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  1. #11
    La Dee Da Dee Do Sum-X's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Amano Shrimp

    Originally posted by famman
    http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/Fishindx/sae.htm

    http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/Fis...hpics/sae2.jpg

    Don't SAEs get to be a half a foot long?

    Thats not a SAE!





  2. #12
    Fish Nazi
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    I disagree. That is a SAE. It has the jagged line extending through the tail and also the barbels.



  3. #13
    Bottom feeders Rule GDominy's Avatar
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    That is indeed a true SAE. I have several of them



  4. #14
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    Agree, that is the real SAE. And yes, they do make 6". And they do get fat and lazy even before they get there. IMHO & IME, Amanos are are far superior algae eaters, but they do not eat BBA (SAEs will if hungry)- which thankfully I don't have.



  5. #15
    wassup in the hood
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    comparison:

    How would you guys rank the effectiveness of these fishes on algae eating, for all of us considering an algae control crew:

    plecostamous (sp?)
    cherry barbs
    amano shrimp
    siamese algae eater
    otto's
    black mollies

    I have heard people telling stories of all of these fish eating algae very well. I am assuming the ones with the sucker mouths like the plecos and ottos are more limited to stuff on the glass and flat surfaces, and may not even eat the longer strands from those surfaces (like hair algae or staghorn algae)

    What has been your experience with them?

    -Josh



  6. #16
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    If you have a problem with algae , the main thing to do is to adjust your nutritional balance in the tank - that will cut the algae down more than anything you can put in there.

    Next manual removal by hand and via an old toothbrush along with scraping the glass and any decorations that get too much buildup.

    For light algae buildup:

    Otos work good on diatoms (mainly brown coating)

    Various Plecos work on the same as the otos , however they need a lot of bulk vegetable matter and can scrape the glass clean overnight at which point your planted tank becomes a saladbar.

    Mollies and some other livebearers will activley eat green hair algae provided they are not fed.

    Flagfish is pretty much like mollies.

    SAEs, CAEs and flying foxes will keep leaves and decorations clean when YOUNG and not overly fed , however they do grow fast, fat and lazy and at that point show no interest in algae.

    Snails will consume leftovers, waste and some algae - they will however multiply into billions if there is excess food (algae, waste or waste) and quickly become a nuicence.

    Ghost shrimp which are cheap( about 10 cents each around here) , are sold as feeders, they act much like snails and will keep a tank clean of waste and leftovers - as far as eating algae they will eat about as much as say angelfish or tetras , in other words nibble at it on occasion when they are hungry but it is not a regular part of their diet. One other thing with the ghosts is that they are more tender than the amanos and will be an indicator as to when things go awry before you start losing the more expensive amanos.

    Amanos do eat algae - however they do not eat the amounts they are often expected to consume in a problem tank.
    If you want good algaecontrol provided by amanos you need about 2-3/gal.



  7. #17
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    The pleco's, namely the common ones or larger ones tend not to fair well since they will damage plants.
    Some smaller types, the Bulldog pleco, , Clown pleco, the Butterfly, or the white spot Ancistrus(most Ancistrus generally are good or Pecklotia) are all pretty good.
    But for algae over all, a large pack of amano's is difficult to beat and you can add any number to about any sized tank since each critter is a small algae eating unit.
    Barbs are good for hair algae, mollies are okay for some algae, not a lot IMO,
    Otto's are good for Diatoms and little else, SAE's are good for BBA and Oedogonium, it grows only on the leaf margins about 1/4"-1" long. I've seen them eat other algae but these are ones they seem to be effective agaist.

    While having algae eaters is important, it is not the overiding critical factor. If you are slightly off in your routine, they may help sway the balance over to the plants. They will never hurt the balance. They will make a good balance even more stable.
    But don't depend on them to make your plants grow. They cannot do that except through some waste products and then that generally does not amount to a great of plant nutrition unless the tank has very slow growing plants/non CO2 enriched etc.
    If the tank has pretty bad algae, don't expect them to remove it all. You need to help that along.
    Many folks seem to think algae eaters will solve all the algae issues. They do not.
    Don't try one single method/nutrient etc to get ahead of algae and grow plants, try multiple approachs, like good nutrients for the plants, manual removal of algae, trim off the algae that's attached etc, clean filters, scrub glass, large regular water changes, herbivores in large numbers, etc. Repeat.

    Take care of the CO2/Nutrients _and_ add the algae eaters.
    It's easy to add the nutrients/CO2, it's very laborious to pick and trim off algae. So have the herbivores do that, and you follow up with good nutrients/CO2.
    Trim well to get the tank as free of algae as you can first, then add herbivores and good plant nutrients/CO2 and have lots of plants.
    This takes about about 2-4 times of trimming good and lots of work , then you an rely on the herbivore to do the work afterwards.
    Whether you 20% or 50% water change a week, it takes almost the same time. I've always held that large frequent water changes is good. Especially when algae is an issue.
    Some tanks are well balanced and folks can get away with less %.

