so I'm thinking the algae is from too much light. If this isn't the case, how would I keep it gone?
  7. oldsalt777Well Known MemberMember

    Hello Cru...

    Algae builds up from flaked food high in phosphates and not enough water changes to remove the dissolved food. Actually, it isn't a bad thing. It's a fast user of added nutrients and a good food supplement for the fish. The only side of the tank that really needs to stay clean is the side from which you look into the tank. I'd let the algae grow on all sides of the tank, but one. The algae will help filter the tank water and keep it clean between water changes. The changes should be roughly two gallons every three to four days. Also, Betta fish like shade, so add one of the floating plants like Water sprite or Hornwort. These fish also like hiding places, so add some small pieces of driftwood. How's the tank temperature? It should be a constant 80 degrees for this species.

  8. Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Well, to answer your question it can be different for everyone. So I don't know... yet... Probably %80-%90 of my own algae problems are almost solely due to lighting, and I fix it by one of two ways. Either raise your lighting to reduce intensity, or shorten your photoperiod. I do this after ruling out that there aren't any obvious deficiencies in the plants through observation.

    This is usually what I try first, so how long are your lights actually on?

    Are you dosing Carbon or injecting it any way?
  9. CrucioValued MemberMember

    Before I started reducing the time the lights were on, it was about 10-12 hours. Now it's closer to 7-8 hours a day. I'm not dosing or injecting carbon, I've only ever used root tabs and seachem flourish but I've stopped that since the algae growth.
  10. Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    10-12 has always been too much for me for sure, so it's good you lowered it. I'm not sure how much PAR your fixture has at the substrate, but 45 PAR (somewhere in medium intensity light) has always worked well at 7 hours for me. IF you want it on for longer periods you simply start raising the light a couple inches at a time.

    How long have you been on this light regiment? Usually 2 weeks to a month to see signs of change. And not sure if it's on a timer, but that's key. If you clean your tank all out, get rid of the algae and it comes back as bad as before you know you're still at a imbalance.

    It's actually counterproductive to cut out your dosing schedule unless it's being overdosed or the plants aren't able to use the nutrients fast enough. By terminating dosing because of Algae you are actually providing a better environment for algae to grow because you're depriving your plants of the nutrients they need to outcompete the algae in a balanced tank. What you should be looking into is maintaining low levels of Nitrates and Phosphates, as OldSalt touched upon. You do this by feeding less (every other day is fine, but not more than you would on an every day schedule) to reduce Nitrates and looking into Fish Foods with no phosphates. Seachem Flourish as low quantities of either of these - Total Nitrogen (N)..... 0.07%, Available Phosphate (P205)...... 0.01% so that's definitely not contributing to any spikes of these two, but giving you plenty of Micro Nutrients for plants. You're better off dosing this than nothing. Plants are pretty complex, and Algae is a basic - usually single celled organism - so they're very good at thriving in conditions not optimal for plants.

    On a three front attack for algae you can start dosing liquid carbon or make a DiY carbon dioxide injection system out of a yeast/suger/water mixture, some pop bottles, aquarium tubing. Plenty of build designs on the forum and google. This DiY injection mixture will be less effective to virtually ineffective with filters that really agitate the surface water.

    Adding fast growing stem plants, or floating plants such as frogbite and others will also help use nutrients in your aquarium and reduce algae.

    --Playing with your lighting is a free solution (unless you're bulbs are old and you need new ones which will also grow you a pretty algae farm) and adding carbon can do wonders in aiding the battle against algae. Also, it will be pretty cheap to dose a tank your size long term with liquid carbon. These are a handful of things that will aid you, along with keeping nitrates 20-40ppm. I find it best to try and treat mass algae outbreaks on multiple fronts. Saves you time and a headache when you find yourself still messing with it 6 months later.

    Also, always remember you'll probably never be 100% algae free, but it shouldn't be EVERYWHERE!

    Edit: Finding your - I dunno - Goldilocks area in a planted tank can be challenging but it's there somewhere. haha!
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  11. CrucioValued MemberMember

    I'll probably start with altering the lighting, see how that works and start back to dosing the tank. I've already got duckweed growing in this tank. That's similar to frogbit, right?
  12. Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    That's a faster grower and better than frogbit. Overall, a better plant for managing excess nutrients.. I just tossed that plant out there because for a floating plant I prefer the way it looks over duckweed. The one I mentioned is a larger, almost lily pad like structure versus a million green floaty things.

    And yeah, you definitely don't have to try everything at once and I'd start exactly where you said. If lighting adjustment and a larger plant load don't work, move on to excel dosing. But honestly, there should be marked improvement. I just wrote down the top thoughts I had based on the information you gave.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016

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