Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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alphazetatango 02-23-2010 10:52 PM

Goliath Algae Outbreak
Hey guys, it's been awhile since my last post, but my current delima is that my aquarium has a major algae problem.

I tried combating this by buying those little algae eaters, but the three of them got really fat fast, and have failed miserably at controlling the pesky algae. Also, their must be optimal plant conditions in the aquarium because all of my plants have exploded into growth this last couple of months. I've had this aquarium for about six months now, I keep the water perameters under check, and I don't use any filters besides my plants and ECO gravel. I'm thinkin about buying a larger aquarium before I get stationed elsewhere.. but I don't want to get something bigger until after I'm back... that's what I was originally planning... but again, my plants are getting large, I have a red lily plant, was a bulb when I got it, and within two months it's taken up a corner of the aquarium. My fish seem to love darting in and out of the jungle though ^_^.

Anyhoot, how can I control my algae infestation? Kinda leaning towards buying one of the loche type algae eaters.. the pleco's I think.

stephanieleah 02-24-2010 12:28 AM

what kind of lightimg do you have? too much will give algae an edge over the plants to use the nutrients and co2 produced by the fish. it's impressive that you have a self-sustaining filterless system going...have you checked the water params lately? just wondering.

algae is almost always caused by an imbalance of light, nutrients and co2 and most likely can be controlled in this case with light.

i was also impressed by your thread that you got plants going crazy after six months of being in your tank. good job, green thumb!

alphazetatango 02-24-2010 06:03 PM

I have two fluorescent 18w bulbs in my aquarium. From what you've mentioned, the algae growth IS high because of that. I use two different bulb spectrums, one Daylight F15 6500k(Blue spectrum); and a Plant and aquarium bulb, 90k(red spectrum lighting)

Yes, I check the water perimeters every week, everything is still in the green. Ammonia, nitrate, nitrites are at a 0( bought the entire API test kit set). I even do the regular water changes every week too, and then I add this lovely water purifier that doubles as a plant fertilizer (Plant Care Solutions co{Fertilizer and water conditioner})

I'm attempting to find a balance in my planting that'll naturally combat the algae growth. I have duckweed at the top, and now theirs lily pads up their from my red lily and banana plant. Also getting a nice dwarf hairgrass carpet going on the bottom, and then I have some water wisteria bushing out(I have to trim this plant every couple of months when it reaches the top, it's learned to bush out instead of sprint for the top)

Today however, my algae seems to be diminishing. But... ya! I now it wont last for long ^_^.

P.s. I have a ten gallon aquarium.. not sure if everyone was aware of that.

Angel079 02-24-2010 06:37 PM

2x18w sounds a lil high spc with the 9k in the mix; try to turn / take out that 9k one.

What type of algae do you have there? brown bush like? Green slime? Green dots? Long thin green hair?

alphazetatango 02-24-2010 10:09 PM

I have some long green hair ones, and the brownish coating one

stephanieleah 02-24-2010 11:25 PM

wow, ten gallons, it's hard to find balance in an aquariums so small because minute changes have large impacts. Plus that is a heck of a lot of light for such a small tank. I'd half it.

The diatoms (brown algae, assuming that's what the brown stuff is) could be due to an imbalance in the tank (as also suggested by the algae problem). These go away on their own when the tank stabilizes. They are more common in new tanks. Harmless, albeit unsightly.

just wondering what your water change routine is? how much/how often? if plants don't have enough CO2 from your fish then algae could also have an edge. water changing and supplying a co2 rich water supply may help. or you could add a carbon (?) supplement like Flourish Excel. Because your plants are growing well I'd almost recommend using half the Excel dosage if you decide to go that route. All this assuming CO2 shortage is part of the problem. If an insufficient supply of CO2 is available for the plants, it will limit them to that degree and leave all of the extra light and nutrients for the algae to thrive from.

Anyway, forget about all that for now...I bet if you limit your light to 1-2 wpg everything will balance itself out. Be patient, give it a couple of weeks to show improvements.

as far as getting algae eaters, can't think of much that is well suited for a ten gallon, aside from shrimp (amanos work wonders on both of my tanks). plus you want to find the imbalance and correct it rather than treating the symptom only.

Byron 02-25-2010 10:58 AM

I agree, reduce the light intensity. Light should be the limiting factor; plants need nutrients, up to the levelof light, so limiting the light will allow the plants to outcompete the algae. Adding fish to the bioload to solve this is not the way to go. B.

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