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Algae and Plastic Tanks

Discussion in 'Aquarium Equipment & Decor' started by LadyFaire, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. LadyFaire

    LadyFaire Thread Starter New Member

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    OK, stupid question time: Do the plastic/lucite tanks have an affinity or proclivity towards algae? I have a 5 gal tank for my betta, and I'm having the worst time with algae. I'm using the same water (DI) that I use in my big tank (55 gal - glass), I have live plants and it is not in direct sun. In fact, it is on the other side of the room. My big tank has minimal algae problems - I changed to DI water because the local water is so high in phosphates that algae is pretty much guaranteed. No problems since changing to the DI water. But the betta tank is driving me nuts! All over the walls, the plants, the intake for the filter, the heater - you get the idea. I don't want to use an algaecide as it is extremely toxic to the fish and live plants.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. nossie

    nossie Member

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    I had a friend who had a small plastic tank with some guppies in it, live plants as well |:
    I really don't know how it works! But I'd say that generally, it's easier for a smaller system to be overridden by algae. In a bigger tank, you should just be happy to have some growing on the walls or something, but they rarely spread to the degree they do in a smaller aquarium.

    There are algaecides that are designed not to harm fish or plants, you could try that! But before you'd do that, you could try removing as much algae as you can with a brush or rough sponge and then remove pretty much of the water.
     
  3. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    You wouldn't happen to have any algae eating fish in the 55 would you ?
     
  4. James0816

    James0816 New Member

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    It's definately alot harder to maintain balance in the smaller tanks. The flux rates are incredible.

    New tank? Lighting? Photo period? Type of algae? These are some initial questions.
     
  5. LadyFaire

    LadyFaire Thread Starter New Member

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    OK, I can see I didn't give all the information available. The tank was given to me, so it is used, not new. The lighting is the included hood and skinny flourescent bulb that came with it. I run the light about 12-15 hrs per day, same as the big tank. Right now, there is only the betta in the tank, as I was planning on breeding him (GORGEOUS!!!!). I've tried a couple of drops of my 'pond' algaecide, but am scared to use much of it - even though it SAYS safe for plants and fish, it killed all of the goldfish in my pond! If someone knows of a good algaecide that won't kill my beautiful, crowntail betta, I'd be happy to hear it! Brand, please.

    Thanks for all the responses!
     
  6. James0816

    James0816 New Member

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    My apologies...I meant new as in how long it has been set up? Sry.

    Have you been able to identify the type of algae? Color?

    First thing I'm going to recommend is to cut back on your photo period. Look to no more than 10 hours.
     
  7. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    what kind of bulb is it, one of those night light bulbs or a small compact fluorescent?
     
  8. LadyFaire

    LadyFaire Thread Starter New Member

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    Tank has been set up for about 3-4 months, and the light is a very thin fluorescent of about 14" length. The algae on the fixtures and walls is GREEN! The algae on the plants and rocks is black.
     
  9. James0816

    James0816 New Member

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    Ok..that takes out diatoms.

    Can you post some water test numbers? Maybe a pic or two. What kind of plants and any plant suppliments being added?

    Hope you don't mind all the questions. Just gathering info.

    As for the green algae...spots or fuzzy? The black is more than likely the dreaded BBA.
     
  10. LadyFaire

    LadyFaire Thread Starter New Member

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  11. James0816

    James0816 New Member

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    Black Beard/Brush Algae...Arrrrrggggg! Ok..so the pirate sound was bad. :D
     
  12. LadyFaire

    LadyFaire Thread Starter New Member

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    OK, here are the numbers from my water tests: NO3 -20; NO2 - 0; GH - 230; KH - 0; pH - 6.2

    The bright green algae is pretty much a smooth layer, the black has 'tendrils'. The plants are Java fern and wisteria, there are NO suppliments being added for anything. The base layer (gravel) is a combination of rock and store gravel, the only decoration in the tank is a 'fake' tree trunk - hollow (for the betta to play hidey in).
     
  13. James0816

    James0816 New Member

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    Numbers look good. Definately cut back on your photo period to <= 10hrs.
     
  14. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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    no dechlorinator with the addition of clean water?
     
  15. MOD_Dawn

    MOD_Dawn Active Member

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  16. LadyFaire

    LadyFaire Thread Starter New Member

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    With DI water, no declorinator is necessary, as there isn't any in there to begin with.

    After checking the suggested topic, I've come to the conclusion that the devil IS the dreaded BBA. The only thing I can't figure is why the plastic tank has it, but the glass one doesn't. I DID have this with the glass tank back several years ago, which is why I changed to DI water, and no problems since.

    Since I STILL think the fact that the tank is plastic has something to do with this problem, I'll probably toss this tank and get a glass one for the betta. If I have fry in the tank, I can't be doing any chemical crap, or heavy duty water changes - daddy just might eat the babies if I upset him too much, and the chemicals didn't kill all of them. He is so gorgeous I HAVE to breed him and see his babies! I'm thinking about 'mixing' colors... He is a vibrant, glorious crimson, and I found a lovely BLUE female with dark purple fins. Should make for some pretty babies!
     
  17. HBIC

    HBIC Need help??? That's what we're here for :)

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    I have 10 tanks in all and one of them is infested with BBA. The water I use for the tanks all comes from the same source so I don't quite understand why this one tank has it and none of the rest. Two things I have discovered about BBA check your phosphates as that is very likely the cause, second fluctuating CO2 can also be a contributing factor. Increase your surface movement. As far as getting rid of it totally, now that's another story. Normally to totally rid yourself of it usually involves a total tank breakdown and a healthy bleaching of EVERYTHING.