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Algae control

Discussion in 'Freshwater' started by Genral72, Feb 6, 2006.

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  1. Genral72

    Genral72 Giver of worthless imformation.

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    I have decided to write an article on how to control algae. Remember I have learned all of this from my personal experience. If you have any tips or anything to add please feel free to do so.

    There are three types of algae there is hair algae, An algae bloom, and beard algae. Hair algae is the kind that grows on your glass. An algae bloom turns the actual water green. These two will be the ones I will mostly be talking about as I have never had beard algae but a lot of these thing would help keep a beard algae outbreak from happening. The key to controling algae is to keep your water exceptionally clean.

    1. Lower the lighting
    We all like to turn on that light when we wake up and then turn it off when we go to bed. Pretty much everybody has done this at some point. However In an unplanted tank lighting should be 6-10 hours. In a planted tank it should be longer depending on your plants. But wait a second here if I go to work at 8 o'clock AM and get back at 5 o'clock PM that is 9 hours of light surely you want more viewing time then that. The key is to buy a relatively inexpensive timer. People normally use these as burglar detterent while they are on vacation. All you have to do is plug your light to the time. Set the timer from say 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

    2. Add Live Plants
    Adding live plants is probaly the second best thing to control algae next to lowering the lighting. Plants compete with algae for light, and nutrients. Certain plants are better for algae control than others. Try getting plants that don't need as much light so that you can lower your lighting as well.

    3. Weekly Water Changes
    Water changes should be done at least twice weekly. You should be changing at least 40% each week. Regular water changes deprive the algae of their food source. not only is essential to your fish's health but also helps control algae.

    4. Don't Overfeed
    Okay let's think about this for a second. The algae needs three things to grow: light, food, water. so we have already discussed how the lighting let's discuss the food part. There are several food sources that might cause an algae bloom. Mabye a dead fish under that castle or food staying on the bottom. Obviously overfeeding could cause an algae bloom in several ways. first of all No food should touch the bottom unless it is algae tablets or something similar. The food on the bottom fouls up the water and serves as a food source for the algae. The second way to cause an algae bloom through overfeeding is in fish waste. I won't go in too that section as that could take up a whole article. But the general rule of thumb is what your fish can consume in under 5 minutes. However if you are trying to control algae I would suggest under 1 and 1/2 minutes.

    5. Filtration
    Filtration is important when your water itself turns green. Not as much for the algae which grows on walls(however it will help that slightly by keeping tha water clean). Whenever I have an algae bloom is when my filtration is down. Change the fine floss. If you have adjustable filtration raise it up. Do as much as possible to increase filtration. In my personal experiencecleaning the motor on power filters really helps.

    More to come so stay tuned! :D
     
    #1 Genral72, Feb 6, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2006
  2. rrkss

    rrkss Biology is Fun

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    Great article. I definately agree to the filtration part. The last time my water started turning green was because I had neglected to clean my canister filter for some time. I stayed on top of waterchanges and the rest. As soon as the filter was cleaned, the algae went away.
     
  3. OrionGirl

    OrionGirl No freelancing!

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    One other thing that is important to keep in mind is appropriate stocking levels. Often times, a tank prone to algae or bacterial blooms is overstocked--and no amount of maintenance will resolve that in the long run. I know that if I had a tank that required twice weekly water changes just to avoid an algae bloom, I'd look at reducing the stock significantly--even my tanks that's were if not overstocked close to it, weekly changes prevented imbalances.
     
  4. Genral72

    Genral72 Giver of worthless imformation.

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    6. Overstocking (thanks for reminding me OrionGirl)
    We all know the food chain. Plants eat dirt, fish eat plants, big fish eat fish, big fish takes a dump, bacteria turns the poo into dirt. Even though algae isn't a member of Kingdom Plantae it is very similar to a plant. So when you overstock there is more poo resulting in more food for the algae. If you are overstocked take your fish back to the fish store. Most stores will give you at least some money for your fish.

