Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Algae eater recommendations (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-tropical-fish/algae-eater-recommendations-56463/)

blacklabel3 11-30-2010 02:16 PM

Algae eater recommendations
 
I'm having some trouble controlling the algae in a 10 gallon tank I have. The tank has a betta, 3 cory's, and 2 snails. The snails were meant to control the algae, but they aren't doing a very good job, if anything at all. The algae keeps getting pretty think on the sides of the aquarium. I've tried some algae treatment liquid, but I'd prefer to not use it, and it didn't really seem to work anyhow.
I have a medium sized plecostomus in my 30 gallon tank, it keeps it completely clean. So, I was thinking I'd try a very small pleco in the small tank, and just take it back to the pet store once it was too large, and get another small one. I'd just keep on doing that for a while, or something.
Are there any other good algae suckers that would be a good match for the 10 gallon tank? Maybe something that I could keep in there permanently?

dfbiggs 11-30-2010 05:05 PM

From the pictures it looks to me like you have apple/mystery snails. I know people say they are good algae eaters but I will disagree. At least not with the ones I have. They prefer vegetables, fish food, bloodworms, etc. I would recommend nerite snails. But you may be getting a little overstocked once you start throwing snails in the mix...they can make a lot of waste. Others will also recommend malaysian trumpet snails but I wouldn't say they are the best algae eaters but they make great sand sifters and clean up extra food real well.

Also, you may be careful about putting chemical products in your tank that contain copper if you have snails. It's toxic to them.

If you decide to get nerites from my experience Horned Corona Nerites are the hardest workers at cleaning algae off rocks and decorations. Zebra Nerites are good at cleaning glass, and olive nerites will lightly clean a little of everything.

blacklabel3 11-30-2010 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfbiggs (Post 523628)
From the pictures it looks to me like you have apple/mystery snails. I know people say they are good algae eaters but I will disagree. At least not with the ones I have. They prefer vegetables, fish food, bloodworms, etc. I would recommend nerite snails. But you may be getting a little overstocked once you start throwing snails in the mix...they can make a lot of waste. Others will also recommend malaysian trumpet snails but I wouldn't say they are the best algae eaters but they make great sand sifters and clean up extra food real well.

Also, you may be careful about putting chemical products in your tank that contain copper if you have snails. It's toxic to them.

If you decide to get nerites from my experience Horned Corona Nerites are the hardest workers at cleaning algae off rocks and decorations. Zebra Nerites are good at cleaning glass, and olive nerites will lightly clean a little of everything.

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll go check my local pet store for nerites tomorrow. Are they rare? Not sure if I've seen them around the pet shops in my area.

Byron 11-30-2010 08:20 PM

I do not recommend buying a fish for algae and then returning it; that is hard on the fish, but more to the point the algae will return if the cause is not removed. Snails will work but be careful not to increase the bioload too much.

As someone mentioned, never use algae removing chemicals. If they are strong enough to kill algae, they will most certainly harm the plants and fish. If they contain copper, that is a heavy metal that is highly toxic to all life and care must be exercised when adding copper remedies to a tank with fish.

What sort of algae is it? Some have specific causes, though all the green types increase in excess light.

Byron.

dfbiggs 11-30-2010 09:53 PM

Oh yeah of course..I forgot to say to keep your nitrates below 10ppm. As soon as they hit 10ppm you are welcoming a bloom.

blacklabel3 11-30-2010 10:15 PM

It's green algae, the tank is pretty well lit. I'd really just like to get something that will eat up the algae for me. I'll definitely stop using the algae chemical.

Backer 11-30-2010 10:24 PM

I had a ten gallon for a couple years and I found the best combo for me was 2 oto's and a zebra snail, kept it shiny :) Just added an algea wafer here and there to keep everyone happy.

Byron 12-01-2010 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blacklabel3 (Post 523944)
It's green algae, the tank is pretty well lit. I'd really just like to get something that will eat up the algae for me. I'll definitely stop using the algae chemical.

Can you identify the specific algae? Most algae is green (the "brown" is correctly called diatoms) and some fish will eat this or that type but not others; some algae is basically inedible in that nothing eats it. Knowing which you have would help us suggest remedies.

Here's a link to a thorough article on algae. Some of the "treatments" are questionable, by which I mean rather extreme and can cause other problems if you're not careful. I'm sure others as well as myself would offer advice on these when we know what you are battling.

Aquarium Algae ID (updated May6th '10 Surface Skum)

The "pretty well lit" issue is probably the source, light will cause algae to appear in the absence of live plants.

blacklabel3 12-01-2010 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 524408)
Can you identify the specific algae? Most algae is green (the "brown" is correctly called diatoms) and some fish will eat this or that type but not others; some algae is basically inedible in that nothing eats it. Knowing which you have would help us suggest remedies.

Here's a link to a thorough article on algae. Some of the "treatments" are questionable, by which I mean rather extreme and can cause other problems if you're not careful. I'm sure others as well as myself would offer advice on these when we know what you are battling.

Aquarium Algae ID (updated May6th '10 Surface Skum)

The "pretty well lit" issue is probably the source, light will cause algae to appear in the absence of live plants.

It looks like green colored dots/splotches, all different sizes, all over the glass. The only algae that is bothering me is the stuff on the glass, the rest of the algae growth inside the tank is just fine, gives it some character I suppose. The other algae I see is some stringy looking stuff that tends to grow off the live plants in the tank, and some darker looking algae that is kinda coating some of the leafy plants/fake decorations. But, that stuff can stay, as long as its not something that's going to harm my fish. Unless there's something that will eat all of this stuff, it would probably be very happy in my tank. The tank is heavily planted, more so now than the pictures in my profile....just in case that makes a difference.

Byron 12-01-2010 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blacklabel3 (Post 524581)
It looks like green colored dots/splotches, all different sizes, all over the glass. The only algae that is bothering me is the stuff on the glass, the rest of the algae growth inside the tank is just fine, gives it some character I suppose. The other algae I see is some stringy looking stuff that tends to grow off the live plants in the tank, and some darker looking algae that is kinda coating some of the leafy plants/fake decorations. But, that stuff can stay, as long as its not something that's going to harm my fish. Unless there's something that will eat all of this stuff, it would probably be very happy in my tank. The tank is heavily planted, more so now than the pictures in my profile....just in case that makes a difference.

That is green dot or spot algae. Not much will eat that, even snails; I think someone on here once mentioned a plec (can't remember which species) sometimes eats it. I get it in my 115g tank on the front glass but if I clean the glass every week during the water change I rarely see it. Even though I can't see it at the time, the beginnings are obviously there, because if I don't clean the glass sure enough by the next week there will be a few spots visible. A plain sponge-type scraper run over the inside of the front glass will suffice. If you do see little spots, it is hard to remove and usually you need one of those sturdy little scrapers; sometimes a razor blad if really bad, but be careful not to scratch the glass.

It occurs due to light, although obviously other issues are involved or I would have it in more than just one tank. It will not be a problem if you remove it and then keep it from coming back with a weekly clean of the glass.

No algae will harm fish; on plant leaves is the problem as it will kill the leaf and if it continues to spread the plant will die. Except for the green spot algae, most can be kept within reason by balancing the light and nutrients for the plants. Reducing light works if the other types get out of hand.


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