Is algae toxic for my ACF's? How do I get rid of it? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Is algae toxic for my ACF's? How do I get rid of it?

We've never had an algae problem until our air conditioning stopped working so for 3 days our tank spiked to 85.8 degrees. We took care of the high temp ASAP, but ever since we've had algae growing on the rocks. It's not extremely excessive, but it still makes me worry. We proceeded to buy a snail (which I'll admit I don't know much about) and he doesn't eat ANY of it. He seems to just be eating waste and some extra pellets. Would a proper type of snail help?

We clean the rocks by washing them in the boys own tank water, but we make it HOT. What is the proper way of taking care of algae and are there any products that you guys use/approve?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:53 PM
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Try washing them off in salt water. Freshwater algae won't survive.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:35 PM
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Algae can't harm them. The reason everyone tries to get rid of it is because it looks gross, not because it actually causes damage (unless, for example, you have live plants/corals that the algae might smother).

Turn the aquarium lights off for a few days (the frogs will be fine, they don't actually need light) and do some water changes, you'll get rid of it in no time . I actually don't recommend buying random snails to combat algae problems--different species have different needs and they usually don't eat it all, anyways. What kind of snail did you get? If you're keeping it long-term, make sure you research the species . They can be neat little guys!

As for the rocks, you can either:

-Scrub in boiling tap water

or

-Wash with a diluted bleach solution (wash very well and use dechlorinator afterwards)

Technically, copper will kill off algae, too (most products designed to get rid of algae contain it) but I would avoid it because there's a high chance you won't be able to remove all of it. This is bad in your case because frogs are sensitive to heavy metals (and it'd probably flat-out kill the snail).

Saltwater probably works, as Chinchi said, although I haven't personally tried it (although I have washed off saltwater rocks with freshwater, haha!).

By rocks I'm assuming you mean decorative rocks, by the way. If you're talking about your actual substrate (gravel), you can't do much besides wash it with tank water and vacuum it--using bleach or something could kill your beneficial bacteria.

Oh, and don't always assume algae growth is a bad thing. A little algae is actually useful--algae consume ammonia and nitrates, keeping things stable . They give off oxygen, too, like a plant.




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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 09:12 PM
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Personally I wouldn't use bleach in a frog terrarium. They absorb all sorts of things trough their skin.
(That's also why they are a good indicator for pollution. If an area is polluted, you will find fewer frogs than a clean area)

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchi View Post
Personally I wouldn't use bleach in a frog terrarium. They absorb all sorts of things trough their skin.
(That's also why they are a good indicator for pollution. If an area is polluted, you will find fewer frogs than a clean area)
Oh, definitely don't add it to the aquarium. But using diluted (very diluted, I'm not talking about the concentrations you clean with) bleach to wash decorations is fine provided they're washed very well. It's sometimes necessary when sanitizing an aquarium, for example. The dechlorinator should also remove any trace amounts of chlorine left.

It's definitely safer than any of the anti-algae products on the market.

As for me, though, I don't mind a little algae so I usually just leave it, lol.




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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasami View Post
Algae can't harm them. The reason everyone tries to get rid of it is because it looks gross, not because it actually causes damage (unless, for example, you have live plants/corals that the algae might smother).

Turn the aquarium lights off for a few days (the frogs will be fine, they don't actually need light) and do some water changes, you'll get rid of it in no time . I actually don't recommend buying random snails to combat algae problems--different species have different needs and they usually don't eat it all, anyways. What kind of snail did you get? If you're keeping it long-term, make sure you research the species . They can be neat little guys!

As for the rocks, you can either:

-Scrub in boiling tap water

or

-Wash with a diluted bleach solution (wash very well and use dechlorinator afterwards)

Technically, copper will kill off algae, too (most products designed to get rid of algae contain it) but I would avoid it because there's a high chance you won't be able to remove all of it. This is bad in your case because frogs are sensitive to heavy metals (and it'd probably flat-out kill the snail).

Saltwater probably works, as Chinchi said, although I haven't personally tried it (although I have washed off saltwater rocks with freshwater, haha!).

By rocks I'm assuming you mean decorative rocks, by the way. If you're talking about your actual substrate (gravel), you can't do much besides wash it with tank water and vacuum it--using bleach or something could kill your beneficial bacteria.

Oh, and don't always assume algae growth is a bad thing. A little algae is actually useful--algae consume ammonia and nitrates, keeping things stable . They give off oxygen, too, like a plant.

Hey! Thank you so much for all of the great advice!

---- When I 'm talking about rocks I'm talking about the bigger rocks we use for substrate (It's like this, but a little bigger : http://www.petco.com/product/107332/...t=OnSiteSearch)

---- Also, what type of snail would you recommend? I'd love to get a permanent snail! The little bugger we have is a "mystery snail". He's just small, round & black. I wish I knew what type he was! I know someone who might take him if we find another snail. I'd love to find the right snail for a 20 gallon tank, 74 degrees, rock substrate w/ tons of caves, 2 ACF's.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Can I use tap water that's had prime used on it to clean the rocks when we change the water? Basically the same water that would be going into the tank.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 02:13 PM
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Your snail is probably some type of apple snail and this website may help you identify him and figure out if he'd be appropriate for your tank: http://www.applesnail.net

I don't believe you have any live plants, correct? If that's the case, you don't need to be as selective species-wise since it won't matter if the snail is known to eat live plants. But if you're looking for something to actively eat algae, check out the different species on that website because some aren't really interested in algae (which may be the case with yours).

Yeah, washing it in treated water like that is fine.




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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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All this was great advice! I've been doing water changes, but it keeps coming back. It's not covering the tank it's on the rocks in the back and on the top of one of our caves, but I just worry about my boys so to me it looks excessive. Is there ever a point when it CAN get harmful or should I not worry at all as long as I'm doing proper water changes once a week and cleaning the rocks every 3 weeks or so?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudorocknroll View Post
All this was great advice! I've been doing water changes, but it keeps coming back. It's not covering the tank it's on the rocks in the back and on the top of one of our caves, but I just worry about my boys so to me it looks excessive. Is there ever a point when it CAN get harmful or should I not worry at all as long as I'm doing proper water changes once a week and cleaning the rocks every 3 weeks or so?
Technically, it could be harmful if you got a huge bloom and then a die-off (all that decay could cause an ammonia spike). But that's not a common occurrence, especially in a small freshwater set-up. It doesn't sound too bad to me...like I said, most people just hate algae for the looks!

What kind of lighting do you have? Maybe the tank is receiving too much light (is it near a window?).




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