    7. Get Out Your Tools
    Algae multiplies expontentially which means that when there are 2 algae organisms they square(not nessecarily but just go along with it) then you have four algae then 16 and so forth. So we need a way to keep it under, for example, 4. How do we do that? Well the key is you use tools. Toothbrush: Make sure it hasn't been used before this is my personal favorite. An Algae magnet: I have never personally used this but I have heard of people that swear by them. Scraper or Razor: I use a scraper that is designed for cleaning dishes works great. I have heard that razors work well also.

    8. Algae eaters
    So you go into the store and ask an employee, "I have an algae problem can you help me?" You know what they are going to tell you. That's right go buy an algae eater. The thing to remember here is that they are trying to sell you something. They're usually not going to tell you lower your lighting or add more plants. Algae eaters, whether they be otos, plecos, or chinese algae eaters, are not the solution to algae problems. DO NOT buy an algae eater unless you think they are cool fish. The reason that an algae eater won't help is that the fish will poo creating a food source for the algae so really it justs completes the circle. However you think that algae eaters or snails are cool and you want to get something that will at least help a little bit. What are the best ones to get? I would have to say snails will help the most however snails can become a problem on their own as some snails reproduce asexually(they only require on to reproduce). My conclusion buy some sort of algae eater becuase you like not to clean up.

    9. Algae Killers
    This is going to be a very short paragraph. Don't use them they don't work and they have hurt some of my fish!!!

    Remember no one wins the battle over algae. You have to learn to control it. Use all these tricks and you will find that algae will finally come under your control. So there you go those are all the basics I will add more as I am reminded of them.

    Good Luck,
    Genral72
     
  5. anthonyl

    anthonyl AC Members

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    That's a great article. Im just wondering how effective is UV sterilizer? you have any experience with it?
     
  6. liv2padl

    liv2padl cichlidophile

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    i'm sorry if this offends but you did ask. in my opinion, your article is very misleading, too simplistic and in many respects just wrong. you say there are three types of algae. actually there are many more than three. The main phylogenetic groups of algae are:

    Diatoms: unicellular organisms of the kingdom protista, characterized by a silica shell

    Chlorophyta: division of the kingdom of protista consisting of the photosyntetic organism commonly known as green algae

    Euglenophyta: small phylum of the kingdom protista, consisting of mostly unicellular aguatic algae. Some euglenoids contain chloroplasts with the photosynthetic pigments; others are heterotrophic and can ingest or absorb their food.

    Dinoflagellata: large group of flagellate protistis. Some species are heterotrophic, but many are photosynthetic organisms containing chlorophyll. Various other pigments may mask the green of these chlorophylls.

    Chrysophyta: large group of eukariotyes algae commonly called golden algae, found mostly in freshwater. Originally they were taken to include all such forms except the diatoms and multicellular brown algae, but since then they have been divided into several different groups based on pigmentation and cell structure.

    Cyanobacteria: phylum of prokaryotic aguatic bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis. They are often referred to as blue-green algae, even though it is now known that they are not related to any of the other algal groups, which are all eukaryotes. Cyanobacteria may be single-celled or colonial. Unlike bacteria, which are heterotrophic decomposers of the wastes and bodies of other organisms, cyanobacteria contain the green pigment chlorophyll (as well as other pigments), which traps the energy of sunlight and enables these organisms to carry on photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria are thus autotrophic producers of their own food from simple raw materials.

    then you say hair algae is the kind that grows on the glass. this is not true. spot algae grows on the glass, diatoms grow on the glass and many other kinds of algae grow on the glass. actually, among all the algal types, hair algae is the probably least likely to occur on the glass.

    within a given group of algae, there may be red brush algae, hair algae, spot algae, slime algae, brown algae and more. green water is not an algae classification. it may be comprised of a great many algal types rather than a single group.
     
  7. jm1212

    jm1212 Pterophyllum scalare

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    CAEs dont eat algea after a while. they get really aggressive and start to eat your other fish. they do not do anything productive in a tank.
     
  8. msjinkzd

    msjinkzd AC Members

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