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To treat or not to treat- algae


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Hi.  I have an almost 6 month old tank.  It has had 1 betta that passed.  And I have purchased another arriving tomorrow.   There is currently just a Zebra snail in the tank.  I’ve been told shrimp and bettas are not good in a 5 gal together so with this algae I have…… should I get an algae treatment or no?  
 

Over the past few weeks or so I’ve changed my light schedule and I do my water changes, even with no fish, and the hairy algae has gotten better but the dark I scrub with a toothbrush but the next day it’s back.  
 

suggestions please 🙏🏻

 

thanks!!!

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Oh and I am the water parameter one that is worried about the hard water and parameters so I am being careful and asking the experts ☺️

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any of the "algae treatments" ie liquid carbon, are minimally effective at best. ill add tot he above, fertilizer/nutrients are important, as are water changes, and lighting schedule/intensity. its all about finding the balance that works best in your tank.

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@Mmiller2001 @lefty o ok.  Thank you so much.   I’ll continue with the water changes and cleaning the plants.  I have been using the Aqueon fertilizer and there are root tabs in the substrate but I have Co-op Easy Green and root tabs delivering today so I’ll add those in with a water change as well.  
 

my lights are the fluval spec 5 gal kit lights.  They have the blue lights for plants and not dimmable but I have them on for 9am til 12pm then back on 1pm til 530pm.  
 

I have seen adding plants will help but unless I redo my scape, which I am all for, I want the newbie to have some room to swim.  
 

thank y’all!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻👏🏻

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Algae is a symptom of poor water quality and poor plant growth. If you learn how to treat a symptom you will continue treating a symptom for the life of your tank. Learn how to keep high quality water. Learn about plant nutrition, this will help you to grow healthy plants!! Id only add, get more plants (particularly fast growing stems) which will make the battle against algae easier! 

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"Algae is a symptom of poor water quality and poor plant growth": I have to raise a hand here... I think this is too generic. It assumes the writer/keeper is doing something bad or wrong, which isn't necessarily true (I mean, it might be true, but I wouldn't assume it).

Algae growth can and does occur in exceptionally healthy tanks. It occurs when the proportion of certain nutrients favors algae over plants. That doesn't mean those proportions are bad, or that they're bad for fish, or that they result from bad maintenance. It just means that the proportions favor algae over plants. It might be that the source water comes out of the tap or the well or whatever that way. 

I would frame poor plant growth as a symptom of the same imbalance (at least in the context of this conversation - more broadly it could also be an outright shortage of light or nutrients, or too hot, or too cold, or toxins, or or or). The algae growth can then make the plant problem worse if the algae further depletes what the plants need. 

On 5/21/2024 at 10:14 AM, Rachel0825 said:

They have the blue lights for plants and not dimmable

Blue lights are great for algae, and not so much for other more desirable plants. I was checking the details on your tank, and 7000K is a bit on the high end of desired spectrum for plants. It does make fish pop, and I suspect that's what it's targeted to do. 

I do think that starting/continuing with fertilizers is one of the keys to fixing your situation. I would also look to add critters to help control algae. A small nerite snail or two, and a small bristlenose (bn) pleco to start. Yes the bn will grow, and will ultimately be too big for this tank. Yes, you'll need to rehome it at that time, and get a smaller one again. But it's worth it, IMO. 

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On 5/21/2024 at 11:19 AM, TOtrees said:

Blue lights are great for algae, and not so much for other more desirable plants. I was checking the details on your tank, and 7000K is a bit on the high end of desired spectrum for plants.

Blue light has no baring on algae. This is an ongoing myth. This has been tested and does not support this conclusion. 
 

Also, this tank was grown on 9000-12000 Kelvin. This was the easily the best growth I’ve had. All Kelvin really dictates is visual appeal.

When it comes to light, too much light is the issue. Not specific colors.

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On 5/21/2024 at 11:48 AM, Mmiller2001 said:

Blue light has no baring on algae. This is an ongoing myth. This has been tested and does not support this conclusion. 
 

Also, this tank was grown on 9000-12000 Kelvin. This was the easily the best growth I’ve had. All Kelvin really dictates is visual appeal.

When it comes to light, too much light is the issue. Not specific colors.

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great to know thanks. 

