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Re: Why plants grow and algae don't

Thanks Tom and Neil for your replies to my question as to 'Why plants grow
and algae don't' when plenty of nutrients are available.

Tom wrote (in part):

Once inoculated, GW is hard to get rid of unless you use fine
filtration(diatom/Micron), UV's, blackouts.

To prevent it from coming back: Don't add things like Jobes sticks to you
substrate and lift them back up not the water column when you replant/prune.
Add more biofilter material. Keep the NO3 up. Reduce the fish load if very
high. NH4 is a trigger that inoculates GW. Avoid things that allow NH4 in
your tank's water and if you do a pruning etc do a water change right after.
Don't harm your biofilter etc

I am convinced that my GW problem began when I uprooted an Aponogeton bulb
which I had fertilized with a Jobes stick. I saw the fuzzy white stuff
floating around and had a bad feeling about it... I was more concerned for
the fish at the time but probably didn't need to worry about _that_. I
probably did a 30-50% water change then but it clearly wasn't enough. (I
don't think I will be using Jobes again after this unless I was sure I
wasn't going to be rearranging the plants for a long time. They turn to
jelly. I'd be interested in knowing if people who advocate them ever dig
them up.)

I have tried diatom filtration (Diatomagic) and micron filtration (HOT
magnum). My local fish store (I can't bring myself to use those new-fangled
acronyms yet) loaned me the Diatomagic so I only used it for a few hours -
it definitely cleared the GW some but left a haze. The micron filter
doesn't seem to have much affect on the haze. The best thing for me has
been daily 30-50% water changes - I can clearly see the back of my tank at
least once a day...

I have tried and am trying some of the other things too that I don't need
to go into (but I will say that I made on brief, shamefaced foray into the
chemical - an application of flocculent too timid to have any effect and
not repeated). I'm not particularily upset about the GW as it is now - as
long as I'm making progress. The fish have never been bothered by it as far
as I can tell.

Neil wrote:

> But if there are plenty of macros and
>micros and light and CO2 etc etc, what holds the algae back?

Good question!  Wish we had the answer!

I knew there wasn't going to be an easy answer - I was just hoping for some
insights from people with experience in this sort of thing! I had actually
gone to the library for books on phycology (which I frankly wouldn't have
been able to define before my library visit) but the question as I posed it
is probably too nebulous for textbook treatment.

Thanks again for your replies. I'm still digesting the meatier parts. I'd
be honored if other people would chime in too.