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 Pleco tank <- [Help please :)]

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Juvenile Bristlenose
Juvenile Bristlenose

Number of posts : 52
Location : Maidstone, England
Thank You Points : 0
Registration date : 2011-07-17

PostSubject: Pleco tank <- [Help please :)]   Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:53 pm

Hello Very Happy

Umm, I am posting because I have some issues right now with my tank so I would like to get some advice before I continue.

Tank details:

Jewel 180 - 180 litres
Pumps - 600 l/h internal and an extra 800 l/h internal
Substrate - Gravel
Caves - 3 Caves as well as 2 dark areas (1 currently being used by my flash pleco)
Wood - 1 unknown type of wood and 1 piece of driftwood with christmas moss (not looking healthy)

Inhabitants currently -

5 White cloud mountain minnows
1 Flash Pleco
3 Synodontis Petricola

What I plan to put in there -

Peppermint (currently 2-3 inches)
Snowball Pleco


So, the issue is, I have a fair algae and fungus problem. All over the bottom I keep getting like thin layers of brown algae. This stuff isn't fluffy, it's just like a cover. I also have what looks like a semi-transparent white fluffy algae which I have read up on and I assume is fungus. On the christmas moss and my plant (not sure of the name off the top of my head) is getting black hairy algae grow on it.

No matter how much I get rid of the algae, they are all growing straight back. I am currently doing a 25% water change weekly and change my filter pad weekly too.

The fungus also seems to cover the cucumber or courgette I put into the tank within 24 hours, hence my concern as the peppermint and pressumably the flash pleco should be eating them (even though the flash pleco doesn't seem to be eating anything).

ANY help is appreciated as I want to stop it before it gets out of control.

Thank you. Smile
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Male Number of posts : 3128
Age : 32
Location : Adelaide, South Australia
Job/hobbies : Aquatic ecologist/genetisist
Humor : yes please :)
Thank You Points : 198
Registration date : 2010-05-08

PostSubject: Re: Pleco tank <- [Help please :)]   Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:54 pm

ok, so lets break this down.

You are changing or cleaning the filter pad weekly? If you are changing it then stop that ASAP! rince it out in old tank water but put it back in. That is where all the good bacteria hide.

Second thing, the brown algae is actually a diatom and it thrives in unstable water with high silica levels. This is very common in tanks that are in the process of becoming settled. If you leave the tank to settle then you will find this stuff will go away with time.

The final issue, the fungus growing in the tank is an issue, no so much for the fact that the fish will eat it, they wont, they will avoid it. The issues is that you have a fungal load in your tank that is way too high. What you need to do is give the entire tank a really good clean. and i mean a really good clean. Take out all of the wood/rocks etc everything. give them a clean out of the tank. then give the gravel a really good vacuum to such up any waste that is acting as a stonghold for the fungus. I would avoid treating the tank as that will add an aditional stressor to the tank. When i get that stuff i simply give everything a good clean and it takes care of it for me. I would also hold off on feeding veges for a few days. just feed algae wafers or nothing at all for a few days after the big clean so that there is no new source for the fungi to take hold.

while doing this big clean i would leave the filters un touched as they will be the only thing stopping the tank from going into a cycle.

If you are constantly finding this to be an issue then get a UV steriliser and that will solve all of these issues!

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Pleco tank <- [Help please :)]
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