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[APD] Death of an algae

The more I learn the dumber I feel. 

I've been battling this staghorn alage for maybe a decade now, sometimes
it's not bad other times, holy cow, help. I've tried everything to get rid
of it exccept bleaching everyhing and being a faithful follower of brother
Tom Barr. 

When I got back into aquaria in the fall of 2004 my old nemesis, staghorn
alage was still there making everything ugly. I sort of tried Tom's method,
but after playing with test kits and jugs of white powedered chemicals for a
month and getting nowhere I weant back to my uh, earlier "research" with
noxious chemicals such as peroxide and algicide. Tests resumed, no
significant progress ensued. 

Then Tom posted a very folksy recipe on usenet and modulo some screwing
around with an iron test kit to get the iron levels right I found it
brainlessly easy to follow. I also decided if I don't have CO2 I should at
least get some Excel to add carbon; the tendancy of it to hurt algae can't
be a bad thing either. 

The first time dosing IS a real pig if you want stock solutions and don't
want to be dumping in powers from measuring spoons, I had to play with Chuck
Gadd's calculator to figure out what to weigh out to make up a certain
solution so I could simply dump 10 ml from a Tropica (TMG) bottle per 20
gallon tank; other tanks scaled accordingly and easily. 

I've done this for one week on 6 tanks. 5 of them I think are staghorn-free.
One has it bad still. I'm not changing the water in that one; I want to keep
it as a control. This tank gets only fertilizer and excel, no water changes. 

The other 5 tanks get this treatment: excel per the label, and Tom's
open-loop doing described in that article, saved here: 


In three days the one plant that had most of the algae looked a little
diferent. On the fourth day the staghorn had changed color, was now
distinctly reddish and wispy. It's dead, Jim; I've seen enough chemically
killed staghorn to know if it's gone from dark to pinkish-red then it's
dead, and tomorrow will be white; and true enough, today it's white and that
plant has half the staghorn it did a few days ago. Huh, how 'bout that? 

I don't know what killed it, and to be sure there's still some in that tank,
but I fear its days are numbered. Either the Excel killed it or perhaps now
with proper nutrients and good light the plant just produced a lot of oxygen
and killed the stuff off its leaf surfaces. Dunno, either way, or both perhaps. 

I've seen staghorn get weak after a water change or two and turn light
colored but I've never yet seen anything kill it this quickly short of a
nasty chemical that does in the very least hold up plant growth for a while
or worse, injure or outright kill, plants. 


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