Red/brown Algae And Ammonia At .25

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Navers

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Hello all! I have been battling red/brown algae in a planted tank. Every week, I do a 50% water change (and vacuum the substrate) and wipe down all of the plant leaves with paper towels, sides of the tank and decor stones.
The tank looks great for a few days, but it comes back fiercely just before the next water change. I'm thinking about pulling the plants that I currently have in there since it's hard to clean the nooks and crannies, and get new plants. They are looking ragged from all of the wiping, even though I try to be gentle.(I have a sword leaf and I forget the other one).
I have a 3.5 gal Top Fin bettaflow tank. I keep it at 78 degrees.

I am concerned because I dont think it's great for Orin to have an algae ridden tank and today the top of his water looked filmy.

I reacted immediately and changed his water. It then occurred to me I should have tested it before changing. Post change test results are : 10 ppm nitrates, ph 7.6, ammonia .25 and nitrites 0
I'm concerned about the ammonia! It could be from my tap water. Sometimes, it can be extra. I condition with Prime, but maybe I didnt use enough this time? Ammonia usually tests at 0. Yikes! I already took a bit of his water in a cup and added some Prime. I will retest in a few.
Any tips on getting the algae under control?
 

Navers

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The lights are LED on the lid of the tank. Should I try shorter lighting hours? Right now, I turn the lights on at 7ish am and off around....well, midnight, come to think about it. ‍♀ Doh.
 

Navers

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On that note....how many hours of the day should the tank be fully lit? I do have my room lights on and his tank lights off for a transition for him from day to night and vice versa.
 

Gourami36

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The lights are LED on the lid of the tank. Should I try shorter lighting hours? Right now, I turn the lights on at 7ish am and off around....well, midnight, come to think about it. ‍♀ Doh.
Wow light for 17 hours a day.... try doing 8 hours a day
 

Navers

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Lol...yeah. I didnt think about it since I am so busy. Sometimes I am an idiot. Lol
 

irow

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If it's too hard to turn on and off the light, get a light timer. They're only like 10 dollars on amazon. For your ammonia, Prime doesn't get rid of it, but rather makes it nontoxic to your fish for around 24hrs or something like that. When testing for ammonia after using Prime, it will still appear. Are you using a liquid kit or strips?
 

Gourami36

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If it's too hard to turn on and off the light, get a light timer. They're only like 10 dollars on amazon. For your ammonia, Prime doesn't get rid of it, but rather makes it nontoxic to your fish for around 24hrs or something like that. When testing for ammonia after using Prime, it will still appear. Are you using a liquid kit or strips?
Prime binds the ammonia and nitrite for 48 hours.
 
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