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[APD] APD archive searching and The Barr Method (TBM)
Some have complained about the poor search capabilities of the APD archive.
Google has quite good advanced search capabilities so if you just want to narrow the search to APD archives you can put the
following into Google: [my search terms] site:fins.actwin.com
For example: [From-Thomas-Barr Barr-method site:fins.actwin.com] gets you messages from Tom on his method (or references to such
messages) only on the fins website.
Incidentally the best summaries are not found in the APD archives:
Other great reference material can also be found at:
including Water Plants 101 by Dr Dave Huebert, an eminent aquatic plant researcher:
Dr Dave suggests that substrate provision of N & P nutrients works well for aquatic plants and reduces the amount available for
phytoplankton in contrast to what Tom says. Labile organic N-P reserves seem to produce ammonia and other organic nutrients that
favour algae. Small doses of mineral N-P-K in clay balls at regular intervals might be a good way to go. It still leaks some N & P
to the water but definitely concentrates it at the roots where its not available to algae.
Peat will have very little labile material but it does decompose to provide CO2, releases humins to chelate micro nutrients and I
suspect the humic acids might inhibit some types of bacteria and algae. There has been mention of using barley straw for inhibiting
algae so that's another avenue to explore. Anybody have experience using straw to inhibit filament algae?
Also, be careful of long blackouts. I've seen old leaves of Anubias lanceolata die from 1 week blackout. The plant seems to redirect
its resources to growth of new leaves in an effort to reach the light. Many plants become etiolated or elongated under dark
conditions; they continue to grow in the dark using carbohydrate and nitrogen (amino acid & protein) reserves. Filament algae just
seem to go dormant; they stop growing but don't die. Unfortunately darkness doesn't seem to hurt Spirogyra and I've not been able to
reproduce success killing Spirogyra with Erythromycin. No big surprise.
I suggest a 4 prong attack on filament algae:
1) make the plants grow fast so you can remove algae colonies on the old leaves
2) prevent algae introduction using the bleach method
3) get critters that eat algae including snails, SAEs, and other fish that nibble algae
4) use N-P-K clay balls to provide a steady supply of N & P to the plant roots
I don't know enough about how well peat and straw work against filament algae. My next tank will have a lot more peat in it in
addition to regular soil from my back yard.
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