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Re: Blue green algae/source of aquarium goods

On Wed, 1 Mar 2000, Dwight wrote:

> Also, in a converstion I had w/ C.Gadd he suggested that Blue green algae
> was not consumed by our fav algae eaters b/c it is toxic.  I found
> documents on the net suggesting otherwise; but now I have my doubts about
> said documents b/c I have since been unable to record visual evidence that
> our fav algae eaters eating the stuff!

I've never seen anything eat the sorts of BGA we usually see in our
aquariums.  Some cyanophytes are toxic, but not all.  It may be more
likely that the BGA slime is just highly unpalatable.

> Under a microscope BGA is a massive ecosystem in its own right supporting a
> vast number of organisms.

As are most if not all clumps and films of algae.

> Finally, the recent objections of some list members to us "little-guy's"
> URLs as an unwanted commercial presence is wwaayyy misguided!  Our unique
> offerings would be rejected by LFS as too expensive (wholesale), market too
> small etc.  If we had to promote our stuff in the general internet din it
> would be too expensive and it would be tunned out.  It is WE who advance
> our hobby, NOT the major retailers, w/ our free advice, DIY projects and
> strange plants that cant be diplayed in your LFS.  How long do you think
> this source of info would last w/o $ to offset costs such as web-space?  Be
> realistic!

Excuse me, but I guess I don't see you in quite the same light that you
seem to see yourself.

Most of the plants I have and all of the equipment I buy for my tanks
(except replacement fluorescent tubes) comes from my favorite LFS.  None
was purchased online from a concern of any size, by mail order or even
from a major chain.  My LFS now provides almost everything a usual plant
keeper might need and they do it at a reasonable cost.  They offer
specialized substrate and substrate additives, ornamental stones and
driftwood, fertilizers and water treatments, a reasonable and constantly
changing selection of plants, a variety of algae eaters and a market for
rare and exceptional plants traded by local hobbyists.  Their prices on
fluorescent tubes are ridiculous and they don't stock CO2 systems or
lighting systems that are sufficient for planted tanks -- or reef tanks
for that matter -- but those things will come.

The hobby is advanced by hobbyists, by hobby organizations and by the
local shops where people (especially kids) go and become entranced by the
aquariums, their fish and plants.  Online commercial interests don't
promote the hobby; they only serve the needs of people who already have an
interest in the hobby.  To the extent that online commerce of any size
competes with the LFS the online retailers do the hobby great harm.

This hobby is in no way dependent on small-scale online retailers.  The
volume of information they provide is extremely minor compared to the
amount of information that is circulated in noncommercial channels (e.g.
the AGA and usenet, where most of what we know now was discussed years
ago).  In fact, information provided by retailers tends to be self-serving
at best and often quite inaccurate.  It's reasonably cautious to always
question the information provided by a vested interest.

Roger Miller