Algae on the side of tanks - do you remove this?
I know in salt water aquariums that a coralline algae growth on the rear glass of the tank is preferred, and you clear up the sides. On my freshwater aquarium, do you all feel the same? I have algae on all four sides of the tank that's sort of like a fine mat of thin, short hair. It moves with the current. It's on all four sides of the tank, and it's slowly been growing. It doesn't bother anyone, the tank only gets 6-8 hours of light a day, and it's not in direct sun. I also do water changes to keep the stats at 0/0/0 ammonia nitrite nitrate, and the PH is around 8.0 The only stock in this 10g is two Figure-8 Puffers. All natural plants, sand substrate, HOB filter with a pad but no carbon.
I only use the algae magnet on the front glass. I don't see any reason to scrape off or kill the algae on the side glasses. Is there a pro/con to this, or is it just personal viewing preference?
It won't necessarily harm the fish, but it could be a sign that there is too much fish waste in there. How often do you change your water? I personally scrape of algae if I see it, but it's more for viewing than anything else.
Change water 25% every other day, ammonia nitrite nitrate are a constant zero.
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I clean the front regularly, the sides less often, and never clean the back.
Excess algae is an indicator that conditions and/or water quality promote it's growth. On my 60g, I have lights on 12 hours/day. I do a 50% weekly water change w/gravel siphon and do not have much if any algae growth. I do use the algae magnets weekly on the front and side glass, but only rarely need to clean the rear glass. (I have had tanks where algae was a problem, but I attributed to excess nitrates.)
For the most part, algae is not a negative for the fish, more the aesthetics of the tank and viewing the fish. Some algae on decor actually makes it look more natural. One time I did have a green/brown algae patch on the rear glass, but after a time I removed it as it appeared grungy.
Is there a particular reason you do 25% changes every other day? Do you use a gravel siphon or just remove water? (just wondering).
I do the water change so often because Puffers are messy eaters, it keeps the tank clean. And it's not like I have 'excessive' algae; I think you misunderstood. I just don't clean it. It's a buildup of four months of algae that, aside from the front pane of glass, I see no legitimate reason to clean off.
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I have a 50 gallon pentagon tank. I clean the front 3 sides but it doesn't need it often. I never touch the back 2 sides. I have a little bit of growth but my BN pleco and snails prefer it. The algae is in no way out of control, just a bit is on the sides.
Algae is really only detrimental to live plants, when it attaches to the leaves and eventually can suffocate them and kill the plant. Thus, those with planted tanks work to keep algae minimal.
But without live plants, algae is a blessing. It performs much the same role as live plants, by using nutrients in the presence of light. So in plant-less tanks it is actually good. Whether or not the aquarist "likes" seeing it is simply personal preference and aesthetics.
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