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Re: [APD] RE: Reducing/controlling algae

I'm not sure what Laith meant -- I don't think he's
speaking against chems in general but is only referring to
special chemicals as filters -- such as phosphate
absorbers. But I'll say that 'adding chems is bad' is not a
good *general rule*. In fact, the opposite is true. If your
water is low on something plants or animals need, it's
generally good to add some to the water -- it might be
fishfood for the fish (a convenient source of lots of
chems), fishfood for the plants, KNO3 for the plants,
iodine for the shrimp, etc. RE removing things from the
water, it's more a question of what you are trying to
filter and how you filter it.

You do need to filter various chemicals in any aquarium,
even a planted one, but that's what the plants do very
well, at least in freshwater systems. (Special cases, such
as removing some meds after treatment, might call for
faster and more intense temporary measures such as carbon.)

So I say, "Don't be hesitant to use the right kinds of
chemical filters for the job -- plant lots of chemical
filters in your aquaria" :-)

Scott H.
--- Laith Arif <laith at swissonline_ch> wrote:
> Personally, I'm not at all keen on adding any type of
> chemicals to the
> water.  
> 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...)
> Laith
> 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.
> Sincerely,
> Earnest Steve
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