    I've been able to do it, but my plants do grow better and I do not have to rely on testing at all in order to hit the ranges I need for good plant growth.
    Most have cheapy test kits so this method seems to be better than those in many cases..

    I reset the tank each time I do a water change with the proper nutrient levels. I can get to within 1ppm of NO3, 1-2ppm of K, .3ppm of PO4 of my estimation.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr



  8. #18
    wassup in the hood
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    nutrients

    thanks you guys. I really appreciate the thoughtfull responses. I have never really heard the balance of algae eaters and nutrient control laid out so clearly. In fact I don't think I've heard the two discussed in relation to eachother! I definately will be hinking about how to control the nutrient levels now. But where to start? I have heard that the book by Diane Walstad "ecology of the planted aquarium" is great. Does she discuss maintaing nutrient levels? I think I am about to buy that book.

    is there one kind of fertilizer that you guys use to keep everything stable, or is it multiple fertalizers? Of course I would like to have the simplest routine possible, but also have it be effective... So what am I looking for in a good nutrient addative?

    thanks!
    -Josh



  9. #19
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    I haven't read Diana Walstads book but I understand it is more geared towards a lower maintenence aquarium.

    IOW less than 2wpg, no CO2 injection and low additions of nutrients - this will make for an easy to take care of tank . You will have to spend a lot less time fussing with pruning the plants and making sure all nutrients are in line however you will be limited in plantchoice somewhat and your growthrate will be a lot slower.

    The choice fertilizer for a planted tank among people who are really into them seems to be PMDD (poormans dupla drops) , you can pick up the ingredients for it at most gardencenters: stumpremover for KNO3, potash for K, epsomsalt for magnesium and (my preference) Tropica Mastergrow for trace elements.
    You could probably get enough for a few years for around $30.

    Check out http://www.aquabotanic.com/boards/index.php also do a search on PMDD (you will probably want to adjust the recipe) and there is some good info on "florida driftwood" site about how to balance your tank.



  10. #20
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    I think the book is great(DW's)
    As far as using CO2 or not, that's a choice you''ll need to make on your own terms.
    If so, adding CO2 in the single biggest thing you can do to improve plant growth.
    The next are adding nutrients.

    If you can make cookie dough from scratch, you can can easily do dosing of nutrients.
    You don't need to be "chemically" inclined.
    I add 4 things and only 4 things to every tank:

    Traces(5mls per 20-30 gal)
    KNO3(1/4 teaspoon per 20-30 gallon)
    K2SO4(1/4 teaspoon per 20-30 gal)
    KH2PO4( about two rice grains worth per 20-30gal or more)
    That's it.
    I add the K2SO4 only after a water change once a week.
    I add the others 2-3x a week.
    Do a 50% weekly water change.
    That will supply the plants well and the 50% weekly water change simply re sets the tank if you go over or under during the week.

    Simply keep the CO2 supply up and lights on a timer and grow plants.
    Pruning will increase, but plant health will also increase. Slower growing plants can be phased in if the amount of pruning seems excessive. Adding epiphytic plants to wood, moss, fern etc works well and has a nice effect.

    I honestly do not spend much pruning time. It takes roughly 5 minute a sq ft to prune. I shake the plants loosely out of the gravel, prune off the lower portions, replant the tops only.
    Any algae etc is also removed. Net out any floating leaves etc.
    Then the water change, then add the nutrient back right after that.

    There's no fuss/hassle in that. I take the cutting and sell them off.

    Nutrients need not be complicated. Only 4 things and CO2/lighting.
    The CO2/light part is extremely low maintenace, I touch both systems about once a every 6 months for a few minutes.
    The nutrient dosing I spend as much time as folks do feeding their fish but only add the nutrients 2x beside the water change day(once a week)

    It takes the same amount of time virtually to change 25% vs 50%.
    A python or similar style system DIY can allow folks to change 3-4 good sized tanks in 30-40 minutes.
    Pruning/scrub about 1 hour.
    Dosing during the week, 5 minutes.
    Total time is less than 2 hours.

    Nice tank, nice plants, happy fish, plants to trade at the LFS or friends etc.

    If you are interested and so lazy all you want to do is top off the tank due to evaporation, do not care about having lots of cuttings to trade(But you will have a few), are more patient, non CO2 tanks are nice also. But don't expect some of the same things from them. Don't mix methods either.
    They are great for aquarist that have the neglecting attitude and can still feed their fish once a day etc. I have one at my sister's and set two up for other folks. Very nice looking tanks.

    But for folks that like to watch their tanks and mess it more, the CO2 is a bit like a drug.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr



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