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Thread: Fish waste in algae scrubber

  1. #1

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    Fish waste in algae scrubber

    I am running FW tank with discus with algae scrubber as only filter. Every thing fine but fish waste seems to accumulate at bottom. How it is managed? Whether it is a concern or not. How scrubber is dealing with this?

  2. #2
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    Fish waste is food particles for smaller animals, just like in lakes. There are no clear lakes; all waste (food particles) fall to the bottom to be eaten by other animals.

    So you can just leave it to collect, if you want the natural lake look. Or you can siphon it out if you want the non-natural clean aquarium look. The scrubber does not care; it only absorbs nutrients, not food particles.

    If you want to leave it, add a layer of large gravel so that the particles will fall into it; then add more clean up crew.

  3. #3

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    This response confuses me somewhat. As far as I am aware, no 'smaller animals' eat fish poop. Even aquatic snails won't eat fish poop and the snails produce lots more poop of their own. Also, in a natural environment there is a continual flow of clean oxygenated water (usually) which helps to oxidize many breakdown products in the water and there are many micro-organisms that do not exist in the artificial environment of an aquarium. That said, I appreciate that once the poop starts breaking down into various organic compounds the algae will consume the nutrients. Are you saying that the algae will consume everything that might be detrimental as it slowly decays on the bottom of the tank and/or bacteria will eventually render it into something innocuous? Who exactly are you referring to as the 'clean up crew'? I have used Nutrafin 'Waste Control' and Laguna 'Bio Sludge Control' in my turtle tank to try to liquefy solid waste so it can get into the biological filter. Both those products claim to contain bacteria that do the job, but I've found that little if any solid turtle waste actually gets dissolved by this stuff. Adding a layer of sand or gravel to the bottom of an aquarium runs the risk of providing a habitat for anaerobic bacteria that can produce gases poisonous to fish even at low levels.

    I'm sure that a lot of us who spend time cleaning debris from our aquariums would like to know we don't have to do this. Please advise. Thanks.

    Michael

  4. #4

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    Yes sir, I spend lot of time to clean debris accumulated at the bottom of the tank. So far algae problem in the display tank is concerned that has been solved by ATS. But now for the fish waste I am thinking of adding some cleaning pump ( As cleaning crew ). This pump will suck the fish waste through some filter medis ( Sponge etc ) and clean water will flow back to the tank water. Only thing I reqire cleaning of the filter media and inintially I got result also. Of course it is a very simple thing. But no other option I can think. If any body can help it will be fine. I am waiting. Pl. help me urgently. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Filter sock is fine if you want to use it.

    Yes, a lot of clean up crew such as hermits eat fish waste. That's what clean up crew do, otherwise they are not a good crew. And on a reef, almost all the oxygen comes from the algae, not "water changes". Most nutrients stay locked up and recycled in the reef, and do not interact with the ocean water. Nutrients can't travel for more than a few meters before being absorbed by algae.

    Algae do not consume organic nutrients (i.e., food particles and DOC); only inorganic nutrients. So yes, the algae will consume all that is needed to be removed; that's how the natural systems work... algae does all the cleaning. All of it. My tanks have gone years with only algal filtering.

    Gravel will not cause H2S; that would require very fine deep sand, or mud.

  6. #6

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    Thanks. How would one go about replicating that in a fresh water tank? In the natural environment virtually all bodies of fresh water have a fairly steady flow through of clean, oxygenated water. Truly stagnant ponds are not very productive other than bacteria and much of that ends up being anaerobic producing methane. I haven't yet discovered a fresh water 'small animal' that eats anyone's poop other than bacteria. Maybe I missed something, I hope. ;-)

    Currently, I use a small Eheim classic canister as a water vacuum system to clean debris out of both my turtle and fish tanks. This works, but it's 'work' and I have to clean the sponges in the canister once in a while to keep it vacuuming. Unfortunately, the turtles would likely see any 'small animals' as fast food. I can't even keep snails with those guys.

  7. #7
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    Try a Triops:
    http://www.petfish.net/kb/entry/188/

    Or, if you just let the waste pile up, the microbes will explode and eat the detritus as fast as it develops. You could just keep is all in the gravel, or under a grating. I have no CUC in two FW tanks, and the waste just disappears on it's own.,

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the info! What is 'CUC'?

    [Oct03] CUC = Clean Up Crew?

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    Yes

  10. #10

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    I bought a triops kit and it arrived yesterday. Those guys only live 30-60 days so that means a breeding cycle! I'll report my adventures as they occur. Thanks again for the info.

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