Re: algae control

>From: "Christopher L. Weeks" <c576653 at cclabs_missouri.edu>
>Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 10:16:33 -0600 (CST)
>Subject: Re: bacopa v's algae
>simon mann <mann at alf_chem.su.oz.au> asks for advice:
>> powerglo).  The problem is that even though the plants are
>> growing well so is the algae.  A recent outbreak of thread
>> algae and possibly staghorn algae as well as high quantities
>> of everpresent hair and smaller amounts of brush on the
>> leaves of some amazon swords is proving unsightly.  What can
>> I do?  The tank already contains a bristlenose and 4 dwarf
>> otos.  I have the option of upping the wattage to 160W by
>> adding 2 more 48"fluoros.  Any suggestions would be
>> appreciated.
>Karen suggested that 
  >"the 55g is underplanted and allowing the algae to bloom.  
  >"Fill the puppy with plants and vary the lighting only if you need 
  >to for the particular plants you select.   
  >Anyone agree or disagree?"  

While I do not necessarily disagree, I do not think this approach will
usually reduce the stubborn kinds of algae that Christopher has. In general,
eliminating some needed nutrients from the water column by adding more
plants or accelerating their growth with more light and CO2 can eliminate or
reduce algae. The varieties mentioned, however, tend to be more difficult

Different algae eating creatures are another possibility. Otos and
bristlenose do not eat thread or brush algae.  SAE will eat beard/brush
algae, and I have just discovered that Ampullaria or Apple snail will eat
some thread algae. I introduced them into a tank with lots of unattached
green "cluster algae" (Ulothrix?) and the algae was ALL gone in 2 days. On
the third day, I noticed torn plant leaves, so the snails were immediately
moved to other quarters. I have also just heard that scats will eat thread
algae, but have never tried them myself.

BTW, does anyone know what aquarium book, if any, uses the term 'staghorn'
algae. I assume this is the branching Pithophora.