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bolivianbaby
09-11-2014, 05:20 PM
5g betta tank. Params 0-0-10. Temp 76-78. It's been up and running for 5 years. Compact fluorescent lighting and the tank is in my kitchen, which is a room that gets a lot of daylight.

Algae was covering up the tank so I took out my betta boy, cleaned the tank, substrate, and decoration, but left the filter alone.

Two weeks later, the algae is regrowing along the substrate. It's "kelly green" and spreads like groundcover.

How can I kill it and prevent it from coming back?

caricell
09-11-2014, 06:58 PM
Compact Flourescent on a 5 gal tank?? Sounds like way overkill.




5g betta tank. Params 0-0-10. Temp 76-78. It's been up and running for 5 years. Compact fluorescent lighting and the tank is in my kitchen, which is a room that gets a lot of daylight.

Algae was covering up the tank so I took out my betta boy, cleaned the tank, substrate, and decoration, but left the filter alone.

Two weeks later, the algae is regrowing along the substrate. It's "kelly green" and spreads like groundcover.

How can I kill it and prevent it from coming back?

jhw972
09-11-2014, 07:04 PM
I suggest putting some sort of plant in there to help remove the nutrients. Java Fern is the quintessential low light plant. My son's bettas always enjoyed laying on the Rotala leaves in his tank. Get something in there to use them, otherwise the algae will.

bolivianbaby
09-11-2014, 07:08 PM
Compact Flourescent on a 5 gal tank?? Sounds like way overkill.


Not horribly so. It's low wattage. With the regular bulbs, it's not bright enough. I've attached a picture of the tank from right after the cleaning, which is why the water is cloudy.

bolivianbaby
09-11-2014, 07:26 PM
I suggest putting some sort of plant in there to help remove the nutrients. Java Fern is the quintessential low light plant. My son's bettas always enjoyed laying on the Rotala leaves in his tank. Get something in there to use them, otherwise the algae will.

I have some plants in there. I can't remember what it is. I have thought about changing the substrate to sand and pulling out plants from other tanks. My other 5g betta tank has a lot of java fern and could easily share. I also have plenty of plants in my 20g shrimp tank that I could pull.

Thank you very much!!!!

gloriousbettas
09-23-2014, 02:59 PM
I would definitely add more plants. Bettas in the wild live in rice patties and slower moving streams with lots of vegetation. It is your tank, so you do what is best for you, but if you can move more plants in . . . I have found my bettas really like lacy java ferns (windelov) as the little "sprouts" make great hammocks for the fish. Also java moss or flame moss or pelia or willow moss might do well in your tank and give the algae some competition.

hsd
09-23-2014, 03:16 PM
You could try adding a quick growing plant like hornwort. It should be able to outcompete algae for nutrients and help keep it in check.

byork
09-23-2014, 04:02 PM
Hornwort, or frog bit would work quick. You could some ferns or something slower growing for a more long term solution and I don't think an Otto or 2 would be a bad idea.

Of course you could increase your water change frequency to get the nitrates down. Also consider your phosphate concentration.

bolivianbaby
09-24-2014, 08:27 AM
Thanks all.

I redid the tank, put a sand substrate, some java fern, have some floating water sprite, and some anubias in the betta tank :) I also put a few MTS in there. So far, so good, but as we all know, time will tell for sure.

Will consider the ottos later on if needed, but Diavol (the betta) doesn't play well with others so I would have to proceed carefully there.

Hoping to post pics over the next few days. Have had my hands full lately.

Dana Menello
10-03-2014, 09:49 PM
Personally, I love nano aquariums. I especially love betta tanks. I've had hundreds of them over the years. Sometimes, a dozen at a time. Always, always planted. I hope your setup is working well, but it's gonna take a lot of work with that setup.

First of all, there really isn't any need for companions for the betta. Most males don't play well with others if they've been left alone for a while. Even females can be nippy. If you want, a few ramshorn snails are great for snacking a bit. Most are cheap, a couple of dollars at best.

I most definately recommend plants. If you have water, light, and a bioload (the fish, his poop, and excess food), then you need something to clean it up. Yes, the filter will do a little bit, but those bacteria only convert waste into different waste, leaving it less harmful, but still in the tank. If you do nothing, algae will take care of the problem for you, but its rather unslightly and the only good way is to change the water frequently to keep the dissolved waste down.

A general rule of thumb is 1/3 the surface area of the tank should be planted with fast-growing plants. Of course, there are lots of other factors, but in your case, 1/3 is good. That's maybe two dozen plants. If your tank can support them, those plants will balance out one big, messy betta.

The major problems I see are 1) sand substrate doesn't support plants very well. 2) java fern and anubias are very slow growing plants, and 3) one little CFL isn't going to be enough light.

I've had that exact tank you've got and was successful with it for years. First, i added a layer of potting soil (i didn't have anything else on hand) under the sand. Second, I exchanged the CFL for a better light by removing the top and using a desk lamp (a 47 watt cfl for reading). Third, I added a lot of plants. Bettas don't really care for swimming space. They like to shimmy in the front glass whenever you come near, but most of the time, they stay curled up in the leaves near the top. This is natural for them.

There are lots of plant options. Hornwort and wisteria have been suggested. They're both great choices. Amazon swords, ludwigia, dwarf val, hairgrass, etc. It doesn't really matter. If you're short on cash, go to the nearest sunny, water-filled ditch and pick some plants. Anything in the bottom will work. Drop them in a 5% bleach solution for 2 minutes and you're good to go. Point is, more plants. A lot more.

Then, watch the tank. The plants will grow like crazy, feeding off the nutrients in the potting soil. When the stop growing, trim some out and they'll be growing again. eventually, the substrate will become colonized with good bacteria and it'll start to stabilize.

Yes, there are a lot of methods out there on the internet. No, i wouldn't recommend potting soil in a tank less than 5 gallons (i've tried). Yes, you need a lot of plants and more light. The only way around that is more frequent water changes. I've had as much as 30 PAR on a 5 gallon tank without any problems using exactly this setup. The water was so pure, I grew hundreds of crystal red shrimp for resale (they can handle very little nitrates in their water). No, i don't change water very often. Maybe one every other month. Mostly, i just add evaporated water.

Five gallons can be pretty stable in the right conditions. I know I've been long winded, but I've seen a lot of threads with just this sort of setup problems and thought i'd post what i could before i fell asleep...

oh, ps. I don't add fertilizer. Bettas are messy. Plenty of macro and micros will come in with top-off water and fish food. Adding CO2 will change things and you may need them then, but don't worry about it. maybe buy some excel. Its good for dozing carbon (which is a plant limiter) and for killing brush algae, which can develop in established aquariums no matter what you do.