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Thread: Algee problems

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    I have a 55 gallon planted tank. I have 80 watts with a verlux natural sunshine tubes. I have a lot of algee that is on the back of the tank that I can't get to to scrub off because the tank is up against a wall. I have amazon swords, some other long tall grass like plant and some lily plants along with 3 red-bellied piranhas. I was wondering if there is any safe chemical I could use to get rid of the algee that won't hurt my plants or my fish.

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Instead of chemicals, why don't you invest fish that relish the algae - like plecostomus and otocynclus cats? Also, you can by aquatic plants that can partially block the light - like Water Sprite.

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    I had a plecostomus only to wake up to his bones laying on the bottom. I have 3 piranhas. Anything I put in there will be dinner. I also need the light to reach the bottom to my plants that need the higher light. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    J, controlling algae in a tank like this CAN be done. I used to have an arrowana in a 55 gallon (back in the day when I was stupid enough to keep such a huge fish in such a small tank (situation corrected!)

    Anyhow, the first step, is your tank needs to be designed from the group up for your PLANTS to act as a living filter.

    They will need all the correct ingredients to out compete the algae for control of your tank.

    1) Understand your plants. Lillies and amazon swords are both ROOT feeding plants. Flourish Tabs were what i used when I had a planeted tank, you just push them into the roots. (might be dangerous in your tank!)

    2) Provide enough light. 2.2 watts per gallon can be easily achieved on a 55, 4 x 48" flourescent tubes would do it. However, I think you would absolutely LOVE the results in your tank if you got a coupld of 175 watt MH fixtures running 6.5K bulbs.

    3) Nutrient Control. Plants are superior to algae and will out compete them when the situation is right. Keep nutrients in the water under control with frequent water changes. you might try using a 50/50 mix of RO and tap if your not allready doing that (I personally use only RODI in my tanks, and re-constitute the water to the needed parameters of the fish. But I have hellaciously hard water with a natural low level of nitrate, so it promotes algae blooms and can eventually crash the tank.

    3) Fertilize! Flourish tabs for the root feeders are great, but every planted tank does better with CO2. you have to be careful with CO2 as it can spike your PH, you need to aerate at night, but NOT during the day. you can inject CO2 easily by creating a cheap reactor made out of a soda bottle and CO2 safe tubing, put sugar and yeast in, and it will create Co2 for a couple weeks. You just need to trap the CO2 in the water long enough to dissolve, this is where CO2 bells and diffusers come in. I personally started with this technique but my tank didn't thrive until I started doing hard core CO2 injection (you can get bottles of it from a welding shop in your town.) Now days they have an even better method, Carbon Block infusion uses electrolisis to put CO2 in your tank. best part, no fancy regulators, control systems, or bottles to worry about. just put it on a timer so it runs an hour after your lights go on, and turns off an hour before they go off.

    your plants will love you and produce so much O2 in the tank you will actually see a phenomena called 'pearling' where bubbles rise off thier leaves because O2 has saturated the water.

    Obviously, do your research before you do any of this. and do all of it or you will still have an unbalanced situation that will probably promote algae growth.

    Oh, malaysian trumpet snails will work wonders on algae, and your piranah will probably show no interest, they can overrun the tank if they have to much food though (probably will do to your messy friends).

    Planted tanks truly are fantastic!

    Oh, keep in mind that caribe piranah's are not carnivores, they are omnivores. they may develop a taste for your plants at some point. (if I remember my info correctly.)
    \"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: \"Mankind\". Basically, it\'s made up of two separate words - \"mank\" and \"ind\". What do these words mean ? It\'s a mystery, and that\'s why so is mankind.\" ~ Jack Handey

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    The key to planted aquaria:

    You dont want a few plants for your fish tank.
    You want a few fish for your plant tank.

    Scot

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    I hear nerite snails are awesome against algae. They just leave a lot of eggs everywhere that are hard to remove.

    Even the algae chemicals that say they're safe for plants and fish aren't really all that safe. You're still poisoning them... just maybe not enough to kill them. Of course the people who make and sell them say they're totally safe...

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Chemicals dont work..
    even if they do kill algae, its only temporary, and the algae will simply return when the chemical wears off..

    algae exists in an aquarium because conditions are good for it to exist.
    you cant get rid of algae completely in a planted tank..its impossible.
    you have to make life as difficult for it as possible so that is seriously minimized, and it becomes no longer a problem.

    In a planted aquarium, you need lots of light for your plants..
    algae also loves all that light!
    what you need to do is STARVE the algae, so it grows so little that its not a problem..

    you starve algae by having a tank STUFFED with tons of healthy, growing plants..a LOT of plants.
    your plants then suck up all the nutrients, and out-compete the algae.

    Most peopla have problems because they dont have enough plants..
    too few plants in a planted tank means there arent enough plants to suck up all the nutrients, they cant compete with the algae, and the algae "wins"..

    its a battle for nutrients..you have to help your "good" plants..the plants you want, out-compete the algae..

    thats the ONLY way to win the algae war..
    chemicals ae only a temporary fix..
    algae eating fish and animals help somewhat, but they cant do it all either.
    in my experiance, plecos are worthless for algae control.
    the only fish I have ever have any luck with are Siamese Algae Eaters..
    those guys are great!
    but you need the *real* SAE's, not the look-alikes:

    http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/Algae-Eaters/

    clear fins..no color in the fins at all.
    and the stripe extends to the end of the tail.
    they are hard to find, but well worth it if you can..
    they eat flake food, but also nibble constantly at algae..
    they do nothning for algae on the glass, btu they keep leaves algae-free.

    I have never found a fish that will deal with algae on the glass.
    I have to scrape the glass on my tank once a month or so..
    but I havent had any algae on my plants in years.

    Other than that, its all about nutrient control..
    nothing else will work long-term.
    the tank has to achieve a balance..and that can take awhile.
    I fought algae for a solid year before my tank stabilized..
    now algae is beaten..other than a thin layer on the glass that builds up slowly, I have no algae problems at all.

    stuff the tank with plants!
    and give them lots of light..

    A planted aquarium is TOTALLY different than a non-planted tank! its a totally different mindset.
    and plants are MUCH harder than fish in an aquarium.
    a lot more work, and much more of a challenge.
    but worth it in the end.

    You dont want a few plants for your fish tank.
    You want a few fish for your plant tank.

    Scot

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (scottychaos @ Mar. 14 2006,10:47)]I have never found a fish that will deal with algae on the glass.
    Otos.

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