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[APD] RE: Reducing/controlling algae

Personally, I'm not at all keen on adding any type of chemicals to the

Infestation of algae is always a sign of an imbalance of some type, usually
a mixture of lighting and nutrients.

Get the balance right and you won't have a problem.

So I agree with all the non-chemical addition recommendations listed here
but would forget about adding pouches/chemicals.

Nitrate/phosphate removers might be useful as a specific one-time
intervention if you have an imbalance but otherwise if your plants are doing
well (and you have enough of them) and you do regular water changes (I do
35% every two weeks) you won't have an issue with these either.

Quite a few chemicals/pouches/resins etc actually replace what you're trying
to remove with something else.  Most of the time you don't want that
"something else" either!

Also, why would you want to reduce bacteria levels? The right type of
bacteria is exactly what you need to reduce NH3/4 to NO3 (nitrates).  There
is even aneorobic bacteria that reduces nitrates to gaseous nitrogen
(therefore eliminating the nitrates...)



Message: 1
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 11:19:39 -0700
From: "Steve Coach" <steve at stevecoach_com>
Subject: [APD] RE: Reducing/controlling algae
To: "aquatic plants digest" <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>

Strategies for coping with algae:

Lower phosphates to .5 and keep nitrates down to 10.0. Install an in-line UV
sterilizer to keep a handle on the algae. The UV light will also tend to
clump algae together making it easier for your filter system to remove it
from the water column. Lower lighting levels if you can do it without a
detrimental effect on your plants. If you can safely increase you acidity
(say to around 6.8, or even 6.6) it will tend to discourage algae. Also,
lighting that is 5,000k is less inclined to promote algae than lighting that
is 6,500k. Avoid direct (and indirect) sunlight. Try using a fish-safe algae
reducing (non-chemical) product such as Algone (check the Internet). The
pouches come in 2 sizes. The larger size is the better buy. It is for tanks
larger than 60 gallons, costs about 25% more, but contains about 3 times as
much produce (according to the company). One pouch will work on your tank
for 2 weeks, then replace it with another pouch. You should see an
appreciable difference within a few weeks (2 or 3 max).

Algae problems tend to be directly linked to ambient residual nutrient
levels in the water column, so try increasing your water changes (either
increase the amount changed, or the frequency of changes). Also, if you can
do it without harm to your fish, cut back on the amount of food in their
feedings. A company called ChlorFree (can be found on the Internet) has an
aquarium product that will take care of algae. It cannot be used in tanks
with "scaleless" fish. It is a scientifically designed amalgam of some 4
different materials (including specific percentages of specific metals) that
very slowly ionizes your water over time. It is shaped like a little coil
and drops right into your filter medium. It keeps bacteria and algae from
being able to multiply so they will eventually just decline to almost zilch.
Panasonic, the electronics people, also make a line of aquarium products --
one of which reduces nitrate in the water column. Nitrate is a chief
component that drives algae. The product is called Amteclean-N (phosphate
reducer is Amteclean-P). I have no idea where to find these products. If you
find a source, let me know. Their Amteclean-N uses coconut and rapeseed oil
and is non-toxic to plants and fish.

I hope this helps.


Earnest Steve

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