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Re: disinfection/beard algae

Ok, I may not be the best person to answer this, but
I'll give it my best shot.  

Yes, it is much better to avoid getting it in the
first place.  A 1/20 bleach to water dip will slow
plants down for awhile, but they will recover before
too long.  

It is much better to get plants the day they come in
to the store, preferably before they're placed in the
dealer's tanks.  It's less of a shock to the plant,
and you can avoid the nasty algaes that often show up
in dealer tanks.  The show tanks may look nice and
have optimal conditions for growing plants, but the
tanks plants are sold out of are usually just well
enough kept to keep the plants alive for sale.  
I have never seen plants come in covered with algae
from nurseries, but plenty of stores, even the best
ones, often have plants infected with that scourge of
planted tanks, beard algae.  This stuff is the
absolute worst.  

In my opinion, any other algae besides this one will
not grow (much anyway) without the proper conditions
despite their introduction.  Getting your tank to get
a good balance where plants grow optimally and leave
nothing for the algae takes some practice, but is well
within reach.  I have almost no algae in my tank at
all (a tiny bit of green spot- all those Caridina sure
do help), but I've had pretty much everything at one
time or another.  As my plant growth has improved,
algae has diminished drastically.  Most went away in
due time, but the beard algae hung on for awhile.

What I mean to say is, if you introduced a sample of
every type of algae known to be a problem in planted
tanks before you get things going, all but beard algae
will disappear.  The thing about BA is how it can hang
on so long after other algae have gone.  I think
conditions actually have to be better than they
normally would be to avoid other types of algae being
a problem to get rid of BA.  I wonder what would
happen if any of it got into my tank now.  

Beard algae is that grey-green stuff that grows in
thick looking threads on older leaves and stems.  I
avoid any plants from tanks where the stuff is
present, regardless of possible bleach treatments.  A
good picture of BA appears in volume 1 (pretty sure,
maybe 2) of the Baensch Atlas.  Avoid this, and
everything will work itself out.

Also, to anyone reading this, please comment on my PCF
question!  Inquiring minds want to know!  

Thanks, and I hope this helps some, Cavan.        


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