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Dear all,

I'm in a bit of a pickle. I need high lighting to be able to get these reds out of my ludwigia palustris, but I also seem to be growing this ugly green fuzz all over them. I run CO2 in my 35 gallon system, and I use Easy Green to fight deficiencies. However, I've noticed that since I've started dosing fertilizer less often, the plants grow better, and the algae grows less. I recently just trimmed some rotala indica that was explosively growing over the top of everything. I have amano shrimp, cherry shrimp, and otocinclus already, but the otos are really fat.

I'm thinking of adding more algae eaters to my system to help control these things a little bit better and I'm wondering whether you would recommend SAE or Panda Garra. Ideally, I think I'd just get one, because aqadvisor is telling me that with my current stock, I would ideally only add one more fish. I'm thinking about adding some more Amano shrimp too.

Currently:
4 Otos
6 Amanos
Countless Cherry Shrimp
3 Hillstream Loaches
6 trilineatus corys
8 dwarf chain loaches
2 nerite snails

I'm thinking about getting more Amanos and a larger heavy-hitter algae eater. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance for all help.

My nitrates are 0
My phosphates are 0

Every time I add liquid Nitrogen fertilizer, it seems like the algae gets worse. I also do weekly water changes of about 25%. My tap water is around 10ppm nitrate, and nitrate readings are usually gone within a day.
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Very young Panda's fooled me. They ate lots of brush algae. Now a year later? They hardly touch it..they pretty much will only graze on biofilm,or that lush green algae on glass or rocks that's never a problem anyways.
I would bet on Amano's use of Otocinclus and Siamese algae eaters as prefered herbivores.
Pandas are great fish..hardy,never have a problem with them and they pounce on my homemade foods that I design to sink for them and Botia's and other loach species. But they won't eat brown algae on leaves like other things might, including Mollies.
 

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Typically with red plants, I remember reading that to get them really red you have to mess with nitrate limitation.

Algae still counts as a plant so when you dose ferts they are using the excess nutrients to grow.

I wouldn't add another algae eater into the tank, from what I can see that looks to be black beard algae which is a pain in the ass to get rid off, I'm still working on getting rid of it in my 55 gallon tank. If it isn't super bad, I'd cut off all the leaves that have that fuzz on it and hold off on dosing for a bit or perhaps lowering the photoperiod duration?

Not many algae eaters eat black beard algae unfortunately. SAE only eat it when they're young but once they get older they'll stop. Florida Flag Fish are also an option as well. Amanos eat them as well black mollies(?). The issue with trying to get rid of it via algae eaters is that they won't specifically target eating the algae if they don't want to and just wanna eat whatever food you drop in.
 

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I have panda gara, SAE, molly, reticulate flying fox, and bristlenose pleco. SAE, flying fox and molly are nipper and will pick on hair algae and BBA. Gara and bristlenose are sucker mouth grazer that will keep glass, rock and any flat surfaces clean, but won’t touch BBA. The best way to eliminate BBA is good CO2 to grow healthy plants, but in the interim you can use chemical Excel to kill BBA. Once dead, any algae eaters will finish it off.
 

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I have panda gara, SAE, molly, reticulate flying fox, and bristlenose pleco. SAE, flying fox and molly are nipper and will pick on hair algae and BBA. Gara and bristlenose are sucker mouth grazer that will keep glass, rock and any flat surfaces clean, but won’t touch BBA. The best way to eliminate BBA is good CO2 to grow healthy plants, but in the interim you can use chemical Excel to kill BBA. Once dead, any algae eaters will finish it off.
Definitely agree- spot treat with excel (or peroxide) and it'll turn red. Once it's dead just about everything eats it, even my cories eat it.
 

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Hydrogen Peroxide is mentioned! Warning!..what looks like it worked fine,dead algae is seen days later...it might be weeks later that most or all your java moss dies. Just to mention one plant. Others like the infamous Ammania will also die quick with HP in the water for another.
Go easy as last resort.
 

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If the algae is on your plants just prune it off! I would check to make sure that you have sufficient flow in the areas of the tank that have algae, bump the flow up. I love panda garras! Add way more snails. Be aware that SAE can grow to be 6" and become aggressive and become omnivores when they are bigger. I will never purchase another one.
 

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You might have bought the Chinese algae eater. It's just a near blood sucker as it grows and aggressive like large Labeo species usually are. Never kept either one,but I have read a million times people buy the Chinese fish thinking its the near identical looking Siamese.
 

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I agree with the CO2 part of Tiger 15. You need to get to the root of the imbalance. BBA is in everyone's tank and if you over feed on fish food or get out of balance on your fertilizer you will get it. Of the fish mentioned the SAE is the only one that will reliably eat BBA. I would get at least 3-6 small 1" ones and plan to re-home them in 2-4 years. Most of the fish and shrimp in your tank do not need a lot of food. The loaches and cory I am not sure of but the rest will do just fine with little food. If they are hungry they (amano especially) will eat almost anything. I am not a fan of H2O2 or Excel. You need to fix the problem or you will eventually overdose with those treatments and have to start your tank over. I have a much larger tank and have 8 Gara Spilosa which is one of the new Gara on the market now. They eat everything but will probably get big enough to eat your cherry shrimp. I have been raising 6 SEA for a year to go in my 165. They keep their little 10 gal spotless. They are now 2" and still too small to go in the big tank so they do not grow that fast. As for nipping they need to be in a school of at least 3 or they will get bored and nip. Stan510 is absolutely right on the Chinese algae eater. They are bad news. PM me if you want to know where to get a school of little SEA.
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