What will eat algae, not plants? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
redchigh's Avatar
What will eat algae, not plants?

I have a ten gal planted tank, but noticed my java moss iis being covered with brown beard algae, and my older aponogeton leaves are covered with a dark dark green specks...

I know I probably fertilised a bit too much, but I'm sure there's something that will eat it, right?
I plan on getting a lot more plants, and its a plus if whatever I get is breedable...

Maybe amano or cherry shrimp? Is there any kind of snail that wont touch plants but eats algae?

I haven't fed my guppies in a couple days, but they seem to only eat the regular algae on the glass.

There's also a little clump of brownish-white shmuck drifting around the bottom around the moss... is it some type of algae too? could be dead moss...

I'm posting this because I realised a BN pleco gets too big for a ten gal, so Im looking for alternatives. I have a single ghost shrimp, but it doesn't seem to eat anything except fish food. And guppy fry. (I've seen it happen!)

Wow, the more I think about it I have a lot of algae... Its like a salad bar!
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 11:23 AM
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MTS eat algae, not your plants.

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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This may sound odd, but I have a phobia about MTS.
what if they die under the gravel?

besides I'd kinda like to have something I can see and appreciate...
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 12:05 PM
eileen's Avatar
Do not get a MTS- Mylassian trumpet snail. I had some hitch hike on some plants that I bought at a auction and now my 55 gal is over run by millions of them. I had to buy Assassin snails to eat those snails. They are very hard to get rid of once you get them and multiply like crazy as Assassin snail do not. My friend breeds busy nosed plecos. My other tanks are all small 2.5 gal, 3, gal.5 gal, 6 gal,10 gal. these all have bushy nosed plecos in them. Mine in these tanks are all babies and are the size of a dime. Very small. They grow very slowly and I have had mine for awhile. I think that in smaller tanks they do not get as large but I just love them. They do an excellent job on cleaning algae like little vaccume cleaners. They are easy to rehome if they do outgrow your tank. I can't say I would have a tank without one. Besides baby ones are cheaper then the full grown ones and they are so cute.I like these better then the Otocinclus as they are sensitive to water chemistry and I have had a hard time keeping them alive.

Green spot algae

The best thing to go is use a algae scrapper pad that is safe to remove it on your type of tank. Nerite snails appear to do the best job of removal of this type , but leaves all plants untouched. Scrapping is easier then adding another thing to your tank.

Hair/Thread algae

Hair/Thread algae consisits of long green filaments. It grows interwined in moss, attached to leaves near the water surface, on floating plants and in floating mats. High DOC levels contribute to it's growth.
Manual removal- use a toothbrush or wire brush to remove as much as possible.
maintain proper water change schedule- weekly/bi-weekly changes.
Algae eaters:The Florida flag fish, Black mollies, Gold Barbs, rosie barbs, some cichlids, Amano shrimp

I got all the above from The Algae Report book I got by Robert Paul Hudson
The above fish do a good job also. 1 molly would not hurt to put in your tank just make sure it is a male as the females you buy at the store are pregnate most of the time. You do not want babies in a small 10 gal. Also if your tank is by a window like my 6 gal. you will get more algae, Limit the time your light is on Mine are all on a timer for 9 hrs on at 1pm- off at 9pm. I have all my tanks temps set at 72 degrees also. That might help and do not over feed your fish because that contributed to bad water and algae bloom, Once a day and skip a day of feeding is good for the tank and water and do water changes often once a week I do a 25% change and test the water once a week with a API test dropper kit. They work better then the strips.

Last edited by eileen; 01-27-2010 at 12:13 PM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 12:49 PM
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More information on Brush/Beard algae

Brush/Beard (Rhodophyta)
Black brush algae is one of the many species in the Rhodophyta family. This includes both freshwater and marine species and may appear black, brown, red, or green in color. These furry tufts stick to plants, wood, rock, or just about anything in the aquarium, and it appears to thrive in acidic water.

Known treatments:

H202 treatment- Use a syringe to spot treat problem areas. Then manually remove when BBA turns white.
Manual removal- Use a toothbrush or wire brush to remove as much as possible. Sand paper will remove the last bits from objects.
Bleach treatment- Dip affected object/Hardy plants in a bleach/water solution using a 1:19 ratio of bleach to water for two minutes. Rinse well before putting object back in the aquarium. I would not treat wood with bleach. I use this this one alot for plastic plants and decorations also good to use to rid plants at an auction of pest snails.
Oxiclean treatment- Dip affected items in an Oxiclean solution, (pure, no additives)
Algae eaters- Siamese Algae eaters (SAE) and Amano shrimp.
Copper (not recommended in plant tanks)- There are commercial algaecides containing copper that will kill BBA, but they will most likely also kill your plants or any shrimps you may have.

From The Algae Report by Robert Paul Hudson

Last edited by eileen; 01-27-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 03:46 PM
iamntbatman's Avatar
Hmm...I love MTS. Cool looking snails. They can reproduce fast and can be difficult to get rid of, but as they're almost completely unable to cause any damage to your tank I don't see how they'd really be a bad thing.

Not to mention pet stores will often view them as pests and give you some for free.

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 04:11 PM
eileen's Avatar
It's not a bad thing they just reproduce so fast.They are good for the gravel or sand. I guess I just overfeed my fish sometimes and they just got way out of control. Your right some LFS gives them away for free. I have assassin snails in mine and their still is a ton of the MTS in my sand.Assassin snails go for the easier shelled snails first like pond snails, ramshorn first over the MTS because they are a bit harder to get to. Once you get them you will be stuck with them hard to get rid of them completely. I even read that someone took the sand out and it sat in a bucket for a week or more while cleaning the tank and to his surprise he got MTS snails again after a few months so some survived being out of water for a week in a bucket. They are like little cockroaches hard to kill can hitch hike on plants from one tank to the next. Assassin snail do keep the numbers down in my snail tanks but will never get rid of the whole lot. You will have to get a dwarf puffer or loach to rid your tanks of them.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 04:30 PM
MST, Ramshorn, that other type of snail I got, cherry shrimp....... BNs but they are not inverts.

As I've said before nothing wrong with MTS. They should not be a problem in a balanced tank. If they die under the substrate they will decay and feed your plants.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #9 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 04:41 PM
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I'd eliminate the CAUSE of the algae rather then try mask it with another critter or with chems!

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post #10 of 14 Old 01-27-2010, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
redchigh's Avatar
well its not a huge problem... Its not gonna kill the plants or anything, but its just kinda ugly ya know?

Plus I'd have to dig out all the gravel to remove the ferts I buried... (oops)
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