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Brown Algea Removal?

Discussion in 'Food, Water & Health' started by Jelimafish, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Jelimafish

    Jelimafish CCA Members

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    I currently have a 20 gallon long aquarium with a homemade divider splitting the tank into two sections. Each side has an Aquaclear/Fluval 30. The current water parameters (78 degrees, PH 8.2, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0 or .25 I can't really tell, GH 180, and KH 240). On one side I have a male and female Brevis Shell Dweller and on the other I have 4 juvenile (.75") Similis Shell Dwellers. About a week and a half ago I tested my water and the Nitrites and Nitrates were extremely high. I bought some Prime and dosed the water and started doing daily water changes. My aquarium is only 2 and a half months old so I don't think the cycle was complete when I added fish and luckily I was testing the water daily and saw no signs of stress and all the fish lived. After 3 or 4 days everything balanced out and has stayed great however I had a Anubias that started to get Brown spots. I thought that it was just the hard water so I took it out and put it in my daughter's Betta tank and now it is fully green. When I moved the plant I also added some Texas holey rock and ordered crushed coral to help maintain the PH so I can stop using API Proper 8.2. A day later the walls of the aquarium had dark brown rusty spots. I cleaned the glass and did a water change. The day after that there was more. I removed as much from the aquarium as I could and cleaned it however the once white Texas Holey Rock is now Brown as well as some spots on the glass, the shells, and the heater - even the sand is collecting some. I really don't want to add chemicals but I also don't want to spend an hour a day cleaning and changing water. I am almost certain my Brevis are breeding so I do not want to add anything that would eat any fry or eggs. I am debating on getting a nerite snail for each side because a I am not sure how a bristlenose pleco would do with the water parameters and an extremely defensive brevis which despite being a little over 2" readily attacks my hand. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. jonclark96

    jonclark96 Past CCA President
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    Start by cutting back on lighting on the tank. The fish don't need the light, particularly. It's more for plant growth and observation. The algae grows because it has nutrients in the water and light. Cut back and it won't grow as fast.
     
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  3. CSnyder00

    CSnyder00 Bearded Wonder
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    Second that. Cut back on light and get a few Nerites. They will help. The other reason you have algae is now it has food from the nitrates to grow. Those water changes will be crucial in keeping the algae to a minimum moving forward.
     
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  4. mchambers

    mchambers Occasional Corydoras Breeder / Board of Directors
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  5. finzz

    finzz CCA Members

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  6. Jelimafish

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    Thank you for all the advice. The only light I have is a cheap light I picked up from Amazon that is on for 4 hours a day. It is the 20" AQUANEAT LED Aquarium Light Full Spectrum Fish Tank Light Multi-Color Marine FOWLR 12 20 24 30 36 0.5W, I do not know much about lighting as I have never had an algae issue before but then again I haven't kept fish in a long time and always had a Pleco with my Oscars and have never used LED lights. To be perfectly honest I never had live plants before so I never worried about light which makes me completely ignorant on the subject. I would like to add some plants to add some color but haven't had a chance to run to HOT and the only other closest store is PetSmart and their plants leave a lot to be desired. It does seem like the algae is slowly going away so maybe it is just because the tank is finally maturing. The crazy thing is my daughter's Betta is in a 1.5 Gallon Topfin aquarium with a super low flow filter and the plant is doing great in that and while the tank is developing algae it is all green. The only thing I have done is removed the filter cartridge and put in a pre-filter sponge filled with bio-media because I am not a big fan of carbon. I am probably overreacting but have seen tanks devoured by brown algae/diatoms and do not want that at all so maybe the Nerite snails will clear enough to make my life easier. Now that I am 99% sure the tank is fully cycled and there are no Nitrites/Nitrates present I am hoping it will just go away. I was also thinking about adding a small sponge filter or a power head to not only add more oxygen but to ensure any excess food/waste goes into the filter. I spent a lot to get the 4 similis and am excited about the Brevis breeding so I just do not want a catastrophe (hence the daily water tests). I have lowered feeding and started using more microworms instead of flake/pellets. Even the Brevis which are much larger will swim around with their mouths opens eating as many as possible. Well the Male will but if the female strays to far from their shell and he turns she bolts back over. While he sleeps in the shell with the female during the day he sits on top of the shell ensuring nothing gets close (not that anything can). He looks like a chicken on an egg. The Similis also love the Microworms and I am amazed by the amount of digging such a small fish can do. One dug out a corner and pushed the shell into it then positioned the shell and has started burying it. Another decided to dig a cave under the Rock which was basically on the bottom which is pretty amazing. I am going off on a tangent but am very excited and nervous/anxious. Here are some pics of what I am dealing with.

