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best fish for algae control.

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best fish for algae control.
Old 05-25-2011, 07:46 AM   #11
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Well I think I was wrong ok so is the algae going away?
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
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Try Crossocheilus siamensis. Supposed to be a great algae-eating fish... (Unlike other fish called 'flying fox' in stores, this one remains peaceful)

It also eats hair algae and staghorn. Sounds perfect for you.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:57 AM   #13
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i have to agree with byron that if your plants are in good shape they will compete with the algae helping to keep it at bay.
adding a nutrient like flourish may only increase your problems as the algae is feeding off excess nutrients.
water changes WILL help as the lower your nitRATE is, the less the algae will have to feed off of.
exactly what type of lighting and how strong is it? cutting back on lighting for a few days may help too, even keeping the tank dark for a 2-3 day period would be benificial.
i have to say, adding a problem to fix a problem isnt the best of ideas IMO. more livestock means more bioload, which seems your tank is having an issue with at the moment. a good example of this would be, if i had a mouse problem, i wouldnt buy cats because then i'd have a cat problem, then i would have to buy dogs, then i have a dog problem, ofcourse this is just an example but see where im going?

i suggest cutting back feedings to every other day, stop dosing any plant nutrients for about 2 weeks, keeping the tank dark for 2-3 days, then performing a partial water change when you get your lights back on and seeing where you are at.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:00 AM   #14
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The difference is that Excel is a carbon source... Not sure I agree with it, but lots of people claim excel will kill algae. (And most mosses.)
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:49 AM   #15
I mentioned Excel because on other forums and on the Excel website it says a good dose of Excel will kill hair algae, for some unknown reason. I have not heard about damage to moss, so I need to check that. I thought I would do it once to get things started. I don't think I have too much of a bioload right now because I only have 2 guppies, 2 mollies, a few small oto cats, a few neon tetras and 2 bristlenose plecos in my 55 gal. (My previous Bristlenose recently went nuts one night and ate 4 neons, bit the rear end off two other fish, and ate my one cherry shrimp. I dropped him off at a store, so he's gone too. All of the "remains" were removed.)
My lighting is two 6500K t-5's, so not super bright.
Perhaps I should get a bunch of plants now that I cut mine back to help suck up any nutrients, but I don't want to spend a lot of money and toss half of them out when they get infested.

Last edited by JNB; 05-25-2011 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #16
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Gluteraldehyde is not just an algicide, it's a biocide...
Used (at higher doses) for sterilising hospital surgical tools, and as a fixative for labratory slides.. (Due to it's ability to quickly kill cells by crosslinking their proteins).

Yes, Excel is made out of Gluteraldehyde. At low doses (.5 - 1.0ppm) it can kill algae, liverworts, mosses, and vascular plants (like anarchis). Slightly higher doses can damage the heart and nervous system of fishes.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #17
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I have issues/concerns with some of the suggestions in this thread.

First, algae occurs solely due to light. Obviously it needs nutrients, but these will be sufficient from just a few fish. If light is available, algae will occur. Different algae occurs in different tanks, why is not exactly known. But all knowledgeable sources agree that light is the factor that causes them [green and red species, the diatoms are something else, not a true algae anyway].

If plants are present, do not stop feeding them. This often makes algae worse. Of course, things still have to be balanced, so too many organic/mineral nutrients will increase the algae if light is available and CO2 is not sufficient for the plants. More on this momentarily.

Excel is a liquid carbon supplement and sometimes--I say sometimes--will kill off brush algae. But not always, and there are side issues like its clear detrimental effect on some higher plants and as redchigh noted fish.

Acquiring new fish to handle algae is not wise unless you have space and want the fish. I have a trio of Farlowella vittata in my 70g because I like them as a fish, and the fact that they consume common algae is a bonus. They do not touch other types except common green and diatoms.

Which brings me to that linked list of algae-eating fish. I don't know what the author means by "most attached types" of algae, but this appears next to almost every fish listed, and I can assure you they do not eat all those algae. Enough on that.

