Algae problem

Natbee

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Hi everyone, I am so very new to this absolutely amazing hobby.
I have searched algae growth but no answers suit my tank - I assume advice is very specific to the tank set up. So here goes..
I have an algae problem!
I have a planted tank.
nitrate, nitrite, ammonia levels 0
I wipe the tank glass every day… Every. Chuffing. Day.
I have a 54l planted freshwater tank (got the tetra starter tank so got the filter and led light that came with it)
1 betta, 5 platys, 1 Corydora (don’t judge on the 1 Cory- that’s another story)
2 snails
led lamp on 12 hours a day. Which is the advice I’d researched online for a planted tank.
I asked advice in petsathome and the assistant advised only having the light on 4 hours (??)
The tank isn’t in direct sunlight but it is a well lit room.
thank you so much in advance for your help!
 
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Colin_T

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hi and welcome to the forum :)

Any pictures of the algae so we can identify it?
 
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Natbee

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Hey!
Thank you!
Here is my tank - the glass was cleaned yesterday.
There is algae on the side glass and at the bottom near the stones. It’s just annoying - and has a smell to it?
3805131F-A03A-487E-8188-CF21BE788819.jpeg
94C1D2BB-BED4-4720-B01D-85BD43051FA0.jpeg
 
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Natbee

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If I put the light behind you can see it better this is from also have froth- which is a new addition! What causes that?

image.jpg
917AC595-BEC2-484D-B301-5C553CD56A83.jpeg
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Straight off, you're feeding your algae nicely, with all of that light. ('12 hours a day').
Remember that we only add lights so that we can see the fish and help the plants, although your room's ambient (natural/normal) light would probably be sufficient.
I also suspect that your algae will be benefitting from sunlight, from a window nearby?

Many are likely to suggest a variety of potential algae-eating fish and these may well be an option, but you'll be limited by the spce you have available in your tank.

So, for starters, try switching your tank lights off and even consider either drawing the curtains, or putting an opaque cover over the tank for a while. Your higher plants will cope, but your algae shouldn't.
 
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Natbee

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B If I put the light behind you can see it better View attachment 140369
Straight off, you're feeding your algae nicely, with all of that light. ('12 hours a day').
Remember that we only add lights so that we can see the fish and help the plants, although your room's ambient (natural/normal) light would probably be sufficient.
I also suspect that your algae will be benefitting from sunlight, from a window nearby?

Many are likely to suggest a variety of potential algae-eating fish and these may well be an option, but you'll be limited by the spce you have available in your tank.

So, for starters, try switching your tank lights off and even consider either drawing the curtains, or putting an opaque cover over the tank for a while. Your higher plants will cope, but your algae shouldn't.
ah thank you for replying! So 12 hours a day is too much! Im sure I read that somewhere.
Thank you for your advice!
 

Byron

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I agree completely on the light. Plants should have at least six hours, though five can work if necessary. But anything more than five or six hours is not "necessary" to maintain healthy plants, and if this additional light is not balanced by sufficient nutrients the plants cannot "use" it so algae has the advantage. And daylight/ambient room light does enter into the equation as mentioned in post #5. I was having issues with black brush algae, and over a period of a couple years I worked out that seven hours of tank lighting prevented algae from increasing/appearing, and in summer (longer and brighter days) the windows of the fish room were completely blocked so no light entered the room, and it worked.

I would reduce the light period down to maybe 7 hours, you can always reduce it another hour if after a couple of weeks things have not improved. [And keep in mind, the algae that is now there is not going to go away unless you remove it, so the test is not increasing the algae, i.e., if you reduce the light and the algae stops increasing, that has resolved the balance.]

Use a timer so the period of "daylight" for the plants is the same each 24-hour period. This period of 7 or whatever hours can be any time, when you are normally home to enjoy the aquarium, just so long as it is the same block of time every day. This is actually more important for fish than plants.

On no account would I recommend adding any so-called "algae eating" fish. There really is not adequate space in this tank for more fish. And the fish might or might not eat this particular algae anyway; not all algae is the same to fish that eat algae.
 
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Colin_T

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I would say the bubbles on the top are from the Siamese fighting fish. He is probably trying to build a bubble nest.

The algae on the glass just looks like green algae and is probably growing from a bit too much light. However, the Ambulia is loving the light so it's a compromise. You can try reducing the light by 1 hour and see how the algae does over the next few weeks. If it's still bad, then reduce it by another hour. But if you reduce the light too much, the Ambulia and other plants won't do as well.

If the algae on the rocks lifts off in sheets and smells musty moldy, then it is blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria) and this needs different treatment.

Personally, I would add some Mystery/ Apple snails or a pair of suckermouth catfish like Bristlenose or Peckoltias. They will help clean up the algae.

You can also put some more floating plants on the surface and they will reduce the light.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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...Personally, I would add some Mystery/ Apple snails or a pair of suckermouth catfish like Bristlenose or Peckoltias. They will help clean up the algae.

You can also put some more floating plants on the surface and they will reduce the light.
Do you think that there's room in that tank for algae eaters or even snails?
 
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Natbee

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Thank you everyone for your replies! Knowledge is power and all that.
I’ll reduce the light. Love that it might be a bubble nest. I think my Japanese fighting fish loves my tank. He is always out and about and comes to see me. When I first got him he hid all the time.
 

ThatFishGirl6231

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You don’t think I can get anymore fish in the tank? Is that because there’s so many plants?
the plants actually are a good thing. without them, your fish would probably suffocate. why can’t you get a bigger tank?
 
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Natbee

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the plants actually are a good thing. without them, your fish would probably suffocate. why can’t you get a bigger tank?
Space at the moment I guess and as I said I’m new to this so didn’t want to shell loads of money out for a massive tank. I’ll get a bigger tank when I move house.

But according to the ‘points system’ at pets at home I could get another 10 points worth of fish in my 54l tank. Which is like 2 Corydora or 5 platys so I was just curious as to why I couldn’t have more? Or is the points system thing a load of rubbish?

Another probably silly question - but why would my fish suffocate if I didn’t have plants? Many fish tanks aren’t planted are they?
 

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