Algae always compete with plants for nutrients. So if you have enough algae to consume most of the nutrients, your plants will eventually die (of starvation). Algae can start growing on your plants' leaves which blocks the light from plants and also causes them to die. If algae are any other color than green they look very "un-aesthetic" (they make the tank look dirty). But, if you have no plants, but just algae growing, I don't think they have to be a concern. Plus, they will be good food for any algae eater(s) you may have.
Yup, that's algae. Black brush algae to be exact. It's usually a dull grey/black color, but it is in the red algae family and can take on that color. I don't know of any way to grow and keep it that color though. You kinda just get what you get.
There's nothing wrong with a bit of algae. In my tank, which is unplanted as of now and has 2 cats, I don't do anything with the algae. It makes great 'snack food' for all the fish, and I think it makes everything look more natural. Granted, I've never had serious algae growth. Many people just don't like how it looks. It gets to be a problem when, like Isabella says, it starts growing all over a planted tank and interferes with photosynthesis and competes for nutrients.
I have algae in my tank now... looks like its food for fishes so I don't mind and moreover I don't have live plants in the tank. I just don't like it when It starts building up on the sides of the glass.
Well ... not quite so. I have a Chinese algae eater. He is so effective I can't find one speck of algae on the glass of my tank. Not even anywhere on the gravel or decor. I know these algae eaters have a bad reputation, but I can't find one fault with mine. He is not aggressive and he does not suck on the slime coating of other fish in the tank. I think you just have to know how to care for this loach, and it'll be OK.
are you sure... hmm ... interesting... perhaps you have a Siamese algae eater? they look similar I think... idk what to say ive only ever heard bad things about there algae eating capabilities... good job if your that good of a fishkeeper that you can make CAE eat algae... congrats that's cool
Jon, I am sure of my algae eater. If he were aggressive, sucked on my fish's slime coating, and were not effective at getting rid of algae, all of my fish would be dead long ago and algae would be all over my tank by now. If my fish are fine, if I never see him attack any of my fish, and if I have no algae in my tank - that means he has to be effective.
Now, I am not saying that "all" Chinese algae eaters are like this. I am well aware of their bad reputation. Mine may simply be an exception. It's not at all that I am some exceptionally good fish keeper. I am just like everybody else - I do what I have to do, i.e. regular water changes, etc. - which I wouldn't classify as somehow "exceptional" because these are the regular things we have to do.
I am sure mine is not Siamese. As you can see for yourself, it is a Chinese form.
One again, all this is not to "prove" that they're good algae eaters - all I am saying that mine happens to be very good, it works well for me. I don't know what it is, but I have personally come to believe that these types of algae eaters will be aggressive if kept in small tanks, where they have no space to let their energy out. They're very lively and very fast, so they need a LOT of space. I'd say AT LEAST 30 gallons, not less. Of course tanks bigger than that would be great for them. Just imagine, how would you feel if you were confined within a tiny space where you could barely move? Fish feel the same way, and if they don't have enough space, they'll eventually become aggressive (in the case of a Chinese loach).
Considering that most people start the fish hobby as inexperienced beginners (as I have myself started; and when I was getting that alage eater, I didn't even know it had a reputation for being aggressive), they often fall prey to fish stores that just want to sell their stuff without, for example, informing their customers that Chinese algae eaters may be aggressive. I am not surprised that these loaches get a bad opinion if most of the people getting them don't even know what they're getting - and at the end, they're surprised and disappointed. But nobody even cares (or knows, as mentioned above) that they DO need a lot of space in order to be effective. I believe this is where the negative opinion comes from.
I think I have read that while CAE's start out peaceful and algae-loving, they may become more aggressive and less likely to eat algae as they grow older. I'm no expert on them though. Like Isabella said the tank space would probably be a big factor. And of course in all fish species there are exceptions to the "rules" about how they act.
I have also heard that they become ineffective as they grow older. I can only hope this won't happen to mine. I have no way of knowing what will happen in the future. At approximately what age do you think they become aggressive, etc.? Mine is about 2 years old and it stopped growing long ago. It's about 4-5 inches in length.
I thought basically they became more aggressive and less effective at algae eating as they reach maturity. If yours has already reached full size and has not changed, then I would assume that chances are he will stay the same. Are you sure he's done growing? I know they grow very slowly. Do you know the adult size of a CAE?
It was still growing a couple of months ago, but indeed very slowly. But since then, I haven't seen any increase in size. Maybe it's still growing only so slowly I can't see it. But I doubt it because his size doesn't change relative to the size of other mature fishes in my tank. I know Chinese loaches are reported to grow to much more than 4-5 inches but that happens when they're in huge tanks or in nature. In smaller tanks they never get this big.
Live plants in our tanks provide oxygen,shelter,and food sorces to and for our fish thay are like the tree's to us humans thay basicly work in the same ways thay add oxygen into our enviroment and thay suck up wasteage created by us and our fish.The trees suck in our carbondixide waiste products(polution) which thay in turn provide us with oxygen thay clean up our enviroment for us to be able to breath clean air.My point being thay all work in together in one way or another whether it be algae,plants or trees.Kind of like water with out water the fish can't live and neather can we.I'm grateful to have axcess to such brillent resorces to make our lives easier or better therefore I use those things to my advantage.There will always be good and bad if we look for it in every thing in life but hay isn't that a part of life.Maybe the algae is there for a reason who knows and maybe that's why we have such fish as algae eaters to eat up the algae.I recently invested in 4 silver dollars and 2-brisslenose catfish.The brisslenose's suck all the algae up thay have an obsession with it I'm told.Thay are amazing as thay look like a stingray only concern I have with these guys is thay grow massive.As for the silver dollars thay have eaten there way through every plant possible so much so that thay have destroyed all the plants in my tank which have taken me months to grow and has cost me a small fortune no matter what I put into the tank thay eat it like it going out of fasion its good for them just differcult to keep on top of.Am thinking about returning them to the shop I brought them from.Only thing is thay get on well with my aggressive female black lace angelfish so far she's not killed any of them.Does any one out there have any sujestion's as to what to do with these greenplant eating maineacks please?Thanks from Tootie.
Poor chris02_84, the original post was hijacked! Algae is fine in moderation, and as you saw, it can be quite beautiful too. I have snails in all my tanks and two (currently) small pleco's in my 29. I don't have an algae problem in any of my tanks. Just try to keep everything in it's proper balance and your fish/plants will be fine.