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Old 11-19-2020, 04:31 PM   #1
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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Question Algae questions

hello I'm a relatively new to fishkeeping and completed cycling both my tanks using fish about 2 weeks ago. both my tanks have live plants, and being honest I've neglected to remove dead or decaying parts of the plant.

I have a 7.5gal tank with a built in filter, 79 degrees F, an attached breeding box (8 guppy fry, born yesterday), airstone, and 7 month old fry. Previously it was just the mama guppy and for a couple weeks the first 7 fry. Live plants include 3 java ferns (i think) and duckweed.

Also a 10gal tank, standard 10gal aqueon hang on filter, 78 degrees F, mesh fry tank (previously housed the first 7 fry), airstone, 5 zebra danios and 3 guppies. live plants include java sword, Anubias, duckweed, moss ball, coon tail (i think).

side note (i added salt to the aquarium 3 weeks ago to help out some stressed fish, i knew it might kill some plants but it doesn't seem to have affected them?

I've been having issues with my water clarity. When i put some into a clear dish today it was tinted brownish green and the algae is growing so fast i can barely keep up with it. it's a little unattractive and idk if it's beneficial or normal or not. theres even algae growing on the other plants

-what does algae do for the tank?
-is it good or bad to let it grow on things like decor and airline? I've been cleaning it off the glass.

-Is there something i can do to slow the algae growth or control its appearance?

-should i be concerned about my tinted water? i don't want to do a dramatic water change unless i need to. I'd rather have it look dirty than stress out the fish, so if it most likely isn't harmful I will just do more frequent small water changes to help with appearance.

i can upload pictures if that would help evaluate the situation.

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Old 11-28-2020, 01:21 PM   #2
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Hi, it sounds like your plants are rotting, dirtying up the water and creating algae. What's worked for me is three-fold:

I cut away dead parts and removed plants that were dead to the bottom. New ones may need to be bought if it looks too bare, but that rotting dead stuff's gotta go.

I do a 1/3 water change once a week. Purified water, left to sit out in a big container for 24 hours; I put an aquarium thermometer in there and heat a bit of the water so that water temp matches the tank's temp within 2-3 degrees when I pour in slowly. The filter needs to be replaced since the tank is so dirty. After this overhaul, rinsing filter at the time of the water change each week will leave it in good shape for 2-3 months before it needs to be replaced again.

This won't scare the fish if they "own" their space. They may even be intensely curious and dog the action as your hand moves around and the new water is dipped out/poured in. Anyone who's scared knows enough to go hide in bed until it's over. No trauma.

Finally, I invested $10 in three Nerite snails to clean up the algae after doing all of the above. I'd been wiping the glass and accomplishing very little, which annoyed the plankton out of me. I figured they'd get some of it, after an adjustment period. Nope. The little devils vacuumed every spot off the glass in the first 24 hours. Then they set to work on the plants, accessories, shell decor, everything. The tank was spotless within days. They're little and get into nooks and crannies. Plus they're pretty, zebra stripes. And they're peaceful and keep to themselves.

It seems like a lot but if you bite the bullet and do the big overhaul, upkeep is painless. It takes 10 minutes every Sunday morning for me to rinse the filter, squeeze out the moss ball, dip out old water/pour in new, and trim out any newly browning plant parts. Afterwards my fish, in his crystal-clear water, darts around happily inspecting everything as though he's the one who did all the work.
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