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Old 11-05-2020, 10:48 AM   #1
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Algae bloom in newish planted tank

Over the summer I set up and cycled a planted 10 gallon tank for my son. It has 2 java ferns, a couple of anubias, and 3 Cryptocoryne Lucens. After it was cycled, we've also added 1 honey gourami, 4 glowlight tetras, and 1 ghost shrimp. The past couple of months I have been battling algae blooms. It looks like a fuzzy green carpet growing over surfaces. I have wiped the glass down several times and just last night even took all the plants out, manually cleaned them, suctioned the substrate and really tried to get most of the algae out.

I tested the water last night before I cleaned. Ammonia and Nitrites were both at 0 and Nitrates were between 5-10 ppm. The temp is between 78 and 80. Our tap water has high pH, so I also struggle with keeping that in check. Last night it was probably close to 8. I've used pH down from API, but I have to dose pretty significantly to get any noticeable decline in the pH. And then the decline only lasts a day or two before it's right back where it was before. I make sure the new tap water I put in at water changes is right at 7 or below, but it always creeps back up.

Are there any thoughts on what I can do to 1) stop these gosh darn algae blooms, and 2) get a better handle on my pH? I've added a couple of photos of before I cleaned last night.
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:10 PM   #2
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Over the summer I set up and cycled a planted 10 gallon tank for my son. It has 2 java ferns, a couple of anubias, and 3 Cryptocoryne Lucens. After it was cycled, we've also added 1 honey gourami, 4 glowlight tetras, and 1 ghost shrimp. The past couple of months I have been battling algae blooms. It looks like a fuzzy green carpet growing over surfaces. I have wiped the glass down several times and just last night even took all the plants out, manually cleaned them, suctioned the substrate and really tried to get most of the algae out.



I tested the water last night before I cleaned. Ammonia and Nitrites were both at 0 and Nitrates were between 5-10 ppm. The temp is between 78 and 80. Our tap water has high pH, so I also struggle with keeping that in check. Last night it was probably close to 8. I've used pH down from API, but I have to dose pretty significantly to get any noticeable decline in the pH. And then the decline only lasts a day or two before it's right back where it was before. I make sure the new tap water I put in at water changes is right at 7 or below, but it always creeps back up.



Are there any thoughts on what I can do to 1) stop these gosh darn algae blooms, and 2) get a better handle on my pH? I've added a couple of photos of before I cleaned last night.

Honestly, how much are you feeding ?
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
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We feed flakes once a day. Try to keep the amount to what the fish will eat in about 2 minutes. There was very little to no food debris on the bottom when I suctioned last night.
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:44 PM   #4
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We feed flakes once a day. Try to keep the amount to what the fish will eat in about 2 minutes. There was very little to no food debris on the bottom when I suctioned last night.

Iíd always suspect uneaten food. Do you feed the shrimp? Are you certain there is nobody else putting food in whilst youíre not there?

Perhaps you could try feeding less ever 2 days? And try to reduce the lighting. I keep my lights on for 12 hours per day but it isnít particularly very strong. Adding a floating plants such as amazon frogbit, water lettuce, salvinia or duckweed will certainly help. These will also block out the light if the canopy gets thick enough.
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Old 11-05-2020, 03:28 PM   #5
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The shrimp is a hold over since before I planted the tank. It's probably 3-4 years old at this point. We've never purposely or actively fed the shrimp and it seems to be doing well.

We can definitely try feeding less, moving to every other day. And I just reduced the timer on the lights to 6 hrs (2-8 pm). The tank does get quite a bit of natural light during the day, so it will get low light in the morning and early after noon.

I have to admit. I'm a little disheartened today. After spending over an hour cleaning last night, I'm seeing tiny patches already regrowing today. Really want/need to get this under control.

I've thought about adding an algae eater like a cory catfish, but have had bad luck in the past with bottom feeders. What about snails or another shrimp? Any thoughts on something I could add that can help control the algae?
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:00 PM   #6
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The shrimp is a hold over since before I planted the tank. It's probably 3-4 years old at this point. We've never purposely or actively fed the shrimp and it seems to be doing well.

We can definitely try feeding less, moving to every other day. And I just reduced the timer on the lights to 6 hrs (2-8 pm). The tank does get quite a bit of natural light during the day, so it will get low light in the morning and early after noon.

I have to admit. I'm a little disheartened today. After spending over an hour cleaning last night, I'm seeing tiny patches already regrowing today. Really want/need to get this under control.

I've thought about adding an algae eater like a cory catfish, but have had bad luck in the past with bottom feeders. What about snails or another shrimp? Any thoughts on something I could add that can help control the algae?


Could you move it away from a window algae loves natural light in particular
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