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Algae covered rocks, any problems?

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#1 loopsnj64

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:49 PM

I plan on keeping a riffle tank with rainbow darters, wild-caught shiners (from NJ) and possibly some sculpins or dace, (its a 30 gallon tank), i will have some vallisnera in there, except for snails, there will be nothing around that would eat the algae on the rocks, so if i collect a few algae rocks from local rivers, will there be any problems, (die-offs, taking over the tank, fish parasites etc.) should i quarantine the rocks? Should i add herbivorous fish to list of species to the tank (would love to watch grazing activity) If i want to add grazing herbivorous fish, what could i catch (In north NJ, compatible with small riffle fish) or buy?

"All good things must come to an end, but bad things think thats rather dull, so they stick around long after their natural end has come"

-From an art book I read

#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 18 May 2015 - 05:40 PM

you will not have any live snails in a tank full of darters...


you might not need them, but look into stonerollers for a grazing riffle fish...

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 strat guy

strat guy
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  • Orland Park, IL

Posted 18 May 2015 - 09:27 PM

I've just started, but I've had 2 stone rollers for about three weeks now, and while yeah they root around a bit, I would hardly call it grazing. I have a good amount of BBA and strand algae growing on my rocks and driftwood, but they seem largely disinterested. Don't know how effective they would be at actually controlling algae, I'm not counting on mine to even put a dent in it.

120 low tech native planted - Blackstriped Topminnow, Central Stoneroller, Fathead minnow, Golden Shiner, Black chin shiner, Carmine Shiner, Emerald Shiner, Sand Shiner, Spotfin Shiner, Orangethroat darter, Johnny Darter, and Banded Darter.

#4 mattknepley

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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:40 AM

I have come to be quite fond of the BBA that has established itself in my 55. It has taken a while, but the growth is now quite lush, and when the fish swim over it, or come to rest on it (thinking of the darters), it waves and swirls in a really attractive way. It is also fun to watch the darters prowl around in it. I can not keep it off slow growing plants, rocks and plastic, but other than that it is well behaved. It doesn't grow on the glass or sand and pebble substrate.

The regular brown and green algaes will show up, and are easily kept in check with standard tank maintenance. I have not found any native fish that is an effective algae eliminator, but my Bluehead Chubs recently went on a BBA bender. It was fascinating to see them eat the stuff. http://forum.nanfa.o...s-herbivore-on/

As for introducing parasites, et cetera, I used to be very paranoid about "wild rocks" and other collected materials. Not so much now. The risk is always there, I suppose, but honestly the biggest risk of pathogens and what not will actually be coming from the fish themselves.

As for snails, Michael's right. Darters will demolish any snail population you might introduce. The small ones are snacks and entrees; the ones that are too big to be taken down by the darters won't be able to reproduce enough to sustain the population on their own.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

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