Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #76

>From: Bryan W Vought <bwvought at mailbox_syr.edu>
>Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 11:03:43 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: Re: algae in fish/plant tank (fwd)
>Thanks for replying to my post.  I had been fertilizing with Kent's
>Freshwater Plant fertilizer.  After I  started seeing algae growth I
>discontinued the fertilizer.
>I am not sure what kind of algae growth I am getting.  It is a
>yellow-green color, and covers all of the plants and gravel with a slime
>costing.  On one of my bunch plants, it draws the leaves in toward the
>stem.  I can remove the algae with  my thumb and forefinger easily by
>pulling up the plant.  The algae will even come of plants if I vacuum the
>leaves directly.  I had been getting hair algae and I found I could kill
>that by increasing the light from 10 hrs. to 15 hrs/day.
>I used to get lush plant growth, but ever since the algae explosion, the
>plants have not really grown at all.  The only real growth I have seen is
>with the valisnaria.
>I washed my plants in a 20:1 water:bleach mixture a few months ago, and
>it didn't really slow down the algae. However it did claim the lives of
>some of my favorite plants.  I attribute the bleach treatment to killing
>my anubias nana, water sprite (which was doing very well at the time),
>and a couple of swords.
>Any ideas?

It sounds like a mixture of bluegreen algae, (cyanobacteria).  I believe
there is an antibiotic that can cure that, but I don't remember which it
is.  I find that if I turn off the lights for a week or so, ramshorn snails
will eat up bluegreen algae and thrive on it.  However, if the lights are
on, they don't want to eat it.  My guess is that in the light the
cyanobacteria make defensive chemicals that discourage snails.

I find it hard to believe that the bleach treatment killed Anubias.  That
is the plastic plant that grows!.  My recommended treatment is for two to
four minutes depending on how delicate and thin-stemmed the plant is.  I
have given Anubias 4 minutes in the 5% bleach, and it has emerged without
any visible damage.  Ceratopteris is more sensitive, but I have given it 2
minutes with only damage to the thin parts of the leaves.

It doesn't help to give your plants the bleach treatment if you are going
to put them back in an aquarium that is infested with hair algae.  The
algae just climbs back on the plants.  After treatment, the plants should
be put in a hair algae free tank.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174