Light causes algae, nothing more, and I believe you have too intense a light. Clearly the tank's biological balance is out. By T5 I assume it is HO. Two tubes over a 55g is a lot of intensity, and if the nutrients are not sufficient to handle it you will have algae. Are these 48-inch tubes? One T5 HO is equivalent in intensity to 1.5 regular T8 tubes of the same type, so 2 T5's means 3 T8's, and that is way too much light for a natural low-tech setup without CO2 diffusion and daily nutrient dosing. My 55g 4-foot tank had one T12 tube and the plants were fine and I had no algae. I now understand why your reduced light period had no effect on limiting the algae.

The plants were doing well because they had good light, but only so far as the nutrients (all 17) were available. Obviously with so much light, CO2 would be gone within a couple hours, and the other nutrients were probably not sufficient either. At that point the plants stop photosynthesizing, and algae takes advantage.

Until you reduce the light to one T5 tube at most, you will not solve the algae problems. I can guarantee it. On my 115g tank, which is 5-feet and wider and deeper than your 55g, I have two 48-inch T8 tubes, and some 140 fish. I currently have 9 hours of light to keep the algae in check. This is 1/3 less light than you have over a tank that is about 1/2 the area. That is quite a difference in light.


Last edited by Byron; 05-25-2011 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:14 PM   #18
I must admit that the whole light issue has become confusing for me. My intention was to have a tank with a good number of plants in it (which it had until I took a lot of them out this week). On Aquatic Plant Central everyone is all about more light, more light, more light. The idea is that if your plants are growing well, they will use all the nutrients and the algae won't grow. Most people on there use four T-5's on a 55Gal. People told me that two should be adequate if I am happy with only low light plants on a well, but not heavily planted tank like mine. Well I have no experience with a well planted tank, and I am happy with low light plants, so I do what they recommend and get a double T-5 HO, 54W, 6500K bulb fixture. Now my fixture will not run with only one bulb in it, so I am stuck with that one. I have blacked out my tank for a day or two and it kills the algae...for about three days.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:33 PM   #19
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There is our way, and their way. There is no right way.

We have experts ( like Byron), and they have their experts (Tom Barr).

I bet they most of them at lleast do pressurized CO2 (and probably EI dosing) though... And most of us here do not. Maybe some flourish, or some dirt, no CO2, and low light.

(Since these fish we keep live in the forest after all.. They like shade.)
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:21 PM   #20
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There is a lot of conflicting information concerning light for a planted tank, just as there is for many other fish-related issues. And sometimes each is correct--for their situation.

One still reads in current articles that nothing less than 2 watts per gallon will grow plants. Well, that is absolute nonsense. I haven't "imagined" that the plants are growing in my tanks for over 20 years with less than 1 watt per gallon light. The photos under "Aquariums" below my name on the left are of my recent tanks, since I joined this forum, but they all illustrate the lighting ideas I set out in the article "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" and only the 70g has just over 1 watt per gallon, the rest are all under. I think the plants look pretty good.

Several issues have to be considered when selecting light. As redchigh mentioned, the fish are first and foremost--at least for me: I keep Tropical Fish in tanks with live plants, rather than Aquatic Plants in tanks that happen to have a few fish like some of these aquatic hobbyists do. And fish are stressed under bright light, there is ample scientific evidence of that. Second, one has to decide what plants you want. Some need more light than others. Just as fish compatibility is crucial to a successful "community" aquarium, so is plant compatibility. And a major component of "compatibility" for fish and plants are requirements in terms of light, filtration (water flow rates), heat, etc.

I remember Tom Barr writing that for a low-tech (natural) planted tank, one should always start with the minimum light necessary for the plants you want, then add nutrients to balance that and work it out. Otherwise, he said, you will be growing algae. I fully concur.

I have been at this quite a long time, and I have made mistakes along the way. I have also, I hope, learned a lot. And I am certainly willing to share what I can. I want aquarists with planted tanks, esp the first timers, to have success; a failure often means losing the hobbyist, and we don't want that.

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