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Old 03-09-2004, 02:10 PM   #1
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Newbie questions re:temp, algae, behavior

HI there. Just a few quick questions for my new 10 gal.

1. Most effective at removing algae: snails or algae eaters?
2. If my aquarium gets too hot (i.e. no AC in FL), is there a way to cool it down? Ice cubes?
3. I'm fish-sitting a friend's tank which has 2 rainbow sharks. I felt bad for the smaller shark, as it was forced into a corner by the larger. I put the small one into my tank and it's personality has certainly changed. It's harassing my fish and I no longer feel sorry for it. I don't want it to stress out my fish to where they get sick--will this aggressive little guy settle down or should I put him back in his tank?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 03-09-2004, 02:32 PM   #2
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[center:df8fedfe1b]First off, WELCOME to AA!! [/center:df8fedfe1b]

I have some Qs for you:
What is in your 10 gal?
Is it cycled?
What color is the algae?

I would put the shark back. IMHO, any larger fish will become KING among smaller fish.

Too hot? You could move to Calgary Someone in a warmer climate will be better able to answer.

For algae--it will depend on your bioload already in the tank. My first suggestion is otos--they have been getting great reviews on here lately, but again, it depends on what's already going on in your tank. Also, some fish only eat ceratin algae.
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Old 03-09-2004, 02:32 PM   #3
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Welcome to Aquarium Advice, orca7!!!!

1) Snails will eat many types of algae, but my feeling is that fish are more effective if you have lots of it. There's lot of different types of algae, so you may need several algae eaters to keep it all it check. Otos tend to eat brown diatoms while other fish like Siamese algae eaters and bristlenose cats eat the green stuff. Good thing about a 10 gal is that it's relatively easy to clean yourself.

2) Consider yourself lucky. Winter just will not go away here in NY!
You could set up a desk fan so that it blows on the water surface and cools the tank by evaporation. Some people even mount little computer fans in their tank hoods too. Ice cubes are probably not a good idea since they create localized temperature fluctuations - you also have to constantly replace them.
I couldn't live without AC in Florida!

3) I'm assuming (hoping) that your friend's tank is way bigger than your 10 gal. The rainbow is probably used to a much bigger territory and all of a sudden, finds himself plopped into a relatively tiny 10 gal. I wouldn't keep him in there - obviously, he isn't happy and he's just going to make your fish miserable too. Perhaps you could provide him with a hiding place in his own tank, like a big plastic plant or a very clean piece of PVC pipe. How big are the two rainbow cats?
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Old 03-09-2004, 03:34 PM   #4
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Thank you for the quick responses! FL winter is great, but summers can be overwhelming. I have a small AC unit, but it's not in the same room as the tanks. It will help a bit, but may use the fan suggestion also.

I'm an idiot--what are otos?

My friend's tank (20 gal) actually has the algae infestation--mine is fairly algae free. Color is dark green. Yep, I think I will go ahead and put the rainbow back in the large tank where he does have plants to hide in. He's ~2.5" an the other is ~3.5". Poor guy just gets picked on all the time in there. Ah well.

My cycled 10 gal tank has the following:
1 pleco
2 rosy barbs
1 buenos aires tetra
2 bronze corys
1 paradise gourami

Friend's 20 gal:
2 harlequin rasboras
1 scissortail
1 rainbow shark (soon to be 2...)
1 bala shark
1 raphael cat
1 upside-down cat
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Old 03-09-2004, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orca7
I'm an idiot--what are otos?
Oops!. No, you're not an idiot - we just need a jargon alarm around here!
Otos are short for Otocinclus affinis catfish. They're very industrious tank cleaners and very peaceful - a little hard to find in good health , tho.

Is the algae stuck on the walls and decorations, or is the water itself green? Algae eaters don't eat the algae that floats around in the water. The only way to get rid of this type of algae is by cutting back on the feeding, reducing light hitting the tank, and doing lots of big water changes.

BTW, an algae bloom in and of itself is not harmful to the fish; it just looks gross to us. However, it can be an early sign that things are not right (overfeeding, not enough water changes, not enough filtration, etc).
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Old 03-09-2004, 03:58 PM   #6
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The algae is on the tank sides and decorations--comes off pretty easy w/an algae scrubber. The water itself is clear. I just changed the water and I'll keep the feeding in check. Tx!
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:14 PM   #7
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What type of pleco do you have?
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:38 PM   #8
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Not sure...it looks like Allivmyar's (but smaller): http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...t=7&thecat=500

In the process of getting a larger tank for him
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:49 PM   #9
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Hey orca7 wuz up,
I just got 2 Apple Snails. And so far no algae. So IMHO Snails. For your other questions I've no idea ( ) so I'll just leave that to everyone else.

Thanks, Beacious.
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Old 03-09-2004, 08:37 PM   #10
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I agree with QTOFFER. I have have snails and I have algae eating fish, and the snails just don't really make a dent in algae, frankly.

Definitely use a fan across the top of the tank - that will work wonders. I lived in Lake Worth for 9 years, 6 of them without AC in my house or my car, so I know what you are talking about! I never had a heater for my tanks, back then.

The rainbow shark is an aggressive fish towards its own kind (conspecifics), so it is not a good idea to keep 2 of them together. That is probably the reason for the trouble in your friend's tank. They are not a good choice for a 10-gal, either, as you have found out!
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