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Old 09-28-2017, 12:55 PM   #1
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Unstoppable Algae

I have a 20G freshwater tank with 4 fancy goldfish and a mystery snail. My tank has been around for a year now and I constantly get brownish algae. On every single thing. Even the snailís shell. Itís on the decorations, the gravel. I scrub it away but it away but it seems to come back tenfold. I used to have plants in my tank until the algae took that over as well, so Iíve stopped buying it. The light in the tank is on during the day and the tank is not in direct sunlight. The occasional scrubbing is ok and comes with cleaning the tank but Iím wondering if there is anything else I can do that will truly help keep this annoying algae at bay.
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:16 PM   #2
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Unstoppable Algae

I view algae as a water purification mechanism. So my thoughts are that the algae is growing to counteract the amount of waste products created by such heavy waste producing fish in a small environment. The intensity of the light will dictate how fast the algae grows.

How else can you reduce the amount of nutrients that the algae are thriving off?

1) increase the size of the body of water
2) remove large waste producing fish and replace with fish that produce much less waste.
3) change lots of water frequently.
4) add live plants (particularly floating plants)
5) Feed less, less often.
6) increase biological filtration capacity
7) clean biological filtration media
8) gravel vacuum substrate regularly.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:06 PM   #3
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I can tell u easy solution. Buy a uv sterilizer and always have crystal clear water. No Algae or cloudiness
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kashif314 View Post
I can tell u easy solution. Buy a uv sterilizer and always have crystal clear water. No Algae or cloudiness
Not so much... that tackles free floating algae, it does not do much for excess nutrients in the water.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:26 PM   #5
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Not so much... that tackles free floating algae, it does not do much for excess nutrients in the water.
I am not expert in how it works but ever since I installed it my water problems solved.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:30 PM   #6
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Controlling Algae

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Originally Posted by MixedGlitter View Post
I have a 20G freshwater tank with 4 fancy goldfish and a mystery snail. My tank has been around for a year now and I constantly get brownish algae. On every single thing. Even the snailís shell. Itís on the decorations, the gravel. I scrub it away but it away but it seems to come back tenfold. I used to have plants in my tank until the algae took that over as well, so Iíve stopped buying it. The light in the tank is on during the day and the tank is not in direct sunlight. The occasional scrubbing is ok and comes with cleaning the tank but Iím wondering if there is anything else I can do that will truly help keep this annoying algae at bay.
Hello Mix...

Water changes are the best means of controlling algae growth. A 20 G tank needs a couple of 50 percent water changes weekly. This will remove added nutrients from foods high in phosphate and dissolved fish waste. Goldfish are heavy waste producers and add nutrients to the water. Anything not used by the plants is used by algae.

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Old 09-28-2017, 09:33 PM   #7
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How many hours are the lights on? What kind of light fixture is on the tank?
Simply reducing the number of hours the lights are on might be the most effective method for reducing algae.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:55 PM   #8
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How many hours are the lights on? What kind of light fixture is on the tank?
Simply reducing the number of hours the lights are on might be the most effective method for reducing algae.


Would also tackle lighting (while agreeing with above that heavy water changes are needed as that tank sounds over-stocked on goldfish unfortunately). I've thought a uv unit will help with all algae types but best on floating algae, it won't stop attached algae (maybe, could be wishful thinking, slow it spreading but would be looking elsewhere at rest of tank setup as well).

On my smaller tank, I've taped off all blue lights and half the white light & light is on only 5 hrs a day. That just has algae under control and I still need to clean off brown/green algae every few weeks.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:02 PM   #9
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I'm afraid this sounds like only the beginning of a never-ending battle. You will need at least a 55 gallon or better for those goldfish if you want to keep them all in a single tank long-term. If that's not an option, I recommend a school of white clouds and maybe some dwarf anchor catfish (if you can find them) as a good plan for a cold-water 20 gallon tank instead of goldfish.
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