are there any bad habits or practices that cannot be managed ?
not cleaning the glass (green spot algae) - a few select pleco's
algae gone wild - shrimp, flagfish, siamese algae eaters
greenwater - clams, (or ignore it and the problem clears itself)
cyano - ... k, got me there
lack of water changes - plants
what kinds of things can be encountered in a tank that could be solved with low-tech or no tech solutions ?
The only bad habits the can't be managed are on nuns. :-P
(I had an aunt who was one.)
Algae, cloudy water, cyano etc are all handled by killing the lights and suspending feeding. Then restarting with less of both.
IMHO almost all (never say absolutely all) things encountered can be avoided and corrected with low tech no tech means.
just my .02
I suppose it all depends on how you look at things. . . lol.
My thinking is that the best, if not always the easiest, solution is to correct the issue at it's root. The lowest-tech, and cheapest(!) way to solve nearly every aquarium dilemma I've ever come across on this forum is to up the level of care given. Sticking to a basic routine of proper maintenance is the only way to truly solve any of these issues that I know of. . .
All of these things that you have listed above are the symptoms of a system that is out of balance. It is not, in my way of thinking, ever a good idea to add an animal to a tank that is in poor condition. Apart from being poor husbandry, treating the symptom with an 'easy fix,' without addressing and finding the proper solution to its underlying cause, will only mask the true problem - ultimately leading to a much higher probability for future issues to arise - though visually, the tank may appear to be 'fine,' at least for a time.
If not cleaning the glass leads to green spot algae, than spend a few moments once a week to wipe the glass when you do a water change!
If algae issues have you down, try limiting the amount of lighting that the tank receives, and ensure that the water is kept clean, limiting the amount of nitrate and phosphates in the tank. If the tank is planted, ensure that the lighting and fertilization is maintained at appropriate levels for the plants kept.
Green water can usually be cleared up by limiting the lighting, and upping water changes to ensure the phosphate levels are in check, though a black out period may be necessary if it has gotten a strong foothold in the tank
Cyanobacteria can be tricky, but typically a combination of manual removal, upping water changes and siphoning to ensure that organic wastes are removed, along with excess nitrates and phosphates, and limiting lighting is enough to take care of it. Ensure the tank is getting adequate water circulation.
Though it is a much-debated subject, plants do not make up for a lack of water changes. Though plants do much to aid in the water quality by removing toxins from the tank, only water changes can remove the solid waste, and keep nitrates and other toxins from accumulating in a closed system.
I'll go ahead and add another very common one that we see often around here:
Snail issues do not require the purchase of a clown loach, which will likely grow too large for most tanks. Instead, try increasing water changes, being sure to siphon detritus and uneaten food from the substrate, and limit feeding. Add some lettuce to the tank at night, and remove it a few hours after lights-out - along with the snails feasting on it. This process may have to be repeated several times, but it will take care of an over-abundance of snails with a bit of time and care on the part of the aquarist!
There are many kinds of things that can be encountered in a tank that can be solved in a variety of ways. . . but if a tank's problems are rooted in the bad habits and practices of its keeper - these can be managed quite simply by the keeper fixing said practices and turning them into good habits to begin with!
Good thread and great input! I have another! HAIR ALGAE. Now I know that the problem was way excessive lighting... but now I can't get rid of the stuff. There are only live plants in this 10 gallon and a ton of tiny tiny pond snails. I've turned off the lights for a few weeks now, it gets day light from a near window so the plants have not died... nor the snails, nor the HAIR Algae. It's tangled on even the gravel. Do I need to tear this tank down?
There are NO fish in this tank but it is supposed to be my QT tank and is in a room that I forget to go in and shut off the lights. I agree this tank is totally out of balance and it would probably be a death sentence to a fish right now. Once I find a solution I will put the lights on a timer.
Also for the flourescent light users, it's important to change out your light bulb, especially when the plants slow down in growth and when algae seems to grow for no reason.
I got an uncontrollable growth of bga and diatoms when my bulb grew too old. Even though the light looked the same to my eyes, there were other invisible stuff in spectrum that changed :)
If it isn't a lighting problem, cyano can sometimes be combated with increased water flow and addition of nitrates...
My solution for BBA right now is a smaller than recommended dose of excel (spot dosed whenever possible) ontop of raising water hardness.... still working on it XD
Seahorse, so you have bba or the green stuff? Is it cladophora algae? (like a moss ball gone out of control?) How hard is your water? If there is no livestock, I would try a combination of h2o2 and excel... dosed when the lights are on :D This may kill your baby pond snails...
your tank sounds pretty balanced to me! the fish wont mind algae! :P
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if you're adding food stop.
hair algae usually is consumed with snails and even fish. Perhaps you just need more livestock.
Actually as a QT with the plants and especially the algae it might make an excellent QT and very healthy for new fish. The plants and algae will keep things in line, absorb co2 and return oxygen as well. One down side is the plants and algae will filter out any meds added. Not to say all of the meds but definately cut down the effectiveness.
true, it does depend on how you look at things.
snails, ... ahhh, forgot about that "issue"
Malasian trumpet snails are a blessing and a boon, they can help churn the substrate (healthier) but excess feeding can bring the snail population to insane numbers
i would never suggest a clown loach (16" adult), for the same reason, they get way too large
if your adamant on fish, i'd recommend the zebra loach (4" adult), or the dwarf puffer (1" adult) (zebra loach for a community tank, dwarf puffer for a species specific tank)
or if your interested use of the assassin snail which while it's a snail has a very slow reproduction rate.
or the spixie snail. the assassin snail reportedly can burrow, the Spixie snail cannot. the assassin snail won't eat it's own, ... the Spixie snail, not so much as it reportedly can have cannibalistic tendencies - which could be great at maintaining it's own population.
or if you've got an infested tank and another tank with any of these critters, one tank to produce snails, that the other tanks would love to feast on.
another part about snails, ... they're a sign of bad habits, overfeeding, and that's on the person in charge of the tank. ... but ... having snails can be good as the snails will eat any excess food that would otherwise be left in the tank after your fish have had their fill, not entirely a bad thing to ensure there is no excess food wasted & rotting on the bottom of the tank.
Hey Aokashi. No there was never a moss ball in there. This stuff grows in wisps up to the surface and clings to everything.... heater, filter, rocks, long and stringy.
Interesting, I thought it would be an unhealthy place. My water is Extremely HARD. I get white residue on everything and PH is about 8. We have .20 Ammonia in our tap water. I use only Prime.
Do you think I should get the lights on a timer and fertilize and see what happens?
Worth a try!!
Yes! A light timer will be a good start
I'm assuming your algae is green as you have hard water :) With harder water green algae thrives while most plants do poorly. Perhaps try a few hard water loving plants (I cant think of any off the top of my head) but when the plants thrive, they may be able to outcompete your algae.
Yes bright vivid green and yes the plants do poorly. I tried new bulbs but things got worse so I think they may be the wrong spectrum or something.
I'll take some pics and start a light timer and ferts. Try to get this tank back on track. I feel a journal thread coming on. lol
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