Let's Talk About ~Algae Control~

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elliot60

New member
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
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1
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209 Hill Park Avenue Great Neck,New York 11021 USA
Algae Eaters

Algae in any kind of stored water with carbon dioxide content is a very common sight. Aquariums and fish tanks generally have exactly this kind of survival environment and thus, there are algae growths in fish tanks very often. When you have such an ecosystem in the aquarium itself, you will need something to stop this unwanted growth of algae and this is where you can have algae eaters in the aquarium along with the other fish. These algae eaters are nothing but some particular species of fish and snails, which thrive on these algae for their food. These fish also look very presentable, thus, they can be kept as aquarium fish in your home. These fishes are often fresh water fishes that survive on unwanted algae in the oceans, but there are many salt water fishes that also have this property. Hence, take a look at the following algae eaters which you can use for your aquariums if you are suffering from algae issues.

Algae Eaters for Aquariums

Most of the algae eaters used in aquariums are fresh water algae eaters, but there are many salt water fish too that are used in aquariums for the same reason. Some of these are small algae eaters thus, they are not even noticeable and some are fairly visible but they too are very presentable and colored to be displayed. These fish do not need to be fed the food that the other fish eat and even if they eat it, they will still make sure, your aquarium is algae free. Mentioned below are a few names of fresh water and salt water fish used as algae eaters in fish tanks, so take your pick!

Fresh Water Algae Eaters
The following fish are found in fresh water and can keep your tank clean by consuming the various types of algae found in it.

* Chinese Algae Eaters: Fishes of the Gyrinocheilus genus are very commonly used algae eating fish used in aquariums. The Chinese algae eater, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, is the most preferred one.
* Siamese Algae Eaters: They are the Crossocheilus siamensis, and are a more gregarious and tolerant cyprinid which are almost 15 cm in length. The Siamese algae eaters are the only fish which graze on the "black brush algae" (freshwater Rhodophyta, or red algae), but can also eat anything else in preference.
* The American-flag fish as well as many loricariid or catfish such as genera Ancistrus, Otocinclus and Plecostomus, often eat many varieties of algae.
* Many shrimps found in freshwater like the Amano Shrimp are very well known for their ability to clean an aquarium.
* Some species of freshwater snails often belonging to the family Ampullariidae are also excellent algae eaters.

Salt Water Algae Eaters
There are many salt water creatures which are also very good algae eaters. But they survive only on sea algae like red slime and others. Some of the water animals mentioned below are red slime algae eaters as well, so take a look.

* The most common salt water algae eaters are the Rabbit fish which eats most algae, like cyanobacteria, diatoms, and hair algae. These algae are not very often found in aquariums but can be observed occasionally in a few.
* Sea urchins are also one of the best algae eaters found in the ocean. As they strictly feed only on algae, major aquariums which are life sized and have many exotic sea fishes, can have these as their algae eaters.
* A few snail species such as the Astraea, Turbo, Nerite and Turban, do a great job in cleaning the tanks as well, but they reproduce very fast and sometimes can graze on your plants too.
* Surgeon fish or tangs are possibly known for their appetite for algae. They too are voracious feeders and can do an excellent cleaning job for you. More on aquarium algae control.

With such a variety of algae eaters, you can choose any of them, depending on the sizes and content of your aquarium. But make sure, you take care of these algae eaters too, as a little maintenance is always required.
 

kevin archie

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
14
Location
Port Orchard, Wa
Great topic Nikki!

Cyano - increase flow
Hair - urchin, nudibranch, hand removal...still working on this one ;)
Halimeda - It won't go away, but hand removal will get most of it out
coraline - scrape it off
calurpa - hand removal and a good tang

If anyone has any further tips on the hair algae I'd love to hear them

Most of the control/prevention comes in the form of preventing nutrients from getting into the system. I make my own food, and use 100% RO/DI water for top off. To remove what is in the system (because there will always be some in the system) I use a good skimmer running a little wet and some phosban in the reactor. I tried the chaeto route, but it just didn't do much for me in my setup. It does work well for others to out compete algaes in the main tank. Primary thing is to keep detritus in suspension and remove it via skimming.
Thanks for some good advice for a newbie!
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Kev thats not going to be a place where Blennies tend to spend a lot of time as its a little harder to hold their position. For areas like that snails are usuall your best bet or hand removal.

