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Old 04-13-2004, 04:37 PM   #1
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Green Algae

I have three tanks that are driving me crazy!! They all have green algae growing on the plastic plants and other decorations. What can I do to get rid of it, permanently if possible! I don't like the thoughts of using chemicals though, so if there are natural ways to get rid of it please let me know. I'm not sure what info you need, but here are the basics:
29 gallon:Wal-mart tank, with hob filter, and large sponge filter(says it's for up to 80 gallon tank on the box), bubble wand, standard light that came with tank, 100w heater set to 78 degrees, plastic plants. Stocked with 2 angelfish.
Ph: 6.8
Nitrites:0 Nitrates: 20
Waterchanges and vacuum: 25% once a week

10 gallon:wal-mart tank with standard lights that came with it, with hob filter,bubble wand, heater set to 78 degrees, plastic plants. Stocked with 3 neon tetras, and MANY platy fry.
Ph: 6.0,
gh: 3*
kh: 1*
Nitrites: 0
Waterchange and vacuum once a week 25-30%
{Not sure why my ph and kh are so low in this tank, none of my others are that low}

46 gallon:All glass bow front, Standard lights that came with it, Marineland Penguin Bio-wheel 330, 200w heater set to 78 degrees, Plastic plants, one piece of driftwood.(this tank has been set up 10 months and it has never been crystal clear, could it be the driftwood?) This tank is over stocked at the moment. We had to move some fish around because the angelfish in the 29 gallon are spawning and because of all the platy fry we have.
Ph: 6.8
gh: 3*
kh: 2*
Nitrates: 20
Waterchange and vacuum once a week 30% each time.

Is it true that live plants can help eliminate green algae? If so are there any REALLY easy plants that can thrive on the standard lights I have?

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Old 04-13-2004, 05:17 PM   #2
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I have come to the conclusion that algae, like fish poop, is a natural and unavoidable part of a mature aquarium. Of course, it can be kept under control by frequent cleaning and by not overfeeding. But eliminated permanently and altogether? Never!

Once a week, when I gravel vac and do a water change, I pull out one or two of my most afflicted plastic plants and soak them in hot water. Takes the algae right off - even the brown diatom 'algae'. I allow green algae to grow on certain rocks - I think it adds character to the tank and food for the bottomdwellers if I forget to throw in a sinking pellet.

Alternatively, you can try oto cats, saimese algae eaters, bristlenose cats, and certain types of snails. However, people here seem to have had mixed results with these tank cleaners since they often prefer fish food to algae if it is available. They can be prolific waste producers too - actually contributing to the problem they were introduced to eliminate.

Live plants will help alleviate algae by sopping up the excess nutrients that cause algae growth. I've heard that java moss and java fern are easy to care for and require low light. They grow fast and most fish don't care for them as a snack.

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Old 04-13-2004, 05:29 PM   #3
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One of the nutrients that algae and plants use is phosphate. There are media that you can add to your filter to absorb phosphate in order to minimize algae growth. Haven't used them myself but it might be worth a shot. HTH
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Old 04-13-2004, 09:13 PM   #4
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Check the food your using... going with what savga touched on, Phosphates...
I didnt know about this and had a HUGE bloom in my 10 gal... I increased my plants and did a little research... checked the can of fish food, tetramine, the yellow can w/brown lid has 1.3 phos,
checked my 44 gal a few algae spots on the glass here and there (and my light is on alot!) I clean algae about every two months in that tank and Im using TetraMin PRO food blue can w/yellow lid, the Phos is 1.1
I switched the food on the ten gal and the algae is now in check... still a little more then my 44 gal. next can of food Im going to try a little lower Phos.
Anyone have any insight to this?
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Old 04-14-2004, 08:21 AM   #5
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Or, atleast for your 29 and 46 gal tanks, you could buy a pleco. One pleco will per tank will usually keep down all algae growth that develops, and will probably take care of your problem overnight. I have had one in my 55 gal basically since I have had it, and I have NEVER had to scrub algae, not for about a year anyways.

But going along with what everyone else said, it is pretty hard to avoid, and yes plants will help with your algae problem by absorbing nutrients.

And from reading what you wrote, I don't think it would be a problem but I gotta ask. You do turn off your tank lights at night right? Because that in itself will cause algae to bloom. HTH

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Old 04-14-2004, 03:06 PM   #6
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If you get a pleco, get a smaller species, such as the Rubber Lip, Bristle/bushy Nose, Clown or Pitbull plecos. I own two RB and one BN (and one common in the 80 gal) and they all do a great job.
Plants that like low light according to Fruitbat can be found in this thread:

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Old 04-16-2004, 04:52 PM   #7
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Thank you all so much for replies. It is greatly appreciated! I bought a clown pleco for the 46 gallon a few days ago and I have noticed less algae on the bridge I have in there. So hopefully he'll help me out. I was afraid to get one for the 29 gallon since the angelfish in there are spawning, I didn't think they'd appreciate the intrusion of their privacy I'm still not sure what to do for that tank. I'm seriously debating on plants in there. Thanks so much for the link about plants, Menagerie. I will definitely be reading up on it. I absolutely LOVE the look of a planted tank, but I'm just not sure I have the know how. I took all the plastic plants out of the 10 gallon and soaked them in hot water and scrubbed them clean. It wasn't the hassle I thought it would be, so I'll probably just do that every month or so.
Melody, I think you may be right about the food. I am also using Tetramin in the yellow can with brown lid. And I think the algae started getting worse when I started using it.
And Devilishturtles, Yes, I do turn my lights off at night...lol. I probably do have my lights on too long though. How long do you all leave your lights on each day? Mine are usually on 10 to 12 hours.
I just want to thank you all again so much for your help! This website is the BEST!!!
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Old 04-16-2004, 05:01 PM   #8
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I have live plants in all my tanks, including my angelfish breeding pair tank. I find its the best type of tank for the angelfish to parent raise, although the adults chew the heck out of some of the plants when they're in a breeding mood. I suspect they are trying to clear a space so "predators" can't hide; either that or they hate those plants

And btw, in that tank? I barely do anything special plantwise. I did use a laterite and sand substrate, but its an Eclipse tank with an Eclipse hood, so 30 watts over 25g (which is really low light). They go on around 7 am, and go off around 11 pm. I don't use fertilizers in that tank, nor CO2. I have some Hygro, amazon swords and a little java moss, and they don't seem to mind the lack of care; they are taking over the tank!

I did have some brown algae in that tank when it was first set up, and some green algae a little while later. Now there is a touch of algae on the walls; not much and none on the rocks at all.

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algae, green algae

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