Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone I am a retired person just starting out with this new hobby.

I have messed around with a couple of very small tanks and have found them very hard to look after. I have had countless problems with several different types of algae and have tried many solutions such as 'otto's, bristlenose, cory's and now flying fox'.

I have been told by many that larger tanks are much easier to manage so I have just purchased 130litre and am in the process of cycling now prior to introducing fish.

Fingers and everything else crossed. I am a real beginner at 70+ years.

Looking forward to enjoying this forum

Cheers  John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@BUGGSWelcome mate, if I was to have stab in the dark at the cause of your issues I would say sunlight on the tank, but without knowing more specifics it’s hard to tell, larger tanks are going to have less rapid fluctuations in water quality and thus easier to maintain, with your smaller tanks did you ever clean the glass manually? What fish are you planning on keeping this time around?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your input. Sunlight was not an issue as the tanks were well away from windows. One line of thought was that the airstone I was running was putting too much oxygen in.

I did clean the glass manually at times when I did partial water changes fortnightly.

Hoping for suggestions on which fish to keep.

Thanks again  John.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 02/05/2018 at 3:00 PM, BUGGS said:

Hi everyone I am a retired person just starting out with this new hobby.

I have messed around with a couple of very small tanks and have found them very hard to look after. I have had countless problems with several different types of algae and have tried many solutions such as 'otto's, bristlenose, cory's and now flying fox'.

I have been told by many that larger tanks are much easier to manage so I have just purchased 130litre and am in the process of cycling now prior to introducing fish.

Fingers and everything else crossed. I am a real beginner at 70+ years.

Looking forward to enjoying this forum

Cheers  John

Hi John and welcome.   It’s a great hobby and one that can be very satisfying at any age!

Sorry to hear about your troubles.  

Couple of things you may have tried but are worth mentioning.  

Lighting, either from the sun or tank lights, allows algae to grow.  Try less lights; dimming, raising or shading your lights; using floating plants; ensuring no sunlight; running lights on a timer less.   If you are running them overnight this is a problem.  Sunlight puts a lot of energy into a tank and can be a problem.

Nitrates, either from overstocking fish; over feeding fish; or breaking down organic matter.  Some fish are “filthy” and are little ammonia factories - namely goldfish.  A test kit is vital for a beginner, the API Master Kit is the standard.  Not cheap but will last you for years.   You are targeting Ammonia <0.25ppm, Nitrite 0, Nitrates <20.   

Nitrates can be controlled by more frequent water changes (25% once a week is a good place to start for a beginner and can be adjusted once you get more experience).  Stability is somewhat important, don’t do huge water changes as it causes swings in CO2.  Tap water is normally higher in CO2 and lower in dissolved Oxygen.   Try to age your water in a bucket overnight.  Housekeeping ie removing dead leaves and left over food, vacuuming the substrate and cleaning the glass is also important.  

Another great way to lower Nitrates is to use live plants.  Live plants are very useful and can out compete algae.   Fast growing plants are best for this, Egeria and Java Fern are good examples, use low light and are good for beginners.  Floating plants use atmospheric CO2 so grow quickly and do dual purpose of sucking up nutrients and providing shade but duckweed can be very difficult to get rid of so choose carefully!  Pothos can be grown with roots in the tank and stems and leaves in the air getting nitrate from the water and CO2 from the air so grow quickly and do a good job.

Water movement helps.  Dont be shy with sufficient water movement.  Ripples at the water surface also breaks surface tension and helps gas exhange with the atmosphere.  

Removal - Manual removal by hand or scrubbing.  Chemical removal by bleach dipping ornaments and live plants (5% dilution for a few minutes) - remember to rinse in chlorine remover (such as Seachem Prime) afterwards.  Biological removal by shrimps and fish.  Bristle Nose are my favourite.  Siamese Algae Eaters (be careful as some are misnamed) are ok when small but lazy when large and quickly learn to enjoy fish food.

Treating water with glutaraldehyde or “glut”, a common brand is Seachem Excel, as per the bottle.   Beginners shouldn’t overdose as this is a disinfectant.  You can also spot treat by squirting the algae (underwater) with a syringe with glut or Hydrogen Peroxide.  Glut also helps most plants grow.

 

 

This turned out longer than I anticipated.  In summary:

1.  Less light - this is normally the problem.

2.  Lower nitrate with small but frequent water changes.

3.  Not too many fish and don’t over feed.

4.  Housekeeping and cleaning.

5.  Add live plants.

6.  Sufficient water movement.

7.  Remove as much as you can.

Good luck and looking forward to hearing of your success!

Steve

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John - if you would like to describe your tanks maybe someone could give you some further tips

size of tank,

type of filter,

number and type of fish,

how much and how often are you feeding,  

lighting and length of time it’s on each day,

plants,

substrate - soil/gravel or sand,

water changes - how often and how much.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...