Algae

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DocThaStar created the topic: Algae

:S I have a 55 gal tank with one albino oscar and one red bellied pacu both about 7" keeping the temps at 76-68 F and my tank has just started to produce algae and is producing a large amount of it. I was wondering what I can put in this tank that the oscar can't eat or where I can order something large enough. Also, would it just be better for me to get a couple of siamese algae eaters and put a bunch of stuff for them to hide in? Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :D
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Algae

Did you know that pacu get very big? When your fish start getting big, your tank is not going to be able to maintain the bio load.

Okay, you have highly quantities of algae. Have you done a water test checking the nitrate levels? Algae thrives on nitrate so if you have high quantities of nitrate, that will encourage algae. Amongst other things you will get higher levels of nitrate if your tank can't maintain the fish you have.

How long do you leave your lights on for? Algae will build up quicker if there's lots of light. Many people complain of algae if their tank is next to a bright window. I would start reducing the amount of time you have the lights on. Just put them on for three or four hours in the evening and see what happens.

Do not go and buy another fish for your tank, like I said, you already have too many. Many people buy fish to maintain the algae. In my opinion, you shouldn't do this. You should try and tackle the all you problem and find out why it is happening. Buying a fish is not a cure. Also, if you do buy fish to eat the algae, you will find that you will probably have to clean up after the fish more. A lot of these Algae eaters (pleco's) are extremely messy creatures. Whereas they are very good eating algae, you have to clean up behind them. It rather defeats the object, it's quicker to clean the algae.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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DocThaStar replied the topic: Re:Algae

okay it was 76-78 not 68 sorry. Also, would it be a bad idea to switch the substrate to sand? I know about pacu when i get out of this apartment and into a house I want to get a 125gal tank for the oscar and pacu and then get a cichlid tank going with this 55. I will definately get a water test kit and balance all of the nitrate etc.... Thank you for your help.
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Algae

I would choose sand every time, but that is my personal preference. I have used gravel for several years before choosing sand but am now definitely hooked on sand and I'll always use it.

There are various reasons why I like sand. Firstly, I find it looks nice and gravel. I think it is more authentic, meaning that sand is probably the sort of substrate you would find in the natural environment rather than gravel. It would probably be slightly different to let's say the white sand they is, but it's the same sort of texture. Again, this is just my way of thinking. I have seen various wildlife films that have been based around the Amazon and the substrate is definitely of a sand/mud consistency rather than gravel.

Sand is also a lot easier to clean than gravel. The debris lays on that rather than getting embedded. It really is so easy to clean, you just literally hover over the top and left all the crap. With gravel, you have to embed the gravel Vac. It does take quite a long time if you've got a big tank. Personally, I think sand makes for a healthier tank because a lot of the crap goes into the filters rather than staying in the tank.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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c_etude replied the topic: Re:Algae

I had an oscar in a 55 gallon tank and he committed suicide by ramming his head into the tank walls and almost knocked over the lighteing several times and had so many injuries it would not heal--so it died of infection. I tend to think that fishtank was too small. I would not even remotely consider putting ANYTHING else in the 55 gallon tank with the oscar. If you are lucky and have a less aggressive oscar, still a 55 gallon tank is small for a fish that will get 12 to 14 inches in length. Most grow over 12". And keep on remembering even after a year it will still grow but gradually. Probably on the average the oscar will be about 13=14 inchs.

KEEP YOUR TANK AWAY FROM DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Even a little each day produces a lot of algae.

Also you DO NOT need to iluminate the entire tank. Half a tank is sufficient. Albinos tend to be more light sensitive. Alternating sides one day to the next helps a lot.
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c_etude replied the topic: Re:Algae

This is a VERY GOOD post. Poo is hard to deal with. I rather periodically clean the glass :-)
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OFL replied the topic: Re:Algae

You should see my seven little guys, they are constantly crapping. It's because I am feeding them three times a day. Thank God I got two large canister filters. Cleaned them the other day and my God was one of them full. I dread to think what might tank would be like if I didn't have a couple of really efficient filters. I don't think people realise just how messy Oscars are

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Joliet Jake replied the topic: Re:Algae

As posted in Cichlid-Forum.com
www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/phosphates.php

Phosphates in the Aquarium

by Robert De Leon

Phosphates are one of the primary contributors to the growth of algae in an aquarium. The presence of the materialized form of any type of phosphate is known as ortho-phosphates. Ortho-phosphates are created by the breakdown of simple and complex organic phosphates and are major contributors to the growth of algae. High levels of phosphates not only lead to algae blooms, but have even been thought to have a much greater impact on algae growth than nitrates. Although phosphates generally aren’t considered detrimental to the health of your fish, levels higher than 1mg/L can lead to unsightly algae outbreaks.

Sources of Phosphates

Phosphates are introduced into your aquarium in many ways, even your tap water may contain phosphates. Other sources of phosphate include, but are not limited to, pH and KH buffers, carbon, fish food (and overfeeding) and even salt. Phosphates can even be generated within your aquarium through a heavy fish load, dead plant matter, undigested fish food in waste and even the dieing off of algae.

What To Do

In order to get a handle on phosphates, sources of phosphates need to be identified and eliminated (or reduced) and phosphates that are already present in your aquarium need to be removed.

Examine everything from fish food to salts and make sure that they contain little or no phosphates. If a product does contain phosphates, try to find a phosphate-free alternative. Make sure you are not over-feeding your fish or feeding them an inappropriate diet. Uneaten or undigested food is a source of phosphates.

Phosphates can be removed from your aquarium through good maintenance. Provided your tap water doesn’t have extremely high levels of phosphates, frequent water changes are your best bet to reducing phosphates. Unless you have strong currents that keep debris from settling on your substrate, you’ll need to vacuum thoroughly to remove any waste and uneaten food. Frequent water changes should not only keep phosphate levels down, but your fish will also appreciate the clean water.

Another method of eliminating phosphates is through the use of phosphate-absorbing products. These are made by various aquarium product manufactures and can be added to your filter. Most of these require good water flow. When using them, make sure you read and follow all directions. Since some of these products generate a lot of heat when initially placed in water, make sure you wet them before adding them to your filter. □

Ken, 51, NJ-USA (2 Tiger Oscars)
Need to give away one healthy 1 year old Oscar if you know of anyone interested. See the adoption thread for photos. Thanks!
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