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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! It's been a while since I've posted. Lots of things going on, moved, dog fights (one of my dogs is freaky aggressive) and looks like I'm expecting a baby!

Anyway, I am working on a few of my tanks at present and I thought I'd check in with the other planted tank fanatics. I have most of my tanks running on natural sunlight now, hence I'm having... well... algae.

My Vienna Emerald Guppy breeding tank is probably the worst, I have green algae all over all of the walls. It's getting diminished and indirect light for most of the day, and curtains aren't an option. So, I have a lot of fast growing plants in there to make up for it, but even that isn't quite enough, and it's starting to look like a pond!

I am going to add a few nerite snails for long-term control, but I thought, hey, I wonder if any cool new fish or inverts that strictly eat algae have come onto the scene since I last visited? The pH in the tank hovers around 8.0, tap water, moderately hard, no cO2, no ferts except lots and lots of guppy poop. Tank is a 15gal acrylic Clear for Life and is well established, been set up and healthy well over a year.

So, aside from my Nerite plan, is there anything else AMAZING and interesting out there that's readily accessible online or in specialty stores to help with my algae issue? I'm a fairly experienced fishkeeper, as I also breed wild bettas, so I'm fairly confident I can care for any fish that is suitable to the tank. I'm less great with inverts, but of course I'll try anything once. :)
 

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In that tank, I think the snails are the best bet. Tank is too small to hold too many more fish. Plus, I am not sure if there are algae eaters that thrive in that high pH. What is the GH and KH?

Fish food is not a complete fertilizer. Since you are depending on fish waste from gills (ammonia, CO2) and feces as fertilizer, you need to realize that their source of all the nutrients is the food they eat.

Fish food is low in potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. Tap water can supply the Ca and Mg, but you need to add K and Fe to supplement the fish food. This imbalance in fertilizer is probably contributing to the algae problem.
 

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I see no problems with the common SAE living and eating some of the algae. But then for a cleanup crew they can be a bit random. When I leave the glass and they do their style of cleaning it can look like somebody has been drawing weird pictures with their fingers. Cheap and weird housekeepers do that! Bristlenose and common pleco live fine in my 7.8PH and above 300PPM hard water. They may also do some plant damage, though.
 

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Nerite snails are miraculous against hard, flat green algaes. They also love hard water - they don't do as well in soft water tanks. The only caveat is that they lay hard white eggs that don't hatch (the larvae are brackish) but don't decompose either. There are several ways around this:

1. Go with the horned varieties. They generally don't lay as many eggs and the ones they do lay are inconspicuous
2. Get snails of only one gender (they're not hermaphroditic). There's no way to tell in the shop, but you can test two nerites with each by keeping them in a smaller tank for a few weeks and seeing if any eggs pop up.
3. Mix and match individual snails of different species - there are a few currently in the hobby.
 

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I definitely wouldn't do a common pleco. They become very large.

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This is more what I find to be an attitude problem than a fish problem. I'm not married to my fish so when they do something I don't like (like get too big?) they have to move. They get just slightly less respect than a roommate that turns bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I probably should have specified, but didn't as it had nothing to do with my question - it's a Walstad tank. There's an ancient layer of soil beneath the sand, gravel, and biofilm. None of the plants in the tank require additional ferts, it's just Java moss, some low maintenance swords that stay small, and some stem plants. They are all growing like weeds.

I ended up getting four "Tomato" nerites from a really great LFS today, because, well, that was what they had. And to whoever suggested SAE for this tank, possibly you didn't see the size? It's a 15 gallon tank. There is no way a school of SAE would fit in there, and they are schooling fish. Not to mention, they don't eat slime algae, so meh, would just be a waste.

I don't mind Nerite eggs, never have. The bladder snails in there will eat them, as will the guppies and cories (probably mostly the cories). Besides, they stop laying them after a few months and the eggs they have deposited fade even if the fish don't munch on them. I keep one species of nerite or other in most of my tanks as algae control, but it's usually just one snail as I have minimal algae issues (and nerites will lay eggs even if they're alone).

Either way, the Tomato nerites make an attractive and functional addition to the tank. :) I'll try to get some decent pictures soon for ya'all.
 

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This is more what I find to be an attitude problem than a fish problem. I'm not married to my fish so when they do something I don't like (like get too big?) they have to move. They get just slightly less respect than a roommate that turns bad.
That's sad. :( Being the manager of a biome is a great responsibility, and we should respect the lives we choose to place under our care. :( If the fish isn't right for the tank, we should find an alternative. The common pleco can grow to be over three feet long, by the way. I don't think that's a good fish to put in the OP's tank, is all I was saying. I personally love the Common Pleco. :)

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I probably should have specified, but didn't as it had nothing to do with my question - it's a Walstad tank. There's an ancient layer of soil beneath the sand, gravel, and biofilm. None of the plants in the tank require additional ferts, it's just Java moss, some low maintenance swords that stay small, and some stem plants. They are all growing like weeds.

