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[APD] Getting rid of Green Spot
The best prevention for algae is good plant growth but even so people will encounter some type of alga as a result of a mistake or two. I have beaten every type of algae in the book with methods ranging from bleach treatment to copper - Each time after having searched the archives and found the best treatment for the specific alga. But search for Spot algae and you will get this type of response:
"Spot algae: These hard, round, green stops form on glass and on the leaves of slower growing plants like Anubias. They do not often become a serious problem but they can make the glass unsightly in large numbers. They must be removed mechanically on glass aquariums by razor blades."
The impression is that this alga is 'normal' in planted tanks. I don't think so. In my main tank it becomes a problem when the tank is stressed, such as in summer, and is componded by high nitrogen in the water coloumn. The problem is that once it colonises a surface it tends to stay even if conditions improve. So how can we cure the problem?
Get rid of it with a blade when its on glass. OK, but when it's on leaves? Remove the old ones, it grows very slowly. OK for Echinodorus etc, but what about the Anubias? What then? You can't remove the leaves; they are even slower growing then the green spot. Use hydrogen peroxide in a syringe? I did not find it to have any effect - My ferns were effected though but not positively. Use copper? its not worth the risk for this alga. Remove the plants from the plant and grow them emmersed for a while? No, not if they are attached to a large piece of driftwood. Its normal, Leave everthing as is? Never!
I'm not going to go into how I found it out, but here is a simple and sure solution to the problem. There may be others but this works. All that is needed is a 1 or 5ml syringe and concentrated phosphoric acid (From Lab or horticultural suppliers). Slowly release 1 ml of acid exactly over the leaf to be treated. The algae will visibly turn from green->olive->brown as the acid is released. Move the syringe over the leaves, 1 ml should be enough for two to four ' nana' leaves or one large 'barteri' leaf. I only use 1 ml per day per 200L water. The pH or the fish are not effected in the least. However the Phosphate content will be increased to way over the recommend fertilisation requirements, but I have not found this to effect anything. The greenspot is dead and dissapears in 3 to 4 days but the leaves are not effected and look great without the algae. The greenspot will NOT grow back if conditions are right. I made sure this works before writing here.
If phosphate levels are an issue for some people then 1) water replacements will be required after the treatment or 2) use ferrous sulphate to precipitate the phosphate or 3) use a resin. But in a well planted balanced aquarium at 22-24C the phosphate is going to be used up by the plants anyway.
Please write if you find the method useful or not but if you do try it out always remember that:
CONCENTRATED PHOSPHORIC ACID IS HAZARDOUS. TAKE GREAT CARE WHERE TO STORE IT. USE GLASSES OR GOGGLES WHEN HANDLING. WASH HANDS IN CASE OF CONTACT.
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