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I need MORE algae, fast


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Here's the situation: 20 gallon quarantine tank, lightly planted, 4 mystery snails, 2 nerite snails, 2 small angels, 3 green cories (juveniles about an inch to inch and a half long) and 5 OTOCINCLUS. Tank parameters are good and steady, light came with the tank so it isn't adjustable. I've got Easy Green and I'm not afraid to use it. On our most recent trip to Petsmart, we picked up the otos. I like to have algae in this tank because it's the quarantine tank for the 75 gallon as we're doing the initial stocking. I had a decent amount of algae in there that the snails were slowly working through but the otos have eaten almost every scrap. I either need to grow more algae ASAP or I need info about anything else the otos will eat. They don't seem interested in algae wafers or Rapashy Super Green. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by LOKelly
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Stick some tank water and rocks in a shallow tub outside in the sun. Anything you can pull from the tank that had algae that you can put in that tub will also work. Throw a pump of easy green in with everything and you should have algae in no time. Just rotate rocks out as they get cleaned off so you have a constant supply.

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Go to Wally World and buy a bag of Pleco wafers. Drop one in your tank every other night just before you go to bed. Oto's are most active at night and since you only have five, one wafer should do. If when you get up the next morning there is still a partial wafer, don't worry, they'll finish it off that night, and you'll see your Oto's get fat fast. Who knows, you may even see their eggs and young before long. 

 

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My experience with keeping them is limited, but I've seen several reports that say the ones sold commercially are pretty much all wild caught, and some will learn to eat fish food and some won't.  It's also my understanding that they eat biofilm, and not really algae, which is why most experienced keepers recommend only putting them in mature tanks.

I wish I could be more helpful, but I wish you luck anyway.

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Some great suggestions, folks! I will be trying several today. I just put out a tub with rocks etc. and I mixed up a batch of the Super Green to smear around. I'm going to try to figure out a way to suspend something from the tank lid so that the snails don't get it all (selfish, greedy buggers but I like them so what can you do?). I'll grab some zucchini when I go shopping later today. I have algae wafers. Can someone tell me the difference between those and the pleco wafers?

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I've noticed in the past that algae wafers will seed the tank with algae regardless of how much or how little light my tanks receive.

I have 3 tanks going that are blackwater tanks, on all of these tanks I have timers for the lights that are all set to come on and go off at the same time. They're set to come on at 8 AM, go off at 11:30 AM, back on at 4:30 PM, off for the night at 8 PM. It may not seem like enough light for algae to form and thrive, but you'd be surprised.

I have Oto's in 2 of these tanks, in 1 tank with 6 Oto's where i don't feed the Pleco wafers, there is algae, but not a lot. In 1 tank with 18 Oto's and I do feed the Pleco wafers, there is a lot of algae growing on the glass to the point that I'm sometimes ashamed to tell someone that it is one of my tanks.

So feed the algae wafers at night to see if there is any change in the amount of algae you have.

Sincerely

Gator 

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Do you have dirt? You know what, forget dirt. Find a place with sunlight. Could be outside as long as it doesn’t get too hot or cold and has a cover like plastic wrap to protect it from all the nasty bugs you don’t want in there. Then take some rocks or filter media or whatever that isn’t a plant and chuck it in there. Then squirt like 5 pumps of Easygreen or maybe even more and then just wait.

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