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Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Algae Question

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  1. Default Algae Question


    0 Not allowed!
    I have no problem admitting this - I am an aquarium n00b. My 5 gallon, freshwater tank was given to me as a 39th birthday gift (symbolic of a celebration of life, before I hit the big four-oh?). My 5 gallon tank has been populated with 5 small Glofish. Cute critters. They have brought me many smiles in the month-or-so I have had them.

    Just in the past 2 or 3 days, I have noticed a sudden explosion of algae clinging to the sides of my tank and on the aquarium gravel lining the bottom of my tank. After reading some of the threads, around this (very informative) forum, the most interesting of threads ended in a battle of the egos that forced the thread to be closed. Sadly, this happened before a good solution was reached. So, I'm hoping to reopen the topic, but with the difference of me admitting that I don't know much about these things, therefore, I am more open to suggestions than the original thread's author. In short, I need help and I am willing to accept it!

    Here is where I am at - in the thread that caught my attention (the one that was prematurely closed), it was pretty well determined that the underlying cause of the access algae was, likely, too much light. My tank was likely receiving too much light, too. The aquarium light would be on from roughly 8:00 AM until 11:00 PM, with the aquarium room being completely dark from 11:00 PM until 8:00 AM, the next morning. I have turned the aquarium light off, allowing just the room's ambient light to be the only light. With 5 Glofish being the only residents in a 5 gallon tank, I don't BELIEVE the tank is over-populated, but I could be wrong, on that. What do you think? Are there any other algae-causing factors I might consider, that I have not mentioned, yet?

    With the previous paragraph hoping to get to the bottom of the algae issue, this paragraph focuses on what to do about it? How would you recommend cleaning the existing algae? Algae eater? Just let it run its course? Complete water change?

    I am your audience. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated... and I am looking forward to learning a thing, or three...

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    You are wrong. Your glofish are genetically engineered zebra danios, a species that likes to stretch it's fins http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/danio-rerio/
    A 5 gallon is generally considered a shrimp tank or something for a betta. It's difficult to keep stable.

    Anywya... algae happen because there's too much unused nutrients and too much light. Nutrients are dealt with by water changes (I'm assuming the tank is unplanted). Too much light is a matter of putting a timer on the lights. 2 blocks of 4-5 hours with a break in between is usually best.

    Adding an algae eater is a common newbie reaction but since that adds waste, it will only make things worse.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    So, I assume that, by saying, "You are wrong", you are referring to... the number of Glofish? If that's the case, then the people at PetSmart really led us down the wrong road. We were told that, yes, they are engineered from Zebra fish, and that they are schooling fish and love company. They said a 5-gallon tank should have, at the very LEAST 10 Glofish, because they love the company. We decided to start with 5 and see how they were. They do not seem cramped, in the least, or strapped for personal space. Whether the number of fish have something to do with the amount of algae, then yikes... I'd hate to see what it would be like with TEN of the things, in the tank! Makes me wonder if the PetSmart employee knew anything about the fish he was selling, or if he was just trying to up the sale price...?

    As for light, the problem didn't seem to happen, until we introduced a black light, as a background light. Not knowing much about algae and what effects it, is there any history or evidence to suggest that it grows more in black light conditions? It is possible that the timing between the algae explosion and the purchase of the black light is coincidental, but I figured I would throw that out there, just to cover all bases.

    Other than that, yes - thank you for your post. Gives me some good information to go on!
    Last edited by dharvell; 04-28-2013 at 08:30 PM.

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by dharvell View Post
    So, I assume that, by saying, "You are wrong", you are referring to... the number of Glofish? If that's the case, then the people at PetSmart really led us down the wrong road. Ooooh - yes they did : ( We were told that, yes, they are engineered from Zebra fish, and that they are schooling fish and love company - that is correct. They said a 5-gallon tank should have, at the very LEAST 10 Glofish, because they love the company. (Yes, 10 is a great # for them but NOT in a 5gal tank!) We decided to start with 5 and see how they were. They do not seem cramped, in the least, or strapped for personal space. Whether the number of fish have something to do with the amount of algae, then yikes... I'd hate to see what it would be like with TEN of the things, in the tank! Makes me wonder if the PetSmart employee knew anything about the fish he was selling, or if he was just trying to up the sale price...? (Hmmm - ya think they were trying to SELL you something?...I thought that's what fishstore employees are supposed to do LOL) - I apologize for my sarcasm.

    As for light, the problem didn't seem to happen, until we introduced a black light, as a background light. Not knowing much about algae and what effects it, is there any history or evidence to suggest that it grows more in black light conditions? It is possible that the timing between the algae explosion and the purchase of the black light is coincidental, but I figured I would throw that out there, just to cover all bases.

