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[APD] Re: methods

>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. 

Is Phytoplankton an issue if you do not add NH4 or too many fish?
Never had issues unless I added NH4.
This is easy to tease apart.

>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.

Oh, it's plenty for the algae.
Many FW algae researchers, Phycologist, do not even know what levels algae become PO4 limited etc.
It's often beyond the limits of resolution of their testing equipment.
If you have plants in there, then there is enough.

>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. 

Hard to test.

>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?

Never did squat for me on BBA and Caldophora.
I've added it to the bottom layer of my gravel in the past in place of peat, I used Barely granuals laced with humic acids to mimic peat.

Aquatic ecosystems sells it.

Does it help? I cannot say either way. 
Does straw do anything special to prevent algae?
Not that I can tell.

If you have pond issues, toss more plants in there, it'll clear up w/o a bale of rotting straw(I prefer the plants personally, don't you?).

No one needs straw to have a nice plant tank either.
Unless it's a plant nutrient, I don't add it generally.
I might add some Organic matter/mulm to the substrate of some sort, but that's about it.

The entire algae killing notion is seriously flawed, if you grow the plants well, then there's no algae issues.
The goal is to grow plants, so the focus should be on the plants. Not killing algae.

This is the only realistic long term solution, and let me tell you, it's so easy and the results are dynamic, CO2 or non CO2.

Simple is good. Sticking with your original goal is good. 
It also works. 

>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.

Blackouts are good for 3-5 days, there is no need for more.
EM will not effect any higher algae, only the BGA's.
Blackouts are only good with BGA's in IME/IMO.

>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 have no trouble introducing many species of algae to my tanks, they don't do well.
2,3 and 4 really don't matter. I don't do the bleaching sterile method, I get too many things in/out from the wild to bother and have no trouble beating any algae up pretty good. Will it hurt doing it? Naw.
It's things like Duckweed, bladderwort, Riccia that piss me off real bad. 

Adding ferts to the substrate does not help you beat Algae.
I've clearly argued this point here and with anyone willing to try a dosing routine to their water column using NO3 and PO4 or traces.

I have high light tanks with no critters at all, no algae either(actually less). So I have hard time accepting 3, it'll help but not needed. 

>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.
>Steve P

Try more CO2, water column ferts.
I ain't lying to ya after all.
Peat and straw are likely similar in many respects.
They do help create a more established tank/pond etc by adding organic matter than slowly breaks down.
New tanks/ponds generally are carbon "poor"(not CO2 poor)
Tom Barr
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