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How to get rid of algae..

This is a discussion on How to get rid of algae.. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by zombiefish610 PH- 7.4 , Amonia- 0 , Nitrite- 0 , Nitrate- 10. Yes I do weekly water changes about 25 %. ...

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How to get rid of algae..
Old 06-01-2009, 08:39 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombiefish610 View Post
PH- 7.4 , Amonia- 0 , Nitrite- 0 , Nitrate- 10. Yes I do weekly water changes about 25 %.
Those readings are good, nitrate at 10ppm is not high; and regular weekly pwc of 25% (I would myself increase the amount a bit, maybe 35-40%) should keep the nitrates low.

On the algae eaters, I also wouldn't suggest the chinese for reasons already mentioned by SinCriss. I keep Ottocinclus in my 90g and they devour diatoms and a lot of regular green algae, stay small, and are inoffensive. They are shoaling fish so more than one should be kept; in a 55g, 3 would be fine.

Back to the white fungus (which is what I suspect it is) on the wood, just take the wood out and scrub it under hot water; use a chemical/soap-free brush [I use a toothbrush kept just for aquarium use, also handy for going down a filter tube]. I had this on a chuck of wood and after one cleaning it never came back.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:47 AM   #12
 
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I got the algae eater at pet co. There were three algae eaters in the tank. There was one small one (relatively). He was the aggressive one. They were in a tank with gouramis, and the small one was sucking on one of the gouramis. I thought it was amusing. I chose the least aggressive one though. I've had my algae eater for about a month. All is well so far. I'll update when he gets bigger.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:16 AM   #13
 
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Just to add: Prior to adding my driftwood I boiled it like there was no tomorrow. After all the boiling I was surprized to see white fungus growing on it after putting it in my tank. It looked like white fuzz. The advice here was to not get too excited and that after a few weeks it would die off, which is exactly what it did. I've never seen it since.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:25 AM   #14
 
some fish actually eat that fungus, it grows on nearly all new driftwood added to a tank. Sometimes i get it in the middle of a month and i find snails and my otos eating it.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:27 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Those readings are good, nitrate at 10ppm is not high; and regular weekly pwc of 25% (I would myself increase the amount a bit, maybe 35-40%) should keep the nitrates low.

On the algae eaters, I also wouldn't suggest the chinese for reasons already mentioned by SinCriss. I keep Ottocinclus in my 90g and they devour diatoms and a lot of regular green algae, stay small, and are inoffensive. They are shoaling fish so more than one should be kept; in a 55g, 3 would be fine.

Back to the white fungus (which is what I suspect it is) on the wood, just take the wood out and scrub it under hot water; use a chemical/soap-free brush [I use a toothbrush kept just for aquarium use, also handy for going down a filter tube]. I had this on a chuck of wood and after one cleaning it never came back.
First off thankyou everyone for your input. I haven't had much problems with nitrates. Do you really think it's necessary to do more than 25% a week? I was under the impression that as long as nitrates are under 40 then there shouldn't be a problem. To be honest I did have 3 Oto's, which did seem to keep the algae at bay. For some reason though they all died recently. They died within a couple of days of eachother. I had them for about 2 months. I can't figure out why this happened. I would like to get more but im hesitant at the moment because of the deaths. It has gotten worse since they died. Any ideas what might have cause thier demise?
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:29 AM   #16
 
otos are very sensitive fish, any large change in water chemistry stresses them out a lot. Maybe something changed in your water chemistry?
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:40 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by zombiefish610 View Post
First off thankyou everyone for your input. I haven't had much problems with nitrates. Do you really think it's necessary to do more than 25% a week? I was under the impression that as long as nitrates are under 40 then there shouldn't be a problem. To be honest I did have 3 Oto's, which did seem to keep the algae at bay. For some reason though they all died recently. They died within a couple of days of eachother. I had them for about 2 months. I can't figure out why this happened. I would like to get more but im hesitant at the moment because of the deaths. It has gotten worse since they died. Any ideas what might have cause thier demise?
SinCrisis's response re the ottos is correct. I have over the years also lost a number of ottos, even in established tanks. I would not recommend ottos for a new tank, say less than 3 months, and always only if algae is present. I have read of aquarists who add them at the start and they always (it seems) perish, I suspect because of the lack of algae for grazing, but equally because of the fluctuating water chemistry. Did the ottos die when the algae was gone? They do seem to prefer algae for grazing; mine do eat from veggie tablets, but there is algae in the tank and they still graze. I think they have this inner will to graze, and without algae may not manage on prepared foods. Just some thoughts, I'm not a biologist.

