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Algae Control Question
I also posted this to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
I have become very interested in the various mechanisms in algae control
that have been speculated about in the pond and aquarium communities. Of
particular interest to me is the use of hydrogen peroxide in controlling
algae because it has many other beneficial effects (stay tuned for a
research project into this area).
Anyway, while reading an article at
http://saps1.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/articles/barley.html on the hypothesized
mechanism of barley straw's algaecidal properties, I noticed that the
authors attributed the algaecidal properties to a series of events.
1) Barley straw decomposes releasing lignins.
2) Lignins are oxidized to produce humic acids.
3) Sunlight (UV?) acts upon the humic acids to produce H2O2.
4) H2O2 inhibits algae growth.
Having used peroxide to rid my tanks of algae in the past, this article
got me to thinking. On my 80g tank I had a ton of brown algae show up
about a week after setting the tank up. This stuff went from little
spots on a rock to covering the rock in a brown lawn in a matter of
days. Instead of adding peroxide though, I added some Otocinclus. At the
same time I added some homemade peat extract. Within a few days the rock
had become algae free. In fact, most of the plant leaves lost their
algae also. The article I was reading made me wonder if it wasn't so
much the Otocinclus', but the addition of peat extract (humic acids)
that did the job.
Anyone care to speculate? Or, better yet, anyone care to experiment?
If my thought holds true, then that means that people who use peat
extracts will generally not have algae problems. Is this borne out by
the empirical evidence?