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Older post, snake oils revisted
- To: <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: Older post, snake oils revisted
- From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
- Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 21:49:53 -0500
- In-reply-to: <200212191044.gBJAiYGk029293 at otter_actwin.com>
- User-agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
> 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).
I used old seasoned straw, not green. I tried soaking outside in a bucket
for a couple of weeks. I tried the soaking bucket water. You are not going
to fed the algae anymore than fish waste and normal sources of Nitrogen.
Lack of nitrogen NO3 etc, or too much NH4 is another story.
> Also, existing studies point out that barley straw (if it
> works) will not really kill existing algae...only inhibit growth of new algae
Well, then........so will adding plants.......or adding amano
shrimps......or doing a water change..........or turning the lights out for
1-3 days.......or.......scrubbing and pruning a tank, running a UV etc.
These items certainly can be correlated to this same statement.
Now if "new cell development" is the issue we are talking about algae
fecundity and survival. New cells are far more susceptible to environmental
changes. A sudden shock in temp may do that also.
It's like almost all organisms, they release 100's, 1000's, millions of
spores with the average recruitment being perhaps 1/10 of one percent.
There's so many things that effect this recruitment process and juvenile
algae is not very well studied as it is.
Algal herbivores don't eat the old tough algae, they eat the tasty
nutritious young algae.
We humans do the same thing, young tender greens versus old out leaves that
have gone to pot. Same for critters.
Putting algae in that position is a key part of trimming and removal of
offending strands of algae, eg BBA etc.
> 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.
I don't think anyone needs something this mild/ineffectual. Especially at
27.99$ a bottle retail price. I can do the exact same thing and go it one
better doing a water change, little trim and add fresh nutrients to a tank.
I've been down this road dozens of times with these algae killer/inhibitors.
I know if it works or not. If it's mild or weak, there's no use in it.
A water change and trim will do more for the tank and gets to the root of
the issue. Growing plants.
> My reply: Very true. Would still wonder what the result would be with
> Daphnia and Rotifers absent.
By using a diatom or screening the water to about 20 microns, you could do
But this is a phytoplankton issue now if you are talking algae.
Not recruitment to surfaces here. Some rotifiers and other inverts will
nibble on epiphytic algae, snails sure will. A filter or a UV will out do
any chemical "cure" for that. So will turning the lights out. That doesn't
cost 27.99$ a bottle either.
> 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.
In the filter, it's fine or the gravel, just somewhere I don't see it, ponds
where/still are the main use for this stuff in the beginning.
> 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.
I don't know about that. It works pretty well seems to me. Example, the non
CO2 tank e.g., Diana Walstad method, is highly effective.
There are differing controls going on in each system, but the end result is
I'd like to work more on those types of tanks in the future critically.
> If something like this could work...or any form of algae control, filtration,
> etc...then it is certainly worth investigating.
That's why I stopped using snake oils and started using nutrients, they work
and do a great deal more to curb algae.
I'm embittered about snake oils and "cures". I think I've earned that
attitude over the years of trying those all out. Perhaps the Buddist
philosophy of suffering......:-)
Finally epiphany strikes and nirvana is seen, it's all about growing the
And off I go preaching to the faithful........
> 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
You bet. I have spent more time than I should have with these products.
Folks should check things out well, then they will know.
Then they can be all embittered later on too:) Pull up a rocker and we can
chew the cud and act crotchety to the next poor soul that comes along:-)
After doing the plants for some years I feel it still gets back to growing
the plants, not algae, so focus on the plants and their needs. This really
is the key to a nice planted tank. There's no secret.
No algae killer/inhibitor will grow plants.
Well except Tom's "Extra Virgin Snake Oil". 27.99$ a bottle.
"Scientifically proven secret formula" Grows hair where you want it, and
takes it off where you don't:)