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Re: To be, or not to be...

By all means, be.

On Thu, 11 May 2000, Bob Olesen wrote:

> I'm totally disgusted...
> Forget about CO2 runs, if I don't get this first tank straightened out - my
> family will never let me have any others.
> My new 9 day old tank is overgrown with this brownish threadlike algae.

First, I suggest that you stop your fertilizer regime until the algae is
under control.

Second, you might try adding some ramshorn snails.  I have an Echinodorus
LFS-ensis growing out of a fish bowl.  At some point after I started the
plant the fish bowl became clogged with a very fine, soft brown hair
algae.  The stuff was very tender and about as fine as cotton.  I was able
to keep it down by removing it (I used a fork), but then I added a couple
ramshorns and never had to remove any again.  It was pretty much gone in a
couple weeks.  Of course, in a 70 gallon tank you're going to need more
than a couple.  Ramshorn's a fairly easy to pick out later, and
snail-eating loaches love'em.

Third, and over a longer term your tank will probably need a much bigger
algae crew than 2 otos and a molly with 7 babies.  Ghost shrimp eat some
algae but they're primarily scavengers.  Otos are surface-cleaners and
probably won't do much for hair algae.  If you want to depend on them you
will need far more than two -- 8 might be a starting point.  I haven't
tried rosey barbs, but they sound like a good bet for your tank; a group
of 10 or so female platies, swordtails or mollies would probably help, two
or three SAEs would be good if you can find them.  An army of "amano"
shrimp would be helpful but probably very expensive.  Flag fish are good
hair-algae eaters but I can't advise them if you have any interest in
trying to grow small or fine-leafed plants.

On a tangent... My fav. LFS sells common tetras for cycling tanks and I've
heard them tell customers that they'll buy the fish back at the original
price after the tank is cycled.  A deal like that with algae eaters would
be a good thing for an LFS to offer the new planted tank keeper.
Incidentally (speaking of the LFS) I traded in some plants last weekend
and while there commented that their plant stock was really down and not
in very good shape.  They told me that they couldn't buy plants and get
them stocked fast enough to keep up with the demand.

Finally, I don't understand the concept behind your fertilizing regime.
It would probably be better to find and stick with one approach, one
commercial product, or a complimentary group of products designed to work
together.  In the interim while your tank recovers from this problem you
might look for fertilizing method with a little more focus.

Roger Miller

in Albuquerque with dry air and gusting winds predicted to reach 50 mph.