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Old 08-14-2003, 03:54 PM   #1
Saluki
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I am battling to get my balance of light, nutrients, and CO2 in check, and as I have made advances, I keep discovering wonderful new types of algae. At first, my main problem was diatoms. The addition of 3 some otocinclus and more light nipped that right in the bud.

Then came the greenspot algae on the glass. I have managed to reduce it some, but I figure this will probably always be a little bit of a problem in a tank hospitable to plants. I can scrape with the best of them.

Next in line was cyanobacteria (not really algae, but every bit as annoying). The addition of CO2 (DIY) to help the plants out-compete it for nutrients, and more frequent maintenance to remove the colonies seems to have gotten it mostly in check.

Now, I have this greyish-green fuzzy stuff growing on all of my plant leaves. I have no clue what it is. It doesnt seem to fit any of the descriptions I have seen. Any help would be apreciated. I have seen reference to wiping algae off of the plant leaves. What tools do you use to do this? Algae scraper? Your fingers?

Here is a rundown of the set-up:

29 gal with Eheim ECCO 2233

Lighting: 4 - 24 inch 20 watt GE Plant and Aquaria tubes. I might add another tube to cross the 3 wpg threshold.

Plants: Jungle Val, Cabomba, Red Mellon Sword, Lilaeopsis

Fish: 2 Blue Rams, 4 Glowlight Tetras, 5 Black Neon Tetras, 3 otocinclus

Substrate (from bottom to top): laterite, top soil, construction sand.

Other decorations: River rock, petrified wood, driftwood

Parameters: pH 6.7 (artificially lowered by blackwater extract by 0.2 units), KH 4.0, CO2 15ppm (an educated guess since the BW extract affects the pH-KH-CO2 relationship), ammonia 0, nitrites 0, Nitrates 7.0 (just increased with KNO3 yesterday from 2.5), Phosphates >3.0 (above the range of the Seachem test that I have. I know this is a problem, and am trying to reduce it by less feeding and increased maintenance).



BTW, I just noticed my rank title. It is just about the most apropriate rank title for a planted tank beginner that I can think of. My kudos to the person who came up with it. :lol:
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Old 08-14-2003, 04:15 PM   #2
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Even a well maintained tank is going to need some sort of algae crew. The otto's do a pretty good job at most types of algae, but they're awful small and usually can't keep up with all of it. This is where a pleco shines. Get a bristlenose and he will stay small (3-4") and clean off all the big, flat surfaces that the otto's can't keep up with.
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Old 08-14-2003, 04:58 PM   #3
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How do bristlenose do by themselves? I have always seen them listed as schoolers. I have been reluctant to introduce an individual to a tank, and I certainly would not want more than 1 in a tank of this size.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:57 PM   #4
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My solitary bristlenose (in my 55g tank, with driftwood) has done great, even completely recovering from a mild case of fin rot that began to develop at Wal-Mart. I read up on the bristlenose plecos for a while and hadn't seen anything about them needing to be in a school. Clown Loaches, on the other hand, you had better keep at least three to make them happy!
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Old 08-14-2003, 06:35 PM   #5
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Your litany of algae could have been written about my tank, with the exception of the cyano. I believe the grey-green stuff is the dreaded BBA. My bristlenose is pretty much along for a free ride, so I'm dropping a rubberlip pleco in to see how he does. That's because I have so far been completely successful in not finding an SAE.

Anyone, what's the deal with the pl*co spelling I see on the boards?
Just curious.

James
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Old 08-14-2003, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James
Anyone, what's the deal with the pl*co spelling I see on the boards?
Just curious.

James
Dunno what you mean........You mean using the word Pleco instead of typing out Plecostomus? Or what?
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:24 PM   #7
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Writing "pl*co" is just some superstition. People believe that if they write the word "pleco" that their real pleco might die. Atleast that is what I have read. Other newcomers might have just picked up the cool new way of writing it, kind of like 1337 h4x0r.
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaverde
Anyone, what's the deal with the pl*co spelling I see on the boards?
Just curious.
James
There is a superstition among net-savy fishkeepers that goes back to the early Usenet days. It seemed like any time a pleco was mentioned in print, said pleco died or at least contracted a nasty disease soon thereafter. So, the custom became to use asterisks and/or mispell the name to avoid a similar calamity. With the influx of so many new aquarists since the advent of the internet and BBS software, the practice is not as common as it used to be.
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:36 PM   #9
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Statistically speaking, if a question is being posted on a bulletin board about any fish, the odds of that fish having some sort of illness is probably much higher than average. Yet, whenever I'd mention my pleco in a newsgroup, I'd use the asterisk. Couldn't help it.
For some reason I don't think this plaque followed us from newsgroups to forums. The new software must have a built-in antidote or something.
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:55 PM   #10
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pleco
pleco
pleco

There, I just doomed 3 plecos to die. Let me know if yours is one.

Seriously, aside from the bristlenose (picked one up over lunch, he is now acclimated and in the tank), what can I do to remove this stuff from the plant leaves? It seems particular problematic with the lilaeopsis.

Does everyone agree that it is most likely blue beard algae?
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaigar
Writing "pl*co" is just some superstition. People believe that if they write the word "pleco" that their real pleco might die. Atleast that is what I have read. Other newcomers might have just picked up the cool new way of writing it, kind of like 1337 h4x0r.
:lol: I was wondering about that too. Thought the word PLECO was outlawed, or this had something to do with the search function... Wow, didn't think there are so many superstitious folks.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:33 PM   #12
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Speaking of plecos, the one I bought seems to be doing quite a number on the un-noticable green spot algae back behind the heater and filter intake. So far, he has not tackled anything on the plants or front glass. Perhaps he is building up to the challenge . . .
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:38 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for clearing that up. I was imagining all sorts of arcane things :lol:

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Old 08-15-2003, 01:54 PM   #14
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Algae-eating fish of all sorts have their preferences when it comes to foods. Not only the types of algae, but the surfaces on which it grows. It might be easier for the fish to scrape it off glass than it is off of plants or wood. SAE's seem to never touch the glass, on the other hand. They love nibbling the algae off of my freshly planted glosso, uprooting it in the process! Argh!
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:17 PM   #15
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Just an update. I did a water change last Friday (further dilluting the phosphates), trimmed the plants some, rubed as much of the stuff I could off of the plants, and made sure my ferts were at the right percentages.

Today, the tank looks much better. I got some noticable growth over the weekend, and the algae is not as dominant on the plants. It is still there, but not nearly as dense. I must be doing something right. Maybe someday, the tank will look nice enough that I will post a picture.
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