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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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jerrytheplater's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bloomingdale, NJ
Posts: 340
Jan 5, 2010:

The algae I have is Hair Algae, Spirogyra. It is still pearling but it is very long. I cleaned the tank last week with a 80 % water change and thorough scraping of the front glass. I took some before and after photo's and I'll get them up soon. Today the tank is just as bad as before the cleaning.

I have been thinking of ways to get rid of this algae: get one good looking Tropheus to eat it. Would only one Tropheus survive? Are there other Tanganyikan algae eaters?

Another option is a Florida Flag Fish Jordanella floridae I really don't want to go with non Tanganyikan fish though.

Reduce the lighting duration from 12 hours to 8 hours. Easy to do.


I ended up removing one of the 65 watt lights while keeping the lights on for 12 hours. This made a drastic improvement on the growth of the algae in the entire tank. Now I only get a thin layer of green algae on the front glass which is easy to scrape off.

We had a discussion on algae eating fish here: I settled on Tanganicodus irsacae Moba Goby Cichlids. They are small and the least aggressive of the Goby Cichlids.

I added about 6 new juvie Paracyprichromis nigripinnis a few weeks ago to go with the ones I got from Sloot. I got them from Spookyfish. Thanks again Mike. I now have about 10 of these, 6 1 1/2" Julidochromis regani Kipili, 1 two inch Altolamprologus compressiceps, four 1 1/2" Tanganicodus irsacae Moba Goby Cichlids were added in today, and four Otocinclus cats.

The Gobies are being picked on by the Alto comp and the Julies. I am hoping things settle down.

The Vallisneria is really starting to grow in and it is sending out runners. It is staying short so far, and from what I've read it will probably stay short in the African tank.

Here's a new video taken today:


The algae has really died back on the rocks now, or it could be the Goby Cichlids and Julie's eating it. I do see them picking at it. I was thinking of adding the other light back on to see what happens.

I am feeding the fish flake food about three times a day 5 days per week. They fast on the weekends while I am not at work. The Julies are really growing I give some pellet food, but it sinks too fast and most of the fish miss it. The flakes flutter down and are snatched up by the Paracyps, Gobies, Julies, and even the Altolamprologus. That is everyone.

The Goby Cichlids are accepted in the tank now. I was fearful they wouldn't be when I first added them in. They are chased by the larger Julidochromis from time to time, but not always. They are able to rest now and are accepted.


I really need to post an update here.

I played around with the lights to try to control the algae growth by adding the one light back but rewiring the two fixtures so the wattage dropped to about 40 watts each. The algae growth slowed too much, the Goby cichlids grew more hungry and I ended up having large bare spots on the upper faces of the rocks where the Gobies eat most often. I wired the lights back to full wattage on April 28th and I am seeing increased growth of the green algae. BUT during the slow down of the green algae growth, some red algae has taken hold. It has covered large areas that were bare where I moved some of the rocks slightly.

I feed the fish flakes every day and give a supplement of Tetra Micro Crabs soaked in Kent Zoe and Seachem Entice two or three times a week. The Micro Crabs get very soft and all of the fish go crazy over it.

I dread having to remove some of the fish because I will have to remove the rocks to do it. I am thinking pairs are forming between the Goby cichlids.


I cleaned this tank tonight after work, just a normal clean. All was well with the tank before I started. As I was re-filling it, I smelled a very strong chlorine bleach odor coming out of the tank. I have no idea where or how the tank got bleached like it did, but all of my fish were on their way to dying in a matter of minutes. I dosed the tank with a huge amount of Prime, and this removed the bleach smell, but their gills were fried by this point and they were swimming in spirals, upside down, dashing to the surface. It was horrible and I am just now getting reconciled to the disaster.

I am really racking my brain to see what could have happened. The buckets I used to fill the tank were the ones I used to empty the tank, and they didn't smell of bleach. I add Seachem Lake Salts and Tanganyika buffer during water changes. I took some of these chemicals and added them to a glass of water-no bleach smell. I don't keep bleach in my office or lab.

I lost one of my Goby Cichlids, five Julidochromis regani Kipili, one Altolamprologus compressiceps, and about a dozen or so Paracyprichromis nigripinnis. All of these (except for the Alto. comps) were young adults just entering breeding age.


Thanks for the sympathy guys. I appreciate it.

When I got to work this morning I found 8 dead Paracyprichromis nigripinnis and none living to see. Not sure really how many I had. I can't see the fish in this tank easily.

One dead Tanganicodus irsacae Moba and 4 living :happy: :happy: .

3 small and one large Julidochromis regani Kipili dead and one large one living. One is missing and could have died before without me noticing it.

2 Alto compressiceps missing and not seen dead. But I very seldom saw them before anyway. Not too much hope for them really.

I am not glad this happened, but I really was getting to the point of beginning to think about getting rid of the Paracyps. I didn't really care for them and I don't plan to replace them. I do want a pair of Julies so I am on the lookout for one of the opposite sex to mine.

