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Fighting Algae. Solution?


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I've been fighting algae on my 72 bowfront tank for about 3-4 weeks now, and it seems like nothing is working. There is heavy algae build up after about 2 days of not scrubbing the glass of the tank, and the water seems a little green after a short while without a water change. I only leave my light on for about 12 hours a day, and it's not even over 1wpg yet. I have some anubias, java ferns and bacopa carolina in the tank. No direct sunlight, and only 7 fish total. Any idea how I can solve this?

Also mods, please move this if it's not in appropriate section.

Edited by alvintran1998
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12 hours of light a day is a lot, if you don't actually have need to keep lights on that long.

Do you have plants in the tank? If not, perhaps you could do 4 hours pulses instead of 12 hours straight.

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12 hours of light a day is a lot, if you don't actually have need to keep lights on that long.

Do you have plants in the tank? If not, perhaps you could do 4 hours pulses instead of 12 hours straight.

Yes, as I stated above, I have some anubias, java ferns, and bacopa carolina.

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Alvin, we had a tank where this was a problem. Reducing the amount of light will slow the growth of the algae but ultimately you will either need to commit to more water changes or buy a UV filter. On the up side, the fish actually thrive in the green water and presence of algae. Any steps you take will be for your benefit. :)

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I think you could cut back the lights at least by a couple of hours which should help. You said heavy algae build up and green water. What color is the algae itself? Also what are your nitrates at in that tank?

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Okay, I will try reducing the light on time, how long would you recommend I leave it on?

The algae is green, but I also have some brown algae on the plants as well.

I haven't tested my nitrate in a while but it was always high when I tested them. Around ~40 after a week.

I wouldn't mind doing more water changes at all, but these algae build up so quickly that I question if water changes will help reduce it.

also, I do have 2 apple snails in the tank, and they don't seem to help at all :-( sigh.

Also, I don't use any fertilizer, or any chemicals in the tank at all.

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Just FYI, you will see alot more algae growth with nitrates up at that level, see if getting your nitrates down through larger water changes helps as well as cutting your lights back to 8 or 9 hours a day. Also, silicates from your new tank will make diatoms grow too and there is not much you can do about that while the tank is new other then wipe them off frequently.

Edited by CindiL
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Just FYI, you will see alot more algae growth with nitrates up at that level, see if getting your nitrates down through larger water changes helps as well as cutting your lights back to 8 or 9 hours a day. Also, silicates from your new tank will make diatoms grow too and there is not much you can do about that while the tank is new other then wipe them off frequently.

Okay thanks. I'll do more frequent water changes and cut the lights down.

As for the diatoms, is there anything to do to make it go away besides waiting it out? And how long will it normally take for it to go away?

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Okay thanks. I'll do more frequent water changes and cut the lights down.

As for the diatoms, is there anything to do to make it go away besides waiting it out? And how long will it normally take for it to go away?

I have been told here on this site that 6mo to a year they should go away. I still have them too in my 40b which is 6 months old though lately I've been thinking there isn't as much as there used to be so I'm hoping in another month or two they are gone.....

I just clean them as I see them because I don't like looking at them. And I do think getting my nitrates down overall has helped.

I think they are the worst part about fish keeping!

Edited by CindiL
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When was the last time you changed the bulbs... they only really last for 6 months :o

I just got the bulbs when I got the tank, which is about a month or two ago.

Did these bulbs come used with the tank? If so, how old are they?

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When I get any sort of algae bloom starting in my tank, I leave the lights off for a couple days.

The lights on my tank do not come on until at least 10am, and they go off by 6pm. My tank is in the dining room/living room area, so there is enough light filtering in between the kitchen window, the patio doors when I open the heavy curtains a bit, and the dining room light to be sufficient anyway.

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