View Full Version : Problems with Algae
01-19-2009, 10:51 PM
I have a 20 gallon tank, and have had it for about 3-4 months (it is cycled and good to go). For the past month I am really getting an algae problem, where it is all over the place. What steps can I do to keep the algae at a minimum? I am spending more and more time cleaning the algae off everything during my weekly cleanings. I have the following fish and no plants:
- 6 serpea tetrea
- 1 male & 2 female dwarf guorami
- 6 amano shrimp
The tank is not close to direct sunlight, but I do have a sun tunnel that is diffused light not too far from it.
01-20-2009, 01:51 AM
What are your nitrates? More nitrates= more algae provided they have any amount of light.
Scrub the algae off, vacuum the gravel, and then leave the lights off for a week. It's ok to turn them on for feeding if your fish need lights to see the food. Feed less in general (everything should be gone in 1 minute) and maybe cut down the number of feedings per day. You'd be surprised how little food fish actually need.
It also helps to have something to use all that fertilizer other than the algae. See if you can get some easy, fast-growing plants like hornwort and java moss to help suck some of that up. Your gouramis will love the hornwort, especially if it's floating, and shrimp just love java moss.
Also keep in mind that some algae is normal. You can never be rid of all of it, it's just a matter of not letting it get out of hand.:11:
01-20-2009, 04:12 AM
I would add live plants, fast growing ones. They will use up the nutrients in the water so that algae can't grow.
It's not just direct sunlight that will cause algae, but also a lot of natural light in the room will cause it.
01-20-2009, 06:30 AM
Yup, I would get live plants if you can't put it in another room that isn't exposed to so much natural light..
Or if you don't want to get into live plants for whatever reason, and you want it in that room, you could invest in a UV sterilizer, if you have a canister filter in there (which you probably don't, it being a 20g)..
01-20-2009, 07:52 AM
I'll send my 2 Bristlenose Plecs over for a holiday. A day should be long enough for them to clear the tank of algae...
I had a problem with my tank and algae but between the amount of plants i put in and the plecs, it's pretty clear these days.
01-20-2009, 05:03 PM
My Nitrates are in the 40 range. I cannot move the tank (tiny house with 2 kids and a dog), plus I don't think it will help since I have these sun tunnels in every room. I do keep the light on for a long time between 12-16 hours. I feed the fish twice a day, and give them a small amount. We just had our 2nd kid a few weeks ago, and my parents-in-law feed the fish for us. They might have feed them too much. I usually do weekly water changes, but lately been doing it every 2 weeks. I have a 2.5 gallon bucket and change out one bucket if weekly, or 2 buckets if 2 weeks.
I think I will try adding plants. How is the maintenance with plants? I have gravel in my tank, can I plant them in that? How many plants should I get to start with?
01-20-2009, 05:36 PM
I do keep the light on for a long time between 12-16 hours
There you go..
Your lighting period should be 10-12 hours at MOST.. With natural light in that room you could go with 10, and if you're still having trouble, 8..
Cut your feedings down, amount and frequency, and do more frequent WC's (go back to weekly), and that should help considerably, with the algae AND the highish nitrates..
Plants will definitely help with both, as well!
With a 20g, I would stick to small, low light plants..
Java moss, java fern, crypts..
If you have a picture of your tank, and could tell me how much light you have, I could make better suggestions..
01-20-2009, 10:07 PM
Yup, the light cycle should really be shorter. You can get timers for it so you don't have to remember.
I know you're really busy with the new baby, but you'll have a lot easier time with the algae if you keep the nitrates a lot lower. 40 ppm is where it starts being dangerous to fish. IMO change out at least 25% (5 gallons) a week, although I'd do a 50% right now to get the nitrates down.
Have your inlaws feed the fish only once a day. The fish will be just fine (less food is usually better than more) and will help keep the nitrates down.
01-20-2009, 10:12 PM
The fish will be just fine
They sure will..
Keep in mind it is RECOMMENDED to not feed them at all at least once a week (to help clear out their little digestive tracts so they don't get backed up), and that fish can go a week to a week and a half without eating..
01-21-2009, 03:37 PM
Thanks everyone for your advice. For the next week I will turn off the light, afterward only run it for 8-10 hours. I will change the feeding schedule to once a day, and skip a feeding once a week. I will change 5 gal every week instead of 2.5. I will also look at getting some plants. I will post a picture of my tank this weekend. Thanks again!
01-21-2009, 11:26 PM
that fish can go a week to a week and a half without eating..
omg! Really? Mine act like Im starving them to death all the time! Especially the pleco! He refuses to eat algae anymore. He eats his wafers, zuccinni, cucumber and I'm trying to get him to eat lettuce but so far, no go.
Huh, maybe I should quit feeding them for a bit. Might kick-start him back into doing what I got him for!
P.S Sorry for the thread high-jack!! (blush)
01-22-2009, 05:16 AM
Yeah, if I give mine a zucchini slice he doesn't leave it until it's gone..
Then he's forced to eat algae till the next veggie in 4 days to a week..
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