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Sir Dingdy Dang
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a big 155 gallon tank and I am starting to get quite the carpet of green and brown growing on the glass. I want to keep all my fish small and don't wasn't a big plecostomus flopping around in there. Anyone have any creative ways to control algae? I was thinking snails, but I know they multiply like crazy. I have read that a heavily planted tank will keep algae down, but I don't have the light requirements for that many plants. I only plant one side right now. I don't mind scrubbing the glass, but I was looking for some way to help automate the process without having a giant fish in the tank.
 

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Only snails such as Pond, Rams and MTS will really have that "explosion" effect in the tank. Nerites and Briggs are a couple of good choices if you want snails.

The trick to controlling algae is all about getting the right balance in the tank. With the more fishies you add in there, you will be adding more wastes which get broken down into nutrients that algae will love. To offset that, we add plants to soak them up first.

What kind of lighting do you currently have and how long do you keep them on.

And...if you want an algae eating fish, there are several smaller types of plecos such as the Bristlenose and Clowns that you could look into. They only get a few inches.
 

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I look at it like this, to get rid of the algae you have to find out what's causing the algae, which can be a few things:

1) Too much light
2) Phosphate and nitrAtes are too high
3) Sunlight

The first thing I'd do to cut down on the green algae is to get a nitrate and phosphate test, preferably the liquid tests. Weekly water changes, anywhere between 15% and 30% will keep the nitrates and phosphates down. But if the nitrate and phosphate test results are high I'd do a 40% water change first and maybe 10% - 15% water change every couple of days until the nitrates and phosphates come down. I wouldn't do a lot of huge water changes back to back so it won't shock the fish.

Personal experience
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Before I started doing any water changes, I was just topping of the water for about a year, any new fish I added to my aquarium would be dead in two days. The fish that were already in the tank lived on though. Also I had to clean my aquarium glass at least once a week or else it'd be green. I had already given up on the decorations inside because they were covered in algae, pretty much looked like grass. I took a water sample to the local fish store and they said that my fish were pretty much swimming in turpentine. The phosphate test was so far off the chart that the tested water was black. The last level on the chart was a dark blue.

So they had me do the big 40% water change then 10% each day after that until the levels had gone back down. Although I do use a phosphate remover in my tank now, the levels are under control and I do not have any green algae in the tank. It's acceptable to have a little algae, but I don't have any in the tank now.

.02 :)
 

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Sir Dingdy Dang
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have an extensive liquid test kit, but not a phosphate one. I do weekly 20% water change, mostly because the tank is kinda barren. I have a few Amano shrimp and a bunch of cardinal tetra. The algae didn't start until I got the new day glo bulbs. I just assumed it was part of the package if you were going to grow live plants. Do you have to have a lot of plants to keep the algae under control? So far the algae is only growing on the inside of the glass, not on the rocks or wood. The amano shrimp really like it. They are all fattened up.
 

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This goes back to finding the right balance in the tank. At the moment, since you added more light, the algae are able to outcompete what little plants you have in there for the available nutrients. Thus they thrive.

You can look at adding some fast growing plants (nutrient sponges) like hornwort, water sprite, anacharis just to name a few.
 

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"Do you have to have a lot of plants to keep the algae under control?"
I don't have any real plants in my tank.

You may want to decrease the amount of time that the lights are on. That'll help to help fight the algae too.
 
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