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Old 02-09-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
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Algae Problem

I have a bit of an Algae Problem in my 13 gallon Tetra tank. I have 5 Black Skirts and 1 Gold Skirt in the tank, and I had a small Pleco in there with them, but he died on Christmas Morning about a week after I got him. I'm not sure why, I put the wafers in there for him, and he ate them, so maybe he was just diseased. My Gold Skirt also picked on him sometimes so who knows, maybe he did something to him. Anyway, I was thinking about getting a snail to try to tackle the algae issues. Any other suggestions? The tank is pretty dark, I have a blue light (there's 4 glo fish, which are really just Black Skirts, and I wish I hadn't wasted my money and had just gotten regular Black Skirts instead,) and even that light is too bright for their liking and I've had to dilute the light with a floating plant. I know dark tanks can lead to more algae, but even moderate light has the fish frozen in place all day. Thanks for you help
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:44 PM   #2
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Well first of all the skirt tetras or plecos shouldn't even be there. They need way more room. Secondly, the blue light could have something to do with it. What type of algae is it? Is is it brown?
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:02 PM   #3
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I did my research before I bought any Black Skirts and the general consensus was that they needed 10 gallons or more, and they needed schooling space, so I bought a 13 gallon long, giving them 27 inches of horizontal schooling space. As for the pelco, I did not intend on getting one, but the lady at my local fish store insisted I get one because he'll "do the work for me," which I hardly believed, but I figured they knew what they were talking about because they're our local fish expert store. It appears to be brown algae, and before you ask, yes, I do a 15-20% water change every Thursday and clean the tank once or twice a week.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:16 PM   #4
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I don't know where you heard that but they need way more than 10 gallons. I wouldn't do less than 20. Anyway, diatoms (brown algae) will take care of them self. Water changes will help though. They feed on silicates in the water, but those will eventually go away.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:23 PM   #5
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These are just a few of the places that told me 10 gallons, but, as with everything in life, it is all a matter of opinion. Mine seem to be perfectly content (that is until I turn bright lights on!) As for the Algae, I've been doing water changes, but the problem seems to be growing, not getting better.

Black Widow Tetra - Gymnocorymbus ternetzi
The Aquatic Den - Black Skirt Tetra
Black Widow Tetra (black skirt) - Freshwater Fish Fanatics
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:43 PM   #6
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Here are just a few of the places I found the 10 gallon suggestion on. But, like everything in life, it's all a matter of opinion. As for the algae, I have been doing weekly changes in water and it's only getting worse, not better.
The Aquatic Den - Black Skirt Tetra
Black Widow Tetra - Gymnocorymbus ternetzi
Black Widow Tetra (black skirt) - Freshwater Fish Fanatics
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:58 PM   #7
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Black skirts should be just fine in a 10g.

How long do you run your lights daily?
What are your parameters?
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:09 PM   #8
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I run the light about 9-12 hours a day, but more like 10 hours on average, and the last I checked the parameters, which was 3 days ago, the Ammonia was 0, the PH was about 7, and the nitrates and nitrates were all where they are suppose to be. I need to get more test strips, but we've had quite the snow here so I can't get out until at least tomorrow. I only run a blue light because the LEDs scare the crap out of them. Even the blue light had to be diluted with a floating plant.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:16 PM   #9
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I would drop that down to 6 hours a day. That is one of the best ways to combat algae.

I would also put the lights on a timer so there is a regular time for lights
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:24 PM   #10
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Then would the algae just go away by itself?
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:31 PM   #11
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Then would the algae just go away by itself?
It might need some help such as scraping but yes, it usually will.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:40 PM   #12
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Reduction of duration of light should help. When you say nitrite and nitrate are normal then that should be zero and 10-20ish respectively. Regular water changes should and sensible feeding should help as well.

If possible, get the API freshwater master kit online. I have seen it ThatPetPlace for $15-20. I trust liquid based test kits over strips.

Can you describe the algae? Green, brown, black, fuzzy, stringy, flat, slimy?
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:49 PM   #13
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I agree with cutting your light down to 6 hours a day. Do you have any live plants? If not, you don't really need to keep the light on except for viewing. Keeping the light off most of the day will kill the algae slowly.
I have found that an old toothbrush is one of the most indispensable tools in fish keeping if you want the algae to go away immediately you can use one to scrape it off.
As far as algae eaters, a nerite snail makes a great cleaner and are pretty cute too. They can't breed in freshwater so they won't overpopulate your tank like pond snails, mts, or ramshorn snails.
This said, it is always best to find the source if the algae problem instead of buying an algae eating fish to solve the problem. I think if you cut down your lighting time that should do the truck though
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:50 PM   #14
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It seems to be fuzzy and brownish green, more brown than green and it may just be the lighting that makes it look the slightest bit green. I do scrap it off with a brush once a week when I do what changes, or at least I try to scrap it off, I don't have a very strong arm. And yes, my nitrate and nitrite were right around there. I do use a liquid ammonia test.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:51 PM   #15
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You should get a liquid test kit for nitrite and nitrate also. Any nitrites at all is very bad.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:45 PM   #16
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Yes, dimming the lights will also help. In my defense, one of those places is about.com, another says they need a school of 3.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:16 PM   #17
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No no not dimming, turning them off completely for more time during the day. Algae can still grow in low light.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:18 PM   #18
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Sorry, that's what I meant
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:45 AM   #19
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If you have extra stocking room and good filtration I'd recommend adding 1-2 ottos or Chinese alge eaters. They stay to 1-2 inches and clean pretty good. I have 6 in my 55gal. They clean my plants, substrate and walls. I love those little boogers.

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Old 02-10-2014, 03:06 AM   #20
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If you have extra stocking room and good filtration I'd recommend adding 1-2 ottos or Chinese alge eaters. They stay to 1-2 inches and clean pretty good. I have 6 in my 55gal. They clean my plants, substrate and walls. I love those little boogers.

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Chinese algae eaters are awful aggressive fish that have a habit of sucking the eyes off of other fish. I would never recommend them. They also get to he 11 inches.

Oto cats are good but really need to be kept in a school of 4+.
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