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Re: Allelopathic Chemicals
I have not received any discussion updates for a week or so for some reason
so I had to go to the website to view the last few posts. I will try to
continue the discussion so please forgive me if this is confusing:
Tom Barr referring to my question about Barley Straw use:
"I never found this to be the case. Does it hurt? No, does it help? Not in
mytanks.Is it something else yet to sell to folks with algae problems? I'll
hang onto my money."
My reply: I cannot agree or disagree because I have not tried it. However,
let me point out that the information I have found states that green straw
should not be used because it will decay and release too many nitrogen
compounds and actually feed the algae. (You had mentioned you had also used
green algae). Also, existing studies point out that barley straw (if it
works) will not really kill existing algae...only inhibit growth of new algae
cells. This may end up with the same end result by not allowing the algae to
reproduce but it would certainly not be indicated for a preexisting algae
problem. I think the potential use (please stress potential) is that it
could help prevent algae blooms.
Tom Barr said"
"In the literature I've found it had _zero_ effect on hair algae, someeffects
on Green water type phytoplankton, but this was also correlated withan
increase in rotifer biomass which eat ..........you got
it,phytoplankton........I'd a say adding rotifers or Daphnia(these are much
larger and make greatfish food) would do the same given some time. Rotifers
are small enough notto get eaten by most fish. Daphnia are much more
efficient herbivoresthough. It had no effects on any red alga(AStaghorn, BBA
My reply: Very true. Would still wonder what the result would be with
Daphnia and Rotifers absent.
Tom's Reply to my comment about the study not being conducted on a small
"Consider trimming and pruning 2000 gallons. Or doing a 50% water change
andadding fresh nutrients back etc. Or adding CO2.Personally, I find a pond
full of rotting straw quite nasty, I'll take someDaphnia or other herbivores
to do the work(Koi, carp etc)>"
My reply: I may agree with your comment about nasty rotting straw but again,
if applied in small amounts in an aquarium, in a filter box, and in a small
mesh bag..I don't know if it would be any more nasty than existing mulm in
the gravel bed or peat to a filter, etc.
Tom's reply to my consideration of a testing model"
"Be there, done that.Be careful how you draw conclusions.Folks that claim
algae control products work well often have algae problemsto start with. Only
by controlling the cause and then inducing some algae,will tell much about a
product or what's going on.You may attribute the cause to something that had
nothing to do with thealgae's demise.Adding cultures of exponentially growing
algae with relative good access tonutrients, light etc and maintaining good
controls rather than some halfdead algae will tell if something is relatively
effective or not. I do notthink the studies accounted for that in some
cases.Aquarist's tank's that have algae to start with are problem tanks
generally.There's the simple practical method, add it to your own tank and
see if itget rid of something etc. I never found any effect with any of thes
eproducts. My personal opinion and philosophy: I think folks should get away
from allthese extra algae killers, controllers etc. It leads them down a long
paththat does not address the plants at all and cost them more $ in the
longrun. I have grown more species of FW algae and exposed my tank's to many
species,but I do not need these products.I can honestly say I never will need
them either.But folks say, "well that's _you_". I don't do anything magic, I
don't havea wand. I've said it a few hundred times. Grow the plants, the
algae will not. Strawdoes not grow plants.Regards, Tom Barr
All very good thoughts and information. I happen to agree to a point but too
much of a good thing can always be said about just about
everything...including adhering to the "natural method" of aquarium keeping.
If something like this could work...or any form of algae control, filtration,
etc...then it is certainly worth investigating. I just think it is worth
looking into with an open but always cautious and questioning mind. In any
case...sure sounds like a good topic to study for awhile. Thanks Tom for the