It's Possible I Over-reacted.


New Member
Aug 8, 2019
Sunnyvale, CA
Three weeks into this 55 and it was already looking like the algae was going to win the fight.
I was here years ago and it ended badly.

I panicked...

So, this morning I:
- scrubbed all my hardscape and doused it in hydrogen peroxide.
- snipped all of the doomed leaves and dipped the rest in H2O2/water.
- trimmed the top layer off of the Monte Carlo.
- ditched the little Eheim 2213 and replaced it with a Fluval 407 with biomedia in all four chambers.
- increased my plant volume by about 25% with what I had on hand.
- dropped $100 online to have more plants inbound.
- did an 80% water change instead of the 50% every other day I've been doing.
- kicked out 6 adult angelfish.
- added 25 Amano shrimp.
- cut the light intensity by 25%.
- reduced the light duration by 1 hour down to 6 including 1h ramps.
- upped my tank temp from 68º to 75º.
- washed the glass...
- ate a handful of gummy bears....

Did I just shoot myself in the foot? Did I just start this whole thing over?
I just want my plants to live. I put the hardscape where it is only to increase flow and shade my crypts. I just got back into this hobby. What I'm doing at this point isn't even aquascaping. I need a win...



Article Editor
Staff member
Lifetime Member
Article Editor
Sep 16, 2015
Hillsboro, OR
You did overreact but the changes are good and in right direction. You might still get algae but the GDA will need to run its course (3-4 weeks)
Spot dosing H2O2 is ole, never do full tank.
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New Member
May 10, 2019
Palm Springs, CA
I feel you: re-entered the hobby myself and had an epic 2 month battle with every known kind of algae in my new 55. Mine was caused by a combination of soil substrate that released lots of organics, an STS cap that absorbed it all and fed the algae beast, and too much light (8hrs/day) thinking that would help get the plants established so they could outcompete the algae. Sounds like most people have an algae bloom to start--it's practically inevitable.

Some other things I did that helped:
  • added 4 oto cats--they worked like lawnmowers and practically eliminated the hair algae on the walls in the space of a week
  • Snails: I added a combo of MTS & ramshorns (and some hitchiking bladder snails) at the beginning anticipating the algae. Their numbers exploded naturally, so I got a couple of puffers & some assassin snails to bring them under control. And you can always trap & remove them also
  • Got a UV sterilizer. Got a Green Machine because they had them in stock at Petco, but could've gotten a knock-off online for about 30% if I weren't leaving for 2 wks the following day. Completely cleared the combo BGA/GW pea soup I had going on--came home to the first clear water I'rd had in a month. Still had algae on the walls and some of the ailing plants, but that's easily dealt with.
  • I used ghost shrimp instead of amanos because they're easier to find and much cheaper: 50¢ vs $3.99 each. And they breed readily so I've got a steady supply, and the fish love the fy
Some things I wish I'd done:
  • Gotten the UV sterilizer sooner. I spent like $60 on 2 batches of daphnia hoping they'd clear the water & be a source of fish food. They didn't like the heavily filtered tank and promptly expired.
  • Gotten some P. sphenops mollies--if bought young & fed sparingly they're supposed to eat lots of algae. And their fry provide lots of free live angelfish food. I put in guppies for that reason--they do eat some algae--I suspect that's what the fry survive on until they're big enough for powdered food. Waiting til everything's stabilized before putting in the angels--I now have too many guppies & will need to give most of them to the LFS
  • Siamese algae eaters--IF you can find a supplier that sells the real ones that stay small & vegetarian. They're often mislabeled, and eventually grow into 5"-6" carnivores that harass other fish. The young of any kind are effective though, so might be worth it to get some to clear the algae, then rehome them
Why did you kick out your angels, and where did they go? As crazy-making as algae outbreaks are, all the fish LOVED the pea soup and actually reveled in it. If it were up to them, they'd just keep it that way I'm guessing.

Gummy bears are helpful--more so if they're the infused kind....

Hang in there, and good luck!
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