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Tank Maintenance


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  • Regular Member

I have found the best way to do it is with the little tank scrubby things they sell at LFS... mine looks like a little white sponge. Well, at least when it was new it did. Now it looks like a green one. Kent Marine also makes a cool little tool that looks like a squeegie (sp?!) the kind you use on car windows. I have that too and it works great! :)

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I'm a little OCD, so I understand the clean freak thing, but in reality, algae is good for your tank. It helps process nitrates and provides a healthy snack for your fish. And, I know this sounds odd, but the best way to get rid of algae is to allow a little to remain in your tank. Algae is the first primitive life form that starts to grow in an aquatic environment and helps establish a good biosystem. Once the algae is established, it creates an environment where other more complex life forms can grow. If you constantly remove algae, it is the water's "instinctive nature" to try to start all over again and restablish it. But, if the water "sees" that algae already exists, it won't try so hard to keep trying to establish it. I have brown algae. Way yuckier than green, and I do remove it from my plastic plants and rocks, but I allow it to remain on my uptake tubes in my tank. Those tubes are just solid brown with algae and you know, the browner I allow those tubes to get, the less algae I have growing on my other decorations. When I changed out my aquarium stands, I cleaned out my tank really well, including those uptake tubes, and lo and behold, there came the brown algae all over again. So, I know it's hard to look at, but leaving that algae in the corners may be the best thing you can do for the health of your tank.

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  • Regular Member

I buy the bulk filter pads and cut my own pads for my Ehiem cannisters. The left over corners and ends of the bulk pads make GREAT algae scrubbers - they last as long as the ones that are sold in the store for the same purpose - and are nearly the same material.

AFter each use, the pad is dropped into an old Chinese food quart container of 1:10 bleach to water. After 10 minutes they are rinsed and left to dry in another quart container. That way, the algae does not build up on the pads, nothing is transfered from tank to tank as I use the pads and they stay white and clean. ( I, too, am a bit OCD about many things! ;) )

For my really deep tanks that I cannot reach into the far corners without nearly climbint in the tank, I have glued a "chip clip" to the end of a dowel rod. This holds the pad quite nicely and will wipe out the far corners. I have seen sticks like this sold in the stores and I expect that when the pads that come on them become old, you could peel them off and replace them.

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  • Regular Member
AFter each use, the pad is dropped into an old Chinese food quart container of 1:10 bleach to water. After 10 minutes they are rinsed and left to dry in another quart container. That way, the algae does not build up on the pads, nothing is transfered from tank to tank as I use the pads and they stay white and clean. ( I, too, am a bit OCD about many things! )

Great tip!

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Like Daryl, we also sometimes use filter padding as a sort of algae sponge, though so far we've left the corners more or less alone: the algae in the small tank are allowed to flourish on the backside, so -like Lynda wisely pointed out- the algae don't much bother with the rest of the tank. Because of the rough macro-texture of the filter padding, it's also useful to get algae from the objects in the tank, like the small Egyptian bubbler statue (with all its nooks and crannies). And our large tank doesn't get enough direct sunlight at the moment for any significant algae growth (apart from the weekly or biweekly 5 to 10 minute scrub I do before Miki does a water change; before I hear anyone complain: the scrubs are sometimes biweekly, not the w/cs themselves ;) ).

Edited by Erinaceus
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

OK, this is something I struggle with. I do have green algae on the tank lid under the light, and I leave this alone. However, I struggle with the brown stuff. I'm never sure whether or not to leave it on the backs and sides. I love the look of a clean tank and do frequent water changes and tank cleaning but the brown stuff just looks dirty! Even when I try to let it go it eventually drives me nuts and I'll scrub it off. If I had the lovely green stuff I'd just leave it alone!

Do most of you just let the brown algae grow?

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YUCK. I remove the brown algae at every water change - swishing it away. I really hate the look of that stuff. It is soooooooo sloppy looking. Green is one thing. Brown is another.....

:yeah:

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Soooo glad to know that! I was starting to think that I was letting aesthetics get in the way of a healthy tank. I don't even let it grow for very long on the plants or tank decs. I just can't do it. A beautiful green carpet would be wonderful, but the brown gunk is just nasty, IMO, although I do leave it on the filter spout where the water comes out for a time.

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