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[APD] remove the algae or endless pruning
> My goal is to grow planted tanks, no worry about algae
This is fine. The Barr approach works well with fast growing plants. Its
just too high maintenance removing the tons of algae that grow and
replanting the tops of the masses of Hygrophila polysperma. There are
many of us who are well beyond the stage of simply growing tanks full of
green stuff and want to work with Anubias, Crypts, Spathiphyllum and a
host of other slow growing plants. Maybe we don't all want to spend
every Saturday afternoon pinching and pruning.
> I suppose, but good growth takes care of algae, if you want
> so so, sub par growth, have at it.
This annoys me. Plenty of us have excellent growth, as much as we could
ever desire and NO algae whatsoever. No spores, nothing. We can use
bleach or H2O2 to sterilize the plants. We can use clay balls to provide
nitrogen and phosphorus to the roots of the plants. Sure some N & P gets
out into the water but as Tom points out, this is no big deal. Its just
better to have more of it concentrated in the substrate.
This is simply a matter of tearing down those tanks that are infected or
as Richard suggests, killing off the algae using H2O2. I think you might
need to remove the plants to do a thorough job but there should be no
problem returning the cleaned plants to the tank afterward and no need
to remove the substrate. For tough plants like Anubias, this seems like
an ideal treatment, right in the tank! I applaud Richard for his
I'm not saying its easy to keep a tank free of algae. I've had a well
meaning friend bring a bag of plants over and ruin weeks of work by
casually dumping her plants into one of my clean tanks. I've had
Oedogonium mysteriously appear in two of my 5 year old tanks; well I
just wasn't careful enough about quarantining fish. It took years for
the Oedogonium population to get to critical mass; a little too much
ammonia one week and bingo, it gets a start. I've had lots of problems
with Spirogyra spreading on nets, fish and droplets. That's one of the
worst. I don't say its easy to go the bleach route but when you achieve
it the results are awesome.
> How many tanks win "algae free" contest? :-)
Not Tom's. A friend of mine got samples of plants from Tom and there was
definitely Oedogonium on his plants. His strategy works best with fast
growing plants. I have pointed this out numerous times.
> Not any, but that might be your goal, stunted plants without algae.
Stunted plants?? I think not. This is misleading. Tsk-tsk-tsk!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with adding phosphate and nitrate to
your tank; I recommend that you do it regularly ..... using CLAY
FERTILIZER BALLS!! You WILL get very good growth, just like Tom B. AND
you can target the plants that need it.
Start clean; stay as clean as you can. If you do get algae (it can
happen easily) then you have two choices. Live with it like Tom and
forego the slow growing plants for a jungle of H poly or clear it out
and start over. If, heaven forbid, you should find yourself with a tank
filled with Oedogonium or Spirogyra, don't make the mistake of believing
that you can cure it by pouring in nutrients. You will have to remove
all the plants with large colonies on them and replant the tops of the
fast growers. Be prepared to do this every week. Yes, this may be great
fun for newbies but its certainly not an optimal strategy for those of
us who have a life outside of aquariums.
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