Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ImShellyC 06-28-2013 09:15 PM

20 gal acrylic tank with green algae issue
I have had aquariums for years and have never had issues with green algae. I only have a couple of tetras in this tank. I previously had a single betta in there. I had the algae problem then too. I completely emptied the tank after the betta died and started over with the tetras and the algae bloomed again. Do the tablets for algae control work?

Byron 06-29-2013 06:10 PM

No to your question, although more correctly it is the harm they may do to plants and fish as much as their ineffectiveness. But regardless, as with most "problems" the correct solution is to deal with the cause, rather than "band-aiding" to mask it, since the problem will almost always recur.

So the first thing to find out, is just what this "green algae" is. I'll assume it is not "green water" from what you have indicated. Is it a green slimy film? Or is it more of a fuzz that comes off easily with your fingers? Or more like a bush or brush that will ndot wipe off? Or green dots on the glass? A photo would help us ID it.

And are there live plants? And what is the tank lighting and how long is it on?


ImShellyC 07-01-2013 09:53 AM

You can see the nasty stuff in these pictures. They are like balls of green goo all down the center of the tank. It gets on the glass as well and in the fake plants. The aquarium has no live plants and the light is on 9 hours a day. Perhaps that is the problem? I have had others with that much light and had no issues. In fact, my 55 gallon tank has the same settings on its timer and it has zero algae issues. This aquarium is in a basement and doesn't get as much natural light as the 55 gal. I am about ready to toss this aquarium and forget it. It is always so disgusting looking. Please help.

ImShellyC 07-01-2013 09:55 AM

Byron 07-01-2013 11:48 AM

A clearer photo would help, can you not zoom in so close? I'm not sure if what I see is brush algae, or something else.

But I can provide a bit of information, now that I know more about the tank. First thing is that with fish in a closed volume of water, there will be organics/nutrients produced continually. As there are no live plants to take these up, algae will easily appear. The light will partially determine which algae, and the more light, the more algae. Various types of algae can occur, it depends upon the specific circumstances. Even those of us with several tanks in a fish room, using identical light, nutrient supplementation, fish loads, etc. find that one type of algae may occur in this tank but no other, and a different type in another, etc. One of life's mysteries.

Algae is not fussy about light, it can use any light. Those with planted tanks know that when the light tube becomes too dim for the plants, algae begins to proliferate. Changing anything, such as light type, nutrients, fish and foods, etc. can spark an outbreak of this or that algae. Algae is very adaptable. It is, after all, the basis of all surface life on earth.

Regular water changes help to control algae, but again this is limited as you can't possibly remove all nutrients permanently. Restricting the light will affect it, but for the sake of the fish you want a regular light period and complete darkness, not something going on and off at odd hours.


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