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[APD] RE: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 5, Issue 66

> Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 21:09:46 -0500
> From: Craig Morrison <craig at fishpalace_org>
> Subject: [APD] Encouraging algae growth
> To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
> I know this is a little off-topic and some might think strange, but..
> I am setting up a specialized tank for hillstream loaches. These fish 
> are algae grazers. I'm especially interested in growing diatoms (and 
> keeping them growing) and red algae.
> Suggestions?

Diatoms will likely be growing no matter what you do unl;ess you add
grazers like otto cats.
It's not the algae so much as the critters/bacteria that live intermixed
within the algae.
High current, cool water, lots of surfaces and high light with aeration. I
do not think they will eat the red algae or like it particularly, the green
Pithophora is better suited for what you want to do and will likely grow
there anyways. 
You can add house plant ferts, say a couple of drops in a 10-20 gallon
every few days to keep growth unless you feed the fish well.
I would expect them to graze on Cladophora, Rhizoclonium, Pithophora, green
spot, Dicotomosiphon, Vaucheria, diatoms more than red alga. 
These are common stream species. Just don't go too crazy with the ferts. It
should not take much to get a good algae response, make sure the filter is
in good shape(able to handle NH4 form the fert's if the algae don't get it
Main thing is provide _lots_ of current, aeration/surface turbulance, and
feed the fish well or and/dose a little plant ferts. 
If you have some BBA, try seeing if you can grow it in there, add a rock
that's covered.

Tom Barr 

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