Backyard Aquaponics

Keeping your tank clean and algae “free”
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Author:  Aquaphonics [ Sep 7th, '19, 09:38 ]
Post subject:  Keeping your tank clean and algae “free”


So I’m trying to get my tank in place for an indoor aquaponics system. But I’m now concerned about algae and general tank cleaning being a time suck. I was hoping aquaponics was going to help eliminate a lot of the cleaning time but I’m getting the sense that’s not true.

How much time do most people spend doing tank cleaning and maintenance? What routine do you follow?


Author:  scotty435 [ Sep 11th, '19, 23:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping your tank clean and algae “free”

Reducing the light levels goes a long way toward getting rid of the algae and that's what I'd do. If that won't work then use a UV sterilizer to kill the free floating algae. FYI - It's normal to have a bio-slime coating on the sides of the tank and this is usually a brownish color - don't clean it off. This bio-slime also coats inside the pipes.

I occasionally sweep the bottom of the tank to flush solids from the tank toward the grow beds/filtration (using a dedicated broom so it doesn't have anything else on it). Leaves getting into the tank might require you to clean the outflow. If the grow beds are getting clogged with too many solids then I'll disconnect them and flush them with water (non chlorinated if possible since chlorinated will kill the bacteria). If you aren't heavily stocked and don't overfeed then these take very little time. It's usually years between grow bed cleanings and using the broom on the fish tank is maybe once a month - takes all of 10 minutes.

Using other types of filters (other than grow beds) adds additional cleaning time. You might wind up using a half day per month but probably less.

Author:  arbe [ Sep 13th, '19, 04:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping your tank clean and algae “free”

Cover water where it is exposed to light.
Do not over feed.
Barley straw will also help with algae.

Author:  great08 [ Jan 2nd, '20, 00:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping your tank clean and algae “free”

Late reply here.

I just have a rounded black tank with goldfish and koi in it. Any algae that grows gets picked off pretty quickly.

I minimized the amount of direct light that gets in there and the black tank absorbs quite a bit too.

My system is 3 years old now and I have never once cleaned it. I don't plant to either since the only thing accumulating on the bottom is the micro pieces of crushed limestone remnants from when I add it for PH adjustments.

The water is set to create a mild current in a circular direction that slowly feeds debris into the pump. Which is set dead center in the middle. I have the pump in a protective basket to keep leaves from clogging it up and have not had to clean it yet either. I raised the basket just a few inches off of the bottom so that the smaller fish will hide under there and sweep it for me (Also keeps water in the tank if plumbing fails).

Author:  Chaff_Cutter [ Jan 2nd, '20, 09:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping your tank clean and algae “free”

I keep the light off the water and paint on any translucent plastics like the IBC.

I never once cleaned for algae in my first system but it was dismantled to move after 2 years.

I figure a little bit of algae aint going to hurt much its only when its out of control and chewing on the nutrients you want your plants to have that it needs controlling.


Author:  Gunagulla [ Jan 2nd, '20, 09:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping your tank clean and algae “free”

Aquaphonics wrote:
How much time do most people spend doing tank cleaning...

umm... let me think... None!

There's a layer of biofilm around the sides where the light gets in, which is helping consume nitrates, which I see no need to clean, as it is stable over many years.

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