Fish and other aquatic creatures

Algae in the aquarium: how to fight?

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Buying an artificial reservoir, most novice aquarists sooner or later face such a problem as the appearance of algae in the aquarium. Some of them believe that this will in no way disturb the internal ecosystem of the vessel, but it is not. First of all, such vegetation adversely affects the growth of plants, not to mention the development of various diseases and pollution of the aquatic environment. But, as a rule, all attempts to get rid of such a misfortune, end pitifully.

It would seem that there is nothing complicated here, but many novice aquarists do not know that the fight against algae in an aquarium should not take place without the thoughtless addition to it of various means that cause more problems, but by the phased implementation of certain actions. And in today's article we will consider what the algae are and how to competently deal with them.

We recognize the enemy in the face

Algae called the ancient group of lower plants, which not only appeared among the first on the planet, but also have excellent adaptability to various environmental conditions. At the moment in the artificial reservoir you can meet representatives of 4 algae departments:

  1. Green. This type includes unicellular or multicellular plants. In addition, green algae are not always parasites in the aquarium, as filamentous, but can also perform a decorative function.
  2. Red Representatives of this species are represented by bushy multicellular plants with a dark gray or reddish tinge. Because of what actually, they got their name. Not only do they perfectly perceive themselves in an aquatic environment with high rigidity, they can also cling to the glass of the aquarium, the curtains or the leaves of the rest of the vegetation.
  3. Diamat. Presented by unicellular or colonial vegetation brown shade.
  4. Cyanobacteria. Previously known as blue-green algae. Differ primitive structure and the presence of the nucleus in the cell.

It is also worth noting that no matter how aquarists try and what efforts they would make, black algae or representatives of any other species will surely appear in its artificial pond. The fact is that their disputes can get into the vessel as if they were replacing water, adding new decorative elements or even by air. Therefore, it is not worth much to panic when they are detected, because when performing certain procedures, you can easily get rid of such an affliction in an aquarium.

How to deal with them

If we talk about getting rid of diamate algae, then they will not become a serious problem even for beginners, given their high photophobia. Disposal of the blue-green film on plants or the soil formed due to the appearance of cyanobacteria consists in pouring 1-2 tablets of erythromycin into the vessel.

But as for the greens, it is necessary to fight them by reducing their population. And considering how quickly they multiply, this procedure causes certain difficulties even among experienced aquarists.

Application of fast growing vegetation

As a rule, plants, which grow rather quickly, absorb from the aquatic environment almost all the nutrients that are vital for algae. In consequence, after completing your task, fast-growing vegetation can be removed. But it is worth noting that the use of Anubias and Cryptocorins for this purpose is not recommended.

Important! For rapid absorption of nutrients by such plants, it is recommended to cut them regularly.

The use of fish that eat algae

Quite useful helpers in the fight against unwanted vegetation are some species that use lower vegetation as food. These include:

  1. Antsistrusov.
  2. Pterigoplichtov.
  3. Girinoheylusov.

But it is worth emphasizing that sometimes due to certain circumstances, these fish can change their habits and begin to devour leaves and higher plants. Therefore, they should not be considered a panacea in the fight against green algae.

Chemical methods

Sometimes biological methods of struggle do not bring the desired result, and green algae, for example, filamentous, continue to remain in a sufficiently large number in an artificial pond. In this case, to deal with them account for more effective methods, which include the use of:

  • hydrogen peroxide,
  • chlorine
  • glutaraldehyde.

Consider each of them separately.

Hydrogen peroxide

This chemical at the moment belongs to one of the most effective methods of combating unwanted vegetation. Not only is its price quite affordable, it can also be purchased at any pharmacy. It is also worth emphasizing that the standard dosage of the drug is 3%. For use in the aquarium will be enough and 1.5-12 mg / l. This amount will be enough to destroy most of the lower plants after the first treatment. In some cases, for example, for the destruction of a black beard, it will be necessary to carry out repeated procedures in combination with dimming. In addition, professionals recommend creating a strong circulation of water and its subsequent replacement.

It is worth emphasizing that most fish tolerate the use of peroxide without any problems, if it does not exceed the value of 30 ml / 100l. But It is worth noting that this substance takes almost all the oxygen from the aquatic environment. So, if small bubbles begin to appear on the surface, this is the first signal that the dose is somewhat too high.

It is also strictly forbidden to leave an artificial reservoir unattended. If the fish begin to experience difficulty in breathing, then you need as soon as possible to replace most of the water in the aquarium and create a strong aeration. In addition, if there is a large accumulation of higher plants in an artificial reservoir, then the ideal dose would be 20 ml / 100 l.