I ended up getting four "Tomato" nerites from a really great LFS today, because, well, that was what they had. And to whoever suggested SAE for this tank, possibly you didn't see the size? It's a 15 gallon tank. There is no way a school of SAE would fit in there, and they are schooling fish. Not to mention, they don't eat slime algae, so meh, would just be a waste.

I don't mind Nerite eggs, never have. The bladder snails in there will eat them, as will the guppies and cories (probably mostly the cories). Besides, they stop laying them after a few months and the eggs they have deposited fade even if the fish don't munch on them. I keep one species of nerite or other in most of my tanks as algae control, but it's usually just one snail as I have minimal algae issues (and nerites will lay eggs even if they're alone).

Either way, the Tomato nerites make an attractive and functional addition to the tank. :) I'll try to get some decent pictures soon for ya'all.
I'd love to see your tomato nerites!! I don't know why, but i reeeaaaallllyyy like nerite snails. XD

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Quote:
That's sad. Being the manager of a biome is a great responsibility

I consider this to be the shallow, goofy thinking of people who have not thought it though. Obviously we all have a responsibility. And anybody who raises the food you eat knows this far more than those who think every animal is too valuable to kill. Before we get too concerned about keeping animals for life we need to think what we would do if we did not use animals as we do. The goofiness stops when you find you need to kill the animal you raised so that you can raise your kids!

Any of our pets are there at our choosing and they can be moved on to other tanks for the same reason. To avoid using an animal that may someday be a problem would cut the number of available fish to almost zero. That leaves me thinking that I can use the fish I like for the time that I like them, no more, no less. All of us do use animals in this way or we would not live. It is silly to say we should consider a fish in a tank different than a cow, pig, fish, or duck that we eat or wear. The leather that holds up my pants or the seats in my car did not start in a store!
 

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@junebug by slime algae do you mean blue-green algae (cyanobacteria)? Nothing will eat this.

If it's still limited in extent manual removal, increasing flow, and blackouts may help.

If it's very extensive/established, I would recommend dosing Erythromycin (antibiotic) according to the packaging's instructions. By this stage it is very invasive and will quickly come back even after you've removed what you thought to be all of it.
 

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I consider this to be the shallow, goofy thinking of people who have not thought it though. Obviously we all have a responsibility. And anybody who raises the food you eat knows this far more than those who think every animal is too valuable to kill. To avoid using an animal that may someday be a problem would cut the number of available fish to almost zero.
It's not shallow to want to take a life seriously; I'd say it's the opposite. We don't eat our cichlids, tetras, and goldfish, so it's not fair to compare them to cattle. The aquarium hobby is a hobby, not a job designed to feed people, so it's not a good comparison. There are a lot of fish available to the hobbyist that, as long as we research, shouldn't end up being problems. :) I feel like our conversation is taking over the OP's thread, so let's just agree to disagree, and let the OP continue their original topic. :)

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Regarding harder water algae eaters:

I have 11gh and 6kh and 6.6-7.8 ph depending if I'm injecting co2 and I have kept with no problems; amanos, neocaridina davidi, sae (schools with my otocinclus funny enough), otocinclus, nerites, and mollies. Amanos are great all around algae eaters which ate all my algaes with the exception of bba, hence the mollies and sae which do a great job with bba. I know you said it already but yeah don't put an sae in a 15 unless you are just housing it as a juvie and will be rehoming soon.
 

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why not try some silver flying foxes?!? they have done wonders in my tank such as with cleaning plants to well just about any and every thing!! they do get a little big but they are honestly worth it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@junebug by slime algae do you mean blue-green algae (cyanobacteria)? Nothing will eat this.

If it's still limited in extent manual removal, increasing flow, and blackouts may help.

If it's very extensive/established, I would recommend dosing Erythromycin (antibiotic) according to the packaging's instructions. By this stage it is very invasive and will quickly come back even after you've removed what you thought to be all of it.
It's not cyanobacteria, just a slimy green algae. The nerites love it. Honestly if any of my tanks got a bad cyano outbreak, I'd just break them down and try to save the fish. And frankly I would never dose them with antibacterials, as that would have no effect on the cyano and would be really bad for the fish.

why not try some silver flying foxes?!? they have done wonders in my tank such as with cleaning plants to well just about any and every thing!! they do get a little big but they are honestly worth it!
Well, Silver Flying Foxes don't eat algae for one thing (except when they're very young). For another, they get very large and are very aggressive. Not only would they outgrow the tank in a matter of months, but they would eat all of the guppies and cories and tear up all of the plants.
 

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It's not cyanobacteria, just a slimy green algae. The nerites love it. Honestly if any of my tanks got a bad cyano outbreak, I'd just break them down and try to save the fish. And frankly I would never dose them with antibacterials, as that would have no effect on the cyano and would be really bad for the fish.



Well, Silver Flying Foxes don't eat algae for one thing (except when they're very young). For another, they get very large and are very aggressive. Not only would they outgrow the tank in a matter of months, but they would eat all of the guppies and cories and tear up all of the plants.
Well then I must have some special ones then...because I got two in my tank...don't tear up plants..eat algae off the plants and they are about the size of a man finger..so I don't know
 
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