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[APD] RE: straw/H2O2


>Maybe this is common knoelwdge, but I didn't know it
>and had always wondered why this works.

Try adding some floating plants to your pond and you don't get that algae.
The study I saw done on it showed no impact on **hair** algae.
Debateable effects on green water.

I tried it, so did a few folks, nothing ever became of it.
Pond folks seem to like it, personally, the attitude of some more floating
plants vs a bale of rotting straw seems much more attractive, I'd rather
have the algae personally than rotting bales draining off O2.

Not sure:-)?

H2O2 is a possible caustive agent, they really do not know, I've seen
research that suggest that it's the rotfiers that increase when straw is
added and they eat the algae, so it might be an indirect effect.

No matter, in algae infested tanks, I've never been able to show anything
significant when the nutrients/CO2 were stable that this stuff does.
Under bloom conditions(eg adding NH4), it also had no effect. So at
constant algae presence and at log growth phase, it did not do anything for
me in a fairly stable tank.

Perhaps under a complex set of conditions that we do not know about(nor any
of the researchers), the straw may work in some cases, this can be said for
most algicides and inhibitors. Seem the "thrill" has died down. A number of
researchers have been taken with it doing lake management, I have yet to
see a good definitive paper on it, I reviewed 10 or so. They were split on
whether it worked, one said yay, the other nay.
One positive paper does not mean it's going to work. Try it under
controlled aquarium conditions, then decide. If things are inconclusive, go
back and see the other side of the story and look for differences in the
application, different research that might be counter etc. 

I know this stuff ain't wonder cure, it's subtle at best in it's impact. 

Certain decayed plant products could cause algae to stop, but it still does
not cure why the algae started to begin with.
The straw extract is about 30$ a pint at the LFS on that site.

Folks can do better with a little elbow grease, adding the nutrients/CO2
and not spend a dime.

I do not think th extract will do as well as the a bale+ sunlight in a pond.
But a pond is pretty easy to handle, water change, add more floating plants.
Larger lakes may be another issue, but the algae tend to bother folks only
1-2x a year, they can let it go through the cycle or add more plants during
that time peroid.
Copper is being phased out in many places or there's talk of it. 

Overall, Copper and H2O2 are the most effective chemical herbicides for
algae in planted tank that leave the plants alone(for the most part). I
certainly can see results with those and their dosing is rather straight
Dupla made/makes a Fermenting Straw reactor, for 200-300$ or so and you
need to buy their supply of rotting straw also.
Calling it a non herbicidial product, biodegradable etc does not make nor
imply it's any better for anything. 
We tried bales from local farmers also.
Adding a strong oxidizer might tie in with the NH4= algae notion since it
oxidizes all the NH4 to NO3. 
Small traces of H2O2 could possibly do that. 

So would adding O2 gas. 

You'll note they suggest adding it to a place or high flow, don't add too
much at once, guess why not?
It needs O2 to work and lots of it. 

Adding more plants will take care of the algae in the long term and looks
better to a pond and it's cheaper/easier, you can make $ by selling the
excess weed choked pond. Loaded tanks/ponds/lakes full of submersed and
floating plants are the best defense for algae for gin clear water. That
research is pretty straight forward.

Works that way in nature also. My Dad's pond has never had any
algae(hair/GW) in some 15 years. He removes some excess plant growth and
keeps about 60% coverage. I've done similar things for many other pond
owners.I've observed many shallow lakes with lots of plants, bass fishermen
love these, we can see the fish. You remove the plants(Increase turbidity,
add grass carp, add herbicides etc), the lake turns to pea soup and becomes
a poor bass fishery. 

I really have not tried to over stuff a planted tank with floaters as a
method to get rid of algae, I know it should work in theory to get rid of
many already established algae species if the conditions are corrected such
as BBA, Staghorn, Hair algae, green dust. 
It's all about the plants, not killing or otherwise outsmarting algae. 
Bleach/H2O2, copper etc is fine for some things, cleaning mainly.
I'll use bleach to clean equipment, that's about it. 

You can also add O3 at low levels in a very controlled manner if you want
to play with strong oxidizers that decompose into O2, seems better, safer
than H2O2 drips etc.

If I bought into the whole oxidizer to kill algae thing, O3 makes the most
sense on a practical level, but being practical, I know I need to take care
of the plant, then I don't have any need. I tried it about 15 years ago,
but I have not revisted O3 and investigated it within a planted tank and
good algae growth etc.

At 200-300$ minmum cost, per systerm, it'll be a hard sell and a $$$ toy. 

Tom Barr





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