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Old 11-06-2011, 07:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AlgaeFix warning for guppies

I have been running my 75 gal for a few years now as a planted tank, for the past year of so with guppies and platties. Every 6 months or so, the algae gets to being a real problem... out growing the plants and covering their leaves. Noticeable amounts on the glass by the time my weekly clean rolls around.

I have used AlgaeFix twice now to remedy this and have lost fish (guppies) both times. I'm not trying to bash the product, because it does work. The last time I used it, I accidentally put too much in and the platties are still fine (I did a quick water change to bring the ratio back to where it should have been). The guppies did not do well though. Lost pretty much all of them (~40 breeding adults and who knows how many fry). The few that made it through the night were moved to another tank.

As always, your mileage may vary, but I would urge you to be careful using this product with guppies. There could be more to the situation that I don't know, so do your homework. You will find posts saying that it is the best stuff since sliced bread and some that say it is the devil. I guess it can be both.

My next post of course will be seeking advise on how to get this tank back up and running well again without chemicals because I really liked the breeding guppies.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

Are you diluting the product? Also - are you putting it directly into your tank?
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

I think you can just widen the fish-killing potential for any fish out there. Nothing in a bottle will replace good aquarium maintenance. I have had my share of algae issues, but would never consider using a chemical to try and take care of it. Nearly all of it's causes are things we do to our tanks - if not all. From placing of the tank, to lighting period and how much we feed our fish...the list goes on. Find the right balance in those and the tank will operate problem free. May take some experience and reading to get there, but there are people doing it everyday - without chemicals.

Last edited by jrman83 : 11-08-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

If you're going to use chemicals like that, be sure to put it in the filter to dilute it. Helps to disperse it so that your fish don't get a gill full of toxic chems.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

Hello M...

I'm strictly "old school" when it comes to putting chemicals into my Guppy tanks. I've never done it. I believe there are always natural things that can be done to deal with any tank problem.

My tanks are very simple, so if I have a problem, which is pretty rare, the problem is easily fixed. Usually, it takes a large water change of at least 50 percent to get things back to normal.

Algae is a sign of a healthy tank. Wheather it's visible or not, depends on tank conditions, but healthy tanks have it. I keep large tanks and aside from a little on a few of the plant leaves, there isn't much.

The reason algae occurs is you have too many fish and not enough plants, so there's a lot of nutrients available. I have a lot of snails and they help keep the algae under control. Fast growing plants like Hygrophila, Pennywort, Hornwort, Water sprite, Water wisteria and Anacharis (needs strong light) all require a lot of nutrition, so plant these. Large, weekly water changes of a minimum of 50 percent will also help control the algae.

The natural remedies don't work overnight like the Gluteraldehyde products, but they won't kill the algae and create more food for the next algae bloom, just take the food away and create an enviroment where the algae grows very slowly and eventually shrinks.

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Old 11-09-2011, 08:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

Thanks for the info. I try not to use any chems, but things had gotten out of hand so I was looking for a quick fix to get things back to a clean state. I was using the chems as a rare fix rather that a routine. Did try to add near the filter out-flow, but could have diluted outside the tank first I guess. Either way, I think I'm done with the algae killing chems now and will try to focus on plant heath instead.

My DIY CO2 system ran low for a long time (my lazyness) and my plant growth slowed way down. To the point were the algae picked up I guess. I'm using a better diffuser and will keep up with the CO2 from now on. Also thinking about the dry fert (macro/micro mix) dosing and larger water changes approach. Just upping my CO2 and adding LeafZone that I had at the house has increased the growth of my wisteria. Not so much with the Val, but still an increase I think. Once the plants are a bit more healthy, I'll probably try a few day blackout to knock down the algae and see what happens.

If you have any advise, please let me know. I'd love to get this thing cleaned up and looking nice again.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

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Originally Posted by M Ness View Post
Thanks for the info. I try not to use any chems, but things had gotten out of hand so I was looking for a quick fix to get things back to a clean state. I was using the chems as a rare fix rather that a routine. Did try to add near the filter out-flow, but could have diluted outside the tank first I guess. Either way, I think I'm done with the algae killing chems now and will try to focus on plant heath instead.

My DIY CO2 system ran low for a long time (my lazyness) and my plant growth slowed way down. To the point were the algae picked up I guess. I'm using a better diffuser and will keep up with the CO2 from now on. Also thinking about the dry fert (macro/micro mix) dosing and larger water changes approach. Just upping my CO2 and adding LeafZone that I had at the house has increased the growth of my wisteria. Not so much with the Val, but still an increase I think. Once the plants are a bit more healthy, I'll probably try a few day blackout to knock down the algae and see what happens.

If you have any advise, please let me know. I'd love to get this thing cleaned up and looking nice again.
Hello again M...

I'll help if I can. Am strictly low tech (no CO2). I use liquid, hydroponics ferts, but not much because I have large tanks and a lot of fish, so there's no lack of ferts.

PM me anytime. I'm never to busy to brainstorm tank stuff!

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Old 11-09-2011, 10:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

What type of light is on your tank?
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

I was thinking the exact same thing Jrman83. I had a huge algae problem when i fisrt got my 75. I was the cause of it though. I had my Glo dual T5 HO light on like 12 hours a day along with the stock light. I cut the Glo light back to 8 hours a day and use the stock light for the rest of the day. The only thing I really did to get it under control was remove as much of the algae as possible by hand or scraper, and cut back on the light. I also got a few algae eating shrimp. I still get spurts of algae growth, but it does not happen often.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: AlgaeFix warning for guppies

I'm running 3 F40T12 NO florescents. One plant and two day light I believe. Could not really dump money into it so I have the standard hood (1 bulb) and then a cheap shop light (2 bulbs) behind it. Gives me 1.6 W/Gal I guess. The tank is also near a window that does get sunlight. Nothing that I can really do about that though.

The lights were on for about 12 hours I think before. I have knocked it down to 9 and moved the 'on' period forward so they are on most of the time the sun is up and only a few hours into the evening. Only problem is that is when I have time to enjoy the tank, so I don't want the lights kicking off at 6 or something.

Other quick facts about the tank are:
  • 75 gal
  • ~2 inch gravel with some flourite mixed in (been there awhile though)
  • DIY CO2 pushing into a powerhead venturi
  • 1 liter bottle attached to the powerhead so the gas diffuses into the water
  • Some wisteria, a lot of jungle val, and java fern growing in it

I have never tested my CO2 levels or anything. The DIY CO2 was pretty low hanging fruit for me. I brew beer so setting up a yeast based CO2 generator was not much of a stretch for me. I do test some things though... fairly hard water (good buffering ability), pH around 7.4, no measurable nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia (tested after my last big water change and getting my CO2 running again though - I'm sure there was some before when the algae was growing quickly).
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