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Bushy nose pleco for GDA control/eradication

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Tom Barr, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Many have struggled with Green Dust Algae for months etc. No real mechanism for inducement has been found. No real solution for control over the long term has really been found that's acceptable to many.

    The few times I was able to get it to grow, I came up with a leave it be approach for 3-5 weeks, then wipe it off and clean well etc after it starts to slough off good. This worked for many, but also did NOT work for many other folks.

    Some had speculated that there was an interaction between BGa and GDA, and thus used EM antibiotics to help clean/remove the GDA also. This again, worked for some, but not all.

    Due to the issue of inducement and not knowing how to do this, I felt it might be best to see if you can come up with a control measure that works in worst case scenarios.

    So I chose a tank I recently broke down and removed all the plants as I'm undecided what to plant with just yet. There are a few plants, but no one in their right mind would call this tank low light or heavily planted. This tank was brown and green about 7 weeks ago. Walls were covered with algae.

    I've not touched the glass since then and I added 20 small 2" long bushy nose plecos. Algae was gone in 1-2 days.

    I have an ATI light and have PAR readings about 130 along the sediment and about 450 in the middle at the surface. Not many will more light than this.
    I took the CO2 off line for a month also. No change in the algae, but after adding the CO2 back, the few remaining plants have grown better, so I've left it on for the last few weeks. Water change once a week, dosing modified EI 2x a week.

    With this much light, no CO2, no plants to speak of.......plenty of ferts, ADA AS......where is my algae?

    This is pretty much a worse case scenario, but there's no algae, there's some slight Green spot algae, but you have to look closely, the Bushy nose do not remove this, but no algae eater does really. But, there's no glass algae otherwise, no GDA, not diatoms etc.

    So.....I decide to add the bushy nose in mass to a client who had issues when they increased lighting with GDA, many experience this light intensity relationship.

    More light= unmanageable GDA.
    Less light= manageable GDA

    But, you cannot use the full light power..........

    So I doubled the light and added the plecos, and..waited for the call about algae. Have not came, in fact , the glass is cleaner than it was with lower light. So is the wood and rock, equipment etc. Tried it a few other folks, same result.

    So what am I looking for and why am I'm posting this specifically?
    To see if anyone can show that the small Bushy nose plecos at 5-6 per 20-30 Gallons of tank cannot control the GDA issue. They are cheap(less than many Amano Shrimp prices), peaceful little plecos, hardy, etc.

    Better them than you.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm on board for trying this. The problem is, since I've done a serious trim on my grass and the hedge in my tank, the GDA hasn't come back. I'm at 8 hours, full EI (10-20gal levels in a 60P), cranked CO2. Making me think that GDA is opportunistic and shows exponential growth like other algae when plant growth has slowed or there is a higher level of decaying plant matter (maybe poor O2? IDK).

    The weird thing about it is that I can control GDA growth by limiting photoperiod to 4 hours per day (not acceptable to most people who want to view their tanks). I have also slowed its growth by cutting out ferts and focusing on frequent water changes. I have also slowed its growth with reduced CO2 in addition to this. But I have not been able to maintain this. The plants pay a price months into this approach, and, frankly, nothing was growing well. The plants were alive, but stagnant and they lost their color, became coated with GDA on their leaves, and stopped growing.

    Now that I have restarted the tank with removing over 1" of sod, and hacking back the bush, I have focused on growing plants (8 hour photoperiods, increased CO2, full EI, and the addition of a surface skimmer).

    I'm beginning to think the GDA settles on hardscape items (rocks), the leaves of plants and the glass/acrylic...It hinders photosynthesis, which slows plant growth and promotes GDA proliferation. Once you remove the coated material and allow unobstructed light to hit the whole plant, the plants rebound and color up again. The GDA goes bye bye.

    I've even added new aqua soil, which should result in a mild spike in ammonium. No GDA. Weird. I'm sure as the grass grows thicker, the GDA will come back again.

    I'm currently in search of some BN plecos. As soon as I find some I will add 5. And I'll report back as soon as I know anything.

