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3 Foot tank questions


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Hi everyone, firstly id like to say that im a big fan of this site and have owned varies cichlid tanks previously, I have had my current tank ( standard 3 foot) for around 10 months and have currently got 5x 6 Bar fronts and 7x electric yellows. I have a weir and sump. the sump and weir contain japanese matting and the sump also has bioballs and that foam floss stuff that acts as another filter media.

I have a few questions though, I have coral sand as the subtrate and flat rock as decor. all round it looks good but i have always had a green algae over the rocks. looks horrible and would like it removed.

1. Should i be buying few bristle nose to eat all the algae? or just put up with it ?

2. Does it affect the tank or fish?

3. Also the algae has reached a point on the rocks where it is trapping air bubbles and is slowly releasing the bubbles all the time. looks kinda weird actually.

Next... on the back wall of the tank, the algae is brown not green. does anyone know why that is? my only reasoning for this is that the back of the tank is where the return pump flows onto. ( so the algae is consistently moving?)

the tank water itself get 50% changed every 2-3 weeks but there is consistantly debris floating around in the water, doesnt look nice at all.

I have ordered a 100 micron filter sock to add to the start of the sump and I am hoping that will help.

I think thats about it

Thanks for taking the time to read my crazy ramblings.

Thank you in advance.


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hey matt i guess itd time to turn the lights off lol

nah is the tank in direct sun light

if it is hairy and thick it could be black beard

bn want eat bb algae i would suggest reducing light some how

as for sand stone and green algae it is normal you can take them out and give them a good wash every so often but bn can help!

all the best


Edited by Foti
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Other than water changes what is your cleaning regime? How do you manage the substrate(cleaning)? How long are your lights on? Is the tank in direct sunlight?

I agree bristle nose will help a little, long term. I don't think it affects the fish much, if at all.

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chuck in some bristlenose (adults) and overnight 50% of it will be gone, within 3 days most of it will dissappear, dont feed the fish cause the bristlenose will eat the food instead of the algea, never effects my fishes health. ive had 3 or 4 differant coloured algea at differant times and sometimes its been as thick as leather!, the bristlenose still ate the lot. u need to suck up the stuff they chew off the glass once a day tho, otherwise you get heaps of crap floating around on the bottom of the tank, bits they have digested.

i dont have anything in my tanks apart from sand and a sponge filter. the sand has never been a problem as the fish always sift through it but the glass used to get real bad, soon as i chucked in bn it was gone very quickly.



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What's wrong with a bit of algae? If it's on the glass, just clean it by hand, but on the rocks leave it be, they will be reducing your nitrates, and adding oxygen (the bubbles you mention).

If you still want to get rid of the algae, choose out a fish that comes from the same lake, that way it will be bio typically correct.

However; lots of algae growth can be a sign of poor maintenance and excess phosphates and/or nitrates in the water. Remove the algae and the phosphates/nitrates will remain in the tank only exported with water changes. Your water change regularity may be adding to your algae, increase to 1/3 weekly.

3' is too small for frontosa.

The debris is there because the filter is inadequate, not enough tank turnover (you don't mention pump size) or frequent enough water changes. I expect all three.

You need to water change more often at the very least, and I expect look at how the mechanical side of your filter is set up, possibly also increasing the tank's turnover. This could fix the algae issue.

What I read is an over stocked tank (though fish size is not mentioned), with too infrequent water changes and not a good enough filter system to maintain bio load. Adding BN or other fish will be increasing the bioload, and not fixing the actual REAL issue :yes:


Edited by CThompson
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I have 4 adult BN in my 4ft tank and they do not clear the algae, so that won't work, looks nice but won't clear a tank full of algae. I clean the glass and leave the rest.

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hey i have decided to reconfigure the sump, 3 times as much filtration media now, have ordered purigen and have simplified substrate. when i wrote the thread i only had a 1000L/H pump but have now upgraded to 2000L/H hopefully enough. didnt realise i was going wrong with the frontosa, would young tropheus be better suited?

Thanks for the reply

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think you would also find a 3ft a bit small for tropheus as well

tropheus need to be kept in a large group of around 20 or so to minimise aggression

6ft minimun for the fronts

you can get away with a 4ft for trophs with good filtration


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You have to remember that your pump maybe now 2000lt an hour but how high is it lifting the water to return it back to the tank? That's what you need to read on package of pump.It maybe lifting the water 1200mm and cutting your water flow back to??? 1/2 the capacity of the pump.Trohs need 4ft min.Fronts 5ft min.

Do you clean the foam in your sump?

What is the lts per hour of your internal filter? If you have one?How often do you feed your fish & is it all gone in 2/3 min's?

Edited by dobbin4
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yea it pumps around 1.2 metres high, the box said that at 1.5 metres is was reduced to 1600L/H im going to buy a bigger tank in the future but what do you think I should put in the tank that would be better suited. maybe some kind of dwarf cichlid?

fish are fed every morning and they eat it really quick, doesnt last long, the fluros have been there for a while. that may be the reason the algae is there. dont have an internal filter.

Any help would be appreciated

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