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Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 12:05:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Richard J. Sexton" <richard at aquaria_net>
Subject: Bleach

As some of you may be aware I write the aquatic plants column for TFH
and now that Dave is back in charge of the magazine it's actually
not bad these days.

I outlined the bleach method for algae *eradication* as I'm
not interested in *controlling* thread algae in an issue and
some guy wrote a letter to the editor (editor at tfh_com) pretty
much demanding my head on a platter for being so stupid.

So, if you've used and had success with this method why don't
you write Dave a letter at the above address; I'm sure he be interested
to find I'm not actually the only person on the planet that
thinks this is a good idea.

Hey! I'm the guy who invented the bleach treatment, and its _only_ purpose is to eradicate hair algae, which turns out to be quite sensitive to the bleach and also not to have resistant spores. If you get rid of the hair algae, and are also careful to bleach new plants before adding them to your aquarium as well as not to dump in water from another aquarium that has hair algae, your aquarium will stay free of hair algae. It works for me! I have my plants free of hair algae for 30 years. The only time I have had re-infestations was when I did not bleach some plants adequately because I was using a very old bottle of bleach. I didn't realize that bleach loses its strength after a year or two.

It makes no sense to bleach some plants and then put them back in a hair algae infested aquarium. All too quickly, the hair algae will be back all over the treated plants. The bleach treatment is a bit rough on some species, and they have to be given some tender loving care while they recover. The bleach treatment has to be thorough enough to eradicate all hair algae from the plants, the aquarium and the gravel. You need one or more tanks for the treated plants to recover. The bleach treatment is time-consuming, but I believe it is worth the effort to permanently eradicate hair algae. The treatment will not eradicate green water algae, blue green algae, diatoms, or other single-celled types. Fortunately, these types can be controlled by other means.
Paul Krombholz in sunny central Mississippi