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[APD] RE: algae advice

> Before, the dust storm rises again, note folks, that there
> is about a ton and a half of discussion on BGA and treating
> it with antibiotics instead of a black out.
> Both methods work. Only one of them really upsets a lot
> people.
> Scott H.

That's because one also addresses ____why___ the BGA is there in the first
place while antibiotic advice almost universally omits the root cause and
long term prevention. One is free, the other cost money.
One __improves plant growth__(which is why the algae appeared), the other
does nothing for the plants.
Both methods take the same time frame for treatment.

The poster has a CO2 issue, not a BGA issue(bottomed out the NO3=> BGA).
Pills only kill BGA, nothing else. They don't help the plant, they do not
grow the plant, they cost $, they are not available everywhere. 

You'd figure more folks would support something that addresses the root
Even though I've posted 1000 times that the root cause is that the NO3
level bottomed out, folks give advice on antibiotics without telling the
poor person why the BGA is there or what to do to prevent it's return or
how to help their plants grow better so that some other species of algae
does not appear that you cannot get rid of with a pill.

If you give BGA advice from __either camp__, tell the person WHY the BGA is
there and that they need to add more KNO3 or a nitrogen source at a higher
rate than they have been doing. Overgrown tanks commonly have BGA due to
the increase plant biomass and lack of pruning while maintaining the same
dosing rate or fish feeding routine. This bottoms out the NO3 first, then
PO4 eventually. 

You know what is going on, you can test it yourself if you have any doubt.
Why omit this critical piece of information that helps folks have a nicer
plants and tanks for less?

Isn't that why we help folks?

CO2 is the issue here. There is a pill that will cure CO2 problems, but the
Fizz factory might not be the help many are seeking:-)
If we see BBA, or several algae at once in a poster's problem list, then we
know there's a high likelihood there is a CO2 problem. Green spot, a good
chance there is low CO2 or low PO4, Green water, some NH4 spike at some
point in the recent past(2-4 days for most tanks). BGA is similar,
bottoming out the NO3. The algae are environmental indicators, you do not
even need a test kit to determine what is wrong with their tank in most
cases. This tool is pretty accurate at addressing plant tank problems.

Please add that to future advice. If you doubt it, test. Don't speculate or
guess, test. Stop arguing and test.Repeat the test and see. Bottom the NO3
out of purpose and note the effects. Do not add KNO3 and see what happens
after a 3 day blackout + 50% water change before and after (you get
reinfection rapidly, gee why might that be??). Next try it again with the
KNO3 at about 10-12ppm NO3 after each water change and then thereafter
maintain the NO3 higher. Then you'll know. I've done this test close to 20

Antibiotics have about 3-6 week wait if the conditions are not
improved(adding more KNO3, feed fish more, keep tank better trimmed etc,
less plant biomass/overgrown etc) but it's repeatable as well. I've done
this 4 times now(sorry, takes longer for reinfection). 

We only have a few species of algae present in our tanks, being able to
induce their growth is a key to understanding them(how else can you
experiment killing them without being able to grow them?).
Observations after the fact are much more difficult to study and conclude
much, there is __no experimental procedure__ involved. This is true for
Staghorn, GW, BGA, BBA, GS.

That's why I've been successful at addressing the causes of algae and their
long term cures with less cost and easier routines.
Green dust is difficult for me to culture over time.
Once I kill it, I have trouble bring it back.
Hair algae (Cladophora-[branching green algae] is the only one of  real
concern) is another that is tough to induce
(Rhizoclonium and Oedogonium are easy to deal with and inducible). 
Diatoms are easy enough to deal with.
Not much left after that.

Only a few greens that do well when the plants also do well. These can be
removed via UV/Diatom filter, water changes, manual
picking/preening/pruning/paitence/persistence and oh yea, the
shrimp/SAE/FFF/Barbs/Ottos, snails and other herbivores.

There are uses for antibiotics and BGA, but these are rare.
So that's the APD 6 month reminder for algae control:-)

Tom Barr


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