I have something that works really well and causes no problems to other fish. They are called Amano Shrimp. Flappi may have trouble with them in his Cichlid tank as they may get eaten but they keep the tank free of most of the algae, a little algae is not too bad as it does take in some of the traces that the plants don't. All things in moderation.
Ive got those in my communtiy tank, theyre good. I thought mine had been eaten by the Synos until I had a rearragne and they showed up and imeadiately shed their skin No algae in that tank! UV sterilizers also help. But if a ?10 lump of silver does the same job then im up for that!
The hair algae in the cichlid tank is a bit of a nuisence to be honest. Weekly removal. Ive got 6 mossballs in there. Plants dont do too well because of the high PH and coral sand substrate.
It may be Ok for the fish but silver has been known to be toxic to a lot of Bacterias, caused by Ag+ ions. These ions are taken in at up to 10% saturation by lower bacterial lifeforms, so in respect of this the silver could reduce the levels of bacterias in your filter and in the water. Silver also reduces the growth of Fungal reproduction, so this could actually help the fish as it would stop any wounds from being affected by fungus.
We would also need to know what type of silver it contains as there are many different types and variations:
Silver Oxide:- Irritates the eyes, respiratory tract and skin
Silver Nitrate:- causes corrosion
Silver is a bactericide. In water silver and silver compounds are toxic to micro organisms. Fish contain approximately 11 ppm of silver. Silver toxicity to fish is reduced by water. Depending on water hardness, the lethal concentration for freshwater fish lies between 4 and 280 ppm. Freshwater plants tolerate between 30 and 7,500 ppb silver, depending on the species. The lethal concentration for daphnia is approximately 0.25 ppb, and for amphipods at 4,500 ppb.
When you go back just a few years, people were given a-r-s-enic and lead and all other poisons to cure people, but even though they appeared to be getting better in actual fact they were dying from the inside out, a terrible, debilitating, gruesome death all in the name of science. But we now know better and more and more natural remedies are becoming commonplace on the medicinal market. Heavy metals have always been known to kill of micro-organisms but they were also killing off the very bacteria that could have saved our lives. Conversantly this is what has got to be monitored when adding any metals such as silver to your aquarium. It may be killing off the algae but it will also be killing off the very bacteria that help your fish thrive and survive in your tanks, the bacteria in your filters.
Just thinking on this point, we are all actually assuming that this thing whatever it is "Does" in actual fact contain silver. The text under the picture just states "which we call Silver Bullet", but does not mention that it contains the offending metal. What it MAY contain is some other chemical that works in much the same way as that which is created by barley straw in ponds. Barley straw when floated just below the surface of the pond close to the water inlet, begins to decay, it then in this process creates a chemical, that is still not fully understood, that prevents the growth and production of many forms of coldwater algae. This chemical may react differently in tropical tanks and may affect tropical fish differently but I have put some barley straw in my new (Suey is happy now) goldie tank.
Edit//, before anybody says anything, yes the barley straw in the pond does require replacing at 6 monthly periods or when it has completely decayed unlike said Bullet which is supposed to last a lifetime. And no, for some reason it does not create ammonia as it rots unlike other organisms. This method of algae control has been around longer than many of the manufactured products on the market, because it works.