10 Algae Busting Tips

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AC Members
Dec 19, 2005
Don't pond snails eat live plats?


Plumber Boy.
Oct 16, 2005
Toronto, Canada.
In everyone's experience, what is the best algae eaters for hair algae. Why am I asking you say, well, I have been working(with Len) very diligently for what seems to be months now to rid my tank of bba, now if that wasn't bad enough, a 3 weeks or so I visited an old fish store and picked up a red lotus for cheap, it had hair algae but for the price, hech I can kill that hair algae. I manually cleaned the h/a off everything roots and all then I dipped it in a bleach solution of 25:1 for 2 minutes.....no problem right. Well, guess what started to appeared on my plants.....yes, hair :eek: algae. I had been manually removing it but it got out of hand some what. I since have tore through my tank and cleaned house.
I haven't given up, I am doing my best to be persistant :coffee: but I am so close to putting my fish in a holding tank and throwing everything out, flourite and plants and bleaching the sh*t out of everything and starting to scratch.

I appreciate any thoughts on this matter,


loaches r cool

Snail Terminator
Feb 15, 2006
Gahanna, Ohio
I have 'pond snails' from my goldfish pond outside that I grow in a 20G planted tank as food for my puffers. There are also guppies in there that I can use as feeders. It has a standard canopy with a flora-glow bulb. I have never got algae (up and running about 1 yr) I have actually never cleaned the glass either. So maybe its because of the snails? Although its also partly to due to lower light values and plants to outcompete the algae. As for the snails eating plants, I havent notice them do any damage to any of my plants, but I do often see them on dying/decaying plant leaves so perhaps they eat that, which is another pluss if thats true. :clap: Some fish will eat snails though like yoyo loaches and maybe other botia loaches.


AC Members
Apr 10, 2006
Los Angeles
night fertilizing

I read somewhere that algae dosn't have enough energy reserves to metabolize nutrients without adequate light. So I started adding my fertilzers after the lights were off for the night. The plants continued to grow but I noticed a greatly reduced rate of greenspot algae growth. I returned to a morning dosage after two weeks of success to compare and that night I came home to find greenspot algae growth on the glass and leaves of my anubias. I think plants may better out-compete the algae at night due to their energy reserves. I also add my dosage of Kent's fertilizers in more frequent smaller treatments. My logic is that a large weekly dose will not be metabolized before excess reaches the algae. Finally, I limit phosphates from various sources, I read that Novaqua contains phosphate so I switched to Amquel for chlorine treatment with my weekly water changes. I also switched from Flourish fertilizer to Kent's fertilizers without phosphorus. My plants are doing very well and I think I found a balance that works for me. I used to bleach some of my plants to remove greenspot algae about once a month. The anubias seem to thrive from the bleaching process with faster leaf production; but several other species were going into shock and would not show new growth for several weeks. Anyway since starting my nightly routine bleaching does not seem to be needed.


Sep 4, 2004
Columbus, OH
I'm quite liberal with PO4, and so are many others. Since it is high out of the tap I maintain a level never below 1.5ppm and keep nitrate in balance to that level. Higher phosphate is actually quite good for suppressing spot algae. PO4 on it's own won't cause algae.


AC Members
Nov 3, 2005
for small tank-er like me, SAE gets too big so amano and otos get the drown for best algae eaters


Nov 13, 2006
promethean_sprk said:
That top 10 is for aquaria in general, some of the methods are not suited for a planted tank. For instance carbon and phosphate removing resin will starve plants of nutrients as well.

For a planted tank:
#1 should be to keep enough plants to outcompete the algae.
#2 correct amount/duration of light.
#3 keep the plants fed/healthy so they can outcompete the algae.

They also don't mention SAE under algae eaters, SAE should be the first addition to any algae eating crew for 20+ gal. I've not tried ammano shrimp (I have angels), but I get the impression they are second only to SAE, and can be used in the smallest of tanks.
Sorry, but what does SAE stand for? I'm having an algae problem on my plants, and need a critter to clean them off.

Oooh. Sorry again, just needed to read on.
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AC Members
Jan 13, 2007
China Shenzhen/Shekou
I had and still have problems with algae as well.
The 120g tank is some 4 month old, no ammonia, nitrate or nitrite, never had.
Heavy planted, with some 15 species. Half are fast till very fast growing.
With 3 x 150w Metal halide and 2 x 80w blue light I had all kind of algae in the beginning.
Starting from Film, Spot, Fuzz algae, Hair, Tread and Stackhorn algae
After 6 weeks I decided to put fish in it, a schoal of 10 SAE and 12 shrimps (most seems to be wood shrimps, but also 1 red and some glass clear shrimps came in that packet),
WOW they cleaned up.
3 SAE died, so did many shrimps, but no more after that.

The shrimps reproduce now, in a speed I'm worried I getting too many, if that is possible.

Then I had a algae bloom, the water turned first greenish and whitish. I changed the filter to a stronger and bigger sized on, now have 800l/h instead of 600 also moved the filter inlet to the front. Does not look too nice, but creates a better flow.
3 days later the water was clean.

BUT, I still have Thread and Stackhorn algae, and no solution so far how to get rid of them. (except the removal by hand) Reduce fertilation, I read somewhere, but my iron is always arround 0.1ppm (use Ferropol on a weekly basis).
What to do? Any suggestions beside pondsnails, which, by the way, I haven't seen here anywhere?:help: