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Old 04-03-2005, 09:42 PM   #1
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How did you solve your algae problem?

I think the biggest common problem with maintaining a home aquarium would have to be algae control. It seems to be the most frequently asked question as well as the hardest problem to solve. I too am having an algae problem but instead of going through the normal routine of listing water specs, blah blah, etc. I wanted to take a different approach.

If you once had an algae problem and were able to completely rid yourself of it or at least get it under control, how did you do it? (as much detail as possible would be great!) If you have before and after pictures of your tank, that would be an extra plus. I'm looking for a little more constructive answers then "tore down the tank and restarted" and so on. I'm especially interested in stories with smaller tanks in the 5 to 15 gallon range but all stories are welcome.

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Old 04-03-2005, 09:46 PM   #2
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well, algea is a sign of healthy tank usually, and i just let my algea grow and take its course, eventually it will all balance out and it will seem like there isnt any in there, but it will be just in small quantities instead of large blooms

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Old 04-03-2005, 10:12 PM   #3
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I had my 39 gal sw aquarium for 4 years, and tried everything to get it under control... Snails and hermit crabs, tear down and clean, changing lighting (3 times), changing filtration systems (also 3 times), phosphate sponges, coral, live rock, live sand, RO water, deionized water, and even tried that Bi Aquaculture stuff that "guarantees" no more algae. Nothing worked... I finally did come up with a solution... I gave my fish over to someone who had a marine tank that was maintained by a lfs cleaning service, and switched my tank to freshwater. Worked like a charm. Now I've got a sparkling clear tank with plants, and no algae.

I know... Not what you want to hear, but it's the only thing that worked (for me)... I literally put thousands of $$$ into trying to fix it, and that's all that worked. The sw fish and critters were cool, but I could never keep up with the maintenance. I would rather have fw fish that I can actually see. LOL
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:23 PM   #4
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The best way to keep algae down IMO is to keep it packed with inverts. I stop at the LFS weekly and grab a handfull of snails or hermits. I keep 2-3 snails/hermits per gallon and I have never had much of a problem. One quick scrape off the front glass once a week and thats it. I also did keep a 20 gal reef for a couple years the same way so this has definitely worked for me in the small tank situation as well.

Definitely the first place to check is your water source, phosphates and other pollutants will create tons of problems. If you start with a pure source and don't give the algae too much to feed on it should be able to be kept in check, though in agreeing with mastershake some algae is just part of the whole system, you'll never completely rid yourself of it.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:41 PM   #5
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jgc8fan, lol. I've been considering tearing down my tank as the maintenance is becoming taxing on me too. I love the tank and the fish but its so much work. I'm going to keep at it for a good while longer to see if the algae problem slowly dies off. I'm not one of those impaitent people who needs to see instant results, I know it takes time.

I clean my tank twice a week doing a 1/3 or so water change + cleaning the glass and trimming back the algae with scisors + cleaning out the sponge filter. I put in two Penicillus sp. (Shaving brush plants) to help steal some of the nutrients that the "bad or unwanted" algae is feeding off of and have the typically recommended cleanup crew.

Hopefuly I'll some day be able to post a reply to my own question! But untill then, I'd love to hear other peoples stories.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:59 PM   #6
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PatM, thankyou for your reply. I know there can be lots of causes of algae (if fish were as hardy as algae is, I don't think we'd ever have to worry about loosing a fish again). I use RO/DI water and everything in my tank is seemingly very healthy. I haven't lost anything yet accept a Paguristes cadenati (Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab) which I think my Clibanarius tricolor (Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab) killed because one day the Scarlet crab is alive and fine and the next day the Dwarf crab was in his shell and the Scarlet crab was no where to be found. I wish I could have been around to see that happen!
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Old 04-03-2005, 11:07 PM   #7
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I have had my tank for about 3 months. I started to have really bad algea and just over the past week after adding a hermit 4 snails and a bahama star to my tank the algea has been gone. But even before I added those inhabitants the tank was clearing up. Maybe I got lucky... but I think I will have more algea growth again in the future
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Old 04-03-2005, 11:43 PM   #8
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About 6 months now with my 90 gal. First I had green algae (both flat and hairy varieties) taking over. Got a bunch of turbo snails and they went to town! It was all gone in a matter of days. Simply incredible. Next came a tougher challenge: cyano. I've been battling cyano the last few months. I've read that Mexican Red Legged hermits eat it but I can't find any locally. I've been removing what I can manually and I dramatically reduced feedings. It's been slow, but it's getting better. I've also read that having a skimmer can help so I'm hoping to get one before long.
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Old 04-03-2005, 11:49 PM   #9
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I only clean the algae when it's on the front or sides of my tank. I let the algae grow unless it affects my view.

But if you don't like it get snails or hermit crabs. All of those will clean your tank, and leaving you with very little algae wiping.
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Maiden's Hair, Calerpa, and Red Kelp macro algae.
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jgc8fan
Worked like a charm. Now I've got a sparkling clear tank with plants, and no algae.
Ha, I guess I'm not the only one. I'm seriously considering doing the same thing. My tank is about 1 1/4 years old and is seriously overrun with hair algae. I've tried everything you mentioned and nothing is working! It's driving me crazy!

I'm also not the impatient type, I even posted a thread a while back to encourage newbies that they can do it if they are patient! Now, I'm feeling like throwing in the towel myself.

What would I do with about 70lbs of live rock if I switched to FW?

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