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Stuff on Roots & Stuff on E. Tenellus

My tank has been doing very well lately. I just had to remove about 50 very
nice vallisneria plants from it to prevent the val from choking out the
other plants, and let more light into the tank.  I noticed that, on the
roots of the vallisneria and the anacharis, there are clumps of red stuff
stuck to the white roots.  Its the same color as AP Laterite.  It seems to
be coagulated on quite well. I only have about a pound of Laterite in about
160 lbs of gravel.

Is this evidence of the roots finding the Laterite and chemically
interacting with it to promote the exchange of compounds?  I've read where
clay helps plants to collect nutrients.

Also, I have not had any further problems with algae but I noticed something
on my E. Tenellus that looks very suspicious.  It is dark and threadlike,
about one-half the diameter of a nodal root from a cardimine lyrata plant; I
little thicker than a hair.  It branches a bit.  It seems to be growing at
the very tips of some of the leaves.
I had to look twice as my vision is not that good, but something is there.

Anybody know if E. Tenellus gives off roots like this?  How could I identify
it if I put it under a microscope? (What does algae look like?)

I though it strange that algae would only grow on one species, but I guess
it is the only thing in the tank right now that is providing the "Algae"
with what it needs to survive.

Steve Pituch