    Other than that, yes - thank you for your post. Gives me some good information to go on!
    To get rid of algae to begin with, you might try getting an algae scrubber - you can find a magnet or just use the edge of a credit card - stick your clean hand right in the tank if it'll fit & scrape it off. Can't answer you about the black light, but too much light exposure can do it as well as there being too many nutrients in the water - might you be overfeeding or feeding too often? It's important when you have that many fish in a small tank to give them just enough food to finish in say about a minute - you should be cleaning out the substrate with a siphon as well so excess food doesn't rot on the floor of the tank.

    If I were you and wanted to keep those fish, I'd invest in a larger tank (like at least 20gal) to accommodate those fish which will hopefully grow to about 1 1/2 - 2" apiece. If you want to keep the smaller tank, I'd return those glofish & replace them with a betta or shrimp or something along those lines.

    In addition, may I suggest you read up on cycling (and water parameters) and get yourself a liquid test kit - a genuinely interested fish keeper will have one of these to make sure your water stays hospitable for your fish.
    Last edited by imma24; 04-28-2013 at 08:58 PM.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    That's actually almost the main reason why I am violently against these fish. Not the fact that they're engineered (although I could debate that as well) but the fact they're sold like that.

    Yes, danio like to swim, they really do. A 60cm is stretching things, an 80cm wide is loads better. Spent some time here and you'll notice that shop staff being wrong is not rare.

    You can scrape algae which moves the problem.

    The blacklight... interesting. Those things are more towards the uv spectrum which algae love but they also tend to be low power affairs. Id call it coincidence.

    You're avoiding the question about your filtration.

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Didn't know I was avoiding anything. Read through the thread to see if I missed a question on filtration, didn't see any.

    We do have filtration. It was actually the first thing we checked. I expected to find the filter in as good of shape as a coal miner's lungs. Surprisingly, the filter looked close to new. But, just to make sure our "T"s were dotted and our "eyes" were crossed, we changed it out. We also double-checked to make sure the filter was working, in the first place. It looks to be moving water through, as expected.

    As for the possibility of over-feeding... that is a pretty good possibility. The only one that I can think of, really (other than the possibility of too much light). Perhaps, it's even a combination of the two - overfeeding and too much light. Luckily, it sounds like both are very easy things to resolve. Feeding is a simple measure of just paying more attention to the "how much food" to "how much is eaten in a minute or two" ratio. The lighting issue sounds like it's as easy as an inexpensive timer that can grabbed at the local Wal-Mart. The question of black light and the encouragement of algae growth remains open and probably worth doing a little search through the "interwebs" to see if there's anything out there on the topic. It might be an interesting read!

    Meanwhile, my wife just told me that we have a 50-gallon tank, in storage. Me thinks 5 Glofish would have some nicely stretched fins in that baby. I think I know what tomorrow holds, in terms of fun projects!

    Oh... that actually brings up a question about a point that was hinted at, previously (it was stated that a 5-gallon tank was hard to get stable). Are there any special considerations for a 50-gallon, in terms of a stable environment? I want to make sure my fish are nice and comfy, as well as healthy. And... is it actually easier to maintain a stable 50-gallon than it is a stable 5-gallon? If so, I'm all for it!

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Larger tanks are typically easier to maintain healthy and stable water parameters provided you have proper filtration and a good maintenance routine.

    A 50 gallon tank is a good size. You could set it up and complete a fishless cycle on it before moving your fish into it

    Water are your water parameters on the current tank and what type of filter do you have on it?
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'll be honest with you - I'm completely new to this. As such, I don't have what would probably be considered the proper tools... such as the basics to test water parameters. Something I intend to remedy, as a priority. Once I get my test kit, I'll be sure to post the parameters. When I say I'm a "n00b", I mean that I'm greener than the Crayola crayon, by the same name (maybe even greener than the algae, in question). As for the filter, it came with the kit (tank, heater, filter, lid, and light bulb). I tried to find some sort of maker's mark on the filter and even the tank, itself, but could not find one. My wife probably knows, as she is the one that bought the entire kit. At this time, though, she is in bed... won't get to ask her, until she gets home from work, tomorrow. Sorry I wasn't more helpful, with any of that! But, not all is lost. You actually gave me another idea of the tools to get my hands on.

  9. #9

    Default 50g is FAR easier.


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by dharvell View Post
    Are there any special considerations for a 50-gallon, in terms of a stable environment? I want to make sure my fish are nice and comfy, as well as healthy. And... is it actually easier to maintain a stable 50-gallon than it is a stable 5-gallon? If so, I'm all for it!
    Think of it like this: In a 5g tank it only takes a small change [IE: Any addition or subtraction] to have a large effect due to the small volume of water.

    With 10 times the water it is harder to knock out of balance [NOT impossible :-P] & changes tend to be more gradual.

    It's FAR easier to add too much salt to a teaspoon of soup than an entire pot of soup, Know what I mean?
    Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
    Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.

    A warm beer is better than a cold beer. Because nothing is better than a cold beer, and a warm beer is better than nothing.

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Excellent analogy! Makes perfect sense, actually. I like it!

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