Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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zeus87 11-29-2010 02:58 PM

green algae! crushed coral
Hello, new to he forum, but have been a novice aquarium hobbiest for a few years now.
Anyway, I have a fluval edge (6 gallon cube tank) set up for shell dwelling cichlids. I'm using the stock halogen lighting, with crushed coral to keep the ph up. The fish are very happy and are successfully reproducing... problem is I cAnnot control the green algae. Water tests are fine, I did a 50% water change multiple times and move the tank far from any natural lighting. Any idea? I just stripped it down, and again the algae is back within 2 days. Thanks!

Byron 11-29-2010 07:20 PM

First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Now to your issue. Can you tell me more about the lighting? I'm familiar with fluorescent tubes, and incandescent--both normal (not good) and compact fluorescent bulbs (very good). But haven't had occassion to use the Fluval tanks with halogen lighting. I may have more when I know more about it, but for now I'll continue because light is at the root of the algae problem regardless.

Algae is a plant, and like all plants it needs light and nutrients. In a tank without plants (which I am assuming this is) there will be nutrients (from the fish, fish food, waste, organics, water...) and if any light is present algae will appear. The more light, the worse it will be.

In a planted tank, plants tend to out-compete the algae for light and nutrients provided these are in balance for the needs of the plants. But without plants, it is an open field for algae. Any light will cause it, so reducing the intensity and duration is the only way to combat it. Along with good maintenance to remove the nutrients.

Fish do not need light, so without plants only using the tank light when you are home to enjoy the aquarium will work fine. A timer will allow you to set the light for your viewing period each day so it is consistent. If you are willing to try plants, Vallisneria does superb in hard water and in rift lake cichlid tanks.

Hope this helps.


zeus87 11-30-2010 09:13 PM

Hello, thanks for the response!
Well first off, I bought new bulbs, I'm trying led's for now. When I first set up the tank I had some java ferns which did well until they were suffocated by algae, and the constant cleaning took its toll on them. Another plan is to swap out the crushed coral for sand, I haven't decided just how to do this, because I don't want to stress the fish out, but it is in the plan. Well I will keep you posted, thanks again!
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Byron 12-01-2010 12:31 PM

Java Fern is a slow growing plant and thus susceptible to algae, particularly brush algae. Anubias, another tough leaf slow growing plant is the same. Of course, any plant will be host to algae if conditions are right as mentioned previously, but even in "good" setups these plants can attract some brush algae.

When you come to exchange the substrate, I would get a 2 gallon pail (you should have a couple of these for fish use only, a good investment) and drain the tank water into it and net the fish in. Depending upon the room temp, you may or may not need to have it heated; in a warmish room it will be OK. The drain the tank and remove the coral, wash and replace with your sand, and fill and condition. If the filter is not touched and remains wet, bacteria will still be alive. If you have any decor, like wood, rock, etc., in the existing tank, keep it wet (put it in the bucket with the fish) and bacteria on it will remain. When the tank is ready, drain some of the water out of the bucket with the fish, add water from the tank; do this a couple times. Then net the fish into the tank. I have never lost a fish all the times I have done this.


zeus87 12-06-2010 06:13 PM

Alright so I treated he tank for blue-green bacteria,things are looking much better. Now I am Still noticing what looks to be beard algae.. is this correct? And if so what's my best control method?

Byron 12-07-2010 01:52 PM

That looks to be like cyanobacteria; it occurs as slimy sheets and "threads". Its prime cause is organics. It tends to appear more in some setups than in others. Reducing light, keeping the tank clean, planting lots of plants are all said to help. There are a few other threads on cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae though it is not strictly speaking an algae but a bacteria) presently on-going so you might want to check those out (use the search function) for more member's ideas.

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