Fish helpers for planted tanks, other means to algae control
I am fairly new to this forum, but it seems that bio-control seems to be underplayed here for some reason.
If your plants are not so delicate as to waft away in the breeze, there are a number of beneficial fish to help out with algae. I have personally overseen these fish cure algae issues in over 60 different aquaria over the last 8 years.
Ottocinclus: small amounts of film algae and green spot algae, best for nano tanks
Pencil fishes: low lying algaes in small tanks, work well with shrimp
Amano shrimp: small amounts of low growing algaes in small tanks, or very well maintained larger tanks if you have many many shrimp.
Siamese algae eaters: Some hair algae and DESTROYERS of BBA, can reach 4-5" in length over time. Recommended for 20 gal and up
Bushy nose plecostomus: all algaes on driftwood, save BBA, film and green spot algaes on glass. These fish are not snooty, they clean the windows. Recommended for 10 gal and up
American flag killifish: some hair algaes. These can be temperamental to water condition change, keep they in groups, recommended for 10 gallons and up
Green nerite snails: some reported success with green spot algae
Hair algaes and slime algaes (bga, red slime, diatoms) do not have any easy bio fixes that I know of, but proper balance of co2, and waste levels are key here. Increase general tank flow, decrease excess nutrients, manually remove algaes, increase water changes, decrease feeding quantity/frequency, plant more heavily to control these.
Black beard algae is literally annihilated by true Siamese algae eaters. One fish will completely clear a heavily infested 10 gallon within a month.
Although Excel is touted as being a good fix for these issues, there can be some nasty interactions with iron and other water constituents on the gill function of sensitive fish (particularly rams, cockuatoides, apistogrammas) , so dose with care.
Penicillin/erythromycin can be used for Cyanobacteria/diatoms, but they should be carefully dosed, allowed to cycle for 24 hours, then 30-50% water change to be done to dilute remaining concentration, no more than once monthly.
Remember that these are all cures for SYMPTOMS, not remedies for CAUSES of algae. Increased husbandry can cure all with time alone. Our goal should always be preventative maintenance, not shotgun damage control.
Last edited by Xirxes; 06-29-2013 at 06:43 AM.
Reason: Additional info