    The only photo I could get of the Female Brevis while distracting the Male.
    [​IMG]

    (2) of the Similis - That Holey Rock was white 2 days ago...
    [​IMG]
     
  7. DiscusnAfricans

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    Adding more plants will usually help moderate algae growth as well, the plants will use the nutrients that the algae is currently feeding off. Frequent water changes are also key to limiting algae growth, as the excess waste is removed, it provides less food for the algae. Eventually you'll find a balance for light vs. food vs. plant growth, but the old scraping method is the easiest solution in the meantime.
     
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  8. Jelimafish

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    I added some Anubias today after scrubbing most of the Algae and doing a water change then added (2) baby bristlenose plecos about 1" long or so which have started going to work. I do not expect much from them but they were free and so far there have been no issues so between a 50% water change, the addition of the plants, and the (2) little plecos I am hoping to see some improvement. I will just continue to monitor the Nitrates and if they get above 5 ppm I will do a 25% water change to lower them back down and wipe away and thick algae until it is gone.
     
  9. DiscusnAfricans

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    Sounds like a good plan, keep us updated.
     
  10. Jelimafish

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    Thank you, and thanks for all the help that you give - I would be lost without the CCA and the amazing people on this forum! I am starting to think I should still get some Nerite Snails but I am also trying to not add too much too quickly. I did buy some Fluval Clearmax Phosphate Remover as a last resort just in case it does not start going away on its own.
     
  11. DiscusnAfricans

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    Yeah, I would wait on doing too much more, if you do 5 things at once you'll never know which one actually worked, or if it was a combination of everything. We're all glad to help.
     
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  12. Jelimafish

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    Update:

    On a sad note the Similis were digging under the Texas Holy rock which is on the bottom of the aquarium but not level and one Bristlenosed Pleco got squashed. I thought he was just hiding out but checked and unfortunately it was death by avalanche.

    On a better note I moved the larger Bristlenose from the side of the Aquarium housing the Brevis over to the Similis' side and I am extremely impressed at what he has done in 12 hours. This is along with the glass and a few shells. The downside is the amount of waste this little pleco produces but I am just going to remove it manually until things get under control. I have included a before and after photo below as well as a photo of the Brevis Pair and the Similis.

    Rock Before:
    [​IMG]
    Rock 12 Hours Later:
    [​IMG]
    Similis March 10, 2018:
    [​IMG]
    Similis March 10, 2018:
    [​IMG]
    Brevis Pair March 10, 2018:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. b considine

    b considine Global Moderators
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    Don't bury the rhizome of the anubias. That will cause it to rot. Just plant the roots. Better yet, superglue it to a rock.

    Blaise
     
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  14. Jelimafish

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    I really do not know much about plants (obviously). The rhizome is actually not under the rock it is on the other side and was placed through a hole in the rock just to hold it down however the Similis have dug 90% of it so it kind of just floating in the water on the other side, do I need to rebury it or is it okay as long as it is not directly under the rock?
     
  15. Jelimafish

    Jelimafish CCA Members

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    I have some cleaning to do but after 48 hours the rock is almost completely white again. [​IMG][/url][/IMG] [​IMG]
     
  16. b considine

    b considine Global Moderators
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    As long as it doesn't get buried, it'll do fine.

    As for the diatomaceous algae, how about nerite snails?

    Blaise
     
  17. Jelimafish

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    Thank you for the information, now I am thinking I may have actually been killing the Java Fern as it was held down by rocks. Snails were my 1st choice but I didn't want to get them from Petsmart and HOT is a bit of a hike and since the bristlenose were free I grabbed them instead. Long term I believe Snails will work out better but at the moment the bristlenose has been amazing at cleaning the aquarium. He will never be able to get the corner with the Brevis though because the Male is super aggressive towards anything except the female and I am not sure if adding another female or two would help that or make it worse.
     
  18. b considine

    b considine Global Moderators
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    I can't help you there. I don't keep cichlids. (What?)

    Blaise
     

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