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Posted: 10/27/2004 2:35:52 PM EST
I have a 20 gallon tank full of algae.

I also have some java fern plants in it.

How do I get the algae down?

Thanks

CRC
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:42:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:45:13 PM EST
Is your tank in direct sunlight? If so get it out. Are you using super bright bulbs like Triton lights?
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:45:35 PM EST
its a common problem that everybody wants to solve.

If you keep it in the dark no algae will grow/ you cant keep live plants in the tank

Get fish who eat the algae/ fish will also eat your live plants

in the end you will have to scrub the inside of the tank. Its the only way to get rid of the algae and keep live plants. If you dont wanna get wet all the time you can buy a magnetic tank scraper which has a side inside the tank and a handle on the outside of the tank that you move around.

You can also get chemicals that will reduce algae growth but i dont like to add extra chemicals into my tanks.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:50:53 PM EST
obershutze916 is referring to plecos (their short nick name) which are the sucker fish you see eating off the side of tanks. They eat algae but the ones that are sold in most pet stores grow to be over 14 inches long and will easily outgrow a 20 gallon tank. Sometimes they dont eat other aquatic plants and sometimes they do....
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:54:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheSelecter:
obershutze916 is referring to plecos (their short nick name) which are the sucker fish you see eating off the side of tanks. They eat algae but the ones that are sold in most pet stores grow to be over 14 inches long and will easily outgrow a 20 gallon tank. Sometimes they dont eat other aquatic plants and sometimes they do....



And if you want a small Pleco they're like 25-35 bucks!!! But they will eat all your algae. You'll wind up feeding them algae pellets.

PS-They sh!t like dogs!!!
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:56:24 PM EST
hahaha yeah i always wanted like a vampire or gold nugget pleco but they are an arm and leg! I can buy a 40 dollar gun part fine, but a fish? what if it dies next week then i'm screwed!
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:58:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2004 3:04:56 PM EST by ilikelegs]
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 2:59:37 PM EST
I've seen those fish before at the pet store. 2-4 dollars for algae eaters.

My tank is in the window and I have a sunfish in it.

Not good but I can't move it.

CRC
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:00:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By ilikelegs:

Originally Posted By W-W:

Originally Posted By TheSelecter:
obershutze916 is referring to plecos (their short nick name) which are the sucker fish you see eating off the side of tanks. They eat algae but the ones that are sold in most pet stores grow to be over 14 inches long and will easily outgrow a 20 gallon tank. Sometimes they dont eat other aquatic plants and sometimes they do....



And if you want a small Pleco they're like 25-35 bucks!!! But they will eat all your algae. You'll wind up feeding them algae pellets.

PS-They sh!t like dogs!!!



I hate Pleco's. Just get the smaller algae eaters and l live with cleaning the glass by hand or drain and mover the tank.

He is my 240 gallon tank.
xzodus.com/fish/240tank2.jpg
xzodus.com/fish/240tank4.jpg



nice cichlids
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:01:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:02:45 PM EST
thats a nice tank ilikelegs

I just picked up an 80 gallon this summer to go with my 29 gallon. I am partial to tetras and corys for the small tank and have 4 quite happy and growing Koi in the 80 gallon.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:03:17 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:04:26 PM EST
put the sunfish in a 5gallon bucket. Drain the tank and you should be able to move it if somebody can give you a hand. just fill it back up and dump your sunfish back in. Should be fine.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:06:00 PM EST
hahahah obershutze916 dont be offended. I'm sure you know more about fish than i do! Just throwing some more info out there for him
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:06:55 PM EST
I've got a 20 gallon freezer stuffed full of crappie and channel cat. Mmmmmm...
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:09:02 PM EST
man i love going out on the farm in Ill and fishing for crappie and channel cat.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:21:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2004 3:22:01 PM EST by Torf]
The algae are there because they are the organism that is able to most easily reach the nutrients in the tank. Most of the tank nutrients that algae are able to consume is in the water column itself. Since Algae is the most primitive plant form in your tank, it will easily grow and spread if the conditions are right, but given conditions that are more conducive to growing the higher plants, algae will tend to die off.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Get a handle on your water chemistry.

