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Re: Carpeting Algae -- BGA -- Erythromycin

Robert H. debated with Tom re the use of Erythromycin to kill off, or
fend of so-called "Blue-green algae" (BGA).

Just to be clear, when Robert spoke of using Maracyn, he was speaking
of erythromycin.  Maracyn is Mardel's brand name for a product it
manufacuters, the active ingredient of which is erythromycin.  Other
companies also manufacture Erythromycin for aquarium use.

Just to throw in my own meager experience.  I have used erythromycin a
couple of times to drive back the dreaded nasty cyanobacteria BGA. 
This was a couple of years ago and it worked.  When conditons were
right again for BGA, it reappeared in the same tanks.  I have had
success equal to using erythromycin by adjusting tank conditions to get
rid of BGA.  It appears that, so long as conditons remain on target,
the dragon sleeps.  But when P or N get goofy, the dragon awakes.  And
when it awakens it comes to life quickly.  I lost several months worth
of growth of Kwek Leong's Christmas Moss before I beat back the BGA --
is it jsut my tank or is that stuff a BGA magnet?  

Try as I might not to, I know that I am going to let the P or N get out
of whack now and then (well, I am getting better at managing things but
. . .)  So I expect BGA to reappear now and then.  If I keep using
erythromycin, I'm afraid erythromycin-resistant BGA will develop in my
tanks if I keep using the antibiotic to treat it.  OTOH, if it only
reappears every few years, maybe erythromycin-resistance is not likely
to develop -- in general, IMO, there's more myth than theory floating
around about antibiotic resistance.

Myth is like the BGA of science.

Scott H.

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