How to get rid of algae.. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-30-2009, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
Question How to get rid of algae..

I recently am starting to have a algae problem. Any suggestions on the best way to get rid of it and prevent it from coming back? Please help. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-30-2009, 03:31 PM
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There are several types of algae, and if you tell us what it is there will probably be something specific one of us can suggest. But in general, algae is a member of the plant world that occurs naturally in most water systems including our aquaria. It is possible to keep it within reasonable limits, and some fish (and snails) will eat certain types. If it is "taking over" it only does so when the light and nutrients are too plentiful for the biological equilibrium in the tank. Plants are uselful for keeping algae within normal limits because they utilize the light and nutrients better than the lower form of algae. But if the light and/or nutrients are greater than what the plants can use in photosynthesis, algae will increase because it is better able to convert carbon from carbonates and it uses the excess light and nutrients. Reducing the light/nutrients is the best way of stopping excess algae.

Chemicals supposedly designed to kill algae should in my opinon never be used in an aquarium with fish. The reason for the excess algae must be addressed or it will continue to return. Not to mention the harmful effects that chemicals can have on aquaria--they can affect the biological cycle, plants, invertebrates, fish, and water chemistry.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 23 Old 05-30-2009, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
To be specific it is brown looking and its growing on my plants and on a fake rock i have. There is also a white fuzz growing on some of the plants.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-30-2009, 04:43 PM
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Brown algae is diatoms, and common in new tanks (appearing sometime within the first 1-3 months). Otocinclus will eat it (with a vengeance in my experience) and it usually doesn't return after a few weeks. It is known to occur from high nitrates which is the third part of the nitrogen cycle and thus why it is almost always seen in new tanks. Once the biological cycle settles down and is established, diatoms will not normally re-appear. It will grow on any surface, including tank walls in lower light and plant leaves. If it does appear in an established tank, sources say it is due to low light, lack of oxygen in the water, and/or excess nitrate.

The white fuzz I am not sure of. Any chance you can post a photo? It may be some sort of fungus (does it look like fungus?). I have had, and recently in this forum there was a thread mentioning, this growing on bogwood.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-30-2009, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
Now I'm confused...The tank has been cycled and running for about six months. I tested the water yesterday and everything was great. I have a 55 gallon. I keep it lit for 12 hours with 2 18 in flourescents. Also I have a Emperor 400, Aqueon 55 filters, 2 bubble wands and 1 airstone. So i'm pretty sure low light and lack of oxygen aren't the issue. As for the white fuzz, It does look like fungus. It is growing on the driftwood as well....sigh
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-31-2009, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombiefish610 View Post
Now I'm confused...The tank has been cycled and running for about six months. I tested the water yesterday and everything was great. I have a 55 gallon. I keep it lit for 12 hours with 2 18 in flourescents. Also I have a Emperor 400, Aqueon 55 filters, 2 bubble wands and 1 airstone. So i'm pretty sure low light and lack of oxygen aren't the issue. As for the white fuzz, It does look like fungus. It is growing on the driftwood as well....sigh
You say the water tested great, but can you post the readings? Nitrate particularly? And do you perform weekly partial water changes?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-31-2009, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
You say the water tested great, but can you post the readings? Nitrate particularly? And do you perform weekly partial water changes?
PH- 7.4 , Amonia- 0 , Nitrite- 0 , Nitrate- 10. Yes I do weekly water changes about 25 %.
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-31-2009, 05:00 PM
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just get some algae eaters and do your water changes and some driftwood so it will stabilize your water! you should be good to go
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-31-2009, 05:06 PM
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Brown algae covered almost everything in my tank. I went out and bought a chinese algae eater and he cleaned the tank within a day. I named him Hector.

60 gallon
1 black ghost knife
4 black skirt tetras
2 zebra danios
1 algae eater
1 golden killifish
1 bamboo shrimp (MIA)
2 albino cory cats
3 tiger barbs

29 gallon (brackish)
1 Balloon and 10ish babies
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-01-2009, 08:30 AM
i would recommend against a chinese algae eater as they turn aggressive as they get bigger and occasionally prefer other fish's slime coats to algae. I used to keep them in a 20 gallon and not only did it grow too big for it, it stressed out many of my fish and, pretty sure, killed a few of them. Unless your tank is huge i would avoid a chinese algae eater.
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