Algae and plants need Nitrates, Phospates and Potassium to thrive, but NOT in equal ratios. Tanks do best when Phosphate is the limiting nutrient in growth. Nitrates are harmful to fish in high concentrations, but anything 10ppm or lower is not going to hurt. My tanks sometimes get as high as 20 ppm, but the only animals that suffer are the shrimp. You also need to supply micronutrients to the water. Most of these are added through regular partial water changes. Metals and non-metals alike are found in tap water in minute concentrations and these are essential. If you are using R/O water like me, you need to add a bit of Flourish. It supplies all the micronutrients you need. Don't overdo it, since some algae types can thrive on high concentrations of metals.

2. Make sure you have enough lighting.

Plants need LOTS of light to grow properly, and by lots of light, I DON'T mean the single 15 watt tube that came with the hood. Good plant growth usually takes place at a light intensity of 2-3 watts per gallon. This rule of thumb assumes you are using Compact Flourescent lighting. Regular incandescent bulbs don't give off enough light for their wattage to be of use here unless you are running a very small aquarium. Go by the actual bulb wattage instead of lumens or brightness ratings. Many CF bulbs are rated as they compare to incandecent bulbs. A 13w CF bulb is like a 60w regular bulb. USE THE 13w figure, otherwise you will undershoot the correct amount of light. I use bulbs with a CRI of 75 or above and prefer a color temperature of 6500K.
Good lighting will accelerate photosysthesis, thus robbing the algae of their primary food source.

3. Have a good substrate for plants roots.

A good substrate doesn't compact easily, or allow too much water to circulate. A good substrate contains iron and other traces that plants can absorb through their roots. If you allow too much fertilizer to leach into the water column, then algae blooms can occur. You want all that good stuff down underground where only the higher plants can get to it. Eco-complete and Flourite are two great commercial substrates. You can do it yourself too, using advice found on the internet. I am using Patio Paver Sand mixed with Laterite, a type of irony clay, to make up most of my substrate. Most folks don't recommend using undergravel filters with planted tanks.

4. Carbon Dioxide is great for both plants and fish.

Adding Carbon Dioxide is one of those "greatest things since the glass pane" things for planted tank owners. Adding Carbon Dioxide boosts plant growth and allows them to metabolize nutrients faster. This is great for plants. They will grow much faster and healthier. This is great for fish too. Simple aeration of the water will add to the oxygen capacity of the tank, but usually not much more than 85-90%. When plants are present they respire Oxygen during lighted hours. When plants are really healthy and growing fast, they add a TON of oxygen to the water! This oxygen is already dissolved in the water and is available to the fish. Under good conditions the plants thusly driven can boost the oxygen capacity of the water to well over 100%! In fact it is common to see plants happily bubbling oxygen from their leaves since the water is supersaturated.

Here is what you need to do before starting on this course. Get familiar with CO2 before adding it. Adding too much can be fatal to fish, and you need to know how much is too much. Adding lots of light with out adding CO2 can benefit the algae as much as the plants. Get LOTS of fast growing stem plants. These will absorb nutrients that the algae loves quickly and outcompete it.

Here are a few sites worth checking out:

www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/index.htm - Chucks articles are great!

www.thekrib.com/ - Comprehensive listings and e-mail about tanks (great info)

plantedtank.net/ - Contains a good forum specializing in planted tanks

aquariacentral.com/ - A good general aquarium forum - I post there from time to time

Finally a picture of my tank that I am not too proud of. It has been awhile since I have done any maintenance. It will be better before long I promise!

Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:23:24 PM EST
I've had good luck with Plecostumi, they are herbivores but will also eat shrimp pellets if given the chance. Also consider, the chinese algae eater, silver, slender and similiar sucker mouth. The chinese algae eater is also smaller and won't outgrow your tank as fast as a pleco. I've always read to keep your tank out of direct light and windows. The sunlight is too harsh but also windows are temperture instable areas. On a side note, if you develop issues with snails I've had 100% success with bohia's and coolie loaches, those fish eat snails like there's no tomorrow.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:29:14 PM EST
Don't get Chinese Algae Eaters or Plecos. They are great when they are young, but when they get older, they develop bad attitude problems and don't eat algae. Chinese Algae Eaters can be EXTREMELY difficult to catch once they are in the tank.

If you can find true Siamese Algae Eaters, then get them. The fish you see at most pet stores may be labelled as SAE's but are really just Chinese Algae eaters or Flying Foxes, neither fish is great for a community planted tank.

