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Re: Aquatic aroids, algae problem

  • Subject: Re: Aquatic aroids, algae problem
  • From: willowpro@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 10:19:55 -0400

Hello Marek,
 
I have never had this problem in a fish tank so these are only a few ideas based on dealing with green "carpet" algae.  Also your fish look very nice.  I think I've read all the responses to this problem but if some one has already suggested the same thing I apologise.
 
Are you testing the levels of dissolved nutrients in your tank water with a reliable chemistry kit that has not past its expiration date or been contaminated?  Are you sure you are using the kit properly, it might not hurt to re-read the directions.  What levels are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings at?  The first two should always be zero in a cycled tank (I assume yours is) but the nitrates may be high and these act as nutrients for plants and as well as algae.  Nitrates provide no benefit to your fish and are actually bad for them.
 
If your nitrates are above 10 parts per million I would suggest you do a number of water changes to get them below that level.  If they are at 100 ppm don't be too shocked, I've seen this more than once in other peoples tanks.  Do the changes slowly, say 25% every three days, so as not to shock the fish.  Once the nitrates are very low you should do very regular changes to keep them below 10 ppm.  An undetectable level is probably best for your fishes health and the algae problem.  I try to do a 10% per day water change or 20% every two days to keep the nitrate levels in my tanks very low and the fish are quite healthy with that practice.  Just be sure to test pH, hardness and temperature an match the parameters of the new water to your current levels so as not to shock the fish.  After a couple of months of very low nitrate levels the algae should stop growing or die.
 
To speed things along, as you are doing water changes you could try to scrape the algae off gentle with your fingers right next to a siphon hose so it sucks it out of the tank.  You might also try adding some otocinclus cat fish to the tank, they eat many types of algae but won't harm your plants, are vegetarian and stay very small.  Get at least three as they are a social fish and will do better that way.  There are a few species but any will work.  They should not cost more than $4 US each.
 
Good Luck,
Devan
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