Remember that increasing the dose can be fatal for many inhabitants of the aquarium.

The use of this chemical can have both positive and negative points. And first of all it depends on the quality of the purchased product and the conditions of its storage. It is recommended to apply in the ratio to 1:30. Also, before starting to use it, it is better to make a small check.

For this purpose, you can take a few algae from the aquarium and put them in a separate vessel in which to add diluted chlorine to it. If the vegetation has received a white shade, then you need to dilute the chlorine by 4 times more. The ideal dose is the one that leaves the natural color of the alga after 2 minutes. It is desirable to use it in an artificial reservoir no more than 1 time to exclude the death of all the inhabitants of the vessel.

Glutaric aldehyde

Modern means for keeping any aquarium clean. This substance copes with green algae. But it should be emphasized that some species of lower plants can offer him quite a serious resistance. To combat such algae, it is necessary to take it in strictly defined areas for 2-3 weeks. Also important is the fact that the use of this substance not only does not affect the Ph of water in any way, but also perfectly prevents the process of oxidation of iron.

It is worth noting that for the destruction of algae is enough to use 5ml / 100l for several days. To get rid of greens, you need to slightly increase the dose to 12ml / 100 and use the drug for 7-8 days. Add it best in the morning.

Important! Do not forget about making regular water changes and conducting enhanced aeration.

Finally, I would like to note that a few can protect the artificial reservoir from the appearance of algae in them by carrying out a decontamination procedure of both new plants and decorative elements added to it.

Algology tour

Why do algae sometimes capture an aquarium?

The laws of nature are such that living organisms settle everywhere where suitable conditions exist for them. The main thing you need to live algae:

Obviously, all this is in any aquarium.

Algae compete with flowering plants for light and macronutrients. Since the latter are more complex and highly organized, in favorable conditions they triumph in this competitive struggle, holding back the growth of their more primitive microscopic ancestors, taking away their nourishment.

However, they are older, smarter, more enduring, patient, and less demanding. These, of course, are not properties of their character, but features of biology. Algae can form various types of spores and other structures that can survive adverse times, they need to illuminate a different spectrum, they have other, faster ways of reproduction. And if the conditions in the aquarium are not ideal for higher flora, there will certainly be crimson, diatoms or cyanobacteria, which will not delay to take advantage of this.

There are several sections of algae with different colors depending on the pigments they contain. Next, we describe what the representatives of different departments in the aquarium look like and what conditions cause outbursts of their numbers.

Blue-green (cyanobacteria)

Their cells do not have nuclei, so these organisms in the row of algae stand apart. In fact, they are bacteria that have acquired the ability to photosynthesis (in the course of it, with the help of light energy, sugars are formed from water and carbon dioxide in living cells). Despite their low position on the evolutionary ladder, these creatures are extremely tenacious and plastic, and the damage they can do to an aquarium is difficult to overestimate.

Cyanobacteria form mucous membranes covered with large gas bubbles of a dark green or bluish film on the walls of the aquarium, soil, plant leaves, decorations. All this beauty (and in this sight there really is something fascinating, alien) delays the artificial reservoir at an incredible speed, emitting a tangible stench. The outbreak of these organisms can severely harm plants and fish even in natural conditions (cyanobacteria are the main cause of water blooming in the summer heat), and in an aquarium this is just a disaster that needs to be fought urgently, and to save fish from death.

Red (rhodophyta)

They are also called purple. In nature, they are predominantly marine organisms, very complex and uniquely arranged, with interesting life cycles, and simply incredibly beautiful. The aquariums are inhabited by such unsightly representatives as Vietnamese and black beard, which are rather nasty brown or almost black tassels, bundles of threads, fringe on the walls, leaves of plants and underwater objects. Vietnamese threads are usually short, 5-10 mm, collected in brushes or bushes, and in a black beard they are long, up to several centimeters, often branched. Because of the invasion of purple flowers, everything in the aquarium looks dirty and untidy, and the plants, covered with a solid carpet of these algae, lose their ability to photosynthesis and die rather quickly.

Diatom (brown) algae in the aquarium

Diatoms are unicellular organisms that have a silicon shell in the form of a box, many of which are capable of movement. The significance of diatoms in natural marine ecosystems is simply colossal, since they constitute a significant proportion of plankton and form a huge part of the organic matter of the earth (about a quarter), and their shells after dying are the basis of sedimentary rocks.

