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Old 08-13-2006, 11:08 AM   #1
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My BN pleco is broken. Need suggestions for another pleco

I've determined that my BN pleco is broken and doesn't function properly. He stubbornly refuses to eat algae in the tank for some reason. I'm honestly not sure what he's eating, but the algae just gets worse day after day. I don't mind it growing on the plants and driftwood so much. I don't really mind it growing on the sides of the tank. I do mind it growing on the gravel where it just looks bad. I need a pleco that will actually eat the green algae that's growing on the gravel. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:28 PM   #2
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Plecos eat algae but are not meant to eliminate it completely. Maybe there is another reason you have so much. Any direct sunlight? How long do you leave your light on?
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:33 PM   #3
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Will Cory Cats eat algae? I just got three of those for my tank since it's my understanding that they are bottom feeders. I wonder if they would help with that at all.

As for what he's eating? Probably fish food or something. My pleco will eat anything, and I mean anything.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:01 PM   #4
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Cories don't eat algae, just uneaten fish food. What type of algae is invading your tank?
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:04 PM   #5
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Ok, there are so many different algea eaters out there that IMO can do a better job than plecos. When i had a pleco, it wouldent eat algea, it ate food off the top od the water. If it is a community tank i would suggest six ottos or so, you could get a SAE or a CAE, flying foxes are good while they are young, but as they get older, they will attack other fish.
Hope that helps

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Old 08-13-2006, 01:35 PM   #6
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It's actually side lighting that causes algae rather than direct frontal lighting. If your tank stands side on to a window, try blocking out the side pane with some background or something along those lines.

Also, try some malimo moss balls: they will contribute towards outcompeting algae for nutrients.

Depends on the limiting factor tho: potassium & co. etc.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:37 PM   #7
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The algae really started to bloom when I added CO2 to the tank. Maybe my problem is I don't have enough plants to compete for the CO2?
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:08 PM   #8
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Ahh, yep could be. You could try increasing surface tension with a bubble disc/airstone or something. Increasing oxygen will displace CO2 somewhat. Or, you could add more plants
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Old 08-13-2006, 04:17 PM   #9
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As for the BN, mine eat all of it even the hard green spot algae but if I give them zucchini they won't touch it for 3 days or so. As for plants, how many do you have? Since I added all the plants to mine, namely the suset hygro and the wisteria, algae is having a really hard time. I have some diatoms but that is from my rockwool and some green spot but that is because I havent moved the tanks and cleaned the sides in forever. Although the BN do keep it in check and eat it a lot. Get more plants, fast growers like wisteria, watersprite, hygros or something similar. if you don't have a lot of plants that need a lot of light you could get a floating plant to block some light so the algae doesn't get as much.
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Old 08-13-2006, 07:58 PM   #10
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How old is the BN Pleco? Pleco's are notorious for being voracious algae eaters in their youth, then as they grow older they tend to not eat it as much. I think people forget that Pleco's are picky eaters despite them being bottom feeders. Some still like algae as they age, but if you ate the same thing for 2 years straight i dont think you would look at it the same again either

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Old 08-14-2006, 09:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by coldmachineUK
Ahh, yep could be. You could try increasing surface tension with a bubble disc/airstone or something. Increasing oxygen will displace CO2 somewhat. Or, you could add more plants
Adding an airstone would completely defeat the purpose of having CO2.
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:08 AM   #12
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Adding an airstone would completely defeat the purpose of having CO2.
Absolutely agreed, Plus, increasing O2 will not displace CO2. Water doesn't quite work the same way as hemoglobin. Water can have quite high levels (or very low, for that matter) of each simultaneously.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:31 AM   #13
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I'm confused then: if increasing O2 does not displace CO2, then why would the suggestion of an airstone defeat the purpose of having CO2? Surely it would mean you could add both additional oxygen and additional CO2 to the tank...?
Particularly since during the night plants use O2. That way you could assist growth during both day and night...?
Do you turn off the CO2 at night? Plants do not use carbon dioxide in the dark. I also understood that CO2 injection causes pH to rise and drop between daytime and nighttime.

