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Thread: help with algae pest in hybrid terrarium

  1. #1

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    help with algae pest in hybrid terrarium

    i bought one of those 10 gallon fish tank kits as all newbs do and decided to make use of some of the equipment.

    In the original configuration the plant sat in a pot in a few inches of water kinda like a bog terrarium but debris got in the water and kinda looked messy and clogged the pump intake.

    After a lil while brown algae came and once it showed; it multiplied quickly.

    So when I serviced it; meaning drained the terrarium and sterilized it. i reconfigured the terrarium. I added a submersible uv sterilizer, a 120mm evac/circulation fan on a timer, a holey tray that sits right above water level and now the pots sit in a different tray of water completely isolated from the terrarium water.

    I like the hybrid bc it produces the massive humidity the bical requires on the cheap. Not part of the problem but there is also a submersible heater for a FYI that keeps the water 90 degrees for 12h during photo cycle.

    I found that the algae likes/sticks to silicone/rubber.

    Today i noticed that the rubber cap on the tank heater felt a little slimy so I cleaned it off; so I am a little in fear that the algae may return.

    what are my options?

    Can I chlorine the stuff since the plants are in an isolated tray or will the chlorine that evaporates damage the plants?

    Same line, can I add anti-algae chemicals since plants are unexposed or no?

    I bought some neem oil fungicide for the plants; can I spray that into the water? or more importantly would it kill the algae?

    I'm really hesitant to buy fish bc I don't want fish poo.

    I want to keep the system for a few reasons:

    1. makes nice humidity

    2. if I ever wanted I could probably add underwater plants in addition to the cp above water and think that would be neat.

    3. most important the old lady actually likes the sound of the waterfall(which she actually commented that she likes) and calms her enough for what I wouldn't say is her continued support but her continued lack of objection.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Kyle's Avatar
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    Brown algae, at least in the aquarium world, is usually indicative of high levels of silica in the water. I believe there is something you can buy to put in a fishtank filter, for example, that absorbs excess silica. Whether or not such a thing would be CP-safe is beyond me.

    I certainly wouldn't dump chlorine into the water, even if it's not the water coming in contact with the plant. That stuff is downright nasty and gases are constantly moving into and out of water, making me mighty suspicious it'd have a detrimental impact on pretty much anything alive in the tank.

    To be honest, I've never heard of brown algae being a nuisance in the CP world, just the planted tank world. So I'm not entirely sure how to handle it in this case. I'm not sure I understand your setup correctly either. Is it literally just a tank with a false bottom and a UV sterilizer in the water?

  3. #3

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    I think I may be over-reacting; i believe the UV sterilizer is doing it's job. I have read it is common with new tanks so im hoping they have eaten all the excess material.

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