Algea help - what algea cleaners do you use
I have 4 siamese algea eaters and a twig catfish farlowella i think is the name. I also have about 15 whisker and ghost shrimp. I have been using the magnet scraper to clean my 55 gallon. I am getting some persistant algea, it is green and on the glass. I also had some brown looking on the plants which seems to have dissapated. Is this a good cleaning crew should I get another SAE or twig cat? I have 4 T5 bulbs 28 watts a piece and am dosing all micronutrients once a week, 2 different fertilizers. Just curious what methods others use to fight algea or how much they allow. I also have 5 cory cats, 2 clown loach, some sword tails, and hatchetfish.
Uh oh, reading up on algea to freshen my memory. It looks like I have green dot algea, some areas of glass look more filled out with green algea so that may be a different type, and then I have brown and or black algea on the plants. Not sure whether the last is a brown or red type algea but it is a fairly new tank so perhaps brown or maybe both.
You have lots of light over a 55g and with two weekly fertilizers planty of nutrients. If the plants are not able to utilize all this, the algae will. Aside from the number of plants, there is also the available CO2. If CO2 is the limiting factor to plant growth, then algae have an advantage because they can more readily convert carbon from carbonates.
Green dot algae can be controlled by weekly scraping the glass even if you don't see any; if you notice the dots, use a good scraper or razor blade on the spot; if you're careful the glass won't scratch (I believe acrylic will scratch). Ottos and Farlowella will control green algae but don't always get all this dot stuff. They also do a good job on brown algae; usually this is common in newly established tanks or in low light (you don't have low light, I only have 1 watt per gallon and never see brown algae except when newly setup). Farlowella won't touch brush algae (which may be the "brown/black" you mention--does it grow like tufts on wood, rocks and plant leaves? Frequently appears on Anubia leaves, and is Black Beard Algae although actually reddish but doesn't look it) but I'm told the SAE will. I let it go on the wood, and remove plant leaves with excess when I see it. With excess light and nutrients it can become a menace; Flourish Excel (a carbon supplement) is said by others to remove it if it is out of control.
I've never used the magnet scraper, but I read another post where it scratched the glass, so be careful. I have a sponge scraper I use on the glass every week, then a small hard scraper for the dot algae when I see it.
As a suggestion, I would reduce your light (you should be able to remove one or maybe two of the four tubes) and cut back to one fertilizer a week. Depending upon how the plants respond (you should expect some reaction to this) after a few weeks, a second dose of fertilizer may be re-commenced. Using a baqlanced comprehensive fertilizer is good, but remember the plants can only utilize so much in balance with the light and CO2, and any beyond that is wasted and food for algae.
Well, I have been doing 12 hours of light interrupted after 8 for 2 hours of dark and then another 4 of light. I think I am going to reduce the amount of light to 10 hours and continue to stagger them to try and disrupt the algea.
I am fairly scared of scratching the glass with a razor blade but I guess I had better pick up another scraper and a razer scraper to combat the algea if I am going to deal with the dot algea. I am very happy with my actual plant growth so far. Every plant I have has experienced new growth, greener leaves, ect. The slowest it seems was the flame moss getting established and the straight vallis that I cut back.
It looks more like black dots and some areas of brown that just seems like sediment settled on the plant leaves, so far my Siamese and Farlowella have done a good job clenaing the leaves. I removed my banana plant because there was a tuft of black on one of the 'bananas' and manually cleaned them.
I still want to try a do it yourself Co2 so maybe I will use aglea fighting as an excuse. I'll have to look at my other post because I remember you recommended against Co2 in my situation. I've also read that the fertilizers are dependent upon getting the feel for it so maybe that is the reason.
Use less of the fertilizer, watch the plant leaves, increase to twice if they show signs. I did that twice in my tank, went to once a week; after 1 week the swords clearly had yellowing leaves, so I went back to twice a week and within 1-2 weeks new growth was lush green again. Both times. That experiment didn't hurt the plants, and now I kow it takes twice weekly fertilizing (the recommended dose on the Flourish).
I have actually been doing one fertilizer every 3 to 4 days alternating the two. They only have one or two nutrients in common, one has .15 nitrogen and one has like 1.0 nitrogen. I am still doing water changes but hesitating a little for my 50 Aqueon siphon in the mail.
I will try to take some pics tonight if I can get some that are not blurry. I think it is an algea because the twig and siamese seem to eat it off the leaves.
Byron actually started off his post with my suggestion. Add more plants. About a year ago I decided I wanted to be able to grow more than just crypts in my 55gal tank. So I increased my lighting from 2 - 24" bulbs to 3 - 48" 32watt bulbs. I added more ferts and started using Excel. I added plants and watched as the plants started to grow. I went on a 1 week vacation, came back and was surprised at the amount of algae the tank had grown in that short amount of time.
As stated earlier, if the plants don't use the ferts the algae will. So I thought, if the plants aren't using it up I'll add more plants. Sure enough the amount of algae I get has gone way down. I still scrape the glass every other week but I could go 3-4 weeks if I wanted to.
Try adding more plants and reduce the ferts to once a week.
I couldnt get a good pic but I will try again. I picked up a borneo fern, some money wort, a sword plant with red and green leaves, and a thin stem plant but I cant think of its name currently. I also picked up and algae scraper and 3 more SAEs. I noticed they had live black worms also, might be a good treat for the fish. I wish I had read up on them before feeding them some but they seemed clean to me, at least the water they were in.
Apparently the borneo fern isnt an aquatic plant, a shame it does look nice but way darker green and woody roots compared to the other plants I have.
Should I bother trying to clean the back and sides of the aquarium of algae if it isn't important to me aesthetically?? I just rearranged and pruned everything in the tank and scraped the glass on the front of the green dot algae. I'll post a pic as it looks nice I think.
Oh, you can see some of the brown on the amazon sword, the leaves are not looking real healthy either on the edges. Should I cut this somewhere to make it bushier, opinion?? Also any idea what the plant is to the left of the large amazon sword, I can't remember the name of it.
A couple of suggestions. The light appears very bright for the number of plants; I wold eliminate half of it (from 112w down to 56w) plus your suggested reduced time. I am certain this is the cause of your algae problems, the light is too intense and there are not enough plants to utilize it.
I would recommend uysing one type of fertilizer, not two different ones. I dn't know personally if this may do anything adverse, but given the fact that you are fertilizing twice a week and as you say the plants are not responding, something is not right, and at a guess it may be two different fertilizers working against each other 9because of different nutrient ratios). I would use just one type, once a week for a few weeks, and if no improvement twice a week.
If the leaves of the swords start yellowing, remove them. Also, swords are heavy root feeders; putting a plant tab in the gravel near the sword would probably help. In March I bought some Hagen Plant Gro sticks and put a couple next to the larger swords in my 90g. This week I removed the plants to set up my empty 115g, and noticed the swords with the sticks were three times the size of the others without (same species, Echinodorus major). I think it probable that the sticks were the reason.
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