It's been said that CO2 produces beautiful planted aquaria. I've seen examples of that, but I've also seen examples where CO2 wasn't necessary. I suppose it's personal preference. If algae is becoming a problem though, then it would help to reduce CO2 levels perhaps. That was the gist of my suggestion.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:45 PM   #14
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Limit amount of light and frequent water changes, these are the only two reliable methods for reducing algae, moreso than algae-eating fish or snails.

My tank, with my big, dirty african cichlids, when the algae starts to get bad, I know I've been neglecting my water changes - do one and then keep the light off for a few days.

Are you near a window?

If you're keeping plants, definitely planting more densly will keep algae down.
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:13 PM   #15
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I'm sure you've heard this before, but you want to hit the root of the problem, not just have a fish that cleans it up. If you are feeding algae wafers to your BN he may just be waiting for those instead of eating the algae. I would hold off on any feeding for him for a few days and see if he goes at the algae.

The purpose of CO2 is to help plants outcompete algae for nutrients. If you have all slow-growing plants in there it won't help much. I would do what fish_4_all said and get some fast growing plants for your tank. Hygro and watersprite are great reccomendations for those. I've kept both of those and they grow rather quickly. I think anarchis should do the same.

Also, what kind of algae do you have?
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:37 PM   #16
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Adding an airstone did decrease the amount of CO2 I had in my tanks. From about 75ppm down to 40 ppm. It did not decrease the amount of algae I had but just the opposite. The algae flourished and killed parts of a lot of my plants. It comlpetely covered my Crypt red Wendtii and that was with my 2 BN eating it all day long and it is only a 10 gallon tank. Even my corys ate it off the gravel and it flourished.

A pleco will not solve the problem. They will keep it down to a minimum when you have your tank chemistry about right that algae growth is slow enough they can eat it all.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:55 PM   #17
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I have anachris, some sort of unknown sword, an amazon sword, rotala (I think that's what it is) and hornwort in the tank. The algae I have is a green film kind.

And the tank is not next to a window. I inject CO2 and have 2-3 wpg. The tank is across the room from the window and the other tank I have in the same room has no algae problems at all.
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:53 PM   #18
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Green film huh…
Is it more of a blueish green than just regular green? Is it slippery and rubs off of the plants easily?

The reason I ask is that I’ve personally never seen algae really grow on gravel before. I’m sure it does happen, but when I had cyano (BGA/smear algae) it started growing in patches on the sand as well as on the leaves of every plant I saw. However I did not see it on the walls of the tank.

Check out Plantgeek’s algae page and see if there’s something that looks similar to what you have.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:21 AM   #19
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Green film huh…
Is it more of a blueish green than just regular green? Is it slippery and rubs off of the plants easily?

The reason I ask is that I’ve personally never seen algae really grow on gravel before. I’m sure it does happen, but when I had cyano (BGA/smear algae) it started growing in patches on the sand as well as on the leaves of every plant I saw. However I did not see it on the walls of the tank.

Check out Plantgeek’s algae page and see if there’s something that looks similar to what you have.
Yeah, that would explain it. It's a filmy type algae that rubs off really easily. It grows on plants and the gravel.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:39 AM   #20
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Yeah, nothing will eat that stuff. It’s a complete mess too. It is caused by nitrates bottoming out, which is easy to do in a planted aquarium with some fast growers (like you have). You need to start out by dosing nitrates to correct the root of the problem and you can try cleaning it off of your plants daily and seeing if it knocks the BGA back at all. If that is working you can continue to do that until it’s gone. Depending on how bad it is that may not work at all and a blackout may be required. If it is, clean as much off as you can and do a gravel vac with a large PWC. Black out the tank for 3-4 days, and clean up as much of the dying BGA as you can afterwards.

The big thing from that point on is making sure that you don’t let your nitrates bottom out again. Dosing will be required, especially with the plants that you’ve got in there.

Hope that helps.
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