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Re: Hairalgae and "young" algae

> Most recently , I pulled out a huge stand of
> telanthera.  Afterwards, I had a return of the dark
> hair algae.  But I still had my SAEs and my 2 flag
> fish in the tank, along with some amano shrimp.  The
> algae was not deterred.

Did the water change and add fresh nutrients back into your tank?
I regularly remove large amounts of plants from my tanks. My tanks don't
crash. Those big water changes and addition of nutrients back help.
> It seems that upsetting the balance of a tank is what
> causes algae to occur, in a tank previously free from
> algae.  Whether that be an increase in fish
> load/waste,

Seldom a problem is most cases.

> a change in dosing, change in water change
> schedule,

This is more common, dosing more so.

> adding lights, or removal of plant biomass.

Removal of plant biomass is somewhat it to certain degree. But a good prune,
removing all that so-so lower plant portion sure helps and keeps the tank
looking good and keeping the fresh growing tips actively growing. The lower
portions are not actively growing. These are not really active biomass
except as something going into the substrate as a root nutrient source etc
in most cases. Depends on your layout and all but in many tanks this is the
case. A hairgrass field and nothing else will not this problem for example.
> This imbalance eventually reaches an equilibrium, and
> the the plants outcompete the algae.  It just takes
> time.

A little time. But you can actively go after it too.
Water change and rebuild the nutrient back up. Repeat.
This can speed up the process along with herbivores en mass.
UV and Diatom/mechanical filtration can also help.
A good pruning prior to this is  a good idea. Then all that's left in the
tank are fresh shoots and clean nutrient rich water and little algae and
lots of hungry algae eaters.


Many Phycologist do little in the way of juvenile studies on algae. Most are
done adults. A juvenile alga has a far less chance at making it than an
adult alga. They have to attach etc not get eaten, have enough nutrients to
grow, etc.
While the attached adult has a 100% of making it and perhaps in producing
gametes/spores etc. The old tough adult is not very nutritious either. The
fresh young tender juveniles on the other are quite tasty to the algae
eater. Hey, would you like some old gone to flower lettuce that's got holes
in it etc or some nice young tender new fresh leaf lettuce? Where would you
find the most nutrition? The young stuff will be preferred over the adults.
Just like plant eaters. They eat the nice tender new shoots, not the older
ones. Algae cannot attach and become adults to the newer leaves since they
have not had enough time also. Pruning these older leaves removes the
Something to think about regarding algae.

> My guess is that a lot of what we do to "cure"
> algae doesn't do much.  It's much like the history of
> medicine.  Most people with common illnesses get
> better without intervention.  The fallacy occurs when
> we attribute a cure to an intervention when in fact
> there was no connection.  Doctors practiced what had
> worked "in their experience" and these logical
> fallacies were passed from one generation to the next.
> So maybe adding the flag fish was not the miracle
> cure I thought it was.  The algae was going to go
> away, flag fish or not.

In many cases this will indeed happen but then this begs the question why.
Was it time?......... or a shift in your nutrients(this can be active or
passive as you've suggested), additions of a nutrient(s) a good pruning etc.
Algae are opportunistic(at least the kinds that we deal with) and look for a
short time frame to get a good foot hold for their life cycle and then they
can go dormant till the conditions become favorable again. Think of it like
"seeds" making through the dry season till the rains come again. The "rain"
is poor conditions(old slow growing inactive dead plant parts or no lack of
a nutrient(s)) for the plants.
> Most recently I have added a trio of ameca splendens
> to my tank.  The algae has abated a bit, and I have
> noticed the fish nibbling on the algae.  But this
> time, I am not ready to attribute a decline in algae
> to adding three small fish to my tank.  But in my
> experience....  :)

Now find out why:)
Tom Barr