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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a quick way to grow algae on rocks for my Hillstream loaches. I'd like to hear from people that do this regularly. Particularly light type, water temp, depth of container, etc. Also, would it help to throw in some liquid ferts?

Thanks for any help!
 

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Can't tell you how to grow algae quickly on rocks but in time it will appear, intil then feed your loaches algae wafers or some other source of food. Hopefully someone else can give you the quick solution you are looking for.
 

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For some reason green algae always grows on my river rocks. Try leaving your light on for a good bit of time.
 

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An easy way to grow algae for feeding is in a tank set up for that purpose. Put a number of rocks in a shallow tank, like a 20 long or 40 breeder. Include a rock or plant from another tank that has even a tiny amount of algae on it. Add a few drops of HOUSE PLANT fertilizer to the tank., and give it plenty of light. Without plants to compete with it, the algae will soon cover the rocks. Then you can place one at a time in with your obligate algae eating fish for them to clean off. Rotate them in and out of your algae farm, and remember to feed the algae, but sparingly, or you'll make a mess!<g>

Karen
 

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Are you keeping them in a tank specifically designed for their requirements? If not, I would strongly recommend it. They prefer cooler temperatures (coming from mountain and highland streams in China) and prefer TONS of flow. As K Randall suggested, I would go with a 20L (or maybe a 10 gal if that's all you have room for). Put a little sand on the bottom and decorate with a ton of smooth river rocks of various sizes (I would collect them yourself from local rivers, especially since they will already have starts of good algae on them) and put a couple powerheads on one side of the tank directly facing the opposite side and let them blast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have 3 Beaufortia kweichowensis in a 10 gallon. It's at 70*. I have the water level a little low and the filter outflow blasting onto a large rock which also has room under it for hiding. It has a sand substrate and other river rocks, too. I am feeding them shrimp pellets and sinking wafers, too. All in all, I think I've got it set up pretty well for them. I'm thinking of putting in a bubble bar with rocks over it, as well.

I have close to 3 wpg on the tank. So, I may just be impatient about waiting for the algae to grow. It's only been set up for about 2 weeks. I'm also wondering how well algae grows with a lot of current. And if having about 4 inches of space between the lights and the water line will affect is as well. Anyone know about that?

I guess I better get the nutrient sucking Anacharis out of there, eh? :roll:
 

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Much as Karen suggested, I use a powerhead and aeration(use the venturi on the powerhead) and aim it across the rocks, flat slate works best IME.

This will grow a nice bright alga call Pithophora.
This is a very tasty green algae. Over feeding the fish tank with lgae wafers will help grow the algae while also providing food for the fish.

While lots of light is nice, you will only want algae to grow in certain places, not on the glass etc, just the rocks.

So a very focused small are near the center of the tank would be best and pull the lights away from the sides and front/back of the tank.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the tips, folks!

I added another small filter which provides more aeration with it going full blast. I don't have $$ for anything else.

Tom: What exactly would you suggest for directing light to one area of the tank? Right now I have a couple of strip lights with NO fluorescents on there.

Thanks!
 

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If you grow the algae on rocks in a SEPARATE container from the fish, (which was the point of my first post) it need not cost much at all. A 10G tank is less than $10, but if even that is too much, buy a $2 plastic sweater box, and put it in a bright sunny window.

Karen
 

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Re: MissMinerva's question on focused lighting. I like to play around with clamp lamps and colored bulbs and such to get different effects. Nothing useful, it's just fun. I tried one of the regular "spotlight" bulbs you can pick up anywhere, and it did not focus enough. I was thinking of trying for a kind of theatrical spot-light effect. There are fancy miniature spotlights used in museum dusplays, and there are some used in medical applications, but they all sound like a lot of $$$$. I was wondering if anyone has a DIY solution for a focused beam of light? (I hope this isn't considered "thread-highjacking", you don't mind, MM, do ya?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it could be considered hijacking. But, since "Aqualung" brought back so many fond memories of the '70s, all is forgiven! :D
 

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Thank you, m'dear, most gracious of you.

I think I already know the answer: in order to get a really focused beam of light you need an elliptical reflector and a lens. That would keep most of the light off the glass, where you don't want to grow algae.

Now, all I gotta do is fabricate a perfect parabola out of tinfoil, then take that magnifying glass from the Cracker Jack box.....
 
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