Removing Algae From Gravel

BigZX

how do you folks remove algae from your gravel?should I soak it in a bleach solution, or boil it? will I risk an ammonia spike if I clean large amounts at a time from killing off BB in the gravel? Also, I only have my lights on for 8 hours a day max and am still getting quite a bit of growth. Is there something else I can do without having to put chemicals in my water? Also, do the blue lights grow algae as much as the white lights?
 

CaptainAquatics

I just gravel vac with a syphon during water changes. You could also get some Cories depending on what you have in your tank and what the tank size is.
 

Smalltownfishfriend

I just gravel vac with a syphon during water changes. You could also get some Cories depending on what you have in your tank and what the tank size is.
Cories won't do a thing for algae on gravel.... I agree with the gravel vacuuming. You may risk a minI cycle by removing it, but if your tank has been set up for awhile you should be fine. Most the bb lives in the filter but not all. I would bleach, not boil, rinse with prime water and you should be set. Do you over feed? Could that be causing algae??
 

BigZX

I don't think I'm over feeding, but it's hard to say when I have to leave the room for my fish to eat. I check though and don't see any pellets left in the tank. I vacuum my gravel but that doesn't seem to do much for the algae, it mostly just sucks up poop and things that are in it. The tank is a 40 breeder with a small Oscar in it.

I'm trying to do as fell water changes and mess with the tank as little as possible since I'm trying to get it comfortable and not hide all the time.
 

Smalltownfishfriend

I don't think I'm over feeding, but it's hard to say when I have to leave the room for my fish to eat. I check though and don't see any pellets left in the tank. I vacuum my gravel but that doesn't seem to do much for the algae, it mostly just sucks up poop and things that are in it. The tank is a 40 breeder with a small Oscar in it.
Yea I can imagine gravel vacuuming doesn't remove algae. I would cut back on the lighting. I imagine you know that tank mates are a no go with an Oscar in a 40 gallon!!!
 

Kathryn Crook

I'm trying to do as fell water changes and mess with the tank as little as possible since I'm trying to get it comfortable and not hide all the time.
Do you have live plants?
 

Jimmie93

I would just leave it low amounts of algae is actually good for a aquarium and get a cleaning magnet to remove it from the side of the tanks. But if you run that light for half of the time the issue will fix itself.
 

Kathryn Crook

No plants
You could cut your lights off for days then. The fish don't need it. That could cull your algae problem.
 

BigZX

I would just leave it low amounts of algae is actually good for a aquarium and get a cleaning magnet to remove it from the side of the tanks. But if you run that light for half of the time the issue will fix itself.

So far I've just been scraping the sides with a credit card and scrubbing my big rocks and decor with a brush before water changes. Now it's starting to cover the substrate though and just doesn't look as nice.

You could cut your lights off for days then. The fish don't need it. That could cull your algae problem.

I know it doesn't need the lights but they make it much easier to see my beautiful fish. Would it help if I switched to the blue/night lights?
 

Kathryn Crook

I know it doesn't need the lights but they make it much easier to see my beautiful fish. Would it help if I switched to the blue/night lights?
What kind of light do you have?
 

Jimmie93

So far I've just been scraping the sides with a credit card and scrubbing my big rocks and decor with a brush before water changes. Now it's starting to cover the substrate though and just doesn't look as nice.
Well bleach does kill algae almost instantly I use it to clean my air stones but putting bleach in that much gravel could result in bleach getting into the aquarium which could harm the fish I would go with the boiling method.
 

Kathryn Crook

I know it doesn't need the lights but they make it much easier to see my beautiful fish. Would it help if I switched to the blue/night lights?
Some pictures would really help. Algae is natural to aquariums as are some buggy buddies like copepods and detritus worms. It would help if you could show us what worries you so we can help on what is natural and expected and what could be a concern.

Sorry BigZX that was meant for OP
 

BigZX

Some pictures would really help. Algae is natural to aquariums as are some buggy buddies like copepods and detritus worms. It would help if you could show us what worries you so we can help on what is natural and expected and what could be a concern.

Sorry BigZX that was meant for OP

Here's a pic of my setup.

Thanks but...what kind of LED? A plant LED or a desk light?

I'm not sure if it's a plant light. I just bought it as an aquarium light.
 

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Kathryn Crook

I'm not sure if it's a plant light. I just bought it as an aquarium light.
Could be no live plants to help curb the algae and lights on too long. Keep the lights off unless you are in the room to enjoy the fish...when you are gone, cut them off. That could help break the algae cycle.
 

BigZX

It won't bother the fish if I turn the lights on and off? That's been mostly my concern lately is just trying to get it to come out more. It's getting to the point where I'm thinking about returning it for something else. I'm just trying to be patient and give it more time.
 

rainbowsprinkles

how do you folks remove algae from your gravel?should I soak it in a bleach solution, or boil it? will I risk an ammonia spike if I clean large amounts at a time from killing off BB in the gravel? Also, I only have my lights on for 8 hours a day max and am still getting quite a bit of growth. Is there something else I can do without having to put chemicals in my water? Also, do the blue lights grow algae as much as the white lights?
Yes you may risk an ammonia spike if you sterilize your gravel. Gravel helps with tank stability. Also, what kind of algae are we talking about? cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) or brown algae? Hair algae? Do you have a pic? If cyanobacteria try manual removal and also increasing the flow in the tank (it likes low oxygen spots).. if other then you might just need to reduce your lights
 

Jimmie93

It won't bother the fish if I turn the lights on and off? That's been mostly my concern lately is just trying to get it to come out more. It's getting to the point where I'm thinking about returning it for something else. I'm just trying to be patient and give it more time.
Lights in aquariums are more for the biological part and a light source for plants it isn't going to hurt the fish if you use them less.
 

BigZX

Yes you may risk an ammonia spike if you sterilize your gravel. Gravel helps with tank stability. Also, what kind of algae are we talking about? cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) or brown algae? Hair algae? Do you have a pic? If cyanobacteria try manual removal and also increasing the flow in the tank (it likes low oxygen spots).. if other then you might just need to reduce your lights

There's a pic in an earlier post on the first page.

Lights in aquariums are more for the biological part and a light source for plants it isn't going to hurt the fish if you use them less.

I wasn't worried about hurting the fish by using less lights. I was worried about spooking it and making it even more skittish than it already is by turning the lights on and off a number of times rather than just once.
 

rainbowsprinkles

There's a pic in an earlier post on the first page.
.
Ah I see now. Just brown algae. Common in new tanks. Limit lights or just leave off and use ambient room light for a while. Also keep your nitrates low.
 

BigZX

Thanks for all the quick responses. I'll just limit my light use and continue to scrape and scrub like I have been. This place is really fantastic. I'm so glad I joined.

I've decided I'm going to put some gravel into a can with a little tank water and shake it up. I think that will beat all the algae off it pretty well. Then I can dump it back into the tank.
 

rainbowsprinkles

I've decided I'm going to put some gravel into a can with a little tank water and shake it up. I think that will beat all the algae off it pretty well. Then I can dump it back into the tank.

Great idea
 

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