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liverpool 02-09-2014 11:21 AM

I've got an Algae Problem
I have a bit of an Algae Problem in my 13 gallon Tetra tank. I have 5 Black Skirts and 1 Gold Skirt in the tank, and I had a small Pleco in there with them, but he died on Christmas Morning about a week after I got him. I'm not sure why, I put the wafers in there for him, and he ate them, so maybe he was just diseased. My Gold Skirt also picked on him sometimes so who knows, maybe he did something to him. Anyway, I was thinking about getting a snail to try to tackle the algae issues. Any other suggestions? The tank is pretty dark, I have a blue light (there's 4 glo fish, which are really just Black Skirts, and I wish I hadn't wasted my money and had just gotten regular Black Skirts instead,) and even that light is too bright for their liking and I've had to dilute the light with a floating plant. I know dark tanks can lead to more algae, but even moderate light has the fish frozen in place all day. Thanks for you help

Flint 02-09-2014 12:39 PM

A Nerite snail, trio of otos, or some shrimp will help control algae.

I'd personally go with the nerite snail first and if he doesn't help, we can talk about the other options.

liverpool 02-09-2014 12:49 PM

I think my local petsmart only has mystery snails, at least that's all they had last time, but they may have gotten new stock. My petco may have some, but their tanks are in abhorrent conditions (last time I was in there, there was a dead fish just floating in a tank with the rest of the fish,) so I'd rather not look there and risk infecting my healthy fish with something. Would a mystery snail work? I'd apprehensive about getting more than one because I've read that they bread out of control crazy. Would just one get the job done?

Flint 02-09-2014 12:53 PM

A Mystery Snail will eat some algae but it won't keep an algae problem under control. Have you ever considered ordering one or two online? Shipping should be fairly inexpensive due to the fact that it's an invert and won't need overnight like a fish would. Petco definitely has them but it's better to not risk infecting your tank.

liverpool 02-09-2014 01:04 PM

I'll check petsmart when I go in for class Tuesday and see what they're got. My tetras, especially my gold skirt, can be pretty aggressive. Can they hurt a snail?

Flint 02-09-2014 01:13 PM

They are more likely to harm a mystery snail than a nerite. In my experience, a nerite doesn't put off as many 'feelers' as a mystery. If I'm not mistaken all Petsmart carries snail-wise are pest snails and mystery snails. If you decide against snails and your tetras are aggressive, I'd be apprehensive to put otos in the tank. Maybe just get some feeder ghost shrimp and let them eat and be eaten?

liverpool 02-09-2014 01:26 PM

According to their website they carry nerite snails, so I'll just have to check my petsmart before I make any decisions. Thanks :)

Snoeflayke 02-10-2014 04:17 PM

Petsmart started carrying nerites this past year! Zebra and tiger. They're my favorites, I can't imagine my tanks without them.

rsskylight04 02-10-2014 04:32 PM

Best way to controll algea is by lowering the nutrient content of your water with frequent water changes and adding live plants. Algea must absorb nutrients from the water to grow and reproduce... less nutrients= less algea. Complex plants will compete with algea for nutrients and they are more efficient so maybe just adding fast growing plants like anacharis and hornwort, and doing an additional waterchange each week might solve your problem or at least make it more managable. Another factor is lighting. Too much light will encourage algea to grow, but as I said before, if there are not enough nutrients, then algea CANNOT grow, regardless of other factors.
Good luck!

liverpool 02-10-2014 06:09 PM

Unfortunately, live plants are out of the question. I've had a live plant in there before, and I had to transfer it to another tank because it wasn't getting enough quality light. By tetras prefer very subdued and diluted lights that most plants can't thrive in.

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