I want to reduce my algae before it becomes a real problem.

Cambrianexplosion24

Hey guys. Well, the inevitable headache of brown algae has finally arrived in my 90 gallon and has been an unsightly mess for weeks now. It's not exactly at plague proportions yet and whenever I see it I scrub away all that I can find with a sea sponge and it works for a little while but it always comes back within a few days, usually just as spots but sometimes in big patches that cover larger areas of the glass like it is right now. This is mostly a glass problem and algae that forms on the decor and plants is usually greatly reduced by my corys and snail so it doesn't really bother me like the glass does. Right now the inside of the tank is perfectly visible but the algae is a huge eyesore and I'd like to get rid of it before it takes over. It's hard to keep up with it and reach all of it, especially behind some of the rougher decorations where I end up scraping up my hand and probably damaging the sea sponge so I don't know how much longer it will last. I'd like to discuss some of the options to make cleaning it up easier.

First of all what's really good at eating glass algae that doesn't get too big? I'm trying to keep this particular tanks' residents 8 inches or under. I'd read a lot of recommendations about Chinese/Siamese algae eaters but apparently they grow to about 12 inches and I don't know if the hiding places and shelters I have in there could accommodate one. A rabbit snail sounds like a good idea and I already have one living in my quarantine tank but I've heard they can damage Java ferns which I have several of in there but I would be surprised if just one rabbit snail would murder the plants. What do you guys think? I don't mind having multiple snails in there but I don't want to put in more than one of a given species since they reproduce like crazy and take over.

Secondly what's a good algae scrubber somebody can recommend that isn't too expensive? The ones I've seen lately at the local Petco were for acrylic tanks so I don't know if they would damage the glass. An actual scrubber would help out a lot and I love the look of a lot of the magnetic ones for cleaning a wide surface area where I can't reach with just my arm. I've been looking at a review of the "best" algae scrubbers and some of them have blades so I'm a little reluctant to damage the glass and some are even described separately as "glass cleaners" rather than algae scrubbers so would those ones not work? Even still just a regular glass scrubber on a stick would make worlds of difference.

Finally what about Seachem Flourish excel? I have a bottle to fertilize the plants but I don't often use it because I thought it would also fertilize the algae and it raises the PH a little. Still, I don't pay as much attention to PH as I do to temperature, oxygen and nitrogen levels because fish have always seemed to do just fine in whatever dechlorinated tap water I put them in and I just read an article on this site in the algae section that said flourish excel can be used as algaecide. Will it actually help if I put some in every week?
 

Bruinfishkeeper1

IME the brown algae will eventually go away once your tank matures. Also a Chinese Algae Eater and Siamese algae eater are two different species. Chinese algae eaters get huge but the Siamese Algae eaters get like 5-6 in the most (ime). One thing about the siamese algae eaters is that they really munch on algae while they are juveniles and require a little more of protien and veggie diet as they grow older.

For brown diatoms otos catfish are really really good at demolishing that stuff. Get a good group of them and your tank will be clean in no time. With that being said, when u run out of brown diatoms you gotta feed them something pretty complex and can be hard to get food in them

In my opinion Excel works pretty well and IME its gotten rid of algae....to an extent. Naturally speaking you can add some pothos (the roots) to your tank and it might out compete the algae. Remember when it comes to brown diatoms, they will stop occuring once your tank is matured
 
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Sauceboat

My advice would to be to just wait it out until your tank matures as said above. But Nerite snails and otos are also good at cleaning glass. My LFS lets people "rent out" young SAE to maintain algae levels in maturing tanks and return them when the tanks sort themselves out before the SAE gets too large. You could ask your LFS if this is something they could do if you are interested in a temporary cleaner while your tank matures. Granted, nerites are small and will clean all sorts of algae so they may be a better option for you, or otos if you want a more eye catching cleaner.
 
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Cambrianexplosion24

IME the brown algae will eventually go away once your tank matures. Also a Chinese Algae Eater and Siamese algae eater are two different species. Chinese algae eaters get huge but the Siamese Algae eaters get like 5-6 in the most (ime). One thing about the siamese algae eaters is that they really munch on algae while they are juveniles and require a little more of protien and veggie diet as they grow older.

For brown diatoms otos catfish are really really good at demolishing that stuff. Get a good group of them and your tank will be clean in no time. With that being said, when u run out of brown diatoms you gotta feed them something pretty complex and can be hard to get food in them

In my opinion Excel works pretty well and IME its gotten rid of algae....to an extent. Naturally speaking you can add some pothos (the roots) to your tank and it might out compete the algae. Remember when it comes to brown diatoms, they will stop occuring once your tank is matured

Thanks Bruinfishkeeper1! Wonderful! I'm so happy it will balance itself out in time. I started cycling this tank in late January and the cycle went pretty quickly and its' had fish in it since mid February and the algae didn't really start appearing until later (I sometimes wonder if I introduced it since it appeared after I put in a piece of algae wafer for my corys) so I would imagine it's definitely on the road to fully maturing. I'm loving the idea of oto catfish to help keep it in check and I have lots of bottom feeder tablets/sinking wafers they can share with the corys once the algae decreases. I hope they'll focus mostly on the glass in he meantime.
My advice would to be to just wait it out until your tank matures as said above. But Nerite snails and otos are also good at cleaning glass. My LFS lets people "rent out" young SAE to maintain algae levels in maturing tanks and return them when the tanks sort themselves out before the SAE gets too large. You could ask your LFS if this is something they could do if you are interested in a temporary cleaner while your tank matures. Granted, nerites are small and will clean all sorts of algae so they may be a better option for you, or otos if you want a more eye catching cleaner.

That's fantastic! Thanks Sauceboat! I'm already strongly considering the otos and I think that sounds like an amazing idea to see if I can borrow some SAEs. I'll ask next time I'm at Petco or Petsmart and keep an eye out for nerite snails as well!
 
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MasterPython

What is your lighting schedule?
 
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Bruinfishkeeper1

Thanks Bruinfishkeeper1! Wonderful! I'm so happy it will balance itself out in time. I started cycling this tank in late January and the cycle went pretty quickly and its' had fish in it since mid February and the algae didn't really start appearing until later (I sometimes wonder if I introduced it since it appeared after I put in a piece of algae wafer for my corys) so I would imagine it's definitely on the road to fully maturing. I'm loving the idea of oto catfish to help keep it in check and I have lots of bottom feeder tablets/sinking wafers they can share with the corys once the algae decreases. I hope they'll focus mostly on the glass in he meantime.


That's fantastic! Thanks Sauceboat! I'm already strongly considering the otos and I think that sounds like an amazing idea to see if I can borrow some SAEs. I'll ask next time I'm at Petco or Petsmart and keep an eye out for nerite snails as well!
Yeah i recently set up a tank in December and it still has brown diatoms. Also corys need a meat diet. Get some shrimp pellet food, frozen bloodworms or frozen brine shrimp for them. They don't eat algae wafers. Happy fishkeeping
 
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Cambrianexplosion24

Yeah i recently set up a tank in December and it still has brown diatoms. Also corys need a meat diet. Get some shrimp pellet food, frozen bloodworms or frozen brine shrimp for them. They don't eat algae wafers. Happy fishkeeping

Oh yeah I've got bottom feeder pellets for them them and they love them! I just gave them the algae wafer as a treat but if they don't eat them the snail probably got it instead
What is your lighting schedule?

I try to give them a natural 12 hour light cycle so I have the light set for 9 AM to 9 PM. It's a Finnex 24/7 so I set it so the intensity of the light intensifies slowly leading up to noon and then diminishes slowly after.
 
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