But in artificial reservoirs they, like their counterparts from other departments of lower plants, are unwanted guests. Brownish or brown algae in the aquarium, forming a slimy coating, especially in poorly lit places, often near the bottom - these are, as a rule, diatoms. (By the word “brown” - we mean only color, and not systematic belonging, since Brown Alga proper is a separate department of highly developed marine organisms with large bodies, thalluses).

Chlorophytes (green) algae in the aquarium

In its structure is closest to higher plants. They form fringing fouling, bunches, balls and strands of thin threads or films of different shades of green color on aquarium glass, soil elements, plants, stones, snags, decorations or a green suspension, from which water becomes cloudy and changes color (the so-called water bloom).

Combating algae in an aquarium

When describing the algae departments, we intentionally described in such detail what conditions the representatives of each of them need in order to breed in an aquarium to a significant amount (there are always a small number of these organisms in the aquarium, but they do not spoil the beauty and do not interfere with other inhabitants). Obviously, in order to cope with the invasion of crimsons, diatoms or their brethren, these conditions in the aquarium must be changed. And the most important thing is to plant a large number of living higher plants and create conditions under which they can successfully compete with algae and thereby control their numbers. The following steps will help change the balance of power in favor of the plants.

Light Adjustment

It is necessary to move the light parameters in the direction uncomfortable for algae and convenient for plants. In the case of purple and diatoms, the strength and duration of the illumination need to be increased by more careful selection of lamps or installation of additional ones. Lamp maxima should be in the blue and red regions of the spectrum. In the case of strong development of chlorophyte fouling, the light intensity and the duration of the light period, on the contrary, decrease.

When water blooms or flashes of cyanobacteria, the lamps turn off completely for several days, sometimes the aquarium is additionally covered with a cloth or paper so that even scattered sunlight and room light cannot reach it. Higher plants will survive this (except for the most delicate ones, which it is better to remove to another container so far), and the algae will die.

Nutrients

To inhibit the growth of the lower algal flora in the aquarium, you need to observe the balance of nutrients. Dissolved organics in water should be as small as possible, and macroelements (nitrogen and phosphorus compounds) should be sufficient, but not excessive. This requires regular cleaning of the aquarium, siphon of the bottom, water changes by a quarter or third per week, depending on the density of the aquarium population.

The lack of nutrients in the aquarium is less common than their excess, and is usually observed in herbalists with a very high planting density and a small animal population. In such situations, the issue is solved by fertilizer, while they must be placed in the ground, directly to the roots of plants. Accurately used and currently available aquarium tests can accurately measure the concentration of various compounds in water.

Carbon dioxide

The introduction of CO2 into the aquarium with the help of various devices provides the plants with a source of carbon and, in the presence of good lighting, can significantly change the balance of forces in their favor. In addition, carbon dioxide acidifies water, which also usually adversely affects the lower flora and beneficially - on the higher.

In addition to these basic measures aimed at improving the conditions for plant growth and normalizing the overall situation in an aquarium, for the fight against algae are used:

  • mechanical removal from surfaces using a scraper or toothbrush,
  • settling algae fish in the aquarium (otzinklyusy are effective against diatoms, CAE against purple and filamentous chlorophyte, labo and hirinoheylus - against scale greens) or, in the case of water flowering, branchy daphnia,
  • in rare cases (for example, an outbreak of cyanobacteria or blooming of water) the use of chemical methods of control — antibiotics and algaecides, as well as an ultraviolet sterilizer is justified.

It must be said that the mass development of cyanobacteria is a reason for taking emergency measures: in addition to the already mentioned complete darkening and use of the antibiotic and sterilizer, it is necessary to deprive algae of nutrients as much as possible. To do this, stop feeding the fish in the aquarium (it is generally better to remove the fish for a while), set the filter power to a minimum, at the same time turning on aeration, do not change the water. Already after the death of most of the blue-greens, a general cleaning of the aquarium with a deep siphon of the soil and the replacement of most of the water is carried out.

But such measures to destroy algae give only a temporary effect, which quickly passes without normalizing the overall balance of the aquarium. Поэтому при всём уважении к древнему происхождению и огромной экологической роли водорослей давайте попытаемся создать в нашем аквариуме такие условия, при которых комфортно себя будут чувствовать не они, а те, ради кого мы и заводим наши комнатные водоёмы — высшие растения и рыбы.

Какие бывают виды водорослей

Водоросли (algae) являются простейшими растениями и бывают размерами от микроскопических одноклеточных до 70-метровой морской травы. Особенностью водорослей является их умение приспосабливаться к различным условиям и быстрое размножение. Многие виды водорослей способны, в виде спор, распространяться из одного водоема в другой по воздуху. Algae are able to live in any water - fresh, salty, clean, dirty, stagnant and fast flowing. They can grow on objects and plants, and they can float in the water column (green water) or on its surface.

