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[APD] RE: endless pruning

Thomas wrote:
>> My goal is to grow planted tanks, no worry about algae

>This is fine. The Barr approach works well with fast growing plants.

And slow ones and marine ones and non CO2 ones and low light ones and P
limited ones etc.
Which method are you referring to?
I use a number of methods and am quite well versed in all of them in both
the how and the why, including your method/s:-)

I already spent a lot of time killing algae over the years, but I figured
out a long time ago how to never deal with that issue and not worry. 
It made keeping plants 150% better.
Amano, Claus, Karen, Researchers at IFAS and myself all say good plant
growth = less algae.

Maybe we are all wrong and you are right?

> Its
>just too high maintenance removing the tons of algae that grow and
>replanting the tops of the masses of Hygrophila polysperma. 

I don't keep "A" rated federal and CA state noxious weeds.
The H. polysperma "rosanervig" is also an A rated weed FYI.

I also have not had algae for many years in my tanks. GWAPA, SFBAAPS,
DFWAPS, SFAS among others can attest to this.
Nor are my methods particularly high maintenance.

I actually have very simple yet effective methods on all my methods, I even
found a way that porovides the plants everything they need without testing
except for CO2(pH).

The rate is chosen by the aquarist, the best way to control growth rates is
with light.It makes the most sense on many levels. 
Non CO2 low light tanks which I have and recommend very often are anything
but work and hassles........

All my tanks are not high light/CO2 enriched tanks with only A rated
noxious weeds.
It makes for a weak arguement if you based your argument on such

In such tanks, I can grow any plant I chose without issue since you asked,
not just all fast growers stem plants etc. Anubias are fine, Crypts(See
Alexi Hybrid in bloom submersed at 6w/gal PC lighting) Bolbitus, Java
ferns, many other so called slow growers.
There's lots of wood, rock etc. There are 300 species of weeds to pick from
and many do not need pruned that regularly.
Soem do if I want to work the garden/aquascape often. 

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.

Hummm Spaths are non aquatic:-)
I think I am just fine with this stage of growing things I like, the method
works well with that, you need less light.
George has said that as I have and as Claus has.
Perhaps we are all wrong too?
Some folks listen and realize people and their desires in aquariums are not
one dimensional, that's the last thing I am.
If they want a slow growing non CO2 tank, I can help them, if they want a
marine macro tank, I can help them, if they want an Amano like tank, I can
help them, If they want 5w/gal, I can help them achieve their goals.If they
want a 3 hectare lake, I can help them. If they want to get rid of their
Hydrilla in their pond, I can help them. 

I am beyond this "one method" singularity and have been for many years.  
And I'm willing to share it.

> Maybe we don't all want to spend
>every Saturday afternoon pinching and pruning.

Some folks like that.
Try less light, high CO2 and nutrients.
Excellent but slower morderate growth, no algae. 

It's all about the _rate_ of growth.

>> I suppose, but good growth takes care of algae, if you want
>> so so, sub par growth, have at it.

>This annoys me.

Good, it should and is design in particular to challenge/goad you to do
better with you plant growth and not deal with the algae killing mind set.
Algae grows for a reason. Poor plant growth. This is a varying range of
grades, but ultimately the best growth(which does not imply the fastest but
rather a __rate__ for a given light level) of the plants will yield the
least algae growth.

Plants outcompete algae for light and NH4 when given enough nutrients. 
This can be seen in nature, our tanks and various methods.

> Plenty of us have excellent growth, as much as we could
>ever desire and NO algae whatsoever.

Humm .....well you seemed to have had a lot of algae recently in talking
with me and in the past in your post to the APD.
I seemed to have had much better success over the long term and with many
other folks all across the globe.
You have given little to the reasons as to the causes of the algae. 
Finding the root cause is one of my past goals and then applying that
knowledge to growing the plants. 
Thing is, when the plants are doing well, I do not have algae.
If I slack off for awhile, I'll get algae.

