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Miaowen

Would Like Advice On Green Algae

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Have always liked to kepp my tanks nice and clear and always cleaned glass thoroughly at water changes, but am fighting a losing battle with green algae, I have gathered from other posters that some folk quite like this and allow it to spread to certain areas of their tank.....................Guess what I'm asking is what are the benefits of leaving this to spread to back, sides and bottom of tank...............I think I heard that it can help lower nitrates (maybe to help when u can't always do those water changes, I don't know) would really appreciate some advice

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Green algae helps lower nitrates just like any other aquatic plants you get from the store and also they can serve as a salad bar for your fish, so they have plenty to snack on.

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It can help a little with nitrates. It can also coat ornaments and things to make the surfaces softer and less likely to injure your fish. I let the back of my old tank go green...but now that I have a new one set up and it's so sparkly clean I don't know if I'll do it again or not :P

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My tank is low light so I have more brown algae, but I too let it grow on the back wall and on the rock surfaces in my tank. Since I have a barebottom tank, I let it grow there, too. The goldfish always have something to nibble on.

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Does green algae start off really spotty? I've been trying to get more light on my tank and I think I may finally have the beginnings of green algae on the back.

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so only strong/intensified lighting can promote green algae growth? or just have to wait for the tank setup old enough?

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so only strong/intensified lighting can promote green algae growth? or just have to wait for the tank setup old enough?

Actually, some light (full spectrum I beleive) can actually help keep algae away. I went to the lfs last night and the owner hooked me up with a great new light for my trop tank to try and control the algae.

I've found that natural sunlight and time are really all you need to start growing green algae.

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so only strong/intensified lighting can promote green algae growth? or just have to wait for the tank setup old enough?

Actually, some light (full spectrum I beleive) can actually help keep algae away. I went to the lfs last night and the owner hooked me up with a great new light for my trop tank to try and control the algae.

I've found that natural sunlight and time are really all you need to start growing green algae.

I dont have direct sun light in my room. What should I do?

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so only strong/intensified lighting can promote green algae growth? or just have to wait for the tank setup old enough?

As far as I understand it, brown algae out compete green algae in low-light conditions, but it's the other way around in bright-light conditions (that's the theory as far as I know, and that's also what I've noticed in our tanks).

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In my current set up, I am finally starting to get green algae, but I have been opening both windows and the door since the weather's been nice and gotten plenty of sunlight in the room. I only have a very short period of time where it is direct sunlight on the tank, but it still seems to be coming along. I have a small tank in my daughter's room that had a huge green algae bloom. I don't know how to explain that one since her window still has plastic insulation covering the windows from this winter and the curtains are never open. They are white curtains so maybe it was filtered sunlight?

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Green algae, like plants, use the red and blue parts of the (sun)light spectrum for their photosynthesis. In theory it wouldn't matter too much for the algae/plants that there's plastic insulation (as far as I know plastic, or was it glass, only absorbs UV, which it not used in photosynthesis and is even somewhat harmful). And the fact that it are white curtains could/should mean that is lets through all/most of the visible spectrum and shouldn't hinder the photosynthesis. Normally even a light blue or light red curtain would be okay (a bright green curtain on the other hand would only/mainly let through green light, which is basically useless to algae/plants).

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That makes sense. Her window is on the west side of the house and the tank sits by the window so it gets plenty of sunlight late afternoon to evening. The tank in my living room gets most of its light from a North facing window so it doesn't get much direct light except through the door for about an hour before sunset. The algae on that tank is growing on the back of the tank so I'm guessing that the indirect light from the window is enough to get it going. What I don't understand is the tank in her room has been in the same spot since we got it and we battled that yucky brown algae for months. Then all of a sudden, the green started showing up. We live in New Mexico, so even in the winter it's sunny. Did the warm weather have something to do with it?

I forgot to add that I put in an aqua glo light in the living room tank right around when the algae started to show up so I guess it could have been that as well.

