Long-term algae control tips please - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
Kim
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Long-term algae control tips please

So, I have been taking care of the brown algae problem in my 15 gallon planted aquarium. Every day this week I scrubbed a different plant or part of the tank (gotta love those back corner plants!). I finally finished today. So, I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice for long-term algae control. I dose Flourish excel daily as my plants tend to die without it. The algae also gets better because the plants are growing better. I stopped dosing Flourish because I began to see some black beard algae after using it for a few weeks. Other specs. include.

-eco-complete substrate
-1 15 watt plant bulb, and one 15 watt home depot fixture which only really gives out about 5 watts of light to the back of the tank (which was too shaded before).
-no direct sunlight (there is a window but I keep the shade drawn).

I was thinking that maybe if I put some carbon in the filter that it would remove excess nutrients, but I am worried that it will remove too much. I also thought that I should just get more plants to absorb them naturally. I am also going to scrub off any algae that I see. So any suggestions? Here's a picture of the tank that I took today.

IMG_0035.jpg
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
Kim
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Oh I forgot, the lights are on 8 hrs. per day.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 03:40 PM
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Hmm, dunno. Do you have any algae eaters? Your tank is hot by the way. xD
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 03:52 PM
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Your tank is beautiful!!!

You have alot of the same plants as I do. I also dose daily w/ Flourish Excel. I leave my lights on 12 hours a day.

I have one bristlenose & a group of ottos. I still have some algae here & there but nothing like it was before the addition of the bristlenose & ottos. I used to have brown algae, which is now completely gone. I now have a greenish algae which I scrub off the front of the tank but leave the rest for the ottos.

Do you have any algae eaters in your tank??

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
Kim
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No algae eaters right now. At the moment it has 5 bronze cories and 1 male guppy. Soon the guppy will be moving out and I will be getting 2 sparkling gouramis. I thought about some otos as well, but I have heard of people having trouble getting them to eat anything else except algae and of them starving if they eat it all :( Will your ottos eat any wafers or veggies?

Thank you for your comments about my tank :) It's my first planted tank and I have put a lot of work and time into it!
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 04:14 PM
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It's true about ottos. I have 2 in a 10 gallon, but eventually they'll be moving into the 30 as you probably have gathered by now. xD They really are good with algae, but they won't touch wafers. I've had some luck romaine lettuce and am seeing if they'll go for baby spinach now. Otos would feel more comfortable in a group to... 4 or more I think. They also move at lightning speed, so it would be better to have them in a 30 gallon or larger tank. Good luck. :D
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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That is why I was hesitant to get them. I think that I will just try to eliminate the algae in other manners. Anyone have anything to say about other ways to keep it in check or anything I'm doing wrong? Thank you :)
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 09:03 PM
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What is the spectrum of your lighting? Sounds like the brown algae was just occurring because your tank was new and unestablished. If it's not growing back, I'd stick with what you're doing. Are you adding any ferts? How long have the plants been in there? I wouldn't use carbon, if you are fertilizing, you don't want to remove the nutrients your plants will use, the fish alone shouldn't be producing an overabundance of nutrients for the plants.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 09:11 PM
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Maybe I just got lucky but here's the scoop on my ottos:

They wouldn't even investigate the lettuce, collard greens or swiss chard I offered. They will not even glance at an algae wafer. But, they absolutely devour baby spinach!! I get a kick out of removing the leaves the next morning from the vegie clip. The leaves are perfectly skeletonized. If the algae looks like it's getting a handle on the tank I refrain from putting spinach in for one night.

I've also got a small group of ottos in my betta tank and they also go crazy for the spinach. From my experience I wouldn't hesitate recommending them, provided you keep them in a group (5 or more) and are prepared to supplement the diet with fresh veggies. Preparing a feeding clip every night may be too much hassle for someone crimped for time.

Another thing that Okiemavis mentioned back in a thread somewhere was to soak an algae wafer in some type of garlic product (can't recall the exact name of the product-will have to hunt for it) and that ottos will sometimes go for that. I was going to try it but haven't needed to yet as my ottos readily eat.

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-15-2008, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
Kim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okiemavis View Post
What is the spectrum of your lighting? Sounds like the brown algae was just occurring because your tank was new and unestablished. If it's not growing back, I'd stick with what you're doing. Are you adding any ferts? How long have the plants been in there? I wouldn't use carbon, if you are fertilizing, you don't want to remove the nutrients your plants will use, the fish alone shouldn't be producing an overabundance of nutrients for the plants.
Well, it's not growing super fast, but I did notice that it creeps up during the week. I had an algae outbreak in my betta tank once (not planted though) and I just scrubbed it off a few times and it hasn't come back, so that is what I'm "hoping" will happen here. I tried adding flourish, but started seeing some black beard algae and I have stopped since. My plants don't seem to mind. I dose flourish excel daily. One bulb is...gotta check...jeesh it's a 9325K. I thought it was lower, but I bought it when I didn't know much about plants and it was labeled a "plant" bulb. The other little additional light is ~5000K. The plants have been in there since Julyish. Thanks for the help .
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