Algae in my tank

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Welshjones

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Apr 21, 2021
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I have a five gallon tank( bought and set up mid april), located on my kitchen counter away from direct light but we have east and west windows so get lots of natural light. I do weekly 10 % water change( should I do 20%?) and feed only what the fish eat so not much waste, but feed 2x daily. How much algae is ok and why does it grow? It wasn't unsightly, yet, but noticeable.
How much natural light vs tank bulb light is recommended for the fish? ( I have 1 betta, 2 guppies and 1 snail) If it's overcast outside, I have turned the tank light on and left it on ( 9am to 9 pm). With daylight getting brighter and longer, I've turned on the tank light from 4 - 9 pm.
I removed everyone yesterday and saved 20% of water and cleaned the tank. They are in backup tank till new one is stable and clear.
Going forward, how can I have less algae or is it a sign of a healthy tank and should I not be concerned?
(When my betta lived alone in his 3.5 tank, I don't recall much algae)

Thank you,

Delilah
 

Lalo J.

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Mar 8, 2020
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Hi Delilah, what light are you using? Apparently it is too much light exposure for the small 5 gallon tank, algae are opportunistic and in a small tank that receives too much light it is an easy target. IMO, If you don't have natural plants maybe it's better to just let in natural light and see how much algae is left, I would do the 25 or 30% water changes, greetings.
 

Welshjones

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Apr 21, 2021
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Hello again
I looked up the brand for more info and it's a Fluval Spec V
It does brag of having 7000k LED and offers "20% brighter lighting performance for bolder fish colors and plant growth".
It does have 35 tiny LED lights and 2 little blue lights that I believe are for night time.
I do have a lovely moss ball ( the size of a ping pong ball) and a few sprigs of assorted live plants to start, which have now sprouted roots.
So could I safely turn the light on for only a few hours in the evening? Possibly 7 - 9 pm?

Thank you again
Delilah
 
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Lalo J.

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Oh that's a pretty nice and well made tank, if you don't have medium or high requirement plants then I don't see the need for such a long lighting period, maybe 3-4 hours will be enough, as natural light enters to the area where your tank is.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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If you are getting natural light on the tank I would suggest trying leaving the aquarium light off all the time, or maybe just for viewing, certainly not that light for 12 hours. The light on its own is likely a bit too powerful for the aquarium in most cases.

Adding more live plants that grow quicker will also help too.

You can maybe try changing more water (or more often) it will help keep nutrients down in the water that are assisting algae growth.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Reduce light, reduce nutrients added into the tank (food, etc) and increase the amount of water you change are the main things. Some may still build up over time and need to be manually removed.

I think you're on the right track.

I never suggest adding something to the tank just for the purpose of attempting to reduce algae buildup.
 

NoodleCats

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With the stocking, given guppies can be poop machines, id increase your water change amount to 50% (slowly now since they're used to smaller changes, ease them into it over the next while) as it'll keep your nitrates from climbing high sneakily.

Your lighting has already been covered, so don't have much to add about that, except maybe if you find you are getting significant amount of sunlight, try to create a barrier to shade the tank. Example if you get light from both sides, place "backgrounds" on the sides of the tank too. Avoid black though for that as it may heat up the tank a bit which you don't want.
 
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Noroom4shoe

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Algae is an oppertunistic plant, Your tank is overstocked, and the extra food and waste are fertilizing the algae. The sun light and tank light are also fertilizing it. Algae is a healthy live plant, you dont need to remove it, but if you do. you need to remove the dead algae. I suggest you get some live plants like java fern. I suggest you rehome all animals other then the betta.
 

super tetras

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isn't algae good for water quality the same way aquatic plants are?
i just scrub the front side of my aquarium and let the algae be on the sides and back
 

Noroom4shoe

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isn't algae good for water quality the same way aquatic plants are?
i just scrub the front side of my aquarium and let the algae be on the sides and back
I often say that. Yes, algae is a perfectly healthy live plant. Yes, most aquariums will have some algae. But SOMETIMES it grows because of unhealthy problems in the tank, "not always!" But it is good to explore the cause of excessive algae, is it just happy? is it just the light? Or is there too much waste from overfeeding, under filtering, ?. if it is one of those three things changes can easily be made, larger water changes, less food, etc.
 
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