Research the differences and commonly confused species before you buy. No one at the store will know the difference, guaranteed. There are 4 easy to confuse species!

Otos, as mentioned are good as well.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:31:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:45:58 PM EST
Thanks


CRC
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:46:27 PM EST
Nice Frontosa's in your African Cichlid tank ilikelegs! Years ago I had some Lamprologus Brichardi's but that was the extent of my African Cichlids. I prefered Piranhas, Dragonfish, community tanks and salt water back then and I hope to get some of the above again in the next few years once our house gets sorted out. Only other larger African Cichlids I liked other than the Frontosa's is the Electric Blue, sorry but I can't remember their Latin name. Thanks for the pics!
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:55:04 PM EST
Damn! I'm impressed!

Torf = Jaques Costeau!

Torf, are you an ichthyologist? Avid fish keeper?
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:59:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2004 4:08:55 PM EST by Synister1]
Torf, even with mainenance mine always has a green/grey cloud tint to the water. It's been rather frusterating. At this point i think it might be the gravel. I'm looking to see whatelse is avaliable.

What is everybody using for filteration. I went the Biowheel route.

I've got a 54gal. Corner tank.

3 angels - 1 adult, 2 adolesants.

1 plecostomus, plecostomus

2 goby's (I think one is missing )

5 Zerba Danio's (2 breeding pair's) and an extra with a deformed tail.

2 golden Danios (breeding pair)

2 fruit tetra's.

2 mini catfish.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:05:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By CRC:
I have a 20 gallon tank full of algae.

I also have some java fern plants in it.

How do I get the algae down?

Thanks

CRC



If you lived close by I'm lend you my algee eater. I have to feed him discs becuase he makes a complete pass of the tank each day. I've never had an algee problem or for that matter a alge spot with him in there.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:12:19 PM EST
Get a Bristlenose Pleco. They are one of the best Algae eaters and they stay small (about 4-5 inches max). Do not get more than one male, they will fight. The males have the bristle things on the nose, the females do not. I have 4 Freshwater aquariums and 1 saltwater, I know what I am talking about.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:13:43 PM EST
How much are they?

CRC
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:16:30 PM EST
About 10-15 dollars around here. How many hours does your aquarium light stay on per day? You should use timers to simulate the light cycle. I would also put a shade over your window.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:20:31 PM EST
I just use snails. there fun to watch, (kid calls him "gary") and cheap. Of course i onlt have a tiny 10gal tank w/ 5 goldfish...................but NO algae!


Hey, Torf, wheres the fish?
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:20:43 PM EST
I removed the light.

I just have a few low plants.

I keep the shades closed sometimes but other times I open them up to warm the room.

CRC
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:47:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:50:56 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lee0302:
Damn! I'm impressed!

Torf = Jaques Costeau!

Torf, are you an ichthyologist? Avid fish keeper?



Just an avid fishkeeper. When I get into a hobby, I dive in headfirst!
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:55:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By davidp14:
I just use snails. there fun to watch, (kid calls him "gary") and cheap. Of course i onlt have a tiny 10gal tank w/ 5 goldfish...................but NO algae!


Hey, Torf, wheres the fish?



Haha! I only have 2 adult fish right now. A black Molly that eats algae almost exclusively, and a nice cheap Platy. Imagine! A fishtank without fish!? I am actually more into the plants than fish, but I promised my wife that I would get a bunch soon.

Planning on getting about 20-25 Cardinal Tetras before long.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:59:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2004 5:00:34 PM EST by Torf]

Originally Posted By Synister1:
Torf, even with mainenance mine always has a green/grey cloud tint to the water. It's been rather frusterating. At this point i think it might be the gravel. I'm looking to see whatelse is avaliable.



Usually it is pretty clear, but for the last month or so I have had green water due to a surplus of PO4. Now that is gone, but the haze remains. I may use a flocculant to trap the particles.




What is everybody using for filteration. I went the Biowheel route.




No filtration here right now. Plants do all the work. When I stock my tank with Cardinal Tetras I'll probably get a Fluval cannister filter. I do use a powerhead to circulate and inject the CO2.


Link Posted: 10/27/2004 5:17:55 PM EST
I hate canister filters. I had an Eheim and that built my hatred of canisters. Way too complex and you have to jump the start the mofo by sucking the inlet tube!

I went to the Penquin Bio-wheel and found aquarium heaven, too damn simple and easy!
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