Mojo
 

str8juizy

saltygurl
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
169
Location
Federal Way, WA
I have been battling hair algae for a while too (bought rock from a guys tank and never saw the stuff till later). I have a Tang that picks at it occasionally, turbo snails that mow through it (again occasionally) a lettuce slug that won't touch it, a urchin that won't touch it... I do a 10% water change weekly, top off with RODI only, I am religeous about what I feed, what time and how long my lights are on. I though maybe it was briopsis but after comparing pictures I am sure it is hair algae. I read a few articles about raising the Magnisium levels. Does this work and how does it affect corals, fish & inverts? I do not mind a little algae in my tank because I think it looks natural but I do not want it to take over and cover anything else that is more important. I do not have any other types of algae in my tank and all my levels are good. So if someone can let me know if they have had experience with the Magnisium dosing let me know!
 

Somethings Fishy

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
Messages
621
Location
Seattle
i am currently dosing mag to kill the last of my bryopsis, @ 1600 mag. it seems to work slowly. i am not noticing a lot diff with my coral, but have heard of bleaching of sps. (also heard would kill inverts but haven't had any die) i am using tech m to dose. i would NOT recommend dosing to try to kill gha, i would check phosphates and do a water change if needed. how old are your bulbs?
 

str8juizy

saltygurl
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
169
Location
Federal Way, WA
Oh, that is what I read, it takes care of bryopsis. I really should get my algae checked by someone to see what it is really. I know bryopsis is supposed to look like ferns up close but mine does not. I also know bryopsis can grow in mats which mine does. Anyways. I will pull a bit and bring it with me to Barrier when I go there tomorow to get some more RODI. My bulbs are about 4 months old. I plan on getting new ones in 2 months. For the guy who asked about Lawnmower blenny eating hair algae, that was the first thing I got and he will not eat it at all. honestly the ONLY thing that seems to eat it at all is my turbo snails and even they are picky and slow. I did start placing some clam shells over patches and securing them down to see if by covering them it will die. I think I read somewhere someone doing that...
 

don2048

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
7
Location
St. Louis, mo
Being new to saltwater, I read a lot. I had a big cyano problem until I started making 5gal water changes in a 30 gal tank once a week. I also changed my lighting to 3x4 hour periods and added a hang-on-back refugium with Chato which also has 4x3hour periods of lights. I added live rock and live sand. So far it seems to work. The live rock is amazing. The critters that crawl out at night are fascinating.
 
Last edited:

don2048

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
7
Location
St. Louis, mo
It's called cyanobacteria. It's an indication of excess nitrates and /or phosphates as I've read. My turbo snails actually ate it when it appeared. It's in decline in my tank now that I do regular water changes among other things.
 

#1Reefkeepr

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
155
Location
Puyallup
RO/DI 100% all the time for top off/an routine changes
Scheduled Water changes and Maintenance on equiptment
Thaw out all frozen food in RO/DI water so those excess nutrients doesn't get into your system
Dont over feed
Stir sand don't Vacuum (reef system or if u want a live sand bed)
When doing water changes Scrape any unwanted Algae while siphoning so that the algae does not spread throughout your system
Hope all that helps!!! Good luck and keep on reefing
 

don2048

Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
7
Location
St. Louis, mo
don2048

RO/DI 100% all the time for top off/an routine changes
Scheduled Water changes and Maintenance on equiptment
Thaw out all frozen food in RO/DI water so those excess nutrients doesn't get into your system
Dont over feed
Stir sand don't Vacuum (reef system or if u want a live sand bed)
When doing water changes Scrape any unwanted Algae while siphoning so that the algae does not spread throughout your system
Hope all that helps!!! Good luck and keep on reefing
Thanks, The cyano is in decline, I'm starting to see pink and green coraline algae on my live rock and glass. I don't have a RO filter yet. And yes, it can be an expensive hobby. I'm going to try to make a trap to capture the bristle worms and move them to the refugium. Lots of tiny shrimp and small brittle stars staring to appear. Just found an Aiptasia on one of the LR, I removed to rock and killed it with vinegar. I also broke the small piece of rock it was attached to off and discarded it. So far it is still facinating.
 

#1Reefkeepr

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
155
Location
Puyallup
Thanks, The cyano is in decline, I'm starting to see pink and green coraline algae on my live rock and glass. I don't have a RO filter yet. And yes, it can be an expensive hobby. I'm going to try to make a trap to capture the bristle worms and move them to the refugium. Lots of tiny shrimp and small brittle stars staring to appear. Just found an Aiptasia on one of the LR, I removed to rock and killed it with vinegar. I also broke the small piece of rock it was attached to off and discarded it. So far it is still facinating.
Nice!!! Good stuff on removing the rock an not trying to pull it out in your system because that's a big no go!! Keep doin wat your doing because it sounds like your system is thriving!!! Water peramters if possible???
 
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