Yellow/brown Algae Growing Under Led Lighting In Betta Tank!? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by AlexisGn, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. AlexisGn

    AlexisGnNew MemberMember

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    Hello! I have a problem that has been going on for many weeks now. I have a betta fish in a 5 gal tank with an LED bright white light. The light is located in the middle of the lid, shining down in the middle of the tank. I have noticed after a while of regularly turning the light on and off, this yellow/brown alga starts to grow right where the light shines! It seems to go away after a while of having no light on in the tank. I don't really know how to clean this or what is really causing this icky stuff.:bookworm:

    Also, I noticed this slimy clear stuff right where the water level is in the tank and this moldy looking stuff grows on the inside of the tank lid.

    If anyone can help me, please help! :(
     
  2. Valleriani

    VallerianiValued MemberMember

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    What are your tank parameters for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate? How often to you change the water? Generally brown algae is in newer tanks and can be a cause of high nitrates in the tank, low oxygen, overfeeding/dead stuff (like plant matter), or poor lighting.It's not really terrible so you don't need to panic about it but you'd need to address the problem to stop it.

    -Make sure you have filtration.. I know you have a little 5g tank but even those little tanks will be thankful for a small filter system (water movement is a good thing here.)
    -Make sure you are doing water changes. I can't give exact advice on how much water you should be changing, but I'm pretty sure with such a small tank you'll want to change a portion of the water at least weekly. (30%-50%). Someone else will have a better say on it who has smaller tanks.
    -Don't overfeed, overfeeding can cause buildups.
    -Keep your lighting on a schedule. Timers are great for this. They say keeping the light to around 6-8 hours a day on a proper schedule can help. I know you say that no light helps it but if its brown algae then normally having a proper lighting schedule is better.
    -You could use RO water if it continues. Maybe there is something in your tap water causing it.

    To clean it you can use an algae scrubber and such, normal maintenance stuff.

    For the slimy clear stuff, could it be due to the water evaporation? I.E. when water evaporates sometimes it'll cause that and be visible, generally you can give that a good wipe though and it's not really a problem. By moldy stuff on the tank lid, are you referring to green algae? It often can grow in moist areas like tank lids, it's not bad, but can be icky and can be cleaned no problem by just wiping it down. Remember not to use any cleaning agents or anything like that.

    Green algae is a common thing in most tanks and often people will live with it here and there. It often will be a problem until a tank fully matures which can take months (or even a year+). Other then that it's kind of something that all fish owners deal with though. It also can be a issue with certain tanks. My 14g tank is fairly cheaply made, and has alot of condensation around the lights (that are exposed). It resulted in a TON of green algae near the light. It was terrible. My newer 54g is well made, and I don't have that issue anymore.

    You could take some pictures though, might be helpful just in case for people to see. Might be something entirely different!
     
  3. OP
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    AlexisGn

    AlexisGnNew MemberMember

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    Thanks for the info! I honestly don't know the Ammonia/nitrite/nitrates. How do I check that?

    I do a 30%- 50% like you said, about every 2 weeks or so. My dad said that I shouldn't do water changes at all but I know they are important so I slacked off the water changes for 3 weeks or so. But I will start doing them more frequently! I have a filter running throughout the day and I try not to overfeed.

    I see no green algae in the tank, only yellow/brown icky stuff. I think that the stuff on the lid is water vapor... I never thought of that actually! It is easy to just wipe down and it goes away.

    Here are some pics of the algae in the tank.

    IMG_4005.JPGIMG_4008.JPGIMG_4009.JPGIMG_4010.JPGIMG_4012.JPG
     
  4. Valleriani

    VallerianiValued MemberMember

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    Nice tank and cute betta. Used to have a couple in separate tanks back when I started and I loved them.

    Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrates are part of the Nitrogen Cycle! You would use a test kit and most fish stores have these. Generally the liquid test kits are better then strips. When your tank is cycled well then you don't need to check too often, once a month is good or when you notice something odd or something happened in the tank like your filter shut off for hours/days.

    The brown algae is most likely nitrates then. 3 weeks of not changing the water in a 5gallon will probably cause high buildups of nitrates. So I politely say '"Daddy is wrong, yo." You can use a magnet algae scrubber which can also be bought at a fish store, just a small one will do for such a small tank to remove the brown algae. It's no real harm to the tank and you don't need to worry about it. The main concern however is making sure you do your water changes!

    The white stuff does look to be some sort of water condensation/calcium buildup where the water use to be. I assume if you haven't changed the water in 3 weeks the water was probably higher, and most like around where the what stuff is heavily at (around the middle of it). It's not too concerning, just give it a clean as best as you can. The algae scrubber could help too here but I'm not sure how to remove the calcium buildup without cleaning the tank fully and rehoming the fish temporarily. I would suggest vinegar if you go that route but I would just try to clean it as best you can for now as removing everything is a pain in the butt and also you can trigger cycle spikes if you aren't careful. If you do go this way. The best way to prevent this is to do your water changes and keep the water level always at the same level. The buildup shouldn't be so fast and probably occurs far worse from the condensation and drying up.

    I want to also say, never ever clean the rocks and/or filter media straight from the tap water. Always use old fish tank water you are using to change OR use dechlorinated tap water, aka the stuff you should be putting in the tank with the new water. All you need to do with your filter media is take a cup of the old tank water, swoosh the filter media in it, and put it back, done! (Obviously through out the water you used to clean it in). You would generally do this on a different day than your water changes and you don't need to do this all the time, I do mine once a month/month and a half. If you clean your filter media with tap water/etc you will most likely keep killing your beneficial bacteria and the little guy will be going through ammonia spikes and probably will have a very reduced life.