Edited by 32flavors

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What I don't understand is the tank in her room has been in the same spot since we got it and we battled that yucky brown algae for months. Then all of a sudden, the green started showing up. We live in New Mexico, so even in the winter it's sunny. Did the warm weather have something to do with it?

It's possible that it's got something to do with the climate. I have no idea about the temperature requirements of brown and green algae. :unsure: In our small tank, we also had brown algae for a really long time before the green algae took over (and impressively fast I might add), despite having a typical middle-European warm (if somewhat rainy) summer and cold (if somewhat rainy) winter.

Another possibility (illustrated by a rather stupid metaphor) may be that brown algae can be compared to sprinters (in that they have a flying start) and green algae more like marathon runners (they start of slow, but can easily outrun/outgrow the sprinters when given enough time). That's just a hypothesis, but it (so far) fits the facts. Anyone else have any experience that corroborate or contradict it?

I forgot to add that I put in an aqua glo light in the living room tank right around when the algae started to show up so I guess it could have been that as well.

Yes, that would fit rather well with idea that green algae do better than brown algae under bright-light conditions. Possibly the added light from the aqua glo was just what the green algae needed to do well enough despite only getting indirect sunlight.

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Algae, while not the prettiest thing to look at sometimes, especially brown, is actually good for the tank. It lowers nitrates, increases oxygen and is a yummy snack for the fish. Constantly attempting to get rid of all of it actually makes your aquatic environment unstable. Algae is a primitive plant source that is the first to grow in an aquatic environment. The more established it gets, the slower it grows and then paves the way for higher plant life forms to grow. If you remove it all, that growth and establishment process has to start all over again. I have brown algae (my tank never gets sun, just artificial light), ugh, but I have found, from experience, that allowing some of it to remain does slow its growth in the rest of the tank. I let it grow in those two intake tubes you may see sticking up in my photo. It's not as heavy in that picture because I just swapped out my old cabinet for a new one I made and had to completely drain and dissassemble my tank to move it, but I let them get completely brown. Algae will never stop growing on everything, but allowing one or two items to just get heavy with the algae really does help. You just have to accept that algae is part of the aquatic environment and embrace it for its qualities.

Edited by lynda441

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I didn't even think about the new light that I had put in because my reasoning for that light was a bit odd. I had read that the red and blue color spectrums of light help black fish retain their black coloring and wanted to try that out. That probably did help quite a bit to get the green algae going. I think I also read that brown algae shows up in most tanks when they are first set up and it takes quite a while to get the green going.

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I have very low light over the GF tank (about 1/2 watt/gallon) and I get mostly brown algae - the tank has been set up almost 3 years. I let it grow all over the back of the tank and the ornaments. The goldfish nibble on it throughout the day, and even if they aren't really eating much it gives them something to do. I am considering changing the light to higher wattage to get the green algae going.

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What's the recommended wattage of line for green algae? 2-3watts per gallon?

I think the standard light fixure that come with our tank wouldn't support anything higher than 20watts. At least for my 20g, the single tube is only about 12 watts and my lfs told me the factory doesn't make anything higher for my type of fixure.

I think the twin tubes are better.

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The light on my 20 gallon is only 15 watts, but is a different light spectrum than the one I had before. I origionally bought it to test someone's theory about that light spectrum and keeping the black color on my fish. When I put that in, I started getting green algae.

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The light on my 20 gallon is only 15 watts, but is a different light spectrum than the one I had before. I origionally bought it to test someone's theory about that light spectrum and keeping the black color on my fish. When I put that in, I started getting green algae.

What type of light do you have now? And you are start getting green algae?

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The light on my 20 gallon is only 15 watts, but is a different light spectrum than the one I had before. I origionally bought it to test someone's theory about that light spectrum and keeping the black color on my fish. When I put that in, I started getting green algae.

What type of light do you have now? And you are start getting green algae?

I have the Hagen Aqua Glo on my tank now and have finally gotten some green algae.

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I have the Hagen Aqua Glo on my tank now and have finally gotten some green algae.

Do u know the K number of your tube? Is it a single tube? I have a 38G tank with the light, I'm thinking to replace the bulb for green algae growth.

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