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Re: The endless algae battle

Hi Steve,

Steve Thomas wrote:
> This is going to be a long message so buckle up :)

That's OK. I'm good at long answers.

> I have been battling an algae problem for so long and it is continually
> winning. When I built my tank shelfs I used 2 4 foot light tube fixtures. I
> bought these lights that were called outdoors. I was told they simulate sun
> light more. I figured since they are like the sun then it would be more
> natural for the fish. They are 40w and I figured this would be perfect. So I
> bought 4 of them 3 for each shelf. Now I dont know if these are the problem
> or what.

Not entirely. You have too many nutrients in the water. Fish food is a 
likely source, but some can come in with the tap water in some areas. 
Agricultural seepage can raise the nitrates and phosphates in your water if 
you are near farming country.

> I've tried a few algae killers and the algae just laughed at it. I was
> thinking of buying 4 foot UV sterilizer lights and replacing one light per
> shelf with these. But those lights are so darn expensive.

And *you* do not want to be exposed to them.

> So now that you have the story do you have any pointers or suggestions?
> Please help me. Thank you in advance.

Find a source of Daphnia, and feed -- no overfeed -- those to the tanks, as 
they will eat the Euglena eagerly. Nice biological control that your fish 
will also appreciate.

Stuff the tanks with fast-growing plants, like Hygrophila, Water Sprite, 
Duckweed, Salvinia, etc. to soak up the excess nitrates.

Borrow, rent, or buy a "Polishing Filter" that uses diatomaceous earth as 
the filter medium. An hour or two on each tank should clear them up. The 
problem will quickly return if you don't do the first two suggestions, tho.

Plants will only compete well with algae if they have a dark, rest period, 
so put a timer on the lights and only run them a max. of 10 hours/day.



Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351

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