Algae usually give the aquarium an unaesthetic appearance (although they are found everywhere in nature) or serve as an indicator of poor water quality.

The following are the main types of algae in the aquarium. They are grouped by distinctive features. No scientific names are given (there are too many, and they are not needed for a successful fight against them).

Diatoms

Brown algae that cover the surface of stones, glass, etc. Usually appear in a new aquarium or with a lack of light. Their presence also indicates a high level of silicates in the aquarium, since there is a lot of silicon in their cells. You can get rid of them quite easily - by increasing the lighting level of the aquarium (other algae may appear). If this does not help, then the next step is to use a filter that absorbs silicates. In the new aquarium they will disappear themselves in a few weeks. Group catfish - Otocinclus will clean all surfaces in a few days.

Blue Green Algae

These algae are, in fact, bacteria (they are now even separated into a separate category). They can be of different colors (normal dark). Their distinctive characteristics are that they are slippery to the touch and smell like the unclean smell of a rotting swamp. They are lego separated from the items on which they grow. These algae can absorb nitrogen from the air. therefore, a low level of nitrates for them is not a hindrance. They are usually characteristic of high pH aquariums - alkaline water, although they can also be found in other water. If you do not fight them, they quickly cover all surfaces, leading to the death of plants and releasing toxins dangerous to fish. The presence of such algae is an indicator of poor water quality, the presence of large amounts of organic matter in it. Algae-eating fish ignore the blue-green algae - they are painfully unappetizing in appearance and taste.

Fortunately, the struggle with them is not difficult. An antibiotic (2.5-5 mg / litr of erythromycin or half the dose intended to treat an infection) usually cleans the tank overnight. This will cause a large amount of decaying organic matter, besides the antibiotic may have an impact on bio-filtration, so get ready to change the water in large quantities.

Green water

These algae occur in the presence of bright light and a sufficient amount of nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) in the water. This usually occurs in a newly launched aquarium, when the biological filter is not working or when something has affected it, and in the presence of bright light. for example, if an aquarium stands on a window and is illuminated by the sun. These algae are of various types, including blue-green (bacteria).

The change of water does not usually lead to an improvement in the situation, however, with a regular change of water and cleaning the soil, the situation is corrected. To quickly destroy algae, you can turn off the light for several days. At the same time it is necessary to blow air from the compressor, since the amount of carbon dioxide increases. After that, you need to change the water because of the large amount of rotting organics in the aquarium.

Another way is to launch daphnia in the aquarium. They clean water from algae quickly enough. Fish, of course, must be removed from the aquarium.

Filtering through a diatom filter or using a UV sterilizer (dose 30000 µWSec / cm 2) will help solve the problem with these algae.

We must remember that, as in the situation with other algae, constant attention to the quality of water in the aquarium is necessary.

Black beard

This type of algae (although several species are meant by this name) is one of the most disliked aquarists, since it is very difficult to fight. At first, these algae cover the edges of slow-growing plants, like Anubias, or grow in small bunches. Then they cover all the plants in the aquarium, giving it an ugly look. For fish they are not dangerous.

Mechanically remove these algae is almost impossible. Blackout or chemistry with them, in principle, can be fought, but then they will grow back. Some fish (siamese algae eater, for example) are supposedly eating it, but on the condition that they are not fed anymore.

The following describes a method for successfully combating these algae.

Other algae species (filamentous, etc.)

These algae are of many species (hair algae, thread algae - filamentous algae, etc.). Hair algae, bright green, growing on bunches of soil, stones, etc. Easily removed mechanically or eaten by algae fish. Thread algae, dark in color, grows in long individual threads. It is easily removed mechanically and usually serves as an indicator of excess iron in water (0.1-0.2 mg / l).

Algae growing on small islands on glass are considered normal for a plant aquarium and are easily controlled by scraping (be careful if you have a Plexiglas aquarium) using a razor or a special scraper. Usually it should be done on the front glass. Fish, such as antsistrusy, etc., will help keep the glass clean.

The algae control method described below allows you to control these algae, like all the others.

What are the chemical means of struggle and how are they bad

There are several chemical agents to combat algae. Most of them are adapted from fish farming, where you have to struggle with overgrowing ponds. An example is simazine, available under various brands for aquariums.

Unfortunately, these drugs act on different algae in different ways and are not always effective. In addition, these drugs have a negative effect on plants, causing the death of some plants. Such as kabomba or vallinsneria, in the case of using simazin, which affects the process of photosynthesis.

