The associate at my local pet shop suggested that snails are sensitive to algae treatments, therefore any kind of algae treatment should be avoided if there are snails in the tank. I have an algae issue, but the snails are not enough to reduce the algae.
Is there any kind of treatment that I can use that could help me to reduce the algae to a manageable level without harming the snails?
Depends on they type of algae you have, and your set up.
If its green algae, you can try the "lights out" method, keeping the lights out on the tank as well as manual cleaning. This method works well if its kept at the two pronged approach of keeping the lights off and manually removing algae (cleaning plants/gravel/filter/glass). I've used this method and it works, even for "green water" algae blooms.
Brown algae or Diatoms can usually be helped with ramping up cleanings and adding a phosphate/silcate remover to the filter media. This media also helps with green algae as well.
Chemical algae removers are really hard on fish, so avoid them at all costs. The effects are usually temporary anyway.
For really thick algae blooms like pea soup green water, you could also use a UV sterlizer. They aren't cheap, but do work.
It is green algae. I've tried manually getting rid of it, but in some areas, specifically at the back of the tank, it's like it's plastered to the aquarium glass. scrubbing as hard as i possibly can does absolutely nothing.
with the "lights out" approach, how long before i should start seeing some impact?
For getting algae off, especially from glass, try using a razor blade, one dedicated only for use on the aquarium. I also find useful a dedicated aquarium only toothbrush to use to scrub the corners of the tank and other hard to reach spots.
A friend of mine just went through the green water thing, and after a light's out approach, only turning on a light to check the fish in the evenings, her green water cleared up in about a week.
How long do you keep your lights on per day? Is it in a sunny room, does sunlight hit the tank directly? do you keep your lights on for several hours a day?
Green algae photosynthesizes, so removing light sources makes it die out. Heavily reducing lighting should tame it down quite a bit. Algae will also bloom a lot, and grow a lot if there are a lot of dissolved organics in the water on which it can feed. With lights out, reduce the amount of food you are feeding the fish, and you should see improvement within days I should think.
So the plan of attack should be, Reduce lighting, reduce feeding, close blinds/shades in the room during the day, keep up water changes, manually remove as much algae as you can before it gets heavy, and make sure to rinse filter media in removed tank water (so scrubbed off algae won't just find a lovely home there to re-establish). Once the algae dies down, keep lighting to a minimum, just when you wish to view the fish........ fish do not need the tank light, and general ambient room lighting is enough for them during the day.
If these measures alone don't help, try to get a test to get a reading on phosphates in your water. High phosphates can also cause algae problems.
Thanks for the detailed info. It seems to be much more under control and the razor blade worked great!
I had this same problem a little while back in my 10gal, because at the spot my tank is in it gets sunlight pretty bad, and i had very high nitrates.The associates at my LFS told me that my problem wasnt going to fix without chemicals, and that me buying plants would do nothing. I bought the plants anyway.
No more green spot! Green spot seems to thrive in higher nitrates, so the plants (or lots of water changes) keeping those nitrates low will kill it off. :) I agree scrubbing it is a pain, especially because in sunlight like mine, you can scrub the tank spotless and in 3 days its completely covered again. Thats why i gave up and went for plants.
10gal Betta Tank
, Pearl, Wendy, Nightmare
,Albino Dwarf Cories
, and Nerite Snails
- Community Fish
- Two Fiddler Crabs
Sounds like green spot algae. If your tank is where the sunlight hits it, you need to move the tank.