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[APD] RE: Copper to kill Cladophora(A mix of Paul and Neil'smethods)

Daphne said:
>  The copper suggestion sounded good because it wasn't as toxic as
> bleach and I didn't have to completely dismantle the tank.

Well, that's the good thing, you only need to remove plants, and inverts if
you have them. 
Fish can stay in there, filtration, bacteria etc.

> If I removed all the plants, fish, shrimp and some snails could I hit the
> tank with a double or even higher dose of copper and wipe out the
> do you think?  

You will not need to go higher than this.
If it kills plants, it'll kill algae.
Adding more at this point will not kill more algae.
Algae are smaller and need less exposure(concentration and duration
depending on size)
Riccia and moss are very close to the similar size as Cladophora.
More might kill faster, but I doubt that's needed here. 
Which is the point, so you can leave the fish in there. 

See Neil's suggestions for killing BBA using copper in archives and the
Also Paul K's notion of preventing Cladophora by bleach dipping plants in
ther APD archive.

This is just a mix of Paul's and Neil's suggestions to kill off Cladophora.
Neil's for killing what's there, Paul's for picking and cleaning and
sterilization for Cladophora.
If you are careful and pick the plants you return back to the tank, then
dip them in some limewater/bleach etc, you will very likely not see it
again, unless you add  plants/water that has Cladophora in/on it.   

The recommended dose is 1 teaspoon of Copper Safe per 4
> gallons of water.  The question about increasing the dose is simply
> cladophora is on/in my gravel and is hard to kill, it takes a long time
> in bleach.  

3-5 days with high copper should be enough combined with a blackout.
The plants are elsewhere in a bucket anyway. 
Bleach would kill everything within a few minutes. 
It's much harsher, kills fish & bacteria also.

Many folks do not have another tank to put the fish in as well.  
I don't mind removing plants, fish are tougher to catch:)

>With no live animals in the tank, just gravel, driftwood and
> equipment, what would it hurt except the algae and perhaps my bacterial

Nothing... but it's  hassle(not that this method is not, but it's better
than dealing with Cladophora for some folks)
May as well use bleach and restart.

But that's the point here, you don't have to re start from the beginning.
The bacterial bed/fish can be left alone.

> By leaving the Eheim and CO2 running, the copper should kill anything
> floating in them as well I would think?  I am not sure if the driftwood
> would absorb copper or if the gravel would be a problem with overdosing. 

I do not think it would cause a problem at low levels if you do regular
water changes etc. 
Some have worried about Copper preciptating but this is chelated copper and
should and stay in solution a while( a month or so I recall). 
Water changes should remove almost all of it and plants __do__ use copper
as a nutrient at low levels.

> Afterwards, I could remove all water down to the gravel a couple times,
> rinse out the Eheim and CO2 reactor and use the filter media (Cuprisorb or
> Poly Filter?) that absorbs copper.  Then just leave the tank running for
> another day or so replacing the filter pads till it no longer showed
> in the water.

I do not think you will find any benefit to over kill.
This is already a rather radical process I'm suggesting.
The small amount of Copper left poses no threat to plants. 
Might help kill algae and help plants grow a little better at low levels
even(with Crypts certainly).

> The plants would be checked thoroughly and everything either
> treated with peroxide or soaked in lime or whatever would kill it.  

Bleach dips(20 water:1 bleach) will work just fine.

> Would the lime, alum or peroxide be more effective at killing the
> on the plants rather than bleach and how diluted would you recommend or
> would you dilute it at all? 

Well, whatever's handy.
You can lime longer than bleach. Good tweezer picking will help more than
the choice of disinfectant. 
Then after a good cleaning/picking, dip(less time for fine needled
plants/mosses/Riccia etc, long for the tough leaf plants)
return to the tank or return to the bucket for a day before you return the
plpants and then add another dip later right before you replant.
A series of dips will work well with the blackout, but again, I think more
than one or two dips is going to be over kill/uneeded work.
If you are consistent with the picking and dipping, over kill is uneeded. 
> In the past, I have syringed a portion of driftwood with straight peroxide
> (the water level was dropped below the wood and a drip pan held under it
> I would minimize  getting it into the water).   It helped but it still
> a couple applications over a few weeks to get rid of it even with straight
> peroxide. 

Peroxide takes too long but it's good for minor stuff and is not that good
for the gravel pieces infected of Cladophora.

 Wood is probably the worst because of the porosity but this is
> still one tough algae.  There are several plants in my tank that can't
> handle bleach but I have never tried soaking them in peroxide, alum or
> to eradicate it.

Lime would work well I would think for these plants. Temp variations,
blackout, dips over various chemicals can work.
You can see most Cladophora attached on plants.  

> Another APDer is currently trying Algae Fix in a tank to eradicate
> cladophora with the plants still in it but I am concerned it may not be
> potent enough and copper sounds pretty strong.  I am looking to fry this
> algae once and for all!
> Thanks as always for your help.
> Daphne

Well, I do not think you are going to find something that kills this algae
and leaves plants alone. There's never been any pattern to aquarium
algicides, sometimes they SEEM to work, sometimes/most of the time they
don't.I've tried many of them and I have not found one to date that worked
as claimed. Maybe I'm just always unlucky?:-)

IF THESE REALLY WORKED, they would work all the time. But they
don't.............so is it their product that cures this algae problem or
is it the aquarist decided to take better care of the tank, added more CO2,
added herbivores, removed some plants that are good place for this algae to
get tangled up in? I've removed the offending tangles of plants alone and
was able to remove this alga. 

Wouldn't a mild solution of copper do the same thing?
YES and it does but does one better, it works almost all the time, but some
plants are copper sensitive(just like algae).
And it's cheaper. 

But this usage of copper seems more effective than these various WONDER
CURES that cost more and are of questionable effectiveness and are marketed
to the desperate. Sorry, you are desperate if you buy these and tell
yourself, "Well maybe it works" with high hopes.
Folks will also try these snake oils since is an easier step, doesn't
require any work. The aquarist figures, "well for 10$, 20$, 30$ it doesn't
hurt to try and if it works great.If it doesn't well, I waste 10$ and still
have to do this work later anyhow". 

If every aquarist does this path that has an algae issue, these products
sell well, if not, they don't sell. Of course the makers will market these
products and make various claims, they always will. They want your $ and
maybe it'll work/maybe not .......but so will those Diet pill makers you
get spammed with daily claim also. 

Not sure why people cannot see the connection, they don't buy the diet
pills and know better but do not apply this same level of awareness here.
I'm reading an ad about Hydrillia(an aquatic weed) being the "Super food",
"From sexual has been, to 75 year Stud", "weight loss", "has DNA"(most
things we eat have this:-) that reprogram your "aging gland", and "all new
Research from leading Universities.." yada yada. Needless to say, I am
quite critical about these claims. 

Why not use copper if you don't have plants and you want to kill algae and
if you have plants, grow them and if that doesn't work, copper the tank and
dip the plants and return. 

Copper is also a plant nutrient, unlike the other products, and after
lowering the concentration, the small amount leftover can be assimilated. 
Cladophora is one of those filamentous alga's that is particularly tough
and as you can see with the Claldophora Balls, grows pretty much like a
slow growing plant in good conditions for plants. Therefore, algae killers
that do not harm plants will very likely not even do a thing to this alga.
Think about this last part a bit. Let it settle in your mind a bit. 

Tom Barr


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