The main disadvantage of these drugs is that they do not eliminate the causes of the appearance of algae (excess nutrients for algae in the water) and, accordingly, they will appear again from the spores. The use of these preparations can be recommended, as the last available remedy, in cases when it is necessary to quickly get rid of the algae and then continue the fight biologically, as described below.

Other ways are disinfecting plants in bleach. Some use hydrogen peroxide to control some types of algae.

What is the basis of the way to fight a black beard

This method is based on the fact that the growth of plants and algae in an aquarium is limited by the available macro- (nitrates, phosphates, potassium) and micro-fertilizers (iron, etc.). Moreover, according to the law of Liebig (it seems), plant growth is limited to one element, i.e. if there is a lack of iron in the tank, then an excess of nitrates, etc. will not cause plant growth, and at the same time, these excess substances will be available to algae.

In the presence of a sufficient amount of nutrients, light, carbon dioxide, higher plants are ways to get ahead of algae in the fight for nutrients (especially phosphorus), which leads to the death of algae.

Of the two macronutrients, the most important are nitrates and phosphates. If there is poor filtration in the aquarium and it is not cleaned, then there is a lot of organic matter in the water that causes the growth of algae, such as blue-green. However, with good bio-filtration, phosphates and nitrates are in excess in the aquarium. These substances are obtained as a result of the vital activity of fish (which release ammonia and ammonium, which is converted to nitrates by bio-filtration) and from substances found in the food of fish.

Phosphates, even at low concentrations (0.5-1 mg / l) lead to the growth of algae. Therefore, the most stable aquarium. if in it the growth of plants (and algae, respectively) is limited to phosphates. Plants are able to absorb even the smallest amounts of phosphates, depriving them of algae. As practice shows, if the aquarium is limited to nitrates, iron or potassium, then algae will inevitably appear in such a system, since plants cannot digest organic matter from water.

This is the basis of the biological control of algae - by maintaining an optimal balance of fertilizers, light and CO.2.

The same principles are based on the method of effective bio-filtration of an aquarium using plants.

How to get rid of black beard

First of all, patience and hard work are needed. With a running aquarium, it may take several weeks, or even months, to balance it. Paraphrasing Lenin's famous article on Marxism (whoever studied this rubbish, he remembers), one can say that there are three sources and three component parts of anti-black borodism. Three sources - patience, work and head on their shoulders (as in all aquarium affairs). Three components - fertilizer, light, carbon dioxide. Light and carbon dioxide are treated separately. They are necessary conditions for successful algae control. It must be remembered that if one of the conditions is not fulfilled, for example, in the presence of light and fertilizers, but without carbon dioxide, it will be very difficult or impossible to overcome the algae.

The main idea is discussed above. In practice, this boils down to the following points (despite their seeming complexity, it is easy to implement them in practice):

