What's new

Best cleaners for algae?

🐠 March TOTM Starts Now! 🐠
FishForums.net Tank of the Month!
Click here to enter!

Stefan3289

Fishaholic
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
514
Reaction score
205
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Hello all,

So I currently have a 29 planted tank that has
10 harlequin Rasboras
8 peppered/green cories (had 10 but 2 passed away, do not know why I believe they were too small to eat some of the food :(
1 peacock Gudgeon

I have had some issues with Algae in my tank, specifically brown algae. Tank has been planted for a few months now and I am able to manage cleaning the glass, and it has gone down in amount, but the few decorations and mainly the plants are getting covered in brown algae and it’s preventing them from growing and they are getting weaker. Is there any fish/shrimp that would do well cleaning and also thrive in the tank?
 
Hello all,

So I currently have a 29 planted tank that has
10 harlequin Rasboras
8 peppered/green cories (had 10 but 2 passed away, do not know why I believe they were too small to eat some of the food :(
1 peacock Gudgeon

I have had some issues with Algae in my tank, specifically brown algae. Tank has been planted for a few months now and I am able to manage cleaning the glass, and it has gone down in amount, but the few decorations and mainly the plants are getting covered in brown algae and it’s preventing them from growing and they are getting weaker. Is there any fish/shrimp that would do well cleaning and also thrive in the tank?

First we need to confirm the algae species. "Brown algae" can be diatoms, but I have also seen members use this term for black brush algae (which has more than one appearance). Does the algae easily come off with your fingertips? Or is it difficult to get off plant leaves?
 
The best species of algae cleaner are homo sapiens. Algae can be dealt with. But an animal won't do it for us. At best, you'll be disappointed with the results. At worst, the animal will have it's own needs unfulfilled. It might grow too big for your tank, need to be in a shoal, or have too heavy a bioload for the tank.
Algae is the result of imbalance. It happens when a tank has excess light and/or nutrients. The solution might be a matter of cutting back on the duration and/or intensity of tank lighting, cutting back on overfeeding, adding fast growing plants that outcompete the algae for nutrients, and/or more frequent or larger water changes.
Byron asked some good questions. Once we figure out what kind of algae you have, then we can figure out how to deal with it.
 
I use a paper towel on the inside glass only at water changes . If you have algae problems beyond that you have other issues to address.
That's why I say that trying to get an animal to do tank maintenance will be at best a disappointment. Because an animal can't possibly deal with the root causes.
 
B2A35E75-3E54-424E-92A4-EAEA6676AAAF.jpeg
 
That's why I say that trying to get an animal to do tank maintenance will be at best a disappointment. Because an animal can't possibly deal with the root causes.
And yet everybody falls for it . Many new aquarists are told that an “algae eater” is what they need . The so called algae eaters are a myth . Those fish are really algae grazers . Anytime you get an opportunity to squelch this tired old myth and wise somebody up - Do It !
 
It's one thing I hate about youtubers and some websites too, they'll say "get a clean up crew so you don't have to do it" so it makes it sound like you can rely on fish or snails or whatever to sort out these problems.
 
And yet everybody falls for it . Many new aquarists are told that an “algae eater” is what they need . The so called algae eaters are a myth . Those fish are really algae grazers . Anytime you get an opportunity to squelch this tired old myth and wise somebody up - Do It !
I fell for the same thing. My tank was lousy with pest snails. So I did what many people recommend. I went and got some assassin snails. Thing is, the reason I had so many pest snails was because I was overfeeding. And the assassin snails will actually prefer to eat uneaten fish food before they eat other snails. I didn't get the pest snails under control until I stopped overfeeding. I expected an animal to compensate for my mistakes and it didn't work.
 
