Algae problem

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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You don’t think I can get anymore fish in the tank? Is that because there’s so many plants?
Not at all...it's because each fish has its own requirements for space to breathe and freely move around and you (currently) only have a small tank. Theoretically, you do have room for more fish, but as you currently have a tank problem, it would help to manage this before adding more fish. Algae-eaters may well help your situation, but I believe you could reduce your algae a little beforehand and use the lessons learned to help you maintain your tank for the foreseeable.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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But according to the ‘points system’ at pets at home I could get another 10 points worth of fish in my 54l tank. Which is like 2 Corydora or 5 platys so I was just curious as to why I couldn’t have more? Or is the points system thing a load of rubbish?

Another probably silly question - but why would my fish suffocate if I didn’t have plants? Many fish tanks aren’t planted are they?
Having spoken with a variety of P@H staff over the last 6 months, I can only suggest that you can take what they say with a pinch of aquarium salt. Their points system, to be fair, does seem relatively valid. The problem would be in aiming for the most fish you can fit in your tank, which may work well enough...until it doesn't. The closer you get to that stocking 'limit', the more fragile the ecosystem in your tank can become and, if something goes awry, then things can go pear-shaped, very, very quickly. You lose room to manoeuvre.

Your fish would 'probably' not suffocate at your current stocking levels, but plants photosynthesise during the day, when the lights are on and produce oxygen. (This includes your algae). No plants means less oxygen in the water and, obviously, oxygen in the water is A Good Thing. ;) That said, with no plants, there should still be enough oxygen diffusing into the water through the surface. (This is why many of us look at a tank's surface area when considering stocking levels). Agitating the water surface with the outflow from your pump and/or passing bubbles through the water from an airstone, will increase the surface area.

As you've seen, you'll see plenty of tanks without plants and such tanks do tend to have their stocking levels carefully managed.
 

Byron

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I'll just add another aspect to the fish load/tank size/plants issue...plants need nitrogen as one of the macro-nutrients, and most species of aquatic plants prefer ammonia/ammonium as the source of their nitrogen. The faster-growing plants can take up a lot of ammonia/ammonium, more than the fish could ever produce provided the tank is biologically balanced (fish/volume suited to the species and numbers). In your situation, the plants are helping you by taking up all the ammonia the fish you now have can produce, plus the ammonia that naturally occurs from the decomposition of organics in the substrate (primarily).

At night, you do need to be careful. Plants like fish and many bacteria species (there are many more species of bacteria than just the nitrifiers we usually consider) respirate 24/7, using oxygen and releasing CO2. During daylight, if the intensity of the light is sufficient to drive photosynthesis, the plants use CO2 and oxygen is released as a "waste product" of photosynthesis. However, this photosynthesis only occurs during daylight; at night the normal respiration can create more CO2 and this can affect the fish. Surface disturbance from the filter return should be adequate to prevent this, assuming the tank is not overstocked.

On another thing, never acquire fish just to solve a "problem." Each species of fish has its own requirements, and when it comes to those that might eat algae, they are usually specific to a species of algae, or some get rather large, others need a group as they are shoaling, and so forth. This can create additional problems and make it worse than the algae itself may have been to begin with. Resolve the balance of light/nutrients, and the algae should be under control.
 

ThatFishGirl6231

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Space at the moment I guess and as I said I’m new to this so didn’t want to shell loads of money out for a massive tank. I’ll get a bigger tank when I move house.

But according to the ‘points system’ at pets at home I could get another 10 points worth of fish in my 54l tank. Which is like 2 Corydora or 5 platys so I was just curious as to why I couldn’t have more? Or is the points system thing a load of rubbish?

Another probably silly question - but why would my fish suffocate if I didn’t have plants? Many fish tanks aren’t planted are they?
the points system is dumb. the fish wouldn’t get as much oxygen without plants because the plants produce oxygen in the water which doesn’t come as easy in a small tank.

tbh though i’m kinda dumb sooo….
 
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Natbee

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Not at all...it's because each fish has its own requirements for space to breathe and freely move around and you (currently) only have a small tank. Theoretically, you do have room for more fish, but as you currently have a tank problem, it would help to manage this before adding more fish. Algae-eaters may well help your situation, but I believe you could reduce your algae a little beforehand and use the lessons learned to help you maintain your tank for the foreseeable.
Yes I totally understand now!
 
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Natbee

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Having spoken with a variety of P@H staff over the last 6 months, I can only suggest that you can take what they say with a pinch of aquarium salt. Their points system, to be fair, does seem relatively valid. The problem would be in aiming for the most fish you can fit in your tank, which may work well enough...until it doesn't. The closer you get to that stocking 'limit', the more fragile the ecosystem in your tank can become and, if something goes awry, then things can go pear-shaped, very, very quickly. You lose room to manoeuvre.

Your fish would 'probably' not suffocate at your current stocking levels, but plants photosynthesise during the day, when the lights are on and produce oxygen. (This includes your algae). No plants means less oxygen in the water and, obviously, oxygen in the water is A Good Thing. ;) That said, with no plants, there should still be enough oxygen diffusing into the water through the surface. (This is why many of us look at a tank's surface area when considering stocking levels). Agitating the water surface with the outflow from your pump and/or passing bubbles through the water from an airstone, will increase the surface area.

As you've seen, you'll see plenty of tanks without plants and such tanks do tend to have their stocking levels carefully managed.
Thank you! Yes I would rather have wiggle room. Thank you for taking the time to reply
 
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Natbee

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I'll just add another aspect to the fish load/tank size/plants issue...plants need nitrogen as one of the macro-nutrients, and most species of aquatic plants prefer ammonia/ammonium as the source of their nitrogen. The faster-growing plants can take up a lot of ammonia/ammonium, more than the fish could ever produce provided the tank is biologically balanced (fish/volume suited to the species and numbers). In your situation, the plants are helping you by taking up all the ammonia the fish you now have can produce, plus the ammonia that naturally occurs from the decomposition of organics in the substrate (primarily).

At night, you do need to be careful. Plants like fish and many bacteria species (there are many more species of bacteria than just the nitrifiers we usually consider) respirate 24/7, using oxygen and releasing CO2. During daylight, if the intensity of the light is sufficient to drive photosynthesis, the plants use CO2 and oxygen is released as a "waste product" of photosynthesis. However, this photosynthesis only occurs during daylight; at night the normal respiration can create more CO2 and this can affect the fish. Surface disturbance from the filter return should be adequate to prevent this, assuming the tank is not overstocked.

On another thing, never acquire fish just to solve a "problem." Each species of fish has its own requirements, and when it comes to those that might eat algae, they are usually specific to a species of algae, or some get rather large, others need a group as they are shoaling, and so forth. This can create additional problems and make it worse than the algae itself may have been to begin with. Resolve the balance of light/nutrients, and the algae should be under control.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Yes I totally get it. I am happy with the fish I have (except I feel mean only having one Corydora)
 

Byron

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Thank you for taking the time to reply. Yes I totally get it. I am happy with the fish I have (except I feel mean only having one Corydora)

That is not good, I would get a few more. The tank looks to be 60 cm (24 inches) length, is it? This is OK for a few more cories, and you have sand. A group of five or six or seven total would be advisable. These fish are not going to have as much impact, and given their social nature, they should never be alone.
 

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