  • Maintain cleanliness in the aquarium, remove from it organic matter, nitrates, phosphates, etc., which is eaten up by algae - change the water. Initially, when running aquarium, you may need a daily change of 10-25% per cent of water. A weekly replacement of 10-25% is necessary and in the absence of algae. Limit the amount of food, it should be given as much as the fish can eat in 3-5 minutes, the fish very rarely die of starvation (from overeating much more often). Clean the bottom of the remnants of feed and dirt. This can be done every time you change the water. Get fish that will pick up leftover food from the bottom. Think about it - maybe it makes sense to reduce the number of fish in the aquarium in order to reduce the amount of dirt. Make sure that the water you pour into the tank does not contain nitrates or phosphates. Otherwise there is no point in replacing water. You can find out the water parameters by measuring them or by contacting the waterworks. If nitrates / phosphates are present in the water, then it is necessary to think about filtering it through ion exchangers or using distilled water (with the addition of calcium salts, etc., to ensure its rigidity). Water change is the most important condition for success.
  • Use more light. Despite the fact that light causes the growth of green algae, a sufficient amount of it is necessary for plant growth. Green algae then go away themselves. On average, necessary (depending on the type of plants and the amount of CO2) 0.5-1 W / liter fluorescent light. Light should be no more than 10-12 hours a day.
  • Install the system with CO2. It is absolutely not necessary to run to buy a corporate balloon for big money. A simple bottle of yeast is enough for successful plant growth.
  • Add fast growing plants. Anubias and cryptocoryne algae do not win - for this we need plants that suck nutrients from the water. Then they can be removed. Regularly cut like plants - young shoots absorb nutrients from the water more actively. For long stem plants. You can remove the bottom and plant the top in the ground.
  • Feed plants with fertilizer. Plants need them for successful growth. use the prepared mixture, making sure that it does not contain phosphates (your task is to limit their amount). The presence of nitrate mixture depends on their level in the aquarium. Usually they are not needed. Good commercial mixtures do not contain phosphates and nitrates. Fertilizers should not be used for ordinary plants - they contain a lot of phosphates / nitrates. The presence of potash fertilizers is necessary - they are very important for plant growth and usually in an aquarium in short supply. They can be added in excess (within reasonable limits), they do not lead to the growth of algae. Microelements are absolutely necessary - especially iron, without which plants do not grow. One way is to use the finished mixture. This is more convenient for beginners. You can make the mixture yourself, which allows you to vary the elements, adapting to specific conditions - especially the level of nitrates, which should be about 5 mg / l. The zero level of nitrates leads to the fact that plants stop consuming phosphates and this leads to the growth of algae.
  • Try not to allow the leaching of nutrients from the soil. Plants are able to absorb substances from the soil, and algae that do not have roots - only from water. Therefore, do not use a strong flow bottom filter (UGF, RUGF). Add fertilizer (clay balls) to the soil. Make the best soil for plants.
  • Get algae-eating fish, such as Siamese seaweed (siamese algae eater), antsistrus, etc. Let them do some of the work.
  • Do not allow the introduction of algae with new plants. They can be disinfected. Blackbeard is not covered by air disputes. Fish in any case must be kept in quarantine. In this case, it is necessary to change the water, allowing them to empty the stomachs, where there could be algae spores. Equipment - such as nets, etc. It is necessary to disinfect, in order not to bring algae (and other infections) from one aquarium to another.

Adhering to these rules, it is possible to defeat algae in an aquarium and maintain an aquarium full of plants and without traces of algae.

In the case of a black beard, it usually begins to turn white and then fall off after a few weeks, replacing it with green algae. They then disappear too.

What should be the level of nitrates

As mentioned above, in the aquarium should not be a zero level of nitrates. In this case, they may be a limiting factor in plant growth and the absorption of mime phosphates will stop. Such a situation may occur in a heavily overgrown aquarium (especially fast-growing plants), with an insufficient number of fish. Of course, a zero nitrate level does not mean that plants do not receive them. It only indicates that plants absorb nitrates (and ammonia / ammonium / nitrites, without waiting for their conversion to nitrates as a result of bio-filtration) at the same rate or faster than they are produced in the system. As practice shows, a small level of nitrates (about 2-5 mg / l) is desirable in the aquarium. to have confidence. that phosphates are the limiting factor in the growth of plants (and algae). Usually, when the level of nitrates is zero, an increase in the level of phosphates in water begins after a few days. When adding nitrates - it again drops to zero. If the phosphates are at a zero level in the aquarium, the presence of nitrates will not cause algae growth.

Check nitrate levels if suspected. that they are missing. A sign of a shortage of nitrates is yellowing and dying off of old leaves - they somehow dissolve in water (due to the migration of nitrogen compounds to young leaves). In such a case, nitrates should be added - KNO3 is best.

How to disinfect purchased plants

Along with the quarantine of new fish, disinfecting plants is a good practice. This can be done using bleach (sodium hypochlorite, bleach) - the liquid used to wash baths and toilets. A 5% bleach solution is diluted 1:20 with water and immersed the plants for a couple of minutes. Then rinse thoroughly with running water. Some plants (especially long-stemmed ones with soft leaves — elodiea, cabomba) do not tolerate such a procedure — therefore, time must be shortened (or not used). This procedure does not destroy some species of algae (for example, blue-green - but they are immediately noticeable when a plant is purchased). Blackbeard is destroyed like a bath. This procedure can be used periobically - for example, to remove a black beard from Anubias, which is usually its first victim. Anubias passes the procedure without problems.

You can also use potassium permanganate and hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach.

Fish eating algae

To control the algae in the aquarium, you can (and even need) keep the fish in the menu which includes algae. These fish include:

Various soma, especially antsistrusy. It is easy to identify them by the presence of a shrub in front of the head of the males. They are happy to polish glass and objects in the aquarium from algae, especially the hungry.

Otocinclus affinis / Otto-cat

Ottozink shown in the picture. This little catfish (there are several varieties) resembles a bulldozer, scrubbing leaves and glass 24 hours a day. It is best to keep a few catfish in the aquarium. Unlike the rest of the fish, I have never seen them eat something different from being scraped from plants. I did not see any particular benefit from them, since they do not want to eat hard algae. But there is no harm from them, and a flock of such catfish looks quite funny.