But that's no big deal, a prune, a readjustment(add more CO2, water changes
etc) and I'm back on track. 

> No spores, nothing. We can use
>bleach or H2O2 to sterilize the plants.

Nothing wrong with that, my point is that this will not take care of all
your algae problems and does require a alot of work to rid the tank to
begin with and then you must take care not to reinfect the tank. If you
have poor sub par levels, you will get algae, perhaps not one species, but
another will grow in it's place.

 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.

Not it's not, I have direct research that says that's simply ain't true.
I guess us scientist have no clue and you have the golden algae killin
method?Hehe whatever.......

Your comment also suggest that adding nutrients to the substrate is a
method of controlling algae and limiting it, that is also patently wrong.
Where is my algae if this is true Steve?
You need to learn how to culture the algae in the first place before you
can discuss their cause. 

>This is simply a matter of tearing down those tanks that are infected or
>as Richard suggests, killing off the algae using H2O2. 

Wel, to use what you said: I don';t have all Sat afternoon to do all that
and that's a lot of trouble and I don't wnat to worry and quarintine
everything and fish/water/nets etc till hell freezes over.

Your method still does not improve the plant's health and look.
No algae killin method does that because it does not address the plant's
Again, why did you get algae to bloom in the first place?

>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.

So you plan on killing all the bacteria and algae spores there I hope as
I find no issue with a good method to remove algae in a neglected tank(Such
as the one Paul K suggested some years ago for some of the Green algae),
but only a neglected tank gets algae.

Anyone worth their salt can trace their algae problems to that.

> For tough plants like Anubias, this seems like
>an ideal treatment, right in the tank! I applaud Richard for his

Try Paul K, not Richard bubba. Unless Richard told Paul a few years ago
which does not add up sinc eRichard was lamenenting about algae very
recently and resorted to this which is acceptable for his case. Nothing
wrong with that given his personal goals.  

>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. 

Well, I've had plants from friends covered in algae and returned them nicve
algae free healthy plants later.
Sounds like a  a lot of work, something you were complaining about earlier
in your post.
How many tanks do you set up each year Steve?
Try to figure the time you might be spending doing this on say a 180 gal
tank with sensitive plants.   
Not everyone has a tank full of Anubias.

>I've had
>Oedogonium mysteriously appear in two of my 5 year old tanks; well I
>just wasn't careful enough about quarantining fish.

You have to quarantine the fish also? Now that is even more work:-)
My plastic fish don't need quarantined.

Thuis algae is easy to get rid of, folks seldom have issues with it unless
the CO2 was off.

> 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.

So how did you decide it was NH4?
Who told you that and how do you know it was not say...PO4 or NO3 or CO2?

> 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.

I keep some overflow plants in buckets before I send them off etc, doesn't
mean they come from a tank.
CO2 could have slacked off, __everyone__ has some algae over the years.
Amano or anyone person you care to name.
Sorry, I ain't perefect but I never claimed to be either.

But a little elbow grease and pruning, some work on getting the tank back
in sghape will take care of it. Not need to worry about infections by algae
Takes work, no secret there.

And you have a microscope and know how to tell the difference between this
genus and say Ulothrix?
Identification is the first step in management and the cause.

Light is what controls the rate, not "fast" growing plants.My methods are
many, not one dimensional like your arguement.

>> Not any, but that might be your goal, stunted plants without algae.

>Stunted plants?? I think not. This is misleading. Tsk-tsk-tsk!

Not growing as well as they should be at that light level.
That's why we have algae blooming.
Poor plant growth leads to algae. the plants stop growing and become a
substrate for attached algae.
What issue do you have with that?

>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.

So again you suggest that adding ferts to the substrate limits algae, what
evidence do you have to prove or show this in nay way, you never answered
this point.
What advantage is this in a higher light CO2 tank? 

