Help Red/Beard Algae problem

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cwb141

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I'm having a problem with Red or Beard Alage in my 29 gallon freshwater community tank. I've looked at various ways of removing it and up to now I've only removed it by hand. The other ways are to add an algae control product or to buy some Siamese Algae Eaters.
Option 1 is something I don't want to do just because I don't have experience with most products out there and I don't want to mess with the plants in my tank, even if the product says it's safe.
Option 2 is what I'm thinking of doing. I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on how many SAEs I should get and whether or not they will eat red/beard algae. From what I've read they appear to grow up to 3", possibly more, and are considered the best algae eating fish by many hobbyists. I couldn't find a site that said anything about them for sure eating red/beard algae, only that they might.

TANK INFO: I recently removed a clump of Java moss that was a major starting point for the algae and cleared out most of the strands I could find. I know it will come back though so now seems like a good time to get a SAE. I have the following fish in my tank; 1 rainbow shark (3"), 6 kuhli loaches (2.5-3"), 7 cardinal and 9 rummy tetras, and malaysian and pond snails.
 

Nutter

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Rahter than try to find something to control the algae, your far better off finding out what is causing the algae. I see in your aquarium info that your light hours seem to vary. Do you have them on a timer or do you just switch them on & off when you want to? What are the water parameters & do you use fertilizers?

NEVER EVER use algae control chemicals not matter what the packaging might say. They are dangerous for plants, fish & more often than not will kill the bacteria in the tank as well.
 

firemouthfreak

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I agree with Nutter on the finding the cause of it and not using chemicals. I would stay away from SAE as I've heard they will attach to your fish and "eat" little holes in them.
 

Nutter

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I agree with Nutter on the finding the cause of it and not using chemicals. I would stay away from SAE as I've heard they will attach to your fish and "eat" little holes in them.
Wrong fish. SAE (Siamese Algae Eater) are very peacefull & are great algae eaters. CAE (Chinese Algae Eater) are the aggressive ones that can cause damage to the slime coat of larger fish & are pretty useless for eating algae when they get older.
 

cwb141

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Rahter than try to find something to control the algae, your far better off finding out what is causing the algae. I see in your aquarium info that your light hours seem to vary. Do you have them on a timer or do you just switch them on & off when you want to? What are the water parameters & do you use fertilizers?

NEVER EVER use algae control chemicals not matter what the packaging might say. They are dangerous for plants, fish & more often than not will kill the bacteria in the tank as well.
the lights have been on a timer for a few months 11:30am-9:00pm. forgot to update... also, i don't know where the algae came from. I haven't added anything to my tank in at least 6 months and i never had this algae before. i hardly had any type of algae. my water parameters are ideal. i schedule to do a 10% water change every other week, but i only get around to 20% every month. the readings don't change so all that gets messed up is the amount of tannin showing.
 
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Nutter

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What are the exact test results & how often do you do the tests? What some people regard as ideal water quality is sometimes actually less than ideal. I would be very surprised if your test results always stayed the same & you are only doing 20% monthly water changes. I think increasing the size & frequency of your water changes is going to be a good start towards helping with your algae problems. I would start by increasing to 20% changes every two weeks. After a month or so of that I would go to 20% every week. Maybe even increase the size of the water changes after that. The usual water change shedule is 20-50% weekly.

Are you using carbon enrichment of any kind? eg: Flourish Excel, diy co2.
 

cwb141

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the test come back as 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5-10 nitrates. the pH is within .1 of 6.7 every time. i have flourish excel but stopped using it when i removed most of the stem plants. i put a fert tab under a lily i have but the crypto spiralis and java moss do well w/o ferts. no co2 on this tank.
 

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I would increase the size & frequency of the water changes as I suggested. I think that will go along way towards fixing the problem. It might pay to start using the Excel again in combination with the water changes. Excel is known to help eradicate some forms of algae (including beard).

I don't think those nitrate readings are accurate given the size of the tank & the stock that is in it. Unless you only have like 2 Cardinals & 2 Rummynoses. I would expect to see a significant rise in the nitrates over two weeks.
 

cwb141

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nope i thought i might be getting false readings, but i've banged and shaken the test bottle and tubes thoroughly
 

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How often do you test? If your not doing tests the day after a water change & then again right before a water change, your not going to see the difference in the readings.

In any case, you still need to increase the water change size & frequency, no matter what your test results may or may not say.
 

cwb141

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i know i should do more water changes, i've just been really busy lately. i test the water before and after a water change and at least once a week. the only time i notice anything different is when i change out my filter media, but ammonia and nitrites barely register. by the next day it's all clear
 

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Good morning,

I have moved your thread to the Aquarium Water/Algae section of the forum.

Thanks!
Ken
 
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