Siamese Seaweed / Crossocheilus Siamese / Siamese algae eater (SAE)

Siamese seaweed eats black beard. This fish is shown in the picture. Unfortunately, under this name several fish are often sold.

У сиамского водорослееда, черная полоса ИДЕТ ДО САМОГО КОНЦА ХВОСТА и имеет зигзагообразыне зазубрины, брюшко светлое и спинка коричневого оттенка, каждая чешуйка имеет черные края. Плавники прозрачные. Рыба имеет слабо развитый плавательный пузырь, поэтому она находится в движении. Отдыхает она на дне или на листьях в положении с приподнятой головой, опираясь на плавники. Рыбы часто гоняются друг за другом, но они не агрессивны. Когда рыба испугана, то полоса приобретает серый оттенок. Рыба имеет пару маленьких усиков.

Chinese seaweed / Gyrinocheilus aymonieri / Chinese algae eater

The main external difference of this fish from the Siamese seaweed is the absence of a black band, the presence of brown or dark spots on the sides and a large mouth-sucker. This fish is usually located near the bottom. The fish eats algae (it is noted that it eats green, but not black beard) when young. Adults prefer live and artificial food and are extremely aggressive towards other fish, often sticking to large and slowly swimming fish.

The main problem of fish that eat algae is that they quickly understand that food falling from above is much more tasty than the hard algae that you are trying to feed them with. From this point on, the beneficial qualities of the seaweed are dramatically decreasing.

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Types of aquarium algae with photos

As previously mentioned varieties of algae very much. They number more than thirty thousand species! Below are the most common algae, the reasons for their appearance in the aquarium and the individual characteristics of solving problems with them.

But, first classification. Due to the abundance of algal mass, they were simply divided by the color of the thallus (thallus) into:

- Diatoms - Diatomeae,
- Brown algae - Phaeophceae,
- Green algae - Chlorophceae,
- Yellow-green algae - Xantophceae,
- Red algae - Rhodophceae,
- Golden algae - Chrysophceae,
- Blue-green algae - Cynophceae,

Brown or diatom algae

These are the simplest and, if I may say so, harmless algae. They are placed at the very top of the list, as they often appear among beginners in young aquariums. The first reason for their appearance is the lack of lighting, the second is the lack of a tuned biobalance in young aquariums. nitrogen cycle.
As soon as the young aquarium tunes or lighting is added, the diatoms will disappear. You can remove them mechanically and with the help of snails.

Filamentous algae (in people - filamentous)

This is the most common type of filamentous algae that attack an aquarium. At first it looks like green down, then like long green strings. When they occur, it is recommended to apply the above described methods of struggle. As well as in the literature it is noted that this alga is due to the lack of macro elements. Surprisingly, but in particular, phosphates and nitrates (which all remove). There is a positive effect when adding them. In advanced cases, algicidal preparations are used.

It has branching and does not have long strings. As a rule, it appears in aquariums with poor filtration, poor water flow and the presence of stagnation zones, where it “blooms”.
It is possible to get rid of it by eliminating negative factors, by mechanical means (by hand) and algicide.

This seaweed is very nasty and not only because it is slimy and green, but also because it grows with a geometric progression. It is difficult to withdraw - neither algaecide, nor SAE will help. It is difficult, but you can defeat it mechanically: we collect it with our hands, rubbing it with our fingers (it is fragile), and wipe it from the bottom. As an additional measure of control helps: turning off the lights, fish and algae shrimp.

Ksenokokus - green bloom on the walls of the aquarium


Already with this seaweed face everything and beginners and pros. It appears from the excess of illumination or the wrong daylight mode. At the same time, plant biomass does not play a role. It appears in aquariums, as with lush vegetation, and in the aquarium with "three rastyuchkami."
Recommendations for combating xenococcus (the correct name is colechet) are general: reduce, adjust daylight hours, algaecide, mechanical cleaning, fish and shellfish helpers, frequent water changes.

How to get rid of algae in the aquarium?

For example, algae of the genus Aufwuchs (from German - growing on something), grow on solid substrates, such as rocks, in both fresh and salt water. Algae, especially green and diatoms, are the main habitat for small crustaceans, rotifers, and the simplest forms of life. A lot of aquarium dwellers intensively feed on surfaces overgrown with algae. Lake Malawi cichlids, widely known as fish adapted to algae feeding. Examples of the type, Labeotropheus trewavasae and Pseudotropheus zebra, are very characteristic. They have hard teeth that allow you to tear off algae from rocks. Mollies seek algae glades and pluck them. In the marine environment, algae are an important part of the nutrition of sea urchins, sea worms and chitons.

