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How to stay ahead of the game and avoid having algae problems in your aquarium.

(Hair algae above pic) will start growing--if too much light are provided or extra nitrogen that the plants can't use-up.

Under low lighting conditions, there will not be much photosynthesis going on, but some algae will persevere; and if the higher plants are not using up nutrients, there are more nutrients around for the algae to bloom.

It is easier to avoid algae in a tank planted with plants than a fish-only aquarium, if you try to treat a planted aquarium like a fish-only tank, your experience will be just the opposite.

We would not dream of trying to keep fish in an aquarium with little or no food or without a balanced nutritional diet. While many novices tend to overfeed the fish in their fish-only aquaria, the opposite extreme--lack of nutrition--is a certain course to failure and starvation does not promote good health.

 
  Java fern can grow above the water due to more CO2 at the water surface than below. Aquatic plants that can reach up to the surface will enjoy plentiful of CO2.

The E. parviflorus sword plant (below pic) grows to only about 6 inches if given plenty of light (more than 2 watts per gallon of high-quality fluorescent lighting). It is a sword suitable for the foreground in many aquascapes.

 
The same apply to aquarium plants
. They need a relatively balanced diet. And some things we try to avoid in fish-only tanks, namely phosphate and nitrates, are essential in a planted aquarium.

Does this mean fishes and plants need opposite conditions? Absolutely not. The amount of phosphate and nitrate that plants need is well below the levels that would ever harm fish.

Good plant nutrition calls for roughly 10 ppm of nitrates and 1 ppm of phosphates (for more information on this, see my column "Fuzzy Sword"). If you starve plants, they will use up the store of nutrition that they built up while growing at the nursery.

They may initially look very nice, yet after you bring them home, they will weaken and succumb prematurely if you starve them by not providing adequate phosphate and nitrates.

The small amounts of nutrients in the water will be used by one of the many types of algae that can grow in an aquarium. Often fish food is not enough therefore, plant nutrient supplementation is necessary.
 

 
 
Starve your plants, and you will grow algae. But is the opposite true? Can one feed the plants and avoid algae growth?

When we begin growing planted aquaria, many of people are having aquarium fish tanks without plants and avoid having any phosphate or nitrates, both that benefit fishes.

We can also apply minimal lighting that is just enough to make the fish pretty but not enough to help algae flourish. These practices can lead to problems in a planted aquarium that create algae blooms that seem persistent and incurable.

 
Siamese algae eaters (Crossocheilus siamensis) will eat black beard algae and other plant material. Notice that the black stripe extends all the way into the tail fin.
 
Welcome to the wonderful world of black beard algae.
Technically this is a kind of red algae classification does not define its appearance. This unwanted algae often shows up on older parts of plants and on slower-growing plants.
 
  Starve your plants, and you will grow algae. But is the opposite true, can one feed the plants and avoid algae growth?

You can avoid new algae, but algae already in your aquarium will use the nutrients just like the plants will.

You need to clean out the algae and keep feeding your plants. Tanks free of algae tend to stay that way if there are many healthy, well-fed plants in them.

Grow your plants to avoid algae, although it is not a perfect end to algae because algae spores are all around in your aquarium and cannot be avoided.

Moreover, you have to do water changes often enough to control the level of organic compounds that develop in the water.

How often depends on the fish load, but 50 percent once a month is a good rule of thumb in a slow-growing planted aquarium, and 50 percent weekly is a good rule of thumb for fast-growing aquaria with more than 2 watts per gallon of lighting and added CO2.

Clean up what algae that appear and give your plants the nutrition they need.

Algae will become one of the things you rarely think about, and you and your fish will have a beautiful garden to enjoy.

There is lot of algae build-up in my pond that lasts about six weeks. Would snails help to eliminate this problem? If so, can I use normal wild snails found in most outdoor lakes & ponds.

 
Combination of a silver dollar fish (Metynnis sp.) and plants are to be avoided, silver dollars have an appetite for plants.
 
Silver dollars are members of the order Characidae, subfamily Serrasalamidae, a subfamily that comprises piranha.

Although silver dollars are herbivorous, they still might find the long fins of other fish good teething for their sharp teeth. With silver dollars, the odds are high that you would end up with tattered plants and angels with broken "wings."

Silver dollars (Metynnis argenteus) are voracious plant eaters. They will tear into even the new growth on Java fern, which is a plant that most other herbivorous and omnivorous fish leave alone.

 
  How to avoid having algae in your aquarium? Starve your plants and algae will grow. But can one feed the plants and avoid algae growth?

How can I control the algae? My pond water becomes murky and over loaded with algae. My 10 ft X 5 ft pond contains six Koi fishes about 2 ft in length uses pH of about 7.0 rain water.

Donít Destroy Helpful Bacteria. Because the nitrosomonas and nitrobacter are the domineering bacteria populations in the biological filter.

Pruning and Planting. fern, stem or rosette are not trimmed the same way, liverwort Riccia fluitans are trimmed by merely separating a portion of the mass by pulling or snipping.

Freshwater Java fern (Microsorum pteropus) can suffer from Java fern melt if blue-green algae is present due to nutrient deficiencies.

 


Aquatic & Aquarium Tips

Healthy Plants Require Balanced Growing conditions. An unbalanced planted aquarium need a high level of lighting without adding carbon dioxide.

Using yeast fermentation bottle. You only need a couple of bottles to maintain good CO2 levels in a 92-gallon aquarium--great for growing fresh water aquarium plants and won't hurt your fishes.

 
Water Hardness, black or red algae affect your aquarium. Some sword plants growing from a riverbed that was pure calcium carbonate--yet, the swords were flourishing.

CO2 is only a problem for fishes if you add too much to the water. A good level for plants is about 20 to 30 ppm. CO2 doesn't stress fishes until the level gets to be about 50 ppm (parts per million).

 

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