You can supply a large amount of the nutrients via the roots, but you
suggest that this limits algae is simply incorrect and anyone willing to
dose properly can see this for themselves.Simply because you cannot dose 3
things(KNO3, KH2PO4 and traces) and maintain a decent CO2 consistently is
in no way my fault.
You do not even seem to want to do that for some reason.
But that's up to you.
You have no algae and plants that are growing and you are happy, bully for
Not everyone wants Crypts, Anubias and low growth and doesn't care much
about aquascaping, wants the rare harder to grow plants or contest.
But many do.

I've also many times suggested low light, CO2 and high light CO2 methods
and differences, non CO2 methods, marine tank methods sub vs water column
dosing, not one way or another.

If someone wants a certain method I give my opinion based on their goals
and plant health, not my own agenda or one dimensional method. 

Here's some of my tanks and a not so subtle message for you:-)
When you can express yourself with a planted tank like that, let me know.

Perhaps a topiary of Riccia saying "Barr is wrong" would be nice:-)

>Start clean; stay as clean as you can. If you do get algae (it can
>happen easily) 

Naw too much work:-)

>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.

Well isn't that what your bleach the tank method suggest but does not
address the roots cause, poor plant growth?

> 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 need to remove what's there, bleaching can help etc kill what is there,
but it does nothing in preventing reoccurances of other species such as
airborn types and if you have many tanks and plants being done, coming
in/out etc.

We shall see how long your method last since Green spot is easy to have
infect via airborn sources.
I don't have it and know what causes it.

After the algae is beaten back, then adding nutrients to address the
plant's needs will prevent algae from coming back.
Adding them to the water column is easy and simple.
You can supply the plants with their needs from the substrate as well but
as you increase the lighting, more nutrients need to come from the water
column and you cannot test nor resupply a consistent level of nutrients via
the substrate over a long peroid of time.
But it does not hurt either.
Neither does bombing the tank and blech dipping like Paul suggested.
Neil did this with copper some years back.

This is nothing new.
Still doesn't grow plants better.

>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.

Well for a about 1-3 weeks even the worst infestation I've seen is in great
shape after 3 weeks.
After that it's fairly smooth sailing. Neglect is not something you can
cure with this method of bleach/H2O2.
Takes some work to whip it back in to shape(Either pruning or bleaching).
Nothing wrong with it for removing the algae that's there after the neglect.
But good nutrient dosing thereafter is critical, we grow planted tanks and
that is the focus, not killing algae.
When we focus on good plant growth, there is little issue with algae.

In other lower light CO2 planted tanks, the algae grows very slow as does
the plants, so the results are easily obtained and the algae is removed
without issue.
Non CO2 tanks are similar.

You do not have to use fast growers, you can dip the Anubias in H2O2 or
bleach etc and return to the tank or keep decent conditions anmd never have
to prune the plants of algae.

A low light CO2 enricghed tank afford a great deal of wiggle room and plant
choice can provide little pruing needs. You might not need to dose at
all(fish waste alone and/or substrate ferts if that's your thing) or once a
week after the water change.
As you add more light, you need to rely more on the water column.

> 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.
>Steve P

Hey, dude, you _are_ a plant nerd, do not try and deny who you are.
That's a lie to yourself and that's the worst type of lie there is.

I gave recently several levels of planted tank methods that would suit most
folks based on 3 simple methods:

High light, CO2(work and cool aquascapes)
Low light CO2(semi lazy, eg State worker like me)
Non CO2 low light.(Friggin Hobo)

A method to fit most habits.
There are different grades in there and other light set ups but these are
general terms anmd approaches for folks wanting different things from their
planted tanks.
Compared to a non CO2 tank, your method sounds like way too much work for

But it depends on your goal and what you want. If someone wants a non CO2
tank, I do not try and talk them out of it, I encourage that method as I do
each method, they are all interesting to me and I have little trouble with
any method.

BTW, since you seem to think algae is not present in your tank, why not add
macro nutrients to the water column since you claim you don't have algae
and still seem to suggest that algae is caused by excess nutrients?

Naw you are going to fight it to the end huh?:-)
hehe, oh well.......

Tom Barr 

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