Algae control with DPs

Non puffer freshwater discussion. Don't tell your puffers, they'll be jealous!
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TwistOfF8
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Algae control with DPs

Post by TwistOfF8 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:31 pm

I have five Dwarf Puffers in a 15 gal Fluval Flex tank. I've had them for about a year. I'm getting a lot of algae buildup in the tank, it's a thick blue green coating that covers the substrate (black sand), plants and decor. I always end up sucking out what seems like half a pound of the stuff every time I do a water change, but if there's even a scrap left it spreads and covers the entire tank within 24-48 hours. I do weekly 33% water changes, sometimes extra ones if there's a lot of algae or food buildup.

So far I've tried snails: Japanese trapdoor (they burrow under the sand and stay there, I only see them if I stir up the sand) and Thorny Nerites. The puffers can't hurt the Nerites but they don't eat much algae, preferring left over food and waste.

I tried a Siamese Algae Eater knowing that there was a good chance the puffers would attack it, but the tank is densely planted with several ornaments with hiding spots. It didn't make a dent in the algae either, but the puffers made a dent in it, so it was moved to my other big community tank (where it promptly made dents in my beautiful adult koi angelfish and wouldn't leave my giant danios alone).

I also tried adding a phosphate remover pad to my filter. No change, even though it works in my community tank. I'm careful not to overfeed. My DPs get thawed bloodworms (they won't eat anything else), but I only give them what they'll eat in about 10 mins, maybe 20 worms. The rest go to my betta and my community tank. The Flex tank has a very customizable LED light, I've turned the brightness down and have experimented with blue, green and red light - no difference.

I'm thinking of trying a submersible UV light, because this tank has a sump style filter in the back and I can fit a UV light there. I've read that they help to reduce algae by killing the spores. Also I've had to treat the puffers for skin infections a couple of times when one got bitten by one of the others, and I thought the UV light might help to prevent bacterial infections.

Another idea is to get a bristlenose pleco, I know they're "armor plated" and fairly tough. I found that the puffers didn't touch the fins of the Siamese Algae Eater, preferring to bite scales off of its body. If the puffers pick on it too much I would transfer it to my big community tank (I gave the SAE away!)

If there's any other way to get rid of algae that I haven't thought of, I'd love to hear about it!

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Re: Algae control with DPs

Post by Pufferpunk » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:46 pm

Maybe the bioload is just too much. 5 of them would be better in about a 25-30g. If you're going to be adding ANY fish, I'd definitely upgrade! Lots of folks have success keeping a shoal of otocinclus with DPs.
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TwistOfF8
Puffer Fry
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:48 pm
Gender: Female
My Puffers: One GSP so far
Location (country): Canada
Location: Toronto

Re: Algae control with DPs

Post by TwistOfF8 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:24 pm

Pufferpunk wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:46 pm
Maybe the bioload is just too much. 5 of them would be better in about a 25-30g. If you're going to be adding ANY fish, I'd definitely upgrade! Lots of folks have success keeping a shoal of otocinclus with DPs.
Yes I'd like a bigger tank. I like the Flex a lot but I had forgotten that the one I have is only 15 g. I only remembered when I looked it up last night. I thought it was 20. I've had it for a couple of years. I see now that they make a 30g size. I like the lighting and the filter is pretty efficient, there's enough room in the sump for a heater and other items (like the UV light) plus the horizontally bowed front glass makes the fish and decor really stand out. However, I already have two other 40g tanks (community tank and GSP palace). The Flex is my coffee table tank that I can look at while I'm sitting on the couch. Watching the DPs is like having a second TV. :lol:

Right now all of the plants and decor are artificial. I'm wondering if it would help to put live plants in there instead. I'm sure the lights would support plants. Since the tank is only 15g it looks like more fish are out of the question. :( Speaking of out of the question - no more otocinclus! It took me several hours to catch the SAE, and I had to rip all of the plants and decor out of the tank to do it. Over the years since childhood I've seen many otocinclus species (and a common pleco) turn on the other fish in the tank and start tearing at their fins and scales. Now that I'm rid of the SAE I will probably get a bristlenose for my community tank instead.

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