    Try not to change more then 50% of the water for the fish sake a day so don't panic and start doing 90% water changes. If your water parameters are different from your fish tank water, the fish could get sick/go into shock that way. I.E PH/etc can change as water sits in the tank for a week vs fresh water from the tap.

    Because you haven't changed your water in three weeks. I would suggest doing a 50% water change as soon as you can, and maybe another one in a 2-3 days, then keep up with a weekly water change. I highly suggest getting a kit. Maybe someone else can chime in too for this stuff.

    You'll probably notice those little brown algae buildups for a little until you get on a schedule and your tank matures a little more but it probably will never end if you don't start with proper maintenance of the tank :) Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  5. OP
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    AlexisGn

    AlexisGnNew MemberMember

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    Thank you so much! I am actually cleaning his tank right now. I am doing a 50% water change and I will get a water testing kit as soon as I possibly can! I have a whole house filter ( not sure if that filters out everything) but I am still using the old water to clean things off and using Stress Coat on already filtered water (just to be safe) to clean things off as well. I hope this is ok!

    I rinsed off his rocks with the tap water and then rinsed them again with filtered dechlorinated water right before reading your post! agh!! now I'm starting to panic.:sorry: Also, I stirred up a lot of the icky stuff and it turned my water the same color as the brown algae... should I just let the water filter until it becomes clear?

    I just noticed that my betta isn't looking as colorful as he used to be and he seems kinda scared when every I make sudden movements, but all and all that might just be me.:emoji_grin:I have him in a holding container right now. Could there be something wrong?


    IMG_4016.JPGIMG_4013.JPGIMG_4023.JPG
     
  6. Valleriani

    VallerianiValued MemberMember

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    Stress Coat is fine yes. I'm not sure how well it works against ammonia and is probably fine for normal water changes but Prime is normally the choice for most people because it stops ammonia/nitrite/nitrate burn/poisoning for a day if it's in the tank too which is good.. Very good for new tanks and if you do heavier changes and worry about ammonia buildup. Someone else might know more on Stress Coat in general.

    If you kept the filter as it is without tap watering it, should be OK but don't touch the filter for a few days. You don't want to lose the good BB in it. You probably killed them in the rocks but don't worry so much for now. (Hold off cleaning the actual filter media for now.). I think you're probably worried about how to clean the tank but you don't need to clean the rocks like that every time. I would recommend simply getting a cheap gravel vacuum and you suck up about 30-40% of the gunk in the tank, you don't do all the rocks because it would probably lose all the BB that way in the rocks too. Just pick certain spots where there is alot of gunk and remove it. They are really cheap and you'll use it for a lifetime with that tank.

    I do recommend getting that kit soon though to keep an eye on ammonia build ups. You may have to do more water changes throughout the week if you notice ammonia or nitrite buildup. He should be fine long as you are on top of things until everything stabilizes. You might be OK though as I said if the filter is in tact and OK. The gunk in the water, I'm not 100% sure but I'm pretty certain you can probably just let it cycle through. I had a similar experience and left mine with no issues. If you need help with this more let us know. Generally if you see an ammonia buildup you want to change the water. It might be 25-50% a day if there is a mini cycle but there probably won't be. Just forwarning just in case. I think ideally you want to keep ammonia under 0.25 or better yet closer to 0. And the math is simple: if you have 0.4, a 50% water changes brings it down to 0.2, etc. Prime or another product that makes ammonia harmless for 24h is ideal though on top of this

    In terms of cleaning all you need to do is scrub the algae off the tank with a algae magnet, do a gravel vac (which also removes water as your doing it, so a gravel vac will also remove the 50% water you need) into a bucket. Put in the new dechlorinated water, and done. Once a month or little more give the filter a good swish in some water (not on the same day when you do the gravel vac, mid week lets say in a small cup of tank water) and done. You shouldn't have to ever empty the tank and for most people it stays fairly clean when its stable and your on top of your water changes. You never really change the filter media UNLESS the media is falling apart. When you do change it you can probably throw it in the water for a week or try to fit both in the filter if you can but ultimately you want some built up BB in it. With a 5g it shouldn't take you no more then 10-15 minutes tops and your betta will thank you for it. I'm basing this off bigger tanks, but I assume it should be 'fairly' same with your tank too.

    He's a pretty betta, I don't see any real issues with him. Fins look healthy and long too. They are tough little guys. He's probably just afraid about being moved about. Most fish don't like being moved so he might be on edge for a day or two until it's settled again. Losing color is part of this too. It's mostly a stress related thing and it's best to get everyone done and put him back in his home when you can so he can get comfy. Give him a couple days and his color should appear back. In terms of the rocks, we all make mistakes, don't worry about it. It's really part of this hobby and you won't get everything 100% to start. I've made tons of errors and I'm sure I'll continue to make more as I learn. If you do your best it's the only thing a fishy can ask for. Fish keeping generally has 'needed tools' for maintenance but honestly once you get them they will be good for a long time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  7. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

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    You have received some very good pointers from @Valleriani so I won't go into any of that but one thing you said that I do question....

    You said "I have a filter running throughout the day"

    Does that mean that you turn it off over night? If so I highly recommend you run it 24/7/365 in other words, don't turn it off at night.
     
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