Originally Posted by BBradbury
Small tanks can be difficult to keep clean. If you're not changing out half the tank water a couple of times a week, then phosphates from the flaked foods you use could cause an algae problem. Change the water more often and you remove the food source for the algae.
You don't need to use high end lighting for most aquatic plants. Research the lighting requirement of the plants you have and visit your local hardware store. A couple of clip on lights will likely be fine for your plants and cost just a few dollars. Get a little creative.
Above all, change out a lot of tank water and do it often.
Algae is caused by excess nutrients in the water. You have already established your issue, too high of lights and they where on for too long. Black beard algae is a pain to get rid of so I recomend a Siamese algae eater as they are great at eating it off the plants!
Bradbury is right, for a tank that size a clip on desk lamp at Walmart or Home Depot with a 6500k bulb in it will do fine for the plants you are trying to grow. What he is not correct about is "all plants don't need high end lighting" there Re certain plants that can survive with low lighting but truly need higher lighting, and sometimes co2
to flourish and grow. You have all "low light" plants so you'll be fine with a clip on desk lamp.
As for the water changes. You don't need to do 50 percent multiple times a week in that small of a tank. I've also known large water changes make black beard algae worse. I would recommend 2 ten percent water changes, add the Siamese algae eater and get the clip on lights. Set a timer for the light to be on for 4 hours, off for 4 hours and then on for another 4 hours. Once the algae problem is under control, 20 percent changes once a week is plenty especially with a planted tank. Anything larger is adding to many nutrients to the water, and your going to start your issue all over again
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