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[APD] light green, gritty floating algae

I set up a new aquarium a few weeks ago using a soil substrate and some
used aquarium gravel that I got at a club auction. I was careful to
clean the tank and equipment using bleach and to disinfect the plants
using Paul's bleach treatment so I don't have any filament algae.
Sterilizing gravel is difficult so it might have come with that. A
neighbouring tank using the same batch of soil & peat did not get this
algae when I set it up a couple months earlier.

A very heavy layer of a light green algae developed which I have not
seen before. It does not have a remarkable smell, is not slimy and seems
rather gritty to the touch. After several days, before I noticed it, the
algae grew several millimetres thick and became somewhat dry on the
surface so that when disturbed, it formed a wrinkly surface.

I skimmed as much out by hand and using a brine shrimp net; so far it
hasn't bloomed again although I can still see small amounts floating on
the surface. It may be emitting airborne spores since I can see small
colonies on other nearby tanks that are somewhat similar to the scum
that sometimes develops on tanks without surface disturbance.

Any idea what type of algae this is?

Some brown diatomaceous algae is appearing in the tank; this is quite
normal for a new soil tank. Snails will eat it and it is easily removed
by hand.

Growth in these tanks is quite good since I am using a generous amount
of CO2 at about 1 bubble every 1 - 2 seconds. I have to be sure to add
calcium to the tanks regularly or the snail won't grow well and you need
plenty of snails to deal with bacteria and diatoms with a new soil

Steve P

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