    I've also added a surface skimmer. In all the tanks where I've had a GDA problem, surface scum would show up within hours of a water change. Since adding the skimmer, I haven't had as much of a problem. Coincidence? Maybe.

    The BN pleco might be the predator we need to break the cycle.
     
    #2 Matt F., Jun 14, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2013
  3. jerrybforl

    jerrybforl Lifetime Members
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    I just ordered five today on AB, and I will post my results as well. They are very nice plecos, and they are great for planted tanks.
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey JJ,

    What is AB please and what TYPE/SPECIES did you get?

    There are many bushy nose plecos...:)

    Hope all is well...

    Gerry
     
  5. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerry, I think AB is Aqua Bid, but I could be wrong. I'm trying to source them locally, but I have to work for the next 6 days straight, so getting out to a fish store is going to be hard.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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  7. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    as I was on vacation when this thread was posted... any updates?

    It really seems like a good idea.
    could you also use other ancistrus sp.? For me personally, this species is way to large, but I might want to give it a shot with a smaller species. what about ancistrus claro/lda08? never heard of it, just a quick google search :) (it is at least a bristlenose..)

    greets,

    yme
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, the common bushy nose is cheap, the others can cost a fair amount.
    Like Amano shrimp, if you add 2-3 to a 300 liter aquarium with a bad algae outbreak, do not expect much, if you add say 30, well, perhaps.
    After the algae is well managed, you may only require 5-10 for good control.

    Otto cats do not appear to do too much, but there are other plecos, Bushy nose are cheap, breedable for many hobbyists and do not get large(4"/10cm or so).
    I'm sure there are many others in the family that would do the job well.
     
  9. ghostsword

    ghostsword Lifetime Charter Member
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    Bushy nose (ancistrus) species are really good fish to have.. they do not grow too big, around 15cm.. look odd enough to be captivating and they breed easily.

    Only have one drawback, if you got echinodorus they are not the fish for you.. they will rasp at them and the leaves will become transparent and die. :)
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I had some with a huge Kleiner bar and an ozelot, they did no harm to those.
     
  11. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's a matter of perspective :D

    I don't like large fish... and 10-15 cm is way too large for me. (oto size is perfect)
    7-8 cm might be okay(ish)
    Hence my question concerning the ancistrus claro: 7 cm and available (sometimes) in the netherlands.. (12 euro per fish)

    greets,

    yme
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Most all the Ancistrus have proven excellent genus wide.

    You'd need maybe 15 or so.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The client' tank was nearing that perfect phase regarding glass algae, virtually none, a tiny bit of green spot left over, easy to remove, hard to spot and only below the water change level.
    BBA on rocks and wood will be awhile, but that will come off fairly consistently.
     
  14. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm looking forward to the day when all I have to worry about is GSA.

    As far as removing GDA, it's not as cool as a Pleco but I've found the Mr. Clean original, unscented Magic Eraser works nicely for cleaning glass. It holds onto the algae instead of just loosening it to float around the tank.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Shamwow perhaps? hehe
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I like smaller fish as well. I'm glad I'm not the only one who wonders why ottos are so great, they don't seem to clean up much.

    I read the Ancistrus claro like to eat inverts ie shrimp. Anyone know if this is true? Could be a complication when choosing these as part of the cleaning crew. Would the predation be so limited as to not effect the population of a healthy shrimp colony?

    GDA does seem to be the one thing that I just can't keep off the glass when I get to a certain light level and a small Ancistrus sp. that plays well with shrimp while polishing the glass would be fantastic.
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You'd need some seriously slow shrimp and a real fast pleco.
    RCS cannot be killed off by any plecos I know of.
    No way, no how.
     
  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Thanks, I thought it sounded wrong.
     
  19. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    From what I read on the internet, it is a bit of a shy fish and omnivorous. very little/nothing on the algae eating capacities of this critter.

    perhaps another species is more suitable?

    greets,

    yme
     
  20. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    +1 on that!

    Now only if a BN pleco would fit a 6 gallon nano...
     
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