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Thanks all.  Really.   I appreciate it.   
 

maybe to help — @JoeQ @TOtrees @Mmiller2001 beautiful planted tank ♥️

 

I have thought about electrical tape over a portion of the light bar   Would that help do you think to cut light down or just zoom invest in a different canopy?  So my timing is ok but now it’s the light intensity it seems   
 

I have the zebra snail   I can add a pleco for sure    I will search for one to get asap   Lol   
 

i was using the top fin aquarium water and all was fine til it wasn’t    My GH raised and since then I’ve check daily    I do use my tap water which seems to have better parameters    I treat the water with API Stress Coat and have noticed my parameters seem much better than a month ago    So I have been trying to have the ritz Carlton of water.   And it has been suggested and I’d need to stay standard with Aquafina added into it or I’d be afraid to try distilled 👀🤷🏻‍♀️
 

I have 8 small pieces of mopani wood in the tank   I can redo my scape and remove wood and add plants if that’s better results   With it being a 5 gal I can only fit so much lol   But adding plants is awesome   It’s what I want I’ve just been trying to attack the algae and didn’t think the plants would help with that situation    I did have frogbit- loved it but the hanging roots and grabbing the algae looked horrible so I rehomed it    
 

so I’ll look for fast growing plants- suggestions welcome   A pleco    I’ll wait for the light intensity  and maintain water changes and increase fertilizer   And keep brushing my plants   
 

thank you 🙏🏻 it is appreciated   Sorry my phone stopped making sentences 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

 

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Aaaaaagh.   I am so proud of myself.  I think it looks amazing.  And my little guys seem to enjoy it.  I got my baby juvenile pleco, Banjo, and my new unnamed betta in there and they seemed to be checking out the new home.   
 

I think this is a good start…..70% planted, maybe? 🤔 😂👍🏻

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On 5/21/2024 at 1:08 PM, Rachel0825 said:

Thanks all.  Really.   I appreciate it.   
 

maybe to help — @JoeQ @TOtrees @Mmiller2001 beautiful planted tank ♥️

 

I have thought about electrical tape over a portion of the light bar   Would that help do you think to cut light down or just zoom invest in a different canopy?  So my timing is ok but now it’s the light intensity it seems   
 

I have the zebra snail   I can add a pleco for sure    I will search for one to get asap   Lol   
 

i was using the top fin aquarium water and all was fine til it wasn’t    My GH raised and since then I’ve check daily    I do use my tap water which seems to have better parameters    I treat the water with API Stress Coat and have noticed my parameters seem much better than a month ago    So I have been trying to have the ritz Carlton of water.   And it has been suggested and I’d need to stay standard with Aquafina added into it or I’d be afraid to try distilled 👀🤷🏻‍♀️
 

I have 8 small pieces of mopani wood in the tank   I can redo my scape and remove wood and add plants if that’s better results   With it being a 5 gal I can only fit so much lol   But adding plants is awesome   It’s what I want I’ve just been trying to attack the algae and didn’t think the plants would help with that situation    I did have frogbit- loved it but the hanging roots and grabbing the algae looked horrible so I rehomed it    
 

so I’ll look for fast growing plants- suggestions welcome   A pleco    I’ll wait for the light intensity  and maintain water changes and increase fertilizer   And keep brushing my plants   
 

thank you 🙏🏻 it is appreciated   Sorry my phone stopped making sentences 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

 

Don't remove the wood, you can grow some plants on the wood, fast growing plants are most of the stems like Anacris, Pearl weed, floating plants are great because instead of trimming you just take handful of them out.

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Posted (edited)

Just a thought after reading the suggestions:  Can you turn down the intensity of your light?  Anubias that is growing algae on the leaves are usually being subjected to too high light intensity (PAR).  If you could turn it down a bit, and decrease the time it is on by one hour for a few weeks, you may see a change.  I have some recent experience with this with a 55-gallon, with very large Anubias hastifolia mounted on large petrified wood "rocks".  I have also added some floating plants to create some shadow.  I still see some, but it is lessening.  I am about a month into the adjustments I've made.  The fish seem to be enjoying the dimmer enviroment, too.

Edited by Lisa P
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On 5/26/2024 at 5:58 PM, Lisa P said:

Just a thought after reading the suggestions:  Can you turn down the intensity of your light?  Anubias that is growing algae on the leaves are usually being subjected to too high light intensity (PAR).  If you could turn it down a bit, and decrease the time it is on by one hour for a few weeks, you may see a change.  

Thanks for the info.   This is the Fluval kit light so it is not dimmable.   I do have the lights timed down but can take another hour off.  I did have frogbit when I first started it.  Loved it at the top but the roots growing so fast and then it did get algae and stuff in the roots so I rehomed it.  

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