Preventing Algae Growth Question


Aes SedaI (Karyn) is my girlfriend. I'm using her account to post this question. I want to know how to prevent algae from ever being introduced into my tank. If that is not possible for some reason then I'd like to hear why not. I'm planning to use artificial plants, standard gravel, decorative structures, and hiding places. I won't be putting anything live into the tank other than the fish and frozen live food. Can I prevent algae from being introduced into my tank and if I can't then what is the best way to prevent it other than not having my tank in sunlight? I'll be using a Rena Filstar XP2 cannister filter and a penguin biowheel filter on a 45 gallon tank and a 5" bubble disk for oxygen. I'm planning to have 2-5 non-suckermouth agae eating fish and my plan is to feed them algae wafers, and vegetables. The rest of my fish will be tetras, and rams and I'll be feeding them flake, frozen live food, and pellets. Currently we are dealing with a brush algae, fluke, and hydra outbreak in a primed for fish tank (no fish in it) that has lots of live plants and is cycled. I think the parasites and algae probably came with the plants or the frozen live brine shrimp we put in there. I read that hydras and flukes will appear after introducing live food into the tank and they were there before the live food was introduced as eggs on plants or in the water? I don't remember. Is that correct? We put nothing else in there that I know of that would have caused an algae or parasite outbreak. I'm trying to avoid these types of problems by not using any live plants in my new tank. Edward


Here is a good article on Algae.
AesSedaI said:
I want to know how to prevent algae from ever being introduced into my tank.
Algae is not usually introduced into a tank. Anytime you have a container of water(your tank), nutrients (fish waste) and light then it's possible to have algae. Live plants are the best way to out compete algae for the nutrients in your tank. The more nutrients(0ver crowding, over feeding, few water changes) the more likely you are to have algae. If your concerned live plants may bring unwelcome hitchhikers into your tank they can be dipped in a bleach solution (more about that later). Some times new tanks will have some algae no matter what because the parameters of the tank haven't had time to balance out yet.
The parasites could have come on the plants. Once the food is frozen any eggs or parasites would be dead.
Planaria will frequently multiply in the gravel if the tank is being over fed(or there are too many nutrients available) but they are not harmful to fish, actually most fish relish them as a food source. The numbers can be reduced drastically by vacuuming the gravel thoroughly.
As for a plant dip 19/1 ratio of water to bleach for 30 sec to one minute should take care of any hitch hikers on plants. Very finely leaved plants are sensitive so the bleach dip might kill them.
Your set-up sounds really nice and I would like to hear more about it as it progresses. I do hate for you to forgo live plants for fear of something bad happening to your tank.
What kind of non-sucker mouth algae eaters are you planning on getting ?
Let us know if we can be of anymore help.
  • Thread Starter


Thanks for your reply. I haven't decided on the types of fish that I'm going to buy yet. I'll probably decide on a Julie tank or an American Cichlid tank. I'll be adding a couple bottom feeders and I would prefer that they eat algae wafers. I'm also interested in some loaches. I was thinking that a non-suckermouth algae eater would be better with a mainly wafer diet. I'm going to be buying fish that are roughly the same size as their tank mates to help prevent aggression and I'm planning to have 4-6 caves in the tank stacked on the left and right sides of the tank so that most of the fish will be able to hide there and claI'm a territory. It will be like a fish hotel. I'm planning to add a group of soft artificial plants in one or both rear corners. I'm not really concerned about algae growth as much as parasites. The algae I can keep under control without it harming my fish. After seeing all of the gill and skin flukes that appeared in our primed tank after placing live plants in it and food, I don't plan to use live plants. I will consider using them after a bleach dip like you said and maybe if I buy some parasite killer as a back up.


Water + bacteria/nutrients + light = algae. No getting around it. You can control it, but there is no true way to 'prevent' it.


Algae isn't all bad. Small amounts of it can make the tank look more natural, and the algae population serves as a good indication as to how the tank is doing. In my opinion the best way to keep it down if to get some Otos. ;D
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