The best species of algae cleaner are homo sapiens. Algae can be dealt with. But an animal won't do it for us. At best, you'll be disappointed with the results. At worst, the animal will have it's own needs unfulfilled. It might grow too big for your tank, need to be in a shoal, or have too heavy a bioload for the tank.
Algae is the result of imbalance. It happens when a tank has excess light and/or nutrients. The solution might be a matter of cutting back on the duration and/or intensity of tank lighting, cutting back on overfeeding, adding fast growing plants that outcompete the algae for nutrients, and/or more frequent or larger water changes.
Byron asked some good questions. Once we figure out what kind of algae you have, then we can figure out how to deal with it.
I think you may have not understood exactly what I was saying. I know it’s my job to clean the algae, which is what I do. I clean the glass, filter parts, heater, hard decorations, but my main issue was the plants. I tried to clean them with my finger but the parts covered in algae are so frail that usually I end up tearing it or harming the plant, which is why I was seeing if there can be a type of cleaner that would do well in my tank to assist me, not do my job for me. In terms of lighting, I keep the light on for 6-8 hours depending on the day. For over feeding, I feel them every other day and only put in a small amount at a time and wait for them to finish then put in more. The plants I do have are fast growing, and they do “outgrow” the algae as they have new green sprouts, but I’m worried they will eventually get covered and it’ll keep going in a cycle. My guess is that it has to do with some kind of nutrient, I have Soft water, but I do have these natural rocks in the aquarium that I think could make a lot of calcium in the water which would cause a lot of algae to grow?
 
Last edited:
First we need to confirm the algae species. "Brown algae" can be diatoms, but I have also seen members use this term for black brush algae (which has more than one appearance). Does the algae easily come off with your fingertips? Or is it difficult to get off plant leaves?
Here are some pictures on the plants, couldn’t get my camera to focus the best
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1884.jpeg
    IMG_1884.jpeg
    309.4 KB · Views: 10
  • IMG_1885.jpeg
    IMG_1885.jpeg
    334.1 KB · Views: 12
Difficult to tell from photos, but I think there is a nutrient issue here as well as algae. Can you rub the brown off very easily with your fingertips? This is diatoms, but I do see some of what I think is black brush algae too.

What if any fertilizers are you using?
 
I use
Difficult to tell from photos, but I think there is a nutrient issue here as well as algae. Can you rub the brown off very easily with your fingertips? This is diatoms, but I do see some of what I think is black brush algae too.

What if any fertilizers are you using?
I can wipe the algae off with my fingers on any of the surfaces, a little hard with the plants as I’m worried to hurt them. I use seachem Floural tabs that I put in as directed I believe they say to put one in every few months just in the substrate within a few inches of the plant. I think the main issue is also something with the nutrients. I know Diatoms, the brown algae, loves to consume calcium, which I think is from the types of rocks I have in this tank (29 gallon planted) . For my 75 gallon, it is not planted, but I’ve never had any issues with algae in that tank except once I had an algae bloom when I let me brother clean the tank who knows what he did, but that tank has only occasional green algae on the glass that takes me 30 seconds at most to clean all it. From what I see, where I’m from the calcium in the tap water is around 26-30 ppm, which I don’t think is high compared to other cities, but the tank with the algae issue has natural rocks that do break apart a little into small pieces that could release calcium or other mineral that could cause the rapid algae growth?
 
If this is diatoms, you will not damage the leaves of the crypt in the first photo by using your fingertips to remove the diatom algae. This is significant as this is relatively easy, but if it is actually a nutrient issue or light-related, that's something else. What is the light data (type, spectrum, duration)? Do you have floating plants?

The Flourish Tab for the crypt is OK, one and replaced every 3-4 months.
 
If this is diatoms, you will not damage the leaves of the crypt in the first photo by using your fingertips to remove the diatom algae. This is significant as this is relatively easy, but if it is actually a nutrient issue or light-related, that's something else. What is the light data (type, spectrum, duration)? Do you have floating plants?

The Flourish Tab for the crypt is OK, one and replaced every 3-4 months.
For the crypts the cleaning isn’t the issue, but for the water spirits their leaves are so small and frail its very hard for me to clean. For lighting,
If this is diatoms, you will not damage the leaves of the crypt in the first photo by using your fingertips to remove the diatom algae. This is significant as this is relatively easy, but if it is actually a nutrient issue or light-related, that's something else. What is the light data (type, spectrum, duration)? Do you have floating plants?

The Flourish Tab for the crypt is OK, one and replaced every 3-4 months.
I do not have any floating plants, and I have a Aqueon Optibright LED. The Spectrum I have no clue as to what it is but had red blue and white bulbs and I keep in on for 6-8 hours a day
 

Most reactions

trending

Members online

Back
Top