Algae Eater And Bottom Feeder Question With Quarantine Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by BrettMad, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. BrettMadNew MemberMember

    So I am just establishing a quarantine tank, getting it through a fishless cycle right now. I was given some water and gravel from a fully cycled tank to try and help, but I still need the bio wheel in the quarantine tank to get the bacteria established.

    My main tank just finished dealing with ich, I will still be feeding the medicated fish food for another three weeks or so and should not probably add fish to it until then.

    What I really need to add to my main tank is something to eat the algae which is starting to grow. Something to nose its way through the substrate as a bottom feeder would also be good. I have looked at a number of different possibilities, but we have not come to any decision yet on what to add.

    So I am supposed to quarantine the new fish for 2 to 4 weeks depending on who I asked to be sure that their healthy before adding them to the main tank, but the quarantine tank does not have algae and only has a very small amount of gravel substrate. So what will these fish, so desperately needed in the main tank, eat while there quarantined?

    The main tank is my 155 gallon planted bowfront. It has had fish in it for just over three weeks at this point, and there is not a lot of algae, but I can certainly see some algae on the leaves of a few of the plants and on the nooks and crannies of some of the equipment in there. It currently has rainbow fish and gold barbs, suggestions for bottom feeders and algae eaters would also be welcome!
  2. andychrissytankValued MemberMember

    algae wafers are a good start,
    since they will be living there for 2-4 weeks maybe leaving the light on a enxtra hour or two to encourage more natural algae growth
    when it's time for them to move, you can start dimming the lights to hinder it's growth
    wafers are still easier
  3. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    You would be 10 times better off controlling the algae yourself. Something is not balanced in the tank.
    Anyways, those algae eaters will have to be fed when they are on your main tank anyways so you can feed them veggies. Their specific diet depends on what algae eater you are getting.
    Bottom feeders like corydoras dont need substrate and they are carnivorous. They look very cool and show a more natural behavior with sand because they dig around it but they dont need it, specially in QT.
  4. BrettMadNew MemberMember

    I think I always believe that the growth of algae in the need for algae eaters was a natural part of keeping fish tanks. I do not think I even thought of trying to figure out why I am getting algae and controlling it myself, although I would be happy to start reading. Is there another forum or section of the site that I should read or something similar to understanding the nitrogen cycle that would help me get an initial idea?

    I am using RO/DI water primarily because I was told from several people who keep fish here that the tapwater – in their experience – tends to exacerbate algae growth. I am not exactly sure what elements within the tapwater contribute to that, but I heard it from more than one source.

    I do have live plants and driftwood in the tank. The lights are probably on 14 to 15 hours a day because they are turned on once breakfast starts and that I generally turn them off once everyone else is going to bed. Right now the lights are being handled manually, I do not know if they are contributing but I am trying to make sure there is enough light for the plants are trying to grow.

    Also, thanks for the suggestion about the algae wafers above, I completely forgot that there would be a specific food designed for them.
  5. purslanegardenWell Known MemberMember

    it does sound like you barely have algae now and that means, it can still be controlled by your maintenance.

    Too much light (hours per day), excess nutrients (usually from overfeeding), and too much nitrates are typical reasons to get the green algaes. The 15 hours of light are a definite contributing factor.
  6. BrettMadNew MemberMember

    The algae is all a red-brown in color, I am not sure if that makes a difference.

    Algae does not coat every surface by any means, but I do not remember noticing much over the last two weeks, but for the last two weeks I have mostly been peering at the fish looking at the spots to see if the disease was progressing or regressing. I do remember about eight days ago when the lady helps up the tank came out she was rubbing a little algae off leaves on a couple the plants, but I do not remember seeing it anywhere but a couple plant leaves at that time. Now it is much more expensive, it is on a lot of the Amazon swords leaves which it did not used to be on.

    I guess I need to find a balance where there is not enough light to spur the algae yet there is still enough light to continue to see the plant growth that I have seen over the last three weeks.

    I have been trying to be aware of overfeeding, particularly as I lost the 14 tetra so I know I need to feed less now than I did originally. I feed twice a day, a pinch of food and no more than the fish can eat within about 60 seconds. The water nitrate level stays below 10 ppm, it varies between 5 ppm and 7 ppm.

    I am not entirely certain what maintenance I need to do. Should I go get a bristle brush of some sort and to start scrubbing it off the surfaces where I see it? It will then just be floating in the tank, I do not know if that means it will get removed by the filter. I do not imagine I want algae in the filter anymore than anywhere else but at least there would be no light there.
  7. Racing1113Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds like you have diatoms which is common in new tanks. It should go away. You could try Amano shrimp if you really want something to eat the algae. As far as fish, I'm not sure. I have otocinclus but they should only be added to a mature tank, I also haven't had any luck with algae wafers with them and only got them to eat veggies once. There is an algae forum. On the app I go to freshwater aquarium forum - more freshwater aquarium topics - algae

    Regarding bottom feeders, I love cories. However, just want to sum up my experience - got cories to "clean up" any leftover food. Sadly, a few died and I'm pretty sure I was starving them. Found out they need their own food so started giving them shrimp pellets and some different kinds of wafers. As the wafers disintegrated a good part of them fell into the cracks in the gravel that the cories couldn't get to and I had to constantly gravel vac it out. After I changed my substrate to sand it was much easier since there were no cracks to fall into. So long story short, my plan to have cories to clean up totally backfired and did the opposite when I had gravel.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  8. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    Try lowering your light period. 8 hours is what works for me. 9 or more and I start to see algae creeping out.

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