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Need Help Identifying and Getting Rid of Algae

1056 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  hoppycalif
Hello, Everyone!

I'm relatively new to the hobby and currently battling some issues with algae in my 3 gallon planted betta aquarium that I set about 2-3 months ago. I've tried identifying the species of algae, but I haven't found anything that matches 100% to what I'm dealing with. The closest I've found is green spot algae; however, what I have grows more like a carpet than spots. Without being able to identify it, I'm unable to treat it. It's growing on substrate, plants, and walls of the aquarium. I have tried to remove it manually (which is pretty much impossible to get off of substrate and hairgrass) and I've tried using Top Fin's AlgaeGone (which hasn't done anything). I have also looked into getting some ghost shrimp, but the pet stores in my area don't carry them and I don't think it's worth spending >$20 to have a $2 shrimp mailed to me. Hopefully I can get some answers from you all. Thank you for any help you can provide!

Here are some facts about my tank:
3 gallon freshwater tank
fertilized aquarium substrate
1 Anubias Frazeri, several ludwigia, dwarf hairgrass (which I've tried to carpet without success)
1 marimo moss ball
rose quartz (I don't think this would be a factor, but thought I'd list it anyway)
1 male betta
1 nerite snail
6 hours of light
I've attached some images as well. Let me know if you need any additional information. Thank you for your help!



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Welcome to APC!

Algae grow best with lots of light. What lighting are you using? What light manufacturer, model number, type, etc.? How far is that light from the top of the substrate in the tank?

Knowing what specific algae you have is interesting, but to get it under control the things that you need to do are about the same for all types.
Thanks, hoppycalif!

Here is a link to the light that I am using:

I have it sitting about 16 inches above the substrate and have it on for 6 hours a day. I have a feeling this might be the problem. I really love how it looks with the tank so hopefully not. Is there another light you would recommend? Any further advice is greatly appreciated.
It is very hard to guess the brightness of an aquarium light. Based on what is in that listing for the light I suspect it isn't too much for that tank, but that's just a guess. You need to use a PAR light meter to really find out how much light you have. I don't know where you live, but is there an aquarium club in your area that has a PAR meter to loan out?

Do you dose any fertilizers for the plants? Healthy growing plants are the best defense against algae, and to have that you need the plants to have all of the nutrients they need to grow as fast as the light is making them grow. That means you need nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, carbon and a complete group of trace elements. Potassium, for example, isn't easy to provide by having a fertilized substrate.
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