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Re: Too much algae

On Wed, 5 Jan 2000, Jason Miller wrote:

>   I have way too much hair algae in my twenty gallon tank.  I think this
> resulted from a remodeling job I did a few weeks ago.  Now there is so
> much algae that it has almost choked all the space in the tank.

It might be important to remove the excess algae.  I've seen a couple fish
get trapped and die in that sort of hair algae mess.

>   I am hoping to get some Amano Shrimp, but they've been quite scarce in
> the Edmonton area. Anyone know of any?  I've also been thinking about
> those algae-eating livebearers I read about here a while back - can't
> remember the name, though.  Any hints?

I was told not to expect many more algae-eating shrimp to be shipped until
spring.  The livebearers you're thinking of are probably Ameca splendens.
Ameca splendens are more expensive and not as widely available as many
other new world livebearers.  The more common and less expensive mollies,
platies, guppies and swordtails all graze on hair algae.  Mollies are well
known as algae eaters, the others may do well at controlling small amounts
of algae but probably won't touch a big problem.

> The plants are looking good, but aren't growing.  I don't want to
> fertilize for fear of further feeding the algae; however, I have kept
> the CO2 going (DIY).  Should I shut that off too?

I think if you shut off the CO2 you will do more to hurt your plants than
you will to hurt the algae.  You might try fertilizing your plants with
either spikes or tabs in the substrate.  That way the plants (at least the
rooted ones) get fertilized, and the algae does not.

If you do use substrate fertilizer then you may need to take care when you
shift back to water column fertilizer later.  If you fertilize the water
column before most of the substrate fertilizer is used up you might end up
with excess fertilizer in the tank and yet another algae problem.

Roger Miller
in brutally sunny and dry Albuquerque