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Algae problems in green sunfish tank


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#1 AvicLitee

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 06:30 PM

I have a 40 b planted tank with two green sunfish and a couple sponge filters for filtration. Ive been having a slime algae problem. I thought of upping the filtration or doing more frequent water changes, but I noticed of all my other tanks this one seems to have the fewest snails. I am wondering if the sunfish have been eating the snails (I feed them about every other day, rotating live insects, frozen food or pellets/flakes). These fish are very aggressive and killed a favorite fish in another tank. That is how they ended up in the 40 b by themselves. Is there anything that might be able to live with them that will graze on algae?

#2 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 08:09 PM

Bigger snails. Stoneroller's. Hate to suggest Pleco's but if the shoe fits. More frequent water changes. Light cycle change? Sounds like you have it pretty well figured out. Will adding dead leaves and other carbon help lock up nitrogen like it does in soil? Just curious about that. What about those Malaysian trumpet snails? Aren't they primarily nocturnal? In the substrate during the day and above at night? Would that give them a better chance surviving a diurnal predator?


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 littlen

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:47 PM

Algae is usually indicative of too much light and nutrients.  Doesn't sound like you're feeding too much, but not knowing your W/C schedule and or gravel vacc habits, there could be lots of 'sludge' in your gravel fueling the growth.  Cutting back on the light will help as Matt suggested.


Nick L.

#4 AvicLitee

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:50 PM

It looks like its in a 13 hour day now. I must have been experimenting with a shorter day but set it wrong. Im glad i checked! I have T5 dual lights on this tank. Trumpet snails! I have tons in my other tanks but this one is newer. I could catch some and move them. I have a huge pleco in the adjacent tank but the sunfish tank is really cold and Im worried that it might not be a good mix...pleco is at 72 with one fancy goldfish for company. My water parameters seem normal.

#5 AvicLitee

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:26 PM

I do a vacuum and 20%wc about every month.

#6 JasonL

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 11:23 PM

In my experience, plecos will adapt to 60-70 degree water temps fairly easily. When you get into the 50s you may be pushing your luck long term. I keep a fairly large one in my patio pond and just brought him inside for the winter. Water temp was mid 50s when I caught him.

#7 littlen

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 05:22 AM

Im not suggesting you dont have a very healthy tank, but I think we found your issue(s). Lots of detritus will accumulate in the gravel after a month of not vacuuming. And a good, general rule of thumb is ~10% w/c a week. So if your schedule is once a month you should aim for at least a 40 to 50% w/c. You have lot of fuel to grow algae (likely nitrates) and enough lighting to do the same. Cut back a few hours and try more frequent w/cs with gravel vaccing until the algae subsides. Youll find a sweet spot where it doesnt return. Easy fix.
Nick L.

#8 gerald

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:58 PM

What exactly do you mean by "slime algae"?  If it's a blue-green slime (Phormidium, Oscillatoria, etc) I don't know of any animal that reliably eats it, and it can get by with surprisingly little light.  Floating plants (Pistia, Limnobium, Salvinia, Najas) might be a good way to weaken it's advantage.  Limiting nutrient input is obviously NOT a feasible strategy with ever-hungry sunfish.


Gerald Pottern
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Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel





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