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Re: Algae Control Question

Jerry Baker wrote:

>Having used peroxide to rid my tanks of algae in the past, this article
>got me to thinking.

I have been interested in algae control for a really long time, but
interestingly, I never used H2O2. Can you give us the procedure or point to
a summary from a past APD? In the late 1980's there was a H2O2 "generator"
which was marketed by Aquarium Products. It claimed many benefits,
including reduced algae. Never tried it though. 

>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? 
Brown algae is common in new tanks which then evolve into another type. I
will accept your observation about timing and assume that there might in
fact be cause and effect. If you get another algae as I suggest, let us
know how the H2O2 does again. Accepting your hypothesis, my intuition then
says :something to do with the ability of humic acid to chelate/bind with
cetain nutrients (maybe trace elements), somehow making them unavailable to
the algae. 
I did a quick search on the web and second hit:
said "A common ingredient of peat and soil may rob plants of the nutrients
they need to grow, according to research at Ohio State University." Turns
out it might be nitrogen! Study was in 1999.

Or, better yet, anyone care to experiment?

I am game. I imagine it may depend on concentration of peat extract and
Nitrogen concentration in the water column tank. The plants have stored N
which allow them to endure the presumably short term effects of the humic

>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?

Cant say, but in the early 80's I used to add peat extract to my tank, used
peat in the canister filter and I still keep peat in the substrate of some
t anks . My plants seemed to do well and were not overun as much as other
folks by algae - except for BBA which I bet is immune to the peat trick. I
dont have BBA, so I can volunteer for that experiment.:-)