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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My OH and I have two axolotls in a 4ft tank and are having big problems with rapid growing algae, it's even on the surface of the water. You can clean the glass and it'll be back in a couple of days, the sand and the logs are also covered in it.

The tank is in our front room and opposite the window (no where else to put it) but it's probably not in direct sunlight for long. There's a tropical sunlight bulb in the hood (we had tropical fish before) that's on for probably 12 hours.

We never had any problems when we had the tropical fish in there but since going cold we've been over run with it, never seen it so quick growing and so thick before.

Any ideas? Could it just simply be too much light?

Also, how do we get the sand clean? OH has one of those hoover thingys from when we had fish but they just suck the sand up

Thanks :D
 

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what kind of filter do you have and how often do you clean it?

id say it was too much light myself, you could try leaving the artificial light off and see if it has any effect. axies dont like direct light anyway so they may be grateful for the lack of overhead light.

some people keep cold water snails (ramshorns?) with their axies for algae control, i tired with mine and they killed them so i wont be attempting it again.

regarding the sand, all i can say is tell me about it :lol2: cleaning the sand on the bottom of mines tank is a nightmare. those hoover things are useless on sand as there made for gravel (according to my trusty fish shop guy), i use one of those fine mesh fish nets you can by at aquatic shops and just accept that im gunna get wet and its going to take a while :lol2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know what type of filter it is :lol2: it's a chock off big external I know that much! :D
I think the filter is due a clean and probably about due a partial water change. Will give it a good scrub tomorrow and turn the light off, I didn't realise they don't like over head light, we were told other wise where we got them from :roll:

Will have to invest in a fine net and give that a go, :censor: sand!!! :lol2:

We've discovered some snails in the tank, think they must have snuck in on the plants we bought a couple of weeks ago as we've never put them in. OH has been squishing them and the axies have been eating them but they won't help themselves lol

Thank you
 

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I agree with the guys about the lighting, axolotls prefer dim conditions, so if you leave the light off it might reduce your algae problem. Dont be tempted to use any chemical products which are available for algae control as they are generally toxic for amphibians.
 

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I'd consider changing the tube in the light for something like an Arcadia Original Tropical, or a similar tube, and then only have it on for a max of 8 hours a day. More than 8 hours a day will quite often prove to promote algae. I'd also check your nitrate levels, as combined with your high lighting, and I am willing to bet absence of live plants that it's quite high and this will also be basically feeding the algae.

Ade
 

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I'd consider changing the tube in the light for something like an Arcadia Original Tropical, or a similar tube, and then only have it on for a max of 8 hours a day. More than 8 hours a day will quite often prove to promote algae. I'd also check your nitrate levels, as combined with your high lighting, and I am willing to bet absence of live plants that it's quite high and this will also be basically feeding the algae.

Ade
Curses! Once again, beaten to the post! :devil:
 

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Algae

I used to have a similar problem with my tank and I found it was due to direct light from both my windows as my tank is situated in my lounge but has direct light from the lounge window and dining room door/window etc!

I found it helped to have a longer background which covered the sides of the tank which stoppe a lot of the natural light getting through to the tank! Also when you clean your tank make sure you stir up the sand :)

As for lights have to agree with the others on that! I dont have my lights on at all in the day and just have them on at night for my viewing pleasure so about 4/5 hours!

Hope you can get it sorted! Other thing you could try was to get some shrimp which would help to eat the algae ONLY problem being is the axies might eat them before they get the chance, you do get some cunning shrimp though that stay alive for months dodging the axies :2thumb:
 

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You could chuck some aquatic plants in there to compete with the algae. Elodea and anarcharis ("goldfish weed") sold for coldwater tanks at pet shops will grow quickly under good lighting, and should reduce algae blooms.

Best,
Paul
 

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I used to have a similar problem with my tank and I found it was due to direct light from both my windows as my tank is situated in my lounge but has direct light from the lounge window and dining room door/window etc!

I found it helped to have a longer background which covered the sides of the tank which stoppe a lot of the natural light getting through to the tank! Also when you clean your tank make sure you stir up the sand :)

As for lights have to agree with the others on that! I dont have my lights on at all in the day and just have them on at night for my viewing pleasure so about 4/5 hours!

Hope you can get it sorted! Other thing you could try was to get some shrimp which would help to eat the algae ONLY problem being is the axies might eat them before they get the chance, you do get some cunning shrimp though that stay alive for months dodging the axies :2thumb:
Not an algal problem, but I had some problems in my golden treefrog viv because it is fairly close to the window; this caused plants to grow toward the side, rather than up. I got a piece of thin mirror cut to size and covered that side; this relfects the lamplight back in whilst cutting out the sunlight. In the OPs case, covering the sides and back may help a bit, but the main thing they need to do is reduce the lighting within the tank, as advised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We had some plants in there and had to take them out, the algae made them rot, or at least we think that's why.

Changed the bulb and reduced the hours it's on, it's slowed it down a bit but it's still getting out of control. We tried turning the light off altogether but the axolotls seemed very unhappy.

It's even settling on the surface of the water now :censor::devil:
 

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We had some plants in there and had to take them out, the algae made them rot, or at least we think that's why.

Changed the bulb and reduced the hours it's on, it's slowed it down a bit but it's still getting out of control. We tried turning the light off altogether but the axolotls seemed very unhappy.

It's even settling on the surface of the water now :censor::devil:
What's your local tapwater like? Fish keepers sometimes find that the supply is particualarly high in nitrates or nitrites, which feeds algae and exascerbates the problem. I'll have to look back at the beginning of the thread to check, but do you filter? How often to you do partial water changes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What's your local tapwater like? Fish keepers sometimes find that the supply is particualarly high in nitrates or nitrites, which feeds algae and exascerbates the problem. I'll have to look back at the beginning of the thread to check, but do you filter? How often to you do partial water changes?
There is a rather large external filter. I'm not sure how often it's partially changed as it's actually my OH's tank but it was only done last week and the glass, sand and stones (large decorative ones) are green already. The filter was also thoroughly cleaned out.

How often should it be done? I don't understand it, we never had algae problems with the fish.

I'm beginning to despair!!

ETA: pass on what the water's like, will have to dig out the testing kit
 

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Normally once a fortnight would be enough- I only ask because nitrites build up over time. Apart from the tapwater, the filter may be the next thing to look at- the media should be rinsed out regularly in old tank water rather than tapwater- but I expect you know that. Which brings us back to the light. How long is your reduced period of tank lighting? Would it be possible to get a net curtain or similar to reduce the direct light from the window? I'm trying to think of everything, here! :lol2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
:lol2:

It's on 10hrs instead of 12 which probably isn't a great reduction but it's currently on a timer with the gecko viv's light. There's already a net curtain at the window and when the OH is home the curtains are closed to prevent glare on the screen when he's on the PS3 :2wallbang: lol.

Perhaps try putting it on it's own timer for 6-8hours instead?
 

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:lol2:

It's on 10hrs instead of 12 which probably isn't a great reduction but it's currently on a timer with the gecko viv's light. There's already a net curtain at the window and when the OH is home the curtains are closed to prevent glare on the screen when he's on the PS3 :2wallbang: lol.

Perhaps try putting it on it's own timer for 6-8hours instead?
Yep, that seems like the only option you haven't tried yet! :lol2: While I'm at it though, you mentioned logs- what are they made of?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Drift wood/bog wood.

OH took the spray bar off because having thought about it, we didn't have an algae problem until the water circulation slowed down - could that be it?
 
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