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Re: Algae and Algae Eaters

>Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 17:14:59 -0700
>From: "Bev" <bevgreen at cygnus_uwa.edu.au>
>Subject: setting up my first 'planted aquarium'
>fish. I would like to have a few angels and small tetras, wont the waste
>increase risk of algae problems.

Sure, anything you add to your tank *may* increase your risk of certain
types of algae.  But you plan to fertilize the plants somehow, right?  Fish
waste is just another type of fertilizer.

>When do I add the fish, I understand that i must add the algae eater first
>(bristle nose catfish, Otto, siamese flying foxes, and golden algae eaters)

Only if you have an algae problem.  I've got one flying fox, not a true SAE,
and I've never kept more than one or two dwarf suckermouths.  While I've
only been in the hobby for about two years, I've yet to really have an algae
problem, except for the occasional green spot or black brush tuft, which
always goes away as quickly as it shows up.


Having said that, I think the magical 'yet' has arrived.  I'm struggling
with diatoms on the front glass of my tank.  It hasn't affected my plants,
but in the past few weeks, I've had to scrape the front glass too often.
The FAQ says this is caused by a lack of light or an excess of silicates,
and recommends increasing your wattage.  I've recently stepped up my
lighting, to 200 watts (on a 75 gallon), so in this case, I doubt it would
help.  Silicates?  What might I have?  I have no rocks in the tank, just
wood, plants and a flourite and sand mix.  It's a new kind of sand, could
that be the cause of excess silicates?

I've tossed in a half dozen otos, but it's growing faster than they can keep
up.  Any other suggestions?

Alysoun McLaughlin