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Heres my problem:

My tank is in a conservatory, and whilst the tank is painted on one side to drop the ammount of direct sunlight its a well lit room.

secondly i have plants, if i add chemicals it will kill the plants

thirdly i have other fish in the tank, so removing the food source will force my p to kill all the other tankmates who have been happily living alongside him for over a month now. hes a pain to feed, i have to leave the food in there for a while before he eats it.

forthly, i presume he will kill any shrimp eating the algae, he ate the catfish who was clearing away uneaten food.

fifthly, i have a slight nitrate problem, things have been high so ive been doing water changes, this did nothing so i did a 90% water change which dropped things somewhate but no theyre creeping back up.

im stumped.

I either tackle the problem with chemicals and lose the plants, or i starve the tank of nutrients and jack kills everything, or i risk it, and get some snails who may eat my algae but then may be a problem to control.

i wouldnt normally worry but this algae is huge, and i mean immense, its growing like a corn field on my sand within a couple of days, sometimes overnight.

im tempted to let the teletubby land just grow and have grass!
 

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Danse Macabre!
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If your water quality is that out of control from just one piranha in a 30 gallon, you definately have alot of built up waste in your tank that needs to be removed. With alot of plants you don't have to vacuum the gravel, but that doesn't mean you can just leave food in there to rot. Check around the plants, under driftwood and between rocks for anything that might be breaking down.

If you want to kill all the algae, wrap your tank in black paper or thick towels for 96 hours. First do a 50% water change, do the blackout and then do a 50% water change again. The algae will die off having been in the dark for that long as they dont have the same energy reserves that plants have.
 

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You could try some rams horns. Thats what I got. They eat everything and anything (and a lot of it) but when they crap you can sure see it.
 
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