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How do you combat your algae problems?


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  • Regular Member

I'm looking to get a new tank and was reading up on keeping your tank clean, and I didn't realize there were so many different kinds of algae, and ways to get rid of it.

What type of algae am I most likely to run into, and how do you recommend I get rid of it when the time comes?

I was checking out this saltwater algae control guide, and it's got a TON of information, but I want to get information from a few sources before I plot out my plan of attack. Maybe some of you can fact check the guide as well, but to me it looks pretty complete.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate it!

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  • Regular Member

I'm looking to get a new tank and was reading up on keeping your tank clean, and I didn't realize there were so many different kinds of algae, and ways to get rid of it.

What type of algae am I most likely to run into, and how do you recommend I get rid of it when the time comes?

I was checking out this saltwater algae control guide, and it's got a TON of information, but I want to get information from a few sources before I plot out my plan of attack. Maybe some of you can fact check the guide as well, but to me it looks pretty complete.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate it!

You may get a number of different ideas from different places, but at least in my experience, brown algae is likely going to be the likeliest type you will face, followed by green and blue green. Brown algae happens when the tank is new (silicates), and it should go away as the tank matures.

In my experience, the best way to deal with algae is to physically to remove it if you can, or see if you can address the issue with plants and lighting. What I do not recommend is to try to use algicides, or to get fish that are supposed to eat algae. You will most likely be disappointed with those solutions.

Welcome to the forum! :)

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  • Regular Member

Like Alex said, brown algae is easy to manage. You just wipe it off at ever water change. It usually doesn't get too bad by the end of the week... I haven't dealt with green algae but it is a pretty algae :)

Just pray to all the gods of fish keeping you don't get blue-green algae.... :madrant it's a pain in the :booty

:welcome

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I had used Algae Fix (API maybe) once and I under dosed it. It made my fish appear as if they were drunk and I had to do a complete water change immediately. I battle green algae but found wiping it off once a week, limiting the time my lights are on to 8 hours a day only, and keeping curtains on my windows really helped. I do leave the algae on the back of the glass. My teles sort of lick it off (ar at least that's what it looks like they are doing.) I also get a strange sheet of it on the lids of my tank that is like a giant dried up piece of seaweed and I just peel it off. I am not sure why that happens on only one of my tanks. It seems harmless enough.

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  • Regular Member

I think you've gotten excellent advice so far :)

In addition to not leaving your lights on too long, you don't want there light strength to be too high :o unless you have a heavily planted tank.

I agree the best way to remove the algae is to manually wipe it off. Many folks on Kokos leave 1-3 sides of their aquarium covered with algae for a nutritious snack for their goldfish :nana

Good luck managing your algae and welcome to Kokos :D

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  • Regular Member

I have medium low lights (Finnex Planted Plus) with mostly low light plants. I focus on healthy fish and healthy plants. For the plants, I dose just once after doing a water change: Seachem excel, micronutrients, and macronutrients. I also have the lights on for only 6 hours a day. It has been a couple of weeks since I have been following this routine, and I have found that the algae growth had slowed down considerably. I don't plan to get rid of all the algae because my goldfish love to snack on it, but I want to reduce it and up the health of my plants.

As a first solution to reducing your algae problem, I suggest having the tank lights on for just 5 to 6 hours a day and get some low maintenance plants like java moss, java fern, anubias and marimo moss.

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  • Regular Member

I second Alex's recommendation to wipe down the sides of the tank. I do this during each water change. I need to do very large water changes - at least 80%. I have brown algae in the two tanks next to the windows (oddly, these are both well-established tanks ... hmm), and green algae in the tank farthest from the windows. I wipe down the brown algae because it's ugly, but I don't mind the green algae so I pretty much just leave it alone.

I also have mystery snails, which help somewhat. But I wouldn't recommend getting a fish or invertebrate with the express intention of controlling an algae problem, because they don't help all that much.

When I first got into fishkeeping, my boyfriend had a 10 gallon tank with 5 goldfish and a huge hollow cave in the middle. The water had not been changed in almost a year, and when we removed that cave ... yuck! The water turned so brown (combination of brown algae and poop) that we could not even see the fish!

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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  • Regular Member

I leave mine alone for the most part. Having fast growing plants and a lot of plants to out grow it helps. I also do a lights off in the after noon. 4 on 4 off 4 on. In the goldfish tank i have a Bn and a rubberlip. In the 6 gallon I have two ottos. The 20 gallon is newly set up but it has a couple apple snails. May move the BN if it does have any issues.

I clean the front glass and let the rest do its thing.

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  • Regular Member

Diatoms can actually be really difficult to get rid of. In a new tank they should go away as the tank matures (regular water changes every few days helps a lot), but in more established tanks there seems to be little information on how to rid them other than the shrimp/snail/catfish route. They are usually pretty easy to wipe off hardscape and glass. A razor blade can be used on the glass if you have difficulty. Depending on what plant it grows on, it can be nigh impossible to wipe off.

Green algae, in my experience, is the easiest to get rid of. A tank black out for a few days will help significantly.

I really like some of the photos on this website. It's a good list of freshwater algae, very useful for identifying.

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

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  • Regular Member

Some amount of algae is normal in any tank. As others said brown algae and run of the mill green algae are what you will most likely run into. Wiping walls down can help manage it, but if you find you are getting a lot of it or different kinds (hair algae, dreaded black beard algae etc), it may be indicative of some type of imbalance (nutrients/lights/co2) that needs to be addressed. I run a high tech tank and keep algae at bay by making sure my tank is balanced (if I see significant amounts of algae I will typically lower lighting, up my co2 and make sure I'm dosing my ferts consistently), I also wipe down the walls at water changes.

If you are keeping live plants , make sure you dip new plants in a bleach solution or potassium permanganate. Plants can introduce new kinds of algae to a tank .

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