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I have a Fluval Flex 33 gallon tank that I want to totally break down and start over with. Several reasons, but one is that I let it get direct sun, and several types of algae went nuts, as did the nuisance snails. (I also constantly battle my urge to overfeed my fish.)

Assuming I do what I need to do to control the algae, can I use the same plants and filter media without inoculating the tank with the same algae all over again? I plan to replace the gravel and wood, but I'd like to keep several of the plants and I'd like to not have to re-cycle the tank with new or sterilized filter media.

Also, I have some long, filamentous algae growing on the nozzles that return filtered water to the tank. Do I need to disinfect the tank itself, or will manual removal and better future care take care of the problem?

Thanks!
 

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I was having an issue with algae and found that my nitrates were high, really high. Like you, I was overfeeding. Additionally I had a couple of "nitrate sponge" house plants with roots dangling in the tank, but when things were looking good in the tank I unwisely removed them. I was using Pothos and Anthurium.

Within a couple of weeks I had BBA coming back and the tank was not looking so good. Nitrates spiked to well over 100.

So I put the sponge plants back in and changed my feeding regimen. Since it is hard to decide how much to feed consistently at one time, especially with both water column feeders and bottom feeders present, I decided that I would alternate feeding days. Rather than confusing myself with literal alternation which would end up with me feeding on different days each week I chose to do M/W/F/Sun. So I basically now feed almost half of what I fed before. The inhabitants all look fine. The tank is back in shape and my nitrates are at 20. They would probably be even lower but I am in the process of moving everything to a new tank so my biomass is slowly declining.

Hope this helps.
 
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