More importantly is the issue of water changes. The level of nitrates is not the reason for doing regular substantial water changes. I've previously posted on this, and to save time, here it is verbatim.

In nature, fish live in water that is either constantly moving past them (streams, rivers, creeks) or in a lake that has considerably more volume that will be affected by the fish population. In both cases, the water around them is not static but changing, which means the toxins the fish expel (ammonia through respiration, excrement, urine) is not staying where the fish is forced to live in it, but moving away. At the same time, the water is bringing minerals and oxygen to the fish, and there is no danger of the fish using all the available minerals or oxygen because of the water movement. In a lake the thermal currents constantly keep the water in motion to avoid stratification. The African rift lakes are a good illustration. They are so deep that the lower water strata never mixes with the upper surface water. It is no surprise therefore that the cichlids do not live in the lower levels. They would in fact asphyxiate if they moved into those regions.

The issue is not how the water looks or what the nitrate reading might be that determines the need for a water change; it is an absolute necessity (for the health of the fish) regardless of how good the water quality may be.

The aim is to maintain consistent water quality permanently. This is not as impossible as some may think. There are fluctuations that occur naturally, in nature and in our aquarium. Fish have evolved to adapt to these minor fluctuations. This involves temperature and pH (there are diurnal fluctuations both in nature and in an aquarium), hardness, and dissolved organics in the water. Fish are very closely tied to their environment. As an example, fish take in water through their cells by osmosis. The fish must adjust its internal pH to equal that of the water passing into its cells. In an excellent article on "Fish Growth vs. Tank Size" in the December 2006 issue of TFH, Laura Muha notes that "Both salinity and pH affect how hard a fish's body must work to maintain its physiological equilibrium--that is, the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of its blood steady, its tissues fed, and its immune system functioning. When pH and/or salinity stray outside the ideal range for any given species, the fishes' bodies must work harder and use more energy to maintain this equilibrium." We all know how stress affects humans, and it is now known that this occurs with fish as well. Having fluctuating water conditions means the fish is constantly having to adjust its metabolism, and this stresses the fish and can lead to poor health, disease, and even death if not corrected. The point of regular water changes is to establish an equilibrium in the tank and therefore in the fish, resulting in healthier and happier fsh. Changing 30-50% of the water every week is maintaining such a balance, because it ensures that the pH will remain relatively constant, along with the levels of minerals in the water, and the nitrate level.

Nitrates are not toxic to fish unless at high levels--and high for the particular fish. Others have posted in this forum about fish that can tolerate above 40 and those that cannot come close to 40ppm. It is generally agreed that keeping nitrates below 40, and ideally under 20ppm, is better for all fish. My aquaria are fairly heavily planted, and plants consume nitrates as do bacteria for other biological processes, but most is removed through regular partial water changes. The nitrate in both my tanks is 5ppm and has tested at this level consistently.

Byron.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:03 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
SinCrisis's response re the ottos is correct. I have over the years also lost a number of ottos, even in established tanks. I would not recommend ottos for a new tank, say less than 3 months, and always only if algae is present. I have read of aquarists who add them at the start and they always (it seems) perish, I suspect because of the lack of algae for grazing, but equally because of the fluctuating water chemistry. Did the ottos die when the algae was gone? They do seem to prefer algae for grazing; mine do eat from veggie tablets, but there is algae in the tank and they still graze. I think they have this inner will to graze, and without algae may not manage on prepared foods. Just some thoughts, I'm not a biologist.

More importantly is the issue of water changes. The level of nitrates is not the reason for doing regular substantial water changes. I've previously posted on this, and to save time, here it is verbatim.

In nature, fish live in water that is either constantly moving past them (streams, rivers, creeks) or in a lake that has considerably more volume that will be affected by the fish population. In both cases, the water around them is not static but changing, which means the toxins the fish expel (ammonia through respiration, excrement, urine) is not staying where the fish is forced to live in it, but moving away. At the same time, the water is bringing minerals and oxygen to the fish, and there is no danger of the fish using all the available minerals or oxygen because of the water movement. In a lake the thermal currents constantly keep the water in motion to avoid stratification. The African rift lakes are a good illustration. They are so deep that the lower water strata never mixes with the upper surface water. It is no surprise therefore that the cichlids do not live in the lower levels. They would in fact asphyxiate if they moved into those regions.