One small Synodontis nigriventris found living and thought dead months ago. Go figure.


Originally Posted by Rockfish
Jerry, did you test the tap water?
I have not tested the tap water at work in a long while. I don't normally test the water either. I know PVWC does not use ammonia in the chlorination process, so I don't have Chloramine. I spoke directly to the head of the entire water treatment plant for PVWC in Little Falls, NJ the day after the fish kill. They did not have any abnormal water being sent out. The max chlorine residual in the water is 4 ppm. Any more and they are subject to fines. I am not sure what 4 ppm smells like, but what I smelled was pretty strong. If it really was city wide, the entire city would have been calling the treatment plant to complain.

It turns out the head of PVWC Treatment Plant is a fish keeper too. He has two 75's and about four more smaller ones. He filters all of his tank water for water changes through activated carbon before using it. I have a spare 1 cubic foot IX cylinder around and I am really thinking of setting it up with Activated Carbon to get my water change water. Its not hard for me to do.

I saw one Alto. comp. so far alive. I don't know if I still have two. But I have seen one.

The fish are still subdued, but increasing in activity. I am thinking they have injured gills and are not able to get as much oxygen as before and are restricted on activity because of this. Make sense?

Do you think, or do you know if the gills will heal and be returned to normal capacity over time?

I now have an outbreak of Blue Green algae on the top surface of two of the largest rocks. The Gobies are not swimming up that high yet and are not eating up there. The rocks were almost grazed bare up there before. The other green algae is growing longer too, but the Gobies are eating it and flakes too.


Originally Posted by Rockfish
Originally Posted by jerrytheplater

The fish are still subdued, but increasing in activity. I am thinking they have injured gills and are not able to get as much oxygen as before and are restricted on activity because of this. Make sense?

Do you think, or do you know if the gills will heal and be returned to normal capacity over time?
It does make sense. Unfortunately in trying to research this a bit it seems that once gill surface areas are destroyed they do not truly heal then adhesion's or scarring can occur and gill surfaces are thus reduced in surface area or functional quality for oxygen uptake.
That is a really big bummer. I"ll have to see how they come along. I am seeing a lot of sparing between the Goby Cichlids, but they are not swimming up to the top of the tank like before. They are eating the algae at the bottom of the tank. The one Julie is acting fully normal and is chasing the Gobies at times. I don't see the Alto or Syno out front at all ever so it is hard to evaluate them.

I am not against mercy killing. If I see they don't recover significant strength by September, I am thinking I"ll euthanize the fish and start over.


I cleaned the tank last Friday. 2/3 water change. No problems this time at all. Nothing was done differently either. Still don't know what happened.

I had some blue green algae form near the surface of the tank on vertical rocks. I cleaned it off on Friday and as of today, it has not returned and green algae is starting to grow in its place.

The remaining fish are looking perfectly healthy and frisky. Swimming normally.


Its been a while since I've posted about this tank. The fish that survived have recovered nicely, as far as I can tell. I have 4 Tanganicodus irsacae, 1 Julidochromis regani Kipili female, at least one Altolamprologus compressiceps, and one very dwarf upside down Synodontis in this tank.

I am seeing BBA in spots. I also have an outbreak of Blue Green algae right now. A member of my plant club and I cleaned this tank Saturday. I added a teaspoon of KNO3/KH2PO4 mixture after cleaning to start fertilizing this tank. I am hoping this will get rid of the BGA. I know Erythromycin will get rid of it easily, but I use that only as a last resort. On Monday PM I siphoned out about 5 gallons of water to remove more algae that had collected along the front glass. I was able to get the water in by very carefully picking up a partially full bucket with my right hand. (10/4/10 Edit: I cracked the neck of my Radius in my left arm in a bicycle crash Labor Day with the Boy Scouts. It is still healing. I was not able to pick up and handle a bucket before this)

Here's a video from Aug 27, 2010. I just got it made into a video and uploaded tonight.


Anthony jokingly said I should put a Bristlenose in this tank. I answered:

I have at least 25 1' juvie brown bushy nose in one of my tanks. I don't want to put any in this tank because:

1. I want the algae
2. I'd never get them back out
3. They aren't endemic to Lake Tanganyika (I know, neither is my Synodontis-but I cheated)
4. I want the Tangs to use the caves, not the Bushy Nose.

I am going to use Hydrogen Peroxide to spot treat the BBA. I know a person that had fairly good success with this treatment. I can't use Excel or Glutaraldehyde because the Vals won't tolerate it.

I have a 38 at home with 5 adult Neolamprologus leleupi and way too many juvies (the adults didn't eat them :sobbing: ) This tank has a fairly good crop of algae, but nothing like the 65 at work. I just put 5 juvie Bushy Nose in there last night. I am curious to see what they do.

Jerry Smith Bloomingdale, NJ, USA

Last edited by jerrytheplater; 10-24-2012 at 01:30 AM. Reason: Fix Broken video link
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