Re: algae

>From: Hamed.Ahmadinejad at sciboard_spdlan.louisville.edu
>Hello, I am doing a school project on algae growth.  I need information on
>things that can get rid of, kill, or prevent algae growth.  Any information
>would be appreciated.

You'll probably hear a lot of this, but the main way to keep algae from growing
is to starve it of nutrients.  Your primary nutrients that cause algae problems
are nitrates (NO3-) and phosphates (PO4-).  When you combine a solution that
has an abundance of these nutrients, and also has plenty of light, you often
get lots of algae.

The best way of controlling algae is to starve it.  This can be accomplised in
a few ways:

* Don't give it any light.  Algae needs light to grow.

* Restrict its nutrient input.  Aquatic plants can assist in controlling the 
  nutrient levels of a water system, but if the nutrient input is too high,
  the algae will usually win out.  When using aquatic plants, you want the 
  nutrient concentrations to be optimal for the plants, so they can use all of
  the nutrients up before the algae gets a chance.

Other methods of controlling algae include:

* Manual intervention.  This method means cleaning it up by hand.

* Algae-eating organisms.  A very popular method that uses animals instead of
  people to control the algae.  Its downside is that the animals may not eat
  the algae as fast or as thoroughly as you want.

* Herbicides.  These are chemicals that will kill algae, and are likely to harm
  to plants, fish, livestock, etc.  Most experienced aquarists stay away from 

In addition, there are ways of preventing some types of algae from growing in
the first place.  I won't go into these because there are others here who are
much more skilled in these techniques.

David W. Webb
Enterprise Computing Provisioning
Texas Instruments Inc. Dallas, TX USA
(214) 575-3443 (voice)  MSGID:       DAWB
(214) 575-4853 (fax)    Internet:    dwebb at ti_com
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