Newsletter March 2014
Green Hair Algae
We are often asked what to do about algae and this has been a common problem, we've found, in most aquariums. There are very few aquariums that don't suffer from algal growths. We intend to explain algae at length, but with such a vast subject, it would be best to do it in stages. Here we will cover the most common of them all. Green Hair Algae.
Green Hair Algae (GHA) is a large, filamentous growth that feeds off compounds such as Nitrate and Phosphate and light. By limiting all of these things, one can effectively reduce the rate at which this algae grows. But it's not always as easy as that.
If you find that your Nitrates and Phosphates are too high, chances are that there is algae present in your tank, especially when your lights are running longer than 8 hours. It's good practise to solve the problems as they present themselves. Otherwise, all you are going to do is mask the problem and allow it to return at a later stage.
So how do you get rid of it?
Eliminate its sources of nutrients i.e. Nitrates and Phosphates and get those readings as close to 0 as you can.
Reduce the photoperiod to about 6 hours
Physically remove the algae from the tank and turn any affected rocks upside-down to prevent the light feeding whatever stays behind.
If you are using T5 fluorescent tubes, make sure that you change them every 6 months. Not doing so allows the bulbs to age and change their light spectrums. Often this is to the benefit of the algae.
Make sure you have an adequate Clean Up Crew
Add algae-eating fish such as Yellow Tangs (marine) and Otocinclus (tropical) to keep any algal growths in check.
Adjust the flow in the tank to keep detritus in suspension.
Do regular maintenance by siphoning gravel and doing water changes
Install a Refugium, NP Pellet Reactor, or Deep Sand Bed if you don't already have one.
Pseudomugil Signifer - Red Neon Rainbow
Pseudomugil signifer are small and colourful fish that live in freshwater streams. They have two dorsal fins with the front one being much smaller than the back fin. They have blue eyes and a silver belly with small spots running along the side of their body. The males are much more colourful than the females.
The maximum length of these fish is between 30-35mm. They are best kept in a densely populated planted tank with drift wood and tall growing plants that can create shaded areas in the tank, making it look and feel more natural for them. They prefer a well oxygenated tank with plenty of flow.
Ideal water conditions for them would be a pH of between 6.5-7.5, temperature levels at around 18-26 degrees Celsius and water hardness of 36 -215ppm
In nature they feed on Zooplankton, Phytoplankton and invertebrates. In an aquarium they will feed on Artemia, Daphnia , micro worms. They will also eat dry and frozen foods.
Seachem Matrix Carbon
Matrix Carbon is activated carbon, but what makes it different is that it is the only spherical-shaped carbon, increasing its surface area exponentially which, in turn, will increase its absorption rate. This is a cheap alternative to other filtration methods, selling from only R244.
Here are some facts about Matrix Carbon
Matrix Carbon hardly alters the pH and will not increase it further than 7.0.
Matrix Carbon functions as both a chemical filter as well as a mechanical filter.
It removes many Dissolved Organic Compounds, giving the water a more polished and clear look.
It draws toxins from the water at a rapid rate, making it a must-have in your bag of tricks.
As with most activated carbons, Matrix Carbon will also remove various chemicals, including those found in medicines. It is always best to remove any carbon filtration when dosing a tank with medicine and leave it out until the treatment is finished.
Cleidopus Gloriamaris - Pineapple Fish
Pineapple Fish are not meant for the Reef-Keeping beginner and best left to the experts.
This species can grow to 22cm. Its small fins and thick, heavy amour-like scales make it a weak swimmer. It is a nocturnal fish, keeping to caves and over-hangs during the day and coming out at night to feed on crustaceans.
This fish is certainly not meant for the aquarium as they are notoriously finicky eaters. Often, this results in Reef-Keepers not being able to feed them and they eventually starve to death.
This fish is best kept in the ocean where they belong.
We have a few shipments coming in over the next few weeks.
Bali - 18th Mar
USA - 20th Mar (status pending)
Indonesia - 25th Mar
Kenya - 28th Mar
As always, we'll keep you informed about the arrival of shipments on Facebook and Twitter.
Madagascar Lace Plant (Aponogeton Madagascariensis)
Light Needs: High
Max. Size: 30cm
Water Parameters: 22 to 27 degrees Celsius
Placement: Mid-Ground to Background
Supplements: CO2 injection, Iron, Trace Elements and Potassium
International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2014
This highly anticipated contest is now open for entry, with a Grand Prize of 1,000,000 Japanese Yen, brought to you by ADA.
For more information go to http://www.iaplc.com. So get those aquascapes in to stand a chance to win.