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Re: The War on Oedogonium

    * From: "Rebecca" <r2r at sympatico_ca>

>>First, I don't know if I've identified this algae correctly... it's short
(less than 5 mm) strands, bright to mid green, attached very firmly to
glass, plant leaves, decorations in spreading patches (ie, the strands grow
so close together it resembles a green pelt.) In one tank, my platies appear
to nibble it, but neither otocinclus nor shrimp (ghost, amano) seem to
consume much of it. If this doesn't sound like oedogonium, let me know...>>

>>I was wondering if anyone knows a particular aquarium condition it really
likes (or more importantly, a condition it really hates.) I have low-light
tanks, pH about 7.6, nitrates are usually <20 ppm, don't fertilize except
for an occasional dollop of Kent's micronutrient (manganese, copper, iron, I
think -- the algae seems to stay the same whether I do that or not) Before
any "nasty" algaes get into my tank, I always have nice growth of soft green
film algaes which the otos like. If I introduce oedogonium on a plant, it
takes over the tank and the other algae growth appears to be inhibited. The
platy tank has NO visible algae except for this green pelt and large tufts
of black beard algae (the short feathery type). In another tank I have the
green pelt only. It seems close to smothering the anubias leaves. Plants
(java fern, anubias, bolbitis, crypt wendtii) seem to be growing and look

Yes, it is Oedogonium.  There is no doubt in my mind after reading your
description.  Oedogonium is very tough.  I dought there are tank conditions
that could get rid of it other than boiling temperatures.  I have
experimented a bit on Oedogonium, and have found that six months in total
darkness does not kill it or, apparently, even bother it.  Oedogonium is
why I developed the bleach treatment.  I could live with Cladophora,
Staghorn algae, etc, but Oedogonium was too ugly to live with, and I had to
come up with something drastic.  Oedogonium is quite sensitive to the 5%
liquid bleach, but when there is a thick coating on the plant, the bleach
does not penetrate down to the base of the hairs unless you agitate
vigorously.  You have to kill it all the way down to its point of
attachment, or it will come right back.  If you grow the plants in low
light, the hairs are much more sparse, and then the bleach treatment kills
them much more quickly.

Paul Krombholz in clear,frosty central Mississippi where the sky was blue
and there was an object in it identified as the sun.