10 Gallon Tank Ungodly Amounts of Algae

breakoff

I have a medium-density low tech planted tank with Nicrew BrightLED 18-24" in a 10 gallon tank with only 5 pygmy cories and a snail infestation (algae came before the snails). I've always struggled with brown algae but I am now dealing with a bunch of green algae and hair algae everywhere, and I don't know the reason.
 

HupGuppHup

Are your plants slow growers? Might need to get something to compete a little harder with the algae. I'm a huge fan of guppy grass. Your algae will go running scared. ;)
 
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Roman96

I feed one Omega one shrimp pellet a day, dose ferts (easy green) twice a week, and water change every 1-1.5 weeks
I have a bacopa, Java Moss, Java fern, Pearl weed, and a Scarlet Temple. I'll most certainly look into guppy grass.
That's your answer imo, cut our our fertilizer to none and a 50% water change once a week. You have mainly slow growers and the algae is able to use the nutrients from the fertilizer faster than the plants. Try this for 2 weeks to a month and then you can try 1 squirt of easy green a week.
 
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breakoff

That's your answer imo, cut our our fertilizer to none and a 50% water change once a week. You have mainly slow growers and the algae is able to use the nutrients from the fertilizer faster than the plants. Try this for 2 weeks to a month and then you can try 1 squirt of easy green a week.
Nice, I was hoping for an easy answer like that. Thanks!
 
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Roman96

Nice, I was hoping for an easy answer like that. Thanks!
No problem. I had a similar issue in my 29 gallon, everytime I dosed easy green I would get diatoms and greenspot algae. I've switched entirely to root tabs and I haven't had any issues with diatoms or green spot. Some people here could probably break it down to a more precise scientific level, but from what I've read it's probably just an excess of phosphates and/or silica in the source water (tap water or well water) so when you add fertilizer you end up with too much of it. Once plants start taking hold and growing faster is when liquid fertilizer is usually needed in a low tech setup.
 
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fishnovice33

How long is your light on?
 
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Mudminnow

In my opinion, it's not always so simple as to just "cut fertilizers." Sometimes this helps, and sometimes it makes things worse. There are a bunch of things that can influence algae growth. Some I can think of are:
  • Presence of Ammonia (Even tiny amounts of Ammonia make algae go crazy. Planted tanks should be cycled and well filtered.)
  • Tank Maturity (Sometimes all that's needed is time.)
  • Water Circulation/Aeration (Plants do better with water circulation, but not so much that it stresses them. Some algae, like cyanobacteria, seem not to like circulation or aeration.)
  • Space to Grow (Algae has trouble growing on healthy, fast growing plants. The more healthy plants, the less surfaces left on which the algae can grow.)
  • Plant Health (Stressed plants feed algae rather than prevent it.)
  • Lighting (It's usually best to use just enough to make plants happy, with more risking algae growth.)
  • Fertilizers (too much or too little) (It's hard to do too much if the tank is heavily planted with fast growers and 50% per week water changes are done.)
  • Tap Water Quality (Some tap water has ammonia, other fertilizers, or even toxins in it. Some aquarium plants can also struggle if your water is too hard. So, if your tap is bad, you may need to use reconstituted RO.)
  • Cleanliness (This is the removal/limitation of organic wastes by removing dead leaves, water changes, siphoning, and not overfeeding the fish.)
  • Unstable CO2 (Algae adapts faster to changing CO2 levels than plants. This is not a big concern in low tech tanks.)
  • Algae Eaters (Planted tanks always have algae. But, a well balanced planted tank with algae eaters can keep the algae down to a point where it cannot be seen.)
  • Temperature (Typically, the warmer the tank, the harder it is to control algae.)
I bet everyone who has ever kept planted tanks for long has run into algae issues. When this happens, I try and work through the bulleted points I listed one by one until I get a handle on things. In my experience, persistence pays off.

Good luck.
 
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