This is a discussion on Plastic plants within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; -->
I have a dark green to black algae growing on my plastic plants. I can't stand it. Is there any easy way to get ...
I have a dark green to black algae growing on my plastic plants. I can't stand it. Is there any easy way to get rid of it? Or am I better off just replacing them? I've tried scrubbing with a toothbrush, and pieces of plant just break off.
What are your phosphate levels? How long do you leave your lights on? What kind of light is running, and what are the tank stats for size, filtration, feeding, etc...?
What kind of fish are in the tank?
Plastic plants will tend to get brittle after a long time in a tank, so need to be replaced when they show signs of breaking. Silk plants tend to last a lot longer and are easier to clean, plus look more natural. If there are no vegetarian fish in the tank, I would suggest adding some live plants to the tank.
I don't measure phosphates. THe lights are on 12 hours a day. Actually, this happens to be the 'cleanes' tank, which I've always found a little unusual, but perhaps its due to the low stock -- 1 (sunset?) gourami, 3 checker barbs and 2 harlequin rasboras (20gal)? Of course, its the only one without live plants and during gravel washes, the water generally has a green tint. I used to have plants in there, but they died when I moved them.....swords mostly......I also had a big ammonia spike a while back (year ago) and pH hike that appeared to kill off all the snails (and a gourami I had at the time -- the water was always so clear, I'd often skip water changes...learned my lesson).... the snails never made much of a comeback.
I never even heard of silk plants for aquariums! I will check them out and maybe experiment with some live plants as well.
What do your nitrate and phosphate levels look like? 12 hrs is quite a lot of light for a freshwater tank, especially without live plants in there. I would cut the time down to 8 - 10 hrs/day and check those levels before deciding what to do... algae won't go away and stay away unless you first identify the cause and then fix THAT.
I think I'd have to put in a bunch of plants, cause I've put in a few small plants, and they just got covered in this dark algae. I don't have much gravel to hold down plants.
IMHO live plants are much more attractive than artificial plants and will help with nitrate concentration reduction.
There are several species of live plants which are "idiot proof" (I know this because mine are alive and I am using them to gain experience).
Pls. don't "sweat" the shallow bottom cover as this situation can be easily overcome.
You will have the same problem with any objects (incluing the walls) in your aquarium becoming algae covered unless you control your lighting period and feeding. From what you have said I am somewhat suprised that you have not reported an algae bloom also.
The brown algae which you describe is the hardest to get rid of (or a least was for me but I did not have much).