The issue is not how the water looks or what the nitrate reading might be that determines the need for a water change; it is an absolute necessity (for the health of the fish) regardless of how good the water quality may be.

The aim is to maintain consistent water quality permanently. This is not as impossible as some may think. There are fluctuations that occur naturally, in nature and in our aquarium. Fish have evolved to adapt to these minor fluctuations. This involves temperature and pH (there are diurnal fluctuations both in nature and in an aquarium), hardness, and dissolved organics in the water. Fish are very closely tied to their environment. As an example, fish take in water through their cells by osmosis. The fish must adjust its internal pH to equal that of the water passing into its cells. In an excellent article on "Fish Growth vs. Tank Size" in the December 2006 issue of TFH, Laura Muha notes that "Both salinity and pH affect how hard a fish's body must work to maintain its physiological equilibrium--that is, the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of its blood steady, its tissues fed, and its immune system functioning. When pH and/or salinity stray outside the ideal range for any given species, the fishes' bodies must work harder and use more energy to maintain this equilibrium." We all know how stress affects humans, and it is now known that this occurs with fish as well. Having fluctuating water conditions means the fish is constantly having to adjust its metabolism, and this stresses the fish and can lead to poor health, disease, and even death if not corrected. The point of regular water changes is to establish an equilibrium in the tank and therefore in the fish, resulting in healthier and happier fsh. Changing 30-50% of the water every week is maintaining such a balance, because it ensures that the pH will remain relatively constant, along with the levels of minerals in the water, and the nitrate level.

Nitrates are not toxic to fish unless at high levels--and high for the particular fish. Others have posted in this forum about fish that can tolerate above 40 and those that cannot come close to 40ppm. It is generally agreed that keeping nitrates below 40, and ideally under 20ppm, is better for all fish. My aquaria are fairly heavily planted, and plants consume nitrates as do bacteria for other biological processes, but most is removed through regular partial water changes. The nitrate in both my tanks is 5ppm and has tested at this level consistently.

Byron.
Wow...nicely put. Thanks a bunch Byron. This brings me to another question...do you think it's a good or bad idea to add salt into the aquarium? If so, how often should this be done?
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:37 PM   #19
 
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Wow...nicely put. Thanks a bunch Byron. This brings me to another question...do you think it's a good or bad idea to add salt into the aquarium? If so, how often should this be done?
In my view, salt should never be added to a freshwater aquarium except (1) if the fish are those that tolerate it in their natural environment and are proven to benefit, such as mollies, or (2) as a medication e.g. in treating ich. With respect to this latter point, I would not myself use salt as I have corys and characins and both are very intolerant of salt. While they are also intolerant of copper-based meds, Aquari-sol does not seem to affect them as much although it has some copper. In the earlier post I mentioned salinity being a concern and why, and for this reason I say never use it unless the particular fish can deal with it. The risk of stressing the fish and leaving it more susceptible to other problems is too great to warrant salt.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:20 PM   #20
 
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I had a constant algae promblem in my 55. gal. tank.All my levels were fine. 7.5 PH, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0. I tryed algae eaters Otco. that only get to be about 2" big. They died and I had several of them. I was turned on to a Bushynosed Pleco or Bristlenose which is the same. They only get to be 4-4 1/2" max at adult size. Perfect for a small tank or big tank. Well that fish cleared out my algae problem in 2 days. It's the best fish that I ever got. I told my sister about that fish and she bought 2 of them and told me that she was amazed at how clean her tank was in 2 days. I love this fish odd looking but does a great job in cleaning on decor, and glass. It's like a vacumme cleaner for your tank. If algae is not present in your tank just drop in a algae waffer that sinks to the bottom, They also clean up excess food. Every tank should have one of these it's like Merry Maids for your tank. females are smaller in size then males. Males have like bushy tenticles on it's nose. Male and female will mate, male and male not good can cause problems because of teritorry fighting, female and female is ok.

An other problem with algae is that over feeding can be a problem, Cut back on your feeding to once a day and maybe skip 1 day with no food. Your fish will be fine. Fish can actually be fine without food for a week. It can also be your food you are feeding your fish. Go with a food with low phosphprus content minimizes the risk of algae blooms in aquarims. Nutrafin Max is a good food that has low phosphprus. Limit your light being on to a minimum I have mine on at noon til 8-9pm. Maybe put your lights on a automatic timer.
Hope this helps you and get a Bushynose Pleco or 2. You will be amazed at the job these little fish do in a day or two.
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