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Discussion Starter #1
It seems like overnight my tank was overtaken with algae. While I'm sure it's been slowly building up, I just noticed it. It appears there's both a brown and a greenish algae. I would definitely like to get something to help with the algae and add to our tank (just 2.5 platies). When we started out we had a bn pleco, and I loved how awesome he was, but I'm not sure our water parameters are fitting for one. I believe my last ph reading was 7.6 (will do another tonight after a water change and tank cleaning), and I know we have hard water. I called to get the gh and kh, but the only number the guy gave me was the caco3 was 186 parts per million. He's the head of the water dept and said that's the only thing they test for. Since we only have a 20 gallon tank I'm not sure what other options I have.
 

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Could we get some pictures of the algae? it will be best to identify the type of algae to make the best decision is removing it.

Brown algae sounds like diatoms, which is natural and will occur, usually, in new tanks.

Green algae could be a variety of algae and will require different changes to the tank to remove it.
 

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Algae's, like all living things need food, air and light. Some algae is almost expected, but we don't want too much. High nitrates and too much light encourages algae growth.

Without knowing the details of your tank maintenance or lighting setup, I'm thinking you might consider increasing the volume of your weekly water change and reducing your lighting duration.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's not planted. I currently do water changes with a vacuum, thoughI removed the gravel as my vac wasn't doing a good job with it. I aim for weekly, but it's unfortunately been 2 weeks.
 

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the algae from what I can tell is fine, your always going to have algae in a colum of water its nature at work. no algae in a tank at all and I would be worried. algae and aquariums will always go hand in hand as algae is a natrul way to balance the tank. now you are saying it pretty much exploded overnight. something happened to cause this.

rtecently change filter?
add any chems?
some excess food?
ammonia?
nitrate?
how long is the light on for
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Light! My husband has started a new job, and he feeds the fish, so the light has been on an extra 2 hours every day this week.

Also, after looking at the snail profiles, I'm thinking about getting a couple apple or rabbit snails, but it recommends sand. Can you add sand to an existing tank?
 

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The Light! My husband has started a new job, and he feeds the fish, so the light has been on an extra 2 hours every day this week.

Also, after looking at the snail profiles, I'm thinking about getting a couple apple or rabbit snails, but it recommends sand. Can you add sand to an existing tank?
I changed from gravel to play sand in one day on a tank that's about 3 month's old and I had no losses.:-D
 

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Back to the algae, you do not have any problems. This is natural and a benefit, and you will never completely eliminate it in a healthy aquarium.

Those of us with live plants have to keep algae minimal, because it can encrust the plant leaves and smother them, killing the plant. But when live plants are not present, algae is a benefit. It functions much the same as plants, though minimally, by taking up nutrients and producing oxygen.

As I think someone mentioned, if you have nutrients (and with a live fish being fed, you do) and light, you will have algae. Enjoy it.:)

On the snails, be careful, as the larger snails can add to the bioload more than many realize. The small snails like the Malaysian Livebearing Snail or the common bladder/pond snails would be better. These too are beneficial; their algae-eating is not much, but more importantly they get down everywhere to eat everything, breaking down the organics faster for the bacteria to handle.

Byron.
 
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