29 Gallon Tank Growing Algae to Control Nitrates

WrenFeenix

I want your opinion on this idea:

My goldfish seems to have an extreme nitrate sensitivity (probably caused by poor care early in his life; he IS my first fish). It’s gotten worse as he’s gotten older. In order to keep nitrates stable at around 5ppm, I thought growing some algae could help. I got the Top Fin Nano LED light- the one with 4 LEDs. It’s a tiny light for the tank size, but I just want a little algae, not an entire disgusting carpet. I figured a little light might be beneficial to my fish’s health as well.

I was planning on aiming it at the center of the tank, but would it be better to aim it at the filter? It’s an Aquaclear, so light can shine through it. I think the algae could clog the filter tho.

Could the light potentially cause any problems for my fish?
 

Cherryshrimp420

Algae will grow anywhere that receives light. What kind of algae are you planning on growing?
 

WRWAquarium

I'm guessing most plants are out as the goldfish will eat them but perhaps the small light could be set up to grow an emersed plant with its roots in the tank? Pothos for example is very good at removing nitrates. I'm not sure what kind of filter you have but if it's a HOB then it could have its roots in the filter maybe.

Floating plants would be good if they could be kept to the area with the light but I'm not sure how they could be kept safe from being eaten.

Regarding algae Im not sure if a small patch will help much with nitrates.
 

SparkyJones

Why not just waterchanges to keep nitrates below 5 instead? Shouldn't be hard with just 1 goldfish.
 

WrenFeenix

I'm guessing most plants are out as the goldfish will eat them but perhaps the small light could be set up to grow an emersed plant with its roots in the tank? Pothos for example is very good at removing nitrates. I'm not sure what kind of filter you have but if it's a HOB then it could have its roots in the filter maybe.

Floating plants would be good if they could be kept to the area with the light but I'm not sure how they could be kept safe from being eaten.

Regarding algae Im not sure if a small patch will help much with nitrates.
Pothos is a great idea! I didn't occur to me at all. I could use the light for the pothos instead of algae, and I could hang a small window box on my tank.
This is great; I can keep my crystal-clear tank AND have a nitrate helper.
 

BPSabelhaus

I'm guessing most plants are out as the goldfish will eat them but perhaps the small light could be set up to grow an emersed plant with its roots in the tank? Pothos for example is very good at removing nitrates. I'm not sure what kind of filter you have but if it's a HOB then it could have its roots in the filter maybe.

Floating plants would be good if they could be kept to the area with the light but I'm not sure how they could be kept safe from being eaten.

Regarding algae Im not sure if a small patch will help much with nitrates.
Depending on tank size, pond floaters like water hyacinth could work. But you’re initial emersed plant roots is best.
 

FishDin

Just curious, how do know your fish is extremely sensitive to nitrates. What does that look like?
 

SparkyJones

Fish that are sensitive to nitrates. Well most fish fry are, and angelfish, otocinclus, discus would be examples of fish that are really sensitive to nitrates.

The higher they are the worse they look, fins get ragged, color washes out of them and they stress or clamp fins down. If nitrates are kept low under 10ppm they tend to look and stay in top form and condition.
As it creeps up to 20ppm and higher they deteriorate in condition.
 

WrenFeenix

I got ahold of some satin pothos (exotica variety I think). I’m now in the process of quarantining it, and I’ll do a hydrogen peroxide dip too.
It came in a pot with soil; should I save the roots in the soil, or should I cut them off? I read somewhere that pothos can grow extra roots from nodes on its stem.

I found some lucky bamboo as well, and I really like the look of it. I was wondering how bamboo compares to pothos. Is one better for my needs than the other, or do both do a good job absorbing nitrates? Is one hardier than the other?
Just curious, how do know your fish is extremely sensitive to nitrates. What does that look like?
…The higher they are the worse they look, fins get ragged, color washes out of them and they stress or clamp fins down. If nitrates are kept low under 10ppm they tend to look and stay in top form and condition.
As it creeps up to 20ppm and higher they deteriorate in condition.
I’ve noticed that my fish shows signs of nitrate poisoning whenever nitrates get close to 10ppm. I have to do wc at least every other day to keep them under control, which is a little annoying. He does much better when nitrates are kept very low.
 

Flyfisha

Just wash the soil off .
Putting the plant in a suspended pot of gravel will stop the goldfish chewing on the roots.

Lucky bamboo is very slow growing and only good for decoration. Decoration is a worthy reason to have some growing out the top of the tank.

After 12 months my bamboo had only grown a handful of new leaves but the Pothos had grown dozens of leaves and been propagated in multiple new plants.
DBE6AEB8-C7CD-4EF2-AD24-9BDC5727C76C.jpeg
 

oldfishkeeper

I want your opinion on this idea:

My goldfish seems to have an extreme nitrate sensitivity (probably caused by poor care early in his life; he IS my first fish). It’s gotten worse as he’s gotten older. In order to keep nitrates stable at around 5ppm, I thought growing some algae could help. I got the Top Fin Nano LED light- the one with 4 LEDs. It’s a tiny light for the tank size, but I just want a little algae, not an entire disgusting carpet. I figured a little light might be beneficial to my fish’s health as well.

I was planning on aiming it at the center of the tank, but would it be better to aim it at the filter? It’s an Aquaclear, so light can shine through it. I think the algae could clog the filter tho.

Could the light potentially cause any problems for my fish?

I had koi that totally destroyed plants. Gold fish that didn't mind if they were fed well. Rather than glow algae. Why not just separate the fish from the plants? Tank dividers or baskets would do the job.
 

WrenFeenix

I had koi that totally destroyed plants. Gold fish that didn't mind if they were fed well. Rather than glow algae. Why not just separate the fish from the plants? Tank dividers or baskets would do the job.
That’s a way better idea than the clip I was planning on using. I do have a solid acrylic breeder basket that I could put the pothos in. My goldfish probably wouldn’t be too interested in eating the pothos because he has no patience for tough and chewy plants, but he could destroy it from violently investigating it.
 

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