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Algae Eating Crew

April 30th, 2012

Believe it or not, but this piece of African bogwood used to be completely covered by black brush algae (BBA). I got my act in order, and have been routinely dosing the tank for the past few months, cranked up the CO2, and added some extra Amano Shrimp and Zebra Nerite Snails. As a result, I’ve literally witnessed a daily receding of this BBA as the algae crew have fed.

BBA on Wood

What’s very interesting is that I still feed the catfish in this tank veggie wafers, but I guess either the catfish aren’t sharing, or the shrimp/snails prefer the BBA. I honestly believe that it’s the zebra nerites that are doing more BBA eating than anything else in the tank. I had never previously realized that zebra nerites had such an affection for BBA, but I’m quite pleased that the latest crew seem to enjoy it.

BBA on Wood

As I mentioned, I regularly feed algae wafers to the catfish in this tank. While the shrimp and nerites don’t seem to go after these provisions, the Malaysian Trumpet Snails cluster around the wafers. Today I watched one MTS slither over the back of a Red Lizard Catfish who was also yearn for some veggie goodness.

Snail climbing on Red Lizard Catfish

The take away is that in my tanks, algae is inevitable. I’m going to get lazy on my dosing, CO2 is going to run out, or I’ll let a filter go slightly too long between cleanings. It’s good to know that when this happens, I’ll get some help from Amano Shrimp and Zebra Nerite Snails to keep things looking decent. My laziness is their gain!




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Fish Room Update

April 8th, 2012

I was a good aquarium keeper this weekend, and did my weekly water changes, trimmed several plants, replanted others, and generally spent some time tank-watching. While, I wouldn’t equate my fish room to an ADA gallery, I’m slowing getting most of the tanks to a point where they’re generally pleasing to me.

75G Aquascape for Angels

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The 75G (my angelfish tank) is really looking wonderful. The bits of black-brush algae that had crept up on the hardscape are receding little-by-little every week thanks to more consistent dosing, water changes, and feeding. It probably doesn’t hurt that I added a few extra Amano shrimp and zebra nerites either. The angelfish are majestic, and are truly beautiful fish to watch. No fins get injured, but the seven large angels take and cede territory regularly throughout the day. Of course, when it’s feeding time, all seven crowd the front glass.

33G - Two Weeks After Rescape

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The recently rescaped 33G cube is in a mixed state right now. I think the fresh Aquasoil and tannins from the wood have made the tank pretty acidic. Some of the more delicately leaved plants like Didiplis diandre and HC have melted a little bit due to this. On the other hand, Rotala sp. ‘Yao Yaihas grown well, but I know the nitrate levels in the tank are elevated since it’s bright green without a tinge of red. None of the fish seem any worse for wear, but I’ve pulled out the test kits a couple times to monitor, and will do extra water changes if need be.

50G - Two Weeks After Rescape

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The other recently rescaped tank, my 50G has been growing well. I didn’t replace as much Aquasoil in this aquarium, so I don’t seem to have the same problems as in the 33G aquarium. All of the stem plants have grown in size. Unfortunately, the Blyxa japonica seems to be dominating the scape a little too much. I’m going to pull some of it out once the Ranalisma rostrata grows in, as it’ll provide a similar look without as much height.

40G Farm Tank

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Truth be told, one of the tanks I’ve gotten the most pleasure out of lately has been the jungle of my 40G farm tank. It has a little bit of thread algae in it, but the plants are looking stunning. I’ve been diligent about my trimming to keep any one plant from shading out the rest. I also recently (within the past six weeks) moved all ferns/anubias/etc to the left side of the tank, leaving the right side solely for stem and other desirable plants. In addition, I’ve been feeding the Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi blackworms, which has made the dominant male absolutely stunning. He patrols the tank all day long, trying to court females into depressions in the substrate or thick bushes of stem plants. There’s enough hiding places for the other fish to hide if they get tired of his aggressive behavior, however, so everyone’s happy.

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