I stimulated algae fouling in my tsikhlidnik, to create a natural environment, and got the right amount of nitrica and diatoms. Thus, depending on the species of fish and habitat from the habitat, growing algae may even be desirable. Algae are an absolutely necessary part of the diet of species such as mollies, African cichlids, some Australian fish, and soma, such as ancistrus or otocyclus. Frequent water changes reduce the amount of nitrates in the water and reduce the growth of algae. In a well-balanced aquarium richly overgrown with plants, the balance of minerals is in balance, the surplus is consumed by plants and algae. And since higher plants always consume more nutrients than algae, the growth of the latter is limited.

Green algae in an aquarium or xenococus

Located in most aquariums in the form of green dots or green film. These algae love a lot of light. Green algae grow only if the amount of light and nitrates exceeds the level that higher plants can absorb. In densely planted aquariums, green algae develops extremely poorly, since higher plants consume nutrients and absorb the light necessary for the rapid growth of green algae. Without condemning the use of plastic plants in an aquarium, I note that living plants look better and create the conditions for the normal development of the entire biosystem.
However, they can massively develop in aquariums with CO2 systems, due to fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels during the day. An outbreak of green algae growth can occur suddenly, especially when the level of phosphate and nitrate in the water is elevated. Usually they look like green dots covering the surface of the glass and the bottom of the aquarium. Recommended means of struggle - reducing the amount of light and the length of the day, and mechanical cleaning - with special brushes or blade.

Mollies and somas, for example, ancistrus, eat green algae very well, and I keep a few specially for this purpose. Neretina snail is also excellent with xenococus and other algae.

Brown algae in the aquarium

Brown algae grows quickly if there is too little light in the aquarium. They look like a brown bloom covering everything in the aquarium. Usually, light-loving plants are in poor condition or disappear. Plants that tolerate blackout well, such as Javanese moss, pygmy anubias, and other types of anubias, can be covered with brown foil; hard Anubias leaves can be rubbed to get rid of brown algae. Again, aquarium cleaners, antsistrusy or ottsinklyusy will help well. But the simplest solution is to increase the intensity and duration of daylight. Usually brown algae quickly disappear, one has only to bring the lighting in order.

Brown algae are very often formed in young aquariums with an unstable balance (younger

3 months), with the wrong spectrum of lamps and with too long daylight. An even greater increase in daylight hours can lead to even worse consequences.

Flip flops in the aquarium

Frequent guest in new aquariums with unstable nitrogen cycle. By nature, it is close to a black beard and therefore methods of dealing with it are similar. Reducing nitrate levels by cleaning the soil, replacing water and filtering it with a powerful filter.

Flip flops in all its glory

So grows Vietnamese

  • First, the Vietnamese at times more tenacious than a beard. It does not kill even a month in total darkness. It is tough, strong and tightly attached to any surface.
  • Secondly - nobody eats it, except for 1-2 species of snails.
  • Thirdly - the reason for the appearance. Flip flops are usually brought from other aquariums.
  • Why grow algae in an aquarium

    • An aquarium with a large number of aquarium plants, algae will still be there, but they will not grow rapidly.
    • Good aeration of water - high oxygen content inhibits algae growth.
    • Filtration and mixing of water to remove organic residues and nitrates
    • Full coverage - no more than 12 hours a day, and with sufficient power.
    • A moderate number of fish in the aquarium, with a large number they create nitrates, which do not have time to digest by plants.
    • Fish that feed on algae - molly, antsistrusy, loricaria, CAE (Siamese algae), ottsinklusy, hirinoheylus.
    • Moderate feeding, rotting food residues - the main supplier of nitrates.
    • Regular cleaning of the aquarium and replacement of the water.

    Algae in the new aquarium

    In the newly launched aquariums, the nitrogen cycle has not yet been established, and the probability of an algal outburst is especially high in them.

    By itself, the appearance of algae in the new aquarium is normal. In the first 2-10 weeks since the launch of the new aquarium, you can see the rapid growth of brown algae. This happens if the level of nitrates in water exceeds 50 mg per liter. Filtration and partial replacement of water solve this problem.

    As soon as the plants take root and grow, they will take food away from the algae and the growth of the latter will slow down or stop. In a well-established aquarium, there is always a struggle for balance between plants and algae.

    Fish that help fight algae in an aquarium:

    In addition, the plants snail neretina perfectly cleaned.

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