Algae growing on my plastic plants -- very unsightly! One guy on youtube recommends putting them thru the dishwasher cycle with bleach. (I saw this video b4 discovering ur site.) Is this safe? If its not, what would be ur recommendation? I was reading John's blog on "live" aquarium plants & how it may help maintain a healthy environment in the tank. It was very interesting! I will read more about what this site has to say about it b4 moving in that direction.
Hey, John & Kristin, I am building triceps & biceps doing this 30% water change on the daily! (yeah!) The nitrite levels just refuses to budge... ugh! Will venture on as u suggested! Have a great weekend!
By now you could probably do smaller water changes, and that could help with the nitrogen cycle. Be sure you're measuring nitrite (with an I) and not nitrate (with an A). Algae on plastic plants is common, but it could also be an indication of too many nutrients or too much light. It seems like the partial water changes would get rid of any excess nutrients, but you may want to be sure the fish eat all of the offered food in a couple of minutes. Some water supplies also have quite a bit of nitrate and other elements or compounds that stimulate plant growth. Fast growing live plants usually solve most of those problems. You can also reduce mineral content by using reverse osmosis or distilled water for some but not all partial water changes.
The nitrite should get to zero in a few days, so please keep us posted.
When I had the algae problem on plastic and silk plants and some decorations - I just took them out and washed in very warm tap water using a clean kitchen scrub/sponge if necessary (but remember with no detergent as this would kill your fish!)!
I think with distilled/RO water you should use mineral supplements since this is just pure H2O nothing more.
If you use distilled or RO water for all of the partial water changes, then mineral supplementation is required to keep pH under control. If the water supply is very high in minerals, you can dilute them by using RO or distilled water on a few of the partial water changes.
Most aquariums will have some algae. It's not so bad, because some fish will eat the stuff and it also houses micro organisms that fry can eat. A large algae bloom usually means too many nutrients or too much light. Live plants will consume most of the nutrients that would otherwise feed the algae.
I had this problem once as well. I took them out and used a clean dish rag to gently wipe down the plants.
Also, as you know by now, ammonia and nitrite should be at zero. Nitrates should be below 40 ppm, as some people belive that levles above 40 can lead to algae blooms. However, since the way to solve that is through more water changes, and you are already doing that... I would just keep testing water regularly. You could probably go down to 20% water changes daily by now for the rest of the cycling process, then to 25% weekly.
As John said, some algae in a tank is not a bad thing, as can even be a good thing. But like you, it annoys me when it's on my plants. Do you have anything like an oto, shrimp, or snail? They might be good for algae, depending on the type, but you shouldn't adda nything until the tank is cycled. Also, having live plants greatly reduces algae, because the plants usually out-compete the algae for nutrients. Excess nutrients will still cause algae blooms, so make sure you aren't overfeeding. Overfeeding can also lead to more ammonia, anpther thing you don't want (as you know by now).
Bleach could be safe to clean aquarium decorations if you do it right. I actually cleaned a whole tank that way. Just soak in bleach overnight, take out and let eveything dry (bleach evaporates). Then, rinse very well, even soak in water with extra dechlorinator overnight. But I wouldn't use this method if you had other options.
Because live plants can be difficult, i changed over to all plastic or silk several years ago. In my garage now sits one of those huge garbage bags stuffed full of plastic plants.
after first few mistakes for going plastic for my betta I only bought him silk rising brows and seeing big questions marks in the eyes of all those LPS staff. Soon after I noticed they started stocking silk plants...
Hey John I saw on ebay a full of marine fake corals Biorb to go for a quite a lot of money - maybe you could make some use of your plastic ones? lol
John, huge garbage bags full of plastic plants!? How many fish tanks do u have?...lol My nitrite (with an i) level remains the same.
Kristen & Kasia-- thanks for ur suggestions on how to clean my plastic plants.
Oh John is a fish tank addict What he needs now is Betta spIendens in his collection. John - havent you promised us to get a red Betta on the other day? have my little tank for over two years now and I have loads of plastic unwanted stuff
I would like to raise some Bettas, but it's too hot in Phoenix right now to have any fish shipped in. I still have a bunch of store credits with one of the local aquarium shops. It's on the other side of town.
Yeah, my collection of stuff is growing as well. Currently have about 20 ponds of gravel plus some rocks and plastic plants just sittin in a bucket because I migh use them again one day... .yeah right, but I can't throw it out, I've put so much money into this hobby...
I have used bleach in cleaning my plastic plants and it works great. Dont need to use a lot just a little and it does wonders. Nothing has worked and its quite fustrating. I did what you suggested soak and rinsed them 10 million times just to be sure all the bleach is gone.
Does anyone buy silicone plants ? ANy suggestions if that is better plan plastic plants ? Is using bleach on that a no no or is the cleaning better with silicone ?
Since you uploaded a picture, can you tell me how to do this. I hit up load and everytime it takes me to another page explaining things I already know. What's up with this. I even cropped the picture to the smallest requirement.
I have an old soft tooth brush I use to clean my decorations and plactic or silk plants. It works because it get into the cracks of decorations.
when i have that problem i useually take them out and clean them with water and a clean sponge no soap it works for me
Live plants have quite a few advantages over fake ones, so I gave up trying to keep the fake plants clean. Still, it's a matter of personal taste.
my live plants are doing wonders the fish when there hungry ( so all the time) will nible on them i noticed a entire leaf gone on my amazon swordleaf. my platty looks like she is about to explode! but she has not squard off yet she has been pregnant for 3-4 weeks when should she give birth?
The brighter your fish tank light is, the more you'll get on it, and 25% water change at the most.... Clean your tank out once a week
I have also tried using a toothbrush on my plants and warm water which was a lot of work... but what I discovered is that putting plastic plants outside in the hot sunshine works the best! Not only does the sun heat up the algae, but it dries it up like magic! Then all you have to do is shake the dried algae off, and finish with a dry toothbrush. No bleach!!
I started a 125 gallon tank my husband did not cycle before putting in a bunch of fish. My local fish store told me to get Nitromax & add daily for 7 days. Also I got hornwort plant. I did partial water changes daily & in 7 days #'s were perfect.
Nitromax is live bacteria you use as other water treatment when adding new water or fish. Keep refrigerated. Prime worked well too,but Nitromax & hornwort got me out of a big problem. I had 30 some fish added in 2 weeks to uncycled tank & didn't lose any.
I use old unwanted plastic aquarium plants for my dolls house garden which is now a 3ft outside cafe area to the building, looks great, as there is a burn, duck pond and waterfall