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Re: algaefix

Here we go again.
I formally challenge any one of the developers of these "cures", "Fixers",
whatever to come here and address this issue with me:)

> Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 20:57:44 -0500
> From: Neil Frank <aquarian.subjects at mindspring_com>
> Subject: New product called ALGAEFIX - kills Oedogonium??

> At the Carolina workshop, Ray Lucas had a Aquarium Pharmaceuticals display
> where I saw their product "ALGAEFIX." The label says it kills Oedogonium
> (green fur algae) and Audouinella (BBA). There was nothing about effects on
> plants and fishes. It said dont use with crustaceans.

There are two separate issues here:
Being an aquarium product:
1)If you have a fish only aquarium _without_ invertebrates this product may
work: but...copper sulfate does the same and kills more species of algae,
cheap and available. It also kills a number of fish parasites. So why should
I buy this (Algaefix) product?

2) Is it for a planted(macrophyte) aquarium? If so, this notion is
inherently flawed from the start. It is only a "band aid", does not address
the cause. See below.
> The active ingredient is

I can assure you this: It's not a plant nutrient. Anyone disagree?

> I am generally skeptical about stuff like this (most poly-syllabic chemicals
> are nasty), so I have initiated an investigation to find the data they
> presented to get the product registered. If it is bad stuff they will hear
> about it from me. I will also report back to APD.
> In the meanwhile, let us know if anyone has anyone has tried the stuff?

I gave up on any focus on chemical cures. It's flawed in relevance to plant
growth in aquariums.
> Neil
> PS. In the late mid 80's I reviewed a bunch of algicides for FAMA,
> including one sold by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. After my critical review,
> their product disappeared from the market. It contained Atrazine, a
> persistant agricultural pesticide, that I learned was causing problems
> (thru runoff) to aquatic life in the Chesapeake Bay.

I recall his article, we've had a few talks over the years on algae issues.

For a planted aquarium:

These "cures" are inherently flawed from the start.
Here's why:
They don't address the cause of the algae in the first place. Poor plant
growth. Healthy submersed plant growth is an extremely hostile place for
algae to grow. When the plant growth is poor, algae moves in.

The focus should be on growing the plants healthy, not trying to kill algae.
Give them proper nutrients and lighting environment. If you decide that poor
plant growth is what your goal is well... then this may be the product for

It doesn't matter what this product is, claims or does, it still will not
address the plant's needs which are nutrients and lighting.
If you want a chemical cure: NPK, CO2, good lighting, substrate etc
maintained in  a good range.
Maintenance alone can remove a great deal of algae.
Herbivores, namely the S.A.E. (E. siamensis), will take care of both genera
very effectively. 
By doing this, one can solve any algae bane from happening and also remove
it if it does appear due to lack of maintenance and neglect.
If you placed either of these algae in my tanks they will die and be eaten.

I have super planted tanks with zero visible algae presence(except for a
Japanese Cladophra ball which I want to keep) and excellent plant growth. I
keep herbivores and maintain simple adequate nutrition for the plants which
are most often stunted by aquarist not adding enough nutrients(namely CO2
and NO3) or if using a non CO2 method less lighting and placement of the
nutrients into the substrate(algae don't have roots) and a few other
tenants. Improper CO2 levels(most often too low) are almost always the root
cause for the Audouinella (BBA) in most planted tanks. You cannot remove it
by limiting a nutrient(N or P) without stunting and killing your plants. It
can survive on far less N and P than most any higher plant. It grows much
slower in a non CO2 tank and adding a herbivore along with pruning of
infected leaves addresses any of these issues and will permanently control
future outbreaks.

Whether or not the chemical does anything that they say it does is
debatable, the underlying principle (at least in  a planted aquarium) is
fatally flawed in it's use and application. Copper sulfate addresses the
issues for the fish only aquarium. If it's cheaper than other copper sulfate
chelated products out there, it might make it as a consumer product(provided
it's not like Atrazine), but if not? It will likely disappear after sometime
has passed. Many of the product like "miracle algae cures for planted tanks"
prey on those who are frustrated and don't know any better. As far as fish
only tanks, there are several companies that make copper based products. You
can also simply turn your light off for a week or so to kill about 90% of
aquarium algae in a fish only tank. Doesn't cost a thing and adds nothing.
Do a good water change before and after.

Tom Barr